Keeping a zombie at home-- when you just can?t let go

Note: This is the first in a continuing series of helpful tips on keeping zombies at home.  Please read all warnings and consider your options carefully. does not accept any liability and offers this guide as a public service.  As always, it is best to consult a certified professional.

You're a collector aren't you?  You've got every action figure still in the box.  You had to have that 300th Beanie Baby just to complete the collection.  There's no such thing as too many Star Wars toys.  You have every issue of TV Guide going back to 1973.  You have an obsession to keep things.

Ok.  I don't really understand the compulsion, but I can respect your passion.  If you can't stand the thought of breaking up your family or group of co-workers by pulping their grey matter, your only real option is to confine the thing.  Let's be clear here-- this isn't the person you used to know but if you really can't help  yourself I guess we'll have to help you.  There are plenty of pitfalls, so pay attention.

Can I talk you out of this?  Remember, even though they are slow and uncoordinated, zombies are relentless.  They don't sleep.  They don't give up.  They won't stop.  They will continue to struggle as long as their brain is intact.  Their only goal is to bite and infect the nearest human which, in this case, is you.  Still want to do this? Yes? Alright...

I know that we haven't yet discussed how to actually catch a zombie, but you really need to plan ahead here.  You can't improvise.  Everything must be ready before capture.  Today we're going to discuss the safest option: The Pit

Zombies can't climb.  Zombies  don't jump.  Sure, everyone has seen them scale walls by crawling up the backs of their fallen comrades but that isn't technically climbing.  The pit is probably the safest confinement method but requires more preparation. 



Tests have shown that zombies cannot get out of a smooth-walled pit with vertical angles of at least 120 degrees.  Obviously, steeper angles are better and I personally prefer wall angles of less than 90 degrees but you might need to improvise.  Just like many Navy scuba divers were sacrificed to create the modern dive safety tables, quite a few grad students met their end to provide this data, so take this figure as gospel.  Luckily, grad students are essentially free and their loss only meant more zombies available for government-funded research.  Funny how well these things work out.

You really shouldn't keep more than one zombie in each pit, but if space is a concern use this handy metric for calculating the depth-the pit depth should be at least 1.3 times the total height of the all zombies in the pit. It's hard to get a zombie to stand up straight to be measured, so you might want to play it safe and use a figure of six and a half feet per zombie.  Remember this won't be adequate if you are confining the zombie Lakers so adjust accordingly.  

The key here is to ensure that in the unfortunate event one zombie climbs up the back of another, their combined height is not adequate to reach the rim.

The walls of the pit should be made of a hard material such as concrete, tile or smooth stone.  Zombies have terrible gripping ability, but they will be constantly grabbing at the wall often in the direction of the nearest human.  You want their hands to wear down, not the side of the pit.  Conduct visual inspections on a regular basis.    If it has taken a chunk from the wall, you're going to have to fish him out and make repairs.  If you give it the chance, that zombie will continue to worry away at the surface and dig a slope allowing escape.

Ensure proper drainage!  Zombies won't drown, but particularly ripe ones may have enough gas buildup to float.  If  your pit is outside and fills up during a rainstorm, that zombie is going to float up towards the rim and come scratching at your door.

As a last safety measure, consider placing a heavy grating over the top of the pit to minimize the possibility of escape. 

That's it.  Always remember to check local regulations before starting your collection.  Be sure to check back for the next in the series.

Comments (27) Add Comment

Great article! My neighbor decided to try to make his own outdoor zombie pit using plans he downloaded off the internet. He didn't include a drain and the pit filled up with water during a torrential Texas rainstorm. Unfortunately he had left his screen door open.

I brought in professionals for my zombie pit and I couldn't be happier. I think my neighbor enjoys it down there.

I hate zombies

Is it really so hard to show metric measurements? Not everyone lives in teh US!


Next time, read the article! There aren't any standard or metric measurements in it.

Oh, and metric sucks! US FTW!!


Are those drawings from the US gov pamphlet "Surviving the Zombie Plaugue"? What revision is that? I have the first printing and it says the pit should only be 1.2 times deep not 1.3. I wonder what else was rvised?


*revised* Crap! I wish you had spell-check.


I'm looking to add a battery backup to m;y sump pump in my backyard pit. I can't decide whether to use a car battery with a trickle charger or use a sump pump driven by municiple water preassure. What do you think? Should I just hook it up to a gasoline generator?

Has anyone here ever used "pumps-a-lot" products as a backup? My current backup plan is a bucket on a rope but "clyde" keeps getting tangled up.


I use a product called "leakfrog" to let me know when water is building up. It's soooo cute! Looks like a little frog! I think stubby likes it too! It keeps him company when I'm not around and I think he really appreciates it. Its like a teddy bear for zombies! LOL!

I don't remember where I bought it but you can see it here


Nobody has any ideas for my problem? Well I finally decided to use an old pinto I had parked in my front yard as a backup gerator for my zombie pit pump. The price was rite and the wife was always askin me to move it from the front yard.

thanks anyways!


Hey Kickboy, I would suggest that you constuct your pit on the top of a hill or else within a mound. You could even use a native american burial mound for that extra touch of irony. That way you can just run a drain from the bottom of your pit to a storm sewer or catch basin. Of course this requires a hard surface in your pit and you have to be sure and use ASTM A53 type A steel pipe for your drain. Anything else would just be stupid!

Best of luck!


thanks for the suggesion ismell... I alredy have a zombie pit and didnt really want to go scouting for a new location-- all my ammo is right here. Iused type B steel pipe for my drain. Am I screwed?


Oh heck no! Type B is even better! Sounds like you've got a great design for your pit. Maybe you should pass it along to the imbecile that runs this website so we can all learn from your experience.


What if I don't have a garden? It could be a good idea to hang my grandpa out of a window?


what if there was a good zombie how would you know?


There are no "good" zombies, they all become slobbering, not-so-smart, human flesh eating machines, even if they don't want to.

God wills it

You can't go asking every zombie "are you a good zombie or a bad zombie?" you just kill them all with a sword while yelling "God wills it!!!"
If rain is your concern, then ship your zombie to Iraq(may be incorecty speled) where it never rains. Or how about Death Valley, where the salt and heat tortures them as rocks fall on their heads burrying them.(its the walking of the rocks(yes it's real))

Rachelle of Grass Valley

People please respond to my urgent message im writing now: There's a dude, that I don't know, walking around in circles in my yard along with my neighbor and I can't tell if they're zombies or not! ( give me a break cause im only 10!) Im really freaked out and don't know if im seeing things, you gotta help me dudes and dudets! OMG! One is waking up the side of the hill! Hurry people! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rachelle of Grass Valley

They're Knocking on the door!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rachelle of Grass Valley

One is in the house, I'm hiding in the attic so they can't get us and we have a year supply of food up here so we'll be waiting on how to get rid of them for until you tell us!

Rachelle of Grass Valley

buela, there are good zombies because the neighbor zombie helped us get the food and ourselves up here! So don't say there aren't any good zombies!

LiL' fReAk BiTcH

ok I wish i was a zombie cause i dont think zombies pee and I HATE PEEING!!!!plus it would be cool just to chase ppl for there brains hehe....ZOMBIES ARE AWESOME!!!

LiL' fReAk BiTcH

i know thats weird but true!!!peeing is akward and weird and i wish i didnt have to do it!!!!

Paranoid Citizen

Ok then...............


ummmm pples i have like 4 zombies in a 2.4 hieght pit but its raining bad and .................. OMG they are coming out oh god im screwed ........... wait i dont think they see me OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH shit 1 is coming up plzzzzzzzzzzzz help i have a m67 dble barrel shotgun and an M4 which one do i use TELL ME NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW




In this current economy, I find these wallet-draining landscape ventures a little out of my range. I live in a third floor apartment with a spare room. I've been keeping a "living impaired" person bound to an iron board in the walk-in closet for some time now. The late night feedings and strong odor are really taxing and I'm seeking viable cost-effective do-it-yourself techniques to work out this living arrangement. Let's share some ideas. Thanks!


Can't you just take off all their limbs and teeth?


soo lets say that your yard isnt exactly the ideal size to make a pit. could you just put a bear trap out there and hope that its suficient??

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