Will the Jersey Shore Be Ground Zero for the Zombie Apocalypse?

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HOLMDEL, NJ – Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but when zombies descended upon the Jersey Shore and shut down Route 35 for filming of a spin-off series for the AMC hit show Wthe Walking Dead, it wasn’t the first time zombies overran the Jersey Shore.

Annually, the Asbury Park Zombie walk takes over the picturesque boardwalk each year. In 2019, Neil A. Cohen wrote the latest book in his zombie apocalypse series Exit 0. In his series, Cohen chose Exit 117 as the beginning of his fictional zombie apocalypse.

Last month, when AMC brought the filming of their new zombie thriller series to Exit 117, it got Cohen thinking. Was he on to something? Did he possibly predict the Jersey Shore being ground zero of the zombie apocalypse?

AMC is filming the latest The Walking Dead spin off, Isle of the Dead, in the Garden State. While the Isle in the title describes NYC, the journey takes the main characters of the new series, Maggie and Negan, through New Jersey. 

“Is New Jersey destined to be the epicenter of the zombie apocalypse? The stars are aligning,” Cohen suggests. “The Walking dead have descended upon New Jersey, or at least the cast and crew have, along with a bunch of shambling, zombie extras.”

In his book series Exit Zero, Nuke Jersey and Zombie Democracy, author and New Jersey native Neil A. Cohen chose Exit 117 off the Garden State Parkway as the location for the zombie apocalypse to begin.

The Jersey Shore is as good a place as any for the zombie apocalypse to begin.

  • Oil refineries and superfund sites – New Jersey is home to several oil refineries and more toxic superfund sites than you can shake a stick at.
  • Deactivated nuclear reactor – The Jersey Shore is home to Oyster Creek, a deactivated nuclear reactor, surely an ideal breeding ground for a zombie apocalypse.
  • Military base – The area is also home to Joint Base MDL where the navy conducts warfare research and flights are constantly being flown in and out from overseas by the air force.
  • Medical research – New Jersey is home to a vast corporate medical research network with laboratories and testing centers all over the state, testing new drugs and medicines and other forms of medical research.
  • Plenty of Boarwalks – Nearly every zombie movie ends at a boardwalk, amusement park or county fair. New Jersey is loaded with them for the boardwalk hungry zombies of the apocalypse.

That’s one thing missing from the Walking Dead series. Nobody knows how the zombie apocalypse started.

Unlike TWD, Cohen tells his readers the exact cause of the zombie virus outbreak, and even its purpose. While the first book in his trilogy is titled Exit Zero, the zombie virus release originates at Exit 117 and spreads throughout the state.

According Cohen, that makes two independent, yet authoritative sources who have pinpointed the Hazlet/Holmdel exit as a region to be forever associated with the pending zombie apocalypse.

The alignment between Cohen, the zombie apocalypse and The Walking Dead does not end there.

In 2019, Cohen’s fourth book was released. Business is Dead, Resurrecting Entrepreneurship is a business book for fans of The Walking Dead, where he provides entertaining case studies on the shows fandom and how they became inspired to launch TWD themed entrepreneurial ventures. Neil A. Cohen’s book series can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, and The Walking Dead can be watched on the AMC network. 

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