Contestants of the Ms. Living Dead Columbus pageant are set to take "drop dead gorgeous" to a whole new level. On Saturday, Sept. 19, 11 contestants will hobble across the stage complete for the top title - as zombies.

Contestants of the Ms. Living Dead Columbus pageant are set to take "drop dead gorgeous" to a whole new level. On Saturday, Sept. 19, 11 contestants will hobble across the stage complete for the top title - as zombies.

Complete with character backstories, contestants will go full-glitz with their zombie personas to compete for the title, while simultaneously raising money for Pets Without Parents Columbus. We chatted with pageant organizer Sam Antics about how she made the walking dead walk the runway.

"I've been a horror fan forever, so a zombie beauty pageant just made sense," Antics said. "It's just funny to think about a zombie doing a magic show for their talent."

While trying to decide on a fundraiser for Pets Without Parents, a no-kill animal shelter in Clintonville run completely on donations, Antics decided to bring her pageant past back from the dead to support a good cause.

"I was Miss Whitehall in high school, and I've been involved with pageant coaching and judging ever since," Antics said. "I was thinking about what I could do to raise money for Pets Without Parents, and a pageant fit with the resources and skills I have."

Contestants will compete in talent, swimsuit and evening wear competitions, as well as a runway walk complete with designer gowns by locals Tabitha Abney and Jeffrey Steele. Though there won't be an interview portion, contestants will be judged on how well they keep character throughout the competition. Antics and other organizers held a zombie walk workshop to get contestants in the mindset.

"Each contestant will develop a character with a backstory that will play out during the talent portion," Antics said.

The top winner will hobble home with a photo spread in Poisonous Pin Up Magazine and be featured at Highball Halloween, among other prizes. Ms. Living Dead Columbus will also be expected to put in service hours at Pets Without Parents.

"I really want the contestants to enjoy themselves. It started off as this parody thing, but I'm surprised at the competitiveness," Antics said. "They are really excited."

Antics said audience members should expect a full night of entertainment, even beyond the actual competition. NBC4's Monica Day will host, and Miss Outstanding Teen Ohio Sydney Shasky will participate in the runway portion. New Visions Dance Company will open the show, and burlesque troupe Sex Kitten Purlesque will perform between segments, along with other acts. Viral Epidemic will provide the soundtrack for the runway show.

"We kind of made it a variety show," Antics said. "I hope the audience will be entertained and want to come back next year and the year after. Hopefully we find the right audience who enjoy the zombie culture anyway."

Antics hopes the event will not only raise a considerable amount for Pets Without Parents, but will also inspire others to donate their time to a local cause.

"Trying to get Columbus' horror scene learning more about Pets Without Parents and maybe volunteer some of their time to a cause that's important to them," Antics said. "Columbus has a rich culture in the art and fashion scene. We have a lot of socially responsible people in Columbus, too."