I've never been interested in writing a zombie story. They're getting popular, but the books just don't appeal to me. The movies can be fun, especially Zombieland, or the Resident Evil series, but they sure aren't my first choice.
One aspect of this is that traditionally, they have been a rather slow-moving monster. “Oooh, here I come! Shuffling at the speed of a Senate.”
“Oh no! I'd better walk slightly faster!” More current movies have remedied this, but for me, well I'm still stuck with that early impression.
More likely though, I think that I was turned off of zombies at the tender age of nine, when the Micheal Jackson “Thriller” video freaked me right the eff out! But I had to watch it, it was Micheal Jackson. When I was nine, that “Beat It” video made him seem pretty bad-ass! (Not to mention the Eddie Van Halen guitar contribution. I sure didn't put my finger on it at the time, but EVH really upped the ante on that song) And, of course, EVERYONE my age thought that Micheal Jackson was just great, and adults encouraged our fandom, because he was still so very wholesome at the time.
Point being, I was strangely compelled to watch the video whenever it was on. The scenes with the arm falling off, and the regurgitating black goo are forever burned into my memory, and the Vincent Price voice-over really augmented the creepy factor.
I think what really got to me though was the clothes. These decayed people-like things were rather well-dressed. I didn't put it together at the time, but it drew a direct connection from the funeral to the rising, making it seem more real to me.
What also made it real was the old farming area we lived in, complete with the 200-year-old graveyard. Trying to go to sleep after seeing MJ dance with the undead, and knowing that just a block away, there was a bone yard, just waiting to spit-up it's residents made for some very unsettled nights.
And that's where my mind wandered as I was trying to fall asleep the other night.