The Great Wyoming Zombie Outbreak of 1848
Owl Creek, Wyoming, is a tiny town outside Thermopolis in Hot Springs County. After the 2010 census, it had a population of 5. Back in 1848, however, it was inhabited by 56 settlers, who some believe turned into zombies.
According to a local legend recounted on Zombie-Guide.com, those 56 settlers, known as the Knudsen Party, were on their way to California when they went missing in the mountains near Owl Creek in 1847.
A year later, another party traveling through the area made a gruesome discovery, finding the base camp of the Knudsen Party and the remains of at least 45 bodies. Each of the cadavers indicated either a gunshot wound or broken skull as the cause of death.
Oddly, the bodies had not been touched by any animals in the area and the party's horses and oxen remained near Owl Creek. Their next discovery would be even more shocking.
According to a survivor, one member of the group had become "infected" and turned on the others. The outbreak spread as the party traversed the wilderness. Believing they had contracted an incurable curse, the remaining members of the group wished for death.
Meanwhile, the few healthy members of the party set out in search of those who had fled. Among them was a teenager named Elijah Black. Years later, his biography would detail the unpleasant duty of shooting his own grandfather, who had been bitten during the initial attack.
Black then tracked down the remaining members of the Knudsen Party one by one, eventually disposing of at least nine of the area's so called 'zombies'. What happened to Black after 1848 has been lost to history, but his story remains popular among fans of zombie literature to this day.