By Gavin Lichtenstein 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s best zombies will be returning from the dead to hit the dance floor on September 24th for the 9th annual Philadelphia zombie prom.

The annual zombie prom started in 2007 as a reunion between people who already participated and attended the zombie crawl in the spring on South Street. The demand was so strong, creator and organizer Robert Drake says they decided to make the prom its own event.

“Zombie prom started as a way to kickoff the Halloween season in Philadelphia,” Drake says.

For the first zombie prom in 2007 people came just as traditional zombies, but over the years, Drake says pop culture has become a popular theme.

Photo Credit: Robert Drake

Photo Credit: Robert Drake

“Every year we always end up seeing the freshly dead celebrates come back as zombies,” he says.

In past years, the zombie prom was held on the final Saturday in September, but due to the Papal visit last month, the dance was pushed back to the thick of Halloween this year.

Drake says they are expecting roughly 1000 zombies dressed up in their seasonal best.

“A lot of times, people will test run their Halloween costumes too since it is before the actual big holiday,” he says. “It is the first chance to take their costume out and give it a test run and see how it works.”

In addition to a live DJ and rock bands, the zombie prom will also have a prom photographer taking zombie couple pictures throughout the night. The best zombies at the end of the night will be crowned the Philly zombie king and queen of Philadelphia.

Tickets for the prom are $12 dollars in advanced and can be purchased at the Trocadero or at PhillyZombie.com. Drake encourages prom goers to pre-order their tickets because they are expected to sellout.

This is a 21 and older event, but this is an event for a variety of ages.

“What is really interesting is you get a lot of younger people in their late twenties,” Drake says. “At the same time, every year I am surprised how many 20 to 50 year olds couples will come out. These are people who are professors at universities, or doctors, but they put that away once a year and get dressed up like zombies and come out for a prom night.”

The zombie prom starts at 8 p.m. at the historic Trocadero Theater.