7 Reasons Why You’ll Get Mugged by Zombies in Spain

safety in Spain pickpockets

I bet you one Euro, or one Sterling Pound, or one American Dollar, that you are probably thinking:

“What the… Zombies in Spain mugging people? Sure, David”.

But, hey, these zombies are not like the ones you know from movies. These zombies don’t eat human flesh. These zombies are not stinky, rotten corpses.

Zombies in Spain don’t wear ragged and shabby clothes, all stained by dust, mud, and their victims’ blood.

Heavens no!


Flesh Eaters Vs Pickpocket Zombies

In a nutshell, they are two zombie species with a lot in common, except the food they eat.

Both the flesh eaters from movies and those of the non-flesh eating variety of zombie in Spain are wandering around with no destiny, dragging feet and looking for victims.

The main difference is that eaters go crazy for a piece of human flesh, and our zombies will go nuts as soon as they notice an opportunity to mug you.

Zombies in Spain are crooks, low-class pickpockets looking for cash and objects they can quickly sell on the black market (iPhone, iPad, laptops, chains, bracelets, etc).

To blend into crowds, zombies in Spain could even wear smart casual attire and have a similar hair style to yours.

But one thing is true: they’ll move around in such a silent way so as not to get discovered.

And you are the perfect target.

Let me explain.


Pickpocket in Spain

(Looks like this fella could be a nice pickpocket and a brain eater)


Safety in Spain: 7 Reasons Why You’ll Get Mugged by Zombies

Reason #1: You look like a foreigner

Yes, you do. And zombies love foreigners, both residents and tourists.

Google the following sentence: Spanish people.

Do you look like the Spaniards? You probably don’t, as I wouldn’t look local if I were visiting China or Japan.

All right, let’s say you look Spanish regardless of where you are from. Reason #2 will tell zombies that you are a foreigner and, therefore, a vulnerable victim.

Safety in Spain - pickpockets love tourists

(Zombie love is eternal in Spain)

Reason # 2: You are dressed like a foreigner

The best way to confirm this is by observing Spanish people of your age.

Go into a supermarket, or a restaurant, or just sit down on a park bench and look at what sort of clothing the Spanish wear.

Is it the same style as yours? I don’t think so, as fashion and clothing tendencies differ from one country to another.

Your attire for zombies is like being in the forest, in the middle of the night, having a deer in front of them using thermal imaging goggles.

Reason # 3: You don’t speak Spanish

I know you can say “hola”, “¿qué tal?” and “buenos días”.

When somebody asks: “¿hablas español?”, you answer: “un poco”.

You feel so proud, right?

Sorry to tell you the truth: knowing a few words in Spanish means you know nothing.

Nothing = 0%.

Nichts. Rien. Nada.

So let’s face it: You don’t speak Spanish whatsoever.

Zombies take advantage of foreigners because the reaction time is overall much slower for somebody who does not speak the language.

I don’t mean the reaction of noticing that somebody is stealing from you, or whether your iPhone or iPad are missing; but rather to call 112 or go to the police station to report the theft.

Reason # 4: Your body and facial expression will betray you

Here is another exercise for you.

Take a glance at the Spaniards while you are shopping and observe, for instance, that they:

  • Don’t smile at each other.
  • Don’t say hi to strangers.
  • Don’t make allowances if you are about to unwittingly bump into somebody.
  • Speak quite loudly and with their hands.

Chances are you don’t do any of these ‘cultural’ things, so you are obviously a foreigner.

Even if you look Spanish, speak Spanish, and dress like the Spanish, you make body and facial expressions from your country.

And guess who has got a radar to identify foreigners by their facial and body expressions…

Hint: starts with “Z” 😉


pickpocket sign in Spain

(Not much to steal here, but this sign would be pretty useful in Spain)

Reason # 5. You think you’re still at home


You are not at home anymore.

You are in Spain, a foreign country.

And zombies know the territory much better than you. They are watching you without you noticing.

You don’t know which zombie will steal your wallet because zombies are hard to identify.

Neither do zombies use amusement park lights to warn you they are coming.

So change that innocent attitude.

Whether you are on the beach, drinking some beers, visiting a museum, shopping, taking pictures of monuments… keep an eye on yourself and be aware of those around you.

Zombies in Spain are smart beings, always stalking their victims, and will give it a try as soon as you give them an opportunity.

Reason # 6: You underestimate the crowds

Remember: Zombies can be anywhere, but most likely where they can choose from a bigger pool of potential “victims”.


Crowded places.

Would it make sense seeing a bunch of zombies sneaking around the Sahara desert? Nope, unless they want to steal a camel to resell it somewhere else.

Bus stops, underground trains, public transportation in general, bars, restaurants, busy streets, concerts, street shows, are some of the highest concentration points for zombies.

The result?

You get mugged.

pickpockets Spain

(This pack of crazy, noisy zombies would never be good pickpockets in Spain)

Reason # 7: You don’t look after your own stuff

Let’s see, if you don’t keep an eye on all your own things, who’s going to do it then?

I already spoke about something similar in my article, Practical Safety Tips in Spain, but I’ll go over some of those tips mentioned.

Here are some of the main zombie-magnets:

  • A bag not secured.
  • An open bag or back-pack.
  • Wallets visibly showing out of pockets (like the image below).
  • Smartphones and tablets on the table at bars or restaurants.
  • Bags hanging on the back of your seat.
  • Personal belongings left unattended at the beach.
  • Withdrawing cash from machines at lonely places.

Doing any of the above would be like putting a 50 lb steak a few yards away from famished leopards.

safety in Spain pickpocket stealing wallet

(Somebody is clearly determined to lose his wallet)


Final Thoughts

Spain is quite a safe country in the sense of physical aggression, robbery, kidnapping or shootings.

You just have to watch out for the silent zombies (pickpockets in general).

But don’t get me wrong, Spain is not a country packed with zombies.

Zombies can be anywhere, wandering and looking for victims. However, the likelihood of seeing them in small towns or villages is pretty low. After all, everybody knows everybody in tight-knit communities.

Tourists are usually the best target because of the vulnerabilities caused by not knowing the language as well as being unfamiliar with the area, plus distractions such as those I described before.

Enjoy your trip or your permanent stay in Spain, but don’t be naïve. Otherwise, you may get ‘bitten’ by a zombie.

By the way, having said that, have you ever been ‘bitten’ by a zombie in Spain? Please, write a comment below and share your story with me!


Credit image: Thierry Ehrmann, Tristan Schmurr, John Ragai, GrooverFW

Note: This article is one of the winners of the “Serious Bloggers Only” Summer Contest 2015, within the “Most Practical” category… wow, I’ve won my first writing competition in English! (First one ever by the way, as I’ve never won anything writing in Spanish :-) ).


Take a look to the compilation of categories and winners:



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  1. Marian says

    I nearly got my purse stolen at La Mata market (mercadillos are also another good place for them). I noticed a slight touch against my bag. I immediately turned round, saw one lady pass something to another lady nearby. I immediately went for the second lady’s right hand. My purse was in it, and I took it back. No policeman around. I shouted out “ladrón” several times, but nobody came, unfortunately. In crowded places now I always carry my handbag bandolero style (across the body) with the bag in front of me.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Marian,

      You’re right, these types of open-air markets are ideal for zombies!

      I remember 30 years ago, when I was a child, I witnessed a similar one as what happened to you. This time however they did not have time to pass it over. The victim was my aunt, and she grabbed the crook’s arm and he ran away.

      Thanks for sharing your story, Marian 😉

  2. Jess says

    HI David,

    What’s with the beard !!!! Do I like not sure !!!!!!!!!!!!! Is the weather not too warm for a beard?

    Excellent article as usual, although do not like the zombie reference, The article after all is common sense, but sometimes we just become blase, so at the end of the day it is our own fault, yes realize I am vulnerable, so
    thank you for bringing all these points to my notice.
    Regards Jess

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Jess!

      Beards are quite addictive… “I’m not sure” why!

      I thought for a while on a different kind of “monster”. But pickpockets walk miles everyday day round in circles looking for preys… like zombies!

      All the best Jess

  3. says

    Hi David
    Great article! I’m not in Spain, I’m in Greece, and a lot of the comments would apply there too. Anywhere that a section of the population is suffering will have ‘zombies’ – love your use of the term.

    Some good takeaways. Multiple reminders to be sensible. Thank you.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on your article being selected as one of the BEST summer blog posts. Well done.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Anthony,

      Thanks a lot! And congratulations too, as you are one of the winners of the “Most Valuable” category :-)

      I should do a deeper research, as I think these types of zombies are everywhere on the Earth!

      All the best

  4. says

    Years ago, my boyfriend and I went to a nightclub in Chile. We both worked for Pan Am and were laying over. We went out to a nightclub, and a man ‘took us over’ so to speak. He sat down at our table and started ordering drinks. After a few minutes, we got up to leave and he became incensed when we refused to pay the bill. He was a zinfandel zombie!

    On other layovers, crew members were followed and screamed at by vendors for not buying something, and mugged on the beach in Rio for their gold. And once, as I was leaving the hotel in Italy, walking to the crew bus, I was surrounded by street urchins (the zombies’ children) who were trying to get into my purse.

    I was wearing my heels, which made me over 6 feet tall, and to this day, I don’t know why they chose me. All I did was lift my purse over my head, while they jumped for it. Ah, the Latin ego. The Fifty Foot Woman strikes again.

    Congrats on winning the SBO competition! Liking the blog. Brings back memories.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Gigi,

      Thanks for sharing your personal story dealing with international zombies!

      I had a good laugh with the one from Chile, interesting zombie species only looking for invites and free drinks :-)

      And while I was reading your comment I could seen the poor little zombies trying to reach your purse!

      Well, congrats on winning the SBO competition too! Great and funny article by the way :-)

      Best wishes