Can Zombies Break Doors?

The age old questions remains until this day: Can zombies break doors? Today we take a crack at figuring out how this would be possible. Not just from the zombies’ perspective, but also to include other scenarios in which a zombies might break a door wide open. To already answer the question before deep diving into the subject, YES zombies can break doors. So, how would they go about doing this? For our scenario, we are going with classic undead shambling zombies, without any intellect as seen in Zombieland for example.

Regular door opening

Most obvious and straight forward way to open a door is by using the knob. Now in most parts of the world, where the round knob is used, this might be too hard for the zombie. In a lot of European countries however, this would be possible since a level style knob is commonly used. A zombie would lean on this, or push down on it by accident and open the door that way. So when zombie proofing your home, steer clear of these knobs.

Brute force

By far the most common way a zombie will open your door is by brute force. The human brain actually inhibits you from using all your available strength, mostly to prevent injury or complete energy exertion. This pertains to stories where a mother lifted a car of her child, or other cases of seemingly superhuman strength. In the case of a zombie, or several zombies trying to break open a door, it’s very likely that this built in regard for ones own safety is not activated. This will allow the zombie/zombies to use all force possible to break through a door. Now a lot of doors might be able to withstand this, especially modern doors leading out or inside the home. There are however a lot of doors that won’t require that much force to be broken open.

Advice to being prepared to board up windows and doors against zombies:

  1. Identify weak doors and windows
  2. Have material ready and sorted for boarding these up
  3. Contemplate the idea of mechanical steel protection

Meat Grinder

Another option zombies might accidentally use to bypass your door completely, is turning into a massive meat grinder. The zombies in the front, first trying to bang through your door, might fall over. The next zombies will then walk over them, eventually tripping due to other zombies behind them and the now trampled zombie under them. Similar in a way the zombies in World War Z run on top of each other to swarm over obstacles. If this process continues long enough, the zombies might reach a window, go over the wall or fence, or whatever object the door is part of.


There you have it, yes zombies can open doors. I’ve left out the infected type zombie, or the intelligent ones from Zombieland, since it’s obvious those zombies can open doors easily. Instead this only pertains to the classic shambling undead type zombies. So board up your doors and windows firmly and avoid those handle type doorknobs if possible.

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Written by Frank

Founded Zombie Guide Magazine in 2012 as a little hobby project. As you can see, it has grown a bit beyond that. I enjoy working out, gaming and hiking. Combining all those, I hope prepares me for the upcoming apocalypse.

I hope you enjoy your stay, make a profile and join the survivors!