Not only that: On the list with the Garden State Plaza in Paramus and the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford is Palisades Center in Rockland County.
This list was produced by an online casino, JeffBet.com, that's trying, as most of these lists do, to build its brand, boost sales and drive traffic -- in other words: free advertising. Like most, it's not wholly (or even partly) scientific.
The list cites eight "key" factors in the ratings: demand, infection risk, shelter suitability, food provisions, weapon access, medicine access, mental stimulation, and chance of rescue.
We know, we know. But why not play along?
Malls are synonymous with New Jersey, and the Westfield Garden State Plaza off Routes 4 and 17 is synonymous with malls.
It was the Garden State's first shopping mall, opening in three outdoor stages between May 1957 and September 1960. That's nearly a decade before George Romero's black-and-white "Night of the Living Dead" brought flesh-eating "undead" zombies to pop culture.
The popular mall in Paramus was fully enclosed in 1984 -- and, in the process, made more formidable from zombies.
Incidents triggering panic there have increased in recent years, from food court brawls to a report of a disturbed local resident who was captured in the parking garage after he allegedly set out to kill minorities.
It was nearly a decade ago that a truly frightening incident occurred at the mall: A Teaneck man opened fire, trapping customers and employees for hours, before he was found dead of a self-inflicted wound with the gun lying across his chest (SEE: Prosecutor: Garden State Plaza Shooter Used Rifle Similar To AK-47).
JeffBet.com released the local best-of mall hideout list on Wednesday, March 22 as a sort-of resource guide in the event of a "Last of Us" infection.
"Given that a zombie outbreak could occur without any prior warning, highly-populated areas like shopping complexes and malls could see thousands of people scrambling to survive," journoresearch.org reported. "And it turns out that some malls in America are better-suited to survival than others."
The "ideal mall" in this scenario is Millcreek Mall in Erie, Pennsylvania. The worst place? Alana Moana Center in Honolulu.
Factors purportedly used in the "study" include the chance that people already in the mall have been infected, as well as its proximity to densely populated areas. Also critical is access to hospitals -- particularly those with helipads -- and medicine.
Chance of rescue, although never guaranteed, was determined, in part, by infection risk, which could discourage the military from storming the place.
Running through it all is the "average daily footfall," which establishes how packed a mall will become when those seeking shelter from the undead all arrive at once.
JeffBet claims to have also factored in the number of mall entrances that would need securing or defending, the total number of floors and the amount of stores that might block the view of incoming zombies.
Stores that have potential weapons -- like, say, hockey sticks at Dick's -- also make certain malls more attractive hideouts than others.
But here's the kicker:
According to journoresearch.org: "Mental stimulation was weighted as the least important factor as it’s less of a necessity - and relates to the number of leisure activities available within each mall to pass the time, such as ten-pin bowling, waterparks and mini golf courses."
NOW who's your winner?
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