In Max Brook's novel World War Z, Grabbers are among the many types of zombies which lie in wait for uninfected victims. Grabbers are humans who succumbed to the Infection whilst enclosed in an area, beyond the abilities of a zombie to escape, such as a car.There are an aquatic version of grabbers, which are humans who have succumbed to the virus whilst attempting to swim to safety and reanimated in the water. These "aquatic grabbers" often lurk in shallow water, or water which is ten foot deep - deep enough so the zombie can reach up and grasp its victim from the seabed or riverbed.
Forms of Grabbers
These people which reanimate while in a vehicle. However, they are trapped within, by seatbelts and/or the car door. As zombies will generally survive long enough to shatter a window, they will reach out of the car, attempting to grab unsuspecting survivors.
These zombies are people, who, in the opening stages of an outbreak, attempt to flee to the coast in order to board a ship which would take them to safety. The victim has been bitten in their flight, and at one point in their swim to safety, (having seen a ship in the distance) the victim succumbs to the virus and spends hours drifting in the water as though dead whilst the virus replicates itself in their brain, transforming the brain. Hours later the victim awakes and is a zombie, but cannot return to shore, or swim to the ship, lacking the agility and intelligence to do so. The zombie, if submerged, simply stays on the seabed or riverbed and does not return to the surface. This zombie will lurk in wait for an uninfected survivor who attempts to repeat the process of the grabber and when the zombie senses the victim it will drag them down to a watery grave or a zombie future.
World War Z
In World War Z, grabbers are seen in Tenessee when General Christina Eliopolis is attempting to find her way back to a safe zone after being sucked out of her plane when flying over Tenessee. As Christina runs towards a freeway (a designated safe area) she is being pursued by a hundred zombies and when she enters an alley full of broken-down cars, she is told by her commanding officer to "Watch out for the grabbers!" However, Christina chooses not to venture that close to the cars and runs over their roofs, pursued by the zombies. At one point she fears she will not make it, but her commanding officer spurs her on, and eventually she does.