A Zombie is the result of a human being brought back from the dead, usually by forbidden arts or dark magic, often to serve as slaves to a sorcerer known as a "Necromancer." The word originally comes from the voodoo religion of the Carribean and may derive from the African word nzambi, meaning god, or zumbi, meaning flesh.
Myths & Legends
Certain branches of Haitian and West African vodou, or voodoo, believe a spirit or spell can bring a corpse back to life to perform heavy labor or evil deeds for its master, a sorcerer.
There are plenty of zombie rituals in voodoo lore, and in South America, mainly Brazil. Apparently, because of the country's neglect for the dead, there are many corpses in the amazon jungles, which may encourage the performance of evil voodoo arts.
Zombies look much like their human self when they were still living. Some are in better condition than others, with all of their Zombies walk like robots. A zombie will remain in a robot-like state indefinitely.
Once given salt, they realize what's happening, and return to their grave. Once they touch the dirt of their grave, they go back to being dead.
In modern depictions, zombies are often nigh-impossible to stop or return to death. However, the most common way to completely "kill" a zombie is to destroy its brain.
There are proven cases of 'voodoo' zombies, which are in fact people who are bought to the brink of death using this certain substance that lowers your breathing and heart rate by a 'witch doctor'. These people are buried, then dug up soon after and revived by the doctor, but in most cases they either have lasting brain damage from a combination of lack of oxygen and the drug, or they die. The ones who survive are often sold on by the 'witch doctor' to plantation owners, as these people's brains have been so badly damaged they are only functioning on basic commands and therefore do not know who they are, or have any purpose. They mindlessly follow orders and only need basic care.
Targets for becoming zombies are weak and sick, especially those with a mental illness. A zombie can be created by giving someone Coup de foudre, a potion based on tetrodotoxin, AKA puffer-fish poison. This causes severe neurological damage, primarily effecting the left side of the brain (the left side of the brain controls speech, memory, and motor skills). The victim suddenly becomes lethargic, then slowly seems to die. In reality, the victim's respiration and pulse become so slow that it is nearly impossible to detect. Once the person falls into a near-death state, they are fed a powerful hallucinogen. Suggestion and brain-washing techniques are employed to make the victim believe they are dead and must serve there master. Zombies are kept under influence by regular doses of potions.
The victim retains full awareness as he is taken to the hospital, then perhaps to the morgue and finally as they are buried alive. Then, at the 'voodoo practitioner's' leisure does he come to retrieve the victim, now become a slave, as a commodity (at one time it was said that most of the slaves who worked in the sugar cane plantations of Haiti were zombies.
One case in 1918 had a voodoo priest named Ti Joseph who ran a gang of laborers for the American Sugar Corporation, who took the money they received and fed the workers only unsalted porridge).
Zombies are famous, and widely known, as the plot of many movies, stories and even cartoons. In many modern depictions, Zombies are more frequently the result of a virus or plague that causes the living undead, rather than dark magic. Modern zombies are also considered completely mindless (rather than enslaved and without a will) and prefer to eat brains, as well as spread the zombie disease through biting others.
- Dawn of The Dead (and its parody Shawn of the Dead)
- Night of the Living Dead, where zombies are reanimated from a virus known as Solanum
- The Serpent on the Rainbow
- The Walking Dead
- Zombies and Zombies 2, two musicals made by Disney, the latter one featuring werewolves as well.