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.
Zombies walk like robots. In August 1995, National Geographic magazine reported that men of the Ewe people of Togo, West Africa, chanted a blessing over sacred knives, which were then pointed at a chicken, which promptly shivered and died without being touched.
I have also heard of many zombie rituals in South America, mainly Brazil. Apparently, as my friend said, because of the country's neglect for the dead, there are many corpse's in the amazon jungle's. This leads me to think that this might encourage the performing of evil voodoo arts.
Also, 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.
To make a zombie, a voodoo practitioner makes a potion that consists of mainly the poison of the puffer fish (one of the strongest nerve poisons known to man, the clinical drug norcuron has similar effects and is used during surgery) that is given to the intended victim. 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 becomes so slow that it is nearly impossible to detect.
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). A zombie will remain in a robot-like state indefinitely.
Zombie's are famous, and widely known, as the plot of many movies, stories and even cartoons. Some examples would be Dawn of The Dead, the comedic version Shawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, and The Serpent on the Rainbow...all thrive on our desire to be dead or alive, not in some in between state in which we can't be considered either.
Zombies usually are servants to some people. Once given salt, they realize what's happening, and return to their grave. Once the touch the dirt of their grave, they go back to being dead.
Zombies are the living dead - reanimated corpses brought back to serve a sorcerer. A sorcerer who brings back the dead is 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.
Targets for becoming zombies are the 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. 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.
Among modern society, zombies are pictured to be undead, brain eaters, but we don't now what's true yet.
Another story for zombies, brought into being by the movie Night of the Living Dead, is that zombies are corpses reanimated by a virus known as Solanum. (Solanum was not the cause for reanimation in Night of the Living Dead, Solanum was thought up by the mind of Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide) This theory holds that the only way to "kill" a zombie is to effectively destroy its brain. This can be accomplished through blunt instruments, guns, explosions, and potentially stab wounds. (although that's risky at best, because you could get infected)
I guess what we can establish from this page is that zombies are just awesome.