Zombies of the Living Dead – Part One

Introduction to a Zombie Nightmare

Hollywood zombies are overrated. Those crazy “Living Dead” movies, although horrifically exciting, are not based on reality. Sorry to burst your blithering bubbles, folks! So what is the reality behind zombies, those reanimated corpses that are accursed and accused of stumbling around and pursuing helpless victims? What is the origin of these strange creatures called zombies? What factors or ingredients are put together to transform a regular human into a deathly “unalive” zombie? What is their diabolical purpose? What insidious masterminds are behind these dreadful undead zombies? We will delve into these questions and unravel the hideous truth!

The Hideous History of Zombies

Technically, a zombie is a dead human that has been revived or supernaturally resurrected, and although Hollywood has been known to revive many of these corpses from graves, the real scoop is that voodoo witchdoctors are actually behind it all. These unromantic necromantic wizards know the real secrets for causing death to their victims and then reanimating them, transforming them into mindless, lifeless, obedient servants.

First let’s get into the morbid background about these deadbeat characters. Etymologically speaking, the modern word “zombie” is debatable, but the strongest possibility is that it comes from the Haitian Creole word, zonbi. Essentially a zonbi is a person who has died and then is resurrected. In the Haitian Voodoo cults this has a negative if not a diabolical connotation.

The ghastly art of zombification originated from the Voodoo religion which came out of Africa, particularly West Africa, where in the 17th century primitives were captured, who in turn became wretched slaves, and most likely they developed their sinister art to get back at their captors. This voodoo cult consisted of a combination of primal African religious ritualism and Roman Catholicism that European settlers brought to the land.

The voodoo arts are found in various countries across the world, such as Haiti, Benin, China, Japan, parts of South America, and many of the black communities in North America, particularly the South, and it was especially popular in New Orleans.

The Diabolical Art of the Dead

The insidious practice of voodoo zombification became commonplace on the island of Haiti in the Caribbean Sea as performed by sorcerers and witchdoctors in particular, or as some are called “bokor” or voodoo sorcerers.

These sinister necro-wizards would capture unsuspecting individuals to perform their evil magic on them, usually through a specific spell, or by giving them a magic potion, which actually amounts to a poisonous drug. The victim would undergoes a death state and was usually buried for a period of time. Then the victim was resurrected and could be used as a mindless servant to obey its master’s bidding. They were technically brain-dead, and were void of self-awareness, but they functioned at an unconscious level where the free will is completely suspended, whereby they could only heed the will of their master. Often they were used as thugs or even assassins, to commit crimes or such misdeeds. For example, the dictator of Haiti in the 1960s, Papa Doc Duvallier, created a special army of zombies, to go out on various missions, performing various misdeeds, whether to just rough people up or to murder them.

There have been cases of individuals that died, and then they were buried by their families as expected, then many years later they were resurrected and came back to life, but as lifeless lethargic humans in most cases, although some did seem somewhat cognizant. Obviously these individuals were victims of voodoo witchdoctors.

Certain accounts describe a real life zombie in this way: “The eyes were the worst. It was not my imagination. They were in truth like the eyes of a dead man, not blind, but staring, unfocused, unseeing. The whole face, for that matter, was bad enough. It was vacant, as if there was nothing behind it. It seemed not only expressionless, but incapable of expression.” This is from William Seabrook, who wrote The Magic Island, where he claims to have had first-hand encounters with these zombies in Haiti. (source from Voodoo Zombies at Monstrous.com)

Obviously this description sounds a lot like those Hollywood zombies, so I can see where the moviemakers got their weird ideas. Or do they just have an overactive imagination?