Zombiesare believed to be living dead creatures that have a hunger for humanflesh, especially the brain. These creatures are said to have comeback from the dead and they cannot even remember anything beyond thembeing zombies. This means that they cannot recall anything thathappened in their life before they died and became zombies. There arethose who believe that indeed zombies exist while others take it aspure fiction meant to instill fear in people.
Theidea of zombies is not American and it is believed to have come fromthe Haitian culture. It is believed that it is the work of magic andwitchcraft that makes someone a zombie. A voodoo, who is a Haitianmagician, is responsible for turning the person into a zombie. Theperson is then under the complete control of the one who made him azombie. The voodoo does this is by trapping the soul of a person in abottle and not unless God rescues that soul, he or she remains azombie controlled by the voodoo.
Inthe Haitian culture, it is believed that zombies were once slaves whoworked on people’s farms and plantations. It is seen as a form ofpunishment for the slaves after their death. There are times when theslaves felt like committing suicide to escape the punishment thatthey went through, but the thought of them being transformed intozombies made them shun the idea of committing suicide.
InHaiti, it was believed that bokors who were voodoo priests had thepower of resurrecting the dead by administering a certain powder withtetrodoxin that is a deadly substance. The zombie was usually aperson who had angered his family and the family members felt thatthey could not live with the person anymore. Such a family orcommunity, then hired a bokor to turn the person into a zombie.
Thebokor could then administer the powder and the heartbeat of such aperson could slow down to the point of almost stopping. The personwould appear dead and their temperature would decrease. The peoplewould think that the person is dead and they would then bury him orher like a dead person. The bokor would then exhume the person whilestill alive. Such a person would still be intact physically, buttheir memory would be lost due to the effect of the drug. He or shewould then remain under the control of the voodoo until the voodoodies.
Zombiesare said to be senseless creature that do not talk but just groan.Their appetite for human blood is great and once they spot a victim,they do not stop. They do not feel any pain and have no emotions andit is said that they do not feel pain when parts of their bodies arechopped off. Even after losing their limbs, zombies will stillattack. It is believed that every person who is killed by a zombiealso becomes a zombie.
Thereis the scientific explanation of this phenomenon by Wade Davis.According to Davis, one can transform someone into a zombie byinjecting a certain poisonous powder into their system. The powderhas the effect of leaving someone defenseless, not able to talk norunderstand themselves. To the victim, it is like coming back from thedead.
In1980, Clairvius Narcisse appeared in a rural village in Haiti. Heclaimed that he had died in Albert Schweitzer Hospital on May 2,1962. According to him, he was paralyzed during his alleged death andhe could even recall seeing the doctor covering him with a whitesheet. He stated that it is bokor who resurrected him and made him azombie. He answered all the questions about his childhood and familyand this made people to believe that he was actually a zombie who hadcome back to life. This account is what motivated scientists likeWade Davis to research and know what really makes a person to becomea zombie.
Zombieshave no independent thoughts, nor the free will, even though theyhave human bodies. They are under the complete control of an evildoerand theirs is just to follow orders from their controller.
Zombieshave starred in movies, books, TV shows and legends. Their existencehas frightened people who have watched the movies or read books aboutthem. In these works, they are shown as creatures coming out of thegrave to look for human flesh. They are so determined and do not stopuntil they get hold of human flesh.
Zombiesare mainly used as slaves, according to the folklore as they providecheap labor. They are used to work on the plantations, as they do notrequire any pay from their masters. These zombies do not get tiredand they cannot inflict harm unless they become aware of theirexistence.
Accordingto the Haitian folklore, there are several ways one can destroy azombie. One can choose to either shoot the zombie on the head ordecapitate the zombie. However, the goal is never to kill the zombie,but to free the zombie from their state.
Oneof the ways to do this is by feeding the zombie salt. Once a zombieeats salt, it becomes conscious of their abnormal existence. Once itbecomes aware of this, the likelihood is that the zombie will not goback to its master. Another belief is that once the zombie sees anocean, it will return to its former state. At this point, it will getangry and try to return to the grave.
Zombieshave penetrated the pop culture to a great extent. Movies like ‘nightof the living dead’ are so popular for using this phenomenon. Tosome, zombies are real and to others they do not exist. Those who donot believe in their existence dispute the theory about zombies. EvenWade Davis’ account has also been disputed. Fellow scientistsbelieve that his powder theory cannot work as too much of the drugwould kill the person, whereas too little of it would not have anyeffect.
TheHaitian account is also disputed. The zombies are said to work on theplantations and provide cheap labor. This raises doubt as the countryof Haiti has readily available labor, as it is a low-income country.It therefore suffices that there would be no need of making someone azombie to provide labor in the sugarcane plantations, whereas one canstill find human beings to do the work. There is no scientificevidence that supports their existence to provide any basis of makingconclusions about them. Zombies are just creations of fiction meantfor the literal world. However, there is an ongoing study andresearch to prove whether this is true or just fiction as it standstoday.
Dziemianowicz,Stefan. "Might Of The Living Dead." PublishersWeekly 256.28(2009): 20- 24.AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 1 May 2015.
Hamilton,Sue L. Zombies. Edina, Minn.: ABDO Pub., 2010. Print.
"Historyof Zombies." Great Discoveries in Archaeology. 25 Apr. 2013.Web. 1 May 2015.
Wilson,Tracy. "How Zombies Work." HowStuffWorks.HowStuffWorks.com. Web. 1 May 2015.