Zombies are literally swarming our airwaves at unseen levels. It seems this generation is obsessed with some sort of monster of the day, and today that monster happens to be the undead. With the explosion of entertainment such as The Walking Dead, and World War Z the zombie hordes are a focus in much of mainstream America. There are even people out there who are preparing for the literal invasion of the zombie virus. Individuals are stock piling supplies, ammunition, and other provisions in order to ensure survival during this apocalyptic event. The Centers for Disease Control has put out material on this hypothetical virus in a campaign to inform people of the real threat global pandemics present in the modern world.
The Zombie culture is really an insight into the mindset of current society. It seems that everyone is getting ready for some cataclysmic event that will wipe out our current way of life. According to some experts, the modern zombie represents primal fears going back thousands of years. The shambling undead give us insight into our true nature, and places humans firmly back into a state of raw existence. It reminds us of what we are all capable of becoming, and sheds light on our own mortality. Regardless of why we fear these monsters, the history of this current phenomena is an interesting journey across culture and time.
#1 God and zombies
The term zombie relates to an African word for God. Its no surprise, as the zombies have been a part of the Voodoo cultures for centuries. (My words for zombie happen to be “SWEET JESUS!” OR “GOD HELP ME!”)
2 Haitian zombies
The modern zombie has its roots in Haitian culture. According to lore, Voodoo Priests can turn a living being into their personal zombie, effectively making them their slaves (Never trust a Voodoo priest that offers you a drink).
3 Real life zombie
Haitian, Clairvius Narcisse is perhaps the best known case of zombification in Haiti. According to Narcisse he died, was buried, and was then resurrected by a Voodoo witch doctor. (I wonder if this guy knew he was a zombie when he was a zombie?)
4 Anti-zombie laws
There are actual laws in Haiti that prevent people from making another person a zombie. In the country it is still considered murder to preform such a task. (There are victims with a death certificate)
5 Funky fungus
There are species of fungus in the Amazon that “zombify” insects, and force them to crawl to the tops of branches. Once the helpless insect has preformed this task, the fungus kills the host and spores grow from the bugs head. (A zombie bug, oh lord, it won’t be long now till world domination)
6 Early zombie stories
The earliest tales of zombies can be traced back to the Epic of Gilgamesh, where an outraged Goddess tells the protagonist that she will bring back the dead in order to eat the flesh of the living. (I should have known a woman was responsible for the first zombie)
7 The far east
In Chinese culture, zombies are referred to as Kuang Shi, and are folks that died far from their home village. They must return home in order to find eternal peace.
8 Norse myth
In Scandinavian culture, zombies are personified as hardened warriors who return to kill the living. The only way to kill a Norse zombie is to cut off it’s head and burn the body. (Where’s Beowulf when you need him.)
9 Protection for the dead
In the Haitian culture the witch doctor responsible for turning people into zombies is known as a Bokor. In order to prevent loved ones from returning from the dead, the family must bury the body under heavy weights, and watch the grave site for 36 hours. (They have long grave-side services in Haiti).
10 The first zombie flick
The first zombie movie created was in 1932, and was titled White Zombie. The film depicts a young woman’s transformation into a mindless zombie at the hands of an evil Voodoo priest.