The origin of the concept of zombiism stems from Haitian Voodoo culture. The word zombie–in Haitian it is “zombi”–means “spirit of the dead.”
Of course, there are several “theories” on how you might become one of these nightmarish creatures….
WAYS TO BECOME A ZIMBIE:
1. The earliest stories about zombies come from Haiti. In order to become a voodoo zombie, you must be revived by a voodoo sorcerer. Once you have arisen from the dead, you will have no will of your own, and will be under the complete control of the sorcerer. Voodoo zombies are considered relatively harmless, unless the sorcerer who controls them sends them on a vengeance mission. Voodoo folklore contends that Bokors, Voodoo priests that were concerned with the study and application of black magic, posessed the ability to ressurrect the deceased through the administration of coup padre—coup padre is a powder that is issued orally, the primary ingredient of which is tetrodoxin, the deadly substance of the notoriously poisonous fou-fou, or “porcupine fish.” According to lengend, “a zombie is someone who has annoyed his or her family and community to the degree that they can no longer stand to live with this person. They respond by hiring a Bokor..to turn them into a zombie.Once they had been issued the coup padre, the subjects being prepared for their descent into zombidom would appear to die insofar as their heart rate would slow to a near stop, their breathing patterns would be greatly subdued and their body temperature would significantly decrease. The public, thinking that the person was dead, would bury him/ her as if they were a corpse. They would then be exhumed, still alive, by the Bokor and, although their physicality remained intact, their memory would be erased and they would be transformed into mindless drones. “Though still living, they remain under the Bokor’s power until the Bokor dies.”
2. During the Middle Ages, people believed that the spirits of the dead often returned to the earth to possess the living. They called these individuals revenants. It is likely that this is where the notion of zombies being a result of demonic possession originated.
The first zombies born from a mysterious space virus appeared in George A. Romero
‘s Night of the Living Dead
. These zombies were created by a virus that returned with a satellite to Earth and quickly brought the dead crawling from their graves.
4. The Solanum Virus has become one of today’s most popular forms of zombification. This virus invades the human brain and alters its functions so that the host no longer needs the basic requirements of food, water or air. Despite this, the infected are driven then by an intense hunger for human flesh, most particularly brains.
- There are a number of ways you can contract a zombie virus:
- Being bitten by a zombie
- Transferal from an infected parasitic bug, like a mosquito
- Contact with infected blood or saliva
- There is no known treatment for viral zombie infections at this time. Occasionally, an infected limb may be amputated, but generally, the virus spreads quickly through the blood, resulting in infection. The only way to terminate an infection is to destroy the brain of the inhabitant.
ZOMBIES IN THE MEDIA:
They are commonly enacted as cannibalistic in nature. While zombie films generally fall into the horror genre, some cross over into other genres, such as comedy, science fiction, thriller, or romance. Distinct sub-genres have evolved, such as the “zombie comedy” or the “zombie apocalypse“.