Various types of zombies are found in pop-culture, but there is one that dominates the spectrum. A zombie is a reanimated body brought back to life by a virus via a bite. The virus is usually created by radioactive activity and absorbed into the initial victim known as patient zero. Patient zero will sicken, fall into a feverish state, and die after a few hours. Within minutes after death, the brain will reawaken in a primal state.
For many years, zombies have been the monster in the darkness, lighting up movie screens, and terrorizing people across the world with their actions. They are the infected. People without control, whose soul is departed but the body moves completely on instinct, and Zombies are more than just a figment of science fiction. Zombies are the product of human imagination for a creature that both defines humanity as a whole and as an individual. The word Zombie first started appearing in the English language officially in 1871, it started as a West African word written as “zumbi” and was “originally the name of a snake god” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary .
The Salem Witch Trials began when Betty Paris, Abigail Williams, and some of their friends began to act strange with odd fits (Hall 1). Because many mental and emotional disorders were not understood, the people of Salem believed it was the work of witchcraft. When sickness or even misfortune came, the most Bednar 2 sensible reason was witchcraft (Godbeer 28). The Salem Witch Trials were a prime example of the prejudice in early America with the different personal lives and beliefs (Adams 26). The prejudice and panic caused much instability in the Salem comm... ... middle of paper ... ...n in Salem.
First, the Puritan values and expectations were strict, and those who had defied their teachings would have been at a much higher chance of being accused as a witch. Second, economic struggles within Salem Town and Village had further divided the two, by crop failure and livestock death. Ultimately causing economic damages. Third, personal opinions and disputes had contributed to the trials and accusations. The law system was unfair during the trials, so when or if someone was accused the court would side with the accuser, unless of course, they were a witch themselves.
The Last Man on Earth 1964 is film that incorporates a legend that fought with vampire like creatures until his death. He remained the last man on earth while the rest of the humanity dies and came back as zombie like creatures. Doctor Robert Morgan was the legend and sole survivor of a deadly plague that had exterminated the entire human race, including his own daughter and wife. He had immunity to lethal germs and was the only one who could fight the victims who returned as vampire creatures. He was bitten by a rabid bat and developed immunity to the virus of the vampire like creatures.
Origins of Zombies come from Vodou, a spiritual belief system that originates in the country of Haiti (Hahn, 2007). In Vodou folklore, it is said that Bakor priests or “witchdoctors” take control of their victims through a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin, which is derived from puffer fish, and described as a deadly neurotoxin that causes paralysis (Hahn, 2007). In a heavily documented case, the book “A Serpent and A Rainbow” discusses the life of Clairvius Narcisse. Narcisse was a Haitian man who was actually pronounced dead and buried, and said to have been turned into a living Zombie by a Bakor priest for 18 years (Hahn, 2007). The other type of Zombie, the typical ones you see in movies are very different than the ones portrayed in Vodou.
Server of the spirit, or Voudouist is the name given to a practicer of Voodoo. While the former may be interpreted with an air of darkness, the opposite is most often true. Mainstream media has given a false identity to Voodoo and has instilled fear in the general public. The intent of Voodoo is not one of evil or dark magic, rather one of community and strength. “As a very dark remnant is left from the history of slavery and discrimination in the West, African religions are still some of the most maligned and misunderstood religions in the world.” (Mama Zogbé) Voodoo, Vodoun, or Vodun, is far more complicated and spiritual than the misunderstandings surrounding it would lead one to believe; through its practices, beliefs, and priests/priestesses, it has served many Africans through conflicted times, and has remained strong even after thousands of years of opposition and practice.
“Zombies look and behave like the conscious beings that we are today, but "all is dark inside.” (Chalmers, 2005). According to (ahmadmad, 2013) “The word ‘zombie’ is said to have come from nzambi, which in Kongo means ‘spirit of a dead person’, or zonbi, used in the Louisiana Creole or the Haitian Creole that represents a person who died and was then brought to life without speech or free will.” From a lifetime of observing, zombies are brainless dead human that feeds off of other human beings. “The zombie is a complicated myth that is about as old as history but has really picked up in popularity lately” (Estes, 31). “Parasite that turn victims into mindless, zombie-like slaves are fairly common in nature. There is one called toxoplasmosa gondii that seems to devote its entire existence to being terrifying.” (Sloth & Wong, 2007) Research (3) Accounts of Topic Key West, Florida, 1935 The first account occurred on Labor Day, September 2, 1935.
Zombie History Zombies have been known to be a major phenomenon in Haiti. Haitians believe in two things about zombies; when a person is possessed by a spirit its soul is not allowed in heaven, and when a farmer is believed to be successful he has zombies working for him. A zombie, whom is capable to steal money, travel at lightning speed, and fly, can bring a great amount of success to a farmer. These dead men and women working on the farms were brought back to life by potent drugs. This was just one way of releasing the dead.
2008 Dinner with a Cannibal, The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo. Santa Monica Press, Santa Monica, California. Goldman, Laurence R. 1999 The Anthropology of Cannibalism. Bergin & Garvey, Westport, Connecticut. M. Anne Katzenberg 1994 Prehistoric Cannibalism; Mancos 5MTUMR-2346 by Tim D. White, Review by M. Anne Katzenberg.