We have often heard a lot about zombies. Sometimes they are used for humour and sometime for creating a sense of horror. What a zombie actually is and how did the concept about zombies start. You will often hear people saying “I was looking like a zombie” it is used to describe a state when a person looks dirty and scary.
The Living Dead
Zombie is basically a term that is used to describe the “living dead”. It is said that sometimes people who have died and were buried actually come back and they are called the zombie. Let us see how all these stories about zombies actually start.
A zombie is not a ghost but a person who has recently died and has been seen walking around. The zombies look scary because the skin is half rotten as the body was buried under the ground for a while. Zombie is like a moving corpse.
If we look at it from the point of view of science it is impossible to imagine how a person who is already dead can be walking around. Some say that a zombie is neither dead and nor alive. He is caught between death and life and does not know what to do. Some also consider a vampire as a zombie. It is a body that does not have a soul. It is like a mind that cannot think.
Zombies in black magic
The zombie cannot be termed as a man it is a creature. A zombie can be used as a slave for doing a lot of things for the master. Many black magicians and people who practice voodoo actually use the zombies for their work. A magician basically uses his or her powers to possess the body of the dead person and makes the corpse a zombie.
This zombie is like a puppet in the hands of the magician and he will do whatever the magician tells him to do and that is really a scary thing. These stories started from Haiti and even today the stories about zombies are very popular in that part of the world.
Using the zombies for the black magic was good for the magicians as they did not need any favour in return and they would not even understand what suffering they are going through.
Connection to last rites
Some say that a zombie can be created only when the last rites were not performed to perfection. In such a case the soul is not able to rest and these spirits can be left to suffer in the space that is between life and death. These souls might fall in an evil hand like that of a black magician and they can use these wandering souls for their vested interests.
This ensured that people try to follow all the rituals after a person dies so that the person does not become a zombie. These were the many beliefs that are associated with the creation of a zombie. There are many such tales that have been told for years. People who are into voodoo would be visiting the cemeteries looking for people who are dead and for spirits who are not resting in peace. Once they get such a dead body they would turn them into a zombie.
Connection with live people
A zombie may look familiar to the people who loved him but they will never be able to accept him as he is already dead. For example there is a story about a zombie. A young boy died in an accident. He was very young. His mother and sister buried him.
That very night when everyone was sleeping the sister suddenly heard that her brother was calling her. She went to the window to see outside and what she saw really scared her. She saw that her brother was standing on the road. He was in tartars he looked scary and he was calling for help. The mother and sister saw the boy as a zombie. They wanted to help him but they were equally sacred as the boy was already dead and they had buried him. That is why they decided not to go down and help the boy but the boy kept calling them to rescue him.
The sister lost her mental balance after this incidence. This story proves how a zombie is not even accepted by his own family who are mourning his death. This is a rare case because most of the time the zombie would not even remember who he was and who were his loved ones.
The Haiti Story
There is another story about zombies that was very popular in Haiti. A young woman fell in love with a man and they got married. On the first night the man told his wife to dress in the bridal outfit and he took her to a house. A room in the house was lit with candles and there were many flowers there. She also saw four more people in the room. The husband said that they were the guests and they would be dancing with the bride after dinner.
The woman noticed that the four guests were not even talking and even moving so she took a candle and held it close to the face of these guests to only realise that they were basically corpse. She got scared to death and she decided to leave the house immediately.
Somehow she escaped and reached her parents’ house to tell them about this horrific experience. Her friends and parents went to the location she had been to. They could see that everything was as per her description except that no corpse could be found. A large search operation was initiated to look for her husband and for the bodies he spoke about but nothing could be found anywhere. Till date it is not clear if this was a story that the bride made up or this actually happened to her.
In Haiti even today kids are told the stories about the living dead. The children are told not to play with their own shadows. The children in Haiti grow up hearing the stories of zombies and witchcraft. Many stories are also told about how the dead bodies were taken out of the grave by the magicians to make them into zombies. There are many stories about the supernatural elements. The children are told to behave and listen to the parents else they might become a zombie. Everyone in the island is scared of becoming a zombie and suffering eternally after death.
The magician’s tale
Another popular story that is told is about a magician who was very powerful and he liked a girl. The girl was however not interested in him and always avoided his advanced. The magician was very angry at the girl and he somehow managed to kill her.
The coffin in which she was put was short for her as a result her neck had to be bent. While she was kept in the coffin a candle fell on her leg and her leg was burnt. She was later seen at many places. It was easy to recognise her as her neck was bent and she would stoop and walk as her leg was burnt. The magician actually made her into a zombie and kept her as his slave.
In the recent few years not many stories about the zombies have come up. Perhaps zombies were just a creation of human mind and they have nothing to do with reality.