What’s in a zombie? Is it just a mental state?

You must have heard about zombies and we have previously uploaded several articles on this portal too. But do you know what is a zombie and how it comes to existence. Is it just a mental state or any other reality behind it, so let us find out.

Religion and zombies

Moving further from movies where sorcerers make zombies for their own use, any true religion will not support the making of zombies. It is definitely unethical and can damage the faith in humanity. It is the worst act possible to disturb a dead body.

Respect the dead

All across the world it is said that a dead must be respected. No culture will support the act of miss handling a dead body that has been dead for years. Even after a war it is a tradition to ensure that even the bodies of the enemy is laid to rest as per the customs they follow. Especially in countries like India, there are customs of shradha and the pitra paksha rituals.

Near and dear ones

Imagine the plight of a family who gets to see their loved ones wandering around as zombies. Many priests have said that they ensured all last rites are performed to perfection and the body is buried in a strong coffin. But after a few days they are amazed and saddened to see that the dead body is alive again and it is looking so lost as if it is mentally disturbed and does not know where it belongs.

A zombie is neither dead nor alive. It does not know where it belongs. The soul is not there in the body and the mind is also dead. The life of a zombie is terrible as they do not know what they want to do and where they belong. They just have to blindly follow the orders of their master.

We have discussed in our previous articles that sometime a zombie can actually escape from the clutches of the master.  Even this state is a painful one for the zombie because the family members do not want to take back the zombie. Similarly the police and the doctors do not know what to do with it. The only person who can kill the zombie is the one who created it.

Zora Hurston on zombies

There is an interesting account that was written by Zora Hurston. She says that such creatures were brought to the voodoo temple. Most of the time, it would be the wife or the widow of the bokor who would get the zombies. The wife of a bokor will not know what to do with the zombie as the bokor is either dead or he has been arrested.

She would want to get rid of these creatures but not knowing how to do it. Zora Hurston was able to take a picture of a zombie. There are very few pictures of a real zombie. Most of the time people actually dress up like a zombie during Halloween.

Montague Summers on Zombies

Montague Summers was an authority on black magic. He once wrote in one of his studies that zombies can be created by black magic. It is possible to put life back to a dead body. They can be endowed with speech and actions.

This can be performed only by a black magician who is very good at his job. A person who is new to black magic should not try to do this act. According to Montague Summers this spell on a zombie cannot last for a very long time. The zombies are usually destroyed by the bokor soon after the purpose is achieved.

It is a spell that can work only for a while and after that it loses its effect. It is the most dangerous act in witchcraft and can even lead to the death of the magician. Only a few black magicians can do this trick.

This points out to the fact that spotting too many zombies might not be possible. You have to be foulest and deepest in infernal crime to do this act.

If the spell can only last for a short time why are zombies found years after they are dead.

Montague Summers explains that it is possible that these people who have been seen years after death were never dead at all. Maybe there are bigger mysteries that are behind these zombies that appear after years have gone by. Montague Summers also has the feel that many people have doubles and the zombies that were found years later were actually the doubles and not the original people as thought by the families.

Most of the zombies look weird and scary it is difficult to say that it is the same person. It is quite possible that the zombie looks and appears like the person they are associated with. This explanation of Montague Summers actually makes sense and adds a new light to the tales about zombies that we get to hear from time to time from different parts of the world.

Montague Summers feels that it is quite possible that the people who have been termed as zombies were actually normal people who have lost their mental balance due to some reason. It is also possible that a person has been deformed physically due to a disease and people start thinking that it is a zombie. People are scared of zombies and as the zombie tales are so popular in these parts of the world it is a normal tendency for the localities to associate these visibly abnormal people as zombies.

Montague Summers had a strong feel that many families where someone became a lunatic or was mentally disturbed the family would try to conceal the facts by saying that the person was dead. After years when the same person was seen the family would claim that he or she is back as a zombie. That is why in many of the zombie stories it the dead person was found years later.

Alfred Metraux story

To support this theory of Montague Summers we have a strong case. Alfred Metraux who was studying zombies claimed that once he actually saw a zombie and he was very excited. After a deeper investigation he found that it was actually a girl who was mentally challenged.

Her parents would usually lock her in the house and when Alfred spotted her she had actually escaped from the confinement. The family thought it would be a huge shame if people get to know about what was wrong with the girl.

This episode actually throws a new light to the concept of zombies. In the olden days people were not that educated. If a family member lost his or her mental balance people would stop associating with the family. That is exactly why maybe the concept of zombies was used to hide the identity of these family members.

In the olden days a person who was mentally unwell would be treated in a very unfair manner. The families will disown the person as they would be scared of name shame. These mentally disturbed people would be beaten like animals if they would do anything that was unacceptable to the society. The life of these abnormal human beings would perhaps be worse than zombies. As these people were mentally disturbed they would not know what to do and how to escape the torture.

As they were mentally sick they would find it difficult to even follow instructions of the master. They would be forced to work in the fields and would not be given proper food or other basic facilities that is needed in life for existence. Many students of Haiti have also written about the plight of these poor human beings that could shatter the faith one has in humanity.

Perhaps these were the real zombies and not the dead bodies who were walking around. Zombie was a good disguise too for many people. Especially the once who had criminal intentions would find this a good disguise as no one would have the courage to even approach a zombie after all the tales and the stories that were doing rounds about the zombies.

There are also stories that say a person who was absolutely normal all of a sudden loses his mental balance and physical energy to become a zombie. How is this possible? We have mentioned in our previous articles that there was a drug in Africa that could be actually used to kill people.

The poison was deadly. In Haiti it was discovered that more than often a drug that was brought by the natives from Africa and was passed on from one generation to another. This drug had a special ability it could create a sense of lethargy in the body of the victim. The victim would actually be alive but would not be in a position to even move. Any person who would see this lifeless body would feel that the person is dead. The family members would keep calling the name of the person but the victim will just not respond. This was a terrible state to be in. In this state the person would be taken to the grave and buried. The family is under the impression that the person is dead but actually they have buried a person who is alive. Once the effect of the drug starts to reduce the person can start moving but he or she will not be able to talk and the ability to speak would be lost for ever.

Even the mind would be in a dilution condition and the person will not be able to think of anything. These bodies would be later pulled out of the grave and be termed as zombies. This was a common trick that was performed by many black magicians. The situation was getting from bad to worse so the law makers of Haiti decided that they will have to pass a new law. The article 246 was created to reduce these incidents. This article clearly stated that if a person was drugged and buried alive then the attempt will itself be termed as murder. Following this law all the unnatural deaths that were happening in Haiti were strictly studied to ensure that there was no foul play.

It was nothing but a death like trance from which it is almost impossible to escape. After this article was passed these incidents did reduce. Many experts who were studying zombies tried to find out how this secret poison was created. After a lot of attempts almost all the experts decided that it was an impossible secret. The secret societies would try all their means to ensure that all the knowledge they have actually remain a secret and no one gets to know about it.

These secrets were so important that the members of these societies would prefer to die but they would not talk about these to anyone.  What they finally concluded was that there was indeed a drug in voodoo that could affect the brain of a normal person. This drug would ensure that the person loses his or her ability to think and judge the situation they are in. The victim loses his or her will power and becomes like a living dead. It is a painful state to be in. Voodoo originated in Africa.

In Africa there were old and very talented magicians who could put life back into a dead body. The concept of zombie is not from the native villages of Africa. This was actually used to bring to life people who were killed before time and the family wanted them to be alive again. This process had no intention to harm anyone.

Zombie was a concept that was born in Haiti itself. This concept came up with the use of this secret drug. This was done to create a sense of fear among the locals. Maybe among the Frenchmen especially so that they would be scared of the black magic and let the slaves free. These zombies were actually living people who were deliberately put into the state of a death like trace. A bokor would claim that he created a zombie with his magical spell but that was actually not true. This is perhaps the actual truth that also fits a practical and scientific explanation. A zombie is a logical phenomenon and it has nothing to do with fiction or life after death.

Today voodoo is used as a means of entertainment. It is used in magic shows to entertain not only the natives but also the people from other parts of the world. Voodoo is very popular today across the world. In the voodoo magic shows that are performed nowadays there is always an act included. In this act the magician will bury a person under mud and they again resurrect the person.

Obviously the magician will ensure that the person gets enough air in the grave before he is brought back to life. This act is nothing but a tribute to the most interesting creature voodoo created and is known as the “zombie” all across the world.

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