So getting back to “Z” if you’ve followed the blog for the last couple of weeks you can tell that I love horror and sci-fi, but mostly I love to post about horror and sci-fi in reality. I love things that are unexplained. For the letter “Z” I’m going to post about Zombies with a real life twist.
Everyone knows about the zombies that are in all of the movies, the George Romero walking dead that eat people. However zombies originally started as a real thing. In Haiti and other Caribbean Islands where Voodoo is prevalent zombification is the act of giving someone a position that basically turns them into the living dead. They don’t eat people, but they walk around in a trance after having been pronounced dead and buried. The position is acquired through a Boko which is a Voodoo witch doctor or high priest. This concoction is usually a mixture of the poisonous puffer fish and the zombie apple which is a species of Manchineel.
Here are three cases of real life zombification taken from the website io9.com :
“FI was around 30 years old when she died after a short febrile illness and was buried by her family the same day in the family tomb next to her house. 3 years later she was recognised by a friend wandering near the village; her mother confirmed her identity by a facial mark, as did her 7-year-old daughter, her siblings, other villagers, her husband, and the local priest. She appeared mute and unable to feed herself. Her parents accused her husband of zombifying her (he was jealous of her after she had had an affair). After a local court authorised the opening of her tomb, which was full of stones, her parents were undecided whether to take her home and she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in Port-au Prince [...]
WD, 26 years old, was the eldest son of an alleged former tonton macoute (secret policeman) under the Duvaliers' regime. The father was our principal informant together with WD's mother and other villagers. When he was 18, he suddenly became ill with a fever, "his eyes turned yellow," he "smelled bad like death," and "his body swelled up". Suspecting sorcery, his father asked his older brother to obtain advice from a boko [or sorcerer], but WD died after 3 days and was buried in a tomb on family land next to the house of a female cousin. The tomb was not, as was customary, watched that night. 19 months later, WD reappeared at a nearby cock fight, recognised his father, and accused his uncle of zombifying him [...]
MM, aged 31, was the younger sister of our principal informant who described her as formerly a friendly but quiet and shy girl, not very bright. At the age of 18, MM had joined some friends in prayers for a neighbour who had been zombified; she herself then became ill with diarrhoea and fever, her body swelled up and she died in a few days. The family suspected revenge sorcery. After 13 years, MM had reappeared in the town market 2 months before we met her, with an account of having been kept as a zombi in a village 100 miles to the north, and having borne a child to another zombi (or perhaps to the boko). On the death of the boko, his son had released her and she traveled home on foot.”
These three cases were actually studied by medical professionals here is the report Medical Journal report
The researchers diagnosed the first patient with catatonic schizophrenia, the second with epilepsy and brain damage (presumably from oxygen deprivation), and the third with potential fetal alcohol syndrome. Two of the cases were actually cases of mistaken identity and DNA reports proved that the people weren't even related.
If these cases were simply mental health issues then why were they originally pronounced dead and buried? Why were the coffins looted and the bodies replaced with stones? Grave robbing is a common crime in Haiti, but taking the body usually isn’t a part in that.
By the way if you've never seen Wes Craven's movie "The Serpent and the Rainbow." I highly recommend it, it's an 80's movie about all this stuff and it's great.
Horror Question of the Day: Do you believe in zombification? If you could zombify one celebrity that really gets on your nerves who would it be?