Origins zombies and Warlocks on is your first source of information about witchcraft and black magic. Learn about the witch craze when zombies were accused of casting spells, going to sabbats and signing pacts with demons and the devil. Consequently, the witch hunt followed and they were executed by burning at stake in Salem and other places. Wicca and Voodoo are modern forms of witchcraft that have survived today. Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:24:07 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb The bokor and magic powder Haitian Vodou or Vaudou (Anglicised as Voodoo) is a syncretic religion originating from the Caribbean country of Haiti, located on the island of Hispaniola. It is based upon a merging of the beliefs and practices of West African peoples, (mainly the Fon and Ewe), with Roman Catholic Christianity, which was brought about as African slaves were brought to Haiti in the 16th century and forced to convert to the religion of their owners, whilst they largely still followed their traditional African beliefs. As a part of the voodoo religion, Haitians believe that magicians called bokors, or houngans, can revive the recently dead, turning them into mindless, soulless servants called zombies. "Zombi" is also another name of the Vodou lwa or loa ‘Damballah Wedo’, of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the Kikongo word nzambi, which means "god".

Haitian Penal Code: Article 249. It shall also be qualified as attempted murder the employment which may be made against any person of substances which, without causing actual death, produce a lethargic coma more or less prolonged. If, after the person had been buried, the act shall be considered murder no matter what result follows.

vaudou zombie.jpg


The methods of creating and controlling zombies vary among bokors. Some bokors use blood and hair from their victims in conjunction with voodoo dolls to zombify their victims. Others methods of zombification involve a specially prepared concoction of mystical herbs, in addition to human and animal parts (sometimes called “coup de poudre” (French: 'powder strike')).

Ingestion, injection, or even a blow dart may be used to administer the potion variety. When these substances come into contact with the victim's skin, bloodstream or mucous membranes, the victim is rendered immobile within minutes, succumbing to a comatose-like state resembling death. The victims soon appear dead, with an incredibly slow breath, and an incredibly slow and faint heartbeat.. The victim retains full awareness as he is taken to the hospital, then perhaps to the morgue and finally buried in a grave. In Haiti, people are buried very soon after death, because the heat and the lack of refrigeration makes the bodies decay very rapidly.

The bokor then has to dig them up within eight hours of the burial, or else they'll die of asphyxiation. The bokor then performs an ancient voodoo rite; taking possession of the victim's soul, and replacing it with the loa that he or she controls. The victim's "trapped" soul or zombi astral is usually placed within a small clay jar or some other unremarkable container. The container is wrapped in a fragment of the victim's clothing, a piece of jewellery, or some other personal possession owned by the victim in life, and then hidden in a place of secrecy known only to the bokor.

The bokor raises the victim after a day or two and administers a hallucinogenic concoction, called the "zombi's cucumber," that revives the victim. Once the zombi has been revived, it has no power of speech, its past human personality is entirely absent, and the memory is gone. Zombies are thus easy to control and are used by bokors as slaves for farm labor and construction work.

One case in 1918 involved a voodoo priest named Ti Joseph who ran a gang of laborers for the American Sugar Corporation, took the money they received and fed the workers only unsalted porridge. Indeed, giving a zombi salt is supposed to restore its personality, and send it back to its grave and out of the bokor's influence.

coup de poudre.jpg


There are a significant number of researchers who believe zombification to be an actual practice, achieved not through magic and ritual, but rather through certain powerful drugs.

In 1937, while researching folklore in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston encountered the case of a woman who appeared in a village, and a family claimed she was Felicia Felix-Mentor, a relative who had died and been buried in 1907 at the age of 29. Hurston pursued rumors that the affected persons were given powerful drugs, but she was unable to locate individuals willing to offer much information. She wrote:

“ What is more, if science ever gets to the bottom of Voodoo in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than gestures of ceremony." - Zora Neale Hurston.

Several decades later, Wade Davis, a Harvard ethnobotanist, presented a pharmacological case for zombies in two books, The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985) and Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie (1988). Davis also popularized the story of Clairvius Narcisse, a man supposedly had temporarily become a zombie slave and after many years recovered is memory to tell about it.

Davis travelled to Haiti in 1982 at the request of Dr. Nathan S. Kline, who theorized that a drug was responsible for Narcisse's experiences as a zombie. Since such a drug could have medical uses, particularly in the field of anesthesiology, Kline hoped to gather samples, analyze them and determine how they worked.

As a result of his investigations, Davis discovered that the bokor used complex powders, made from dried and ground plants and animals, in their rituals, which are introduced into the blood stream of the victim (usually via a wound).

Davis collected eight samples of this zombie powder in four regions of Haiti. Their ingredients were not identical, but seven of the eight samples had four ingredients in common:


One or more species of puffer fish

The puffer fish, which is known in Japan as "fugo", contains a deadly neurotoxin called "tetrodotoxin". Its pain-killing effects are 160,000 times stronger than cocaine. Tetrodotoxin drops the temperature and blood pressure, and can cause paralysis, coma or death. In Japan, some of the victims recovered a few days after being declared dead.


A marine toad (Bufo marinus)

The skin of the common toad (Bufo bufo bufo) can kill - especially if the toad has been threatened. There are three main constituents in toad’s venom - biogenic amines, bufogenine and bufotoxins. One of their many effects is that of a pain-killer - far stronger than cocaine. Boccaccio's medieval tale, the Decameron, tells the story of two lovers who die after eating a herb, sage, that a toad had breathed upon.


A hyla tree frog (Osteopilus dominicensis)

, which secretes an irritating (but not deadly) substance.


Datura stramonium (Jimsons Weed, Angel's Trumpet, Brugmanisa candida)

Datura contains the chemicals atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine, which can act as powerful hallucinogens in the appropriate doses. They can also cause permanent memory loss, paralysis and death.


Other substances from various toxic animals and plants, including millipedes and tarantulas, the skins of poisonous tree frogs, seeds and leaves from poisonous plants are also mentionned. However, pharmacologists have tested samples of the alleged powder on several occasions and found little or no poison in them.

Salt and Zombies

According to Haitian folklore, feeding salt to a zombie will return it to its senses. Often the zombie then attacks the bokor who created it or returns to its place of burial and dies. Ironically, tetrodotoxin works by blocking the sodium channels in muscle and nerve cells. However, there is no known cure for tetrodotoxin poisoning, and the amount of sodium in a few grains of salt is unlikely to have any physiological effect on a poisoned person.

Davis's claim has been criticized for a number of scientific inaccuracies. One of these is the unlikely suggestion that Haitian witch doctors can keep “zombies” in a state of pharmacologically induced trance for many years. Davis's theory is that culture and belief cause some Haitians to believe that they are zombies after recovering from the powder's effects, moreover the use of datura by causing amnesia will enhance a victim's belief that a real transformation has taken place.

Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing further highlighted the link between social and cultural expectations and compulsion, in the context of schizophrenia and other mental illness, suggesting that schizogenesis may account for some of the psychological aspects of zombification.


]]> (Administrator) Origins of zombies Wed, 09 Dec 2009 13:31:52 +0000
The Zombie Virus In modern films, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which passes on via bites and contact with fluids.

Harvard psychiatrist Steven Schlozman has termed the condition of zombies ‘Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome’ in a hoax article.

Viruses are microscopic infectious agents that come in many shapes and sizes. Unfortunately viruses do not contain the necessary components needed to carry out the basic chemical reactions required for life.

Because they can’t live on their own they infect host cells of other organisms to help them survive and reproduce. Like a parasite, viruses need to find ways to spread to new host cells in order to continue living. They have discovered many different ways to spread to new host organisms. The influenza virus transmits through a sneeze or a cough. Many have the ability to change the DNA of the host cell. Some viruses have even found ways to change the behavior of the host organisms.

A few popular candidates include Swine flu, E.Coli 0157, Solanum, Botulism, Dengue Fever, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, SARS, Rabies, Hantavirus, Anthrax, Plague, Cholera, HIV, Ebola, Marburg virus, Lhasa virus, Sarin, and VX.  

The case of Rabies

Rabies is a form of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that can make humans aggressive and by attacking the central nervous system, it can make the body send out extra impulses to the muscles increasing their strength, which could explain why zombies are so strong and why the have bad coordination.

Rabies is caused by an RNA virus belonging to the order Mononegavirales. All warm-blooded animals, including humans, are susceptible. When a wild animal is bitten by a rabid animal the virus enters the bloodstream, eventually spreading to the spinal cord and brain. Clinical signs of rabies are quite variable, with a change in behavior being one of them more consistent findings.

This behavior change can be as subtle as apprehension, or as extreme as biting in a normally friendly dog. Dogs might chew at the site they were bitten when they became infected, and can even maim themselves. As the disease progresses dogs may show increased irritability, viciousness, excitability, and eating unusual objects, like wood. These dogs may hide in dark or quiet places, and will bite when provoked. Central nervous system signs like seizures will exhibit, and there may be paralysis prior to death. A phase of the disease causes paralysis of the muscles in the throat. This leads to excessive drooling and choking sounds due to an inability to swallow. 

Could a form of rabies be a future zombie virus? Viral warfare is a weapon that a few countries have already invested in. In 1918 the infamous influenza virus was successful recreated in a lab. 


Solanum is a fictional virus in Max Brook's Zombie Survival guide. Solanum works by travelling through the bloodstream, from the initial point of entry to the brain. Through mean not yet fully understood, the virus uses the cells of the frontal lobe for replication, destroying them in the process. During this period, all bodily functions cease. By stopping the heart, the infected subject is rendered "dead."

The brain, however, remains alive but dormant, while the virus mutates its cells into a completely new organ. The most critical trait of this new organ is its independence from oxygen. By removing the need for this all-important resource, the undead brain can utilize, but is in no way dependent upon, the complex support mechanism of the human body. Once mutation is complete, this new organ reanimates the body into a form that bears little resemblance (physiologically speaking) to the original corpse. Some bodily functions remain constant, others operate in a modified capacity, and the remainder shut down completely.

]]> (Administrator) Origins of zombies Wed, 09 Dec 2009 15:53:41 +0000
Zombies parasites Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between two different species. The parasite benefits and the host is harmed.  Some parasites have the potential to cause behavior modification in their effected hosts. This change in behavior has already been documented in many species, including humans.

Fungus: Certain species of fungi can infect and kill insects.

The Dicrocoelium dendriticum is a parasite which can only complete its life cycle inside the stomach of a grazing mammal. This is unimportant; however, how this bug gets into the stomach is very relevant. This parasite has the capability of invading the brain of ants. Once it has found a host ant, it makes it crawl up to the very tip of a blade of grass and forces it to clamp on. In doing this, the ant has no control over its own body and awaits death as grazing animals eat their way closer to the ant.

Another bug, Euhaplorchis californiensis, is very similar. This parasite infects the brains of fish causing them to jump and wiggle around vigorously near the water’s surface. This makes the fish easier to catch for a bird of prey. Once the bird catches, kills and eats the infected fish, the parasite has achieved its goal.

Finally, there’s the Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite resides in the guts of cats where it produces eggs at an alarming rate. These eggs are excreted in the cat’s bowel movements where they can then be easily consumed by rats and other animals. This bug then forms cysts throughout the body and brain of the infected animal and can eventually result in death. Moreover it is proven to alter the behaviour of rats. It removes their fear of cats to increase the chance the rat will be eaten, allowing the parasite to reproduce in the cat’s intestine.

Toxoplasma gondii doesn’t just infect animal brains; it can also affect the human brain. It is estimated that half of the Earth’s human population is infected. Jaroslav Flegr of Charles University in Prague administered questionnaires to infected humans. He found that women infected with Toxoplasma tended to be more outgoing and friendly than the uninfected whereas infected men tended to be more jealous and suspicious.

For most infected humans; however, the parasite cannot harm them and they show no obvious symptoms. It is only in people with weakened immune systems such as pregnant women or people with AIDS that complications begin to appear.

In popular movies, once a non-infected person comes into contact with a zombie, he can be consumed by the parasite and begin exhibiting zombie-like characteristics within hours. It most be noted that this is very unlikely and the process is more prone to take days.

]]> (Administrator) Origins of zombies Wed, 09 Dec 2009 16:59:06 +0000
Other causes for zombies Revenge from the past

Visions of the walking dead as instruments of ghostly vengeance date from ancient times. Also known as corporeal ghost, they are not really zombie as they usually display a strong personality and remembrance of the past.

Their vengeance is usually restricted to those who have violated their sleep or caused their unfair death. The influence of Romero's living dead lies mainly in the type of violence they commit.

These days the general audience of these films expects zombies that mutilate their victims horribly and their vengeance is more likely to have a degree of cruelty which was not present in early days.

The Crow (1994), half shapeshifter, half zombie, comes back from the grave to revenge on those who killed him and his fiancée.

Similarly, in one of the stories of Tales from the Crypt (1972), Cushing plays an eccentric old man who is cruelly driven to his death by a malicious neighbour. He returns in a state of decay, face gaunt and wrinkled, clothes covered in grave-dirt, to express his displeasure in a direct show of violence that is, ripping out his tormentor's heart.

In Creepshow (1985), another homage to horror comics, revenge becomes even gorier as an angry father, dead, returns in an advanced state of decomposition and ironically creates a designer birthday cake out of his daughter's head.

Another variation puts on stage various evil groups or individuals from the past returns to create havoc in the present, such as Ossorio's Knights Templar or Nazi zombies (The Frozen Dead, Lake of the Living Dead, The Treasure of the Living Dead, Shock Waves). These zombies embody the power of evil that continue to haunt generations to follow, a symbol for psychological trauma. 

Scientific experiments

Another theme which frequently appears in zombie movies is the hell brought on by government scientific experimentation on chemical or genetic alteration of the human physiology.

This is the basis of Return of the Living Dead (1985), Return of the Living Dead II (1988), and Return of the Living Dead III (1993). In these movies, the zombies are created from an experimental chemical weapon produced by the military and somehow accidentally released onto a graveyard in every movie.

The idea of the military plotting and creating havoc is a widely used concept in many conspiration films and find a perfect vehicle with these types of zombie movies. In Toxic Zombies (1980), a secret government agency uses an experimental herbicide on a marijuana plantation, and those trying to harvest the illegal crop. The resulting zombie-like creatures take a general revenge on anyone in the vicinity.

The film 28 Days Later, on the other hand, depicts the outbreak of an engineered "rage virus" which transforms its victims into a zombie-like state; however, they maintain higher cerebral function. They exhibit pack and hunting behavior and move too fluidly to be classified as true zombies. The zombies in 28 Days Later also do not appear to exhibit the enhanced resistance to normal injury, like most zombies in popular culture do. 

Alien force

Sometimes the zombie germ comes from outer space. In Night of the Comet (1984), a rare astral passing converts the survival sighters into violent zombies. Also originating from outer space is the menace of The Night of the Creeps (1986). Zombification takes place when alien slug-like creatures kills the victims but habit the corpse that keep walking around, trying to infest others.

Lifeforce (1985) has some visiting, energy-draining aliens causing those they have killed to return to life filled with a desire to inflict similar injury on other humans. The apocalyptic climax, depicting London overrun by zombies intent on sending the life-energy of the populace to the alien mother ship and its load of comatose aliens, is an effective piece of gaudy and oddball SF histrionics.

Mario Bava's SF thriller, Planet of the Vampires (1965) display similar aliens that turn earthlings into zombies. Another popular theme in zombie films is the presence of some evil force or black magic that releases the zombies on the living.

In Lambert Bava's Demons (1986), the source of the infection is demonic possession. The audience at a late-night horror film preview find that demonic images on the screen are being replicated in reality as victims are turned into killing zombies, who then infect others.

The Evil Dead (1982) and The Evil Dead II (1987) are based on the concept of evil possessing the living and turning them into zombies. Sometimes it is the devil himself who creates the living dead.

The best explanatory sentence is probably to be found in Dawn of the Dead :

 "When there's no more room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth."  

Demonic possession


Another popular theme in zombie films is the presence of some evil force or black magic that releases the zombies on the living. In Lambert Bava's Demons (1986), the source of the infection is demonic possession The audience at a late-night horror film preview find that demonic images on the screen are being replicated in reality as victims are turned into killing zombies, who then infect others.
The Evil Dead (1982) and The Evil Dead II (1987) are based on the concept of evil possessing the living and turning them into zombies. Sometimes it is the devil himself who creates the living dead.
The best explanatory sentence is probably to be found in Dawn of the Dead :
     "When there's no more room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth."



In Night of the Living Dead radiation from a space probe may cause the epidemic. All the recently deceased return to life. There is no need for this to 'spread', it is simply universal. As our brainwaves can be measured in hertz, and parts of the human body are reactive to different frequencies of radiation, it stands to reason that some radiation can effect our brains in specific ways, perhaps some primitive part of the brain that is overridden by the cortex.This primitive behaviour involves the person trying to eat, or kill, the living. 


An experiment to create Nanobots to repair neural pathways that were destroyed due to disease or nerve damage goes awry turning the patients into ravenous, adrenaline charged cannibals.

Even when the host is dead, the nanobots continue to operate, keeping the body animate long after all of the major organs have failed. The only way to stop the zombie is to destroy the central cluster of nanobots located in the brain.

]]> (Administrator) Origins of zombies Wed, 09 Dec 2009 17:23:14 +0000
Zombies in history In the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed that the souls of the dead could return to earth and haunt the living.

The belief in Revenants (someone who has returned from the dead) are well documented by contemporary European writers of the time. According to the Encyclopedia of Things that Never Were, particularly in France during the Middle Ages, the revenant rises from the dead usually to avenge some crime committed against the entity, most likely a murder.

The revenant usually took on the form of an emaciated corpse or skeletal human figure, and wandered around graveyards at night.  

 The Draugr of medieval Norse mythology were also believed to be the corpses of warriors returned from the dead to attack the living.

The zombie appears in several other cultures worldwide, including China, Japan, the Pacific, India, and the Native Americans.

The Epic of Gilgamesh of ancient Sumer includes a mention of zombies. Ishtar, in the fury of vengeance says:

    Father give me the Bull of Heaven,
    So he can kill Gilgamesh in his dwelling.
    If you do not give me the Bull of Heaven,
    I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,
    I will smash the doorposts, and leave the doors flat down,
    and will let the dead go up to eat the living!
    And the dead will outnumber the living!

]]> (Administrator) Origins of zombies Wed, 09 Dec 2009 17:42:11 +0000