In the previous blog post, we examined some interesting facts about zombie history? Here is the continuation of a fun countdown-style list of the top 20 freaky zombie facts that every zombie fan should know:
10. George A. Romero is often referred to as the “Father of the Modern Zombie” and is widely viewed as the creator of the modern zombie cinema. He has written and directed more zombie films that anyone in history.c
9. According to zombie lore, the only way to kill a zombie is to damage its brain or cut off its head.g
8. The most famous “real-life” zombie is Haitian Clairvius Narcisse. He claimed he was turned into a zombie by a combination of powerful neurotoxins and hallucinogens.b
7. Some scientists claim that a zombie apocalypse is not necessarily an impossibility because humans are susceptible to neurotoxins, brain parasites, real rage virus (such as mad cow disease), neurogenesis, and nanobots (which can operate in a host even after the host has died).f
6. Stories of the dead being brought back to life are thousands of years old. For example, 5,000 years ago in the Middle Eastern tale the Epic of Gilgamesh, an angry goddess threatens to bring the dead back to eat the living.b
5. 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 traveled to Haiti in 1982 and, as a result of his investigations, claimed that a living person can be turned into a zombie by two special powders being introduced into the blood stream (usually via a wound). The first,coup de poudre, includes tetrodotoxin (TTX), a powerful and frequently fatal neurotoxin found in the flesh of the pufferfish. The second powder consists of dissociative drugs such as datura. Together, these powders were said to induce a deathlike state in which the will of the victim would be entirely subjected to that of the bokor. Davis also popularized the story of Clairvius Narcisse, who was claimed to have succumbed to this practice. The most ethically questioned and least scientifically explored ingredient of the powders, is part of a recently buried child’s brain – Wikipedia
4. According to Haitian folklore, feeding salt to a zombie will restore the person to freedom. That doesn’t mean the zombie will become a living person again but, rather, that the body will return to the grave.d
3. While the causes and depictions of zombies throughout history have varied, one element links them: they all have compromised brains.c
2. There are basically two theories on the origin of zombies: 1) a cursed person dies and returns as a zombie, and 2) a person contracts a virus or is exposed to radiation.g
1. The word “zombie” is related to the African word nzambi, which means “god.” The Grand Serpent, the “Le Grand Zombi,” was the father of all “laos,” or other gods, and appeared in the shape of a python. The English word “zombie” was first used in the 1838 short story “The Unknown Painter“, as zombi. The additional “e” was not added until the 1900s. b
We hope you have enjoyed the Top 20 Freaky Zombie Facts. Look behind you!! Just kidding…
a Brown, Nathan Robert. 2010. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Zombies. New York, NY: Penguin
b Hamilton, Sue L. 2007. Zombies (The World of Horror). Edino, MN: ABDO Publishing Company.
c Krensky, Stephen. 2008. Zombies (Monster Chronicles). Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Company.
d Pipe, Jim. 2007. Zombies (Tales of Horror). New York NY: Bearport Publishing.
e Schuh, Mari C. and Aaron Sautter. 2007. Zombies (Blazers–Monsters). Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.
f Sloth, TE and David Wong. “5 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Apocalypse Could Actually Happen.” Cracked. October 29, 2007. Accessed: October 20, 2012.
g “Zombie Facts: Real and Imagined (Infographic).” Live Science. October 6, 2011. Accessed: October 20, 2012.