The History of the Zombie
Since the early 19th century, zombies have acquired notable popularity, especially in North American and European folklore. But the folklore originated mainly in Haiti and Africa.
The West African folklore, According to the tenets of Vodou, a dead person can be revived by a bokor, or sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own. ‘Zombi’ is also another name of the Vodou snake lwa Damballah Wedo, of the Niger Congo origin. It is closely related to the Kikongo word nzambi, which means “God”. There also exists within the West African Vodun tradition the zombi astral, which is a part of the human soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor’s power. The zombi astral is typically kept inside a bottle which the bokor can sell to clients for luck, healing or business success. It is believed that after a time God will take the soul back and so the zombi is a temporary spiritual entity. It is also said in vodou legend, that feeding a zombie salt will make it return to the grave.
According to Haitian folklore, zombies are created by voodoo priests who have the ability to resurrect bodies using a powder called coup de poudre. Coup de poudre is made using the same poison found in fugu. It is either given orally to a person or spread over a flesh wound. This is all done while the person is alive, and normally at a voodoo dance or celebration. The toxin slows the heart rate, reduces body temperature, and metabolic activity until the infected person reaches a death-like state.
The victims are buried as soon as possible after death in Haiti, because the tropical climate of the island makes it difficult to store bodies for long without them decomposing. Once the funeral is over the Voodoo priest digs up the body before the drug wears off and a Zombie is created.
The best documented case of a zombie is that of Clairvius Narcisse, who was supposed to have died from an unknown cause in 1962. Before his death, he had argued with his brother about selling a share of the family land. His brother made arrangements with a Voodoo priest to perform the ceremony of the zombie on Clairvius and allowed the priest to dig up his brother’s body from the grave and make him a Zombie Slave on a sugar cane plantation. In 1964, the zombie master himself died and Clairvius spent the next 16 years wandering around Haiti in a psychotic Zombie state as the powerful drug wore off. In 1980, he recognised his sister in a market place and proved his identity to her, since his family had long assumed he had been dead. His story and recovery were documented by ethnobiologist Dr. Wade Davis.
Zombies, were brought to the New World by West African slaves who believe the Nzambi’s were walking corpses brought to life by the use of voodoo. Today, zombies have evolved to become corpses of people infected with a rare strain of virus that infects the nervous system and uses the host body to attack and infect more people.
The Zombie Apocalypse and Nazi Zombies
Recently some Scientists have been discovering facts that Hitler and the Nazis were doing research to produce a race of Zombies to be used in the battle of WWII. A disturbing discovery by renowned authors of the WWII subject matter lead them on a chase through history culminating in what is expected to be a groundbreaking book. Mark Walker teamed up with German author Michael Schaaf to write Hitler, Zombich, und die Häagan-Dazs, a book describing the efforts of Nazi scientist to perfect zombies, which were to be launched en masse against allied forces in Europe. All German zombie research was originally funded through the German Post Office, under the Reich Research Council; however, in 1942, armaments minister Albert Speer reorganized zombie research and switched all funding to only support development of human zombies.
Dr. Groth and Dr. Paul Harteck were dismayed at the loss of funding for military use of zombies for weapons. Harteck in particular had worked with Dr. Fritz Houtermans on the problem of active braincell reanimation from a corpse. These men were keenly aware of the Austrian scientist Prof. Josef Schintlmeister, who proposed in 1940 for the construction of a zombie free range ranch and aquarium. Groth and Harteck led a team of biologists and chemists in 1942 to persuade Hermann Goering and Martin Bormann to fund an alternate zombie project to Heisenberg’s. Dr. Paul Harteck, chief zombiologist of the German army, had helped to develop the zombie virus invented by Dr. Erich Bagge, in 1942 at Kiel. The virus was also known as a synapse sluice. It has since come to be known as the “Harteck Virus”.
In efforts with Dr. Robert Döpel at Leipzig in May 1942, a chimpanzee reanimation had been sustained by using two live brains of dead, infected chimpanzees separated by heavy water. However, Heisenberg failed to provide any means for controlling the reanimation. It quickly resulted in a runaway outbreak which ended with a devoured team of esteemed scientists. A heavy water zombie test reactor was built in a cave in Haigerloch. This reactor never reached critical condition, because the amount of braincell reanimation was never sufficient. Its approach was different from the earlier experiment and used cubes of brains suspended by chains. After the ending of world war 2 and the death of Hitler, and the capture of the many Nazis throughout the world, these experiments have long since stopped. So one may think, But are the experiments still going on? Perhaps in larger countries such as England, China, Australia, Or maybe even The United States.
Zombies in the Movies
The Zombie has been long portrayed as flesh eating hungry dead rotting corpses, in books, folklore, as well as movies, and video games. The earliest movies were back in 1932 and 1943 with the movies White Zombie, and Revenge of the Zombies. The animated corpses in these movies were created by the traditional voodoo witch doctors. It wasn’t until 1968 did the first rotting corpse zombie movie come along with “Night of the Living Dead” It was actually a pretty good movie considering the special effects the film industry had back then. If you are into Zombie movies, I would strongly suggest watching this Great grandfather of all the Zombie movies. In the late 1970’s and all through the 1980’s Zombie movies were reaching the theatres like a virus in most of the zombie movies. From government experiments, to acts of God, to unknown reasons, these movies made zombies look, more gruesome and of course a lot of the movies were low-budget movies with actors and actresses…that read the scripts but couldn’t act. The real actors were actually the Zombies. The most recent Movies that have been made about Zombies have been in 2011 with The 4th Reich an United Kingdom movie, and Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D an United States movie. But the most popular of all the Zombie shows has recently came out in 2010/2011 and is now airing in 2012 with season 3. A Zombie weekly series show airing on AMC television called The Walking Dead. If you haven’t seen this show, I would suggest getting the episodes from blockbuster, or Netflix, and watching from the beginning. I have seen a lot of zombie shows, some with great actor/actress some with very poor acting, but The walking dead is by far the best Zombie show you will ever watch.
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