Zombies are the latest rage in Hollywood, and are everywhere…literally! From appearing in horror flicks on mainstream cinema, to featuring in television series, books and magazines; these reanimated or ghoulish beings seem to never stop amazing us. But, do you know that zombies were created much before Hollywood patronized them? So, for anyone who wants to know in detail some startling and gnawing facts about the undead or walking dead, here is a little history of zombies followed by interesting zombies facts that will surprise you. Go ahead and enjoy!
What is a zombie?
Before getting into any kind of detail, we must first know what a zombie is. Its a term that finds its origins in a word coined in Africa. The word is “nzambi” meaning god. In other African myths, the zombie, it seems, was none other than The Grand Serpent, also known as “Le Grand Zombi”. This creature was called the father of all gods and was a python.
To make visualizing a zombie in a better way, let’s just mention that a zombie is a corpse that is brought to life using witchcraft and voodoo. It essentially is a walking dead brought to life supernaturally.
The interesting history of zombies
Zombies are not a current phenomenon to have happened to us. In-fact, these walking dead have a riveting historical background. The word zombie was coined in Haiti, an island in the Caribbeans. Throughout the 1700s, Haiti was a hot pot of voodoo religion, and also a booming center for slave trade. It was in those times that the term zombie started getting used widely, and was essentially meant to refer to the plight of the slaves. The emaciated look of a zombie resembled a starving slave, and the connection was established there itself.
Haitians believed in the existence of some magical entity that controlled corpses, and that entity was one that practiced voodoo and witchcraft. The Haitian witch doctor was called a bokor and was very much feared by tribesmen. These bokors were employed by Tonton Macoute, secret police service utilized by the Haitian dictator Duvalier’s political group. And, they could force anyone to do anything, and could also convert a person into a zombie.