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Category: World History

Date Submitted: 06/05/2008 03:46 PM

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Organize Before They Rise!

Zombies: scary flesh-eating creatures, or figments of our imagination? We may never know. Either way, zombies and the thought of the supernatural have had a huge effect on our society. In Max Brooks’ novel, The Zombie Survival Guide, Brooks goes into great detail on how to survive a zombie attack, from where to take shelter to what kind of weapons to use to keep them away. The thought of a zombie attack spawned this book, and the fact that people find zombies entertaining and/or scary sells it. The idea of zombies has a long history, beginning with Voodoo Zombies in Haiti. Since then, the thought of zombies has transformed into many different definitions. Besides this book, zombies have had a large influence on our movies and video games. Also, the thought of supernatural beings and communicating with the supernatural has made people become very gullible and naïve. Zombies have influenced the way our civilization functions in a multitude of ways.

There are many different definitions of a zombie. Some would define a zombie as an animated corpse that feeds on living human flesh. Another definition of a zombie is one who moves or acts in a daze. A third, and very important definition, is a voodoo spell that raises the dead (Brooks 1). The idea of the voodoo zombie and zombiism stems from ancient Haitian culture. In Haitian the word “zombi” means “spirit of the dead.” Haitian folklore says that Voodoo priests studied black magic. These priests were able to, in a way, create zombies using the coup padre. The coup padre is “a powder that is issued orally, the primary ingredient of which is tetrodoxin, the deadly substance of the notoriously poisonous fou-fou, or porcupine fish” ("Zombie History and Haitian Folklore"). According to ancient Haitian legend, a zombie is someone who annoys his or her family so much that the family asks to turn this person into a zombie. The Bokor, or Haitian priest, responds by...