THE ORIGIN OF ZOMBIES -
Zombies are common in Haitian stories and folklore. Researchers studying Haitian culture have related countless tales of bodies brought back to life by bokor, or sorcerers. These zombies are mindless slaves. They are not self-aware and are not particularly dangerous unless fed salt, which restores their senses. These stories are widespread and similar to urban legends -- they prey on the listener's deepest fears and seem believable in spite of their improbability. Even after documenting numerous stories and rumors, researchers found little solid evidence to explain or prove the phenomenon. Often, the alleged zombies had received little or no medical care before their apparent deaths. Researchers also had trouble ruling out mistaken identity and fraud. In 1980, a man appeared in a rural Haitian village. He claimed to be Clairvius Narcisse, who had died in Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, Haiti on May 2, 1962. Narcisse described being conscious but paralyzed during his presumed death -- he had even seen the doctor cover his face with a sheet.
TODAY'S ZOMBIES -
A zombie, according to pop culture and folklore, is usually either a reawakened corpse with a ravenous appetite or someone bitten by another zombie infected with a “zombie virus.” Zombies are usually portrayed as strong but robotic beings with rotting flesh. Their only mission is to feed. They typically don’t have conversations (although some may grunt a little). Though it’s rare, there are several credible reports in medical journals of people using these compounds to induce paralysis in people, then revive them from the grave. A 1997 article in the British medical journal The Lancet described three verifiable accounts of zombies. In one case, a Haitian woman who appeared to be dead was buried in a family tomb, only to reappear three years later. An investigation revealed that her tomb was filled with stones, and her parents agreed to admit her to a local hospital.
The origin of zombies can be found in Haiti. It happens in just about every zombie movie -- a throng of reanimated corpses lumbers toward the farmhouse, shopping mall, pub or army base where the heroes have barricaded themselves. The zombies aren't dead, but they should be. They're relentless and oblivious to pain, and they continue to attack even after losing limbs. Usually, anyone the zombies kill returns as a zombie, so they quickly evolve from a nuisance to a plague. Like a lot of monsters, zombies have their roots in folklore and -- according to some researchers -- in real events in Haiti. Why does the modern world have such a love affair with zombies? History may be to blame for the entertainment.