Common Myths about Zombies

Everyone knows the myth that zombies are reanimated corpses or at least they should have heard of the myth.  It is probably the most commonly accepted myth about these fictional creatures.  After all the stigmata of a corpse walking among the living is probably one of the most terrifying tales that can be passed along.  And that is exactly why it is such a widely circulated myth.   

The method of reanimating a corpse is said to be done by a Vodoo sorcerer or boker  who administers a potion made from two toxic powders.  When reanimated, the corpse will walk about and many times it is said to be under the control of the boker or the person who reanimated it and that they become immortal.  It is also said that zombies eat the brains of their living victims and that a person will become a zombie if bitten by a reanimated corpse.  Some people claim that zombies are created by a “zombie virus” which apparently can be carried by animals.  

There are myths of zombie outbreaks in the United States and its territories.  After a category 5 hurricane struck the Florida Keys in 1935, stories were told of corpses that had surfaced during the flood and that had been reanimated by rats infected with a zombie virus.  Mistaken for dazed hurricane survivors needing aid, the “virus” spread rapidly.  There is also the story of the zombie attack in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1863 during the Civil War.  In this myth it is unclear exactly how the “virus” originated in Vicksburg, but the Confederate soldiers, after exhausting their supply of ammunition, became victims of the zombies.  Even the beautiful island of Hawaii has not been immune to the “zombie virus.”   Said to have originated from infected Chinese laborers, the virus soon spread to all the islands and the islands were forced to ask the United States for help consequently coming under the control of the United States.  Another myth claims that the mysterious disappearance of the inhabitants of Roanoke Island was the result of a zombie attack. 

Even some scientists have accepted the myth of zombies.  Probably the most famous myth about zombies is that of Clairvius Narcisse of Haiti.  Wade Davis, a Harvard ethnobotanist, offered the case of Narcisse as proof that zombies do exist.  According to the myth, Narcisse was turned into a zombie by his brother after quarreling over land.  He remained in a zombie state for 18 years as Davis related in his “non-fiction” book titled The Serpent and the Rainbow.  Scottish psychiatrist, R. D. Laing put forth his theory regarding the myth of zombies.  He claims that zombies are real and the result of a mental disorder. He claims that this mental state causes a person to appear to be “zombified.” 

The belief in the myth that zombies do indeed exist has prompted some to take precautions against a widespread attack from them.  There is even a book that will tell you how to survive an attack by zombies so you will be safe when they do attack.