“When there’s no more room in Hell the dead will walk the earth” – Dawn of the Dead
Whats more terrifying than imagining the dead coming back to life?
In truth they are fictional undead creatures created through the reanimation of human corpses. Zombies are most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. They are mindless creatures whose only desire is to eat the living. What could be frightening than that right? Actually there are legends about real zombies in Haiti (another post). The term comes from Haitian folklore where a zombie is a dead body animated by magic. Modern depictions of zombies do not necessarily involve magic but invoke other methods such as viruses. They also can only be destroyed by damaging the brain.
The English word “zombie” is first recorded in 1819, in a history of Brazil by the poet Robert Southey, in the form of “zombi”. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the origin of the word as West African, and compares it to the Kongo words nzambi (god) and zumbi (fetish).
There are so many novels about them, ranging from Richard Matheson and H. P. Lovecraft to even Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein drawing on European folklore of the undead. George A. Romero’s movies seem to have made them even more popular. The “zombie apocalypse” concept, in which the civilized world is brought down by a zombie infestation, became a staple of the modern zombie genre.
Now Zombies are everywhere tv (one of my favorite tv shows), film, books, etc. We can’t get enough Zombies!