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The Undead Truth About Zombies

Updated on June 15, 2013
Zombie Spiderman
Zombie Spiderman | Source

The Original Zombie: Mind Control

Originally, the term "zombie" referred to an animated corpse brought back by magic. It comes from the many places that have beliefs in zombies that are tied to superstition. For example, the most well known is in Haiti. There, the zonbi are created when living people are given psychoactive drugs that leave them in the power of a bokor. The victim is put into a death like state and then seem to be reanimated (usually after being buried) and emerge in a demented fix.

Why don't they ever really wake up? Part of it is the drugs but some argue that the fact that the "zombie" actually believe they died and should be dead also helps play a role. Furthermore, the surrounding culture provides the victim expectations that they unconsciously succumb to in their weakened state.

Zombies Today: Popular Culture and Disease

Nowadays, if you take someone off the street and ask them what a zombie is, their first response isn't going to have anything to do with Haiti. Zombies are all over the media, with movies like Night of the Living Dead and television shows like The Walking Dead. With these and other references in mind, the first thing that comes to mind are flesh eating, brain-dead victims of an epidemic.

They're discolored, they're drooling blood, they're mindless, and they're after you. Shuffling footsteps, groans, and bloodshot eyes have captured movie, literature, and video game audiences for decades.

Still, consider what I said above, which was a very brief example of the original definition of a zombie but still broad enough to cover most of my bases. If this is what a zombie is, then is our new age definition accurate at all? This change is even more severe than what I talked about in my hub about the definitions of a vampire.

Zombie Food Pyramid
Zombie Food Pyramid | Source

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What's With the Makeover?

While the original definition of a zombie is interesting and has been used in film, it is not what makes the profit. The new age hordes of cannibals are really where it's at. Why? What makes them so popular?

Here are some of the major theories out there:

1. Scary Dead Things

Ever had a scary zombie dream? I've had tons. The idea of being eaten alive or even chased by hordes of flesh eating dead people is terrifying enough to get people to gather and watch.Not only that, but the idea of becoming a zombie is also intriguing. People are fascinated with being frightened and love a good scare.

2. The Fight to Survive

That desire to live and keep going despite the odds is the only thing driving any zombie story. Eyes widen in anticipation as audiences witness their group of uninfected persons run across the screen to safety...or their inevitable demise.

3. Uber Gross

Of course, the basic fascination comes down to seeing what the zombies are going to look like or do next. Maybe one will be missing a leg or an arm...or all limbs. Each new zombie film brings something new to the table that audiences just have to see to quench that blood-lust.

4. Paranoia

Another theory is that some people are just paranoid and this whole zombie thing just kind of feeds that. Survival is all about M.E. and keeping away from anyone else since you know joining a big group could lead to infection. Still, this is the least believable since the popularity of zombie movies in the box office suggests that any paranoid nutcase would be too afraid to show up at a crowded theater.

5. Being a Loner Isn't So Bad

Yet, the idea of living according to your own rules and surviving an apocalypse is still intriguing. Yeah, there's some paranoia still involved but you get a chance to be a hero by saving someone else's life and you can do whatever you want.

Zombies are people too!
Zombies are people too! | Source

Undead and Inhuman

Once someone becomes a zombie, they are no longer human. Still, in bringing this scenario to light, many questions about humanity and even morality come to light in the media that ask questions such as "how far can and should science go" and "where is the line drawn between what's human and what isn't?" There are many reasons why people are fascinated with the zombie of the media today. Most probably don't know why and don't even think about it. All that's for sure is that even with the vampire craze the zombies are here to stay and haunt our dreams for probably even more decades to come.

© 2011 Lisa


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    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      This is great. I wish I would have seen it before I wrote my article about zombie dogs. (If your zombie dog follows the food pyramid, he will also stop eating his regular diet and only want to eat when you put down a plate of fresh brains!)

      Can you even special-order brains from your butcher?

    • Sparrowlet profile image

      Katharine L Sparrow 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Yikes! More about zombies than I ever wanted to know! Haha! A former boyfriend of mine loved zombie movies, so I've seen my share! Great pics of zombies on your hub too.

    • LisaKoski profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from WA

      Thanks :)

    • etherealdabi profile image

      etherealdabi 6 years ago from Tennessee

      I have no idea what you're talking about when you say that my hub on zombies is more informative. Generally, everything in this hub includes information that I've completely neglected to add. I'll post a link on my hub for you!

    • mel22 profile image

      mel22 6 years ago from ,

      i'll have to check out your vampire hub another time , but this a cool category to read about. a change from the normal- to the unnormal-Thumbs UP!

    • Captain Redbeard profile image

      Captain Redbeard 6 years ago from Ohio

      Good job, voted up!

    • mattforte profile image

      Steven Pearson 6 years ago from Spanaway, WA

      Great hub, entertaining as always!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Oh how brilliant was this??

      I have to vote an up up and away for this one without a doubt.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...and talk about links I will post this most amazing and definitive and essential dead hub to my Facebook page with a direct link back here because it's so alive, ironically speaking, with your enthusiasm and passion and knowledge - and yes I do know what I speak of - lol lol - I just came home from the graveyard shift and believe me I work with a lot of dead heads - lol

      lake erie time ontario canada 7:32am

    • LisaKoski profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from WA

      Wow thanks for the link. I'm going to definitely see if I can find the rest of that documentary.

    • profile image

      Scarlet Scrivener 6 years ago

      Nice job! This is a really interesting subject. There was a researcher named Wade Davis who went to Haiti some years ago and uncovered what seems to be the truth behind zombies... scary! But, not because of any supernatural aspect, rather a criminal one.

      Here's a link to a documentary about Wade Davis and Zombies:


    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      While this isn't exactly my cup of tea - you have done a very good presentation of zombies. I am voting up and eager to read some of your other hubs. Thanks.