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How to Recognize a Voodoo Zombie

Learn how to recognize a voodoo zombie in this Howcast video about how to survive a zombie attack.


What is the Voodoo Zombie? The Voodoo Zombie is an unrelated creature that springs from the Haitian voodoo tradition. Voodoo Zombies are created through a mix of religious ceremony and essentially drugging a victim. I drug you, I bury you in a coffin, and then a couple days later I dig you back up and tell you that you've died and I've brought you back to life. You didn't actually die; you just passed out because you were on drugs. You believe it because you have the same religious belief. I tell you that I brought you back to life and that I own your soul because I have magically done this process of bringing you back to life. Then you have to work for me as slave labor, essentially. I have you clean my house, do my laundry, or whatever, and keep you as a slave. There are zombies in Haiti today, but they're not dangerous, they don't want to eat you, if they attack you, you don't turn into a zombie, so in many ways, it's nothing like the zombie that we know from movies and video games.

The term 'zombie' comes from the Haitian Voodoo Zombie. The way it's been interpreted in contemporary film, video games, and books is nothing like the origins of Haitian Voodoo Zombies; same term, completely different creature. It's like saying that a coffee cup and the cup that athletes wear to protect their jocks are intimately related because they both share the same name 'cup'. Unlike the zombie from film, television, books, and video games that we know, the Haitian Voodoo Zombie is not aggressive, does not want to eat you, is not infectious, you cannot turn into one, essentially, not even a monster.

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