Now anyone who has met me knows I love zombies. Zombie movies, zombie video games, zombie protests on Blackstone and Shaw, you name it. Something about the mindless undead chasing you with only the thought of eating your brains on your mind terrifies me. But zomies are just fictional right? They can't really exist can they?
Are these real zombies? Photo courtesy of Philip Kromer from Flickr.
According to a recent article on AOL News, zombies are definitely real and they exist mainly in Haiti. But there's a difference. They aren't the undead, just innocent victems drugged to a point that they have no willpower and are forced into a life of slave labor. And it's all due to voodoo.
First a voodoo priest or bokor needs to find a victim. There was a case of a man from Miami visiting Haiti and was dancing with a lonely looking Haitian woman. He felt a little prick on his arm but thought nothing of it. The next thing he knew he had woken up and was still wearing his suit. But he was covered in dirt and was in a field holding a hoe. Luckily he regained conscsciousness and was able to make it back to Miami. Most aren't that lucky.
The main ingredient in the "zombie potion is a poison extracted from puffer fish, tetrodotoxin. Basically what tetrodotoxin does is it inhibits the nerves in a person to the point where it paralyzes them and lowers their metabolic rate. Once the toxin has taken effect, the vicitm for all intents and purposes appears dead and is buried (why an autopsy is not done wasn't said, but I imagine in Haiti these things aren't done for everyone). The bokor then unearths the body and applies a paste of sorts to keep the victem in a trancelike state, and they are now a zombie and forced to do slave labor.
Still, turning people into zombie isn't that common in Haiti and the other countries that voodoo is widely praticed in. And it's not like there is an assembly line of zombies (imagine the union on that one), but most likely some bokors who lack the morals that would prevent others from creating a zombie. Still it's interesting how in this modern day and age that there is a magical potion out there that can turn someone into a zombie.
Now to find the recipe.
Full source: AOL News
Written by Lee Speigel