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  • #3715
  • African African (culture)
  • Undead Undead (attribute)
  • Haunting Haunting (behaviour)

This creature became known as a dead body that was without a soul but whose body was animated by the magical power of a Necromancer or Sorcerer. It originated from African myth from the word ‘zumbi’ or ‘zombi’ meaning ‘enslaved spirit’. Zombies where people who where magically possessed by someone. Popular belief led people to understand that Sorcerers dug up the dead and brought them back to life to work. Some believe that their tongues were slit so that they could not speak, while others believe that they could not speak because of the lack of oxygen in their body from being buried. If a Zombie sees the sea or eats salt then they will return to their graves to lie in eternal peace.

Jan Knappert met an African called Sipo who said that sometime ago his brother, Vamba had died. Vamba did not show the normal signs of decay and the body remained soft. Later before Vamba was buried, his body disappeared. Sipo suspected evil magic at work. He spoke to many people on a quest to find his brother. Eventually one man told him of a wealthy farmer and told Sipo where to find that person. At night Sipo went to the farm and saw a group of men shuffling into the farm and then proceeded to work. They all looked miserable and did not speak or sing while they worked. Sipo looked through all the faces and found his brother. His brother could not speak. Sipo took Vamba home who shortly after, died and this time he showed the normal signs of decay.

It is now known that the Sorcerers of Africa used a poison that made people look dead for 48 hours. They then stole them for their work or did it out of revenge or to allow someone to escape a deadly penalty.

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Does Zombies Exist?

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If there's something that I've missed or would like to add then please let me know and I'll update the article. If you've seen this creature in films, TV, computer games, books or even old stories, please post a comment.