Zombies: Most people think of lumbering reanimated bodies seeking human flesh to devour, but the historic origins of zombies are a little bit different.
Before the popularity of zombies as portrayed in music videos, video games and movies, zombies were a part of Afro-Caribbean spiritism. This belief system was known as Voudou. The original idea behind a zombie was that it was a ghost or a person controlled by a powerful sorcerer.
The zombie was raised from the dead or the living person was put under a magical or medicinal spell which caused them to appear to be dead. This zombie was used as a slave by the sorcerer – sent to do his or her bidding, often revenge against another living person.
The modern version of flesh-eating zombies created by an environmental factor (and as a friend pointed out “Hell was full” – which is also the scenario in the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) was made popular by George A. Romero’s 1968 classic film Night of the Living Dead.
The current flesh-eating zombie has certain characteristics which have been repeated throughout most horror films and modern literature.
Explanations of Zombies: How does one become a zombie?
Reanimation of dead flesh usually occurs due to a virus which is a result of scientific experimentation, usually by the government or a celestial event (such as a comet or space debris). There is usually an incubation period – a time between exposure and the turning of a person into a zombie. There is rarely any cure or reversal for the virus or cause of the zombie-ism.
The zombie virus is highly-contagious but only through contact with mucus membranes from the saliva of a zombie (in some instances contact with zombie blood may cause a zombie transformation).
In short – if you are bitten by a zombie, you’re screwed.
If you get zombie blood on you – in your mouth, nose or eyes – you may be okay, but then again, you might not be.
Your friends will watch you carefully during the incubation period and will be prepared to eliminate you if you become a flesh-eating undead creature. Don’t take it personally.
Explanations of Zombies: How to kill a zombie
There are a few ways to kill a zombie. Generally, the best all-purpose method is decapitation. This aptly severs the spinal cord and kills the reanimated body – for good.
Another effective method is a bullet to the brain. For best results, use a shotgun with deer slugs or a large-caliber bullet to cause the most damage to the brain. Close-range with a shotgun is preferable for the most brain damage (and maximum gore factor).
Severing the limbs of a zombie will only slow it down, so focus on stopping the zombie through destruction of the head, brain and spinal column. Remember, an armless zombie can still hurt you – they will just need to be more creative in their methods.
Explanations of Zombies: Why do zombies want to kill me?
You might be asking this – especially if the zombies coming after you are strangers. You probably have never done anything to them for which they would seek revenge but you must remember – a zombie’s goal in their dead-life is to devour and consume the flesh of the living.
Why is this? Nobody really knows for certain and since zombies suffer from decayed vocal chords and brain function, they generally do not give reasons to the person they are eating. If they do, nobody knows – because those people are now deceased and a zombie themselves. The truth remains with the zombies.
Rest assured though, it has nothing to do with you personally. Do not take it as a personal insult or attack. The zombie is only interested in you for your brain, organs and soft tissue.
Explanations of Zombies: Avoiding zombies
There is no perfect way to avoid zombies. There is rarely advanced warning of a reanimation virus being spread through the general population. Advanced preparation is your only option.
Be prepared with an escape plan, a safe house, plenty of food and water and ways to kill zombies. It is unlikely that zombies will ever attack you, but it is better safe than sorry.
For more zombie information, see 5 Reasons Why a Zombie Makes a Good Husband, Practical Uses for a Zombie, and Best Weapons to Use Against Zombies.