Stuff I Write, Stuff I Like

Stuff I Like: Zombies Zombies Zombies! (Also, Brains)

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2013 at 3:08 am

I’m from Pittsburgh, the zombie capital of the world — thank you, George Romero — and so of course I’m obsessed with “The Walking Dead.” Especially this guy:


For over a month now, the show’s been on a between-season hiatus, which has left me and millions of others stranded. Sure, there are the comics (ahem – compelling works of graphic literature). There are reruns. There are zombie movie-standbys (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Night of the Living Dead,” etc.). But without Daryl and Meryl, I’m as desperate as a zombie locked in a frat house hunting for one good brain.

I mean, come on already.

Because February 10th can’t come fast enough, I’ve resorted to zombie trivia.

Here are some things I’ve learned (thanks FunTrivia!):


According to folklore, a zombie is a corpse re-animated by a sorcerer.

In reality, historians think zombies were more likely people who’d been drugged, buried alive in a shallow grave, and then dug up to give the appearance of re-animation.

Do What You’re Told

In Haitian folklore, zombies didn’t munch brains. They did only what their sorcerers told them to do.

do as you're told

This made them excellent guards, forced laborers, or fast-food workers.

Salt Good, Salt Bad

Salt won’t just bloat a zombie. It will return it to its senses.


This can be good for the zombie, but bad for the sorcerer who is likely to be killed by his protégé.

1929 Was a Very Good Year

The publication of William B. Seabrook’s book “Magic Island” in 1929 brought the word zombie to the world.


The book describes Seabrook’s experiences with the walking dead in Haiti.

Who’s Your Papa?

Papa Doc Duvalier, the dictator of Haiti from 1957 until 1971, had his own private army, The Tonton Mcoutes. They were described as being in a trance-like state and would carry out any of Papa Doc’s commands without hesitation.


Many people believed the Tonton Mcoutes were zombies. It helped that Papa Doc had his own Voodoo church. He often promised that he’d return from the grave. When he died, an armed guard was posted as his grave, just to make sure Papa Doc stayed down.

Zombies for Realsies?

In 1912, a reporter, Stephen Bonsai, interviewed the head of a local mission church in Haiti. The man officiated at a funeral of a young man and watched the burial. The church official told Bonsai that several days later, the dead man was found tied to a tree, seemingly alive but unable to do anything other than moan.


The now un-dead man was identified by his wife, the doctor who pronounced him dead and others. The man survived in that zombie state for a few months until he died again. Many witnesses corroborated the story.

A Zombie By Another Name

In the Middle Ages, Europeans called zombies Revenants. Not quite as catchy as Walkers, but still. Revenants had no specific purpose in rising from the grave other than to harass people. The preferred way to get rid of a Revenant? Decapitation. Of course.

So there you have it. Only 12 more days until “The Walking Dead” walks again.

Know any zombie trivia in the meantime? Please share!

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