Every Bokor is a Voodoo Priest but not every Voodoo Priest is a Bokor.
As you may remember, a Bokor creates Zombies through the use of dark arts, black magic and pufferfish poison. The question you might be asking is, “what is a Bokor?” Well, as Death Reference explains,
“In voodoo practice, the Bokor is a sorcerer who uses evil forces to bewitch, and he can change a human being into a zombie. Essentially every Hougan, who is at the same time a voodoo priest, a doctor, and the intermediary between the community and the spirit world, is more or less a Bokor. In fact, the major difference between a Hougan and a Bokor is the nature of the bewitchment he or she performs. ”
If you absolutely have to, you can think of it like the types of Jedi. Both a Bokor and a Hougan are Voodoo Priests (Jedi), but Bokor just happen to favor the dark side, using their purported powers to invoke demons and create Zombies instead of performing the healing rites associated with the Hougan.
To more fully understand how zombification works, you need to understand the difference between the gro bonanj and the ti bonanj in Haitian conceptions of the soul. The gro bonanj represents consciousness and personality. When someone dies, the gro bonanj passes into the spirit world. The ti bonanj is the person’s conscience and represents an individuals will. The Bokor, using poisons and magic “kills” the victim and then captures the ti bonanj. Without a will, the new zombie becomes a mindless servant for use in field labor.
The fear of enslavement, mental disease and loss of will runs deep in Haitian myth. It’s little wonder that when taken in aggregate these misgivings have lead to overwhelming fear of becoming a Zombie by the Haitian peasant class.