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34. The Misrepresentation of Zombies

34. The Misrepresentation of Zombies

Before we leave Dr. Ducasse, let’s look at a few other “facts” that he asserts are misconceptions about the Haitian Zombie:

1. Zombies are created by Voodoo.

He asserts that creating a zombie is a form of black magic which Voodoo doesn’t deal in. Instead, it would be a Bokor (evil sorcerer) that creates a Zombie.

2. Zombification is caused by Tetrodotoxin poisoning.

He asserts that there is no evidence linking tetrodotoxin to the lose of memory attributed to the Haitian zombie.

3. Salt awakens Zombies to their senses.

He simply states that there is no logical, scientific or psychological reason that this would occur.

In short, Dr. Ducasse believes that the Haitian Zombie claims that have run through popular science since Wade Davis’ books are a mish-mash of misinterpretations, magic, hoax and reading too deeply into metaphors that link the concept of “slave” to the concept of Zombies. While he is not, in fact, referring to the very real history of the Zombie Apocalypse it does beg the question, how many of the reports about Zombies can we really believe?

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Ducasse’s article,

According to believers, evil or demonic spirits can be induced to enter a person’s body, cast the ti-bon-ange out and, in so doing, deprive that person of all cognitive and emotive abilities while the untouched gro-bon-ange attends to the preservation of life. The origin of this myth is the ancient, prehistoric belief that diseases, whatever their nature, were due to the presence of evil deities in the body, and that any cure would depend on one’s ability to get rid of these demons. From that point, it did not take much imagination to conclude that these malevolent spirits could also be called upon to enter the body of one’s enemies or adversaries, torment them physically, zombify them on occasions and, if need be, silence them. This myth, deeply ingrained in the Haitian psyche, is the core of the traditional belief in the supernatural zombie. This demonic, spell-induced zombification is achieved through devil worship, not with the use of pharmaceuticals or poisons. Demonic invocation in the creation of zombies is however not something one can seriously believe in, unless one is stuck in prehistoric times.

OK, before you watch these videos I’m going to say this: read Dr. Ducasse’s article and then take these clips with a big dollop of salt – you know – just to make sure you’re not a Zombie.

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