Could Zombies Exist?

Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#1
With all the zombie survival threads floating around lately I thought it would be interesting to look into the possibility of zombies actually existing and see what I could come up with. This thread is for discussing the possibility of zombies existing in some form due to a virus or chemical imbalance, injection, or whatever. It is not for discussing Hollywood and Videogame zombies, which are obviously fake.

I Haiti it is believed that certain Voodoo witch doctors have been responsible for turning people into "zombies" using toxins/chemicals/etc combined with each other or by "removing the persons soul out of their body". The theory/rumors go on to describe how the "victims" (although in some cases volunteers) will begin to exhibit zombie-like traits and eventually die. It is believed that they have sacrificed their souls to the devil, and they are then left with soulless bodies without expression/emotion, and basically walk around and scare people. They would be unable to think for themselves beyond basic animal instincts.

I have no clue about the legitimacy of the information on these sites or the research that went into them but it makes for an interesting discussion nonetheless.

Zombie Misrepresentation | Articles | The Haitian Zombie Secret: Get the Full Zombie!

Zombies: Do They Exist? - TIME

Haiti: Passage of Darkness

Amazon.com: The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic: Wade Davis: Books

So, do you think something along the lines of zombies could or does exist? If so, do you think it has a medical explanation or a spiritual/demonic explanation or both?

Thoughts?
 

WesJones87

RayzorBlade87
#2
I have a (supposedly true) account in a book somewhere about a Zombie running (well, shuffling) riot in Victorian Liverpool. I'll dig around and see if I can find it.

EDIT: Found it!
It's a long read, but quite a good one (IMHO). Not your typical movie zombie, but more along the lines of Hybrixes Voodoo zombie idea.
Zombie
In the early 1930’s, a mysterious Haitian gentleman arrived at Liverpool and he went by the distinctive name of Josué Beauchamp. He spoke French, Creole and perfect English. He always wore a bowler hat, a finely tailored cedar-coloured suit and silk waistcoat, and carried a hickory walking cane with a silver handle fashioned as a skull.

The source of Mr Beauchamp’s wealth was not known, but soon after his arrival in the city he bought a house on Pitt Street, between the purlieus of Chinatown and the fringes of a black ghetto, and his multicultural neighbours soon discovered that the man from Haiti possessed unearthly as well as earthly talents. Dark rumours circulated about the peculiar decorations inside his home. Beauchamp had painted the walls of his residence black, and white candles burned after dark at a Voodoo altar. Strange drumming sounds emanated from the house at night, and upon the nights of a full moon, the drumming was accompanied by weird chanting.
One night, gunshots rang out on Pitt Street, and a car was seen racing away from the scene of the shooting. It was later established that a rich cotton merchant, Asketh Challinor, had hired a gunman to kill Jousé Beauchamp because the Haitian had been having an affair with his young wife, but the gunman had merely grazed Beauchamp’s arm.

That same week, something terrifying occurred that was witnessed by many people, including several detectives and officers of the law. A muscular black man was found dead in mysterious circumstances on Great George Street. Mr Beauchamp ordered the corpse to be taken to his home on Pitt Street. That body was reanimated by a Voodoo spell and by the administering of a potion to the corpse.

The dead man rose from the table; alive, but with a vacant face, devoid of all animation. The corpse had been turned into a zombie, a mindless automaton who can eat, drink, hear and see, but cannot feel. It had no memory, or any notion of what it once was, or who it had been, but nevertheless possessed terrific strength.
The black goliath stood before Beauchamp, who was in fact, a bokor – a supreme Voodoo sorcerer. The zombie’s eyes bulged white and expressionless as he stood in the thrall of an ancient West African black magic spell. Under the supernatural guidance of Beauchamp, the dead man walked out into the night. He arrived at a house on Belvidere Road, near Princes Park, and smashed through the door and ascended the stairs to the bedroom of a terror-stricken Asketh Challinor, who managed to escape by jumping through a window. He ran to a friend’s house and telephoned the police. The zombie tracked him down, however, and began hammering on the door.

The police arrived from Lark Lane, but four burly officers could not restrain the frightening specimen of the walking dead. Reinforcements arrived, and they resorted to battering the zombie with riot batons. Such was the ferocity of the onslaught upon the zombie that a rosewood baton broke in two on its skull. A dozen policemen were needed to eventually subdue what was assumed by them to be a resilient but insane man and took him into custody. There, however, it became apparent that they were not dealing with a human at all. Their frightening captive gave off choking aromas of decomposition, and vile black fluid dribbled from the corpse’s mouth in a constant stream. Handcuffs were put on the zombie, but it snapped them as if they were made of tissue paper, even after they had dug into the rotting flesh of his wrists.

The police, acknowledging that they were out of their depth with their captive, procured the services of one Alaric Romaine, a well known psychic detective and occultist. He quickly informed them that they were dealing with a zombie, and warned them to take the matter seriously.

Under Romaine’s guidance, the creature was taken to the Princes Dock mortuary, and there Romaine filled the creatures mouth with salt, sewed its lips shut and had the corpse bound with chains, interred in a coffin and buried in a specially designed grave in Toxteth Park cemetery. As far as anyone knows, the creature is still buried there.
 
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Mirage

Administrator
Staff member
V.I.P.
#3
Yeah that's pretty much what I was getting at. Not quite the Resident Evil zombie but more or less a similar concept.

The question however is do you believe such a thing could exist/occur? Why or why not?

And it's interesting that the story you posted mentions that it felt no pain yet was incredibly strong. Most people are actually way stronger than they think they are. They just aren't able to use that strength because the pain associated with it. Go try to lift a car. If you are seriously trying, your entire body will hurt and you'll likely pull several muscles and throw your back out. Imagine if you didn't feel anything though. Adrenaline can have the same effect. You hear about people who lift cars off of their kids in a moment of adrenaline/panic. The reason they are able to do this is due to the feeling of adrenaline masking the pain.

That was a little off topic but was mostly an interesting observation I made when reading that story. Something I think explains part of the zombie concept described in that story.

So what do you guys think? BS or possibility and why or why not?
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#4
One of main definition problems we have is that zombies are both alive and undead depending on who you ask.

Is a viral epidemic like in 28 Days Later possible? Certainly, though the days of big bio-weapons research is long gone, it died with the Soviet Union. However, these people aren't undead- they're infected.

Undead zombies poses a problem of definition. If someone flatlines and is revived, they're not considered zombies. Well, imagine we could revive people that had been full-on dead for a day- is it really all that much different?

Of course, the main thing is that if zombies existed, they wouldn't be inherently evil- they'd possess characteristics of the original person.
 

WesJones87

RayzorBlade87
#5
I forgot to add my opinion. D'oh!

I know that the author of the book the story was plagiris...I mean, borrowed from researches his tales thouroughly to ensure that there are actual historical accounts of such things occuring.

My opinion is that, whilst zombies such as this one COULD exist, the likelihood of ever encountering one, or even a high Voodoo priest, is quite slim. I don't think a flesh-eating, cannibalistic zombie could exist though. The RAGE virus is a possibility though, because they weren't exactly zombies.
 

Chaos

Epic Gamer
V.I.P.
#6
I think that it is quite possible for something along the lines of what Kaz said - an infection reducing living humans to mindless creatures, as opposed to undead corpses being reanimated. I think something along the lines of Cell, for those of you familiar with the workings of Stephen King, is also possible. Don't forget that Humans are, at their core, extraordinarily violent creatures. They could well be described as an instinctual, fight-or-flight creature, capable of an unyeilding frenzied rage, which is why a 28 Days Later scenario is quite possible.

However, let us not forget that reanimating a corpse would only require the firing of electrical neurons down the synapses of the nervous system. In essence, it's quite simple, really. Quite impossible by todays medical/scientific standards, yes - at least to the level of reanimation. However, freak accidents do happen...
 
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#7
I think the 28 Days Later version (although I hate calling them zombies, zombies shouldn't run) would have a much better chance of becoming a reality than the Resident Evil zombies would (I'd rather have the RE ones though).
 

Nemo

Registered Member
#8
They have, are, and will be in existence.
Zombiism is quite common, seeing as it's a form of somnambulism.
I'd say it's a cross between self-hypnosis and sleepwalking.
Basically, one part of you falls asleep, or to stress the extremes let's say goes into a coma.
The other part is driven by whatever intentions the subconscious has.
It's most common in schizophrenics, and happens all the time in hospitals.
In this day and age, people slap on the label "Nervous Breakdown".
As a Neuro-Biotechnologist I pride my self in having the confidence to say that is complete rubbish.
I study the nervous system and can tell you the only time your nerves will break down is when you're paralyzed by some fiber-disintegrate material.
In other words, being a zombie is purely a state of mind.
I do hope this won't invoke a new wave of zombie-wannabes who sit at home meditating and trying to invoke blind subconsciencious rage.

By the way, biting people won't do anything, unless you have rabies.
 
#9
Well there is a sickness where the micro-organisms around your body die out, which leave certain parts of your body with less of them. These micro-organisms actually act as a shield for our bodies against decay and rot. So when you get this sickness, your skin will actually start to decay in certain areas where these micro-organisms are no longer strong in number. So thats kinda zombie-ish right?

You get this sickness if your body is really run down or if you really stressed as well. Oh and also if you dont eat enough vegies you can get it; so thats a good one to tell the kids to get them eating their vegies :lol:
 
#10
A Voodoo zombie seems more likely to exist than a virus epidemic zombie. Basicaly a soul gives the body reasoning and emotions. With no soul the body just...is. After all the body can perform functions we don't control. So without a soul the body can live on.