The Truth About Zombies

My name is Erin and I am not a zombie, though my boyfriend, the gangster, Ryu, and the ghoul, Clément, tried to make one of me. They nearly succeeded, too, but Clément blew it—as he usually does—and although I no longer speak, appear to be totally apathetic, and exhibit other zombie-like behaviors, I was not really “made” in the traditional sense. I still have my will.

If you read the official accounts, you’ll find that Erin Orison, the talented and rebellious only daughter of American ambassador, Christian Orison, died in a Tokyo hospital shortly after her eighteenth birthday. But there is so much more to the story.

First, let me assure you that zombies are REAL. Most people know zombies only as the decomposing corpses that paw hungrily and rather ineffectively at the living in trashy books and B-movies. Some would have you believe that zombies are born of disease or that they come from another planet. Haven’t you noticed how the truth, especially when it is dangerous, is hidden in a pack of lies? That’s how they fool you. They make you laugh. You relax as the magician entertains you and his assistants rob you blind.

But maybe you are different. Perhaps you are a student of history and culture and are a bit more familiar with the truth about zombies. Maybe you’ve read some of the great works on the subject, have heard of the substances that create them. Maybe you know something about the beliefs that rode to the New World in the cargo hulls of ships packed with the bodies of living slaves.

If you have traveled to Haiti, you may even have seen them—these poor, abstracted creatures whose identities have been stolen by an unscrupulous voudoun witchdoctor or bokor. There are those who, for one reason or another, want to possess a creature. Through various methods, which I’ll explain later, these wicked individuals administer a sophisticated “poison.” The victim sickens and dies. But here is the trick:  The victim is not really dead at all; though the symptoms that mimic death and a premature burial in a lightless box are enough to make them think they have breathed their last. Or could their loss of identity be a result of an actual change in body chemistry precipitated by the bokor’s dreadful concoction? Whatever the reason, when the bokor, who is waiting, digs the person up, the poor creature believes it has passed from the realm of the living. Confused, perhaps even mentally damaged, it clings to the bokor.

The murderer becomes the liberator, and the victim becomes a slave.

  • I love the Website!!!

  • Great WebSite!

  • ddd

    Zombies come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and for those who think they’re only found in Haiti or in the minds of crime novelists and screenplay writers, they should think again. Zombies appear on TV screens, they inhabit corporate offices, the sell mislabeled wine, they ride the metro in Paris, or look out from the smoked glass windows of stretch limos. Millions of zombie-lovers visit Pere-Lachaise cemetery near my office–in Paris, of course–and the zombies follow them out of the cemetery and into town. Paris is not only the City of Light. It’s also the City of Night. More on that later. A zombie who has been sent to evict me from my office is knocking at the door…

  • Would love to read Emma’s report on Poe. We do share that love. Emma, can you post into comments on Poe?

  • What a wonderful premise! And so timely with Sense and Sensibility and Monsters and other paranormal classics.

  • Didi

    Not only does this sound fun and entertaining, it gives us a break from Vampires. I can also see the appeal for literate teen readers.

    I couldn’t agree with DDD more.

  • Joanna

    Dear Erin,

    I am not a zombie either, but reading your account, I feel as if your existence is a “near-death” experience, and I just want to sympathize. You should know we all have days, if not life-times, like that.
    Still Warm-Blooded Joanna

  • Darlings,

    I can assure you that zombies are indeed everywhere.

    Ms. Attitude

  • I used to have a foot in both worlds. But the net is the new playground.

  • rmshelby

    Dear Linda/Erin, I'm not sure I can approve this sort of use of imagination, but neither do I go so far as to flat-out disapprove and reject it. My attitude is one of doubt and question. If it helps anyone become more solidly secure in his or her sense of reality, well, okay. If it merely titillates vulnerable audience for the author's felicity or career advancement, well. . . . ? Who am I to judge.

  • boldlow

    Hi Erin, love the site…love the social commentary…the dark humor and the twist on our monstrous cultural gaffes and it's entertaining besides. Look forward to your next posts.

  • Falconeagle1274

    Not a bad story line. I love that movie “The Serpent and the Rainbow” with Bill Pullman from years ago. I am glad someone has taken the movie's history and tied it into a plot.

  • Barry Leonardini

    It's zombie but it is also political.Very interesting, Linda.

  • Thank you, Barry. I’d be really interested in your take on the book.

  • Lauriejbecker

    Ohhhh I’m hooked!

    Laurie Becker