A zombie is a reanimated human corpse. Stories
of zombies originated in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief
system of Vodou, which told of the people being controlled as
workers by a powerful sorcerer.
There are several possible etymologies of
the word zombie. One possible origin is jumbie, the West Indian
term for "ghost".
Another is nzambi, the Kongo word meaning "spirit of a dead
person." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the
etymology is from the Louisiana Creole or Haitian Creole zonbi,
of Bantu origin. A zonbi is a person who is believed to have
died and been brought back to life without speech or free will.
It is akin to the Kimbundu nzúmbe ghost. These words are
approximately from 1871.
According to the tenets of Vodou, a dead person
can be revived by a bokor or Voodoo sorcerer. Zombies remain
under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their
own. "Zombi" is also another name of the Vodou snake
god Damballah Wedo, of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the
Kongo word nzambi, which means "god". There also exists
within the voudon tradition the zombi astral which is a human
soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor's