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Frankenstein's Monster



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 power.