Monday, July 13, 2015

Archive: America's Introduction To Zombies


During the past few days, I have been involved with a case that had me initially flustered. There has been intensive discussion with the client, genealogy research and several remote perception sessions. As a result, I've determined that Bahamian Obeah sorcery is responsible for the disturbing activity experienced by my client. Though Obeah is not related to Louisiana Voodoo, Haitian Voudo, Hoodoo folk magic or West African Vodun, I am aware of parts of each practice being used in this particular situation. A few years ago, with the fascination of 'zombie culture' starting to go mainstream, I posted the following information:

Zora Neale Hurston was a fascinating woman. In the late 1920s and through the 1930s, she traveled throughout the Caribbean studying various aspects of their culture and society.

Part of that study included the study of voodoo and of zombies. One story includes a woman named Felicia Felix-Mentor of Haiti. She died of a sudden illness in 1907. But, she was found walking the streets in 1936. Zora Neale Hurston photographed her and interviewed her. The photograph appeared in Life magazine and introduced the American public to zombies.

Hurston’s interview with Felix-Mentor is included in her book Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (P.S.)

Here is a fascinating interview with Zora Neale Hurston on YouTube. The interview was recorded from the Mary Margaret McBride show on January 25, 1943.

In the interview, Hurston says that she believes that voodoo zombies were never dead. Instead, she says that people are buried alive after being put in some type of drug-induced state of suspended anmiation. They are buried in crypts (not underground) are not embalmed – these are common practices in the Carribean. They are then “reanimated,” sometimes with their bodies intact but missing their minds. - zombietheology.com

-----

Early in the morning of 24 October, 1936, in the village of Ennery located in the foothills of the Puylboreau mountains near Cap-Haitien, the entire population was aroused into a tumultuous and frenzied consternation when a woman appeared in the streets clad in ragged clothes. She was old, feeble, and stupefied. Her skin was pale and wrinkled and looked like the scales of a fish.

From all appearances, she had been suffering from eye disease for a long time. Her eye-lashes had almost fallen out;. she could not bear the glare of sunlight and, to protect her eyes, she had covered her face with a dark dirty rag. This added to the curiosity and superstitious awe of the people.

A mass hysteria swept through the entire village. Crowds gathered around to see that strange woman. People began to ask questions, to cast suspicions, and to try to identify her with various people who were known to be dead long ago.

One of the families living near Ennery, known as the Mentors, noticed that she bore a close resemblance to one of their members. From that day onward people began to call the strange woman by the name of Felicia Felix Mentor. The Mentors took her to their family home, fed her, and gave her comfortable quarters.

She remained in the Mentor's home for a few days until the people removed her to a government hospital. She was in the hospital when, a few weeks after, I was sent from the Public Health Department to make an official study of the strange case which by that time was known all over Haiti.

Felicia Felix Mentor, the alleged Zombi under discussion, was not able to give me any information about her name, her age, her birthplace, where she had been previously, where she was going, and how she happened to be in the hospital. All her answers were unintelligible and irrelevant.

Her occasional outbursts of laughter were devoid of emotion, and very frequently she spoke of herself in either the first or the third person without any sense of discrimination. She had lost all sense of time and was quite indifferent to the world of things around her.

Her height was 5 feet 2 inches, and she weighed 90 pounds. She looked like a woman about 60 years old; but after being treated in the asylum for some time under my care, she rejuvenated and looked like a woman of 50.

The evidence which induced the Mentors at first to believe that the strange woman was the member of their family who died long ago became untenable in the light of a scientific study of the case.

At first they had based their belief on the fact that the woman was lame. Before the real Felicia Felix Mentor died, she was lame as a result of a fracture of her left leg.

Her physical appearance and lameness in addition to the deep belief in the country that sometimes the dead come back to life, induced the Mentors to believe that the strange woman was indeed their late sister Felicia.

I made an X-ray examination of both legs at the Central Hospital in Port-au-Prince. There was no evidence of a fracture and the lameness could therefore be attributed to muscular weakness due to undernourishment. This may be said to be the cause since, after she had a normal diet for two months, the lameness disappeared. She also gained weight.

This is evidently a case of schizophrenia and gives us an idea of how cases of similar nature are likely to arouse mass hysteria in a culture where the common people do not usually understand the scientific basis of many natural events which occur in their daily, life.

The case under discussion was reported by Miss Zora Neale Hurston in her book Tell My Horse, in which she stated emphatically 'I know that there are Zombis in Haiti. People have been called back. from the dead.' This American writer stated specifically that she came back from Haiti with no doubt in regard to popular belief of the Zombi pseudo-science.

In her book, the author described the Felicia Felix Mentor incident as a typical case of a Zombi. Evidently she got her information from the simple village folk, whose minds were conditioned to believing the real existence of a superhuman phenomenon. Miss Hurston herself, unfortunately, did not go beyond the mass hysteria to verify her information, nor in any way attempt to make a scientific explanation of the case.

Evidences from European and other cultures could be found, where whole communities have been aroused into a mass hysteria as a result of the unexpected appearance of queer persons. Such appearances very often rekindled the dying embers of archaic super-stitious beliefs that were deeply rooted in the traditional culture of a people.

Perhaps extension of the province of psychiatry from a study of the individual to a study of the collective behaviour of man may yet reveal to us some of the basic principles underlying the social problems of our time. Certainly, social psychiatry stands a good chance of exploding the Zombi-psychology of the untutored Haitian peasant, as well as any similar beliefs entertained in other cultures. - Louis P. Mars, M.D. - Man: A Record of Anthropological Science - Vol. XLV, no. 22. pp. 38-40 - March-April, 1945

Zora Neale Hurston : Folklore, Memoirs, and Other Writings : Mules and Men, Tell My Horse, Dust Tracks on a Road, Selected Articles (The Library of America, 75)

Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (P.S.)

Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie





BOOK SUGGESTIONS


The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee

Stories from the Messengers: Owls, UFOs and a Deeper Reality

Impossible Realities: The Science Behind Energy Healing, Telepathy, Reincarnation, Precognition, and Other Black Swan Phenomena

I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man's Self in a Transitioning Time

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania's Unknown Creatures, Casebook 3

Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts

Monsters of Texas

Don't Look Behind You: Following Ghost Roads Into the Unknown

Beyond the Seventh Gate: Exploring Toad Road, The Seven Gates of Hell, and Other Strangeness in York, Lancaster, and Adams Counties

Bigfoot in Pennsylvania: A History of Wild-Men, Gorillas, and Other Hairy Monsters in the Keystone State

Wood Knocks Volume 1: A Journal of Sasquatch Research

Wood Knocks Volume 2: A Journal of Sasquatch Research

Wood Knocks Volume 3: Journal of Sasquatch Research

The Black Eyed Children

Strange Intruders

The Essential Guide to Bigfoot

The Lake Michigan Mothman: High Strangeness in the Midwest

Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah

The Monster Book: Creatures, Beasts and Fiends of Nature

A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts: Encounters with Cryptid Creatures

The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story

The Time Before the Secret Words: On the path of Remote Viewing, High Strangeness and Zen

The Zozo Phenomenon

The Djinn Connection: The Hidden Links Between Djinn, Shadow People, ETs, Nephilim, Archons, Reptilians and Other Entities

Beyond the Seventh Gate: Exploring Toad Road, The Seven Gates of Hell, and Other Strangeness in York, Lancaster, and Adams Counties

The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster

Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster

Momo: The Strange Case of the Missouri Monster

Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch

The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf

Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America

Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena

The Royal Arch of Enoch

The Real Men In Black: Evidence, Famous Cases, and True Stories of These Mysterious Men and their Connection to UFO Phenomena

The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown

Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Mountain State

Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet

Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus

Cosmic Ray's Excellent Venus Adventure

The Brimstone Deceit: An In-Depth Examination of Supernatural Scents, Otherworldly Odors, and Monstrous Miasmas

Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions

Voices From the Cosmos

Humanoid Encounters Series - Albert S. Rosales

Monsterland: Encounters with UFOs, Bigfoot and Orange Orbs

The Chilling, True Terror of the Black-Eyed Kids: A Monster Compilation

Beasts of Britain

Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens

Passport to the Cosmos

Weird Winged Wonders: The Twilight World Of Cryptid Creatures

Fingerprints of the Gods

Into The Fringe: A True Story of Alien Abduction

The Candle and the Crossroads: A Book of Appalachian Conjure and Southern Root-Work

Creole Religions of the Caribbean: An Introduction from Vodou and Santeria to Obeah and Espiritismo, Second Edition (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity)

Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact

The Starchild Skull -- Genetic Enigma or Human-Alien Hybrid?

Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers

Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows

The Lost City of the Exodus: The Archaeological Evidence behind the Journey Out of Egypt

Moses and Akhenaten: Brothers in Alms

The Crystal Bible

Encyclopedia of Crystals, Revised and Expanded

Winged Cryptids: Humanoids, Monsters & Anomalous Creatures Casebook

Alien Disclosure: Experiencers Expose Reality

Mothman Dynasty: Chicago's Winged Humanoids

Haunted Rock & Roll: Ghostly Tales Of Musical Legends

Angel Medicine

Toward the Light: Rescuing Spirits, Trapped Souls, and Earthbound Ghosts

Light the Way: A Guide to Becoming a Rescue Medium

Owl Medicine

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure

Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend: A Collection of Mysterious and Invaluable Arts and Remedies, for Man as Well as Animals

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters

Powwowing Among the Pennsylvania Dutch: A Traditional Medical Practice in the Modern World (Pennsylvania German History and Culture)

The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story

Operation Trojan Horse: The Classic Breakthrough Study of UFOs

The Eighth Tower: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum

Our Haunted Planet

Strange Creatures From Time and Space