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Zombies are a kind of undead.

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Zombies in Vodun

According to the tenets of Vodun (voodoo), a dead person can be revived by a houngan[?] or mambo. After resurrection, it has no will of its own, but remains under the control of the person who performed the ritual. Such resurrected dead are "zombies".

A more skeptical take is that a zombie is a living person who has never died, but is under the influence of powerful drugs. Wade Davis[?], an American botanist, was the main person to present a pharmacological case for zombies in two books - The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985) and Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie (1988). Davis travelled to Haiti in 1982 and as a result of his investigations claimed that zombies could be made by the ingestion of two special powders. The first, coupe poudre, induced a 'death-like' state, the key ingredient of which was the pufferfish (Tetraodontiformes) toxin tetrodotoxin (TTX). The second powder of dissociative hallucinogens held the person in a will-less zombie state. There was considerable scepticism to Davis's claims, he was widely accused of fraud and there has been no final statement as to the veracity of his findings.

Others claim zombies are sufferers of various psychiatric disorders such as catatonic schizophrenia whose symptoms are misinterpreted as a return from the dead.

Zombies in fiction

Zombies are regularly encountered in horror- and fantasy-themed fiction, films, video games and role-playing games. They are typically depicted as mindless, shambling, decaying corpses with a hunger for human flesh, most famously in Night of the Living Dead. However, some films (such as 28 Days Later) feature living but otherwise zombie-like humans, usually as the result of disease.

The Resident Evil series of video games makes particular use of zombies.

Other causes of zombies in fiction include radiation acting on the brains of the dead, evil magic or Vodun, the use of drugs, substitution of the brain for some sinister artifact, or, in perhaps the most famous case, a jolt of electricity.

Zombies in philosophy

In philosophy, "zombie" is a technical term to describe a hypothetical person who only appears to think and feel, as opposed to a "real" person who actually does think and feel. In other words, they are missing "qualia", or the subjective character of experience. Philosophical zombies are mainly used in arguments about the philosophy of mind, particularly functionalism.

See also Zimboe.

Other uses of the word "Zombie"

The Zombies (band) For the 1960s psychedelic band, see: The Zombies.

The artist Rob Zombie

Computer process; see: Zombie process

The mixed drink or cocktail; see: Zombie cocktail

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