Long before The Walking Dead premiered in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)posted blogs about how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Appearing every October, in celebration of Halloween, these posts were light-hearted attempts to encourage people to pay attention to an otherwise dull but important topic – disaster preparation. The idea caught on. Those blogs generated more internet traffic than any other CDC topic. But what exactly is a zombie? And what do they have to do with funeral homes? Read on.
All About Zombies
A zombie is a fictional, re-animated un-dead corpse. Typical fodder for horror and fantasy movies and books, the concept of zombies originates in horror and fantasy genres. The term hails from Haitian folklore, wherein a dead body reanimates through myriad methods, most of which are magic. Recently, science fiction writers have redefined the term, positioning characters who morph into zombies as a result of disease, radiation, pathogens, and scientific accidents.
The Oxford English Dictionary purports that the word “zombie” first appeared in English around 1810 when historian Robert Southey mentioned it in his book “History of Brazil.” But this was not the familiar brain-eating manlike monstrosity but instead a West African deity. The word later came to suggest the vital, human force leaving the shell of a body, and ultimately a creature human in form but lacking the self-awareness, intelligence, and a soul. It was imported to Haiti and elsewhere from Africa through the slave trade.
According to The Atlantic, the original script for one of the earliest onscreen depictions of zombies, 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, referred to flesh-eating antagonists as “ghouls.” “Although the film is widely credited with launching zombies into the cultural zeitgeist, it wasn’t until its follow-up 10 years later, the consumerist nightmare Dawn of the Dead, that Romero would actually use the term. While making the first film, Romero understood zombies instead to be the undead Haitian slaves depicted in the 1932 Bela Lugosi horror film White Zombie.”
What We Know About Zombies
With thousands of interpretations of Zombies, certain characteristics remain consistent. Who knows if the reason for this is that the legend is based in fact? Consider the following:
Zombies surround us.
Although they appear differently depending on the artist conveying their dead-life force, zombies maintain a presence in virtually every culture. Is this because they truly exist?
They are hungry.
Cannibals all, zombies are usually depicted as ravenous beings who roam the earth to satisfy voracious appetites. Whether they crave blood or human flesh, they seem to shy away from anything that isn’t covered in flesh. That is, with the occasional exception of craving conveyed in commercials about Dunkin Donuts and Taco Bell.
Zombie attacks suck.
Although the exact manner in which they pursue and consume human flesh depends on the medium presenting the depiction, all authors and filmmakers tend to agree that zombie attacks are right up there with root canals when it comes to life events one wishes to avoid.
Zombies are real.
You heard it here, Folks. National Public Radio (NPR) reports that zombies are real. They suggest that scientists have discovered bacteria, parasites, and viruses that mutate, producing zombie-inducing qualities. What’s more, with nanotechnology research, who is to say how far we are from reanimation? And if you can’t trust NPR, who can you trust?
You may be a zombie.
Come to think of it, how would you know if you’re a zombie? We work with dead bodies on a daily basis and we have never witnessed one active reanimation. But as Halloween approaches, who is to say that will remain true? After all, it is 2020. So, if there ever was a time when we were ripe for a Zombie Apocalypse, this is likely the time.
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation in Glendora, California
Although we jest, we take death seriously. Whether or not your loved one died of COVID-19, we realize that the pandemic may affect your ability to sufficiently celebrate a life well-lived. At Foothill, we will do our best to make sure you can mourn the loss of your loved one in a safe manner. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with the United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart (which currently allows a maximum of 65 people) provides great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.