The Dark History Of Zombies Is Tied To Traditional Voodoo Beliefs

Zombies have evolved a lot from their traditional roots and transformed into the flesh-eating undead we know today.

There are many things we do today that have roots in some type of ancient religion. This includes everything from saying “bless you” when somebody sneezes to wearing a wedding ring.

It seems as if zombies may also have some roots in ancient religion, and that really should not come as much of a surprise. After all, the “undead” who come out of the grave to eat brains just seems as if it is something out of a history book when those ancient religions were discussed.

Photo: YouTube/TED-Ed

As far as zombies are concerned, we often think about them in the modern-day either as something out of a frightening movie or perhaps associated with some sort of apocalyptic event. The zombie apocalypse is often joked about, but when you look at the history of the belief in zombies, it is no joking matter.

In order to find more about the history and evolution of zombies, we can look to a TED-Ed lesson that shares the origin and beliefs that led to the modern-day zombie. It seems as if they originate among those who practiced traditional voodoo, which was common and still is in many Caribbean and African nations.

Photo: YouTube/TED-Ed

The narrated video describes it in this way: “Zombies have a distinct lineage; one that traces back to Equatorial and Central Africa. For three centuries, African people were enslaved and brought to the Caribbean Islands. There, a religion known as vodou developed.”

It seems as if they took the belief that the soul of a person could be stored if it was captured and it eventually morphed into becoming the zombie that we know today.

Photo: YouTube/TED-Ed

As far as modern-day zombies are concerned, you would only have to look back to 1968 when the movie: “Night of the Living Dead” was at the theaters. Since that time, zombies have been a part of popular culture and those movies just continue to be released.

You can learn more in this video: