The History of the Zombie–Guest Blog Post by Ashley Fae (Creature Feature 4)

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The History of the Zombie–Guest Blog Post by Ashley Fae (Creature Feature 4)

Hey, everybody! I am currently out of town this week, so my good friend Ashley Fae from tabbyafae.com is going to cover the Creature Features today. She’s dug up some really interesting facts about zombies for ya’ll, so without further ado, I’m going to had it over to her.

“When I first began looking into a creature I love, zombies, I thought I knew quite a bit.  I thought I’d read and watched enough that I had my bases covered.  Ha!  Boy was I mistaken.  Not only did I learn that there are different types of zombies, but there are tons of zombie myths and legends around the world.

During the Middle Ages in Europe, zombies as we know them now were called revenants.  Revenants were believed to be the souls of people who had died and returned to haunt folks.  They rose from the dead and wreaked havoc on the community typically in the way of murder.  It looked like the zombies we know today, a rawboned, withered away corpse.

In Germany and the surrounding areas, the Nachzehrer was an awkward combination of multiple undead creatures.  They feed on dead bodies, they feed on the living, they even feed on themselves while taking on shape-shifting abilities and being able to kill just by having their shadow fall on a victim.  The only way to kill a Nachzehre is to place a gold coin in its mouth and behead it or stake it through the heart.  Legends have it that the Nachzehrer are typically the bodies of those who have committed suicide, died from the plague, or just have been one of those lucky corpses.

Norse mythology introduces us to the Draugr.  These creatures are dead Vikings who have risen from the dead and feed on the living.  The have superhuman strength, are huge in size, and reek of the smell of death.  They can not only crush their victims with their strength but they also feed off the blood of their victims. They rise from the grave in a puff of smoke and animals near their graves seem to go mad. These creatures can only be killed by a hero, “one possessed of great courage and moral fiber.” Might be hard to find one of those on every corner these days.  The hero wrestles them into their grave or burns them after beheading them.

The last of the history lesson will reign from Chinese myth with the Jiang Shi.  The Jiang Shi are those who have either committed suicide of been murdered or simply refuse to cross over.  The Jiang Shi differ slightly in appearance to what we know as zombies.  They tend to still be decaying but appear to have white fur on them and long white hair. They travel by “silent hopping…and are capable of leaping great distances.”  The only way to kill a Jiang Shi is to throw a bunch of grain and coins on the ground because the Jiang Shi can’t move forward until they all have been picked up which allows someone to place a sacred piece of paper on their forehead which deactivates them.  Interesting myth! Where do you get the scared paper I wonder?

Now to the current day all-American stuff.  Okay, maybe not technically all American, but definitely a bit more on the American pop-culture side.  And to say that learning this stuff made me feel completely out of the loop is an understatement.  I am a zombie lover and I’d never heard of three-fourths of this stuff.  So, hang in there and let’s take the journey of the undead.

Could you ever imagine that there was more than one type of zombie in current-day zombie lore?  There’s at least 12, if not more.  Although I’m not going to take the time to cover all of them, there are some interesting ones that I cannot resist – and I’m not talking about the traditional zombie everybody knows and loves.

Let’s start with the Runner zombies.  These are zombies who actually have the ability to not only eat you alive but run too.  These are the zombies you should never try and outrun.  These zombies don’t get tired like we do.  The best way to take care of the zombie is to take out its legs.  You’ll need to either “disable their legs by through severing large muscle group or completely severing their legs.”  Wow!  These suckers run?  I thought at least I was safe from the sluggish type.

Then there’s the Stalkers – which are also stalkers and super feral types.  These suckers are quadrupedal so they walk on all fours.  Holy crap!  Their heads also jerk back and forth and that makes it hard to kill with some weapons.  They’re faster than your standard zombie but slower than the runners.  They can be hard to see in certain areas like those backyards that never get mowed!  That’s a warning to all of you who refuse to mow.  And the even crazier part is that they attack everything, no matter their own kind or one of the living.

The last one I’m going to cover because they crack me up on any zombie movie or book I’ve ever read is the Crawler.  They’re also called the Ankle Biters.  They’re those annoying ones that somehow lost part of their bottom half so they slither around using their arms to pull them around. Ugh!  Those things are just ridiculous.  But make no mistake, these suckers can take you with an ankle or leg bite in a heartbeat so beware.

I hope you’ve learned some great stuff about zombies.  As a zombie lover, I know I did and I truly think it’s quite cool.  Please know there is a ton more out there about types of zombies at Zombiepedia, and of course lots of myths and legends at Wikipedia.”

Image from trustedreviews.com, which also has an interesting zombie article for all you Walking Dead fans out there.

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