How Zombies Changed From Being Obedient Soulless Reanimations to Terrifying Flesh-Eating Undead Killers

Vlogger Evan Puschak, aka The Nerdwriter, takes an animated look at the history of zombies. He first examines zombism’s Haitian Voodoo origins, specifically how zombies came into existence, what made them become that way and what they were used for.

The zombie, they say, is the soulless human corpse still dead but taken from the grave and endowed by sorcery with a mechanical semblance of life. The zombies of Haitian folklore are controlled by a sorcerer called a bokor who uses them for his own ends often for menial work resembling the slave labor and by the way, they don’t eat or crave human flesh at this point.

Puschak also talks about how this concept changed after making itself known the those in Hollywood. Famed director George Romero was the first to introduce this flesh-eating, undead varietal in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead. It is important to note, however that Romero referred to these characters as ghouls rather than zombies, but by his next film, Romero was calling them zombies as well.

Once in the popular imagination, it took only three years for this conception of the zombie to find its way to Hollywood to a film industry eager for another monster after the successes of Dracula and Frankenstein…Romero changed the rules first…

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.