Zombies. The Undead. The Living Dead. The Walking Dead. Whatever you call them, zombies have long been a large part of our folklore and popular culture and are this week’s featured creature here at Special Collections. From ancient scrolls about the afterlife to modern day comics to the movies, the undead are on everyone’s brains - so to speak.
Originally, a zombie was a dead body reanimated by a necromancer in Haitian folklore. The soulless body would then act as the slave of the evil sorcerer, since it lacked a will of its own. Nowadays, zombies are a staple in horror stories as soulless creatures with a craving for brains.
Some, however, just want love, as in the story pictured in the comic above in which Maria’s zombie family kills her new husband Paul so the two can be together (and they say romance is dead). Going back to the time of Ancient Egypt, the final images show a different kind of living dead - those that live on in the afterlife. The first of the two images from The Book of the Dead shows the dead man rising out of his coffin as the four Children of Horus stand guard. The symbol for life in each of his hands represents his resurrection.
To see any of the books featured here, lurch your way on up to us in Special Collections.
- Amy Spencer