Real Zombie Stories

Nowadays, zombies are everywhere. In the movies we watch. In the stories we read. And even in the songs we listen to. Can anyone forget Michael Jackson’s Thriller video? I know I can’t. But one place I don’t want to read about zombies is in real life. That whole debacle that happened two years ago with the “Miami Zombie” was something out of a pulp fiction magazine. Doing some research, I found it wasn’t an isolated incident. For today’s Monday Mayhem post, I’d like to talk about real zombies that once roamed among us who have left behind an indelible story as their legacy.

Clairvius Narcisse
Clairvius Narcisse

Let’s start with the story of Clairvius Narcisse who one day in 1980 walked into a hospital in Deschapelle, Haiti, almost twenty years after he had died. His family had buried him, that, they knew. They later found his grave disturbed. What they didn’t know was that a local voodoo doctor, a bokor, stole Narcisse’s body and enslaved him to work on a plantation. When the bokor died, Narcisse’s days as a slave died along with him. Authorities believe the bokor had poisoned him with Tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin that produces a comatose state, had him buried to convince the family he had died, then had him exhumed, later feeding him Datura stramonium, a hallucinogen known as Jimson weed, to keep him enslaved. Dr. Nathan Klein and Dr. Lamarque Douyon confirmed Narcisse’s story as the first case of zombieism.

Alexander Kinyua, twenty-one years old, of Maryland was an engineering student at Morgan State University. He had emigrated from Kenya to the United States, becoming a citizen. On May 25, 2012, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie had disappeared, reported missing by Kinyua’s father. At the time, Agyei-Kodie was staying with the family pending deportation. On May 31, police appeared at Kinyua’s residents after his brother contacted them to investigate body parts found in tin canisters in the family’s basement. Police arrested Alexander Kinyua on first degree murder. Kinyua had allegedly eaten Agyei-Kodie’s organs.

Since I’d mentioned him in my introduction, let’s talk about Rudy Eugene. Dubbed the “Miami Zombie”, on May 26, 2012 he assaulted a homeless man, one Ronald Poppo. Eugene died after Miami police had shot him dead. The details of the assault are gruesome. Eugene accused Poppo of stealing, then proceeded to beat him unconscious. What happened next belongs in a fiction novel. For eighteen horrifying minutes, Eugene ate Poppo’s face leaving him blind. When Officer Jose Ramirez confronted him, requesting him to desist from the attack, Eugene growled at him. Subsequent to Eugene’s death, police sources speculated bath salts might have played a part in the attack. Toxicology reports however found traces of marijuana in Eugene’s system. No bath salts.

In the wake of Alexander Kinyua and Rudy Eugene’s attacks in 2012, the CDC had issued a statement saying, “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms).”

The world has always had its fill of zombies, whether they are of those people who have lost their humanity in throes of indifference or otherwise. We hear the stories. Perhaps it’s about time to live beyond ourselves in order to prove zombies shouldn’t exist in our real lives. And only then would we be able to rid the world of those zombies that keep us awake at night.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

Have you heard of these stories? What do you think of the CDC’s statement regarding the attacks of 2012?

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17 thoughts on “Real Zombie Stories

  1. Some interesting research. I tend to look upon the Haitian (drug-induced) zombification as the probable genesis of our modern idea of the zombie. That’s a great story and I LOVE the creepy old newspaper article!

    The other two sound like plain old psycho-paths – any evidence they were dead at the time? Otherwise every incidence of cannibalism is potential evidence of a zombie drug or virus, no? Or perhaps I didn’t quite get it.

    In any case, LOVE this idea of bringing it back to real life cases. Very CSI.

  2. History will report that the apocalypse began because of additives to GMO foods that would be used to control the populace. I don’t think we ever got the full story on that guy in Miami and we probably never will, which leads me to believe this will not be an isolated case

    • I recall a science – fiction story written in the 70’s about peopl with electromechanical implants who were coming back to life, only with some amount of sentience / sapience. How these high – tech ” zombies ” escaped from their graves & vaults is a mystery to me, but it was, after all, a science – fiction story. A detective was supposed to round them up, presumably to ” retire ” them.
      Something happens to start a fire, the ” zombies ” escape, then the firemen see the detective unconscious, assume that he’s dead, & just leave him to burn for some reason, while the zombie – ish people are wandering about out in the world. Strange but interesting…..

  3. I saw the Miami one, you know me…anything that says Zombie get’s my attention. It freaked me out!
    I don’t know about the CDC’s statement though. If the CDC takes time out of their super busy day to make an official statement to deny something, I tend to think they’re hiding something. That’s just how my syndical little brain works.
    : )
    Thanks for freaking me out bright and early on a Monday!

  4. I heard something about “bath salts” last year but I just brushed it off as some silly story the kids were sharing.

    These stories were quite interesting ….. I was sitting behind my desk stating “What!! seriously?? you got to be kidding me” hahha

    Have a great week!!

  5. I wonder if there is a toxin causing the ” dead ” to merely appear dead – Like the drug curare. Then an antidote can be administered. That way a person could also appear to fake their own death as well.

    Of course Curare inhibits all bodily functions, not just making someone a walking pseudo – corpse. Maybe if it were diluted…..

  6. I do wonder whether these types of stories are no more common now than they have been in the past, and that it is simply that because of the current zombie zeitgeist, unrelated, if horrific, events are being linked to give the illusion that something is coordinated is happening across the world which is above the normal background level of humans doing horrible things to each other.

    Twenty or thirty years ago, people would have been taking the same types of stories and linking together to raise concerns about satanic cults, and before that LSD, motorcycle gangs, reefer madness, rock n’ roll and all tthe way back to witchcraft. Now, it’s that they might be zombies of some kind.

    It seems we always need to blame something when humans do horrific acts of violence because we don’t want to believe that humans, just like us, could be capable of such things. If we accepted this, then we might have to accept that somewhere in each of us is that capability too. Far easier to blame some unknown emerging zombie disease for making people act in terrible ways than to accept that humans alone are capable of such brutality to one another. This doesn’t excuse anyone’s actions, but rather makes me hesitant to ascribe them to anything other than the dark underbelly of humanity.

    But then again, what do I know? Maybe it is the start of the zombie apocalypse after all!

  7. Apparently these stories did not (yet) reach Europe. There certainly are illnesses making someone appear dead. In these cases I would not talk about reanimation, though.
    Zombies should stay in our fantasy, not artificially be introduced in everyday life. On the other hand… Two weeks ago, after a rather sleepless night, I told my husband I needed to unzombiefy… 😀
    A good night’s sleep did the trick – I was myself again.

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