Author Topic: Haitian Zombie Powder  (Read 3410 times)

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Haitian Zombie Powder
« on: August 01, 2008, 01:15:24 PM »
Haitian Zombie Powder

Davis traveled to Haiti at the request of Dr. Nathan S. Kline, who theorized that a drug was responsible for Narcisse's experiences as a zombie. Since such a drug could have medical uses, particularly in the field of anesthesiology, Kline hoped to gather samples, analyze them and determine how they worked.

Davis learned that Haitians who believed in zombies believed that a bokor's sorcery -- not a poison or a drug -- created them. According to local lore, a bokor captures a victim's ti bon ange, or the part of the soul directly connected to an individual, to create a zombie. But during his research, Davis discovered that the bokor used complex powders, made from dried and ground plants and animals, in their rituals.

Davis collected eight samples of this zombie powder in four regions of Haiti. Their ingredients were not identical, but seven of the eight samples had four ingredients in common:

    * One or more species of puffer fish, which often contain a deadly neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin
    * A marine toad (Bufo marinus), which produces numerous toxic substances
    * A hyla tree frog (Osteopilus dominicensis), which secretes an irritating (but not deadly) substance
    * Human remains

In addition, the powders contained other plant and animal ingredients, like lizards and spiders, which would be likely to irritate the skin. Some even included ground glass.

The use of puffer fish intrigued Davis. Tetrodotoxin causes paralysis and death, and victims of tetrodotoxin poisoning often remain conscious until just before death. The paralysis prevents them from reacting to stimuli -- much like what Clairvius Narcisse described about his own death. Doctors have also documented cases in which people ingested tetrodotoxin and appeared dead but eventually made a complete recovery.

Davis theorized that the powder, applied topically, created irritation and breaks in the victim's skin. The tetrodotoxin could then pass into the bloodstream, paralyzing the victim and causing him to appear dead. The family would bury the victim, and the bokor would remove the body from the grave. If all had gone well, the poison would wear off and the victim would believe himself to be a zombie.

Salt and Zombies

According to Haitian folklore, feeding salt to a zombie will return it to its senses. Often the zombie then attacks the bokor who created it or returns to its place of burial and dies. Ironically, tetrodotoxin works by blocking the sodium channels in muscle and nerve cells. However, there is no known cure for tetrodotoxin poisoning, and the amount of sodium in a few grains of salt is unlikely to have any physiological effect on a poisoned person.

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Re: Haitian Zombie Powder
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008, 10:50:35 PM »
Am I the only one that would willingly take the Zombi powder?

It's like a quaalude but much cooler.

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Re: Haitian Zombie Powder
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 04:30:20 PM »
Maybe I would be tempted for the sake of Science, & an uber load of money, but definitely not just for the thrill of it. :-)

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Re: Haitian Zombie Powder
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2008, 09:09:34 PM »
No way I would take it

The enstranged Ms would have me buried in a lead coffin so I would never get out
What do you want, you moon-faced assassin of joy?

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Re: Haitian Zombie Powder
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 04:38:57 AM »
Oh, I would most definitely partake in the strange zombi powder. For thrill and for science!

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Re: Haitian Zombie Powder
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 07:45:04 PM »
Hmm, nope, enjoy me too much. Have fun guys.
The Dragon of Monsterous.