Test your nzambi (zombie) knowledge - before it's too late!

Colorado Public Radio recently posted an essay (along with the audio of an interview) called "Could Colorado be ground zero for a zombie apocalypse?" and there certainly is a lot of teen fiction about zombies.

But what should we know about zombies... before it's too late?  Test your knowledge now!  

The word zombie refers to the “living dead” and originally derives from a language spoken in:

  1. Haiti
  2. Central Africa
  3. South Asia
  4. Papua New Guinea

Check your answer in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.

Special burial techniques are sometimes used to prevent corpses from being used as zombies. The corpse may be buried face down and its mouth filled with earth; sometimes the lips are sewn together, presumably to:

  1. keep earthworms from entering the corpse's mouth
  2. prevent the corpse from yelling for help
  3. save duct tape for other, more practical purposes
  4. prevent the soul from leaving by the mouth

Check your answer in the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology.  

In voodoo practice, a sorcerer who uses evil forces to bewitch and change a human being into a zombie is called a:

  1. bokor
  2. n'âmm
  3. bonanj
  4. crouton 

Check your answer in the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying.

Researchers who have studied zombies have found that they are not the victims of magic but of:

  1. watching too much reality television on TLC
  2. handling one of many types of blind snakes found in the Caribbean  
  3. a toxin that can cause brain damage
  4. overzealous attempts to impress others

Check your answer in The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena.

Regardless of the method used, upon being reanimated the zombie—who at first exhibits the glazed eyes, shuffling gait, and disorientation of the typical movie zombie—is by custom bound to be the priest's slave. To guard against this type of enslavement for their loved ones, relatives of the deceased sometimes, prior to entombment: 

  1. stab the body in the heart
  2. slice its throat
  3. decapitate it prior to entombment
  4. any/all of the above

Check your answer in The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Witchcraft.

The online encyclopedias used to research these questions are available in the Gale Virtual Reference Library, one of the databases available to customers of the Denver Public Library.  Most of the databases are available remotely to customers with a Denver Public Library card.  

Don't have a library card?  Check out how to get one now!  

Have questions?  Just ASK US! by phone, chat or email!  

Written by Frank on April 23, 2014


Leigh Ann on April 24, 2014


WOW! Great blog, Frank--those are some interesting facts about zombies that most of us probably didn't even know about...cool to see that our encyclopedia databases cover that type of information & are so easy to use, too.

FrankW on April 24, 2014


Thanks Leigh Ann - the coverage in GVRL (and our other databases) is really great! I found an article in the New York Times from May 26, 1936 called "SUIT OVER 'ZOMBIE' FILM: Owners of Old Picture Seek to Bar Use of Name in New One." Apparently there was a film in 1932 called "White Zombie" and the owners of that film were trying to prevent a 1936 film called "Revolt of the Zombies" from using the name in the title. Looks like they weren't successful though - there are reviews of both films in the New York Times Film Reviews from July 29, 1932 and June 5, 1936.

Lisa on April 24, 2014



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