Real Zombies, the Living Dead, and Creatures of the Apocalypse

Visible Ink Press
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Featuring 30 chilling stories of reallife zombie encounters, this comprehensive and unsettling study draws upon traditions found throughout the world to dispel common depictions of zombies as lurching, flesheating automatons made popular by countless movies and books. This fascinating collection includes the stories of the Devil Baby of Bourbon Street, a monstrous creature complete with horns and tail that still lurks in the shadows of the Big Easy; Black Mama Courteaux and the great zombie war, involving hundreds of zombie soldiers battling for the supremacy of their queen; and the swamp child of Mama Cree, who still roams the bayous of Louisiana. In addition to the stories, a variety of zombierelated facts are explored, including ceremonies and initiations, zombies throughout history, sacred zombie and voodoorelated sites, and zombies and monsters of the Bible.
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About the author

Brad Steiger was born Eugene E. Olson in Fort Dodge, Iowa on February 19, 1936. He graduated from Iowa's Luther College in 1957 and the University of Iowa in 1963. He taught high school English before teaching literature and creative writing at his former college from 1963 to 1967. His first book, Ghosts, Ghouls and Other Peculiar People, was published in 1965. He became a full-time writer in 1967. He wrote or cowrote over 150 books including The Johnny Cash Story, The Country Music Scrapbook, The Hypnotist, The Chindi, Alien Rapture: The Chosen, Atlantis Rising, and Four-Legged Miracles: Heartwarming Tales of Lost Dogs' Journeys Home written with Sherry Hansen Steiger. He wrote biographies on Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, and Rudolph Valentino. Valentino served as the basis for the 1977 motion picture Valentino and Unknown Powers was adapted into a documentary, which won the Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence for 1979. He received several awards including The Genie for Metaphysical Writer of the Year in 1974 and the Dani for Services to Humanity in Philadelphia in 1977. He was inducted into the Hypnosis Hall of Fame in 1987 and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National UFO and Unexplained Phenomena Conference in Minneapolis in 1996. He died on May 6, 2018 at the age of 82.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Visible Ink Press
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Published on
May 1, 2010
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781578593415
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Body, Mind & Spirit / Supernatural (incl. Ghosts)
Social Science / Folklore & Mythology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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How the ghost stories of pagan times reveal the seamless union existing between the world of the living and the afterlife

• Demonstrates how Medieval Christianity transformed the more corporeal ghost encountered in pagan cultures with the disembodied form known today

• Explains how the returning dead were once viewed as either troublemakers or guarantors of the social order

The impermeable border the modern world sees existing between the world of the living and the afterlife was not visible to our ancestors. The dead could--and did--cross back and forth at will. The pagan mind had no fear of death, but some of the dead were definitely to be dreaded: those who failed to go peacefully into the afterlife but remained on this side in order to right a wrong that had befallen them personally or to ensure that the law promoted by the ancestors was being respected. But these dead individuals were a far cry from the amorphous ectoplasm that is featured in modern ghost stories. These earlier visitors from beyond the grave--known as revenants--slept, ate, and fought like men, even when, like Klaufi of the Svarfdaela Saga, they carried their heads in their arms.

Revenants were part of the ancestor worship prevalent in the pagan world and still practiced in indigenous cultures such as the Fang and Kota of equatorial Africa, among others. The Church, eager to supplant this familial faith with its own, engineered the transformation of the corporeal revenant into the disembodied ghost of modern times, which could then be easily discounted as a figment of the imagination or the work of the devil. The sanctified grounds of the church cemetery replaced the burial mounds on the family farm, where the ancestors remained as an integral part of the living community. This exile to the formal graveyard, ironically enough, has contributed to the great loss of the sacred that characterizes the modern world.
What lurks out there in the fog?

What was that eerie sound in the dead of night?

What flitted by at the end of the street, just beyond the farthest street lamp?

From earliest times, tales of the restless dead and their fellow travelers have terrified mankind. Whether around a remote campfire or in the middle of a bustling city, the unquiet spirits and attendant creatures that have tormented humanity since the prehistoric darkness haven’t gone away—they still have the power to strike fear in our hearts.

Encyclopedia of the Undead traces those shadowy entities—vampires, werewolves, ghouls and monsters—that lurk just outside the range of human vision and inhabit our most frightening tales. Drawing on a wide range of beliefs and literature, it traces these horrors from their earliest recorded inceptions and charts their impact upon the human psyche. In this book, history and terror mix to create the things that lurk in the darkest corners of our minds.

You’ll find detailed descriptions of terrors from all over the world—from the mist-shrouded mountains of Eastern Europe to the sweltering jungles of the Caribbean islands, from the dark, stone-lined tombs of the uncoffined dead beneath the remote New England hills to the dark magics that lurk beneath the thriving, colorful surface of a city like New Orleans. In addition to the more conventional creatures, Encyclopedia of the Undead also details some of the more obscure Things that gnaw at the edges of men’s minds—Incubi and Succubi, the Mara, and the dark legends that have influenced writers from Sheridan Le Fanu to H.P. Lovecraft.

This is a book for all those who are interested in the darker side of the human mind—the side that examines and even embraces those beliefs and imaginings that form the basis of our most archetypical fears. This is the book for those brave enough to plumb the depths of our worst nightmares!

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