How Are Zombies Created?

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Haitian "Zombie Powder" or Tetraodontidae can make people seem like zombies. The powder is made from pufferfish which has a deadly neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin, which is also found in marine toads and the hyla tree frog.

This powder can paralyze a person to the point where you cannot tell if they are breathing. They call it "zombie powder" because people who took tetraondonitae would appear dead, be buried and then "come back from the dead."


The bokor creates a highly toxic mixture that includes poisonous plants and animals. Dumbcane is added because it harms the larynx, making breathing difficult and vocalizations impossible. The poison is mixed with food to be ingested or placed over an open wound to ensure it gets absorbed into the victim’s bloodstream. The person will lapse into a deep coma-like state so life cannot be detected, then buried before being “resurrected” by the bokor. The victim is aware of what is happening, but cannot react. The zombie is “resurrected” by being force-fed a mixture of sweet potatoes, sugar cane and Datura stramonium, referred to as zombie’s cucumber. The potion causes disorientation and hallucinations. The bokor gives the zombie a new name and a new life. Confused, the victim follows and totally obeys the bokor and his or her new master. There’s no antidote for the potions and zombies require little food. Salt is withheld because it’s believed that it can bring back the ability to speak a