such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
Dead Man Walking: Wade Davis and the Secret of the Zombie Poison
By Patrick D. Hahn
Accepted on September 4, 2007
The word zombie comes from the Kongo word Nzambi which means “spirit of a dead person.” For generations, westerners had been horrified and fascinated by rumors of the zombie, or the walking dead. Travelers returning from Haiti told lurid tales of unsuspecting victims who had been poisoned by evil bokors, or witch doctors, who then disinterred the corpses of the victims and revived them with a magic formula. The hapless victim, stripped of volition and memory, was then rebaptized with a new name and taken away to be put to work as the bokor’s slave.
One question remains: why is it that Japanese diners who ingest too much tetrodotoxin do not turn into zombies? The answer lies in what Davis calls the “set and setting” of any drug experience – “set” being the individual’s expectation of what the drug will do to him, and setting being the environment, including the matrix of beliefs in which an individual is embedded. Imagine, if you will, what Narcisse must have gone through. Isolated from his community by his actions, he found himself growing sicker and weaker. In desperation, he entered the alien environment of the western hospital, where he actually heard himself pronounced dead by his doctors. Unable to move or speak, he felt the sheet being pulled up over his face, heard his coffin lid being nailed shut. No doubt he felt that his worst nightmares were coming true. And remember that he came from a culture in which belief in zombies – and in the efficacy of the bokor’s powers – is universal. In the end, it wasn’t the bokor’s poisons that did Narcisse in – it was his own mind.
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