Saturday, April 19, 2014


Better able to channel 'the zombie message' than I was last night. Here's what went unsaid .~~~> There was a burst of North American Zombiism in the nineteenth century. A rising population played a part. The spread of Spiritualism and gothic literature also contributed. Before that age mass communication was limited. Newspapers, although in existence, were rare and passed 'round like scripture. But the mid eighteen hundreds witnessed burgeoning media on all fronts. Daily publications, many featuring the unbelievable novelty of photography brought everything to everyone and just as now, people like blood. 

Tales of premature burial were everywhere. That sad and horrific, though rare, event usually stayed hidden to avoid mass hysteria. After all, who would know? Something happens. They move a grave, uncover a coffin, only to find a splintered lid. Sometimes the body was gone. Sometimes it wasn't, revealing cadaverous and terrifyingly contorted victims. Eyes gouged out. Foreheads crushed. Dried blood on shredded, satin lids. Dislocated shoulders and cracked vertebrae. Escape was nearly impossible... but not always.

Yellow Journalism loved tales like that. Front page news, complete with photographed 're- enactments' featuring ghoulish models... kohl smudged eyes... sharp, serrated teeth... shriveled lips... claw-like hands  and gray, blue veined skin. 'Tableau Macabre' they were called. John Wilkes Booth made a few. So did Edgar Allen Poe. Mary Todd Lincoln staged midnight tableau in Washington. Not at The White House. The Domestic Staff wouldn't have it, forcing The First Lady and her attendants to decamp to Admiralty House, current Vice Presidential residence, where notorious, shadowy spectacles transformed the vast conservatory into a fiends' paradise.

Thing is, one cold January night with a lesser British royal in attendance, plus an equally aristocratic Ottoman bey, a certain 'actor' tucked into his 'leg-o-corpse' with manic, uncontrollable ardor. Those witnessing the performance gasped and swooned at the authenticity of it. Though when they cleaned up after, the human leg bone proved to be real and not the usual pig meat upholstered ox bone substitute. And two hours later, a certain young woman in the bey's entourage asleep upstairs became Turkish Delight in her own right. Important guests are still shown the stained bedroom carpet today. Some claim to have seen a torn, sobbing apparition crawling 'cross the floor and passing through a wall where a door used to be one hundred and fifty years ago. 

The offending ghoul was never apprehended. Members of The Secret Service did find a lair, deep within a dark, forgotten cellar, littered with old bones and other, shall we say, moister refuse. But the discovery was hushed up, what with The Assassination and all.

'Zombies' are real, crazed survivors of premature burial.... insane and infected in so many ways. They say certain pathogens in the soil cause it.  And as Earth warms, it's growing.

Secret brotherhoods (sisterhoods too) foster the spread, purposely throwing drugged 'sacrifices' into damp, deep graves, sans casket, covering them up, tamping it down and waiting. According to renegade cognoscenti, three hours later you have a heaving, terrified, wide-eyed, panting zombie... that is if they survive.  Sharp thorns are mixed into the soil to pierce the skin and draw the blood.  Subsequent 'sacrifices' often fill the same grave, since it's already peppered with the necessary contagion.

And there you have it. That's how it is. Who knew? The denizens up in the ceiling over the mall food court were made that way... at least most of them were. 

Next time we'll sneak back and, hopefully, show you more. Oh, there's a stench too.... You'll see.


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