There are several possible origins for the word "zombie." These include jumbie, the West Indian term for "ghost," and nzambi, the Kongo word meaning "spirit of a dead person."
Haitians believe in zombies believe that a bokor's sorcery -- not a poison or a drug -- creates them. According to local lore, a bokor captures a victim's ti bon ange, or the part of the soul directly connected to an individual, to create a zombie.Although it was discovered that the bokor uses complex powders, made from dried and ground plants and animals, in their rituals.
This zombie powder is found in four regions of Haiti. Their ingredients were not identical, but seven of the eight samples had four ingredients in common:
One or more species of puffer fish, which often contain a deadly neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin
• A marine toad (Bufo marinus), which produces numerous toxic substances
• A hyla tree frog (Osteopilus dominicensis), which secretes an irritating (but not deadly) substance
• Human remains
In addition, the powders contained other plant and animal ingredients, like lizards and spiders, which would be likely to irritate the skin. Some even included ground glass.The use of the puffer fish Tetrodotoxin causes paralysis and death, and victims of tetrodotoxin poisoning often remain conscious until just before death. The paralysis prevents them from reacting to stimuli.
Applied topically, created irritation and breaks in the victim's skin. The tetrodotoxin could then pass into the bloodstream, paralyzing the victim and causing him to appear dead. The family would bury the victim, and the bokor would remove the body from the grave. If all had gone well, the poison would wear off and the victim would believe himself to be a zombie.