Zora Neale Hurston on zombies (1943)

Here is a short expert of Zora Neale Hurston being interviewed on the Mary Margaret McBride radio show in 1943, five years after publishing Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica, one of the earliest ethnographies of Haitian folklore in which she described her encounter with an ‘actual’ zombie: Felicia Felix-Mentor.


The image, allegedly published in Life magazine (oh irony!), gave substance to sensationalist accounts of zombies like those of self-declared cannibal William Seabrook in The Magic Island (1929) which were assumed, until this image gained public attention, to be the stuff of ‘mere legend and primitive superstition’.

Interesting to hear the term ‘suspended animation’ used in this context. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: