A "zombie" is an undead person in the Afro-Caribbean and Creole spiritual belief system of voodoo. These folkloric zombies are human bodies re-animated by supernatural means and shamanistic medicine to create dread among the living. Other more macabre versions of zombies have become a staple of modern horror fiction, where they usually engage in human cannibalism.
According to the tenets of voodoo, a dead person can be revived by a bokor or mambo. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor or mambo since they have no will of their own. "Zombi" is also the name of the voodoo snake god of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the Kongo word ''nzambi'', which means "god."
In 1937, while researching folklore in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston encountered the case of Felicia Felix-Mentor, who had died and been buried in 1907 at the age of 29. Villagers believed they saw Felicia wandering the streets in a daze thirty years after her death, as well as claiming the same with several other people. Hurston pursued rumours that the affected persons were given powerful drugs, but she was unable to locate individuals willing to offer much information. She wrote: