This short article also seems within our 2011 copy from the Haitian criminal code, Code Pénal, mis à jour et annoté (Penal Code, Updated and Annotated). In British, the supply reads:
Is recognized as a poisoning any attempt around the existence of the person by using substances which could cause dying pretty much cleanly, no matter the way these substances were utilised or administered, and whatever the effects.
Can also be considered attempt on existence by poisoning the utilization made against an individual of gear which, without giving dying, may cause a far more-or-less prolonged condition of lethargy, no matter the way these substances were utilised and whatever the effects.
When the person was hidden as a result of this condition of lethargy, the attempt will be described as a murder.
So how exactly does this provision connect with the creatures we consider today as “zombies”? Nicolas writes:
You have to consider the original concept of the word “zombie,” that is really slightly not the same as the flesh-eating reanimated corpses that people see in modern horror fiction. The term comes from the Haitian creole “zonbi.” Based on Dr. Yves Saint-Gérard, author of Le Phénomène Zombi (The Zombie Phenomenon), this term designates a “living-dead,” or, figuratively, an individual lacking associated with a will or character. Based on traditional Haitian beliefs, you may be “zombified” with a bokor (the Voodoo same as a magician). By using dark magic, the bokor brings the victim right into a condition of near-dying or deep coma. The victim’s family and community bury him/her, believing that he/she’s dead. However the bokor subsequently digs up and revives the victim like a zombie: a condition to which he/she’s lacking of freedom and does regardless of the bokor informs him/her to complete.
It’s unclear the way a bokor induces his victim’s near-dying condition, however it seems to become by using potions. One theory is the fact that zombification is a result of the ingestion of tetradotoxin, a compound obtained from puffer fish (Dr. Saint- Gérard attributes this theory to American botanist Wade Davis). In almost any situation, it appears that zombification originates from ingesting, as mentioned by article 246 from the Haitian Criminal Code, “substances which, without giving dying, may cause a far more-or-less prolonged condition of lethargy.”
Based on The Spirits and also the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti, by Kate Ramsey, Article 246 initially defined only the simple crime of “poisoning,” as you can tell within the first paragraph from the law. It wasn’t until October of 1864 the provision was expanded to incorporate the 2nd and third sentences, that contains the word what about “the use made against an individual of gear which, without giving dying, may cause a far more-or-less prolonged condition of lethargy” and funeral after that. These areas of the supply were added under General Fabre Nicolas Geffrard, a Catholic Haitian general who, getting risen to power in 1859, searched for to eradicate “old superstitions” in Haiti.
Americans have experienced a passion for Haiti and “voodoo” since the U.S. invasion and occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934, but exactly how did Article 246 become taken as evidence in popular media like a statute which “outlaws the building of zombies”? This belief appears up to now to the late 1920s, when American author William Buehler Seabrook printed a well known (and rather sensationalized) “travelogue” about Haiti titled The Special Moment Island (1929). This book was apparently among the first sources introducing the idea of “zombies” to America. Gary D. Rhodes writes:
[A] extended intellectual history precedes Seabrook […], sculpting U.S. attitudes towards Haiti, setting up a understanding base of voodooism, and presenting the thought of zombiism. However, it had been Seabrook who faced zombies the very first time within an overt means by an British-language text. […] [T]he word zombie/zombi had made an appearance in British print before The Special Moment Island, but because a phrase for other voodoo concepts, like the snake god. The idea of zombies because the living dead had also made an appearance in British print just before The Special Moment Island, but Seabrook was the very first major British-language author to write the term zombie because the term for that living dead.
In The Special Moment Island, Seabrook quoted Article 246 (really, he mis-reported the supply, talking about it as being Article 249) to bolster the credibility of claims in the book that “zombies” (because he described them) did, actually, exist. As Ramsey explains, “the penal pursuit and prosecution of le vaudoux [voodoo] through the Geffrard government paradoxically came more worldwide publicity to such practices (or, rather, fantasies thereof) rather than the very fact of the prohibition and repression. […] In imperial writing throughout the [U.S.] occupation, much is made from the positivism from the law, which appeared to supply indisputable proof both in its text and it is application that ‘voodoo’ flourished in Haiti. W.B. Seabrook capitalized on these two evidentiary regimes in The Special Moment Island.”
Victor Haperin’s 1932 classic American horror film White-colored Zombie , starring Bela Lugosi, would later tap into Seabrook’s book in the “attempt to construct a story around a creature apart from a vampire, ghost, or Frankensteinian monster.” The film incorporated references towards the mis-reported “Article 249” in its script in addition to built-into various press announcements and advertisements for that film: