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The whole genre of the Zombie has really taken off in the last few years and the topic of how to survive a wide scale Zombie appocolypse is a regular topic of discussion across the internet.
I am a member and contributor to THE conspiracy website,although I'm a natural sceptic the wide range of topics discussed from social issues to quantam physics keep me visiting daily almost.
Debate about what could cause such a scenario is rife but it usually centres around rabies or a new 'weaponised' virus that leaves people alive medically but exhibiting all the classic Zombie characteristics apart from being reanimated corpses.
I think the ever looming 21st of dec feeds into it but when the CDC pubiished a comprehensive guide to surviving a Zombie attack it threw the conspiracy community into a wild frenzy,dismisshng their cited reason as a joke and for horror fans.
You can see why though,it's not normal for a soberhserious government department,particularly one who's purpose is the to contain pandemics and disiese control to do something seemingly so frivilous but that's the US for you and it was great PR.
The Zombie phenomenon is so popular these days that I've no doubt that many,many people particularly the under 30's are unaware that in some areas of the world Zombies are very real ,part of their history,culture and present even today.I'm referring to Haiti in particular but also the other Carribean areas where Voodoo is practiced including Louisiana and New Orleans in the US.
The religion of Voodoo is a vibrant practice which was an organic blend of West African ancestor worship,beliefs and ritual and native Haitian Creole practices that developed amongst the slaves transported from Africa to work in the French sugar plantations.Later they imposed Catholicism on them and they adapted their practices using saints to represent their dieties.
Voodoo also involved spirit posession and was wrapped up with folk magic.The priest is known as the bokor and preforms black and white magic.He has
the power,they believe to reanimate the corpse of someone who has recently died,controlling them,keeping their soul in a sealed jar.
He will have been payed by someone who wants revenge ör maybe fallen foul of the priest in life and may be worked as a slave for 20 years trapped in a hellish limbo.
That there are people turned into Zömbies in Haiti today is a fact though science realises they dont die beforehand but are poisoned with powerful neurotoxins which somehow not only put them into a heavily catotonic state which makes it appear they've died so a doctor can declare them dead and for their family tö bury them.
The film The Serpent and the Rainbow about this subject by John Carpenter in the late 80's is said to be based on a true story.It is to a point in that an American scientific researcher went to Haiti in the '60's to find the 'secret' but particularly the toxins and drugs used but it seems unlike in the film he never truly discovered to the scientific community's satisfaction what the actual process was and the toxins used.
But it seems that the toxins will put them in that state long enough for them to be buried,sometimes waking up in their coffin still undergroud.The toxin obviously does a degree of damage to their brain and their mind but what would the trauma of believing you died and were brought back to life inside your coffin.
To a Western person (and being buried alive happened more often than is thought in Europe before doctors,in the late 18th century,were able to tell reliablelly if someone was truly dead or not !!!) who came round in their coffin if they were able to stop panicing and screaming they might realise they hadn't actually died but been declared dead in error ~ it was a real fear until the invention of the stethescope and why people had open faced coffins or bells inside them.There was even one that had tubes running down to it from the surface with string so if they were buried alive they pulled the string and a flag stood up to tell people you were down there !!!
But in Haiti where the belief in voodoo is very strong,strong enough for people to believe the spirits of some of their lesser gods enter their body and possess them.Clearly everyone knows about Zombies and believes they are were people once who had been murdered then brought back to life by a powerful priest that had full control of you,kept you soul prisoner.The fear of being becoming a Zombie is prevalant amongst the poorer people so when they come to and realise their in a coffin and buried their worst fear has come true,literally a fate far worse than death.
Their brain,mind and mental capacity will have been damaged from the toxin they were given plus a lifelong belief in the dead becoming Zombies it's impossible to imagine what they think or feel when they realise where they are.If they're down their for more than a few minutes the trauma of it might further fracture their mind while the lack of oxygen will cause further brain damage.
It's not only all that but their very history is based on the brutal slave trade where their ancestors were captured and forced from their homes,thrown into cramped,fetid cargo holds where many to die though the corpses may stay with the living until flung over board like rubbish eventually arriving in the hot and humid rain forested islands to be either worked to death hacking the sugar cane down with a machette in the fields or feeding it into the massive heavy presses that could suddenly pull in and pulverise an arm if you werent vigilant.
They were expendable labour and if they got caught in a press,hacked a limb by accident or succumbed to the conditions through the virulent diseases on the islands or at the hands of the brutal treatment of their 'masters'.They weren't considered to be human but animals to work till death with less regret than with an oxen.They were totally dehumanised by the plantation owner and staff.
To be murdered and then laid to rest by your family,dug up and under the control of a powerful priest so you can be completely dehumanised and turned into a mindless,soulless beast just like you're ancestors were 300 years ago must be a serious form of hell in their
It ranks amongst the very worst things that a human can do to another human.The story of the real Zombies may not be about the dead walking in the strictest sense but they are certainly undead in a very real sense and it's far darker,more horrific,shining a light on the true cruelty that can be found in man that make those daft creatures in the movies seem like a joke !!!
I'm not entirely sure where our modern conception of the zombie comes from.Obviously it's been with us in it's now archetypeal form like the vampire or werewolf since George Romero's Night of the Living Dead from the late 60's but did he invent the zombie or did he take the idea from somewhere else ??
Personally,they seem to me like a modern version of the ghoul which was really just a flesh eating corpse.In fact I think it reaches back to medieval Europe and the revenant.The revenant is an undead creature of European folklore that is often cited as the basis for the vampire legend but if you look into it it's as much a precursor for the modern Zombie being an animated corpse that return to wreak havoc on the living,to feed of them or even curse the living as their are different versions depending on the country.The revenant didn't have any gifts or was remotely elegant like the vampire became but bloated,decaying and wild like a modern Zombie.
Of course the Zombie is also a reflection of us,our society and that can be clearly seen in Day of the Dead.They are mindless consumers,all Zombies in films are but in Day of the Dead that point is made by them flocking to the mall,when the hero says that they're drawn to the place by a compulsion to be there.
It's just a wee tongue in cheek,swipe at our society that seems to know only how to consume nowadays.It brings to my mind the term,philosophy of the 'useless eaters',referring to us not a movie creation.lol
Firstly, there are many things you need to think about..
1. If it happened suddenly, what is your first plan of action?
- mine is that if it is a low risk (not many about) or none in my street, I would either steal a car or if I had one of my own start it up and drive to all our families picking them up - those who don't have cars. For those who do, they'd follow.
2. How would you get your supplies?
- I'd find a shop the zombies had already been into, that way they're unlucky to come back in the shop and had moved on. I would park literally next to the shop door and do a 'supermarket sweep' grabbing literally everything in sight. Of course, the cigarettes too haha and champagne to celebrate surviving :)
3. Where would you go?
- It would need to be some where high, closed off with not many entrances and where you are still able to get fresh air. I think the best place would be my flat - seriously, it's 3rd floor, you can't open the door from the outside and the front doors are impossible to break down or get into without a key. But I would definitely do something about the windows, maybe metal sheets? and hammer them to the window frame.
4. What Would You Do With The Youngest In Your Group?
- our youngest would be our 7 month old daughter, so we would take it in turns for a few people at a time to be sat with her and stay with her while she sleeps. all the other youngest would of course be in there too.
5. Will You Be Armed And Dangerous?
- Hell yeah! I would have long-distance range weapons mainly and a few shot guns, but the long distance ones would be better for if you're on the run or are stuck to get up.
i just hope it doesn't happen in our lifetime, but of course it will one day, possibilities are always made possible at some point
How do you think you would fare if the dead rose from their graves to walk the earth feasting on brains? Do you have your survival plan nailed or will you just improvise, running of fear and adrenalin?
There are a number of factors to consider in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Luckily, some of my friends and I have found a zombie expert by the name of Dr Dale Seslick to help us devise seminars dealing with this very occurrence. The title of our seminars - due to tour the North West of England in the next few months - is, predictably, 'How To Survive a Zombie Apocalypse'. Here are some of the topics we cover...
Location: Where would you choose for your base camp? We have considered a number of possibilities in our local area including a multistorey car park, a castle and a theatre. You need to consider how fortifiable it is, possible entrances and facilities. Or maybe you plan to outrun the zombies although this may not be advisable.
Weaponry: Short or long range weapons? Power or weight? There are a number of options to consider. A chainsaw may look pretty cool and make a scary noise but its a bit unwieldy if you need to run and you have to get pretty close for it to be effective. Maybe the classic BPS - Big Pointy Stick - is a better choice.
Company: Are you sticking with some carefully selected pals or going it alone? Backup can be useful as can a range of skills but don't let compassion slow you down; if someone gets bitten you may have to kill them before they turn.
Well, these are just some factors to consider in your zombie survival plan. If you want to know more, book yourself a seminar or talk directly to Dr Dale and the rest of our gang on Facebook.
After watching that programme on E4 the other week called Dead Set I thought it would be a good idea to give my take on what to do and what not to do if a zombie outbreak ever occurred for real. Yes I know its very unlikely but as an old saying goes its better to be prepared.
Like I say, after watching Dead Set I just sat there spotting all the mistakes and errors that were being made in relation to surviving the invasion. Below is my Survival Guide to surviving a zombie attack if we were to ever come across one.
What Do We Know?
First off I doubt anyone actually has any hands on experience with dealing with the un dead so let's take a look at what we know from books and movies. The most important thing is the behaviour of a zombie. Watching old films such as Night of the Living Dead led us to believe that zombies were slow and stupid and that walking at a quick pace would be enough to evade them should you be caught out on the streets with them. However George A. Romero threw the rulebook out the window with his films such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead in which the Zombies somehow had learnt how to run making them a much more deadly enemy.
There is many different ways which we have seen how an outbreak can occur but what differs from book to book and movie to movie is the way in which the infection is spread. The original concept in earlier films was that a bite or scratch from a zombie would be enough to turn any human into a member of the living dead after a set period of time. Those who have seen the film 28 Days Later however will know that coming into contact with infected blood is all it takes to spread the infection. Now in my opinion I thought that film was more or less about an infectious outbreak which turns humans in to savage vile uncontrollable killers rather than members of the un dead but for this survival guide the concept is the same.
Where To Go
In the event that an outbreak was to occur you can count yourself lucky that you're still alive after finding out exactly what is going on. Just being aware of what is actually happening means you have survived longer that what is expected. An outbreak would likely spread faster than the plague and it's very likely it would take 2-3 days before authorities and news broadcasters spread the word about the full facts that were going on. Chances are it would take no more than 1-2 days for it to be a nationwide infection.
So unarmed and afraid, your first instinct will be to run and hide. In the short term this is your only option but for this guide we are taking into consideration your long term survival and the fact the zombies look like they are going to be around a bit longer than just the weekend.
I guess your first thought will be to get indoors and maybe you think you will be safe at home. This is a mistake as chances are you are taking too big of a chance to get there as you certainly cant hold out there, and there is the fact that if you have family then they will most likely already be infected and could be waiting for you. So lets again look at the long term plan. You're going to need food, shelter, supplies and somewhere safe away from the zombies. My advice is you get somewhere above ground but somewhere you have access to get food and shelter when you need it. Your local supermarket or mall is an ideal place but take into consideration that these are populated areas and there is a high chance the zombies are already wandering around nearby. If you manage to get lucky however you should consider blocking off the entrances and exits and heading to higher ground just until you can get your bearings.
Although avoiding confrontation is 100% recommended there may come a time when you have no choice but to leave your new camping spot and seek out supplies. Zombies will attack on site so you're going to be in trouble. I have read many forums on the internet about what weapons would you use in a zombie attack and let me tell you its easy to say what you would do but the cold hard truth is that you need to be realistic. I have compiled a list of the various types of weapons I have seen people mention and give reasons why it would be a bad idea to use them. Starting with the more realistic ones to the more advanced ones.
Baseball Bat - This is a big no no as lets face it your not going to do much damage with this are you. Assuming the only way to kill a zombie is via decapitation then your would need to have some swing to take their heads clean off and there is also the fact its not going to do you much good if your up against multiple enemies.
Knife - An obvious choice but only a stupid person would try and fight a zombie with a knife. We are trying to avoid confrontation with them and keep ourselves at a distance so trying to fight them with a knife is not recommended. Throwing knives is just plain ridiculous and close quarters combat with one is just suicidal. Remember that we are taking into consideration all methods of infection so blood spills would need to be avoided.
Golf Clubs - Again like Baseball Bats they are not going to be much use to you unless you plan on doing a couple of holes on your local golf course.
Chainsaw - Many people said this would be an ideal choice. Yes I agree it's an ideal choice if you want to get yourself killed. First of all these are heavy so they will slow you down. Secondly you will need fuel to power them unless they are electrical. And the worst thing about them is that you once again will need to be up close and personal with the zombies. Yes you will do some major damage and remove some limbs and organs but remember there will be lots of blood flying everywhere resulting in infection. Avoid using this.
Pistol - Ah we now get to the guns. You will probably feel a lot more safer carrying a gun than what you would a knife but they wont save your life. Assuming you don't have much training with guns they are not very accurate and wont do a lot of damage to zombies apart from slowing them down.
Shotgun - Many peoples first choice but a wrong one and I will explain why. Considering it's a pump action shotgun you have to take into consideration the reloading times. Reloading at the wrong time could cost you your life. Add the fact that they are only really effective at close range means there is a chance you will get hit by infected blood. A powerful weapon but one which carries risks.
Assault Rifle - Do you work in the army? Probably not so these won't be easy to come by but are pretty effective none the less. Unless your getting head shots you probably won't be killing many zombies but you should be able to stop them and slow them down. Having this gun is something. Finding ammunition for it is something else though.
Sniper Rifle - Get real you won't find one let alone know how to use it effectively.
Molotov Cocktails - Probably the most efficient thing you will be to use due to the fact you can use a bottle of vodka, a napkin and a lighter. Very effective for groups of zombies but just be sure to not drop them near yourself.
All of the above weapons are things many people have said they would use but as explained it shows why sometimes the best weapon against a zombie is just get the heck out of there. It's easy to say you would go up against them and blow them away but I think the saying of he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day is a good choice of words in this situation.
Top Tips For Survival
1, If you discover more survivors, make sure to check them for cuts and bites. Unfortunately if they have come into contact with infected blood you may not be able to tell so just make sure you watch them closely.
2, If you come across any survivor who has the symptoms mentioned previously then kill them immediately. Trust me the longer you wait the more danger you put your self in.
3, If you happen to be in a group of about 5 or 6 people and there appears to be a lunatic in your group who seems to have a death wish then kill him. He will most likely end up leading your group in to trouble or attracting zombies to your location.
4, Be careful when carrying out tip 3, as killing another human who has not been infected will make you look like the lunatic in your group and the others might be thinking its time to get rid of you.
5, Ration food and eat in order of expiry date. You could be in for a long haul so it makes sense to eat the food that goes out of date first and keep the longer lasting stuff for later.
6, If you catch any of your group smoking near your camp then warn them or take more aggressive action. You don't want them setting the place alight and attracting zombies to your location.
7, Always keep you mobile phone on vibrate. A ringing mobile at the wrong time is a death waiting to happen.
8, Never try to be a hero. Its not a movie so don't treat it like one. Never argue over who is going on the suicide mission. If the guy next to you is adamant that it should be him then agree that yes it should be him.
9, Limit your activity during the night. Zombies may be hard to spot when its dark so keep things quiet during the night.
10, You can't trust survivors any more than you can trust Zombies. Remember that food close by will start to run out. That's when people turn on each other.
11, If you get scratched or bit then kill yourself quickly. The alternative is much worse.
12, If you and another survivor are being chased and you both have a gun. Shoot him in the leg so you can get away. Don't feel guilty as he was probably thinking about doing the same thing to you.
13, Remember guns are hard to come by but ammunition is even harder.
14, Never check to see if a zombie is dead. I can tell you now he is a zombie so he is already dead. If he is down and out its most likely he will get back up. Get out of there while you can.
15, Never waste medical supplies on cuts and bites. This is a waste as death is the only cure.
As we have not actually faced a zombie invasion its hard to actually advise on any tried and tested methods but with a bit of thought and planning and the use of this guide you should have enough to give you a slim chance of survival. Of course this will only apply to a small percentage of the population as its very likely most of us would not survive past the first day.
We have seen the movies and read the books and I am sure we have all sat there and said you wouldn't catch me doing that or going there. It's easy to say when you're observing but the truth is unless you're in a situation you have no idea how you would act. I am pretty sure that a real outbreak would cause many people to break down and hide in a corner but on the grand scale of things this is only going to lead you to becoming one of them.
The sooner you realise your not superman the better and the more chance you give yourself of making it through the night. Panic will set in with other survivors and people can become erratic and do some stupid things. The best tip I can give anyone in this particular situation is keep your zombies close and your survivors closer.