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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Rum-Drinking Zombies of Belize

In this week's New York Press, there's an article by Bret Liebendorfer about Dan the Bar Man, the Brooklynite who famously visited 1,000 bars in 365 days and wrote about the experience on his blog, 1000 Bars.
In it he tells of meeting real-life zombies in Belize who like to drink rum. Here's the relevant passage:

"He had seen them with his own eyes. They weren’t Hollywood’s version of rotten corpses that walk around with outstretched arms in a stupefied state, always in pursuit of their next human snack.
In Belize, tough times called for forgotten natives to be turned into zombies and used as a source of slave labor. When they got a work break, they went to the bar. In the zombie world of Central America they preferred rum.
'Zombies don’t care, they would work all day long. Afterwards, they all go to bars and they drink rum,' Dan said. 'They don’t talk much.'
How did the natives become zombies? Was it a parasitic disease, voodoo or a medical experiment gone wrong?
'They do it with an extract of a blowfish, the same blowfish that’s served as delicacy from Japanese restaurants, but if you don’t eat it correctly you can die from it,' Dan said. 'You’re basically paralyzed and they bury you for three to six days. You can’t move. When you come out, you’re whacko. I got drunk with the zombies. They’re not flesh eating, they’re basically comatose.'"

I did a follow-up search for belize + zombies, but got back jack.

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