There is a strange dance in the cemeteries at night. It is said that some deaths do not remain long dead. It is said that some freshly buried stiffs reanimate, that others, disturbed in their eternal repose, awaken to lend their bodies to strange rituals and unite in a furious banda.
There is a strange glow at night in the cemeteries. A glow that projects tangled shadows of bodies embedded in an ultimate bwase ren. It is said that Baron Samedi would be an accomplice and that God himself would close his eyes. My children, take care of the zombies!
I am the undead, the almost dead. I am between two worlds. Already buried, the heart beating but the soul soaring, already cried for by my relatives but not entirely gone. Be careful, do not stay too long after the chanting of my funeral, do not ride near my tomb, young children, there happens funny things. The dead rise. The coffins break. Zombies are dedicated with unsuspected words.
You! If the bells ring on my stele: run away. Go quickly and far, do not come back. Do not turn around. The bokor loves fragile souls, he will not kill you, it will be worse. It will be a second life more terrible than your nightmares, an endless slavery, closed up in your own body, wishing to die more than anything. But you will not even have the strength to inflict death on yourself.
Philippe Charlier, MD, PhD, LittD, is a forensic practitioner and anthropologist. He works on representations of the human bodies, and rituals related to diseases and death. He loves words, and more.