The Truth About Zombies: If the thought of zombies conjures up images of Night of the Living Dead, Professor Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert invites you to think again. The professor of Hispanic studies is an expert on Haitian and Caribbean culture, which is where the zombies of American popular culture originated. But unlike Hollywood zombies (vengeful corpses stalking innocents), Haitian zombies are not objects of fear...exactly. What’s feared by practitioners of Vodou is zombification, a punishment reserved for the most serious moral infractions. A bokor, or sorcerer, administers a concoction that paralyzes the victim’s nervous system so that s/he appears to be dead.