Zombieland, Pennsylvania

Zombieland

Hillsville, Pennsylvania

Along the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania, in Lawrence County, just north of the small Italian immigrant populated village of Hillsville is a unsettling quiet and eerie region locals call “Zombie Land”. Mainly “urban legend” than actual historic folklore are tales of the macabre, mystical beasts, deaths, and grisly murder. There is definitely a feeling of “odd” and “something not right” when entering this several mile strip of heavily wooded spots meeting farming, transportation, and industrial works along Lawler Ford Road a.k.a. “Zombie Road” or Route 224.

The Virgin Mary:

It begins around the old St. Lawrence Catholic Church which has long been converted to a private residence and its accompanying graveyard along route 224. There is a alcove with a statue of the Virgin Mary who has a creepy air about herself. Legend has it, she will greet visitors with open arms when it is safe to enter Zombie Land, and have praying hands when it is not. In the 1990’s it was reportedly vandalized and a plexiglass (or glass) window was installed to protect the statue.

St. Lawrence Church and Graveyard:

Some say the gravestones behind this church glow at night. Others say it is at the Presbyterian graveyard down the road. We’ve been to both, and outside of solar-powered grave lights, there is no glow. Others say it is a historic stone in the older part of the graveyard behind the old Church (St. Lawrence) that has a particular shine that reflects off the full moon or light from the house (old church). We unfortunately during our night visit did not see that section, although we did explore the two graveyards – seeing no glow, but experiencing the eerie ambiance.

The Hilltown Bridge:

Just down the road from the St. Lawrence Graveyard north is the Hilltown Bridge. The original Bridge in March 1913 was swept away and has since been replaced by a new concrete monster. It was torn down again in 2007 and replaced with a modern concrete span. It is from this bridge that reports of unexplained lights moving around it and underneath, like the Will o’ Wisp has been reported. Also some say one can hear screams and gun shots from the bridge at night. It has also been reported to be a “crying bridge” with sounds of a crying baby underneath, with the urban lore that a mother tossed her child over the edge. It has reports of suicides being conducted from its rails.

The Killing Fields or “Murder Swamp”:

Just north of the Hilltown Bridge are the “Killing Fields” where at night many report hearing screams and gunshots. In the woods bordering the railway some say there are “ghost whistles” to be heard late at night. If one parks near the rails, strange things will happen to the car. It is also reputedly where a serial killer dumped more than a dozen bodies with decapitated heads in Zombie Land. From 1921-1942, between Mahoningtown and New Castle, over 15 bodies were found in the swamp and may have been the same serial killer who conducted decapitations in Cleveland around the same time. There are many stories of the Italian Immigrants who settled in the area also killing many farmers, authorities, and residents leaving them in the Killing Fields to decay. It was in 1907 when several Italian men in Hillsville, believed to be associated with the Italian mafia/mob who proclaimed that “No person in the Hillsville district, either Italian or American, will give the slightest assistence to any officer desiring the prosecution of Italian offenders.” and it was then that a Hillsville farmer allowed an officer named Sealy Houk to use his phone to effect an arrest of an Italian found to have killed his cow. It is believed that the officer was killed and dumped in the “Killing fields” of the region, discovered by a train passing by. Three days after Houk’s body was discovered, three Italian mob men went into the fields killing and pouching animals, aggrivating and attacking (murdering at least one – William Duff) farmers who tried to stand in their way.

The Mines:

There are said to be various mines in the area used by the mafia from Youngstown to dispose of bodies. While travelling through area, we only saw signs for “Limestone” mines.

Skyhill Road Bridge:
(aka Frankenstein Bridge, Hookman’s Bridge, Ghost Bridge, Graffiti Bridge)
A few more miles down into Zombie land on Skyhill Road is a small bridge that was built in 1917 crossing off the Coffee Run River. It also has been replaced in 2013 changing the eerie attraction. It became to be believed to be haunted by the “Bridge People” and the “Hook Man”. Apparently they were mutated zombie-like people who lived nearby that were bothered by people hanging around the bridge so would hunt them down to maim or kill them. It is believed that if one writes someone’s name on the bridge, the “Bridge People” or “The Hookman” would go murder them. The bridge is covered with peoples names and symbols. The Original bridge had wood railings where the graffiti would be, but now a metal railing, the graffiti is on the asphault itself. Oddly, underneath the bridge are lover’s dedications and love notes scrawled on the walls. The Hate is above, the Love below. We also saw the corpse of a dead deer lying halfway on the ground and in the water, half-wrapped in a garbage bag like an offering to the Bridge people. Someone else writing about the Bridge also stated there was a dead deer but that was back in 2016, so a different dead deer. It is said a young boy leaped from the bridge killing himself as a suicide.

The Zombie Torch:

Right around the corner from the bridge west is the Eternal Flame dedicated to the Zombies that haunt the woods. The mutant colored metal pipe protruding from the ground is just a stone’s torch from the road – it is a iron pipe venting fumes from the natural gas field below. If one lights the torch it will anger the Bridge People and the Hook Man, summoning them to cause death unto the one who lit it.

The Blood House, Bridge People, Hook Man:

Deep in the woods near the bridge and torch is the purported home of the Bridge People and/or Hook Man. It is said also to have been the home of a wicked witch named “Mary Black” who snatched and murdered children of the area, buring them in the fields. It has long been burnt down and demolished by authorities and no longer exists. Others state that the Blood House is located off of Erskin Quarry Road and had a small graveyard attached to it. Some say the Witch was a woman who went crazy and hung her children. Others say it all happened when some mental patients escaped and settled in the area. Others say the “Bridge People” were mutant-like residents of the woods who suffered from “hydrocephalus” or “water on the brain” that settled in the area along the Mahoning River to avoid being harassed for their deformities. They were also nicknamed the “Light Bulb Heads”. A escaped mental patient nicknamed “Zombie” who was a serial killer supposedly lived in the woods along this road. Some claim that his bloodied hospital gown was once found on the road and murdered local kids. Other paranormal investigators call the “Bridge People” as the infamous legendary “Shadow People” of lore. There is some belief that the “Hook Man” came from the Killing of Seely Houk written about above.

The Railroad Bridge:

Along Coffee Run, at Robinson’s Crossing, just north of the Manoning River, within Zombie Land, not too far from all the haunted locations is a Railway Bridge still in use by CSX trains was the scene of a grisley rape and murder of a 12 year old girl named Shannon Leigh Kos. Her boyfriend and two other 20 year old boys brought her there, raped her, and stabbed her to death. They attempted to burn her body, but her remains were found by the bridge three days later. The sick criminals – William George Monday (21), David Christopher Garvey (20), and Perry Sam Ricciardi II (20) were arrested and convicted. There are purported rumors that Robinson’s Crossing was once a popular “lover’s lane” but police reported many arguments and spats, domestic violence calls, etc. were popular there as well as abandoned dates they had to come to escort home. Rumors of suicides at this spot as well as the other bridges are also common.

The Glowing Green Man:
There are legends of a green man who had been burned in an industrial accident that lived in the area. Others say he was a local handyman who was electricuted and had a light green glow to his skin. According to Jim Mosley, the Green Man not only existed but was someone whom he had met on occasion through his wanderings in Zombie Land and spent many evenings drinking with him at the local pub. His real name was Raymond Robinson.

A zombie land facebook fan page exists here: https://www.facebook.com/ZombieLandHillsvillePA/ and t-shirts are sold at a local beverage shop.

Recommended Reading/Bibliography:

  • Associated Press 2000 “Accused told police of Killing”. The Associated Press. Website referenced on 11/12/18 at http://www2.sharonherald.com/localnews/recentnews/0011/ln111600f.html
  • Lawrence County Memoirs n.d. “Zombie Land – Hillsville PA” website referenced 11/12/18 at http://www.lawrencecountymemoirs.com/lcmpages/1073/zombieland-hillsville-pa
  • Reddit 2016 “Gruesome Murder of a Girl I Knew NSFW” by u/nebbles1069. Website referenced 11/12/18 at https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/462b6r/gruesome_murder_of_a_girl_i_knew_nsfw/
  • Penn Live e2016 “From Hell’s Hollow to Zombie Land: 13 western PA places with haunting legends. Website referenced 11/12/18 at https://www.pennlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/10/haunted_western_pennsylvania.html
  • Summers, Ken 2011 “The STrange History Behind America’s Creepiest Zombie Road Legends … and How You Can find them”. Website referenced 11/12/18 at http://weekinweird.com/2011/09/26/home-zombie-roads/
  • Tinsley, M. Ferguson 2000 “This time, Zombie Land tale is true”. Post-Gazette Staff. Website referenced 11/12/18 at http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20001031zombie1.asp
  • Torisk, Emmalee C. 2013 “Urban legends haunt Zombieland” : Vindy.com. Website referenced 11/12/18 at http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/oct/29/urban-legends-haunt-zombieland/
  • Warren, Louis S. unknown “The Hunters Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth Century America”. Website referenced 11/12/18 at https://books.google.com/books?id=OfeB1wAdQHwC&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=killing+fields+hillsville&source=bl&ots=GdJ2Dgjuqh&sig=A0EsgLm8cPefd44V8l6owSsq0IQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZocuBqtDeAhUp11kKHYObBIsQ6AEwFXoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=killing%20fields%20hillsville&f=false

(more…)

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“Shadow Hills” – Fontana California Hauntings

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“Shadow Hills” – Haunted South Ridge and Fontana area, California

According to the Inside the Inland Empire web site and various other ghost hunting blogs, the South Ridge area of Fontana is quite haunted. It has been nicknamed “Shadow Hills”. One family off of Jurupa street claim much paranormal activity in their home. Foot steps up the stairs with no one around, doors slamming on their own, microwave fan turning itself on, lights flickering, a little girl spirit on the stairs, spirits demanding the family to “Get Out”, apparitions of blood in the shower, zombies, and shadow creatures in the yard. Shadow creatures are commonly reported around the Inland Empire, especially at Mt. Rubidoux. Several of their neighbors off Jurupa street also claim a lot of activity. Rumor has it, there occurs a lot of moving in and out of the Jurupa street neighborhood. Stories and reports extend off Jurupa into the houses along Cypress, Coleen st, oleander ave, corner of Woodcrest drive, and Citrus. Some of the hauntings were reported in brand new homes without former residents. Apparitions of a little boy wearing a striped shirt, plumes of smoking rising up from the closet floor, feelings of being touched, jiggling door knobs, and chairs moving on their own. Some conclude that these houses are built atop an ancient Indian burial ground, although the reportings and activities don’t necessarily support such a theory. A house on the corner of Oak Park Elementary reports seeing a 1800’s dated apparition of a woman wearing a bonnet, lights turning on and off, voices, shadows, stuff moving around, etc. Another resident nearby also claims seeing women with white bonnets and powder blue dresses in their homes in the South Park district at 17203 Avenue Del Sol. A South ridge resident claimed poltergeist activity – reflections of people standing behind the sofa when the tv was off, doors opening and closing, banging in the walls, etc. Also reports on Heritage by various neighbors one claiming a mirror in their house on the east wall was a portal for entry as dictated by a psychic investigating the activity. A haunted house report on 14774 Mountain High Drive off Canyon Crest with apparitions of a silhouette atop the stairs, shadow beings, voices, etc. Another house below baseline near Beech Avenue reports of shadow beings, a little boy made of rock in the fire place, a little girl running about. Again more legends of houses built over a Indian Burial Ground. One claims their house was built above John Redcorn’s burial ground and had a apparition of a woman. Others report sightings and activity off Argentine by Oakwood Drive and behind the Pancho Villas.

Sightings of a chariot drawn by horses coming down the street, a figure in a trench coat with glasses, off Green Vista drive behind Southridge middle school. Reports of an area with creepy trees and bomb shelters with a ghost of a girl wearing a hospital gown also declared. Off of Woodcrest drive there was a family sighting a gnome in one of the bedrooms. This gnome was spying on the resident while he was sleeping, was no taller than the electrical socket, wearing weird dirty sport coat and a evil Leprechaun smile. There is the fabled Victorian style manor at 4701 Sierra Avenue in Hesperia (can be seen from the 15) reportedly haunted. Some say the house was relocated from where it was originally built atop a ancient burial mound. Some say the ghosts moved with it (house originally was in Redlands built in 1888 for Judge George E. Otis by D.M. Donald). One report of a spirit of a giant angry man who hurled a trespasser onto stones causing severe injuries to the man reporting it. Some say the owner confirms the hauntings.

Along highway 66 originally, the foothill boulevard is believed to be haunted by a young man in a striped shirt carrying a long stick or buggy whip, he is reported to cross the street when cars approach then disappears. Sometimes he is accompanied by a black dog. (GPS 34.10648057912253, -117.47255516122095)

Green Acres cemetery has reported occurrences of blood appearing on the table between the three marble chairs in the southeastern part of the cemetery every Halloween. East end of 7th street (GPS 34.039240814445115, -117.39045982811149) Also at the Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery there are rumors of a mother that haunts the bend around this cemetery and is the spirit of the mother who drowned her 6 children. According to Hispanic legend she is known as La Llorona or the Weeping Woman searching for the children she murdered. The spirits of two people who were executed here also reportedly haunt the cemetery and have been known to be the cause of fatal car accidents on this bend (2001 Agua Mansa Road – GPS 34.0420097, -117.36421819999998)

On Valley between Fontana and Colton there are reports of a man covered in black often walking the roadside. Reports of decayed children walking about at night. Multiple ghost sightings reportedly around Jurupa Park or Martin Tudor Park.
The Big Lots store (formerly Pic n Save) at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra is reportedly haunted with reports of several ghosts flickering lights, making noises, voices, knocking things off shelves, pulling of employee’s hair, etc. Some say the Ghost of a former Pic n Save employee named Manny haunts the store.

Along the Thompson Creek Trail, some report shadow beings following them when hiking this trail, and that skulls appear in the clouds above. Also that trees and bushes bleed on occasion. Some say they have had visions of levitating boulders, invisible walls blocking the path, and violent images. GPS 34.1290555, -117.7222145. Also the old boy scout’s cabin that burnt down up there is reportedly haunted.

    Properties:
  • Aqua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery
  • Aqua Mansa Road (2001 Aqua Mansa)
  • Argentine
  • Avenue del Sol (17203)
  • Beech Avenue
  • Big Lots store (Foot Hill boulevard and Sierra)
  • Citrus Street
  • Coleen Street
  • Cypress Street
  • Foot Hill Boulevard and Citrus Ave
  • Green Acres Cemetery
  • Heritage
  • Jurupa Street
  • Mountain High Drive (14774)
  • Oak Park Elementary
  • Oakwood Drive
  • Oleander Ave
  • Sierra Ave (4701)
  • Southridge Middle School
  • Thompson creek trail
  • Valley between Fontana and Colton
  • Woodcrest Drive

    References:

  • Ghosts of America unknown “Fontana, California ghost sightings” http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/9/California_Fontana_ghost_sightings.html website referenced 5/22/2015.
  • Haunted Hovel unknown “Fontana, Ca. / Renne / Sierra Ave off the 15 fwy.” http://www.hauntedhovel.com/fontana-ca-renne-sierra-ave-off-the-15-fwy.html. website referenced 5/22/2015.
  • Haunted Places unknown “Haunted Places in Fontana, California” http://www.hauntedplaces.org/fontana-ca/ Website refrenced 5/22/2015.
  • Inside the IE.com unknown “Haunted House in South Ridge Fontana”. http://www.insidetheie.com/haunted-house-fontana. Website referenced 5/22/2015.
  • Palmer, Chuck 1982 “Old House has new home”. The Sun Feb 15, 1982. DM Donald built the home in 1888 in Redlands for Judge George E. Otis.
  • Wikipedia unknown “Shadow Hills California” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Hills,_Los_Angeles website referenced 5/22/2015.

If you’ve experienced sightings in this area, please share here.

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Irish-language Zombie Comic Book

cross-posted from http://roguevalleymessenger.com/art-culture/spring-arts-preview-medford-artist-launching-irish-language-zombie-comic-book#.VPNcyPnF-Gx

– Published February 17 2015

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW: Medford Artist Launching Irish-language Zombie Comic Book

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” the classic line from George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead would have read a little differently had the film been written by Medford-based zombie fans, Tj and Linda O’Connor––something more like, “Tá siad ag teacht a fháil duit, Barbara!” which might read like zombie speak if your Irish Gaelic is a little rusty.

The third-generation Irish-American couple has fused their seemingly unrelated passions for their family tongue and the zombies who want to eat that tongue (along with everything attached to it) into an Irish language zombie comic series, Tá na Mairbh ag Filleadh (roughly translated, The Returning Dead). In the spirit of sharing their love for the brain-eating shenanigans of the celtic undead, the O’Connors are raising the funds to publish their web comic as a graphic novel.

Reading Irish children’s books to their two-year-old daughter inspired them to add to the cannon. “There are [Irish language] books out there, but there’s not that many comic books,” says Tj O’Connor, “So I wanted to do a zombie comic book in Irish because it’s kind of something that doesn’t really exist.”

The couple is bringing up their children as bilingual Irish and English speakers. “We both growing up had family members who spoke Irish,” says Tj, “That’s how we both started learning it when we were children. So I always speak Irish to my kids.”

The O’Connors are hoping to fund the printing of the graphic novel through a Kickstarter campaign closing in early March. If the project is funded, the O’Connors hope to finish the book shortly thereafter, so the ginger zombies may be coming for your kids by summer. You can get updates on the project through Kickstarter and read some of the comics (English translations are available) at occomix.com(link is external).

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There are no mermaids: US government

You know there has to be something incredible about to be revealed when after thousands of years of myth and legend, all of the sudden the Government has to address fairy tales and telling people that such things “PROBABLY” do not exist … ~ Leaf McGowan

[cross post via WordPress PressThis ]
http://news.yahoo.com/no-mermaids-us-government-212628320.html

AFP
AFP – 3 hrs ago

The United States government has assured its citizens that, much like zombies, mermaids probably do not exist, saying in an official post: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

“Mermaids — those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea — are legendary sea creatures,” read the online statement from the National Ocean Service (NOS).

The agency, charged with responding to natural hazards, received letters inquiring about the existence of the sea maidens after the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet network broadcast “Mermaids: The Body Found” in May.

File photo of Hannah the Mermaid in the Mermaid Lagoon exhibit at the Sydney Aquarium. The United States government has assured citizens that much like zombies, mermaids probably do not exist. "Mermaids -- those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea -- are legendary sea creatures." (AFP Photo/Torsten Blackwood)
File photo of Hannah the Mermaid … The show “paints a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like, and why they’ve stayed hidden… until now,” a Discovery Channel press release says.

Conversely, the US government declaration offered no conclusive proof to deny the existence of mermaids.

The statement comes after another government agency, this time the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), declared there was no conclusive evidence for the existence of zombies.

The CDC had published instructional materials on how to survive a “zombie apocalypse,” in what the agency now calls “a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with messages of preparedness messages.”

The campaign was followed by a series of cannibalistic attacks in North America.

People dressed as zombies march around the streets of San Francisco to promote a new game for the iPhone in May 2012. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared there was no conclusive evidence for the existence of zombies. (AFP Photo/Kimihiro Hoshino)
People dressed as zombies march …

In one such attack on May 26, a 31-year-old Miami man stripped naked and chewed off most of a homeless man’s face.

The Twittersphere was suddenly alive with people talking about the real and present danger of a zombie apocalypse.

The CDC was quick to respond to allegations of corpses rising from the dead to eat the living.

(more…)

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Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods (R: 2012)

Cabin in the Woods ~ (Rated R: 2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1259521/ * Director: Drew Goddard. * Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. * Starring: Kristen Connolly as Dana; Chris Hemsworth as Curt; Anna Hutchison as Jules; Fran Kranz as Marty; Jesse Williams as Holden; Richard Jenkins as Sitterson; Bradley Whitford as Hadley; Brian White as Truman and many others.

Within the last several years Hollywood and the film industry has been evolving and expanding the classical monster tale, as we watched through the ages meandering from Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Werewolf, and Count Dracula towards a whole different species of Werewolves, vampires, and zombies. Then came the serial killers obsessed with pain, torture, maiming, and realistic grotesque murder sprees self styled after Ted Bundy, Fred West, or Jeffrey Dalmer only to exaggerate to supernatural tales of Halloween, Friday the 13th, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now a new sense of horror, going back to supernatural beliefs on Witches, Druids, Spirits, and creatures from the races of Darker Faeries come crawling out from their sidhe with vicious mermaids and mer-men, leprechauns, gremlins, goblins, orcs, giants, and titans. The Old God/desses are being brought back to life. What one would imagine would be a typical hack n’ slash film by the title of “Cabin in the Woods” turned to a conspiracy theorie, Dark ancient Deities tale of human sacrifice at a high corporate level ploy to satiate the “ancient ones”. None other than a tale weaved by Buffy’s Joss Whedon to give that twisted plot some fantastical depth. These five friends go on vacation to a remote cabin in the woods, only to find them trapped and manipulated in a pseudo-realm where they are lined up to voluntarily sacrifice themselves to the dark spirits.

The five college-aged kids head off to a friend’s cabin in the woods and lose all communication with the outside world. During “party time” and unwinding, the cellar door mysteriously flips open, only to involved a truth or “dare” to investigate the darkness. Within is a treasure trove of artifacts, each with a secret and a beast to unleash. Meanwhile they are monitored by a high tech secret lab where the white coats bet on which creature they will face – Pinhead, the Mer-man, flesh eating zombies, a ghoul, or a prehistoric monster of dinosaur proportions. Dana reads from the diary of an imbred hillybilly family thereby awakening the now family of deadly murderous zombies. But this is not the only laboratory experiment of what supernatural creatures will be unleashed, as the lab coats are monitoring similar setups from around the world, hopeful of a successful stint with the cabin. As each of the college kids get knocked off, the ploy backfires as the “virgin” saved for the last, teamed up with the brainy pot-head discover the conspiracy and find their way down into depths uncovering an ancient temple lair holding back the ancient Titans from destroying the Earth – satiated by an annual sacrifice that was planned. None of the scenarios work out for the guardians and literally “all hell breaks loose” as magical and supernatural beings, creatures, and monsters look at the lab coats and armed forces as a smorgasboard brunch. The Director of the agency, played by Sigourney Weaver, tells them the truth that the ritual involving sacrifice of the Whore (Jules), the Athlete (Curt), the Scholar (Holden), the Fool (Marty), and the Virgin (Dana) was to appease the “Ancient Ones” who lived beneath the facility. They had to die in archetypical order until the virgin remained. Werewolves, mer-creatures, unicorns, ghouls, zombies, and a giant serpent take their wraith. The Ancient ones rise to destroy the facility and the cabin. While an element of “kitch” and whacky elements loomed over the film, the special effects and deep mythical supernatural plot humored and entertained me. [Rating:4] Rating of four stars out of five. ~ Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

Youtube Trailer Preview

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

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“Haitian Horror” by Thomas Baurley

Haitian Zombification

A treatise in 1989 on “Haitian Zombies”. Exploring Wade Davis’ work in Haiti with the compound made from tetrodotoxin utilized by witch doctors in creating real-life zombies as slaves.

Baurley, Thomas: 1989 Haitian Horror: Zombification as Myth or Reality?. Florida State University: 1989.

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