While hoards of the living dead are not endlessly looking to eat our brains (yet), that doesn't mean there aren't some horrifying cases of people showcasing zombie-like behavior. From rising out of coffins at their funerals to tearing off raw human flesh with their teeth to even companies experimenting with reanimating the dead, these chilling real life 'zombie' stories rival even the most terrifying episodes of 'The Walking Dead.'
Only a zombie could eat their own family, right? In a tragic and heartbreaking tale, a young mother was accused of cannibalism after a nurse found her mouth clamped around her newborn's arm. Instantly the nurse struggled to get 24-year-old Li Zhenghua to let go of her son, but the new mother refused. Quickly she was sedated and the baby was removed, although he did suffer bruising and bleeding from the attack. It is unknown what caused her to engage in such gruesome behavior, yet apparently Li was kicked out by her mother-in-law and was roaming the streets of Southern China for weeks leading up to her giving birth.
What began as a seemingly tall tale took on real life when Harvard professor Wade Davis took interest in the story and made a startling discovery. The tale begins when a woman saw her brother walking heavy-footed and with vacant eyes in a market in Haiti, 18 years after she watched his lifeless body be placed in the ground! Then man, Clairvuis Narcisse, had long ago contracted a mysterious fever, and within two weeks was pronounced dead and buried. Yet according to Narcisse, he was actually conscious the entire time, but was completely unable to move or speak. He heard the doctors pronounce him dead, felt the sheet cover his body and could hear the scoops of fresh dirt hitting to top of his coffin. His story was that a witch doctor had resurrected him, then controlled his mind and body and forced him to be his slave. While sounding like the plot of a movie (it later became one thanks to Wes Craven), Davis traveled to Haiti and discovered what he called "zombie powder" - a potent mixture that puts victims into a death-like state. The witch doctor would then return with an antidote that would revive the person but keep them in a pharmacologically-induced trance for days, months or even years.
You may think most Canadians are too busy saying "sorry" and feasting on poutine to ever behave in a zombie-like fashion, but that apparently isn't always the case. Cue in the story of Vince Weiguang Li, who was sitting next to a sleeping passenger, the poor, poor Tim McLean, on a bus when he went full living-dead crazy. Li savagely attacked McLean and DECAPITATED the guy. He then went to town eating his eyes, ears, nose and tongue while terrified passengers fled for their lives. Currently in a maximum security mental facility, Li later admitted the attack stemmed from him believing that McLean was an alien doomed to kill many. Though why he felt the need to eat said alien, is a mystery that perhaps we don't want to know the answer to.
Even the living dead can die again, which it what appeared to happen to a young boy in Brazil in a case that had doctors puzzled doctors. The boy was struggling with a grave case of pneumonia and eventually lost the fight due to respiratory failure. Yet at his funeral, while grieving family member's were gathered around, the boy shot straight up, erringly smiling while he looked around at all his stunned family members. He then asked, "Daddy, can I have some water?" Then just like that he peacefully reclined back into his coffin, were he once again went limp. The boy was raced back to the hospital, were mystified doctors were unable to explain what had happened, and declared that he was indeed dead.
Any illegal drug can cause havoc to your system, but there is one so dangerous it has been dubbed the "Zombie Drug" by many. The horrendous drug is a flesh-eater, and within just a few short months will start to rot away the skin as the drug feasts on the flesh and organs internally. Officially known as Krokodil, this Russian "zombie drug' began being smuggled into the US just a few years ago, and two sisters in a small town in Illinois soon learned of its deadly side effects. The cheap, intense high was great at first, but soon they noticed deep, scaly wounds; literally their skin was rotting away. Sometimes the wounds would bleed so bad they thought they were going to die. One of the girl's boyfriend even got it so bad that he had maggots crawling out of his leg. The images can be a bit gruesome, but you can see the horrifying effects of the "zombie drug" here, if you dare.
While most stories of cannibalism, aka real life zombies, have to deal with random strangers, things only get more terrifying when the eater intimately knows the eaten. Such was the case with Antron Singleton, also known as the rapper Big Lurch, who quickly lurched towards his roomie Tynisha Ysais after a night of smoking PCP. Police later found Ysais' body with teeth marks on her face and lungs, which had been ripped out of her chest! They found Big Lurch naked and covered in blood, screaming at the sky. They also found human flesh in his stomach. Currently incarcerated for life, there must be fellow zombies out that looking out for their own, because there is a petition known as "Free Big Lurch." Um, please don't.
Has there ever been a book, movie, really anything where reanimating the dead was ever a good idea?! That is why it is so terrifying that Bioquark Inc. is literally trying to bring people back from the dead, which will obviously be the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. The plan? Injecting stem cells into the brain, stimulating nerves and infusing the spinal cords with chemicals to attempt to achieve their goal. And they are pretty confident they should start to see results in their test patients in just a matter of months. Good thing the government already has their zombie apocalypse plan in place.
So, let's just preface this by saying don't grab a kebab, or really any meat, from a street vendor in Russia. Why you may ask? Well, people were terrified when they found dismembered parts of a human body near a bus stop. This soon lead police to a chilling discovery, as they found three homeless men who ruthlessly attacked a 25-year-old victim, devouring chunks of his flesh themselves and selling the rest to a local kiosk selling kebabs and meat pies. While these entrepreneurial real-life zombies are terrifying enough, it seems even more unsettling that there is a food stand buying random meat from homeless men.
It appears that death makes zombies very hungry (hence their eternal quest to feast on human flesh), and one woman can definitely attest to that. A 95-year-old woman from China, who lived alone, was found motionless by a neighbor who went to go check on her. She wasn't breathing and couldn't be awaken, so the neighbor began arrangements for her funeral. Following tradition, the woman's body was left in an open coffin for a few days in order for friends and relatives to pay their respects. Yet just a day before she was to be placed in the ground, the neighbor came back to find her coffin completely empty. After a frantic search, the 95-year-old woman was found in her kitchen cooking, saying she woke up and was very hungry. So while this tradition of leaving the body out for viewing probably helped save the woman's life (and possibly coming back as a real angry zombie), it did have the downfall of her losing all her possessions because, according to ritual, after a person dies all their belongings must be burnt.
You may recall this terrifying account of cannibalism that was essentially a zombie attack, minus the raised from the dead aspect (as far as we know). It all happened in Miami, Florida (of course) on an otherwise unsuspecting night, when a naked Rudy Eugene brutally attacked poor homeless Ronald Poppo. After beating him unconscious, the "Miami Zombie" went to town feasting on his face, chewing off most of the flesh above Poppo's beard, including his left eye. When police finally arrived on the scene, after taking a shocking double take, ordered Eugene off his victim, but he simply growled and went back to his meal of human flesh. So he was shot, but that proved completely useless. Police had to fire multiple times before they were successfully able to stop and kill the "Miami Zombie." Later toxicology reports indicated that Eugene only had marijuana in his system, which last time we checked, eating someone's face is not a typical side effect of cannabis...
If a zombie apocalypse were to happen, China is probably the last place you'd want to be, not only due to their highly populated cities, but because they've had quite a few zombie-like attacks happen over the years (like the mother and her son). Yet one in particular involved a Chinese bus driver who was apparently just "drunk," but obviously there was a lot more going on. The man soon began angered at another motorist and ran out in front of her car, jumping on the hood and beating the vehicle as a terrified woman screamed inside. In a desperate attempt to escape, the woman tried to flee, but the man pounced on her and BEGAN EATING HER FACE. Nearby citizens were able to eventually pull the zombie (man) off, yet the damage was so severe that she needed surgery to repair her nose and lips.
Oh, where to begin with this nightmare. We could begin with the fact that Nikolai Dzhumagaliev loved to kill and eat people, with a special taste for prostitutes. That of course leads into the fact that this psycho zombie had all his teeth replaced with metal fangs, ya know, because that makes it much easier to rip into flesh. Oh, but how could we forget that this guy forced his zombie ways onto his friends at dinner parties, serving up heaping portions of human flesh under the guise that is was pork. Yes, somehow this guy had friends! He was eventually found out when some of his drunk friends found a human head and intestines in his fridge. Yet probably the most chilling aspect to this story is that after less than 10 years of 'rehabilitation,' he was released as a free man. He is rumored to be staying with relatives somewhere in Eastern Europe, but really could be anywhere.
While bugs can be plenty scary on their own, it turns out there are a number of species which commit horrors on par to something seen on 'The Walking Dead.' From wasps to hair worms to even a type of fungus which terrorizes ants, these creatures attack and infect their victims, injecting a concoction of chemicals which doesn't allow their victim to think or act for themselves anymore. They usually then lay an egg, allowing their young to feast on their mind-controlled host until their body is no longer needed, having been sucked dry of its nutrients. Geez, mother nature is truly terrifying!
A young girl in the Philippines was suffering from a high fever for days when things took a turn to the worse. After being rushed to the hospital, an attending clinic personal and physician both confirmed a lack of pulse and the girl was declared dead. The family sadly went about preparing for the funeral, with a neighbor being tasked with preparing the remains in the coffin. Yet when they lift the lid the spotted the 3-year-old move. Immediately her father scooped her up and rushed her yet again to the hospital once it was confirmed she had started breathing again.
Ok, so this is totally just an amazing scene from the classic Italian film Zombies 2 (1979), but it was just too good not to include. Watch it for yourself here.
In the height of the Ebola health epidemic, there were many strange cases involving the deadly virus, including those already thought dead coming back to life. In one such instance, a man had been laying in the street for days before health workers finally came to collect the body, placing it in a body bag and preparing to cover it with bleach (a method to help prevent the spread of the disease). All of a sudden, one worker noticed his hand making a subtle movement. It turns out the man wasn't dead after all, and luckily was able to just barely move enough to make this fact known before his body was to be bleached and buried.