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44

Undead 101 Death holds a fascination in literature for humans because it is the last door that every human will eventually cross from which there is no return. As a result there are numerous cultural ideas, stories, myths and tales of horror that talk about what happens when people do return from beyond the grave. Death is not required to be a member of the ...


30

As Hank mentions in this video, zombie creation myths (like superhero origins) are associated with what one fears in the society those myths are created. We fear that zombies will infect us with disease/modified-genes/something else X and this is shown outwardly by their fetid nature; we fear inheriting their weaknesses, often created from our own hubris. ...


16

This is simply not so. Vampires have often been depicted as corpse-like. Pale cold flesh. Long fingernails and hair, longer than they were in life... as is commonly (but erroneously) believed to happen to corpses in their casket. Barring those stories where they "sparkle in the sunlight", they've been depicted with foul breath, the stench of death, and every ...


12

Technically he could be called one Defining Lich as: In fantasy fiction, a lich (/ˈlɪtʃ/;1 sometimes spelled liche, cognate to Dutch lijk and German Leiche, both meaning "corpse") is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind ...


11

It may be down to: Imhotep, a real Egyptian chancellor/high priest, popularized as a mummy in Boris Karloff's The Mummy [1932] and the more recent The Mummy [1999] and The Mummy Returns [2001]- both with Brendan Fraser, or: Kharis, a fictional character, who was featured by Lon Chaney in The Mummy's Tomb [1942], The Mummy's Ghost [1944], and The Mummy's ...


11

It seems to be a mixture of black magic and body transference From The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, we see Joeseph Curwen was almost certainly a necromancer: In many cases, diarists have recorded with some awe, Curwen shewed almost the power of a wizard in unearthing family secrets for questionable use. During the final five years of his life it seemed ...


11

I believe you are looking for "Disturb Not My Slumbering Fair", a 1978 macabre tale by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I first encountered it in the Asimov collection, Young Monsters, but it's appeared in several collections: You can find a summary here, at a review of Cautionary Tales: This story is original to the anthology, and the following author’s note draws ...


9

"Lich" is a very old word meaning "body" or "corpse". It originates from Middle English sometime before 900 AD: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lich It is no longer in normal English usage, but survives as part of compound words such as lich-gate, meaning the entrance to a churchyard. As you may have noticed, HP Lovecraft was fond of obscure old ...


8

I suppose it was based on the legend of Koschei the deathless. He kept his soul inside an egg and he couldn't be killed while his soul was kept safe, pretty much as a lich (except for the different recipient). Another possibility was the jars where the ancient Egyptians used to kept the organs of the dead as part of the mummification process.


8

If by "novelization" you mean the original novel, in Matheson's story vampirism is caused by a bacterium that is sensitive to UV light, so direct sunlight kills the bacterium, which had animated the host body, causing rapid decomposition (and staking works because it introduces air into the body, which switches the bacterias metabolism from ...


7

No corpses so far. Wights in the books are described as having pale flesh, pale blue eyes, black hands. They greatly differ from classic Romero type zombies. A headless wight or wight's severed arm still poses a threat. So there are no other way to kill the wight, except the fire. ADWD, chapter 13, Bran. This chapter is a good source, it has all the answers ...


7

As the comments mention, there is a great variety of different answers to this question, depending on the universe. In some universes (Twilight and Scott Westerfeld's Peeps), vampires are not actually dead, but are humans who have been modified by biological or supernatural processes. Not being dead, these "vampires" would not rot. In most universes where ...


7

I searched Google's Ngrams and Google books for "living impaired." There are sporadic hits in the corpus of scanned books for those two words in succession. However, prior to the 1980s, none of these were actually the expression in question. There were few enough hits that I could check them all, and they came from phrases like, "... having their standard ...


7

People of a certain aesthetic sort: (successful dreamers) can continue in the dreamlands [The Quest for Unknown Kadath] even after their bodies are dead on Earth. The dreamlands seem to be an aspect of the total human unconsciousness stretching back to prehistory (which is why Lomar etc are both in the dreamlands as still existing countries and long ...


6

This is an old question, but it's gotten bumped, so I am sharing some old research that I was a part of about twenty-five years ago. There are not (to my knowledge) any archives of the bulletin board where this was discussed, but I remember the rough conclusions that we came to. We were coming to the question from the point of view of Dungeons & ...


6

The only actual use of the word "lich" in the literature associated with Lovecraft is in August Derleth's (under a pseudonym) "The Extra Passenger." The usage there indicated a reanimated corpse, more intelligent than a zombie, but a corpse all the same. Derleth indicated the supernatural appearance of the corpse to the activity of a demon transporting it ...


6

As a commenter has noted, it's a broad question, but I think it can be answered directly if we stick to a few key parts: the definition of a zombie and the requirements for an example. Definition: a zombie must have died and come back to life Qualified example: a qualified example must be from a publication of some sort with a moderate or greater audience ...


6

Quite possibly one of the most trustworthy resources here would be Max Brooks. His explanation of the motivation for eating humans follows: source (em. mine): Motivation Why do the undead prey upon the living? If it has been proven that human flesh serves no nutritional purpose, why does their instinct drive them to murder? The truth eludes us. ...


6

Zombie Digestion: To put it bluntly, zombie digestion doesn't exist. Zombies are, after all, dead. They are compelled to bite any animal that moves, including humans, and given the chance, they will "eat" flesh, but it doesn't actually benefit them in any way. This is a pretty consistent rule across the slow zombie spectrum; it is left unsaid in ...


5

At least in film, the first "modern" zombies, the literal dead walking again (as opposed to voodoo and other drug and / or hypnotic states) appear a couple years before Night of the Living Dead. A Hammer film from 1966, Plague of the Zombies, was the first film to show corpses rising out of their graves, digging through the earth, to walk again. While ...


5

In the Dresden files, the vampires of the Black Court do decompose. The eldest among them have become completely dessicated, but this is only after rotting which can take awhile. The other vampire courts operate somewhat differently, and can at least appear completely human. Although, not much is known about the Jade Court.


5

Honestly, Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) seems to be the earliest work I've found where the vampires are warded off by a cross. Varney, one of the predecessors to Dracula, was specifically noted to not be bothered by them. There's probably folklore associated with apotropaic wardings of vampires, but I have not found them yet. As a side note, it does not ...


4

It's not an easy-to-answer question, because many authors intentionally take very different passes at the concept of the undead. It's such an exploitable uncanny valley device that it's more common a phenomenon than any one type of undeath. I would consider the underlying consistency to be irredeemability of some sort, most often mental and/or physical. ...


4

The Walking Dead borrows heavily from the (mass outbreak) zombie genre. In very few other movies or stories have animals ever been able to become zombified. Though they may come up with their own particular explanation for why this is so, I contend that they have it so only because no other stories have ever done it. And the reasons for that are interesting....


4

The transcript only refers to them as skeletons. The Pirates of the Caribbean wiki refers to them as "Cursed." If neither of these suit you, then I would say simply "the undead" would be the best term, based on what Barbosa says: We are not among the living and so we cannot die...but neither are we dead! We have all the desires of the living, but cannot ...


4

If you ignore the rare ancient myth or two, there are two main kinds of werewolf: Werewolves are occult in origin from the medieval years onward to the 19th century where the Werewolf is a beast of supernatural origin having either been a person who sold their soul or had a magic spell or curse cast on them. Not undead, but occult and definitely bestial ...


3

Edit: This answer was written on rpg.SE from where it got moved here. :) I know this Q might soon be migrated off-site (and not for a bad reason.) Before it goes, though, let me offer an elusive answer for your consideration: A lich of/in the Cthulhu Mythos works as you, the Keeper wants it to work. Make up your ritual, make up your own version of the ...


3

In the earliest stories of the undead, they were purely creatures of magic. There aren't many variants either, almost all of them are what you and I would recognize as vampires. These are creatures that drink blood, kill and convert the living to what they are, can't abide the light of day, and can't easily be destroyed. None of their traits or abilities ...


3

While most definitions would probably be similar, that may or may not be a consensus, depending on how particular you are about the definitions. For me, "true" undead would require that the person, the original spirit inhabiting the body, be dead and the soul has moved on. The remains are then animated either by some magical force or a different spirit. In ...


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