The present day “zombie” that’s often seen in horror movies and other fiction is quite different from the original source of the legend. The zombie as a stumbling, brain-obsessed undead being was first popularized in films of the 1960s and 70s. This type zombie is often used as an allegory for mindless consumption or other social commentary. It combines elements of various myths and horror stories, including the traditional zombie, vampires, and Frankenstein’s monster.
Originally, the word zombie or zombi was used to describe a recently deceased person who has been brought back to life and is under the control of someone else, usually a powerful sorcerer or witch. This type of zombie folklore comes from Haitian voodoo legends. These original zombies don’t crave brains and are completely under the spell of the one who summoned them.