News Article

News Article

Are the 'Zombies of Toraja' the Actual Walking Dead?

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This is one of the creepiest and most fascinating real-world stories you'll read today: in the Indonesian village of Toraja, the locals believe that zombies are a part of everyday life... and that it's not necessarily a bad thing to become one.
 
Oddity Central uncovered an account from a few years back about the funeral practices of Toraja, where certain individuals are believed to possess the magical ability to make the dead walk, and how this is seen as a beneficial practice: according to tradition, a person must be buried in the village where they were born, and if that doesn't happen, these reanimation specialists may help the dead walk back to their proper resting place. This skill may also come into play if there is a lengthy delay between a person's death and their final burial ceremony, which is often an elaborate and expensive process; once the family has made the proper arrangements, the deceased can then be raised again to walk from a temporary grave to a permanent one.
 
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That's a fascinating story on its own, but the photo above, taken in Taraja and allegedly depicting a corpse undergoing this reanimation ritual, makes for a pretty fitting illustration. The image has gone viral lately, and while there are plenty of down-to-earth explanations (the pic could be staged or doctored, or the woman may be suffering from a skin condition), it's still very haunting, especially in light of the town's zombie lore.
 
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