Although this is a zombie blog I thought I would take this week to look at some of the other wonderful “undead” creatures wandering about out there in the shadows.
Mummies may be the creatures closest resembling zombies. It might even be possible to simply say they are a subcategory of zombie but I would disagree with that assertion.
Mummies are the well-preserved remains of humans. They have, over the years, come back from their graves to haunt and terrorize us. Although they can occur naturally in rare cases and have been found in cultures from South America to China, they are usually associated with Egypt due to popular culture. News stories from the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries fed into the idea of a Mummy’s curse which would doom anyone who disturbed their eternal slumber. This played well on peoples’ superstitions and lead to movies that portrayed just that.
The big difference between mummies and zombies is that mummies don’t reproduce. If you get bit or infected by a zombie you usually become a zombie and the disease spreads. When a mummy kills you, you don’t become a new mummy. Added to that, mummies typically have a very specific purpose to getting up and moving around again. They are usually enacting revenge upon people who have stolen a gem or scarab or broken a seal on a tomb or some such thing. Once revenge has been taken though the mummies are perfectly willing to go back to sleep and be left well enough alone while doing the same for us.
Zombies have none of these concerns and will just mindlessly feed on flesh. Another thing which separates the mummy from the zombie, the fact that mummies don’t eat people. And though some zombies have been brought back through sorcery or magic, many have been brought back through biological, or chemical means. Something which would never happen with a mummy. Mummies are only brought back through magic. (I’m sure there is some horrible exception to the rule out there but that would be a bit of an aberration and not the norm.)