How Zombies Work

Zombie Self-Defense

An important rule of zombie survival: Don't get surrounded. From "Night of the Living Dead."

Whether featuring traditional, shambling zombies or a newer, smarter breed, most movies and games agree on how to survive a zombie attack:

  1. Don't panic.
  2. Get away from the zombies. Most of the time, you can move faster than they can.
  3. Gather food, water, an emergency radio, flashlights and weapons, and retreat to a secure location.
  4. If possible, retreat to a shopping mall, general retail store or other location where you'll have easy access to food and supplies.
  5. Stay away from densely populated areas, where the infestation is likely to be heaviest.
  6. Barricade all entrances and stay put at all costs.
  7. Don't get surrounded or backed into a corner or other enclosed space.
  8. Remember that anyone bitten or killed by a zombie will become a threat to you and your party.
  9. Wait patiently for rescue and make long-term preparations for your survival.

Also, avoid common mistakes like:


  • Sheltering in a vehicle to which you do not have the keys
  • Leaving blades, cudgels or other basic weapons out for zombies to find
  • Teaching zombies how to use firearms
  • Giving your only weapon to anyone who is hysterical
  • Retreating to a basement or cellar without taking supplies with you
  • Getting into an elevator in a building infested with zombies
  • Letting personal feelings and arguments get in the way of survival

Follow the links below for lots more information about Haiti, voodoo, zombies and related topics.

Related Articles
More Great Links
  • Allen, W.H. "Stories of the Walking Dead." Severn House, 1986.
  • Davis, Wade. "The Serpent and the Rainbow." Simon and Schuster, 1986.
  • Davis, Wade. "Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of Haitian Zombies." U of North Carolina Press, 1988.
  • Hurston, Zora Neale. "Tell My Horse." Harper Perennial (reissue), 1990.
  • "Night of the Living Dead" (1968)
  • "Night of the Living Dead" (1990)
  • "Dawn of the Dead" (1978)
  • "Day of the Dead" (1985)
  • "28 Days Later"
  • "Shaun of the Dead"
Web Sites
  • Dennett, Daniel C. "The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies."
  • Dundas, Zach. "Feel the Loa, Taste the Vision Vine." Mumblage Archives.
  • Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency
  • Flanagan, Owen and Thomas Polger. "Zombies and the Function of Consciousness." Journal of Consciousness Studies, vol. 2, no. 4., 1995.
  • The I Love Zombies Page
  • The Voudou Page
  • West African Voodoo
  • "When Zombies Take Over, How Long till the Electricity Fails?" The Straight Dope, June 15, 2004.
  • Zeus, Dr. "How to Survive a Zombie Attack." Kuro5hin, April 19, 2005.
  • Zombie Anti-Defamation League
  • Zombie Warning
  • Zombies
  • "Zombis May Not Be what they're Reputed to Be." Doctor's Guide, October 10, 1997.