A Zombie Apocalypse? I Don’t Think So

William Brown, Staff Writer/Editor-in- Chief

In the past month, there has been a lot of hype over incidents that some say is a zombie apocalypse — the consuming of human flesh by the walking dead. These incidents have caused worry and anxiousness among many people. However, research of the facts proves that, although weird, these events are not caused by an uprising of zombies.

The story began in Miami, Florida on May 29, 2012 when a man was caught on security camera consuming the face of a homeless man who had been napping in the shade. According to an online CNN news article, this man, Rudy Eugene, was shot several times but simply responded with a growl as he continued eating the man’s face before being shot several more times resulting in his death. The spread of this news story left people to do what they do best – instantly figure the worst possible scenario. Thus the theory of a zombie apocalypse began.

And then came more stories. One in particular posted at www.northJersey.com involving an odd occurrence. This story was about a man in Hackensack, New Jersey and was written the exact same day that Eugene had consumed the face of the homeless man. The man, Wayne Carter, was cornered in his home and began to repeatedly stab himself in the stomach and ended up throwing clumps of skin and intestines at the officers. Is this a case of zombies? The theory now hits the Internet.

These crazy occurrences sparked more worry of a zombie apocalypse. But before jumping on that bandwagon, I came across some interesting facts on a website called Mirror News. The website explained that Eugene, the consumer of the homeless man’s face, was said to have been under the effects of a drug often compared to LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, known as “bath salts.”

According to a CNN news video and an article on the website of The Daily Free Press, lysergic acid diethylamide and “bath salts” have side effects that match the actions of Eugene. LSD and “bath salts” often give the user higher blood pressure and body temperature, thus explaining why Eugene was naked during the attack. Also, LSD and “bath salts” can cause the user to have mood swings including combative behaviors; explaining why Eugene had the urge to attack the innocent homeless man. According to NJ.com, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a government organization, stepped into the situation due to the spike in worry about a zombie-causing deadly infection. An agency spokesperson explained:  “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms).”

Then another story added to the speculation. According to FoxNews.com, in Maryland, a college student admitted to eating the brain and heart of his roommate after dismembering the body in November 2008. He admitted to this on the Tuesday that the Miami cannibal incident happened. In addition to this story, the search for an adult film actor from Canada concluded in his arrest at an Internet café in Germany. This man allegedly killed his lover before raping him and eating parts of his body. The pieces that weren’t consumed, he sent in boxes to Canadian politicians. Is this evidence of a zombie apocalypse? The rumors are now trending.

Although the media loves the zombie apocalypse story, there is no way that a zombie apocalypse is around the corner just because of a few weird incidents. I understand that the actions of these people are out of the ordinary, but this kind of behavior is not new. For example, in India there is a cult known as Aghori Sadhus that digs up dead bodies and consumes them. There’s also another story of a rugby team that was in an airplane crash in the Andes Mountains. On this event There has been a movie created and a book written by Piers Paul Read known as Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors. The men and women were forced to consume the flesh of people who did not survive the crash. They had no other choice if they wanted to survive (which they did). Are these people zombies? No. They are,in fact, not.

So for those who have been losing sleep worrying about the invasion of the walking dead who eat human flesh, you can relax. The only zombies alive and well in 2012 (or in this case, dead and well) are the cheesy, slow-motion zombies we see in George Romero’s older movies. Zombie apocalypse? I think not.