Clairvius Narcisse had been feeling ill for some time. At a local hospital in the Haitian town of Deschapelle, he complained to his doctors of fever, body aches, and vomiting. His condition rapidly deteriorated, and two days later, on May 2, 1962, he fell into a comatose state and soon died.
But hold on, there’s more to this story …
The following tale, which was the inspiration for The Serpent and the Rainbow, is from Mission Blue, a website created to alert the public to critical ocean issues. And, as you’ll see, apparently zombification of the human race is one of the issues we need to concern ourselves with. Continuing on with the unfortunate story of Narcisse …
Narcisse’s grief-stricken sister collected the body, and his family buried him the next day. Eighteen years later, a man approached Narcisse’s sister in the local marketplace. He claimed to be her long-dead brother. He was. Narcisse was the victim of one of the 1,000 cases of zombification in Haiti that is reported annually. Zombification, which started as part of Voodoo, has now been linked to several varieties of puffer fish.
That’s right, those cute little fish with the giant heads that wriggle around your tank can zombify you without even a second thought!
Narcisse described being lucid but unable to react those many years ago, as he was pronounced dead, heard his sister weeping, and was sealed in his own coffin. At times, he said his skin burned and felt as if insects were crawling under it, while other moments left him feeling as though he were floating above his grave.
To hear the rest of this story and learn more about the “zombie fish”, check out the story on Mission Blue.
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