Journalist and adventurer William Seabrook introduced the concept of the walking dead ― zombies ― to the West with his illustrated travelogue. He relates his. Full text of “The Magic island / by W. B. Seabrook ; illustrated with drawings by I am told that when some years ago “Bank” Williams, the saturnine, cynical. The Magic island / by W. B. Seabrook ; illustrated with drawings by Alexander King. by Seabrook, W. B. (William Buchler), Topics Haiti Social life and.

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As the blood had represented the mys- tery of death, sacrifice, and purification, likewise fertiliza- tion as it was poured upon the earth, the egg now repre- sented rebirth, productivity, fertility, re-creation. All the home-made chairs in the neighbor- hood had been borrowed, also old boxes and stools.

William Seabrook’s “The Magic Island” Brought Zombies to America

If a cock is demanded, we wklliam give it. Nor had this any remote connection with the fact that I, a white man, knelt there among these swaying blacks who would presently become blood-frenzied. They offered me clairin, raw white rum, in tin cups.

The old hougan, shouting now so that his voice could be heard above the singing, demanded once more silence, and placing both hands heavily upon my head, pronounced a long mixed African and creole invocation, calling down to witness all the gods and goddesses of ancient Africa.

There was complete candor and confidence between us.

Hail to Father Agoue! It was a dreary islsnd, and not yet dawn. A long wooden trough, carved from a tree-trunk, was borne in, coffin-wise, by four men and deposited on the low platform in front of the glittering and bedizened bull.

The Magic island / by W. B. Seabrook ; illustrated with drawings by Alexander King.

He had come riding upon a donkey from beyond the great Morne. This goat had by now become inevitably personal to me. Perhaps she was wisely wait- ing until the people of the mountain became thoroughly accustomed to my presence.

Seabrook had a lifelong fascination with the occult practices of satanism and Haitian Vodouwhich rhe witnessed and described firsthand both in Third World countries, as islan in The Magic Island[ citation needed ] and Jungle Ways King does not offer much.

What’s fascinating is the idea that this book introduced the concept of zombies to western culture! Under a palm-leaf canopy on poles in the yard, a chicken and millet in an iron bowl were set cooking. But I forget that I am writing the description of a Voodoo ceremonial in the Haitian mountains, and that excursions among the terrors aroused by elemental nightmares in my own soul are an. Baron Samedi is a big black man with a long white beard. In the ruins was the palace built for Pauline Bonaparte when Napoleon sent his brother-in-law with an imperial army to do battle with slaves who had won their freedom.

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They were supplicating Maitresse Ezilee, who is the Virgin Mary, to intercede with the old African gods, and make them content with the substitution of animal sacrifice for human. La vie moins est la.

I had kind of thhe same feeling while reading this book as Elly described after watching Mad Men for the first time– it was fascinating in part because everyone is so wrong in their thoughts and actions by today’s standards. At the same time now I heard through the chanting a sharp long-drawn continuous hissing. Reter caille maman ou. Ogoun is in our house; he is hungry and thirsty, and we are grateful.

This is a really good book if you are in to travel literature type stuff. My life is in your hands. Holly they have been for many years a rich field for scholarly and esoteric research. Seabrook writes about his tye of cannibalism in his novel, Jungle Ways ; however, later on Seabrook admits the tribe sabrook not eeabrook him to join in srabrook the ritualistic cannibalism.

When I entered, they were swaying and singing: And now the bull, before whom, deified, this blood of other beasts had been poured out as an offering, must also die. Through February this continued, until Fete Dieu ap- proached, with a Saturday-Sunday-Monday holiday for all the workers. William Buehler Seabrook February 22, — September 20, was an American Lost Generation occultistexplorertraveler, cannibaland journalist, born in Westminster, Maryland. Above this pharmacy is located the clinic of Dr.

You capable join [find] great rope two bulls’? There were dozens of them, it seemed. There are sweet plains of green-waving sugar cane, coral strands palm-fronded, impenetrable jun- gles of monstrous tangled growth, arid deserts where obscene cactus rises spiked and hairy to thrice the height of a tall man on horseback and where salamanders play; there are black canyons which drop sheer four thousand feet, wolliam forbidding mornes which rise to beyond nine thousand.

There were assembled already perhaps a hundred negroes, crowding, moving about like shadows in the red- flickering lights. If a goat is demanded, it is here. Graiid me ci, Ogoun Badagris! But there is one small thing tangled in with this, acid-etched so deeply that it will leave some lines, I iskand, when my brain lies rotting.


Now from the mystery house was led processionally a small black bull, islanx for the sacrifice. I have read a number of editions of this book. These were reclaimed from a basket, to be cherished as sacred. Maman Celie and Papa Theodore now fell back as if waiting to see what the man would do. We returned to the hotel, got out our car, took Louis inside — he had wanted to ride the running-board — and submitted to his tge.

What, after all, were they doing here in these final scenes, when formal ritual had. It justified something in my soul. Kebreau knew islahd location of their houmfort and knew that from time to time ceremonials technically against the law occurred there.

So they were assigned to distant fields beyond the cross- roads, and camped there, keeping to themselves like any proper family or village group; but in the evening when other little companies, encamped apart as they were, gathered each around its one big common pot of savory millet kagic plantains, generously williqm with dried fish and garlic, Croyance would tend two pots upon the fire, for as every one knows, the zo77ihies must never be permitted to taste salt or meat.

The engine roared, the oxen tugged, Halliday fell down in the knee-deep goulash mud, got up, cursing, to push again, I fell down too, the negroes laughed, and the car never budged. But in the case of unbelievers they sometimes make use of appall- ingly pragmatic methods to instill faith.

In the s, Seabrook traveled to West Africa and came across a tribe who partook in hte eating of human meat. And now the literary-traditional white stranger who magicc from hiding in the forest, had such a one lurked near izland, would have seen all the wildest tales of Voodoo fiction justified: Let re- ligion have its bloody sacrifices, yes, even human sacrifices, if thus our souls may be kept alive. To this door Louis and his mother issland me, and we entered, shutting it behind us.