Frank took us through a brief history of the zombie in Haiti, from the early stories written at the beginning of the last century, via stories of strange experiments eating human flesh, to puffer fish and plant poisons and mental illness as explanations of zombies. Robert E Cornish’s experiments in reanimating dead people through see-saw,heated pads and the use of multiple dogs called Lazarus were fascinating, if rather disturbing.
Finally, Frank took us through the strange life cycle of the Toxoplasma gondii which modifies the behaviour or mice and rats by reducing their fear of cats, in order for the parasite to move on in its life cycle. Worryingly is found in all mammals including humans and the question of how much it modifies our behaviour was one that popped up again in the Q&A.
The show was highly entertaining as well as informative, with members of the audience acting out parts of the stories to much merriment.
Frank’s book on Zombies will be out next year, and if this show is anything to go by it will be one to look out for.