Main content


Why are we so fascinated by Zombies? We trace their meaning and history through the centuries and continents.

We are asking why so many people are fascinated by Zombies. For many people the Zombie is a walking corpse that’s out to bite you, and turn you into a similarly mindless, flesh craving undead person. What’s not to like? And we seem to be going through a bit of a Zombie boom with TV series like The Walking Dead capturing the imagination of audiences worldwide.

But Zombies have been around for more than a hundred years. They first came to the attention of the American public through a book called The Magic Island, about Haiti written by William Seabrook in 1929. And we will be exploring why many say there’s more to Zombies than a reliable source of Hollywood horror. Perhaps they tell us something about significant, deep divisions at large in society. We will be tracing their history through the centuries and continents – from Africa through to Central America, the US and Europe.

Photo: A man dressed up as a Zombie
Credit: Getty Images

Available now

23 minutes

Last on

New Year's Day 2019 02:32GMT


Why do we look the way we do?

Why do we look the way we do?

Tattoos, trainers, jeans, hair, ties ... why?

Download this programme

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes