Voodoo Village: Haiti

Haiti is rich in spiritual culture.

Original comic art by R. Cook, for Dark Matter News

Voodoo Village: Haiti

The Dark Matter News Team is familiar with some weird drugs, but powdered pufferfish?

Tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin derived from pufferfish, is the main ingredient in so-called ‘Haitian Zombie Powder.’ It’s said to put people into a stupor so powerful that Doctors have signed death certificates.

Similar to the “Devil’s Breath” scam, the victim is secretly dosed with the powder and descends into a death-like trance. Once pronounced dead, the victim is buried. They’re later dug up by witchdoctors in the dark of night, to be spirited-away to rural plantations. If family members think their loved one is diseased, there’s little chance they’ll come looking for them. Revived from a near-coma which the pufferfish induces, the “zombie” is used as free labor until they truly expire. So go the tales.

Birthplace of Voodoo

Welcome to Haiti, ground zero and birthplace of Voodoo as we know it. While the “Haitian Zombie” might be the most popular ‘paranormal’ export, Haiti is rich with spiritual tradition. Known as “Vodou” in the country, this amalgamation of various spiritual pathways has it’s roots in slavery. “Bondye” is the unknowable Supreme Being, and “Loa” serve as a pantheon of spirits. Practitioners worship the Loa that suits their needs.

Vodou Priests and Priestesses are public figures, some serving as politicians. However, even modern Vodou priests have been blamed for epidemics and natural disasters. In 2010, at least 50 Vodou priests were pursued by mobs after a cholera outbreak. Once caught, some were lynched. Others were stoned to death, burned or hacked to death with machetes.

Have you eaten pufferfish? What are your thoughts? Want to see more comics? Let us know! Comment below, Share on Facebook, and find us on Twitter, hashtag #DMTalk!

Ryan Cook


I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and currently live and work in Florida.

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