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Zombie was a term employed to refer to corpses that had been reanimated through magic.


Zombies were commonly mindless, undead creatures capable only of certain physical actions, such as walking and killing,[1][2] though certain procedures and spells could create zombies that retained their memories, personalities, vocalization, and free will.[3][4][5] Even though the term typically referred to reanimated humans, other animals, such as cats, were able to become zombies.[2]

The process of reanimation into a zombie was different from a successful resurrection,[6] as zombies were not restored to how they had been before their death and their existence depended on a constant source of magic. This source could be an entity possessing the corpse[2][7][8] or the reanimating spell itself.[1][9][10][11][12]

Voodoo priests were also known for creating zombies out of corpses.[3]

Powers and weaknesses

Even though they were physically dead and possibly decomposing, zombies still possessed great strength (they could remove metal bars off a window, break a man's neck with ease and push fully grown men away) and durability (they could absorb several blows that would normally knock out or kill a human).[citation needed]

According to Angel, the only way to kill a zombie was to permanently sever the brain's communication with the body. This could be achieved through decapitation or completely destroying the head or brain.[13]


According to Rupert Giles, zombies weren't known for eating flesh,[3] while Anya Jenkins claimed real zombies did not normally eat flesh and only did so if commanded by their masters.[6] Wesley Wyndam-Pryce told Charles Gunn that the stereotype of a flesh-eating zombie was just a myth and that they merely mangled, mutilated, and occasionally wore human flesh.[4]

Angel claimed zombies did ate human flesh, although that they were also slow-moving.[13]

Notable incidents

  • A mystical beetle was capable of turning humans into violent zombies with its bite, making another beetle grow from their foreheads.[14]
  • Because of the influence of Billy Palmer, animated corpses attacked the medical staff at the hospital he was in.[1]
  • In 1996, Daryl Epps was resurrected as a zombie by his brother Chris Epps and Chris' best friend Eric Gittleson. However, he has shown to maintain his intelligence and speech. Due to unbearable loneliness, Daryl asked to have an undead female companion made with the help of Chris and Eric. They dug up the graves of deceased teenagers Meredith Todd, Jane Atkins, and Cathy Ryan in order to assemble Daryl's "girlfriend" using their body parts. The process of creating their perfect girl also targeted Cordelia Chase as a "donor" for the head of Daryl's potential mate, as the brains of those who were long deceased were considered useless. Although Daryl kidnapped Cordelia and took her to be operated on by Eric, she was rescued by Buffy, Xander, and even Chris, who could not bring himself to harm anyone. During a struggle between Daryl and Buffy, the building was set on fire. Daryl, who did not want to be lonely again, refused to leave his incomplete girlfriend behind and perished in the burning building.[3]
  • The demon Ovu Mobani raised all the dead in Sunnydale. These mindless zombies were attracted to the mask that held the demon's power, killing every living creature in their path, who in turn would also become zombies. Once one of them put on the mask, it became the demon incarnate and the other zombies cowered before it. They were destroyed once Buffy killed Ovu Mobani in Pat's body.[2]
  • Jack O'Toole was reanimated through a spell that invoked Uurthu the Restless. O'Toole then reanimated his friends Big Bob, Dickie, and Parker. They all retained their memories, personalities, free will, and the ability to talk. They looked as they did before being reanimated, so O'Toole was only identifiable as a zombie by the bullet holes in his chest, whereas the others were more clearly dead. Parker and Bob were ultimately killed by Xander while Dickie and O'Toole were devoured.[5]
  • When part of the ritual used to summon Gachnar the fear demon was performed in the Alpha Delta fraternity house on Halloween, it caused a skeleton prop at the entrance of the building to become real and animated, made more traditional fleshy zombies appear in the basement, and revived the previously deceased Josh, his neck still visibly broken after falling down the stairs. Along with the rest of the horrors that infested the fraternity, they were vanquished or returned to being mere decorations after Buffy squashed the tiny Gachnar when he fully manifested.[10]
  • Captain Atkinson revived the dead officers of Precinct 23 through a spell that involved the Idol of Granath, the "Zombie God". These zombies regained the ability to talk and an illusion of the appearance they had before they were killed, though they had no free will and their actions were controlled by Atkinson. He reanimated them in an attempt to control the crime rates in Los Angeles, thought these zombies used excessive force to deal with even minor crimes like jaywalking. They were returned to their normal decomposed when Angel smashed the Idol.[11]
  • Dawn Summers resuscitated her mother, Joyce, according to a formula given by Doc with a Ghora demon's egg and a photo of the deceased. Buffy discovered the rite of her sister and while she tried to find her mother, Dawn tore the photo, ending the resurrection. It was possible that Joyce was a zombie.[9]
  • Brian returned as a zombie after he was poisoned by his girlfriend Allison. Brian retained his memories, personality, free will, and speech. He was clearly dead-looking.[4]
  • In case of an attack, the security protocols of Wolfram & Hart involved a spell that caused every dead creature in the building to arise as a mindless zombie to kill every other living creature. When Angel and his crew took over Wolfram & Hart, the zombies were gone, having been apparently gotten rid of by the Senior Partners after the threat was over.[13]
  • Four zombie warriors were kept in the lowest level of the Wolfram & Hart building as part of the security system guarding the Failsafe.[16]
  • The demon Non had the ability of draining the life force from humans, turning them into zombified corpses.[17]
  • During the Fall of Los Angeles, one of the many side effects on the creatures there was that some of the dead started to rise as zombies. Angel found the zombies to be "tacky." A group of zombies were caught up in the fray after the Lord of Westwood Kr'ph was killed. The Senior Partners also stated that they could just as easily summon up a zombie of Lindsey McDonald or Eve.[citation needed]
  • Seconds after he was killed by Willow, Amy used her magic to revive Warren Mears and keep him alive despite his lack of skin. [20] With the end of magic, Warren collapsed into a puddle of blood and bones.[12]

Known zombies



Buffy the Vampire Slayer