On Peeranormal, I join Dr. Michael Heiser (Bible scholar, author, ancient language specialist and expert on ancient Israelite religion, and the organizer), Brian Godawa (author and award-winning Hollywood screenwriter), Doug Van Dorn (author and pastor), Natalina (researcher, writer and podcaster), and Trey (the producer) to discuss scientific peer-reviewed literature about paranormal topics.
During my show prep, I came across the 1928 travelogue The Magic Island where an American occultist and journalist, W.B. Seabrook, became immersed in the supernatural world of the Haitian voodoo underworld. It’s hard to know just how to take this book, which is credited by some scholars for introducing the idea of zombies to the America. What struck me about Seabrook is his descriptions of how some in Haiti interacted with spirits, as if they (and he) could sometimes see them.
For instance, the spirits of the dead would hover, he wrote, over graves for a few days before passing on. For some Haitians, according to Seabrook and some of the modern research we read, the spirit world is just as real as the physical.
Zombies were either soulless humans or bodiless souls, both of which were controlled by the sorcerer via drugs and his (or her) other “powers.” How easily these people interacted with spirits (which some described actually seeing), and the efforts Seabrook went to make it clear that this worldview actually fit within the Christian framework, struck me.
A movie with scenes drawn from The Magic Island came out in 1932, staring the great Bela Lugosi: White Zombie. Towards the end, one of the main characters is given the zombification drug, and I was again moved by how the actor’s portrayal of the zombification matched what many of us have seen in people who are either demonized or under the influence of modern “zombie” drugs (or both).
In the end, the Christian missionary orchestrates the defeat of the great evil. You can watch White Zombie, which is really a creepy but excellent film, in glorious HD on YouTube:
The lesson should not be missed: Christianity is a supernatural religion best understood from a supernatural mindset, and provides the ultimate solution to spiritually oppressed or enslaved or apathetic people: Jesus Christ.
The story of Jesus is so awesome and he completely dominates wicked spiritual powers. What’s even more amazing is the Most High God invites you to join in the continuing story of advancing God’s rule and reign here on the earth with whatever varieties of grace God has given you… and that includes seers!