Into the Zombie Underworld
Credit: Photograph by Ben Lowy

You either believe in zombies, or you don't.

For my part, I believe that a young woman named Nadathe Joassaint was poisoned, buried alive, stolen from her grave, drugged, transported, and enslaved. I believe that she is alive to this day and in the possession of a man I know only as Monsieur 17, in a region of the Grand' Anse I feel better not naming in print.

But I don't know any of this.

Some people see this whole story as an infectious case of mass delusion. To this way of looking at things, Mano and Overne murdered Nadathe and then invented the outlandish story, thus ensnaring an innocent woman, Madame Precieuse. The secret societies took advantage of a mother's desperation to fleece an easy mark. When I arrived, they took advantage of me in the same fashion.

I found only one witness willing to testify to having seen Nadathe as a zombie, and even I would admit that Monsieur H. was not entirely credible. On the other hand, I found dozens of witnesses to Nadathe's funeral, people who had seen Nadathe's lifeless corpse. And, of course, the fact that nobody would produce the zombie for either Madame Zicot or me speaks for itself.

I'll allow the reader to decide the facts for himself.

But I do have one last piece of evidence.

About 22 months after Nadathe was buried, Ascqué Neville, her fiancé, told me that he had begun to entertain doubts about the whole story. Perhaps Nadathe never came home simply because – because she was dead, dead and in her grave. The simplest way to find Nadathe, he reckoned, would be to go back to the last place he had seen her. So he decided to break open her tomb and look inside. Sometime in September 2008, he did just that.

Her coffin was empty.