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Encyclopedia > Undead
The ghost of Barbara Radziwiłł by Wojciech Gerson: ghosts are a common form of undead in folklore
The ghost of Barbara Radziwiłł by Wojciech Gerson: ghosts are a common form of undead in folklore

Undead is a collective name for beings that the superstitious believe are deceased yet behave as if alive. Undead may be spiritual, such as ghosts, or corporeal, such as vampires and zombies. Undead are featured in the legends of most cultures and in many works of fantasy and horror fiction. Download high resolution version (564x800, 62 KB)barbara radziwill ghost, painting from 19th century 19th century paiting by Józef Simmler This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (564x800, 62 KB)barbara radziwill ghost, painting from 19th century 19th century paiting by Józef Simmler This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Noble Family RadziwiÅ‚Å‚ Coat of Arms TrÄ…by Parents Jerzy RadziwiÅ‚Å‚ Barbara Kola Consorts Stanislaw GesztoÅ‚d Sigismund II August Children none Date of Birth December 6, 1520 Place of Birth  ? Date of Death May 8, 1551 Place of Death Kraków Barbara RadziwiÅ‚Å‚ (Polish: Barbara Radziwiłłówna, Lithuanian: Barbora... Wojciech Gerson (1831-1901) was a Polish painter and professor. ... For other uses, see Superstition (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ghost (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Body (disambiguation). ... Philip Burne-Jones, The Vampire, 1897 Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings that subsist on human and/or animal lifeforce. ... This article is about the undead. ... For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation). ... For other definitions of fantasy see fantasy (psychology). ... “Horror story” redirects here. ...


Bram Stoker considered the term "The Un-Dead" for the original title for his novel Dracula (1897),[1] and its use in the novel is mostly responsible for the modern sense of the word. The word does appear in English before Stoker but with the more literal sense of "alive" or "not dead," for which citations can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary. Stoker's use of the term refers only to vampires, and the extension to other types of supernatural beings arose later. Most commonly, it is now taken to refer to supernatural beings which had at one time been alive and continue to display some aspects of life after death, but the usage is highly variable. Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ... This article is about the novel. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... Further reading Christopher Frayling - Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula 1992. ...

Contents

Creation

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus introduced a new variant of undead, the dead brought back to "life" by science, though Frankenstein's creature bears some similarity to a golem. Similar works include H. P. Lovecraft's short story "Herbert West—Reanimator" and the Re-Animator film franchise inspired by the story. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... Mary Shelley Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley née Godwin (August 30, 1797–February 1, 1851) was an English writer who is, perhaps, equally-famously remembered as the wife of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ... This article is about the 1818 novel. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For other uses, see Golem (disambiguation). ... This article is about the author. ... Herbert West is a fictional character created by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story Herbert West—Reanimator, first published in 1922. ... Re-Animator (1985) is the first in a series of films based on the H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West: Reanimator. ...


Both legend and popular culture discuss various methods for creating undead creatures. Most involve the reanimation of a corpse, as with zombies, skeletons, and ghouls. Regarding ghosts, the spirit lives on after death, forming an intangible physical body that often mirrors the one the spirit had in life. Rituals propitiating the uneasy spirits of the dead were a feature of ancient Greek religion (keres) and ancient Roman religion (lemures). For other senses of this word, see ritual (disambiguation). ... Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in Ancient Greece in form of cult practices, thus the practical counterpart of Greek mythology. ... In Greek mythology, the Keres (singular: Ker) were female death-spirits and sources of evils. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Larvae are the plural of larva, juvenile form of animals with indirect development. ...


In some cases, the undead, especially skeletons and zombies, are under the control of a necromancer. In other cases, such as zombies as depicted in film and vampires, the undead existence is passed on like a curse or disease. With liches, the powers of undead are sought after by the participant of a magical ritual that turns them from a living being to a lich. Ghosts are said to be kept in their undead state by willpower, either from a keen desire to remain with the living or from a wish to see something completed that they could not do during their lifetime. Necromancy is divination by raising the spirits of the dead. ...


Vulnerabilities

In fiction and folklore, undead creatures are often hostile toward the living. Defending against the undead is often portrayed as difficult; most zombie movies, for example, usually depict zombies as being resistant to normal attacks. In such movies (e.g. Night of the Living Dead), only a direct shot to the head seems to stop them. Some times it is even required to destroy the whole body, such as burning it. They are often shown as vulnerable to sacred or blessed objects, such as crosses and holy water. This is seen in Dracula, wherein a crucifix burns the vampire. In some games, undead are damaged by magic spells that normally heal a living being and by fire-based attacks. Additionally, a line of salt is sometimes shown as a suitable barrier to the undead.[citation needed] Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... This article is about the 1968 film directed by George A. Romero. ... This article is about water that has been blessed. ... This article is about the novel. ... This article is about common table salt. ...


Vampires are traditionally depicted as being susceptible to a stake through the heart or decapitation, though various traditions have different means of dealing with them.[2] Zombies are often portrayed as able to attack when dismembered, although the zombie-like ghouls in Night of the Living Dead could be dispatched by a "shot in the head, or a heavy blow to the skull". This article is about the 1968 film directed by George A. Romero. ...


Incorporeal undead are frequently shown as being difficult to defend against, as in most depictions normal physical weapons pass harmlessly through their forms. In some games (such as Dungeons & Dragons) ghosts can only be dispatched by enchanted or silver weapons.[3] However, in other fiction the only way to get rid of them permanently is to discover what duty or task they failed to complete in life (such as in Chapter 4 of The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis).[4] For other uses, see Game (disambiguation). ... This article is about the role-playing game. ... The Monk is a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis that first appeared in 1796. ... Matthew Gregory Lewis (July 9, 1775 - May 14, 1818) was an English novelist and dramatist, often referred to as Monk Lewis, because of the success of his Gothic novel, The Monk. ...


Undead are often depicted as vulnerable to sunlight and fire. They may also perish when their creator is likewise dispatched, and may be unable to cross certain symbolic boundaries or even natural barriers like running water as in Sabriel by Garth Nix. For the Khazar ruler who converted to Judaism, see Bulan (Khazar). ...


In fantasy games, mummies are often depicted as being exceptionally vulnerable to fire due to the prescence of dry cloth filled with chemicals used to preserve their bodies. They have also been described as vulnerable to, water as it dissolves the flesh and dampens the bandages, destroying them by using the damp bandages to crush its dusty core.


In some cultures, various plants are said to repel the undead. Examples include garlic and wolfsbane, as well as rosewood, rowan, hazel, willow, and holly. This modern tradition appears to be based on pre-Christian belief that some plants are sacred.[5] Wolfsbane, in fact, is a powerful poison, and should be handled with extreme care. Binomial name L. Allium sativum L., commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. ... Species See below Aconitum (known as aconite, monkshood, or wolfsbane) is a genus of flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). ... Rosewood refers to a number of richly hued timbers, brownish with darker veining. ... Species Sorbus subgenus Sorbus Sorbus aucuparia - European Rowan Sorbus americana - American mountain ash Sorbus cashmiriana - Kashmir Rowan Sorbus commixta - Japanese Rowan Sorbus decora - Showy mountain ash Sorbus glabrescens - White-fruited Rowan Sorbus hupehensis - Hubei Rowan Sorbus matsumurana Sorbus sargentiana - Sargents Rowan Sorbus scalaris - Ladder Rowan Sorbus sitchensis - Sitka mountain... This article is about the tree; for other meanings of hazel, see Hazel (disambiguation). ... Species About 350, including: Salix acutifolia - Violet Willow Salix alaxensis - Alaska Willow Salix alba - White Willow Salix alpina - Alpine Willow Salix amygdaloides - Peachleaf Willow Salix arbuscula - Mountain Willow Salix arbusculoides - Littletree Willow Salix arctica - Arctic Willow Salix atrocinerea Salix aurita - Eared Willow Salix babylonica - Peking Willow Salix bakko Salix barrattiana... This article is about the plant. ... Species See below Aconitum (known as aconite, monkshood, or wolfsbane) is a genus of flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). ...


Fiction and films

See also: Vampire fiction and Zombies in popular culture

Many films have been made about the undead, usually vampires, zombies, and mummies, including such fiction as Dracula, The Crow, Night of the Living Dead, and The Mummy. The Evil Dead series also largely deals with the undead, but in a broader respect. For information on movies about vampires, see Vampire films. ... A group of actors portraying zombies in a film Zombies are regularly encountered in horror- and fantasy-themed fiction and entertainment. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... This article is about the novel. ... For other uses, see The Crow (disambiguation). ... This article is about the 1968 film directed by George A. Romero. ... The Mummy is the title of: a 1932 movie starring Boris Karloff: see The Mummy (1932 movie) a 1959 movie starring Christopher Lee: see The Mummy (1959 movie) a 1999 movie starring Brendan Fraser: see The Mummy (1999 movie) a novel by Anne Rice: see The Mummy (novel) This is... -1...


Games and popular culture

Undead are a popular adversary in fantasy and horror settings. They feature prominently in many role-playing games, computer role-playing games, MMORPGs and strategy games. In such games, special rules are often given for the undead. This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... Strategy games are typically board games, video or computer games with the players decision-making skills having a high significance in determining the outcome. ...


In Dungeons & Dragons and similar systems, clerics can attempt to "turn" undead by invoking their patron deities or channeling "positive energy" (other-dimensional life energy, which animates and heals living creatures, and is the antithesis of negative energy, which animates and heals undead creatures.) This forces the undead creature away from the cleric; powerful clerics are capable of completely destroying weaker undead creatures with this ability. Although the act of turning away the undead relies primarily on power of faith, a holy symbol is usually required as a focus for the divine power being invoked. This is derived from the traditional notion that vampires could be repelled by the cross. Clerics of evil gods can rebuke and control the undead in a similar fashion, by means of necromancy.[6] This article is about the role-playing game. ... In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the cleric is one of the base character classes. ... In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, undead is a type of creature, or creature type. Undead creatures were most often once-living creatures, which have been animated by spiritual or supernatural forces. ... Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. ... A reliquary in the form of an ornate Christian Cross Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope... This article is about the general subject of necromancy. ...


In Dungeons & Dragons and other games such as Final Fantasy, undead can be damaged by using magical effects that heal normal living beings.[7] This article is about the Final Fantasy franchise. ...


Undead characters appear in many roles, be it a mindless horde of opponents (such as zombies or skeletons) or a thoughtful, plotting villain (such as vampires). Some games feature undead playable characters, such as Vampire: The Masquerade and World of Warcraft. Others, such as Diablo 2, allow the player to take on the role of a Necromancer and raise undead from corpses. Vampire: The Masquerade (Revised Edition) cover. ... World of Warcraft (commonly abbreviated as WoW) is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Blizzard Entertainment and is the fourth game in the Warcraft series, excluding expansion packs and the cancelled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. ... Diablo Diablo II is an action-oriented adventure and role-playing game (RPG) in a hack and slash style designed as a sequel to the popular Diablo. ... Necromancy is divination by raising the spirits of the dead. ...


In some stories and settings, such as the Lorien Trust LARP, the word "unliving" is used as a preferential synonym. In reference to the political correctness movement, the undead are sometimes jokingly referred to as the "living-impaired". Vampires were sometimes likewise referred to as "Undead Americans" by characters in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the spin-off Angel. A battle at The Gathering Lorien Trust (sometimes abbreviated to LT) is the trading name of Merlinroute ltd. ... “Larp” redirects here. ... Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ... For other uses, see Buffy the Vampire Slayer (disambiguation). ... For the South Korean TV series of the same name, see Angel (2007 TV series). ...


In philosophy

Jacques Derrida used the myth of the undead as a means to deconstruct the binary opposition between life and death. Jacques Derrida (IPA: in French [1], in English ) (July 15, 1930 – October 8, 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher, known as the founder of deconstruction. ... Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves. ... In critical theory, a binary opposition is a pair of theoretical opposites, often organized in a hierarchy. ...


In science

In the real world, scientists have researched the possibility of bringing a deceased organism back to life, although the term "undead" is usually used in mythology and fiction and generally avoided within the scientific community. Ideas have included preserving the body and repairing damaged organs and jump-starting the nervous systems with electrical pulses. Not to be confused with cryogenics. ...


In 2005, the University of Pittsburgh successfully gave life back to clinically dead dogs by replacing their blood with ice-cold salt solutions. [1] The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related, doctoral/research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Undead

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... This article is about the legendary creature. ... For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). ... Maschalismos was the name for the practice of physically rendering the dead incapable of rising or haunting the living in undead form. ... In philosophy, a philosophical zombie or p-zombie is a hypothetical person that, despite a strong likeness to normal human beings, lacks conscious experience or (in other words) has no qualia at all. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation), Dead (disambiguation), or Death (band). ... Grim Reaper redirects here. ... Life extension refers to an increase in maximum or average lifespan, especially in humans, by slowing down or reversing the processes of aging. ... These are legendary creatures that historically humans have thought were real. ... This is a list of creatures from mythology, folklore and fairy tales by their classification or affiliation. ... . ...

Footnotes and references

  1. ^ About Dracula. Retrieved on 2006-05-21.
  2. ^ Adams, Cecil (1982-07-16). What's the best way to kill a vampire?. The Straight Dope. Retrieved on 2006-05-11.
  3. ^ Subtypes: Incorporeal Subtype. Retrieved on 2006-05-11.
  4. ^ Matthew Gregory Lewis. "Chapter 4", The Monk. Retrieved on 2006-05-11. 
  5. ^ [Claudia]; Wolf-Dieter Storl and Christian Rätsch (October 31, 2003). Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 272. ISBN 978-0892819713. 
  6. ^ Special Attacks: Turn Or Rebuke Undead. Retrieved on 2006-05-11.
  7. ^ Spells: Cure Light Wounds. Retrieved on 2006-05-21.
Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 141st day of the year (142nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Cecil Adams is a name, generally assumed to be a pseudonym, which designates the unknown author or authors of The Straight Dope, a popular question and answer column published in The Chicago Reader since 1973. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 141st day of the year (142nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

 
 

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