Zombie fads peak when society is unhappy, research shows
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) - In the popular American TV series The Walking Dead, humans struggle to escape from a pack of zombies hungry for flesh. Prank alerts have warned of a zombie apocalypse on radio stations in some US states. And across the United States, zombie wannabes in tattered clothes occasionally fill local parks, gurgling moans of the undead.
Are these just unhealthy obsessions with death and decay? To Clemson University Professor Sarah Lauro, the phenomenon isn't harmful or a random fad, but part of a historical trend that mirrors a level of cultural dissatisfaction and economic upheaval.
The zombie mob originated in 2003 in Toronto, Prof Lauro said, and popularity escalated dramatically in the US in 2005, alongside a rise in dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq.
"It was a way that the population was getting to exercise the fact that they felt like they hadn't been listened to by the Bush administration," Prof Lauro said. "Nobody really wanted that war, and yet we were going to war anyway."