How Zombies Originated: The Eighth Grave

in All About Zombies, Short Stories

For the most part the origin of the zombie is relatively unknown. I for one can say they walked the earth in the early 40’s.

The story goes like this, keep in mind I am telling this in the third person as it was handed down to me through my father from his father.

The Eighth Grave

The version of the events are sketchy, but began in the spring of 1941. My grandparents lived in northern Ontario in a small farming community. Their farm shouldered up to the catholic cemetery. It was your typical creepy cemetery, more so at night time. My father and my uncles would frequently hang out in and around the premises. The keeper often putting the run on them, thinking they were up to no good.

They became particularly close with the groundskeeper. He often would tell them horrific stories that would curl your skin. One in particular that has been popular around our summer campfires went like this. Charlie (The groundskeeper) was also responsible for digging the graves. This one particular day that spring he had dug eight graves, as the ground had thawed enough to bury the bodies of the folks that passed through the winter months.

Once the services were over, Charlie also had to fill in the graves once all of the family had gone. It was getting on into the evening when Charlie came to the eighth grave. He had an eerie feeling as he approached the hole in the ground. The air was thin and a slow fog was rolling across the cemetery hills. The air was dead; there was no sound what so ever.

He had his shovel over his shoulder and his clothing was sopped with sweat from the long day. As he walked up to the final grave of the day, he looked into the hole. Suddenly he heard a roaring bang and the coffin shook. The bits of dirt that were on the top of the coffin slowly dribbled off. Part of the grave walls had begun to fall inward. Charlie stepped back and felt that he must have been seeing things. He was quite exhausted; he approached the hole again looking in.


He turned to the large pile of dirt and stuck his shovel in and threw in the first shovel full. The dirt hit the top of the coffin and then all of a sudden another loud bang came from the hole. Charlie began to tremble at this point. He ran for it! The chapel was about ½ mile and he sprinted the entire way. He informed father Phil about what had happened and the priest called it hogwash.

The two heading back to the grave, when they approached Charlie noticed right away something was wrong. The side wall of the grave had eroded as though something climbed out. The two men looked down into the grave and there sat the coffin wide open. There were pieces of flesh, and clothing and a rotten stench emitting from the hole in the ground. Faint footprints were visible heading into the woods. The two men quickly formed a group to search the surrounding, which turned up nothing.

Charlie retired the next day. Not long after the old cemetery ceased operation, father Phil had a mental breakdown. He was constantly babbling about spirits and the chapel and cemetery being haunted.

Since that day, on the 8th day of every month people driving by the cemetery at dusk say that the zombie from grave eight stalks the cemetery. Many carcasses of small animals and birds are also found on the morning of the ninth right beside the grave that he arose from. To this day nobody dares go to that cemetery on the 8th of the month.

By Campbell Coats. Copyright © 2011

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