Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies Compendium Monstrum

I received a little black book in the mail a couple of weeks ago.  It’s small, not bulky – a simple-looking book on the outside but with a title that is so intriguing I had to open it immediately:  Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies Compendium Monstrum. As soon as I opened it, I was hard-pressed to put it down.  The inside of the book is so different from the outside that I couldn’t stop turning the pages.  The pages are crisp, and thick, but  yellowed so that they appear aged, and hand-drawn sketches dot the pages with depictions of vampires, zombies, and werewolves.

Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies Compendium Monstrum

Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies Compendium Monstrum

I have to admit, I’m always a little skeptical about new books that claim to be resources of information on werewolves…or even vampires.  They often take a comedic approach to the subject.  But this book is different…it’s a new condensed field guide about vampires, werewolves, and zombies that is pocket-size, has fold-out maps, and is packed with great info – but doesn’t overdo it by providing too much information – in other words, this book is really cool.  The book brings to mind something an explorer or adventurer would use, and even has pages in the back to record sightings and observations!

Each section starts with a fold-out map of sightings, and goes on to describe the legends, history, and mythology of the creature.  Of course, one of the first things I did was check out the section on werewolves – and it did not disappoint!  The section starts with a really nice world map showing were-sighting locations.  It then goes on to give background information on werewolves in literature and history, including a few documented sightings which is often an area that many books overlook. The book also has a nice section in the back which gives you sources where you can find more information to build upon this “comendium” or “brief treatment” of information on any of the three creatures.

Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies Compendium Monstrum
by Suzanne Schwalb & Margaret Rubiano – it’s on my bookshelf, and sometimes packed in my bag. 😉



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5 Responses

  1. pklett92 says:

    the only one of these monsters I’m slightly skeptical about would be the Zombie. other wise I am a wolf and vampires exist together with all the other things people don’t understand out there. Anyone out there want to shed some light on the zombies?

  2. Kagome says:

    Well, let’s try to do so-

    Here’s the wikipedia definition

    A zombie is a creature that appears in books and popular culture typically as a reanimated dead or a mindless human being. Stories of zombies originated in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of Voodoo, which told of the people being controlled as laborers by a powerful wizard. Zombies became a popular device in modern horror fiction, largely because of the success of George A. Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.

    According to the tenets of Vodou, a dead person can be revived by a bokor, or sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own. “Zombi” is also another name of the Vodou snake lwa Damballah Wedo, of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the Kikongo word nzambi, which means “god”. There also exists within the West African Vodun tradition the zombi astral, which is a part of the human soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor’s power. The zombi astral is typically kept inside a bottle which the bokor can sell to clients for luck, healing or business success. It is believed that after a time God will take the soul back and so the zombi is a temporary spiritual entity.

    In 1937, while researching folklore in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston encountered the case of a woman who appeared in a village, and a family claimed she was Felicia Felix-Mentor, a relative who had died and been buried in 1907 at the age of 29. Hurston pursued rumors that the affected persons were given powerful psychoactive drug, but she was unable to locate individuals willing to offer much information. She wrote:

    “ What is more, if science ever gets to the bottom of Voodoo in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than gestures of ceremony.

    Zombie weaknesses

    The zombie’s strength level is at normal human-levels, but they are considerably slower that average humans, possessing poor agility and coordination. Most zombies have difficulty with simple mechanical objects and obstacles such as doorknobs, latches, stairs, and fences.

    When confronted individually, zombies appear rather weak, but the creature’s true threat is revealed when they are encountered in huge numbers. These relentless legions of tireless, flesh-eating machines will assault you on every side and corner until you fall and there comes the lunch.

    Zombie sociology

    Solitary zombies are very rare. Zombies tend to gather in groups called packs or hordes. Within days of the onset of a plague, packs made up of dozens of zombies will have formed.

    Zombie researchers believe that the pack fulfils some primal need for community and connection. However, it is actually disadvantageous for zombies to pack together as it makes them more conspicuous, as well as making it more difficult for all to get to feed.

    Within the pack, zombies will assemble themselves into approximations of family units, with children, parents and grandparents huddling together. A group of stronger, quicker zombies will take the lead in hunting and will eat first. The zombie leader is called ‘Big Daddy’ in Romero’s Land of the Dead.

    The cooperation zombies display in hunting generally vanishes when they start feeding. Many zombies receive serious wounds from other zombies during a feeding frenzy. Hungry zombies leave nothing but the bones, which they break open to get to the marrow. Well fed zombies will stick to the nutritious brain and bone marrow, leaving the rest of the viscera for the weaker members of the pack. Only in times when the food supply is plentiful will a zombie share.

    Zombies tend to gravitate around the places of their former selves. Whether they are drawn here by nostalgia or just say ambushed in wait for human food is something that needs to be discussed. Actually, it is very rare to find zombies in countryside areas, they prefer to stick to town centers and larger cities.

    Why Don’t Zombies Attack Each Other?
    Zombies are firstly motivated by their hunger for flesh of living humans. They don’t like the rotten flesh of their siblings. Zombies can both smell the unpleasant flesh of other zombies, but also smell the fresh flesh of living humans.

    How do you kill a zombie?
    To kill a zombie for sure you have to destroy his brain. Afterwards, it is also recommended that you burn the corpse to completely destroy any chance of infection.

    Do zombies have super strength?
    No, a zombie is not stronger than before dying from the virus. However, his hunger for flesh and a total lack of inhibitors/fear give him the unfair advantage of a firm grip, not much different than the pit bull. In the case of undeads, since the body is slowly decaying, their strength will slowly decline and wane after a few weeks. The fast “enraged” zombies will remain healthy probably longer but it depends on the type of virus.

    Why do zombies moan and not talk?
    They simply don’t have the brain capacity for such a thing. Zombies function on only the most basic level of thinking, basic instincts and reactions.

    Can I outrun a zombie?
    It depends entirely on which type of zombie you find yourself up against. If they are of the ‘plodding’ variety (see Dawn of the Dead) then yes, the average human can indeed outrun a zombie. If you find yourself up against fast ‘enraged’ zombies, like the ones in 28 Days Later, you will need to be in good shape.

    Remember that, after all, Zombies don’t feel pain and as a result can push their bodies well beyond the normal human pain threshold. You’ll eventually get cramps and need to stop.

    What is Z-Day ?
    Z-Day refers to a war between humans and zombies following a Zombie out break and was coined by Author Max Brooks. The term is derived from the D-Day which was used by the British as a codename for Operation Overload also known as the Normandy Landings which happened during World War 2.

    How can I tell if someone is a zombie?
    The defining features of a Zombie are as follows:

    Extreme Restlessness
    Pale Complexion
    Uncommunicative, inability to form a sentence, may groan
    Poor Bodily Hygiene, bad breath, may be covered in blood, flatulence is frequent
    May appear drunk, cannot drive
    Seem to have an insatiable urge to grab you

    Do zombies live forever?
    No they do not. Eventually (after many months/years), a decaying zombie will breakdown to the point where it cannot function.

    Can zombies talk to each other?
    Some people believe that the moaning zombies make in some way lets them communicate with each other. It is the same question as “Can cows talk to each other? ”

    In what ways can I become infected?
    Viruses spread in many ways; they can be transmitted and carried by vectors such as blood-sucking insects. Influenza viruses are spread by coughing and sneezing. The norovirus and rotaviruses, common causes of viral gastroenteritis, are transmitted by the faecal-oral route and are passed from person to person by contact, entering the body in food or water. HIV is one of several viruses transmitted through sexual contact or by exposure to infected blood. In case of a pandemic, wear a mask and avoid any contact.

    Whew, I guess that’s all 🙂

  3. Aconissa says:

    I bought this book and I agree, its really good! The werewolf section is a bit small though… damn vampires take up half the book!!!

  4. lets see how good I am at explaining the zombie I’m a little rusty

    physical abilities

    -slower than average humans
    -just as strong as an average human
    – cannot feel pain and the only way to kill them is to get to the brain and destroy it or decapitate it
    -zombies are very stiff and have bad eyesight also they don’t have a functional nervous system and only want to get you so they have no agility and slow reflexes
    -zombies are almost deaf and blind but can track your scent from 3-4 km away
    -zombies are tireless and have infinite stamina, they have been known to run
    -zombies have no need to breathe, sleep or drink, but they can starve to death

    mental function

    zombies are unable to speak, climb, read, write, learn or reason. they can not use ladders, latches, doorknobs, motors and mechanical devices, handles, cars of any kind, boats, bikes and motorcycles, fencing, gates and technology. they have four functions, move, hunt, chase and eat. they rely upon their instincts, senses and motivated drive to get you!


    zombies aimlessly wander around and/or group up. they have a hierarchyin the pack.

    – alpha the strongest and fastest zombie it eats first and wounds any other Z that tries to be first (often leading to death as zombies cannot feel pain.)
    – trackers are the ones that find the meal. they eat second.
    – “warriors” they are very good at killing the prey. even though the pack will eat it alive and dead. they eat third.
    – sentaries this group is the pack guard of the territory. they eat third also
    – omegas the lowest level in the pack. they have low speed and toughness.
    they have the worst senses and are the dumbest and loudest. they have to be in the territory at all times and eat last.

    in hordes the pecking order is fight for the right to eat! loners often die from starving to death or if they are trespassing, by the pack of the territory. zombies groups range in size.

    pack 4-15 very common

    horde 16-100+ somewhat less common

    group 3-4 (no alpha) unlikely

    pair 2 (leader and lacky) rare

    loner 1 (May team up in packs, groups and pairs but fight for the kill.)

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