A zombie is a reanimated human corpse. On Dark Shadows, zombies were typically raised from the dead to do the work of others in the world of the living.
Raising from the Grave
Unfortunate corpses can be disturbed and awakened from their eternal sleep to do the bidding of unscrupulous individuals via the use of witchcraft and dark sorcery. They are usually implemented for any number of sinister tasks that range from scaring and kidnapping victims, to maiming, assaulting, and killing the living. The person who raised the zombie maintains control over the hapless creature, although the zombie can be called back to its grave by burning a mixture of cypress and myrrh near its empty coffin.
Because they are reanimated corpses, the appearances of a zombies differ, but they share a few common traits, such as staring into space and slowly shambling as they move, forced to do the bidding of their magical master. Depending on their state of decomposition, including the wounds sustained prior to death, they can appear as rotting, filthy creatures that crawled out of a grave, or as fully-intact and freshly-dead corpses. In either case, they lack a will of their own, and move slowly and unblinkingly towards their victim of choice. (Episode 9)
According to the purpose and circumstances that brought them back, they also appear more or less aware of the environment around them. According to Magda, zombies possess great strength, and this is seemingly confirmed when the zombie Quentin knocks the vampire Barnabas Collins off-balance, and also when the zombie pirates of Gerard Stiles tear the inside of Collinwood apart.
- Angelique Collins raised Jeremiah Collins from the dead to torment Josette Collins (393) However, while Jeremiah shares some traits with a zombie, he is never referred to as such in the original series, and possesses supernatural traits which differ from those of the series' other zombie characters. Jeremiah can be much more accurately described as another undead creature called a revenantand shares many characteristics with this type of supernatural being. This said, Jeremiah is never referred to as such either.
- Barnabas Collins raised Josette Collins from the dead to be with him, but quickly returned her to her grave after seeing her face (430). Like Jeremiah, it is possible that Josette could be another form of undead.
- Angelique raised Quentin Collins from the dead to use him against Barnabas Collins (722). In this instance, Quentin was miraculously restored to life when his soul was eventually returned to his zombified body.
- Jeb Hawkes raised Sheriff Davenport to do his bidding (939).
- Jeb raised four dead men to work for him (962).
- Gerard Stiles' ghost raised an army of zombies to destroy Collinwood (1109).
- Revival Series: Angelique Bouchard raised Jeremiah Collins as a zombie to murder Josette du Prés Collins (Episode 9)
“…the icy hands, the vacant stare, the lurching walk…Driven by a mind outside his body. They talked of him with terror and they had a reason to because…he was a zombie…They burned cypress and myrrh beside the empty coffin. The zombie was brought back to rest when the scents soothed him…they buried the coffin and covered it with cement. If the body sought to walk, it couldn’t.” – Episode 723