A zombie is a corpse that rises from the dead, usually part of the Voudou tradition of Haiti or Africa (Pm).
- Professor Quirrell told the DADA class that his foul-smelling turban was a gift from an African prince in exchange for ridding him of a zombie, but no one really believed him since he could not explain how to deal with a zombie, and just changed the subject to the weather (PS8).
- At times a sorcerer may use part of a zombie's soul for Dark Magic, rather like a Horcrux, so they are not to be confused with the soul-less bodies of Inferi used by Lord Voldemort to guard his Cave Potion or conceal his snake, Nagini (Pm, HBP3, HBP4, HBP9, HBP26, DH10, DH17).
- The Daily Prophet advertises a "Zombie Trail" vacation as part of a "Terror Tours" advertisement (DP3)
"Zombie" = name of the Voodoo Snake God of Niger-Congo, spread through slave culture to Haiti and beyond in the New World.
May also be Cajun Creole for "ghost or phantom" through the Spanish "sombra" for "shadow".
J.K. Rowling on zombies:
I'm part of the 'Thriller' generation; to me, a zombie will always mean Michael Jackson in a bright red bomber jacket (Pm).