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The Serpent and the Rainbow
He investigated Haitian Vodou and the process of making zombies. He studied ethnobotanical poisons, discovering their use in a reported case of a contemporary zombie, Clairvius Narcisse. The book presents the case of Clairvius Narcisse , a man who had been a zombie for two years, as showing that the zombification process was more likely the result of a complex interaction of tetrodotoxin , a powerful hallucinogenic plant called Datura , and cultural forces and beliefs. According to the book, the assortment of ingredients in Haitian zombie powder include puffer fish , matter from a corpse specifically to Davis' adventure in Haiti, the bokor, a Haitian shaman , crushed the skull of a deceased infant that had been dead for a month or two, and added it to the poison , freshly killed blue lizards, a large dried toad Bufo marinus with a dried sea worm wrapped around it prepared beforehand , "tcha-tcha" Albizzia , and "itching pea" pois grater , a species of Mucuna. The book inspired the horror film, The Serpent and the Rainbow. Davis' claims were criticized for a number of scientific inaccuracies. In the book, Davis does not suggest that the zombie powder containing tetrodotoxin was used for maintaining "mental slaves", but for producing the initial death and resurrection that convinced the victims and those who knew them that they had become zombies.
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