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PBS To Dig Up The Legacy of the Undead With “EXHUMED: A HISTORY OF ZOMBIES”

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | News

PBS is celebrating Halloween with the launch of EXHUMED: A HISTORY OF ZOMBIES, a new special presented by the host of PBS Digital Studios’ popular series Monstrum, Dr. Emily Zarka. As the only American-made classic horror monsters, there is much that the history of the zombie can reveal about American society’s deepest anxieties, including nuclear weapons, overpopulation, and political uprisings. In order to explore the rich history of zombies, Zarka will interview experts, spiritual practitioners, and academics, uncovering the historical roots of zombie folklore, including African spiritual practices, the Transatlantic slave trade, and Haitian Vodou and Voodoo beliefs. The legacy of that history will be explored in current zombie incarnations in our film, television, and video games.   

Monstrum – DFTBA

Leading up to the premiere of EXHUMED, three new zombie-themed episodes of Monstrum will debut on PBS Storied, the YouTube channel of PBS Digital Studios. These episodes will explore the origins different of the Hatian zombie, the Romero zombie, and the modern-day zombie. “We can learn a lot about our culture by exploring the monsters we invent,” said Zarka. “Looking at the portrayal of zombies over the past two centuries, we can witness the evolving issues and anxieties Americans have faced.”

The one-hour documentary will premiere on Friday, October 30 at 10:00 p.m. EST (check local listings) on PBS,, and the PBS Video App. 

Official Description:
Premieres: Friday, October 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS
There are few monsters more recognizable or popular than the zombie. The reanimated corpse has been a staple of folklore, film, literature and popular culture for nearly 200 years. In this new one-hour special, Dr. Emily Zarka, who studies literature and film through the lens of monsters and is the host/writer of PBS’s popular MONSTRUM digital series, will deconstruct some of the most significant moments in zombie popular culture over the last two centuries to reveal what these creatures say about us. TRAILER

Grace Detwiler
Rue Morgue's Online Assistant Editor - Grace Detwiler (@finalgirlgrace) is a freelance film journalist studying English and Criminology at Colorado State University. Her original work can be found on her blog, FinalGirlGrace, as well as in Rue Morgue's print and online publications.