Types of Zombies

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The idea of the zombie is basic. Although there are many different sub-categories. These sub-categories are created by physical aspects, length of reanimation, location of death, weather conditions, or even injuries caused by survivors unable to finish the undead off.

A Zombie, in its broadest sense, is a person who has lost his or her sense of self-awareness and identity, and cares only for the destruction (and often consumption) of any human around, no matter what the circumstances, or cost to his or her self. They make up for this loss of intelligence in sheer numbers, as the state of zombieism is almost always contagious, and spreads like wildfire. Technically speaking, true zombies are always dead, and re-animated.

Listed below are several well known types of Zombies.

The Generic ZombieEdit

The Generic Zombie, is a person who has been killed and reaminated with Voodoo sorcery, often to perform their master's bidding. Thy are often docile until frightened or surprised. They are extremely curious and are often seen examining fire or TV screens.  Their classification is to kill and eat humans.


Runner zombies are one of the bigger threats to survivors. Runners, obviously, have the ability to run, which is a horrifying aspect to those that are being pursued. These zombies are a primary target and should never be overlooked when fighting hordes. They will gain ground on survivors and bring them down, either killing them or disabling them and leaving them for the slower Walkers. A survivor should never try to outrun the Runners, since they do not tire like humans do. The only way to stop them from running is to disable their legs through severing large muscle groups or completely severing their legs. Other than that, the only other way is to outright eliminate them.

Runners are technically living infected but are still a form of zombies (though the distinction is thought by many to be impractical and antiquated). As such, they are able to run for long durations. What they gain in speed and fervor over their slower cousins, they lose in durability, as they can be killed by wounds to the chest, bleeding out, thirst, starvation, or even the infection itself. (These are the most likely type to appear in a true to life apocalypse.) Fast Zombies can be found in the works of 28 Days Later, REC 2, the hit video game series Left 4 Dead, DayZ, and many others.


Stalkers are a more feral type of zombie. Stalkers are quadrupedal zombies. Nothing is known as to the cause of the animal-like movement. A popular theory is that the zombie's brain has degraded so far that it stepped back on the evolutionary chain, reducing them to unnatural locomotion. This movement shakes and jerks their heads around, making them harder to hit with a ballistic weapon. This also increases their speed, making them faster than standard Walkers, but slower than Runners. Due to their lowered profile, they may be harder to spot in tall grass and dark environments, and due to their reduced intelligence, even below a walker's, they attack anything moving on sight, be it another zombie or a human. The only creature not assaulted by them is their own specification of zombie.


Also known as halfers, chopped, and ankle biters, the crawlers are a well known and very annoying type of zombie. Crawlers are completly disabled in their lower bodies and cannot walk or run like other types of undead. They can be disabled through muscle severing or leg severing; crawlers can also have their legs crushed by a heavy object or car. Crawlers must support their upper torso with their arms and must crawl along on the ground slowly to move to their desired destination. Due to their low profile, they are harder to spot, as well as their low speed makes them a highly dangerous zombie if not payed attention to. The second one neglects to pay attention, they can be taken down by a crawler. The zombie can latch onto the survivors leg and bite down, infecting as well as disabling their leg.


Bonies are what a zombie becomes when most of the flesh has rotted from the initial corpse, leaving only heavily blackened, necrotic skin and limited tendons. They are the final stage of zombification and often do absolutely nothing unless a human or zombie gains their attention through interaction.

They have no eyes but would seem to have a form of echolocation; a deep humming can often be heard in their presence. They are not clumsy or shambling, but slow and deliberate in their actions unless motivated to move more quickly.

Bonies are rarely seen by survivors. They most typically reside in large zombie nests, like airports or shopping centers, and don't tend to have much motivation to leave. They don't appear to attack out of blood lust, but rather out of will to make more zombies. They are arguably the elders or alphas of any zombie pack or nest in which they reside; other zombies follow their lead unless the hunger takes over and they become ravenous and savage.

Radioactive ZombiesEdit

Radioactive zombies are extremely dangerous to all forms of life. Provided that their radioactivity doesn't wreak havoc on their ability to function, they are one of the deadliest members of the undead that a survivor could face. They can carry their radioactivity with them wherever they go and contaminate water sources, cultivatable land, and even humans and animals that come in contact with them. Their aura of death will not affect them, but can be spread to different places, depending on where the zombie wanders off to. The most dangerous factor about radioactive zombies is that the survivor probably won't be able to notice that he or she has been contaminated by radioactivity until it is too late.

Radioactive zombies probably died near a nuclear power plant that had melted down or survived a nuclear explosion that had left unstable energy lingering around the blast radius.

It is highly advised to stay away from suspected radioactive areas where radioactive zombies could be.


Spitters are types of undead that have the ability to launch toxic and caustic liquid out of their mouths to hit unsuspecting targets. The most dangerous part about a Spitter is that they have the capability to perform a ranged attack, which is something that not a lot of other types of zombies can do. Their attacks can severely burn, as well as infect, humans that are unfortunate enough to come face to face with one of these monstrosities.

A Spitter's attack is very powerful and unique. Typically, a Spitter uses congealed stomach acid or some other type of acidic liquid to attack at a medium range. Some Spitters can even launch their globs of acid the length of a football field!

The way to differentiate a Spitter from any other type of zombie is that Spitters usually have tattered clothes or burned body parts from a past attack. They can also make a distinguishable gurgling sound and may have their acid dripping out of their mouths if it is in excess.

The safest way to battle a Spitter, as well as any type of zombie for that matter, is to snipe it from a far-away position so that it doesn't have the chance to retaliate. It's best to abstain from fighting at close range with Spitters, since they will undoubtedly have the opportunity to lob a nasty pile of acid right into the face of their attacker.


Exploders are zombies that can either willingly explode on their target or explode when shot or attacked with a melee weapon. Most Exploders have a buildup of explosive gas in their digestive tract, due to the constant decay of flesh and other body parts.

Exploders are especially dangerous at close range because of their ability to send infectious materials and bone fragments in all directions when it's their time to go. It's best for a survivor to take out Exploders are a far range so that their explosion does not affect them.

It is nearly impossible to tell an Exploder apart from a regular walker, except for the fact that Exploders may be a little bloated in the abdominal region. Other than that, Exploders are nearly identical to normal zombies, which makes them all the more dangerous.

Other Connotations of "Zombie"Edit

The term zombie has alternate meanings, one notable one being a conformist, a follower, a lemming, or someone who operates at a very low level of alertness and tact (Like people who are always using technology like their mobile phone, and missing out on what's going on around them). The introduction of the film Shaun of the Dead portrays this connotation satirically.

Romero ZombiesEdit

Romero Zombies are the zombies featured in the films of George A. Romero.  Romero’s work not only catapulted the concept of “zombies” into modern consciousness, but also defined the term as we use it today.  Romero Zombies have much in common with the Generic Zombie: they are slow, unintelligent, react to light and sound, harbor an insatiable hunger for living flesh, and are killed by having their brain destroyed.

One difference between the two is the cause of the zombies, which Romero keeps intentionally vague (although a crashed satellite from Venus is alluded to in “Night of the Living Dead”).  Perhaps the more notable difference, however, is that in Romero’s fiction, any human who dies is reanimated as a zombie; zombie bites are merely disease-ridden, and hence, kill the victim.  But it is death that causes zombification – not the bite.  In this way, Kirkman ("Walking Dead") Zombies are similar to Romero Zombies.

Unlike Kirkman Zombies however, Romero’s zombies are capable of learning, adapting, and thinking on anlevel.  They also have the capacity to remember features of their past life.  Examples include the horde coming to the mall out of recalled habit in “Dawn of the Dead”, and Bub remembering how a toothbrush and razor work in Romero’s “Day of the Dead”.

Zombies of Scientific OriginEdit

Zombies of Science are reanimated through a means that can be partially (or superficially) explained by an existing scientific concept. Most frequently, this is by way of a virus. They are the most common types of zombies, featured in many games, movies and novels, such as Max Brooks Zombies and Resident Evil

Brooks ZombiesEdit

Max Brooks' Zombies are zombies created with the "Solanum" virus featured in the Max Brooks books, The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z. It is noteworthy that the film adaptation of the book will feature fast zombies, instead of the more traditional slow zombies. Most Zombiepedia articles pertain Zombies in the book, unless otherwise specified.

In the film adaptation of World War Z, the zombies notably differ from Brook's zombies in the book. They furiously and relentlessly pursue non-infected persons demonstrating notable speed and agility combined with complete disregard for self preservation. These zombies do not seek to consume their victims but merely attack them to spread the infection. The infection itself transforms the host from a healthy being to a full fledged undead in 12 seconds, though the incubation period may vary with reports of it taking 10-15 minutes for persons to turn. These zombies are may be true "undead" rather than just "infected" living persons, the disease killing then reanimating the hosts. These zombies are extremely dangerous both individually and nearly unstoppable as a group, but go "dormant" when no uninfected individuals are nearby. They howl, growl, and scream and demonstrate uncoordinated movements when not in relentless pursuit of prey.

Bebb or KECK ZombiesEdit

In a series of novels, William Bebb has created a hybrid zombie which takes elements of the infected living zombies AND the generally more accepted undead variety. The novel, Valley of Death Zombie Trailer Park, chronciles events after an accident at Beaumont Biochemical. An employee died at Beaumont and was exposed to something uniquely disturbing. Rather than contact authorities a decision was made to simply get rid of the corpse. When the corpse reanimates it's a traditional slow walker that carries a viral component that later will be named after the biochemical plant manager that started the whole mess- KECK. When regular people are infected with the Keck virus, within a brief span of time, they become the fast type of zombie. Once killed the infected variety reanimate as the undead- unless killed by having the brain destroyed.

Zack Snyder's popular Dawn of the Dead remake includes fast zombies that are quite dead and still require the requisite headshot to put down for good as in the George Romero original film of the same name. Snyder also clearly showed that in his movie that infection caused zombification.

* See Differences Between Surviving Fast and Slow Zombies

Zombies of MaEdit

The Zombie Combat Manual, written by Roger Ma, are zombies of unknown origin, similar in many ways to the zombies created by Max Brooks. Notable differences include:

  • Rapid partial decomposition (which induced intensified rotting stench, also a potent zombie weapon), then a sudden halt in the process (for durability).
  • No hyper-coagulation as with Solanum. Zombies of Ma splatter when struck, shot, or sliced. Small hand wounds on the zombie continue to stay fairly moist, making their grasp almost as efficient of an infecting method as their bite.
  • Rapid transformation after bodily fluid contact (from a matter of seconds to a few hours maximum).

Resident Evil ZombiesEdit

Resident Evil Zombies were zombies created accidentaly via the T-Virus and (later) other types of virus, created by the Umbrella Corporation. These zombies vary from other zombie as not just humans become infected, but animals and plants as well.

The human zombies in Resident Evil follow an evolution line which is listed bellow:

  • Hyper Zombies: These zombies are "new borns" and they tend to sprint fast towards their prey, they're stronger and a bit faster than the common zombies.
  • Crimson Heads: After suffering a large T-Virus infection, the zombies start to gain a crimson-like skin colour, their fingers turn into claws and they start to exale a mysterious gas. Not only they become more agressive but faster and can take more punishment before dying.
  • Lickers: Is the final evolution of a zombie as the Crimson Head "evolves" into a faster and more deadly predator. They lose the ability to see, but instead they gain a sensitive sense of hearing and to walk on walls (like a bug). Also they look like as they've been skinned or "inside out". They attack their prey with their sharp claws and their long tongue.

In the spin off "Operation Raccoon City" the Zombies will eat other Zombies if there is no other food source around, however should a human turn up while this is happening the Zombies will instead focus on the human rather than the Zombie they're eating. This shows a preference for fresh human flesh.

Cordyceps ZombiesEdit

Cordyceps zombies know as the "infected" are human victims of a strain of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a parasitic fungus that affects insects, changing their behavior in ways intended to foster the spread of the disease. In the video game "The Last of Us", a species of cordyceps begins to infect humans changing their behavior and eventually their physiology to spread the fungal infection.

There are 4 stages of infection, when the host is initially infected via a bite or inhalation of spores they have days or hours before the first symptoms set in. The first stage of the infection turns the victims into a "runner" as the fungus drives its victim into a homicidal rage, causing them to begin attacking all non-infected persons. At this point the victims still appear fully human but have diminished eyesight as the fungus begins to grow in the ocular cavity. Runners demonstrate jerky uncoordinated movement and expel gibberish as the host might be somewhat aware of what the fungus is compelling them to do, and attempt to resist it.

As the disease progresses, the fungus begins growing into more parts of the body, especially the head, by this point, the victim is half blind, and begins using echolocation to find its victims, this one is particularly known for stalking their prey, hence their name, Stalkers, being the fastest of the four, they are able to spot a human before a runner even has the chance, although they are extremely rare.

In stage three, the victim begins growing more of the fungus, eventually becoming blind, these are known as 'clickers' as the sound they make when using echolocation, these clickers are very strong, as their limits have been reduced to nothing, when angered, it will begin screeching and flailing its arms while running at the target, they are known for being able to overpower phisically fit adults.

The final stage of the disease results in the body being covered in fungal growths, expanding the host's mass thus turning them into a "bloater". These are terrifying beings and are particularly difficult to kill.

Once the fungus senses that the host will die, it directs its victims to find a dark and damp place to die where the fungus will release its spores. Densely populated urban areas are most susceptible to infection with victims either becoming infected through inhalation of the spores or encountering one of the ravenous and violent infected. Codyceps zombies while particularly hardy and relentless in their pursuit of prey, are still living beings are vulnerable to body shots are well as head shots.

The CraziesEdit

The Crazies are extremely rare infected who have been infected with a ' Rhabdoviridae Prototype ' Bio- warfare agent called Trixie that drives them murderously insane after catching it. They are unique in that after becoming infected, they gain the homicidal and irrational drive of a Zombie, but do not lose any of their intellect, memories, use of weapons and tools, or coordination - they simply become entirely devoted to killing any non Crazy. It is for this reasons that most Zombie researchers do not classify Crazies as Zombies. The Crazies have been known to stand still like a statue, holding their positions, lying in wait for the uninfected. Trixie kills its host after 48 hours.

Nazi ZombiesEdit

Nazi Zombies are former Nazi German (Imperial Japanese, Soviet Russian, American and Vietnamese) soldiers/civilian who have been infected with Element 115 (Ununpentium, one of the heaviest and most radioactive elements). This specificly refrers to the zombies from Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War,Call of Duty: Black Ops,and Call of duty: Black ops 2 Zombies game mode. Element 115 also seems to infect dogs and it is also observed that this element enables the zombie to mutate and grow stronger than before. There are also Nova 6 crawler zombies that were failed experiments by Doctor Maxis. They explode into a cloud of toxic Nova 6 when shot unless killed with a clean shot to the head or stabbed to death. Also scary looking.

Cybernetic ZombiesEdit

Cybernetic Zombie (also known as Necroborgs) are corpses reanimated by cybernetic and technological means (such as a Husk from the Mass Effect series), not to be confused with a cyborg. Cyborgs are humans with robot parts. 

I am Legend ZombiesEdit

Not actually labelled zombies, they live in hives in dark buildings. Strongly resemble vampires in the way of having acute senses, considering that strong smells hurt them and are hurt by light. Have increased strength and dexterity. The source of this type of zombie is a virus mutated by a cure for cancer. The virus can infect almost any form of life. A small percentage of the population is immune to the virus

[BLACKLIGHT] ZombiesEdit

These are zombies infected by the [BLACKLIGHT] or "Mercer" virus created and researched by the Gentek Coorporation in the [PROTOTYPE] game series. The virus is a fast acting infection that links the infected to a central hive mind. The virus itself is adaptable, and is able to change its genetic structure in order to survive. Infected biomass is also able to meld together to create much larger creatures such as Hunter class infected, and Hydra class infected, which are similar to large gorrilas and tentacles respectively. The virus also can mutate hosts with specific genetic sequences to create "runners" or unofficaly, "Prototypes"; Infected humans that are able to absorb biomass and use it to morph their body to suit their needs, such as Alex Mercer and James Heller. Also, as stated earlier, a "Hive Mind" links all [BLACKLIGHT] zombies. This "Hive Mind" can be controlled by the aformentioned Prototypes no "call" infected creatures (most notably hunter-classed, hydra-classes, and a few others).

There seems to be very little protection from the [BLACKLIGHT] virus as in [PROTOTYPE 2] Blackwatch (a miltary group similar to Alpha Squads) members were infected by gas that turned them into Evolved (Infected with powers similar to Heller and Mercer but less powerful) and Zombies even with Gas Masks on.

In [PROTOTYPE 2] if you have a specifc DLC pack, you can use the "Viral Infector Grenade Launcher" to create [BLACKLIGHT] Zombies and cause chaos, even in areas where there is no infection.  This works on Blackwatch and Military personell too.

Also, unlike the Solanum zombies, the zombies have been given increased strength and damage resistance. Although, like the Solanum zombies, these zombies have decreased intelligence level, slow, and almost no sense of touch.

Zombies of the SupernaturalEdit

Zombies of the Supernatural are reanimated through scientifically incomprehensible, or supernatural means.


Originating in the science fiction video game series Dead Space. Necromorphs are a departure from more tradition zombies. Unlike other zombies that can be killed with a gunshot to the head, necromorphs must be dismembered in order to be killed. Also unlike other zombies, the living cannot be infected by coming into contact with Necromorph blood or saliva. Instead, necromorphs kill people in order to infect and reanimate their victims' bodies and increase their numbers. Necromorphs come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on how the virus has mutated the bodies of their victims. The most common type is known as a Slasher. A Slasher is a type of necromorph that has two scythe-like bony appendages protruding out of the palms of the hands. Another kind, called the Infector, looks like a bat, and its sole purpose is to infect corpses in order to produce more necromorphs. Necromorphs often adapt the environment of a location to render it more suitable for them. Because of the variance of the different types of necromorphs, they are very hard to kill. Shots to the head or body by any type of firearm will not be enough to kill them. In order to kill a necromorph effectively, you must cut off their limbs. Necromorphs can also be killed by extreme levels of heat. Necromorphs will reanimate in the presence of The Marker, a twisted obelisk type object of alien origin. Necromorphs will often ambush individuals using vents or air ducts. They are also highly intelligent and will recognize that a person is armed, at which point they will try to surprise the victim in order to kill and infect them.

Voodoo ZombiesEdit

Voodoo Zombies are individuals reanimated by a Bokor, or a witch doctor through means of poisons and herbs. These are the first Zombies, and the only one with any sort of real-world historical precedence (religiously speaking). Other Voodoo Zombies are reanimated corpses brought back from the dead by Voodoo rituals. They may be programmed to work for the houngans or zobops who brought them back to life. Salt can be used against them, causing them to realize they are dead, and return to their grave. 

Another Voodoo Zombie can be given a herb or drug that lowers their heart rate to the point where considered dead. After the person is buried alive the witch doctor or shaman dig the body up and take it away, the person is then given another herb that makes them mindless servants. Forced to work, no memories or history is remembered. Though if salt or meat are fed to them or their "creator" dies they break free from the control and wander around before stumbling upon their home village or humans. 

Star Wars ZombiesEdit

Star Wars Zombies are corpses reanimated through a Sith`s use of the Dark Side of the Force, and while generally scarce in the Star Wars universe, are not entirely unrepresented.

Also, people reanimated by the Blackwing chemical, as in the book Death Troopers, ooze a black liquid, are able to run and can use blasters. They also learn in groups.

In the Clone Wars television series, a clan of Dathomirian witches use the force to reanimate the dead bodies of former clan members.

In the book, Red Harvest, a sith lord uses a force sensitive plant to create a zombie out of one of the students, the infection then spreads to most of the sith academy, these zombies are fast, and spread through bites, scratches and exchanges of bodily fluids.

The insectoid Geonosians used brain worms to reanimate fallen soldiers. They controled the host brain during the host's life and continued to control the brain in death.

Inferi (Harry Potter Zombies)Edit

[REC] zombiesEdit

These "zombies" are people infected with a demonic virus which was accidently created when a priest tried to cure a girl possessed by a demon but screwed up and made demonic possession contagious. However they have at least two similarties to basic zombies: The infection is spread through bites and you destroy the brain.

Intelligent ZombiesEdit

Intelligent Zombies, are zombies that retain their personality and intelligence, such as the zombies in Marvel Zombies, Undead or Alive and the house of night zombies AKA red flegings. Another example would be the Head Zombie in Romero's Land of the Dead. In fact, this can be spread to most if not all the zombies in the film, as they show reasoning skills. These zombies are exceedingly rare. Also, in Resident Evil they show the scientist's test subject proving that zombies (in those movies) can intellectually remember how to use the things that normal people can also use. However, if the zombies get angry they then go back to the barbaric mode of their life as a person (classical zombie mode)

One should never assume a zombie to be intelligent unless there is overwhelming evidence in support of this idea. Countless zombie victims owe their demise to hesitation when they wrongly perceive that some vestige of their transformed loved one remains.

Rot and Ruin ZombiesEdit

Rot and Ruin Zombies are zombies that appear in the Rot and Ruin book series by Jonathon Maberry. Rot and Ruin Zombies are unique, in the fact that they not only reanimate through infection by bite, all humans that die after First Night, or the initial outbreak reanimate as living dead, regardless of any contact with an existing Zombie. Infectious agents only appear to exist in the Zombie's saliva. Scratches do not appear to cause any long term damage.

Attracted by noise, light, and movement, Rot and Ruin Zombies will chase and bite all forms of life, be it human or squirrel, however only appear to be interested in consuming human flesh. Some wild boars can become zombies. Zombies appear to have little to no brain activity, being rarely to open doors, or use weapons except in extraordinarily rare cases where freshly turned Zombies will pick up sticks or rocks to use as weapons. A mutated form of the Reaper Plauge makes faster and smarter zombies that can use weapons, run, and open doors. Some can change their gait to that of a slow zombie and hide (One hid behind a car and bit a soldier, and imitated a normal zombie,killing 2 more before it was killed). Zombies treated with Archangel (see below) also gain these abilities.

Since the Zombies do not themselves move for any reason unless they see a stimulus, hordes of Zombies as well as single Zombies will stay in one spot for years without stimulus, even allowing vines to grow over their feet and legs. After a certain point, Rot and Ruin Zombies stop decaying, and will not consume corpses that are already dead. They will stop eating a fresh body after a certain point, are put off by the smell of rotting flesh and will not consume other zombies. It is unclear why, all though if bleach is used, Zombies will attack anything on sight, including other Zombies. making seem as if Zombies can smell the difference between humans and other living things and other Zombies.

Noms, or Nomadic Zombies are extremely rare, but do exist. These are zombies that will move on their own, without any apparant stimulus.

Rot and Ruin Zombies can be put down by any fatal damage to the brain and brainstem. Bashing in the skull or simply cutting the brainstem will do, and it is highly advised that one cut the brainstem or "quiet" any human immediately upon death, as most humans who die soon reanimate. There is a small (less than 1%) amount of people that will not re-animate, and decay property upon death.

A special extract of the "juices" created during the rotting of flesh can be created by crushing and filtering corpses and flesh after rotting. This awful smelling liquid called Cadaverine can be sprinkled on clothing and hair to help prevent Zombie attacks. Unless used in huge quantities, which is not reccommended, Zombies will not refrain from attacking, but will hesistate in their assault, allowing for quick disposal of the Zed if things get too close for comfort.

The cause of re-animation is a mix of bacteria, viruses and parasites called Reaper.

Reaper has a cure called Archangel. It causes the zombies to degrade in about a week, although the zombies become smarter and nearly as fast as a living human running before they rot. They become runners for 2 or 3 days, then they will slowly down and rot, then they will decompose properly. The living infected will be cured, but must continue taking Archangel or they will revert to a infected state, but if they die, they will not re-animate. If a healthy human is about to die (I.e gunshots, cuts, and other things), then take Archangel, they also will not re-animate.

H.O.T.D ZombiesEdit

These zombies are from the Anime High school Of The Dead, unlike most zombies these particular species can't see at all and rely on hearing to hunt, another feature that makes them different is that they have bluish grey skin when a human is becoming one they will begin to cough up blood, feel weak and eventually die and come back.

See alsoEdit

Zombie Comparison Chart

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