It is a peculiar coincidence that when zombies are transformed, the commonalities of those events involved the fact that the mortal is, for whatever reason, completely nude. Not even a zombie can explain why that is.
In a blind interview with Madame Margareta, a renowned medicine woman and vodoun living somewhere in the Caribbean islands, speculates that the soul (or astral body, if you prefer) while out of the mortal body, witnesses a trauma taking place, and knowing that the body is naked, simply takes off, not wanting to re-enter its mortal body under such vulnerable conditions. It is, she suggests, a combination of fear and shame that causes such a reaction.
Madame Margareta goes on to explain that the body left behind is still alive after the separation of soul and spirit and almost instantly transforms into what can truly be called a zombie. Asked about the stereotype of the putrid body rising up out of the grave, the medicine woman (who claims to be over three hundred years old) chuckled and said, “That myth originated in my native Africa many hundreds of years ago. It is believed that there were sorcerers (called bokors) who were able to capture human souls into their own bodies thus becoming more powerful. The most famous of these bokors was reputed to be able to call mindless corpses from their graves to do his will.
“More than likely,” Madame Margareta said, “the bokor’s ‘zombies’ were mortals given powerful drugs that caused them to appear as ‘walking dead.’ It is not uncommon for charismatic people to hold enough sway over his or her followers to persuade them to do their leader’s bidding. A good case in point would be Jim Jones and his followers who committed mass suicide in Guyana in 1978. Such people could rightfully be called psychological zombies.”
In doing further research, every story of a zombie transformation we were able to uncover did, indeed, involve some sort of traumatic event during which time the potential zombie was without clothes. The sample is not large enough to make a positive generalization, but the coincidence seems to lend credence to Madame Margareta’s speculation.