The monster of the week is the zombie, that lovable denizen of the grave. With his shambling gait, vacant stare, and depressive personality, the zombie is the Eeyore of monsters.
According to "The Gargantuan Book of Mythical Beasts" by Dr. D. U. Peterman:
The zombie is a living corpse, created by powerful magics that regenerate a man, while placing his soul under the magician's control. In the past, most zombies were created by voodoo or other mystical forces, but we are now starting to see many cyberzombies (created via computer chip implant or evil, sentient ipod), chemozombies (created via drugging or growth hormones in milk), and even pathozombies (created by plague). The zombie frequently suffers from depression, chronic fatigue, and/or existential angst.
Legend has it that a zombie can be freed by receiving salt from his master. Zombie masters are careful, therefore, to feed their slaves a bland, tasteless diet.
The zombie's predilection for brains has been widely exaggerated. The truth is, most zombies would prefer a nice plate of eggplant parmesan. With salt.
Recommended Reading: "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer. In this futuristic dystopian novel, zombie-like slaves called eejits harvest opium for the drug lords. This was one of the best children's books I have ever read. Farmer's level of empathy for her main character is stunning.
My favorite writer wrote a zombie story.