Today on Pottermore, J.K. Rowling revealed that there were some undead amongst our heroes in the "Harry Potter" saga. Zombies, you ask? Well, it's complicated, and involves a lot of extensive mythology.
Called the Inferi by the author, they "have much in common" with zombies but are not as whole as all that. First encountered in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," inferi are corpses; dead bodies that have been bewitched to do a Dark wizard's bidding. Inferi can be men, women or children, and have sunken, sightless eyes and icy cold skin.
But while zombies involve sorcerer's using part of their souls to sustain, the Inferi are nothing more than mindless armies for bad wizard types.
"Inferi have much in common with zombies, which are mentioned as separate creatures within Harry's world," Rowling wrote on the site. "I have several good reasons for not wishing to call the guardians of the locket Horcrux 'zombies.' Firstly, zombies are not part of British folklore, but associated with myths of Haiti and parts of Africa. Secondly, while zombies of the Vodou tradition can be nothing more than reanimated corpses, a separate but related tradition has it that the sorcerer uses part of their souls to sustain himself. This conflicted with my Horcrux story, and I did not wish to suggest that Voldemort had any more use for his Inferi than as guards of his Horcrux."
Lord Voldemort placed the Inferi in the lake surrounding the island where one of the evil wizard's horcruxes lies in order to detract from attempted thieves. But Dumbledore knew better — hence the ring of fire he threw out to save Harry from the Inferi — Inferius can only be destroyed by fire, as"no spell has been found to render dead flesh impervious to burning."
Besides — Rowling knows the truth: "to me, a zombie will always mean Michael Jackson in a bright red bomber jacket."
But we have to ask: does "Thriller" exist in Harry's world? For the sake of all of Hogwarts, hopefully the answer is yes.