Along with parts of Harlem and Queens, Brooklyn hosts a large community of Haitian natives and individuals of Haitian descent one of the largest concentrations in all the U. Many Vodun rituals in Brooklyn take place underground in colorful basement ceremonies.
The temple is run by a Mambo Voodoo priestess called Rose Marie Pierre, who reportedly holds rituals and exorcisms in her basement. Try the lovely King and Grove Williamsburg hotel in Brooklyn.
Ever heard of Mary Ellen Pleasant? The meeting was part religious ritual, part revolutionary strategy meeting, presided over by prominent Vodou priest and local leader Dutty Boukman. As the storm raged, the slaves planned their revolt against the masters, taking the lightning and thunder as auspicious signs for their cause.
For a slaveholding nation like the United States, the Haitian Revolution posed an enormous ideological threat. Concerns about the aftereffects of the Haitian Revolution led directly to the demonization of Vodou. French colonists in America cracked down on the practice of voodoo in Louisiana, and exaggerated stories of Vodou in the media detailed rumors of ritual sacrifices, zombies, and other terrors.
The most notable of these was the controversial Bizoton Affair in , wherein eight Haitian Vodou practitioners were put on trial for the alleged ritual sacrifice and cannibalization of a young girl. The truth of the case was lost in a mire of sensationalized reporting, itself emblematic of the way the world viewed Haiti and its traditional religion.
The first representation of voodoo in film was in White Zombie , the first feature-length zombie film in cinematic history. Directed by Victor Halperin , the movie stars Bela Lugosi as a white Haitian voodoo master named Murder Legendre subtlety had not yet been invented who uses his sinister knowledge of spells and potions to transform a young woman into a zombie.
With Lugosi, already world-famous for his performance as Dracula a few years before, the movie conflated one misunderstood, exotic Other Lugosi with another the practice of voodoo , and the rest was history. Instant voodoo villain, just add water.
Sensationalized zombie imagery would continue to be associated with voodoo in film. But at least one depiction of zombieism seems to be rooted in truth. The Serpent and the Rainbow tells the story of a scientist investigating the mysterious case of a Haitian man who was transformed into a zombie.
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She is said to have even taken care of yellow fever patients and posted bail for free women of color. Skip to content. Special Report. Hristina Byrnes. February 26, pm.An icon used to represent a menu that can be toggled by interacting with this icon.