The way I talk about zombies sometimes prompts the question, “Do you think zombies are real?” The answer isn’t a simple “Yes” or “No.”
Do I believe that there are, or could ever be, corpses walking around in various stages of decay trying to eat the living?
But I do believe that the zombie horde is powerful metaphor for modern humanity. It’s an exaggerated comparison, of course, but that’s what makes it entertaining and interesting. As Flannery O’Connor says, “I use the grotesque the way I do because people are deaf and dumb and need help to see and hear.” The creators of zombie narratives are, often inadvertently, doing the same thing. They are giving us an exaggeration in order to help us see the truth more clearly.
Zombies, are trying to tell us something about ourselves and the way we view the world. They are grotesque in the Flannery O’Connor sense, in that they are shouting and drawing “large startling figures” to our culture which is hard of hearing and almost blind to where our answers to the worldview questions have taken us.
So, do I believe in zombies? I believe the answers to the worldview questions are real and they have significant effects on how we live in the real world. I believe zombies are, in a real sense, challenging our cultural answers to these questions. So I guess you could say that in this sense, I think zombies are very real.