The Indonesian enigma surrounding the corpse that unsealed the sarcophagus lid and returned home

July 14, 2023

The Indonesian enigma surrounding the corpse that unsealed the sarcophagus lid and returned home

Many people can shudder with terror at the thought of corpses that suddenly get up and walk down the street in search of their home. However, this has always been a very common occurrence for the Toraja people of Indonesia.

Do zombies find their own way home?
The Toraja, or “highland people”, are an indigenous ethnic group who have lived in the rugged mountains of South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia, since the beginning of time. Many people around the world spread legends about mystical sorcery that could make corpses walk normally many years ago, when the country where the Toraja people resided was remote and seemed cut off from the outside world. world is known.


According to the oldest people in the tribe, making zombies walk dates back to ancient times. At that time, a civil war broke out between the Tana Toraja people in the West and the Tana Toraja people in the East.

The Tana Toraja people of the West suffered a catastrophic defeat and were largely wiped out. Meanwhile, the Tana Toraja people in the east suffered fewer deaths and most of the warriors managed to bring the bodies of the deceased back to the village for burial.

On the contrary, because it is not possible to bring the bodies of the unfortunate back to the village, the Tana Toraja del Oeste people have devised a special way to bury the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ. They then used a mystical method to make the corpses walk and find their way back to their village. Since then, the Tana Toraja people have maintained this “magic” and until now, the sorcerers only act at the request of the family of the deceased.



The Indonesian ritual of seeing ghosts find their way home.

According to the beliefs of the Toraja tribe, those who have died and are buried far or near must return to the town where they were born to meet their loved ones. This is a binding rule for the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ, because the living will guide the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ to a new life in the afterlife.

It may sound strange and absurd, but for the people of Toraja, they will feel more secure when their deceased loved ones are meticulously instructed in the “skills” that exist before they rest in the golden spring. Previously, the way home for zombies was very long, many people feared that zombies would “die” again on the way back.

Therefore, they often hire a sorcerer to help zombies get home safely. After being “blessed”, the corpse can walk normally without any problem. The zombies moved stiffly, they looked like robots, and their faces were expressionless. The special thing is that if someone talks to the zombie on the way back, that zombie will fall down and can’t get up to continue the journey.

Therefore, the danger that lies in wait for zombies is to meet people who are still alive and get them to talk to them during their journey back home. To limit the risk, witches often find deserted streets, almost devoid of pᴀssers-by, so that corpses can walk freely undisturbed.

Although scientists have known about this practice of the Toraja people for a long time, they have not been able to explain “How can the Toraja witch make zombies walk and find their way home?”. The most reasonable provisional answer is that sorcerers used a powder to raise the unconscious ᴅᴇᴀᴅ for a certain time.



Model of a walking corpse.

Consequently, this dust is said to be extremely toxic to living people, since it is extracted from animals such as puffer fish, scorpions, poisonous spiders… These substances are also believed to exist in the skin and internal organs. organs of newts, toads, salamanders, blue-ringed octopuses… But for the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ, it is a miracle drug that helps revive death. When the sorcerers blew dust onto the corpse, they stimulated the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ nervous system to function like a well-oiled machine again.

Usually this drug will bring zombies back to life for about 3 days, enough time to find your way home. If they want the zombies to live longer, the witches should mix the potion with a different ratio and dosage. However, many people are still not satisfied with the above answer and think that making zombies walk is just an evil magic trick of witches.

Nowadays, the Tana Toraji also rarely see such scenes. The main reason is still money. Few people know about this magic, and few families can afford the exorbitant cost of the sorcerer. The zombies secret to finding the way home is probably only known by the Toraja witches, only they can have the most definitive answer.


Ancient magic from time immemorial
The strange thing is that these walking corpses are quite intact and do not smell bad. Since 1905, scientists have also found intact, undecayed human remains on this earth. Scientists studied and suddenly realized that these human corpses were not marinated with any chemicals, unlike the known method of mummification of the ancient Egyptians.

According to locals, Toraja’s unique burial method and special soil conditions may be one of the important reasons walking zombies are unique to the region. Mamasa, Indonesia.

When a villager dies, his body is wrapped in clothing before being placed in a coffin. The men would then carry the coffin to the tribal cemetery. The special thing is that the Toraja cemetery is unlike any other in the world. Those are steep limestone cliffs, hundreds of coffins dumped on those cliffs. Here, people chisel squares deep into the rock, long and wide enough to fit a coffin.


Seen from afar, the tombs located in the heart of the mountain look like pigeon nests or the windows of a high-rise building. Only strong men can do this strenuous burial. Initially, they used bamboo ladders to climb up to the tomb chambers in the cliff and then it took 4-5 people to carry the body of the deceased up the vertical cliff like wall before placing the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ in the final resting place. .

As for the fact that the smell of corpses did not exist, it was because these corpses did not decompose but dried up, resembling a mummy. Many corpses come out of the coffins after many years still with eyelashes, eyebrows, hair, and faces slightly deformed or greatly changed compared to when they were first buried.

According to the people here, the fact that the corpses have such good “quality” may be due to the fact that in the limestone of this area there is a substance that helps preserve human corpses. Furthermore, the fact that the bodies are buried deep within the cliffs to avoid the effects of weather or excavation by animals may also be a reason for the bodies to remain intact.


Also, before being buried in the cliff, the corpse was mummified by some strange leaves collected in the forest. These leaves have the effect of preserving corpses for many years, preventing the body from rotting or disintegrating because a corpse will not be able to walk normally if the bones are broken one at a time.

How true this incredible truth is, perhaps only the Tana Toraja witches have the best answer. Whether using magic or not, this remains a precious spiritual ritual, which must be preserved and protected by the Tana Toraja community and the Indonesian government.