Haitian Penal Code:
Article 249. It shall also be qualified as attempted murder the employment which may be made against any person of substances which, without causing actual death, produce a lethargic coma more or less prolonged. If, after the person had been buried, the act shall be considered murder no matter what result follows.
The methods of creating and controlling zombies vary among bokors. Some bokors use blood and hair from their victims in conjunction with voodoo dolls to zombify their victims. Others methods of zombification involve a specially prepared concoction of mystical herbs, in addition to human and animal parts (sometimes called “coup padre”).
Ingestion, injection, or even a blow dart may be used to administer the potion variety. When these substances come into contact with the victim's skin, bloodstream or mucous membranes, the victim is rendered immobile within minutes, succumbing to a comatose-like state resembling death. The victim retains full awareness as he is taken to the hospital, then perhaps to the morgue and finally buried in a grave.
The bokor then performs an ancient voodoo rite; taking possession of the victim's soul, and replacing it with the loa that he or she controls. The victim's "trapped" soul is usually placed within a small clay jar or some other unremarkable container. The container is wrapped in a fragment of the victim's clothing, a piece of jewelry, or some other personal possession owned by the victim in life, and then hidden in a place of secrecy known only to the bokor.
The bokor raises the victim after a day or two and administers a hallucinogenic concoction, called the "zombi's cucumber," that revives the victim. Once the zombi has been revived, it has no power of speech, its past human personality is entirely absent, and the memory is gone. Zombis are thus easy to control and are used by bokors as slaves for farm labor and construction work. One case in 1918 involved a voodoo priest named Ti Joseph who ran a gang of laborers for the American Sugar Corporation, took the money they received and fed the workers only unsalted porridge. Indeed, giving a zombi salt is supposed to restore its personality, and send it back to its grave and out of the bokor's influence.
There are a significant number of researchers who believe zombification to be an actual practice, achieved not through magic and ritual, but rather through certain powerful drugs. These drugs make a person seem dead through extensive intoxication and slowing of the bodily functions. When they are revived, they are so brain-damaged that they cannot remember who they were or who their family was. Thus, they can be controlled by the bokor. There are numerous hypothesis about the composition of the drug: it may contains the poison of the fou-fou, or porcupine fish, or pufferfish that causes severe neurological damage and near-death state. The active ingredient that causes this "death-in-life" affect is known as tetrodotoxin, although little is known about this drug. Other substances from various toxic animals and plants, including the gland secretions of the bouga toad, millipedes and tarantulas, the skins of poisonous tree frogs, seeds and leaves from poisonous plants are also mentionned. However, pharmacologists have tested samples of the alleged powder on several occasions and found little or no poison in them.