Myths and legends

Myths and legends >> Khumbu zombies

Between the villages of Kumjung and Kundle there is a Manu wall (the wall that is built like a wall with prayer drums, or simply like a wall of stones with prayers carved on them). Local people tell a terrible story about this place.

One of the inhabitants of these places, the Sherpa, spent a lot of time on his pasture near the Gokyo Lakes, where he grazed yaks in the summer. Once he met there a very strange man, with a very long chin. The shepherd tried to escape, but the stranger ran after him and did not lag behind. Having reached almost to his native village, the shepherd climbed the chorten. The stranger's chin was so long that he could not raise his head. He did not see the fugitive on the chorten and after a while left.

Sherpa returned home and told his family about what happened, and then he suddenly felt bad and died. The family was very rich and invited a lama and 100 monks from the Pangboche Monastery to perform the funeral rite.

At night, one of the monks did not sleep and suddenly saw the dead man rise, take the beads from the sleeping llama, tear the thread and put one bead on the head of each sleeping monk. And he put the biggest bead on the head of the sleeping lama. After that, the zombie lay back in its place. The monk woke the llama and told him what had happened. The lama asked if the dead man had touched him. Upon learning that the dead man put the largest bead on his head, the lama ordered the monk to leave the house immediately, lock the door and burn the house to the ground, not thinking about the people inside.

The monk locked the door and called for help from the village of Kundle. Together they complied with the order of the lama and burned the house. Later on this place they bult a mani wall.

There is a second version of this story. It says that curse was sent to the shepherd by the powerful magician Mo'ung, in revenge for the murdered beloved yak. This magician sent a demon, that looked like a man with a long chin, who turned the shepherd into a zombie. The second version of the story also ends with a fire in which the monks from the Pangboche monastery was burned.

They say that if a zombie enters the house, then everyone in the house will become a zombie. But the zombies cannot lean and the sherpas make very low doors in their houses so that the zombies cannot enter if they suddenly will be somewhere nearby.

Pangboche Monastery was never able to recover from that loss and to this day cannot boast of the number of monks living in it. Today, only one monk constantly lives in the monastery.

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