The Legend

The Legend of Tom Zombie began in 1796 when a trapper named David Ramsey discovered the Trimeric Bell hidden in an Indian burial ground, somewhere around Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada.

Ramsey is said to have somehow discovered the bell’s power and learned to control it. He set his machinations upon Colonel Thomas Talbot as, the story goes, Ramsey was furious with the man for refuting his land claim and even going so far as setting his hounds on Ramsey outside Talbot’s cabin on the North Shore of Lake Erie. Records don`t reveal the details of how but it’s said that when Talbot discovered the plot he killed Ramsey but that the man couldn’t die. Two stories follow from this. One, that the undead madman was stopped and trapped in a tomb hidden somewhere around St. Thomas; the other that Ramsey lived a long life, as the archivists have written, “always in a shadows”. Whichever the case, because of Ramsey’s tampering and Talbot`s pride, two curses were set: the Tom Flower Curse (based the story of "Tom" and his native bride Crow Flower - see below), what people now call the Curse of Tom Zombie, and the Kismet Curse or “The Curse of Chance”, which besets the Ramsey family to this very day. We speculate that it was in this struggle of wills between Talbot & Ramsey that the Triarc, the mighty heart of the Trimeric Bell, which has always resisted the will of men to control it, saw an opportunity to create a protector for itself.

colonel Thomas TalbotNOTE: Colonel Thomas Talbot was one of the most prolific land developers in Canadian history. But he was also known for his staunch idealism, sour temper and general meanness. Now we know that this cruelty may have been related to his own hidden burden. Accounts suggest that he was in possession of the Trimeric Bell, the ancient artifact at the root of the Tom Flower Curse, be some estimates for as long as five years. How he resisted its power for so long is still a mystery.

Tom and Crow Flower

Tom's native Bride Crow FlowerGaps remain in our understanding as to how this rivalry between Talbot and Ramsey, on one hand, and the lovers "Tom" and his native bride Crow Flower, culminated into the Tom Flower Curse. We speculate that Ramsey may have been manipulated himself by the Bell. All we know for sure, based on scattered accounts and anecdotal remnants is that when this man named Tom and his native bride Crow Flower tried to organize a treaty between the locals and native bands, assailants unknown from St. Thomas murdered them and buried their bodies in an, as yet to be discovered, grave site near St. Thomas. Some accounts have Tom being buried alive, able to hear as his bride was brutalized above him, others have them buried together and still others have Crow Flower being burnt alive while Tom watched and, him setting the curse in motion upon his dying breaths. Whatever the case it is clear the grave site where their remains were interred became the site of the very first Tom Zombie Incident on record.

The Tom Flower Curse

Though the centre of the curse is most certainly focused on the town named St. Thomas, its fury is somehow tied back to Thomas Talbot himself and the man’s curious ability to overcome the Bell’s power of possession. Indeed the curse is said to inflict all the lands that Colonel Thomas Talbot had a hand in developing; a great swath running from London to Windsor along the north shore of Lake Erie and beyond. All the populations of this domain have been stricken by the curse at one time or another. Only when the bell had been commandeered by others did its wraith project past this invisible boundary.

Tom Zombie Incidents

Since the curse was first set in motion over two hundred years ago there have been well over a hundred Tom Zombie Incidents throughout the Talbot Trail region and beyond. This website is dedicated to sharing those stories with the public so that everyone can understand the very real and constant peril we live in and the need to keep the Tom Zombie Festival alive and functional. As each Tom Zombie host was possessed by the Trimeric Bell each story took on its own twists and turns and enviable tragic end. Throughout this history the only constant has been the artifact itself which the festival now controls. As we discover more of these stories they will be documented and shared here.



The Legend of Tom Zombie

They say that Tom is cursed by love,
That he can`t see the veil,
They say the dead hear him standing above,
And from encrusted crypts they rail,
(An excerpt from a British infantry marching manual dated 1812)