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The Zombie Judges are the secondary antagonists of the film ParaNorman. They're a group of seven judges led by Judge Hopkins who were cursed in the 1700s for trying to put a witch named Aggie Prenderghast to death.
In the year 1712, the puritans hunted down Aggie in the woods and took her to court. In court, Judge Hopkins told her that the citizens had all witnessed her practicing witch-craft, and her punishment would be having her put to death by hanging. They slowly surrounded her, making her spark with lightning and tell them that they would be sorry. She then unleashed her curse on them, which was apparently be that they would rise from the grave as the undead so that they would suffer as she did.
In the film, Norman went to their grave thinking that he was supposed to read Aggie's story there. As it turns out, he was wrong, and it caused the spirits of the people go back into their decayed bodies and come to life. Norman (and the school bully who showed up there) ran away to Norman's recently deceased uncle's residence. The zombies followed them, broke in, and tried to confront them. Luckily, they escaped.
Norman's sister, his friend, and his friends brother went looking for them in a van. One of the judges accidentally walked in front of the car and was hit. Norman's friend's brother (Mitch) got out to check him out. He tried to help him, thinking he was a human, when his head popped off. Norman and the bully then appeared and ran into the car. Shortly after the severed head opened his eyes and scared Mitch. The judges and the judge began approaching the car, the beheaded one banging against the window. Norman told Mitch to drive away, and once he did it left the judges in shock. The judge had grabbed onto the back, and they watched him scream on the back of the car down the hill.
Eventually; the judges made their way to the town and caused a panic. The zombies were horrified by all of the modern technology that decorated the town. Instead of becoming scared and running away, the modern judges became angry once seeing them and began attacking. A huge mob formed and began tearing them apart. Judge Hopkins appeared later on, and guided them out of the crowd and into a library, where they continued to chase after Norman.
They chased him to the roof until he locked himself up there, where he was struck with lightening and subjected to a flashback that told of how the curse was brought upon them. Once coming to, having crashed through the roof, the judge explained that Norman had to read form the book to send them back to the grave. Norman comes to the realization that the book is just a bed time story, and throws the book at the judge. He asks him why he did it, and he explained that they were scared. After his explanation Norman sparks and idea, and leads them out of the now burning library (the modern people tried to burn it down). They came out and the police woman threatened to shoot them. Norman tried to explain the situation but everyone only became more and more angry, until his sister and friends stood up for him. After finally letting their guard down, the Judge road with Norman to show him where Aggies grave was, but the judges stayed behind.
After resolving Aggies conflict, their decayed bodies flaked away and they turned into ghosts, which also faded.
They appear to be dressed in attire that was appropriate to their time period, so they looked like average pilgrims. In their human forms, they all had caucasian skin. As zombies, their attire stayed the same but now their skin was all sagged and green. All the judges seemed to have very unkempt teeth.
The judge's key trait is that they may seem intimidating, but deep down they're just scared. As many people did during this time period, they thought that witch craft was evil and that it would bring great misfortune upon them. In their zombie forms, they seemed to be scary undead corpses but really they were just the same confused people that they were three hundred years ago. When being confronted by the modern-day citizens, they in no way tried to fight back, they just screamed and tried to run away as they were torn apart.
Because of their absent dialogue, it is only implied that the people share the same guilt for their actions that the judge did. However; they did seem to be very determined to end their punishment.
The judges first being seen through a vision.
The judges and Hopkins seen in a drawing.
The judge's concept art.
The judges coming back to life.
The group of zombies after the car left.
The judges approaching Aggie.
The zombies in the library.
The zombies being defended outside of the library.
None of the supporting judges have any vocal lines, but their moans can be heard in their zombie form.