Vodun (aka Vodoun, Voudou, Voodoo, Sevi Lwa) is a religion that originates in West Africa with the Yoruba people. The name Vodun is derived from the local african word for spirit, and can be traced about 6.000 years back. Today, Vodun practiced in Benin, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti and Togo.
Each Vodun sect follows a different Loa (or Lwa, "mystery"), a tradition or path, sometimes a saint. The main god is Olorun or Bondye, his enemy is Obatala. There are hundreds of lesser gods or spirits, but the main ones of the pantheon are Legba, Ghede, Dumballah, Agwe, Ogoun and Erzulie. The male Vodun priest is called a houngan, a female one is a mambo. The central aspect of Vodun is healing people from illness.
The Voodoo cult is based on Vodun, but it is uncertain how much of the "dark magic" (including zombies and voodoo dolls) is based on Christian propaganda during colonial times, on movies and stories, and how much of it is actually practiced by the "priests". Even Voodoo can be divided into Rada (good) and Petro (bad).