Looking for an alternative to the ubiquitous zombie? You might want to tap into Norse mythology and the various draugar (plural form).
According to Wikipedia, Tolkien’s barrow-wights are based on the draugr legends. This is entirely possible, considering The Lord of the Rings contains elements of Norse mythology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrow-wight).
If you want to learn more about draugar:
I did start a story about a draugr released by a young man who wanted to avenge his sister's death. It's languishing on that expensive paperweight otherwise known as a laptop with Windows Vista. :-)
It'll probably continue to die a slow death...