Ghouls, Ghosts and Goblins

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 under ARCHIVES | No Comment

Many people use the term ghost and ghoul as one in the same.  They truly are  not.  Ghosts are spirits where the origin of Ghouls comes down to devourer of  human flesh.

Definition of Ghoul:

an evil demon, originally of Oriental legend, supposed to feed on human beings,  and especially to rob graves, prey on corpses, etc.

-a grave robber.

-a person who revels in what is revolting.


Ghouls are also associated with “Goblins” though they are not the same either.

The definition of a Goblin from the dictionary:

Goblin, gnome, gremlin  refer to supernatural beings thought to be malevolent to people. Goblins  are demons of any size, usually in human or animal form, that are supposed to assail, afflict, and even torture human beings: “Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d, …”  (Shak. Hamlet I, iv ). Gnomes  are small beings, like ugly little old men, who live in the earth, guarding mines, treasures, etc. They are mysteriously malevolent and terrify human beings by causing dreadful mishaps to occur. Gremlins  are thought to disrupt machinery and are active in modern folklore.


Ghouls have their roots in the Arabic words ghul and ghula (ghulah). They refer  to a number of creatures: male and female in Muslim folklore that have an  insatiable hunger and feed on human flesh. They are nocturnal and inhabit  graveyards and desolate places. They prey upon travelers, children and  corpses stolen from graves.

In Persia, a ghul is a giant or large person and not particularly bright.

In western culture, ghouls are generally thought of as living creatures who appear  gaunt and hungry. They often have long limbs and clawed fingernails. Ghouls are  also described as undead humans who sleep in unmarked graves, waiting to  feast on graveyard corpses and travelers.

Beginning in the 19th Century, the “term” ghoul applied to Body Snatchers. Body  Snatchers would steal bodies from graves for the medical world for  research.and for students to dissect.  It’s well believed that medicine  would not have advanced without this practice; as appalling as people thought this practice was at the time.

Overall, Ghouls grew to the height of popularity through Hollywood and Horror  films.  They are “creepy” and “ghoulish”!  The Body Snatcher is a 1945 horror film directed by Robert Wise based on the short story The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson

Halloween is just around the corner! I will be putting up a few more posts that relate to Halloween, so stop by and have fun!


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