ghoul is a folkloric monster or evil spirit associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh, often classified as undead. The oldest surviving literature that mention ghouls is likely . One Thousand and One Nights The term was first used in English literature in 1786, in [1 ] William Beckford's Orientalist novel , Vathek which describes the [2 ] ghūl of Arabian folklore.
By extension, the word
ghoul is also used in a derogatory sense to refer to a person who delights in the macabre, or whose profession is linked directly to death, such as a gravedigger or graverobber. Early etymology [edit ]
Ghoul is from the Arabic غول
ghūl, from ghala, "to seize". The term is etymologically related to [3 ] Gallu, a Mesopotamian demon. [4 ] [5 ] In Arabian folklore [edit ]
ancient Arabian folklore, the ghūl (Arabic) dwells in burial grounds and other uninhabited places. The ghul is a fiendish type of jinni believed to be sired by Iblis. [6 ]
A ghoul is also a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting, demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a
hyena. It lures unwary people into the desert wastes or abandoned places to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, drinks blood, steals coins, and eats the dead, then taking the form of the person most recently eaten. [7 ]
In the Arabic language, the female form is given as
ghoulah and the plural is [8 ] ghilan. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or gluttonous individual. Ghouls in popular culture [edit ]
Algol takes its name from the definite Arabic term , or Rās al-ghūl The Demon's Head. [9 ] See also [edit ] References [edit ] ^ "The Story of Sidi-Nouman" . Retrieved . 2012-07-05 ^ "Ghoul Facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about Ghoul". Encyclopedia.com . Retrieved . 2011-03-23 ^ Robert Lebling (30 July 2010). . I.B.Tauris. pp. 96–. Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar ISBN 978-0-85773-063-3. ^ Cramer, Marc (1979). . W.H. Allen. The Devil Within ISBN 978-0-491-02366-5. ^ "Cultural Analysis, Volume 8, 2009: The Mythical Ghoul in Arabic Culture / Ahmed Al-Rawi". Socrates.berkeley.edu . Retrieved . 2011-03-23 ^ "ghoul". Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved . January 22, 2006 ^ "ghoul". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary . Retrieved . January 22, 2006 ^ *Muhawi, Ibrahim, and Sharif Kanaana (1988). . Berkeley: University of California Press. Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales ^ Garfinkle, Robert A (1997-04-13). . p. 215. Star-Hopping: Your Visa to Viewing the Universe ISBN 9780521598897.