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Ghoul

Ghoul

An evil spirit or revived corpse supposed to rob graves and feed on human corpses. It is similar to the vampire, but differs in that it not only drinks blood but also consumes flesh. The term is from the Arabic ghul (feminine form, ghulah ) meaning "to seize," and the story of the ghoul has been widely disseminated in Moslem countries, ranging from India to Africa. Some people believe that the superstition stems from wild animals that disturb graves at night, others that its origin is the terror of death in the lonely desert. The idea of the ghoul entered into the West in the nineteenth century through translations of the Arabian Nights.

Among Hindus there are similar beliefs in ghoul-like figures, such as the vetala, a demon that haunts cemeteries and animates dead bodies, and the rakshasas, a whole order of evil demons that disturb sacrifices, harass devout people, and devour human beings. Even lower than the rakshasas are the pishachas, the vilest and most malignant of fiends. In India the line between ghoulish and vampire figures is often unclear. In Hinduism the eating of human flesh is a forbidden and degrading act, but certain tantric yoga groups (who find enlightenment by indulging in what other groups avoid) in India and Tibet practice a necrophilistic rite of lying upon a corpse, or eating a portion of the flesh.

In modern times the concept of the ghoul has become commonplace in Hollywood horror movies. Ghouls made probably their best-known appearance in George Romero's 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead and its sequels.

Sources:

Barber, Richard, and Anne Riches. A Dictionary of Fabulous Beasts. New York: Walker, 1971.

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"Ghoul." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ghoul." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ghoul

"Ghoul." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ghoul

ghoul

ghoul / goōl/ • n. an evil spirit or phantom, esp. one supposed to rob graves and feed on dead bodies. ∎  a person morbidly interested in death or disaster. DERIVATIVES: ghoul·ish adj. ghoul·ish·ly adv. ghoul·ish·ness n.

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"ghoul." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ghoul." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul-1

"ghoul." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul-1

ghoul

ghoul an evil spirit or phantom, especially one supposed to rob graves and feed on dead bodies. Recorded from the late 18th century, the word comes from Arabic ġūl, a desert demon believed to rob graves and devour corpses.

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"ghoul." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ghoul." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul

"ghoul." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul

ghoul

ghoul demon preying on corpses. XVIII. — Arab. ġūl.

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"ghoul." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"ghoul." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul-2

ghoul

ghoulBanjul, befool, Boole, boule, boules, boulle, cagoule, cool, drool, fool, ghoul, Joule, mewl, misrule, mule, O'Toole, pool, Poole, pul, pule, Raoul, rule, school, shul, sool, spool, Stamboul, stool, Thule, tomfool, tool, tulle, you'll, yule •mutule • kilojoule • playschool •intercool • Blackpool •ampoule (US ampule) • cesspool •Hartlepool • Liverpool • whirlpool •ferrule, ferule •curule • cucking-stool • faldstool •toadstool • footstool • animalcule •granule • capsule • ridicule • molecule •minuscule • fascicule • graticule •vestibule • reticule • globule •module, nodule •floccule • noctule • opuscule •pustule • majuscule • virgule

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"ghoul." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ghoul." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul-0

"ghoul." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ghoul-0