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HHS Classics - Ghouls

ghouls Howdy!! Today in HHS Classics we’ll be talking about ghouls!! Many a time these creepy monsters have been mentioned in songs, books and movies but what are they exactly and why do they creep us out so much.

So what exactly is Ghoul? A ghoul is a demon or undead being that lives in graveyards and eats human flesh. The folklore of the Ghoul is thousand of years old and originated from pagan religions in the Arabian Peninsula and has been adopted into Islamic mythology. Arabic scholars had made a collection of stories, gathered from tribes in the region and it is suggested some of these stories made it into the novel 1001 Arabian Nights. Ghouls are not really vampires or zombies although they do fall into the category of the undead. It is said Ghouls are the children of Satan. Some people say they are another type of Djinn which is a mystical being in Arabic folklore. Others suggest a person can become a Ghoul if they consume human flesh. Although they typically dwell in graveyards, it is said they also live in catacombs, have been seen on battlefields eating bodies of dead soldiers and live in hills and tunnels. They only appear in the dark of night. Others suggest a Ghoul lives in the dessert and can change into various animals, usually a hyena. The ghoul lures people into the desert or abandoned buildings, kills them and eats them. Along with adults, this creepy creature also lures and eats little children, drinks blood and steals from people. As they mostly live in graveyards and eat the flesh of dead people and then take on the shape of the person they most recently ate. They are able to access the memories of the deceased and use their form and memories to lure more people. Females Ghouls are known to lure men by shapeshifting into helpless ladies and inviting them to their homes where the female Ghoul will eat the man up. Sounds like a typical Tuesday night for some.

A ghoul isn’t a spirit or an apparition but more a physical being that is kind of humanoid and bipedal although they do crawl and scramble on all fours at times. They can be emaciated or large and fat, with pale greyish skin which is hairless and rubbery in appearance. The folklore of Ghouls was bought to the west when Antoine Galland translated the famous collection of stories One Thousand and One Arabian Nights into French in the early 1700s. Since then, the ghoul has become a popular character in movies, books, songs, video games and the paranormal in general. They have been featured in literature from Edgar Allen Poe to Harry Potter. My thoughts on this creature is that it’s probably nothing more than a story that explains why graveyards are creep people out. Or as an explanation on why people disappear in the desert and can never be found again. I find the link with ghouls eating dead people and turing into Hyenas interesting as Hyenas are one of the few animals that do feed on carrion. It still super creeps me out and makes me feel uncomfortable driving past graveyards at night. So spooky! Y’all come back now!!

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