Ghoul | Wikipedia
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A ghoul is a type of jinn that feeds on human corpses, abducts young children to eat, lures unwary people into abandoned places, often classified as undead. The creatures usually dwells in graveyards and cemeteries. The oldest surviving literature that mention ghouls is likely One Thousand and One Nights. The term was first attested to in English in 1786, in William Beckford's Orientalist novel Vathek, which describes the ghūl of Arabian folklore.
By extension, the word ghoul is also used derogatorily to refer to a person who delights in the macabre, or whose profession is linked directly to death, such as a gravedigger.
Ghoul is from the Arabic ghul, from ghala “to seize”. Marc Cramer and others believe the term to be etymologically related to Gallu, a Mesopotamian demon.
In Arabian folklore
In ancient Arabian folklore, the ghūl (Arabic: literally demon) dwells in burial grounds and other uninhabited places. The ghul is a devilish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis.
A ghoul is 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.. Taking the form of the one they previously ate.
In the Arabic language,the female form is given as ghouleh and the plural is ghilan. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or gluttonous individual.
The star Algol takes its name from the definite Arabic term “al-ghūl”, “the demon”.
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[Image: “Amine Discovered with the Goule”, illustration for “History of Sidi Nouman” of the Arabian Nights. Engraving from The Arabian Nights Entertainments, translated by the Reverend Edward Forster, carefully revised and corrected by G. Moir Bussey. Published London 1840. Source: Google Books, via Wikipedia.]