Sunday, June 17, 2018

Creature Feature: The Ghoul Next Door

Creature Feature created by Michael is a feature that focuses on the wonderful world of fantasy, science fiction, and horror creatures. 

This week is an ask and answer session about the creature Ghoul. 

What is a Ghoul?It is a dead person/monster/demon which eats human flesh

Kind of like a zombie?Yes and no. While zombies and ghouls are both dead or undead beings and do consume flesh that is where the similarities end. A ghoul has some aspects of zombies but also of vampires.

Almost like a mash-up?Zombies and vampires may have derived from ghouls. Since ghouls predate zombies and vampires by about a millennium.

So what exactly is a ghoul?It is a middle eastern myth that describes a being or monster that lives near graveyards. They are nocturnal and avoid sunlight much like vampires. They are usually described as dog-like and are usually described as walking on four appendages. In some myths/legends, these creatures have the ability to shape-shift into a form of a person whose flesh they have devoured. They also can take the form of a hyena. And unlike much of zombies' lore, some ghouls can even speak.

That's creepy. So how does one become a ghoul or are they creatures from another place?There is some myths that deal with ghouls that are djinn that rebelled against Allah. But other myths that state they are humans that transformed due to their wickedness. And some myths that involve a sickness or virus spread like zombies. Some stories have ghouls
that are transformed due to their proximity to supernatural places.

So how far back do stories of ghouls go?Bedouin folktales that date as far back as the 8th Century and scholars compiled them and some stories found their way into the Arabian Nights collection. And Muhammad in Hadith discusses banishing ghouls.

Do they attack with their hands and teeth?Some ghouls have been known to use small spears. But mostly they rely on their claws and teeth. And there are some myths that state they have a paralyzing touch.

So how do you kill a ghoul?The myths disagree in an exact weapon or technique. Some text stress that only a single blow from a mighty sword will kill the ghoul. But if you try to do more than one blow the ghoul will not only live but also destroy the one who wielded the sword and any other humans in sight. Then some myths state readings from Quran and sunlight are all harmful to ghouls.

Books with Ghouls 

The Graveyard BookStorm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

Movies with Ghouls

Image result for The Mad Ghoul movie posterImage result for Night of the Living Dead movie posterImage result for The Monster Club movie poster

Video Games with Ghouls 

Image result for Fallout video game posterImage result for Castlevania  video game posterImage result for Dragon Age video game

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