Cryptid Wiki
Cryptid Wiki

Ghoul الغول (Arabic)
Type Ghilan
First Sighting 632 AD
Last Sighting 2013
Country Worldwide Distribution, including the United States (Texas, West Virginia), Cyprus, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom (Glamis, Scotland), Indonesia
Habitat Near Human Dead Bodies (Graveyards, Plaque pits, etc)
Possible Population Small

A Ghoul is an Arabic folkloric creature associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh.

Mohammad Arafat

Rendering of a ghoul by Mohammad Arafat.

The oldest  surviving literature that mention ghouls is Arabian Nights. The term was first used in English literature in 1786, in William Beckford's Orientalist novel Vathek, which describes the ghūl of Arabian folklore. Originally in pre-Islamic times the males called Qutrub and females called Gulah.

Name in Arabic and Origin

Shahnemeh Ghoul2

Ghoul attacking a victim from the Persian manuscript The Shahnemeh.

Ghoul is from the Arabic الغول ghul, from ghala "to seize". Marc Cramer and others believe the term to be etymologically related to Gallu, a Middle Eastern demon.

In Sumerian and Akkadian (Babylonian and Assyrian) mythology, the Gallus (also called gallas) were great demons/devils that roamed the streets hiding in dark corners or deserted places.

According to Morris Jastrow’s Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, the gallu lurked in remote or hidden places like graves, mountain tops and in the shadows of ruins. They would go out at night, enter homes through holes and crevices, and torture their victims.

The Gullu were said to be so frighteningly hideous that they were associated with nightmares. They were also known to drink the blood and devour the flesh and bones of their victims.

In Middle Eastern Folklore

In ancient Arabian folklore, the ghūl (Arabic: literally demon) dwells in burial grounds and other uninhabited places.


Ghoul Sighting on Tape (Cryptid)

Ghoul Sighting

The ghul is a fiendish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis.

A ghul is also a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting, evil 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.

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.



Ghouls who are well-fed on human flesh are indistinguishable from normal humans. The longer a ghoul goes without feeding, the less human it looks. A ghoul in the later stages of starvation will be extremely thin and pale, with veins clearly visible through the skin, and will have long, claw-like nails.


Ghoul claws

Ghoul claws

Ghouls have the ability to take on the abilities and appearance any person whose body they have eaten. Some ancient stories claim that ghouls can also turn into jackals, hyenas, or other animals, but so far the ghoul’s ability to take on animal form remains unverified. Ghouls also tend to be slightly stronger than humans.


Ghouls must eat human flesh on a regular basis in order to survive. A ghoul who denies his hunger for flesh for too long will begin to suffer the physical effects of starvation (even if he eats other food) and will suffer mental deterioration. As the condition grows worse, the ghoul loses all semblance of humanity.

Biology and Habitat

Murubbeh Cave

Historically, ghouls have been sighted in burial caves and tombs throughout the Middle East. The photos above were taken at the ancient Saudi Arabian burial cave known as Dahl Murubbeh, where ghouls are believed to inhabit.

There are several theories regarding the origin of ghouls. The three most common are that ghouls are a type of demon, the result of demon and human cross-breeding, or normal humans who suffer from an ancestral curse. The fact that ghouls are genetically indistinguishable from humans seems to suggest the latter, but the existence of shapeshifters who can mimic humans down to the cellular level means that it’s impossible to rule out a demonic origin.

Because ghouls are able to take on the form of any human whose flesh they have eaten, those who are careful to conceal their eating habits can operate in human society. Even if they are caught, ghouls are often initially mistaken for human cannibals, with their true nature only revealed when they are deprived of human flesh. Some civil rights activists have suggested that allowing an imprisoned ghoul to become ravening beast due to hunger constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. However, the small number of cases, mental deterioration of the affected prisoners, and disturbing nature of the alternative have prevented any real legal exploration of the question to date.

In order to avoid starvation, a ghoul needs consume an enormous amount of human flesh (10-15 pounds per day). Those who do not begin to suffer the effects of starvation, eventually becoming inhuman predators. While most ghoul children are raised on human flesh, they do not seem to suffer the effects of deprivation until they reach puberty.

Although ghouls reproduce normally, some ghoul families believe that it is necessary to breed with humans in order to prevent their bloodlines from becoming inbred to the point of weakness. Families who follow this tradition typically believe that offspring between a human and a ghoul will only be produced if the human has first been buried alive or imprisoned in a crypt for at least 24 hours prior to mating. It is not known whether or not there is any truth to this superstition, or if all children who result from such unions become ghouls. Human women impregnated by male ghouls are typically held captive until the child is born, then killed and eaten. Human men who mate with female ghouls have a considerably shorter expected lifespan.


Main article: Pengkalan Chepa Creature
Pengkalan Chepa Creature2

Artist's rendering of the creature

Ghouls have been reported throughout history in every part of the world. Although several ghouls have been captured in recent history. In 2003, two survivors described their encounter with (and self-defense slaying of) a similar family, also believed to be ghouls, in rural West Virginia. Most of M-Force’s information about ghouls is derived from interviews with a captured ghoul conducted by Mike Mulligan in the late 1960s.

In April 11, 2016 a strange sightings of a dark human-like creature was sighted around, and eventually in SMK Pengkalan Chepa 2 boarding school grounds, known as the Pengkalan Chepa Creature. The creature was claimed by locals to have been a "Jinn" that started to appear after local students polluted and disturbed the forests grounds. It was sighted by numerous students and school officials.

These sightings resulted in mass hysteria and the school's cancelation on April 17. Local officials mounted a police investigation and brought Islamic scholars and witch doctors were called in to carry out exorcisms.

Not the "Rake"

The Rake

The original image for the Rake, from February 9, 2011 to March 4, 2013. The photo of the 2010 New Louisiana Swamp Monster was erroneously added out of context on Creepypasta Wiki in March 4, 2013 at 15:17 UTC (Universal Time Coordinate).

When Creepypasta Wiki uploaded an image of the New Louisiana Swamp Monster, confusion arose in regards to whether this photo was a fictional character known as the "Rake." According to, the rake is entirely fictional.

"Sufficiently disturbed? Don’t be; as with all the others, the Rake isn’t real. Like Slender Man, he’s a creation of the bloody-minded users of the Something Awful forums. All the above-mentioned stories are quoted by user Clockspider in the same thread that Slender Man first appeared in; rumblings have suggested that the Rake had been created prior to Slender Man, but I have been unable to find an original post (if such a thing exists)."

Read about the New Louisiana Swamp Monster to learn of the photo's true origins.

New Louisiana Swamp Monster

Berwyn monster
Main article: New Louisiana Swamp Monster

The New Louisiana Swamp Monster is very creepy ghoul/swamp monster that lives in Louisiana. The monster was allegedly first sighted when a deer hunter at Berwick was hunting at night. A very strange photo appeared on his deer stand camera. It showed a very odd creature with slender limbs, glowing eyes, and a growling mouth. The hunting camera was broken but the memory card was still there. NBC news station said it looks like a cross between an animal and a human.

Kirishima touka by tsukisuki chama-d809fre

Touka from Tokyo Ghoul in her ghoul form


Ghouls are shown in various different ways and with various abilities in movies, shows, and even anime. -In the extremely popular anime Tokyo Ghoul and the sequel series Tokyo Ghoul:re , ghouls live among humans and are seen as carnivorous monsters that resemble humans in every way, except for an extreme craving for human flesh and a predatory organ weapon called a "Kagune" unique to each ghoul with special abilities.

Last Halloween Ghoul

Shirley, a ghoul seen in the last halloween

In the Web Comic, "The Last Halloween" a character named Shirley is a Frankenstein's monster-like ghoul, which is mistaken by the main character to be a zombie. Shirley is one of the main characters, along with a vampire, a doll, and a werepossum. She has the ability to regenerate lost body parts. According to Shirley, "Zombies are low-functioning and often dangerous to humans, whereas ghouls are just sad and harmless."[1]