Appeared in Series 1
The Video Game (Stage 2, Area 2)
Monster in my Pocket Comic
Number 37
Point Value 10

Ghoul is monster number 37 from Series 1. The figure was available in all four Series 1 colours and their neon shades, and had a points value of ten. It was also available in a very rare neon orange premium edition. The figure portrayed the Ghoul as a lank-haired, pot-bellied humanoid with a shovel - ready to dig some graves!

Legend of the GhoulEdit

A ghoul is a monster that originates with Arabic folklore, although it has spread and developed through the centuries. In modern culture, ghouls have become all sorts of freakish creatures. However, the original tales of the ghoul were quite specific in its description.

In ancient Arabian folklore, the ghūl (Arabic, literally demon) is a devilish type of djinn believed to be sired by Iblis, the devil. The Arabian ghoul is a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena. It lures unwary travellers into the desert wastes to slay and devour them. A variation is a creature that preys on young children, robs graves, drinks blood, steals coins and eats the dead, taking on the form of the one they previously ate. In the Arabic language, the female form is given as ghouleh, and the plural is ghilan. Later versions of the tale take the eating of corpses as their starting point and have ghouls living in cemeteries and tombs. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or gluttonous individual.

In Persian folkore, the ghoul lives far from civilisation in caves or in deserts or live near tombs outside of cities. The oldest mention of ghouls in Persian literature can be find in the middle Iranian Parthian language as goul. The ghoul has the legs of a donkey and horns like a goat. Throughout its life the ghoul serves Ahriman as one of his loyal devas (demon) as an easily-led and mostly brainlessly instrument. Ghouls are often confused with other types of undead usually the mindless varieties of vampires and zombies.

In literature and popular cultureEdit

One Thousand and One Nights is almost certainly the earliest surviving literature that mentions ghouls, and many of the stories in that collection involve or reference ghouls. A prime example is the story The History of Gherib and His Brother Agib, in which Gherib, an outcast prince, fights off a family of ravenous Ghouls and then enslaves them and converts them to Islam.

Poet Lord Byron made a reference to the ghouls in His epic poem “The Giaour” (1813): “Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip; / Then stalking to thy sullen grave, / Go - and with Gouls and Afrits rave; / Till these in horror shrink away/ From spectre more accursed than they!”

Edgar Allan Poe mentions ghouls in the despairing fourth section ("iron bells") in the his 1848 poem "The Bells", describing them and their king as "the people, they that dwell up in the steeple" tolling the bells and glorying in the depressive effect on the hearers. "They are neither man nor woman— / They are neither brute nor human— / They are Ghouls."

In the short story The Nameless Offspring by Clark Ashton Smith, the ghoul is a cannibalistic humanoid which, besides eating the flesh off human corpses, gets to procreate with people erroneously buried while still alive.

In the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, a ghoul is a member of a nocturnal subterranean race. Some ghouls were once human, but a diet of human corpses, and perhaps the tutelage of proper ghouls, mutated them into horrific bestial humanoids.

Ghouls continue to appear in many examples of literature to this day. The popular conception of the ghoul has become combined with aspects of the ghost and the vampire, and ghouls have come to be seen as an example of the undead. In most such tellings, ghouls were once human, but became monstrous after their death, by being infected by another ghoul (similar to a vampire or werewolf), or by degeneration due to cannibalism (much like a Windigo).

Although many movies have featured ghouls, the first major motion picture of this theme was the 1933 British film entitled The Ghoul. The actor Boris Karloff plays a dying Egyptologist who possesses an occult gem, known as The Eternal Light, which he believes will grant immortality if he is buried with it, and thereby able to present it to Anubis in the afterlife. Of course, his bickering covetous heirs and associates would rather keep the jewel for themselves. Karloff vows to rise from his grave and avenge himself against anyone who meddles with his plan, and he keeps this promise when one of his colleagues steals The Eternal Light after his death.

In 1968, George A. Romero's groundbreaking film Night of the Living Dead combined reanimated corpses (zombies) with cannibalistic monsters (ghouls). The term "ghoul" was the one actually used in the film. The term zombie came later, after the film was released. Romero had never thought of them that way; he said he thought of the Caribbean creatures, when he heard the term zombies.

The 1975 British film The Ghoul (unrelated to the Karloff vehicle) stars Peter Cushing as a defrocked missionary whose son has developed a taste for human flesh while traveling in India. As the son's mind and body degenerate, Cushing has several young people dispatched and prepared as food for his offspring, whom he keeps locked up in the attic.

In recent years, following the Romero template, zombies have eclipsed ghouls as the standard undead, carnivorous monster. However, the Lovecraftian example ofthe ghoul as a subterranean creature continues to influence such movies as The Descent.

Trading card textEdit

Species: Reanimated human

Born: Thousand of years ago in the Arabian deserts.

Size: Six feet tall

Habitat: Lives in lonely places in and around graveyards.

"One of the more grueome monsters, the Ghoul is somewhat of a cross between a Vampire and a Ghost. These pale, glassy-eyed creatures hang around in cemeteries, robbing graves at night and feasting on the dead bodies (the fresher - the better!) Ghouls have been known to also eat the living when no corpses can be found, and are especially fond of children. They are very sneaky and have the ability to beecome invisible when they stand still. Fortunately, because of this unique diet of 'cold cuts,' you can smell their breath a mile away! Actually, most Ghouls are actually quite lonely and won't harm you if offer to play with them - certainly you've heard the saying, 'Ghouls just want to have fun!'"

Trading card frontEdit



Konami Video gameEdit

Ghoul (NES)
He loves to give you the axe.

At a moderate distance, he lobs the axe at an arc before continuing forward. The monster is a challenge due to their formations.

Comic seriesEdit

The Ghoul made a brief appearance in the Monstr in My Pocket comic. It could be seen in the first issue, digging into a grave at the Monster Mountain. This Ghoul was depicted with bright yellow skin.

External LinksEdit

Ghoul article on Wikipedia

Ghouls in Popular Culture


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