Difference Between Ghoul vs. Zombie

Main Difference

The main difference between the ghoul and zombie is that ghouls are demon-like creatures who also feast on human flesh and zombies are undead corpses that feast on human flesh.

Ghoul vs. Zombie

Ghoul and zombie are the popular fictional characters. They are just folkloric creatures seen in literature and films. Ghoul and zombie are flesh-eating creatures. There is a remarkable difference between the ghoul and zombie. Ghouls are the creatures related to graveyards that consume human flesh. Zombie is a (fictional), undead creature or person in an entranced state. Ghouls were first introduced in the famous book “One Thousand and One Nights.”Ghouls were first seen in English in William Beckford’s novel “Vathek.” That novel has a description of a ghoul of the Arabian folklore. Zombies became famous after the film of George A. Romero “Night of the Living Dead” (1968). Ghouls are believed to be not humans, or they were humans but are only transformed ones. Zombies are the dead people who had come back to life or have a resemblance to it. Ghouls have child-like or animal-like intelligence. Zombies do not have any intelligence. The ghouls feed on carcasses and dead things. They thrive in cemeteries or graves digging for the dead. Zombies are the creatures who only want to feed or attack unless they are controlled. They crave human flesh and brains. As far as their intelligence is concerned, ghouls are considered to have thinking power and can make decisions. Zombies have no intelligence, so they are considered to be creatures with no thoughts. Ghouls are created by the black magic or possessed by some demon. Zombies are foul creatures created through the bite of another zombie or by the voodoo.

Comparison Chart

GhoulZombie
Demon-like creaturesZombies are undead corpses
Food
Carcasses and dead thingsHuman Flesh
Intelligence
HaveDo not have
Will
HaveDo not have
Created By
Black magic, possessed by some demonVoodoo, through the bite of another zombie

What is Ghoul?

Ghoul is a folkloric monster or spirit. It is a fictional character who is thought to be dwelling in graveyards. It is usually classified as undead. The term ghoul’ was first used in English literature in William Beckford’s oriental novel ‘Vathek,’ in 1786. This novel describes the ‘ghūl’ of Arabian folklore. The first-ever book to mention ghouls is ‘One Thousand and One Nights.’ This term ‘ghoul’ derives from the Arabic word ‘ghoul’ that means to seize. This term was etymologically related to demons. However, the term ghoul is derogatory, as it is mostly used to refer to a person whose profession is linked to death, such as a gravedigger or who delights in the macabre. In the stories, ghouls are believed to be not humans or were humans that have transformed humans into ghouls. Ghouls are said to have animal-like or child-like intelligence. It means that they have thoughts and also a will of their own. Ghouls feed on human carcasses and dead human beings or animals. They generally thrive in cemeteries or the graves that are digging for the dead. Moreover, ghouls are also believed to be created by black magic or are possessed by some demon. They are attracted to the dead, but they can attack living beings too. Due to their little intelligence, ghouls are considered to have thinking power and can make decisions. Ghouls become that way before death, unlike zombies who transform from humans to zombies creature after death. Ghouls are cunning and seem to be a virus.

What is Zombie?

Zombies are believed to be as dead people who had come back to life or have a resemblance to it. Zombies are more popular in horror films and modern fiction. The term “zombie” has several etymologies. One such is that it is derived from the Carribean word “jumbie” that means “ghost.” Another etymology is that this word is derived from “nzambi” that means “spirit of a dead person” in Kongo. Another etymology says that it derives from “zonbi” which was used in Haitian Creole and Louisiana Creole. Zombie is a fictional creature. It is a creature that is in an entranced state. Zombies became famous after a film by George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (1968). They are still widely popular in modern fictions and horror films. They have no intelligence. They obey simple instructions from the person who animated them. Zombies are considered to have no thoughts. Zombies are created by the bite of another zombie or by voodoo. They are attracted more to human beings and eat on human flesh and brain. Zombies are undead and magically animated. The main defining features of a zombie are its lack of will, mindlessness. They are being created from a human corpse. Hence, zombies are corpses reanimated by some means (magic, toxic waste, etc.) and seek to devour the living. It is believed that if a zombie bites or scratches another human, he will turn into a zombie as well. It would not be wrong to call zombie a contagious virus. Zombies cannot speak or control their movements.

Key Differences

  1. Ghoul is the creatures related to graveyards that consume human flesh whereas zombie is an undead creature or a person in an entranced state.
  2. Ghouls are believed to be not humans, or they were humans but are only transformed ones on the flip side zombies are the dead people who had come back to life or have a resemblance to it.
  3. Ghouls have child-like, or animal-like intelligence conversely zombies do not have any intelligence.
  4. The ghouls feed on carcasses and dead things while zombies crave the human flesh and brains.
  5. The black magic creates ghouls or possessed by some demon, on the other hand; zombies are foul creatures created through the bite of another zombie or by the voodoo.

Conclusion

Ghouls and zombies are fictional characters. Both are famous in horror movies as they associate with the ‘dead.’ But ghouls and zombies are different from each other in certain features.

Author:

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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