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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Ghoul

Ghost
Ghost
  GHOUL   noun
A demon addicted to the reprehensible habit of devouring the dead.  The existence of ghouls has been disputed by that class of controversialists who are more concerned to deprive the world of comforting beliefs than to give it anything good in their place.  In 1640 Father Secchi saw one in a cemetery near Florence and frightened it away with the sign of the cross.  He describes it as gifted with many heads an an uncommon allowance of limbs, and he saw it in more than one place at a time.  The good man was coming away from dinner at the time and explains that if he had not been 'heavy with eating' he would have seized the demon at all hazards.  Atholston relates that a ghoul was caught by some sturdy peasants in a churchyard at Sudbury and ducked in a horsepond.  (He appears to think that so distinguished a criminal should have been ducked in a tank of rosewater.)  The water turned at once to blood 'and so contynues unto ys daye.'  The pond has since been bled with a ditch.  As late as the beginning of the fourteenth century a ghoul was cornered in the crypt of the cathedral at Amiens and the whole population surrounded the place.  Twenty armed men with a priest at their head, bearing a crucifix, entered and captured the ghoul, which, thinking to escape by the stratagem, had transformed itself to the semblance of a well known citizen, but was nevertheless hanged, drawn and quartered in the midst of hideous popular orgies.  The citizen whose shape the demon had assumed was so affected by the sinister occurrence that he never again showed himself in Amiens and his fate remains a mystery.
 

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911

Glutton
Glutton
Regular definition:
GHOUL:
?u:l n. 1 a person morbidly interested in death etc. 2 an evil spirit or phantom. 3 a spirit in Muslim folklore preying on corpses. °°ghoulish adj. ghoulishly adv. ghoulishness n. [Arab. gul protean desert demon]


Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30