Ghoul vs Zombie: Difference and Comparison

Folkloric creatures are mysterious and famous in fiction, written, or movies. The writer portrays the animal as a part of the world and brings the mythology to life.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ghoul is a demon-like creature from Arabian mythology that feeds on human flesh and can shape-shift into animals or other people. In contrast, Zombie is an undead creature reanimated by a virus or spell and craves human flesh.
  2. Ghouls are portrayed as intelligent and cunning beings who use their powers to manipulate and deceive humans, while Zombies are portrayed as mindless and slow-moving creatures.
  3. Ghoul is a creature from Middle Eastern mythology, while Zombies originated from Haitian folklore and gained popularity in Western media.

Ghoul vs. Zombie

The difference between Ghoul and Zombie is that the ghoul is a demon-like creature or spirit that feeds on dead human flesh, while the Zombie is an undead corpse feeding on living humans for their meat. Both of them are folkloric creatures and are found in fictional books and movies. 

Ghoul vs Zombie

Ghoul is a folkloric spirit or phantom which is linked to death. They are supposed to dig graves and feed on dead flesh. They have very little intelligence and have a bit of decision-making ability.

A zombie is a folkloric undead created or a dead person revived by witchcraft or reanimated to feed upon living humans. They do not have brain cells, thinking capacity, or improper locomotion movement.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGhoulZombie
EtymologyIt comes from the Arabic word ‘Ghul.’The Caribbean word ‘jumbie’ means ‘ghost.’ Kongo word ‘nzambi’ means ‘spirit of the dead.’
MeaningCreatures living in graveyards and cemeteries.Fiction creature which is undead or has an entranced state.
CreationCreated by black magic or by being possessed by a demon.It was created by zombie bite or scratch or by voodoo.
Feeds onDead human fleshLiving human flesh
Thoughts  Have thinking powersNo thinking powers
Human formGhouls are supposed to be possessed humans who un-dig the graves for flesh.They are creatures that are not alive but came back from the dead.
First mentioned inA famous book named “One Thousand and One Nights.”The film ‘White Zombie’ was released in 1932.

What is Ghoul?

Ghoul comes from the Arabic word ‘Ghul.’ Ghoul is a folkloric creature, a monster, or a spirit related to graveyards. They consume human flesh.

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Ghouls are not humans or were once humans but are now turned into ghouls. They have a little intelligence similar to that of an animal or a child. So, they have intelligence and thoughts and can make decisions.

Ghouls can be created by black magic or are supposed to be possessed by some demon. They also attack human beings but do not feed on them.


What is Zombie?

Zombie is supposed to have more than one etymology. It is said that the zombie word came from the Caribbean word ‘jumbie,’ which means ‘ghost.’

A zombie is an un-dead fictional creature, or it can be a person having an entranced state. They have been recently popular in horror films and modern fiction.

Zombies are said to be dead and come back alive with no intelligence or emotions. They feed and attack people if not adequately controlled.

It is believed that a zombie bite or a zombie scratch can turn an average human into a zombie. It is supposed to result from the spreading a contagious virus that eventually kills their brain cells.


Main Differences Between Ghoul and Zombie

  1. Ghouls have intelligence power that is child-like or animal-like, but zombies have no intelligence. 
  2. Ghouls feed on dead flesh, while zombies feed on living humans. Both attack humans, but their feeding pattern is different.
Difference Between Ghoul and Zombie

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Ghoul vs Zombie: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I highly enjoyed the detailed comparison of the two folkloric creatures. I feel like I have a good understanding of what defines a ghoul and zombie now.

  2. I found the contrast between ghouls and zombies interesting and your comparison draws out the key distinctions effectively.

  3. This is a great way to understand the difference between the two mythical creatures in folklore. It was an enjoyable read.


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