Difference Between Ghoul and Zombie

Folkloric creatures are mysterious creatures that are very popular in fiction, be it written or in a movie. The writer portrays the creature as a part of the world and brings out the mythology to life.

Ghoul vs Zombie

The main difference between Ghoul and Zombie is that the ghoul is a demon-like creature or spirit that feed on dead human flesh while the Zombie is an undead corpse which goes around feeding on living human for their flesh. 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 who is revived by witchcraft or is reanimated to feed upon living humans. They do not have brain cells, no thinking capacity and have improper locomotion movement.

Comparison Table Between Ghoul and Zombie

Parameters of ComparisonGhoulZombie
EtymologyComes 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 having an entranced state.
CreationCreated by black magic or by being possessed by a demon.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 that is related to graveyards. They consume human flesh.

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, thoughts and are able to 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’ that means ‘ghost’.

A zombie is a fictional creature who is un-dead, 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 then coming back alive with no intelligence and emotions. They feed and attack people if not properly controlled.

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


Main Differences Between Ghoul and Zombie

  1. Ghouls have intelligence power which 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 the humans, but their feeding pattern is different.
Difference Between Ghoul and Zombie


Mythical creatures are nowadays seen in movies, series, and books, and the popularity is immensely rising. We have shows based on vampires, werewolves, goblins, and many more.

Ghouls are supposed to be alive people who are turned into ghouls by black magic or when they a posses by a spirit or demon. Zombies are made when humans are bit by another zombie.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1525/irqr.2014.7.3.327
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=plztfOxO1HoC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=ghouls+and+zombies&ots=jYpSr-FXKt&sig=HxZBMUzzy6YwM2qSlyCbVvO75Tg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=ghouls%20and%20zombies&f=false
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