Ghouls vs. Zombies (What’s The Difference?)

Although both the Ghouls and Zombies are folkloric creatures that feed on humans fresh, the fact is that they are different creatures, and each has its unique personality.

Generally, Zombies prefer feeding on human beings fresh more than other creatures. A Zombie is always under the control of its creator as its slaves since they have no thinking or will capacity. While Ghouls are typically not human beings, or they could have been humans in the past but who have transformed. A typical Ghoul retains an animal-like shape and possesses child-like intelligence.

In literature, Ghouls and zombies are used as folkloric creatures representing various cultural beliefs. Modern films like horror films have used Ghouls and Zombies as the main characters.

Key Differences Between Zombies & Ghouls

Zombies are fictitious undead creatures or people in a state of imprisonment by a specific power. Zombies are referred to be dead people who retained their souls after death and resembled the deceased person. However, they have zero intelligence as their brain is considered dead.

Some zombies could also be decaying corpses craving to feed on human brains hoping that the brain would help them think.

Even a tiny scratch or bite by a Zombie is believed to turn the affected person into a Zombie of a similar trait. This is because a zombie bite is considered to be a lethal virus.

Zombies can’t speak or even walk upright primarily because the virus has fully killed the brain. However, zombies are easily destroyed by shooting them on their foreheads.

Ghouls are characteristically not humans, or they were once humans who have mutated into ghouls. They possess child-like intelligence, which means that they can make decisions independently or have a will.

They feed on corpses or dead animal carcasses, although they prefer human flesh over animals. This makes graves and cemeteries their favorite dwelling place where they would exhume dead people for food.


They are both familiar fictional characters in literature and modern films. One of the most famous modern films that included the use of Zombies as fictional characters have the’ Nights of the Living Dead’ by George A Romero in 1953.

Ghouls’ use in literature is well represented by the One Thousand and One Nights, one of the most famous literature to use Ghouls as fictional characters for the first time.

Both the ghouls and zombies consume humans fresh. However, Ghouls prefer feasting on corpses after exhuming them from their graveyards and other dead creatures. Typically, Zombies and Ghouls are mere folkloric creatures used in recent films and literature work.

What Are They?


Ghouls are mythical creatures that mainly dwell in graveyards, and they nourished on humans fresh. Ghouls are first recorded in literature work like the famous One Thousand and One Nights’ and The History of Gherib’ among other literature books.

In English literature, Ghouls are first recorded in the Vathek,’ a famous William Beckford novel that describes Arabian folklore.


A Zombie can be an imaginary, undead human creature created by the reanimation of a dead person through magic. In modern films, the renewal of corpses is done through science fiction, such as suffering from curable or incurable mental disease, exposure to radiation, and a bite by a vector.

A Zombie can also be a person in a captive state. Zombies can also be referred to as those dead people who retained their souls and returned to the land of the living or resembled a dead person but with zero intelligence.

Zombies could also be creatures whose intention is to feed on humans fresh or attach when restricted or under control. A Zombie bite can transmit the zombie genes to the person bitten, who also transforms into a Zombie over a specific duration of time.

Ghouls usually reside at graveyards exhuming dead people’s bodies since they usually nourish on dead things such as corpses. Ghouls are mostly a creation of black magic and are generally under the control of a demon. Although Ghouls prefer feeding on a carcass, they will attack alive human beings when provoked or hungry.

Zombies are creatures with zero intelligence, no thoughts at all, but a Ghoul can have little thinking capacity like that of a child, thus making it possible for them to make minor decisions.

Ghoul & Zombie Etymologies

The word Ghoul is derived from an Arabic word, ghul,’ which is a demon-like creature that dwelt in a graveyard feeding on human flesh. Some etymologies are describing the word Zombie.’

Such words include the jumbie,’ a Caribbean word that means a ghost’ while nzambi, a West African name from Kongo, means god’ and Nzumbi / Zumbi fetish. It’s also associated with Mvumbi, or vumbi means a corpse possessing soul, a revenant/ ghost, or a dead person’s spirits.

Ghouls In Modern Fiction

In Tokyo Ghoul, the ghouls are identified as living beings almost similar to human beings but whose eyesight differs. They use supernatural power to mysteriously turn their irises into red, especially after feeding humans fresh. If a ghoul feed on something else apart from human flesh, it will make them ill. In the anime, hybrid ghouls can only arise when a human being successfully mates with a ghoul.

Zombies In Modern Fiction

The use of Zombies in the film became famous in 1953 after the favorite George A Romero’s film, the’ Nights of the Living Dead. The Zombie represents the rising rate of consumer culture in the Western world. Zombies are popular in horror films like the 1963 Jonny Quest series.

Zombie Apocalypse is a perfect illustration of apocalyptic fiction that has been shown in many modern films, especially after the Night of the Living Dead film.’ It is a belief that the entire society is disseminated, and very few people survive the lethal zombie virus outbreak.

After weakening humans and reducing the humans, Zombies rise in power revenge against unfair treatment by humans by destroying the human civilization. The impact is a reduced society left with little or nothing to eat, forcing them to scavenge on hostile wilderness.

The popularity of zombie films shoots in recent horror and fiction films after the Night of the Living Dead by George.

Leave a Comment