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Ghouls ares a type of demonic spirit found in Arabic mythology and folklore but has also become a word used to describe a number of unrelated undead monsters - the ghoul was believed to haunt graveyards and dig up graves so as to feast on the dead bodies: this trait has remained an important part of the legend of ghouls and in most translations a ghoul is depicted as cannibalistic and degenerated, one of the oldest surviving texts that relates to ghouls in A Thousand and One Arabian Nights but they have appeared in countless other legends and folklore around the world.
As a result of these myths the word "ghoul" has also been used to describe people who have a fascination with the macabre or grotesque - either as a tongue-in-cheek or insulting term.