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ghoul

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ghoul


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Ghoul  \Ghoul\,  n.  [Per.  gh?l  an  imaginary  sylvan  demon,  supposed 
  to  devour  men  and  animals:  cf  Ar  gh?l,  F.  goule.] 
  An  imaginary  evil  being  among  Eastern  nations,  which  was 
  supposed  to  feed  upon  human  bodies.  [Written  also  {ghole}  .] 
  --Moore. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  ghoul 
  n  1:  someone  who  takes  bodies  from  graves  and  sells  them  for 
  anatomical  dissection  [syn:  {graverobber},  {body 
  snatcher}] 
  2:  an  evil  spirit  or  ghost 
 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
 
  GHOUL,  n.  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. 
 
 




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