Goul or Ghoul or Ghost? What Is the Difference? 

What is the difference between gouls, ghouls, ghosts you might ask?

Gouls, for one, do not exist. This is most lively a common misspelling of “ghouls,” which are evil spirits who are said to feed on the dead. Ghosts, however, are spirits that are thought to be unable to move on. These spirits are usually not evil, just restless, which can make them angry. 

Knowing the difference between a goul, a ghoul, and a ghost can be hard. Keep reading to learn more about how you can tell them apart.

What Is a Goul?

The word “goul” does not actually exist. More than likely, this is a misspelling of the word “ghoul” or it is a different way of translating the Arabic word “ghūl.” This time without the silent “h.”

This could also be a misspelling based on how the word sounds. Either way, “goul” is not a word in the English language. The real word is “ghoul.”

What Is a “Ghoul”?

A ghoul is an evil spirit that is said to live in and around graveyards where they feed on and consume the flesh of the dead.


  • Over the grave lurked a ghoul ready to feed.
  • The ghouls come out at night to feast on the dead.

From the Arabic root word “ghūl,” “ghoul” was introduced into the English language in the 1700s. It has since been used in books, movies, music, and other forms of entertainment to strike fear in those who hear about it.

What Are Ghosts?

“Ghosts” are said to be the spirits of people who are not able to rest. Unlike “ghouls,” these spirits are not evil and do not feed on the flesh of the dead, but they can be vengeful and angry, depending on how they died.

Ghosts can also be playful and protective, according to some lure or old stories.


  • The ghost is a playful little girl who you can sometimes hear laughing.
  • The children of the house are protected by a ghost who was a mother.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to confuse “goul,” “ghoul,” and “ghost,” but the differences between them are significant.

It is important to remember that “goul” is not a word in English and is usually confused with “ghoul.”

“Ghoul” is an evil spirit that feeds on the dead, whereas ghosts are mainly restless spirits that don’t hurt you.