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Comes from Arabic ?ghul? (to seize, to snatch). A body snatcher. Mainly a man-eating "witch" or "ugly, old ogress". Also an evil spirit that eats corpses.
There is a certain duality to this creature (like Janus). If you have the courage to clip her nails and/or give her a haircut, she will become your ally. Otherwise she'll kill you, cook you and eat you.
In an Arabic folk-tale, it was so that the ghoul was grinding grains. Doing so, she had swung her sagging bossom over her shoulders, onto her back. The hero in this tale had enough courage to sneak up onto the unsuspecting ghoul and suckled at her teats. The minute the ghoul noticed, she became the hero's ally.
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