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Powers and Abilities
  • Brain trauma
  • Decapitation
Appearance Human; can appear as any person they have fed on, living or dead.
Episode(s) 4.19 Jump the Shark
6.10 Caged Heat
13.06 Tombstone


Where does the word ghouls come from? Before it came to be applied to any random sicko or serial killer it went all the way back to the medieval Arabic will dig up graves to eat the dead.

– Alex Irvine, The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons and Ghouls


I should have known. It was the fresh kills that threw me. Ghouls don't usually go after the living. See, you're just filthy scavengers, feeding off the dead — taking the form of the last corpse you choke down.

Sam Winchester, 4.19 Jump the Shark

Ghouls are creatures that traditionally feed on the the dead (mostly by drinking their prey's blood), though some have been known to feed on living humans. They can only be killed by decapitation or the destruction of their heads. They can shapeshift, appearing human by taking the form of the last person they ate. Ghouls are unaffected by silver or holy water.

Ghouls are also known to create complex tunnel systems underneath graveyards, allowing them to freely move from grave to grave and feast without raising too much suspicion from hunters.


4.19 Jump the Shark

Two offspring of a ghoul killed by John Winchester lure Sam and Dean to their town in order to take revenge. They take on the forms of Adam and his mother Kate Milligan, an old "girlfriend" of John's. Both are killed by Dean: the Kate ghoul is decapitated by a shotgun blast and Dean bashes in the brains of the Adam ghoul.

6.10 Caged Heat

Crowley shoves two ghouls into a room with Dean. They attempt to feed on him, but are killed when Sam arrives to help.

6.16 ...And Then There Were None

Bobby Singer mentions there were ghouls and a ghoul-wraith smorgasbord along highway I-80.

9.10 Road Trip

As Gadreel has Sam locked away in his own mind in a dream, he makes Sam believe he, Dean, and Castiel are hunting a ghoul that targets dead cheerleaders.

9.20 Bloodlines

Ghouls are revealed to be one of the five monster families running Chicago. When it appears war may break out between the shapeshifter and werewolf families over the death of Sal Lassiter -- Margo Lassiter asks Freddie Costa if the ghouls plan to back the Lassiter family. Costa tells her there is some trepidation on their part over Margo's proposed leadership of the shapeshifters.

12.15 Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

After back-to-back-to-back hunts, Dean returns to the Men of Letters Bunker covered in ghoul, wraith, and siren gore.

13.06 Tombstone

14.05 Nightmare Logic

On her first solo hunt, Maggie is sent by Sam to Claremore, Oklahoma, where a suspected ghoul has been reported on the grounds of the Rawling family's private cemetery. The ghoul turns out to be a nightmare creature with a ghoulish appearance, created by a djinn that has been enhanced by Michael for his monster army.

The Winchesters

1.01 Pilot (The Winchesters)

Carlos Cervantez reveals to John that he became a hunter after killing a ghoul that had killed his family.

1.07 Reflections

Carlos reveals to Mary that his parents had been killed by the ghoul while playing a gig to pay for the guitar that he kept begging them to get him. Carlos admits that it took him a little while to understand that his parents' deaths weren't his fault, only the monsters. Carols tells Mary that he went after the ghouls in revenge, killing all but two of them and he's sure that he'll eventually find the last two as well.

Ghouls in Lore

A ghoul is an undead supernatural being originating from Arabian folklore. A ghoul or ghūl (which translated from Arabic means "demon") is known to inhabit cemeteries or other types of burial grounds; in lore they are known for preying on young children, drinking blood, stealing coins, and most famously consuming the flesh of the dead. It's in eating the dead they are able to then assume the identity/form of the deceased. In some lore, ghouls are not dissimilar to zombies, being corpses re-animated by witches or demons that can be commanded. Like zombies, the typical method for dispatching a ghoul is to destroy their brains.