Ghouls (also calling themselves Ghoulings) are a race of ghastly lesser genies from the Netherworld that dwell underground.
Unlike most genie races, most Ghouls are far weaker in terms of lacking "phenomenal cosmic power" but can still shapeshift into any form they wish and some can learn more complex magic akin to a sorcerer and become as powerful as a regular genie, with a special affinity for necromancy. Most ghouls mainly reside underground in their own communities where they follow the leadership of their ruler Uman, while others such as Ayam Aghoul pursue their own evil interests. Despite being called "ghouls" or "evil spirits", most ghouls prefer to call themselves "ghoulings" as well. (The Spice is Right, Jasmine's Quest for the Stardust Sapphire)
Stories of them include eating rotten meat, however Laleh reveals that ghoulings can also eat regular food. (Jasmine's Quest for the Stardust Sapphire) Ghouls also have the ability to crossover between the world of the living and the Netherworld without losing their physical forms, however they can be sealed away in the Netherworld permanently via special circumstances. (As the Netherworld Turns)
Like most genies, ghouls are shapeshifters and they can appear in many forms, especially as animals. Ghouls are generally appear humanoid, with some looking like very pale humans, or taking the form of more genie-like spirits, puffs of smoke, twisters or gray-skinned undead resembling Mamluks. But regardless, the majority prefer to remain human-like or take on the form of animals for survival. (The Spice is Right, Jasmine's Quest for the Stardust Sapphire)
Like genies, they can be trapped inside objects as well but only in jewelry, such as necklaces and rings. They are also not fond of sunlight. Though weaker than regular genies, some such as Ayam Aghoul and Uman can become quite powerful, enough so that they can overwhelm others, even nature spirits and regular genies through their own dark sorcery. (Jasmine's Quest for the Stardust Sapphire)
Long ago, many spirits came through to the living world from the Netherworld via a mysterious tree which would one day become the figurehead of the Black Viper. Eventually, evil entities such as ghouls would be driven underground where they would remain and go through many changes, however some would still linger in the world and torment others. During these dark times, the evil and powerful ghoul known simply as Ayam Aghoul pursued countless women which he forced into marriage and servitude, serving him eternally in the Netherworld. This fiendish ghoul was later imprisoned in a necklace by a mysterious sorceress who refused his proposal.
Aladdin and Jasmine accidentally released Ayam Aghoul from his necklace prison centuries later and who then sought to marry Jasmine and take her to the Netherworld. Luckily his plans were foiled by Aladdin and Genie and he was banished to the Netherworld forever.
Aladdin and Jasmine discovered a society of ghouls beneath the desert and befriended a young ghouling named Laleh who they learn much from as well as the world of the ghouls.
- Ghouls are carrion-eating spirits from real world Arabic folklore who are said to be related to genies or demons.
- Genie refers to ghoulings as being "second cousins" to regular genies in Jasmine's Quest for the Stardust Sapphire.
- The fact that they are depicted as weaker than other genie types while being vulnerable to imprisonment in rings might be a reference to the Genie of the Ring from the original tale of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.