As crops fail and famine wracks
the land, those who turn to the last resort
of cannibalism contract kuru, a transmissible
spongiform encephalopathy, and their brains
become pitted like sponge. As they degenerate
the ghouls form into familial packs which whoop
and laugh uncontrollably as they pull down the
healthy in mob attacks. However they only feast
on the bodies after weeks of decomposition,
as the notion of consuming fresh meat disgusts
them. The ghouls numbers are disproportionately
comprised of pregnant or child rearing mothers.
They are particularly resistant to the pull
of despair and suicide, if only to care for
their single child; the greatest number a desperate
mother can afford to care for in such conditions.