The hungry ghosts were supernatural entities which threatened the Black Company in "Bone Eaters". They infested an ancient, dilapidated ruins called the Village of Hungry Ghosts, a location on the northern continent presumably west of the city of Rue. There, they emitted a siren call which lured unfortunate victims into a irrational trance, making them like sheep to the slaughter. The place had become taboo and was widely avoided.
Croaker the Annalist was uncertain about their origin, but surmised the involvement of one or more wizards, or some dawn-time god. They existed in one of two states: discorporate and incarnate. There were many more discorporate hungry ghosts although the number was unspecified. Only 4 incarnate hungry ghosts were encountered: those inside a pair of wild asses, one inside a wizened woman, and the one which came to possess the abusive Company soldier Rusty.
The hungry ghosts which possessed people or animals kept them alive far longer than natural, and subjected them to a very slow death, consuming them from within. But alternatively, discorporate hungry ghosts in a feeding frenzy could consume people so quickly that they were reduced to bloody pieces in moments. This was the fate which befell Thorodd Asgeir and three other people in "Bone Eaters".
The entities could not easily move between living bodies; only a colony of them working together could accomplish the task. This is why they were bound to the Village. Using a plan formulated by Chasing Midnight, Darling used her null to enter the Village with a close escort of Elmo, Otto, Hagop, Croaker, and Rusty. They killed the possessed wild asses and the haunted woman, and soon the discorporate ones were systematically trapped within livestock, which would then be slaughtered, annihilating the ghosts permanently. One single ghost escaped – within Rusty – only to be killed when Chasing Midnight, her brother Chasing Moonlight, and some of their relatives ambushed and butchered the young soldier.