"he is cast in the role of the corpse-eater, the body-snatcher"

Corpse-eaters are a staple of folklore within many different cultures.  They are typically described as looking and behaving like normal people during the day - indeed, they could be anybody in the community - but at night, they visit graveyards to devour freshly buried corpses.  Nice.  By comparison, the term 'body snatcher' is less rooted in superstition and more in science. Until the passing of the Anatomy Act in 1832, there was a huge shortfall in the number of corpses needed for anatomical and medical research, so stealing dead bodies from churchyards could provide a lucrative form of income for those of a humour to do so.  Punishments were not even particularly severe, considering.