Demons verses saints: detail of a painting by Andrea di Bonaiuto, Cappellone degli Spagnoli.
Since the dawn of human civilisation, mankind has attempted to rationalise its primeval fear of the unknown by creating order out of chaos and by categorising its understanding of the concept of death. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the continuum of civilisation collectively described as western. With its earliest roots in the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Arabia, Mesopotamia and Assyria, the idea of good versus evil was progressively quantified and refined by assigning names to positive characteristics such as happiness, inspiration and good fortune, and to negative characteristics such as sloth and greed, but also to ailments of the body and the mind such as depression, epilepsy, blindness and headache. During the time of the ancient Greeks a word was found to describe this entire class of characteristics defined as spirits: daimon, later to become daemon or demon. Almost simultaneously, popular Hebrew mythology encompassed by the Semitic tribes of the Middle East began to ascribe to the daimons a certain independence of will, at first both positive and negative, but then with increasingly malicious intention. And thus the modern definition of demon was born: a supernatural being with malevolent purpose, able to possess the living and interfere with their destinies. As Judaism and Christianity came to the fore and absorbed the traditions of Greco-Roman magic, Hebrew demonology and Near Eastern pagan mythology, the list of demons grew to include many ordinary idols and gods re-evaluated as undesirable, evil, and ultimately, as competition for the One True God.
The existence of demons remains an important concept in many modern cultures and religions, for a variety of reasons: their supposed power to possess the living, their ability to alter future events through whim or fancy and (less fashionable in today’s modern world of technology) their ability to grant advantages and powers over fortune and destiny. At various times in Christian history, attempts have been made by the church to classify demonic beings according to various hierarchies. The result is an astoundingly long, and dare I say it, tedious list, with each demon appended characteristics, likes, dislikes, habits, powers and specific appearances, all the better to control them. However its very complexity is fascinating to the modern reader and at the very least, provides us with a useful resource for naming heavy metal bands, populating fantasy RPG games and providing interesting characters for films about the Apocalypse.
- Aamon or Amon – Christian. A Marquis of Hell and the seventh of the 72 Goetic demons who governs forty infernal legions. He may appear as a fire breathing wolf with a snake’s tail, as a man with dog’s teeth situated inside of a raven, or as a raven-headed man. He tells of all things past and future, procures love and reconciles controversies between friends and foes.
- Abaddon/Apollyon – Judaic/Christian. King of the demon locusts sent to torment mankind and lord of the bottomless pit.
- Abalam – Christian. Associated with the demon Paimon, not historically significant in any demonology text. Encourages lust and desires. Used as a protagonist in Eli Roth‘s film The Last Exorcism.
- Abezethibou – Judaic/Christian. A demon and fallen angel described in the Testament of Solomon, a book of the Old Testamnt purportedly writen by King Solomon. Abezethibou followed Beelzebub upon his fall from heaven and became an important demon in hell. He also travelled to Egypt where he hardened the heart of Pharaoh and his advisors, convincing them to pursue the fleeing Israelites. In doing so, he drowned along with Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea and became trapped in a pillar of water.
- Abigor/Eligos – Christian. A demon of the superior order, conjured for his power to foretell the future and to provide military aid and advice. He is shown either in the form of a handsome knight bearing a lance and a standard, or as a ghostly specter riding a winged horse. In Hell he commands sixty legions of devils. Also known as the Grand Duke of Hades.
- Abraxas – Gnostic Christianity. A mystical fellow, who is claimed to be both an Egyptian god and a demon. His name contains the number 365, the number of the days in the year
- Abyzou – Judaic. A female demon, blamed for miscarriages and infant mortality. Motivated by envy as she herself is infertile. In Judaism she is identifies with Lilith, in Coptic Egypt with Alabasandria, and in Byzantine culture with Gylou, although she is said to have innumerable names. She is pictured with fish- or serpent-like attributes
- Adramelech – Assyrian, Christian. Considered a sun god by the Assyrians and associated with human sacrifice. Like many pagan gods, he was transformed into a demon by Judeo-Christian writers – a fallen angel in Milton’s Paradise Lost and the President of the Senate of the demons by Collin de Plancy. He is also known as the Chancellor of Hell and supervisor of Satan’s wardrobe. He is generally depicted with a human torso and head, and the rest of the body of a mule or peacock.
- Aeshma Zoroastrian. A hypostatic (fundamental underlying principal) entity, Aeshma is variously interpreted as the demon of wrath, rage and fury.
- Agaliarept – Judaism. one of two demons directly under Lucifer; Satanachia being the other. One of the lords of Elelogap, who in turn governs matters connected with water. A general with the power to uncover secrets and reveal mysteries, commands the second legion
- Aguares – Christian. Duke or Grand Duke ruling the eastern zone of Hell, served by 31 legions of demons. He can command runaways to return, and those who run to stand still. Also destroys dignities, both temporal and supernatural, causes earthquakes and teaches languages, taking particular pleasure in teaching immoral expressions. Depicted as a pale old man riding a crocodile and with a hawk on his wrist.
- Ahriman/Angra Mainyu – Zoroastrian. A destructive spirit of evil thought.
- Aim/Haborym – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell, ruling over twenty-six legions of demons. He sets cities, castles and great places on fire, makes men witty in all ways, and gives true answers concerning private matters. Generally depicted as a handsome man, but with three heads, one of a serpent, the second of a man, and the third of a cat, although some say of a calf, riding a viper, and carrying in his hand a lit firebrand with which he sets requested things on fire.
- Akop – A demon from the Philippines who preys on widowed people.
- Aka Manah – Zoroastrian. A demon of sensual desire, sent by Ahriman to seduce the prophet Zarathustra.
- Ala – Slavic. A class of female demons of bad weather whose main occupation is leading hail-producing thunderclouds in the direction of fields, vineyards and orchards. Extremely voracious, Ala particularly like to eat children, though their gluttony is not limited to Earth – they may sometimes try to devour the sun or the moon, causing eclipses. When people encounter an ala, their mental and physical health and life are in peril; however, favor can be gained by approaching the ala with respect and trust. Alas can make their favorites wealthy and even save their lives in times of trouble.
- Alloces/Allocer – Christian. One of the Great Dukes of Hell, commanding thirty-six legions of demons. Teaches astronomy and the liberal arts, provides good familiars, also induces people to immorality. He appears in the shape of a mounted knight with a leonine face, ruddy complexion and burning eyes.
- Allu – Mesopotamia. A destructive race of monstrous and faceless demons. Born to Lilitu or one of her demon succubi, they surrounded the death beds of the men who father them waiting for the moment they can take their souls, thus turning them into homeless ghosts.
- Amaymon – Christian. A Prince of Hell with power over Asmodai, said to have deadly poisonous breath.
- Amdusias – Christian. Holds the rank of Great King and has forty legions of demons under his command. Associated with thunder and accompanied by the sound of trumpets, his voice may be heard during storms. Commonly depicted as a human with claws instead of hands and feet, the head of a unicorn, and a trumpet to symbolize his powerful voice. In charge of the music played in Hell. He can make trees bend at will.
- Ammut – Egyptian. A female demon with the body part lion, hippopotamus and crocodile. Called Devourer of the Dead, Ammit lived near the scales of justice in Egyptian underworld anddevoured the hearts of those judged to be not pure.
- Amy – Christian. A minor demon, the 58th spirit of the 72 spirits of Solomon, with the rank of President of Hell and the command of 36 legions. He is depicted in a man’s shape and teaches astrology and the liberal arts, procures familiars and finds lost treasure. He also, somewhaty bizrarely, hopes to return to heaven one day, which according to Johann Wier’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum is “not credible”.
- Andras – Christian. Holds the rank of Great Marquis of Hell, is the 63rd of the 72 spirits of Solomon and commands thirty legions of demons. He teaches those whom he favors to kill their enemies, masters and servants and sows discord, trouble and dissension among people. He holds the shape of a winged angel with the head of an owl or raven, riding upon a strong black wolf and wielding a sharp bright sword. Andras is considered to be highly dangerous and can kill a conjuring magician and his assistants if precautions are not taken.
- Andrealphus – Christian. A great Marquis ruling over thirty legions, with the appearance of a peacock who raises great noises and teaches astronomy and geometry. He is also described as having the ability to turn men into birds.
- Angul – A demon from the Philippines who kills people with an axe.
- Andromalius – Christian. A Great Earl of Hell with thirty-six legions of demons at his command. He can bring back thieves and stolen goods, punish thieves and other wicked people and discover hidden treasures, evilness and dishonest dealing. Depicted as a man holding a serpent in his hand.
- Armaros – Judaic.In the Book of Enoch he is the 11th on a list of 20 leaders of a group of 200 fallen angels called Grigori or “Watchers”. The name means “accursed one”.
- Asag – Sumerian. A monstrous demon whose name means “demon that causes sickness”, described as being so hideous that his appearance makes fish boil alive in rivers. Often accompanied into battle by an army of rock demon offspring, born of his union with the mountains. Associated with the serpent or dragon archetype by historians.
- Asakku – Babylonian. A class of evil demons that attack and kill human beings, especially by means of head fevers. They were associated with Asag, the demon of sickness.
- Asmodai/Asmodeus Judaic and Christian. A demon mover and shaker, referenced in many Judaic and Christian texts as a king of demons, the King of the Nine Hells and as one of the seven princes of Hell, representing one of the seven deadly sins – in this case lust. He is responsible for twisting people’s sexual desires and those that fall prey to his evil ways will be sentenced to an eternity in the second level of hell.
- Astaroth – Christian. A very powerful demon, depicted as a nude man with feathered wings, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, and riding a beast with dragon-like wings and a serpent-like tail. He is a demon of the First Hierarchy who seduces by means of laziness, vanity and rationalized philosophies. He also teaches mathematical sciences and handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, and answers every question formulated to him. He is said to give to humans the power over serpents.
- Azazel / Azaz’el Judaic. A supernatural being mentioned by Leviticus in connection with the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
- Azi Dahaka/Dahak– Zoroastrian. A demon monster with three mouths, six eyes, and three heads , cunning and strong, possessed of all possible sins and evil counsels
This detail scene is from the Papyrus of Hunefer (ca. 1375 B.C.) showing the subject’s heart being weighed by the jackal-headed Anubis. If his heart is lighter than the feather, he will pass into the afterlife. If not, he will be eaten by the waiting demon Ammit. British Museum.
- Baal/Bael – Christian. One of the seven princes of Hell. Originally the primary idol (and meaning Lord) of the Phoenicians and possibly linked to human sacrifice, by the time of the New Testament he was associated with all of the perceived evils of paganism and idolatrous Semitism (Ba’al). Ranked as the first and principal king in Hell by the Christians, he rules over the East with sixty-six legions of demons under his command. By the time of the English Puritan period, Baal was promoted to the position of Satan’s principal assistant. He has the power to make those who invoke him invisible and can make people wise. His power is strongest in October. Originally depicted as a man or a bull, in latter times he is said to appear in the forms of a man, cat, toad, or combinations thereof.
- Balam – Christian. A king of Hell who commands over forty legions of demons. He gives perfect answers on things past, present and to come, and can make men invisible and witty. He is depicted as three-headed, with the head of a bull, a man and a ram. He has flaming eyes and the tail of a serpent. He carries a hawk on his fist and rides a bear.
- Balberith/Berith – Judaic/Christian. Once a perfectly respectable god of the Canaanites and the patron of their city, he came to be viewed as a demon by the Jews and Christians via worship of the pagan god Ba’al by the tribal Israelites who refused to give up their idolatrous ways. He holds the rank of chief secretary of Hell and the head of its public archives, and he tempts men to blasphemy and murder. He tells things of the past, present and future with true answers; he can also turn all metals into gold. He is depicted as a soldier wearing red clothes, a golden crown and riding a red horse; his skin may also be red. His power is strongest in June.
- Banshee – Christian. Found in Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Norse folklore, the banshee is a female fairy who appears and/or wails if someone is about to die. Depicted most often as an ugly, frightening hag, she may appear at will as a beautiful woman of any age.
- Baphomet – Christian. Originally believed to be a corruption of the name “Mahomet” (referring to the Prophet Muhammad), the term was a general one referring to a pagan deity but became associated with the perceived devil worship of the Knights Templar in the 14th century and with occultism and Satanism in the 19th century, after which time he has been depicted as the ultimate Sabbatic Goat, the figure that appears as the devil in the Tarot pack.
- Barbas – Christian. A straightforward demon described as the Great President of Hell and governing thirty-six legions of demons. He answers truly on hidden or secret things, causes and heals diseases, teaches mechanical arts, and changes men into other shapes. He is depicted as a great lion that, under the conjurer’s request, changes shape into a man.
- Barbatos – Christian. An Earl and Duke of Hell, ruling eighty legions of demons with four kings as his companions to command his legions. He gives understanding of the voices of animals, reveals the past and future, conciliates friends and rulers and leads men to hidden treasures hidden by the enchantment of magicians.
- Bathin/Mathim/Bathym/Marthim – Christian. A Duke or Great Duke of Hell who commands thirty legions of demons. He knows the virtues of precious stones and herbs, and can bring men suddenly from one country to another. He helps one project astrally and transports the conjuror to desired places. Depicted as a strong man with the tail of a serpent, riding a pale horse.
- Beelzebub – Judaic, Christian. Another throwback to Ba’al, the name Beelzebub (meaning Lord of the Flies) mocked the Ba’al religion, ie the worship of idol gods by Semitic tribes not yet converted to Hebrew faith. Possessing a very complex etymology, he is described as being placed high in Hell’s hierarchy, of the order of cherubim and among the three most prominent fallen angels (the others being Lucifer and Leviathan or sometimes Azaroth), the chief lieutenant of Lucifer and presiding over the Order of the Fly. Beelzebub is associated with the deadly sin of pride or sometimes gluttony, and is also called the prince of false gods. He is frequently named as an object of desire by confessed witches. The Pharisees accused Jesus of using Beelzebub’s demonic powers to heal people (Luke 11v14-26) and throughout history Beelzebub has been held responsible for many cases of demon possession, including the famous case of Sister Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud in Aix-en-Provence in 1611. His name also came up repeatedly during the Salem witch trials.
- Belial – Judaic/Christian. One of the four crown princes of Hell with command over fifty legions. He appears as two beautiful angels sitting in a chariot of fire. He provides fame to the conjuring mage but sacrifice must be given him or he will lie. Sometimes used as a substitute for Satan himself.
- Beleth – Christian. A king of Hell with eighty-five legions of demons under his command. He rides a pale horse, and all kind of music is heard before him. When appearing he looks very fierce to frighten the conjurer or to see if he is courageous.
- Belphegor – Christian. Originally worshiped as Baal-Peor, the Assyrian god to whom some Israelites became attached, he was associated with licentiousness and orgies and worshipped in the form of a phallus. Again reviled by early Hebrews as a means of discrediting idolatrous Semitics, he evolved into one of the Christian seven princes of Hell, in which form he helps people make discoveries and suggests to them ingenious inventions that will make them rich. He is the chief demon of the deadly sin Sloth and his power is strongest in April. He may appear as a beautiful young woman or as a monstrous, bearded demon with horns and sharply pointed nails; the former form, according to most sources, is his earthly disguise when invoked by mortals.
- Bifrons – Christian. An Earl of Hell, with either six or twenty-six legions of demons under his command. He teaches sciences and arts, the virtues of the gems, herbs and woods, and changes corpses from their original grave into other places. He appears first as a monster, then changes his shape into that of a man.
- Botis – Christian. A Great President and Earl of Hell, commanding sixty legions of demons. He tells of all things past and future, and reconciles friends and foes. He is depicted as a viper, then changes into human form with big teeth and two horns, carrying a sharp sword in his hand.
- Buer – Christian. A Great President of Hell with fifty demons legions under his command. He appears when the Sun is in Sagittarius. Buer teaches Natural and Moral Philosophy, Logic and the virtues of herbs and plants. He also heals infirmities, especially of men, and provides good familiars. He usually takes the form of a centaur with a bow and arrows, although he was once famously depicted as having the head of a lion and five symmetrical goat legs allowing him to walk in every direction, an image popular with several modern heavy metal bands.
- Bune – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell with thirty legions of demons under his command. Bune makes men eloquent, wise and rich. He speaks with a comely high voice and is depicted as a three-headed dragon, with the heads a dog, a griffin and a man.
- Caim/Camio – Christian. A Great President or Prince of Hell, ruling over thirty legions of demons. He is a good disputer, provides true answers concerning the future and gives men the understanding of the voices of various creatures such as birds and dogs as well as of the noise of water. He is depicted in the form of a blackbird, but changes into a man bearing a sword. Sometimes he appears as a man wearing rich and elegant clothes with the head and wings of a blackbird. When answering questions he seems to stand on burning coals.
- Charun – Etruscan. A pre-Christian demon whose job it was to guard the entrance to the underworld. He is depicted with a hammer and pointed ears, tusks, snakes around his arms, enormous wings and a bluish coloration symbolizing the decay of death.
- Cimejes/Kimaris/Cimeies – Christian. Holding the rank of Marquis, he is served by 20 legions and also rules over all the spirits of Africa. He appears as a warrior riding a black horse and possesses the abilities of locating lost or hidden treasures, teaching Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric and making a man into a warrior of his own likeness. His evilness may be disputed; by some he is considered to be rather “a godlike helping spirit”.
- Corson – Christian. One of the four principal kings that have power over the seventy-two demons supposedly constrained by King Solomon. Not to be conjured except on great occasions.
- Crocell/Procell – Christian. Once a member of the Powers, he is now a Duke of Hell who rules over 48 legions of demons. He appears as an angel with a tendency to speak in dark and mysterious ways. When summoned he teaches Geometry and other Liberal Sciences and can warm bodies of water, create the illusion of the sound of rushing waters, and reveal the location of natural baths. He is associated with water.
- Daeva – Zoroastrian. A class of demons with disagreeable characteristics, described as noxious creatures that promote chaos and disorder.
- Dantalion – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell with thirty-six legions of demons under his command; as a Jinn, he is the 71st of 72 spirits of Solomon. He teaches the arts and sciences, and given that he knows the thoughts of all people he can declare their secret thoughts and change them at will. He can also cause a person to love another, and move people from one place to another anywhere in the world. He is depicted as a man with many appearances, ie the face of any man or woman he chooses and often appears with a book in one of his hands.
- Danjal – Judaic. A fallen angel, the seventh mentioned of the 20 Watcher leaders of the 200 fallen angels described in the Book of Enoch. He is said to have taught the “signs of the sun” to humans. The name is translated as “God has judged.”
- Davy Jones – Christian sailor lore. Nineteenth century personification of the devil, saint, or god of the seas. May simply be another name for the devil, as in “Devil Jonah.”
- Decarabia/Carabia – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell with thirty legions of demons under his command. He knows the virtues of all herbs and precious stones. He appears in the form of a pentagram star, changing into a man at the conjurer’s request and can take the form of any bird as required.
- Demiurge – Gnostic. Considered to be the creator of the universe (the real, perceptible world), the Gnostics considered the material universe to be evil and the non-material world to be good. Accordingly, the demiurge is malevolent.
- Demogorgon – Christian. A mysterious pagan god or demon associated with the ancient Greek underworld and seen as a powerful primordial being, whose very name was taboo. Christian writers naturally assigned him a place as a demon of Hell and he has been described as the Master of Fate or Master of Ceremonies in hell’s hierarchy as well as the lord of fairies and genii.
- Devil Believed by many cultures and religions to be a powerful and supreme entity, a trickster or tempter figure that is the enemy of God and humankind. Sometimes regarded as a fallen angel, sometimes merely as a demon or personification of evil will, he tempts humans to sin or commit evil deeds and can command a huge force of lesser demons. Judaism sees the role of the devil as assigned rather than assumed. Today many regard the Devil as an allegory that represents a crisis of faith, individualism, free will and strength of character.
- Div-e Sepid – Persia. Meaning White Demon, he is the Lord of the Divs (Persian for Demons) of Mazandaran. Skilled in sorcery and necromancy, he appears as a huge being with great physical strength.
- Drekavac – Slavic Christian Folklore. A class of demons created from the souls of children who have died unbaptised. They may appear in many forms including elongated with a disproportionately large head, as a bird, a dog or a fox with hind legs similar to those of kangaroo or in the form of a child calling for people passing near the cemetery to baptise it. Universally described as having a horrific yell.
- Dzoavits – Native American. A demon or ogre from Shoshonean mythology who stole the sun and kidnaps children. Associated with volcanism and cannibalism.
- Empusa – ancient Greek. Originally a demigoddess in her own right, she seduced young men as they slept, drinking their blood and eating their flesh. In later versions she became an entire species of demon known in English as empuse, commanded by the goddess Hecate to guard roads and devour travelers.
- Familiars – Christian. Supernatural entities, who when serving witches, were thought to be malevolent and were classified as demons. When working for “wise women or cunning-folk they were thought of as benevolent and often called fairies. They may appear in numerous guises, often animal, but also in human form. The main purpose of the familiar is to serve a witch or young witch, providing protection for him/her as they come into their new powers.
- Foras/Forcas/Forras – Christian. A President of Hell with the command of twenty-nine legions of demons. He teaches Logic and Ethics, the virtues of herbs and precious stones, can make a man witty, eloquent, invisible (invincible according to some authors), bestow long life, and can discover treasures and recover lost things. He is depicted as a strong man.
- Forneus – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell with twenty-nine legions of demons under his rule. He teaches Rhetoric and languages, and make men loved by friends and foes alike. Commonly depicted as a sea monster.
- Furcas/Forcas – Christian. A Knight of Hell (the rank of Knight is unique to him), comanding 20 legions of demons. He teaches Philosophy, Astronomy and/or Astrology, Rhetoric, Logic, Chiromancy and Pyromancy. Depicted as a strong old man with white hair and long white beard, he rides a horse while holding a pitch fork.
- Furfur – Christian. A Great Earl of Hell, commanding twenty-nine legions of demons. Lies compulsively unless compelled to enter a magic triangle after which he gives true answers to every question, speaking with a rough voice. He can create love between a man and a woman, create storms, tempests, thunder, lightning, and blasts, and teaches secret and divine things. He is depicted as a hart or winged hart, sometimes as an angel, changing from the former to the later when compelled to enter the magic triangle.
Anthony with monsters (The Temptation of St. Anthony), c. 1515, the Hertogenbosch, F. van Lanschot Collection.
- Gaap – Christian. A Prince and Great President of Hell, commanding sixty-six legions of demons. According to some he is the king of the southern region of Hell and Earth, to others the king of the western region and as mighty as Beleth, but for both he is considered to be the guide of the Four Kings. Best conjured to appear when the Sun is in a southern zodiacal sign. He specifically controls the element of water and reigns over the Water Elementals or ‘water demons’. He teaches Philosophy and all liberal sciences, can cause love or hate and make men insensible and invisible, release familiars from the custody of other magicians, give true answers concerning past, present and future, and can carry and re-carry men and things speedily from one place to another. He is sometimes honoured with sacrifices and burning offerings. Depicted in human form.
- Gaki/Preta/Peta/Hungry Ghost – Eastern Asian. A type of supernatural being, rather than a demon, described in Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain texts as the spirit of a dead person with evil intent, specifically afflicted with insatiable hunger or thirst for a particular substance or object as a result of bad deeds or intent in their life time.
- Gamigin – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell who commands thirty legions of demons. He teaches the Liberal Sciences and gives an account of the souls of those who died in sin and who drowned in the sea, speaking with a rough voice. He is depicted as a small horse or donkey which changes into the form a man at the conjurer’s request.
- Gello – Aramaic and early Christian. A class of female child-snatching demons who threaten the reproductive cycle by causing infertility, spontaneous abortion and infant mortality.
- Glasya-Labolas – Christian. A President or Earl of Hell who commands thirty-six legions of demons. He is associated with manslaughter and bloodshed, speaks of the past and the future, knows all sciences, gains the minds and love of friends and foes causing love among them if desired, incites homicides and can make a man invisible. He is depicted as a dog with the wings of a griffin.
- Gremory/Gomory – Christian. A Duke of Hell commanding twenty-six legions of demons. He tells all things past, present and future, about hidden treasures, and procures the love of women, young and old, but especially maidens. He is depicted as appearing in the form of a beautiful woman with the crown of a duchess tied around his waist, and riding a camel.
- Gusion/Gusoin/Gusoyn – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell commanding over forty legions of demons. He tells all past, present and future things, shows the meaning of all questions that are asked to him, reconciles friends, and gives honour and dignity. He is depicted as a baboon or according to some, as the reincarnation of the Greek philosopher Xenophilus.
- Haagenti a Great President of Hell, ruling thirty-three legions of demons. He makes men wise by instructing them in every subject, transmutes all metals into gold, and changes wine into water and water into wine. He is depicted as a big bull with the wings of a griffin, changing into a man under request of the conjurer.
- Halphas/Malthus an Earl of Hell, commanding 26 legions of demons. His specialty is building towers and filling them with ammunition and weapons. He is often depicted in the form of a stork.
- Haures/Flauros/Flavros/Hauras/Havres an interesting demon and a Great Duke of Hell, having thirty-six legions of demons under his rule. He gives the usual true answers of all things past, present and future, but must first be commanded to enter a magic triangle – if not he will lie, deceive and beguile the conjurer. His specialties are divinity, the creation of the world, himself, and other fallen angels. He can also destroy all the conjurer’s enemies, including other demons, by burning them up. Depicted as a humanoid leopard with big claws, he changes into a man with fiery eyes and an awful expression.
- Ifrit – Islam. A class of supernatural being within the Jinn, spirits below the level of angels noted for their strength and cunning.
- Imp – Christian. Originating from Germanic folklore, an imp is a lesser demon and often considered more mischievous than evil or harmful. Often shown as small and not very attractive creatures.
- Incubus – Judaic and Christian. A demon in male form who lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have intercourse with them, sometimes with the intent of fathering a child. Its female counterpart is the succubus. Repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health or death.
- Ipos/Ipes – Christian. An Earl and Prince of Hell with thirty-six legions of demons under his command. He knows and can reveal all things, past, present and future, and make men witty and valiant. Commonly depicted with the body of an angel, the head of a lion, the tail of a hare, and the feet of a goose, but sometimes as a vulture.
- Jinn – Islam. Important supernatural creatures in Arab folklore and Islamic teachings, which together with humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. They occupy a parallel world to that of mankind and are made of smokeless flame or scorching fire. Like human beings, the Jinn can be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent, so not strictly demons, but still classifiable as such.
- Kuntilanak/Pontianak – Indonesian. A type of vampire similar to the Langsuir, and formed from women who have died during childbirth and become undead, seeking revenge on entire villages. It disguises itself as a beautiful young woman mainly to attract its victim, usually male, although they will sometimes target particular female victims, ie those who are pregnant or in the childbirth process, and attempt to cause miscarriage.
- Kokb’ael – Judaic. Called the ‘angel of the stars’, or the ‘star of God’ he is one of the fallen angels, the fourth mentioned of the 20 Watcher leaders of the 200 fallen angels in the Book of Enoch. He teaches astrology to his associates and commands an army of 365,000 spirits.
- Lady Midday/ Pscipolnitsa/Poludnitsa – Slavic Christian. A female demon who assails folk working at noon causing heatstroke, aches in the neck and sometimes madness. She takes the form of a whirling dust cloud and carries a scythe. She will stop people in the field to ask them difficult questions or engage them in conversation. If anyone fails to answer a question or tries to change the subject, she will cut off their head or strike them with illness. She may appear as an old hag, a beautiful woman, or a 12-year-old girl. She is only seen on the hottest part of the day and is a personification of sun-stroke.
- Lamashtu – Sumerian. A female demon and daughter of the Sky God Anu , she menaces women during childbirth and kidnaps children while they are breastfeeding, gnawing on their bones and sucking their blood. She is depicted with a hairy body, lioness’ head with donkey’s teeth and ears, long fingers and fingernails and the feet of a bird with sharp talons. She is often shown standing or kneeling on a donkey, nursing a pig and a dog and holding snakes. She bears some resemblance to the Mesopotamian demon Lilith.
- Lamia – ancient Greek and early Christian. Supposedly a beautiful queen of Libya who became a child-eating daemon. Later Christian traditions created an entire class of demons from her called lamiae; who seduce young men and feed on their blood.
- Legion – Christian. A group of demons made famous in the New Testament by Jesus who heals a man from Gadarenes possessed by it/them. Jesus casts the demons out, granting their request to dwell in a herd of pigs which then drown themselves in the Sea of Galilee.
- Leyak – Indonesian. A demon entity which takes human shape during the day (with unusually long tongue and fangs) but at night their head and entrails break loose from their body and fly, searching out pregnant or newly-birthed women in order to suck their babies’ blood. When human they practice black magic and have cannibalistic behavior. Their queen is a widow-witch named Rangda, who plays a prominent role in public Indonesian rituals. They command demons.
- Leraje/Leraie – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell who has thirty legions of demons under his power. He causes battles and disputes, and makes wounds caused by arrows gangrenous. Associated with the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius. He is depicted as a gallant and handsome archer clad in green, carrying a bow and quiver.
- Leviathan – Judaic and Christian. One of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper (see Hellmouth). The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or and is referred to often as such in the Bible. Described extensively in Job 41.
- Lili/Lilin/Lilim – Judaic. The demonic children of Lilith and Samael who prey on newborn children, up to eight days after birth for boys and twenty days for girls. An amulet inscribed with the names of three angels (Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof) is placed around the neck of newborn boys in order to protect them from the lilin until their circumcision. Pregnant women also fall under the domain of the lilin, and need to be protected. They can cause barrenness, miscarriages, and complications during childbirth.
- Lilith – Sumerian, Akkadian, Judaic. Although well-known, Lilith is a shadowy character whose origins are poorly understood. According to Jewish tradition, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, created at the same time and from the same earth as him. Regarded by many as the first feminist, she was said to have refused to become subservient to Adam (who complained to god about her behaviour, then ditched her for Eve), then mated with the archangel Samael. The resulting Lilith legend is a very malleable one and has become the source of many modern tales of occultism, fantasy and horror.
- Lucifer – Christian. Originally meaning nothing more than “light-bearer” (from the words lucem ferre), the interchangeability of the word with Satan stems from a particular interpretation of Isaiah 14:3–20, a passage that does not speak of fallen angels but of the defeat of a Babylonian King. Some contemporary Catholic theologians assert that Lucifer and the Devil/Satan are different beings.
- Lucifuge Rofocale – Christian. The demon in charge of Hell’s government by order of Lucifer. The name Lucifuge is pronounced with a silent ‘e’ and comes from two Latin words; lux (light; genitive lucis), and fugio (to flee), meaning “he who flees the light”. The proper pronunciation of Rofocal is an anagram for Focalor, which is the name of another important demon who is possibly in his servitude. Said to be the ruler of the qliphoth Satariel.
Lilith, the ultimate succubus. Painting by John Collier, 1892.
The Atkinson Art Gallery, England
- Malphas – Christian. A Great President or Prince of Hell, having forty legions of demons under his command. He builds houses, high towers and strongholds, throws down the buildings of enemies, can destroy enemies’ desires or thoughts (and/or make them known to the conjurer), provides good familiars and can quickly bring artificers together from all places of the world. He accepts any sacrifice offered to him, but will deceive the conjurer if he can. He is depicted as a crow that changes by request into the shape into a man, and he speaks with a hoarse voice.
- Mammon – Christian. Most often personified as a demon of avarice and greed, and sometimes included as one of the seven princes of Hell.
- Marax/Morax/Foraii – Christian. A Great Earl and President of Hell, having thirty legions of demons under his command. He teaches Astronomy and all other liberal sciences, and provides the conjuror with good and wise familiars that know the virtues of all herbs and precious stones. He is depicted as a man with the head of a bull.
- Marbas – Christian. A President of Hell governing thirty-six legions of demons. He answers truly on hidden or secret things, causes and heals diseases, teaches mechanical arts and changes men into other shapes. He is depicted as a lion that, under the conjurer’s request, changes shape into a man.
- Marchosias – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell, commanding thirty legions of demons. He is a strong and excellent fighter and very reliable to the conjurer, giving true answers to all questions. He hoped to return to heaven after twelve hundred years, although this has not happened. He is depicted as a wolf with human form or a griffon’s wings and a serpent’s tail, and under request changes into a man.
- Masih ad-Dajjal/Ad-Dajjal/Dajjal – Islamic. Not strictly a demon, more a figure of evil and comparable to the Antichrist, he will appear pretending to be Messiah before Judgment Day to lead the pious astray. He is described as having a huge body, red complexion and curly hair and is blind in one eye.
- Mastema – Judaic. There is some confusion as whether he is an angel or demon, but whatever his pedigree, he works for God by persecuting evil and carrying out His punishments. He may also have demons as his subordinates. His name means “hatred”, “hostility”, “enmity” or “persecution”.
- Mephistopheles Germanic Christian. Originally a demon featured in the Faust legend, he has since appeared in other works as a version of the Devil himself.
- Merihem – Christian. A simple demon that causes pestilences.
- Moloch – Christian. Originally a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and associated with child sacrifice by parents, he has been demonized by Christianity as a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.
- Murmur – Christian. A Great Duke and Earl of Hell with thirty legions of demons under his command. He teaches Philosophy, and can force the souls of the dead to appear and answer any desired question. He is depicted as a soldier wearing a ducal crown, riding a vulture or griffin or sometimes more simply as a vulture. Two of his ministers go before him making the sound of trumpets.
- Naberius/Cerbere – Christian. Considered to be the “most valiant” Marquis of Hell, he commands nineteen legions of demons, makes men cunning in all arts and sciences, especially in rhetoric. He restores lost dignities and honors. He appears as a three headed dog, raven or black crane and has a raucous voice but presents himself as eloquent and amiable. He teaches the art of gracious living.
- Naphula – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell that commands thirty-six legions of demons and teaches Philosophy, Mechanics, and sciences. He is depicted as a griffin-winged lion.
- Onoskelis – A female demon with a beautiful form mentioned in the Testament of Solomon.
- Orias – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell, with thirty legions of demons under his command. He knows and teaches the virtues of the stars and the planets, gives dignities, prelacies, and the favour of friends and foes. He can metamorphose a man into any shape.
- Orobas – Christian. A Great Prince of Hell, having twenty legions of demons under his control. He gives true answers of things past, present and to come, divinity, and of the creation of the world; he also confers dignities and prelacies, and the favour of friends and foes. A faithful demon, he does not deceive or switch allegiances. He is depicted as a horse but changes into a man under the conjurer’s request.
- Ose – Christian. A Great President of Hell ruling three legions of demons. He makes men wise in all liberal sciences and gives true answers concerning divine and secret things; he also brings insanity to any person the conjurer wishes. He is depicted as a leopard that after a while changes into a man.
- Paimon – Christian. A King of Hell, obedient to Lucifer, with two hundred legions of demons under his rule. When first conjured he roars until compelled to answer clearly. The conjurer must be careful to look towards the northwest when first invoking him, and he must be allowed to ask what he wishes and be answered, in order to obtain the same from him. Paimon teaches the arts, philosophy, sciences and secret things; he can reveal all mysteries of the Earth, wind and water, what the mind is, provides good familiars and binds men to the conjurer’s will. He is depicted as a man with an effeminate face, wearing a crown and riding a dromedary. Before him often goes a host of demons with the shape of men, playing musical instruments.
- Pazuzu – Sumerian and Akkadian. King of the demons of the wind and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought. He is depicted as having the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned feet, two pairs of wings, a scorpion’s tail and a serpentine penis.
- Phenex – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell with twenty legions of demons under his command, he teaches the sciences, is an excellent poet, and is very obedient to the conjuror. Like Marchosias, he hopes to return to heaven after 1,200 years, but he is deceived in this hope. He is depicted as a phoenix and sings sweetly with the voice of a child, but the conjurer must warn his companions (for he should not be alone) not to hear them and demand that he assume human shape.
- Pithius – Christian. A demon commanding liars and lying spirits.
- Pruflas – Christian. A Prince and Duke of Hell with twenty-six legions of demons under his command. He causes men to quarrels and sows discord between them, but gives truthful answers to a conjurer’s questions. He is depicted as a flame outside the Tower of Babel, where he uses to live, sometimes with head of a hawk.
- Purson/Curson – Christian. A King of Hell with the command of twenty-two legions of demons. He knows of hidden things, finds treasures, provides good familiars and tells of the past, present and future. He is depicted as a man with the face of a lion, carrying a ferocious viper in his hand, and riding a bear. Trumpets sound before him.
Andrea di Bonaiuto, Cappellone degli Spagnoli, Firenze, detail: devil.
- Rahab – Judaic. Originally describing the primordial abyss, a water-dragon of darkness and chaos and so comparable to Leviathan and Tiamat, Rahab later became a specific demon, inhabitant of the sea, and especially associated with the Red Sea.
- Raim/Raum – Christian. An Earl of Hell, ruling thirty legions of demons. He steals the treasure from kings’ houses, destroys cities and the dignities of men. He can also tell of things past, present and future, reconcile friends and foes, and invoke love. He is depicted as a crow which adopts human form at the request of the conjurer.
- Ronove – Christian. A Marquis and Earl of Hell, commanding twenty legions of demons. He teaches Rhetoric, languages, provides loyal servants and the favour of friends and foes. Also described as the taker of old souls of both humans and animals near death. He is depicted as a monster holding a staff.
- Rum’el – Christian. One of the fallen angels.
- Rusalka – Slavic Christian. A female, mermaid like demon or ghost, generally considered malevolent and created from women who die violently and before their time, including suicides and unmarried women who are pregnant. Living near the bottom of rivers, they rise out of the water at night and dance in meadows. If they see handsome men they mesmerize them with songs and dancing, then lead them to a watery death.
- Rakshasa – Far Eastern. A class of male and female shapechanging demons whose specialty is disturbing sacrifices, desecrating graves, harassing priests and possessing human beings. Their fingernails are venomous, and they feed on human flesh and spoiled food.
- Sabnock – Christian. A Marquis of Hell with fifty legions of demons under his command. He builds high towers, castles and cities, furnishing them with weapons and ammunition, provides good familiars, and can make the wounds of men gangrenous or fill them with worms. He is depicted as a soldier riding a pale horse with armor and weapons and the head of a lion.
- Saleos – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell ruling thirty legions of demons. He is a pacifist, causing men and women love each other. He is depicted as a gallant and handsome soldier, riding a crocodile and wearing a ducal crown.
- Satan – Judaic, Chrisitan, Islamic. See devil.
- Scox/Shax/Chax – Christian. A Great Marquis of Hell with power over thirty legions of demons. He takes away the sight, hearing and understanding of any person at the conjurer’s request and steals money and horses. He can discover hidden things, but his familiars often deceive, as will he unless obliged to enter a magic triangle. He is depicted as a stork.
- Seir – Christian. A Prince of Hell with 26 legions of demons under his command. He can go to any place on earth in a matter of seconds, bring abundance, help find hidden treasures, and is a demon of good nature, being mostly indifferent to evilness. He is depicted as a beautiful man riding a winged horse.
- Shedim – Judaic. A class of flying demons with the feet and claws of a cock. May be the descendants of serpents or descendants of Adam and Lilith. Supposedly, sinful people sacrificed their daughters to the shedim, but it is unclear if the sacrifice consisted in the murdering of the victims or in the sexual satisfaction of the demons. Sidragasum – Christian.
- Sitri – Christian. A Prince of Hell commanding sixty legions of demons. He causes men to love women and vice versa and reveals the secrets of women, mocking them. He is depicted with the face of a leopard and the wings of a griffin, but under the conjurer’s request changes into a beautiful man.
- Stolas – Christian. a Prince of Hell, commanding twenty-six legions of demons. Teaches astronomy and the knowledge of poisonous plants, herbs and precious stones. Depicted as being either a crowned owl with long legs, a raven or a man.
- Succubus – Sumerian, Akkadian, Judaic, Christian. Like their male counterparts, the incubi, these are female demons in human form who appear in dreams of men to seducethrough sexual intercourse. Always beautiful and alluring.
- Surgat – Christian. A minor demon who opens locks.
- Tannin – Judaic. An aquatic demon similar to Leviathan.
- Ukobach – Christian. A minor demon, said to be the inventor of Fireworks and skilled in the art of frying foods. Depicted with a flaming or red body, large eyes and ears and a pan full of coals or hot poker.
- Uvall – Chrisitan. A Duke of Hell commanding thirty-seven legions of demons. He gives the love of women, causes friendship between friends and foes, and tells of things past, present and to come. Depicted as a camel that after a while changes shape into a man, and speaks the Egyptian language with a deep voice.
- Valac – Christian. A Great President of Hell with thirty legions of demons under his command. He give true answers about hidden treasures, reveals serpents and delivers them harmless to the conjuror. He appears as a small poor boy with angel wings riding on a two-headed dragon.
- Valefar/Malaphar/Malephar – Christian. A Duke of Hell who commands ten legions of demons. He tempts people to steal and deals with thieves. He appears as a lion with the head of a man, or as a lion with the head of a donkey.
- Vapula – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell commanding thirty-six legions of demons. He teaches Philosophy, Mechanics, and sciences. He is depicted as a griffin-winged lion.
- Vassago –Christian. a Prince of Hell commanding twenty-six legions of demons. He telsl of events past and future, can discover hidden and lost things, and has a “good” nature. Described by his conjurors as an aged man riding a crocodile and carrying on his right wrist a Goshawk and as a blood-red dragon with large wings, green eyes and white fangs, extending 30 feet long.
- Vepar – Christian. A Great Duke of Hell commanding twenty-nine legions of demons. He governs the waters and guides armoured ships; he can make the sea rough and stormy and to appear full of ships. He can make men die in three days by putrefying sores and wounds, or conversely heal them. He is depicted as a merman.
- Vine – Christian. an Earl and King of Hell, commanding 36 legions of demons. He can tell of the past, present and future, discover witches and hidden things, create storms, bring down walls and build towers. Depicted as a lion holding a snake in his hand and riding a black horse.
- Xaphan – Christian. One of the fallen angels, now a demon of the 2nd rank. Has an inventive mind and came up with a plot to set fire to heaven before he and the other fallen were cast out. He has a bellows as an emblem and fans the flames of the abyss with his mouth and hands.
- Xezbeth – Christian, Islamic. Called Al-Kathab (the Liar) in Arabic, he is a demon of lies and legends.
- Zagan – Christian. A King and President of Hell, commanding over thirty-three legions of demons. He makes men witty, can turn wine into water and vice versa, blood into wine, blood into oil, oil into blood, and a fool into a wise man. He can also make coins out of metal. He is depicted as a griffin-winged bull that turns into a man after a while.
- Zepar – Christian. A Duke of Hell commanding 26 legions of inferior spirits. He can make women love men and women sterile. Depicted in human form with red clothes and armor, like a soldier.
- Ziminiar – Christian. One of the four principal kings that have power over the seventy-two demons constrained by King Solomon, and not to be conjured except on great occasions.
To create an exhaustive list of all the demons of the world was beyond the scope of this article. Principally a list of Judaic and Christian demons with a few earlier references thrown in, I’ve kept out angels with terrifying day-jobs as well as some of the more abstract personifications of evil known to Hinduism, Zoastrasiscim and other Eastern religions. This list has been compiled from several sources, principally Wikipedia and the Mostropedia. If you have any significant alterations or additions you can reach me via the comments section at the bottom of the page or via email right here.