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Demons, also known as Devils or Fiends, are very common antagonists in a number of theological stories, mythologies, folklore, and fiction. They are considered either fallen angels, unclean spirits or degenerated lesser gods. Although the word now has an attachment to malevolence, it was originally a positive term for any spirit lesser than a deity in status, but higher than human.

Demons have confronted a number of significant figures in religions from across the world such as the Hindu Gods, Buddah (Buddha), Jesus Christ, and even God himself. Normally, it is believed that only faith can overcome these creatures, and they are attributed with a number of evil powers.

Outwith religion demons are seen as metaphors for natural disasters, affliction and cruelty, the most prominent of which are the "deadly sins" of Christian tradition. Demons are also used to describe inner-fears and anxieties found in the minds of all people, which is where the common expression "face one's demons" comes from.

Demons are similar to monsters in being frightening and against the natural order. Unlike monsters however, most demons are seen as a spiritual threat rather than a physical one and can possess humans, cause poltergeist activity, drive people insane, and much more.

History

Biblical Tales

War In Heaven

The War in Heaven is regarded by many branches of Christianity as the beginning of demons, who were originally angels loyal to the rebel known as Lucifer, who fought against God and thus damned himself and his followers, becoming the chief spirit of evil in Christian theology, Satan.

Garden Of Eden

According to most texts, God created Adam and Eve, granting them access to the Garden Of Eden, but forbidding them from eating the "sacred" fruit of knowledge from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (also known as the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Conception). Satan (taking the form of a serpent) successfully tempted Eve into eating from the tree along with Adam, resulting in the supposed "Fall of Man".

Some texts also speak of Lilith, who was supposedly Adam's first wife created prior to Eve, but turned from God's plan and became a demon in her own right.

Temptation of Christ

Jesus was said to be visited by Satan during his journey through a great desert, and was offered the world itself by the evil spirit if he would bow before him. Jesus instead scolded Satan for his pride, and upon seeing Jesus was unable to be corrupted, Satan left.

Legion

Demons

Demons in medieval art.

Jesus was also reported to be a great and learned healer who travelled the world performing miracles. During his travels, a story is told of how he came across a man troubled with madness, and ordered the unclean spirits to reveal themselves, resulting in the now famous confrontation with Legion. According to scripture, Jesus ordered Legion to leave the man, and they proceeded to possess a herd of pigs that ran into the sea and apparently drowned.

End of Days

Revelation, which deals with the supposed events of Armageddon and the Day of Judgement, is full of demonic imagery, and tells the story of how evil comes to rule supreme over the world with figures such as the Horsemen, the Beast, Antichrist, and so forth roaming the world and causing havoc.

These turbulent times are seen as either a symbolic or literal battle between good and evil with a second War In Heaven occurring, and an enraged Satan falling to earth "…his rage immeasurable, for he knew his time was short".

According to most texts, Satan is captured and imprisoned for a thousand years, during which Jesus sets up an age of enlightenment and peace. However, after a thousand years, Satan is unleashed once more, and begins a second apocalypse.

The second apocalypse is the final battle, as God himself is often believed to intervene and begin his Day Of Judgement, at which point Satan and his followers are cast into the Pit of Fire, and the Earth is destroyed, from which comes a new Heaven and a new Earth where the Kingdom of Heaven reigns forevermore.

Islamic Tradition

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Iblis

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Hindu Belie

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Buddhist Belief

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Temptation of Buddah

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Chinese Mythology

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Japanese Mythology

Japanese Mythology is full of spirits, some of which are considered malevolent in regards to mortals. Unlike Western mythology, Japanese spirits are not really good or evil, and are rather bizarre and often alien creatures whose methods and goals are often beyond the understanding of humans. Some of the more prominent demons in Japanese Mythology are the Onis and Tengus.

Celtic Mythology

The Fomor from Celtic Mythology are often envisioned as evil spirits. Though they are technically titans, they share a lot in common with demons, however, in being ugly, malevolent, and residing in the ocean (which is often considered the home of evil spirits).

Folk Tales

Folk Devils

A Folk Devil is a common antagonist in folklore and myth, often envisioned as the classical satyr-like Devil of Christian lore (inspired by Pan of Greek mythology). A Folk Devil is often a trickster or tempter who is often tricked himself by a seemingly hapless would-be-victim.

Although Folk Devils tend to be defeated, their are some variations of the theme in which Folk Devils actually succeed in their plan. A Folk Devil can be seen, in many ways, as an extension of pagan beliefs in fairies and lesser-gods, which were gradually replaced by the "Devil" as Christianity spread across the world.

Witchcraft Cults

As Christianity spread, the old pagan beliefs were demonized, and their followers accused of being part of "Witchcraft Cults". In the minds of medieval scholars, the world was inhabited by evil-minded men and women who sold their souls to demons in exchange for power, and moral panics often broke out as communities believed they were under attack by these "witches", leading to terrible oppression (such as Witch-Hunts).

Fairies

Prior to Christianity, many pagans believed in "fairies", who were lesser-gods or spirits of nature, as Christianity spread the idea that these lesser-gods and spirits were not in line with the strictly monothestic Abrahamic religions, and thus, the fairies were either declared to be angels, figments of the imagination, or evil spirits that existed to lead people astray. Like Baal and Pazuzu before them, the Fairies suffered a degeneration from lesser-gods and spirits to demons, though some particularly malevolent fairies (such as Redcaps) were always considered demons, even in pre-Christian societies (though they went by different names and appearances).

List Of Members

Prominent Demons in Mythology/Theology

  • The Devil/Satan - chief of demons in Christianity.
  • Iblis - chief of demons in Islam
  • Samael - an evil angel in Judaism.
  • Belial - a crowned prince of hell.
  • Lilith - the original wife of Adam turned succubus.
  • Beelzebub - a high-ranking demon often confused with Satan.
  • Baphomet - goat-headed demon who is heavily associated with the occult.
  • Antichrist/King of Terror - the enemy of Jesus who is said to surface in the End of Days.
  • The Beast - the "false prophet" and a vessel for Satan to enforce his will during the Apocalypse.
  • Antichrist/King of Terror- a figure described as arriving and starting wars (another name for the Antichrist).
  • Ravana - a powerful demon from Hindu mythology.
  • Mara - chief spirit of evil in Buddhism.
  • Surtur - a fire giant from Norse mythology.
  • Mephistopheles - legendary devil from the tale of Faust.
  • Mammon - embodiment of avaricious wealth/greed, often seen as a false idol.

Creatures Considered Demons

  • Hags - evil witch-like beings in folklore/mythology.
  • Imps - mischievous little spirits often considered low-ranking demons.
  • Fallen angels - angels that have fallen from the grace of God (or similiar deity).
  • Succubus - female spirits that seduce sleeping males.
  • Incubus - male spirits that are accused of raping sleeping females.
  • Poltergeist - "noisy spirit". Although a ghost, it can be seen as a demon by some.

Demons In Fiction

  • Pazuzu - the main antagonist of The Exorcist series.
  • Damien Thorn - the main antagonist of The Omen series.
  • Chernabog - the main antagonist of Disney's Fantasia.
  • Freddy Krueger - the main antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series.
  • Rosemary's Baby - the unnamed main antagonist of Rosemary's Baby.
  • Pennywise - the main antagonist of "IT".
  • Demonic Toys - the titular main antagonists of the "Demonic Toys" series.
  • Ghoulies - the titular main character antagonists of the "Ghoulies" series.
  • Trigon - a powerful demon from DC universe and enemy of the Titans.
  • Mephisto - a devil-like figure from Marvel comics.
  • Kil'jaeden - the secondary main antagonist of the Warcraft series.
  • Diablo - the titular main antagonist of the Diablo series.
  • The Beldam - the main antagonist of Coraline.
  • Odio - King of Demons and the mastermind behind all evil in Live A Live.

Navigation

            Legends

Folklore, religions, and myths
Abaddon | Abyzou | Aka Manto | Akkorokamui | Angra Mainyu | Ares | Asmodeus | Asuras | The Antichrist | Atlas | Baal | Bandits (The Good Samaritan) | Baphomet | Baron Samedi (folklore) | Basilisk (folklore) | The Beast | Behemoth | Belphegor | Bigfoot | Black Monk of Pontefract | Black Rock Witch | Blair Witch | Bloody Mary | Bloody Mary (Halloween Horror Nights) | Cain | Cockatrice | Crom Cruach (mythology) | Cthulhu | Damballa | Delilah (theology) | Demiurge | Demons | The Devil | Devil Monkeys | Dog-headed Men | Dybbuk | Eight Feet Tall | El Charro Negro (folklore) | El Silbon | Enma Daio | Eredin | Fallen Angels | Fairies (folklore) | Fouke Monster | Ghost Trains | Ghosts (folklore) | Giants of Voronezh | Goliath | Green Witch | Gremlins (folklore) | Grim Reaper | Groundhogs | Hades | Haman the Agagite | The Headless Horseman | Herod Antipas | King Herod | Herodias | Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Iblis | J'ba Fofi | Jezebel | Judas Iscariot | Kali | Kali Kelpie of Loch Ness | Keyser Söze | King Ahab | King Arthur | Kroni | Kronos | Kuchisake-onna | La Cegua | La Sayona | La Viuda | Legion | Leviathan | Lilith | Loki | Lucius Tiberius | Mackenzie Poltergeist | Madman Marz | Malefactors | Mahishasura | Malsumis | Mammon | Mara | Mares | Mark Slender | Meg of Meldon | Mephistopheles | Michigan Dogman | Moloch | Momo | Morgan le Fay | Nure-Onna | The Pharisees | Poltergeists (folklore) | Rock Demons | Samael | Satan | Saul | Sawney Bean | Set | Silas Scratch | Six Demons | Tailypo | Termagant | Titans | Unholy Trinity | Victor Crowley | The Watchers | Water Horses | Whore of Babylon | Wolves | Xolotl | Zozo

Urban Legends (Common)
Amanda the Doll | Bunnyman | Bye Bye Man | Candyman | Charlie | China Doll | Clown Doll | Cropsy | Crying Boy | Demonic Aliens | Hairy-Armed Woman | Hook Killer | John & Susan Buckley | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | Licking Maniac | Mad Gasser of Mattoon | Melon Heads | Men In Black (conspiracy theory) | Mystery Killer | Nain Rouge | Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square | Old Man Try-By-Night | Peeping Tom | Rain Man | Robert the Doll | Paimon | Patasola | Sister Mary Chopper | Skinned Tom | Teke Teke | The Killer In the Backseat | The Man Upstairs

Urban Legends (Cryptids)
Beast of Gévaudan | Black Eyed Children | Black Stick Men | Cherufe | Chupacabra | Demonic Aliens | Devil Monkeys | Dog-headed Men | Fairies (folklore) | Fallen Angels | Fear Liath | Flatwoods Monster | Ghosts (folklore) | Goatman | Greys | Jersey Devil | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kongamato | Kraken | Loch Ness Monster | Malawi Terror Beast | Mamlambo | Manananggal | Maricoxi | Mngwa | Momonjii | Mothman | Nobusuma | Pope Lick Monster | Popobawa | Pukwudgies | Reptoids | Roc | Ropen | Salawa | Sea-Serpents | Shadow People | Slide-Rock Bolter | Spring Heeled Jack | Tanuki | Thunderbird | Two-Toed Tom | Water Horses | Yamachichi | Yeti (cryptozoology) | Yowie

Internet and Creepypasta
Alice Killer | Aliens (Agamemnon Counterpart) | BEN | Blind Maiden | Buried Alive Model | Carmen Winstead | Child Murderer | Evil Otto | Eyeless Jack | Ghost (Pokémon Creepy Black) | HABIT | Herobrine | Hoody | Horace Horrible | Jane the Killer | Jeff the Killer | Laughing Jack | Luigi.EXE | Masky | Mr. Bear | Murderer (Smith Sisters Murdered Anonymously) | Photo-Negative Mickey | Rap Rat | Red (Creepypasta) | Sally Williams | Seed Eater | Slender Man | Smile Dog | Smith Sisters | Sonic.EXE | Tails Doll | Talking Angela (Legend) | The Collective (TribeTwelve) | The Devil (Misfortune.GB) | The Expressionless | The Girl in the Photograph | The Man in the Fields | The Muddy Hand | The Piche | The Rake (Slenderverse) | The Seeker (Hide and Seek) | The Skin Taker | The Woman to Eat the Children | Ticci-Toby | Zalgo | Zalgo (Slenderverse)

SCP Foundation
Bobble the Clown | Church of the Broken God | SCP-049 | SCP-058 | SCP-087-1 | SCP-096 | SCP-1048 | SCP-1048 Duplicates | SCP-173 | SCP-2999 | SCP-372 | SCP-457 | SCP-513-1 | SCP-966 | SCP-973-2 | SCP Foundation