Ancient Demons and Their Infernal Legacy
Demons have existed in myths and legends since ancient times. In the hierarchy of evil, as laid out in grimoires and occult texts, each demon has a name and a precise function. In medieval times, people carried out rites of protection as it was believed that every individual was stalked by demons, who waited for a moment of weakness in order to strike.
Demonologists have compiled large volumes including the names and functions of each demon from the infernal hierarchy. These ranged from Satan, the ruler of all demons, down to Ukobach, the demon taking care of the infernal flame. According to legend, as each demon is specialized in a certain domain of activity, it can be invoked for help in that respective area. However, the price of such an invocation is always the soul of the person, who will ultimately end up in Hell. Demons were summoned using special incantations found in demonology catalogs. What follows is a number of examples of demons as they have been presented by Collin de Plancy in his 1863 “Dictionnaire Infernal”.
List of Demons
The most aggressive of all demons is considered to be the so called “Lord of Blood” named Ihrinwe. Criminals and psychopaths were believed to be possessed by this demon, as were violent dictators, who were thought to be under the demon’s control or even actual incarnations of this demon.
Euronymus was invoked by wizards who wanted somebody dead. It is said that this demon liked to feed on rotten flesh.
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Beelzebub is the “Lord of Flies” or another form of the Devil. In this incarnation, he is said to be extremely difficult to exorcise.
The main form of the Devil is that of Lucifer. In this form, he can even appear in the form of a clumsy child, but the fallen angel can also take up other forms, some extremely frightening. However, as evil is more convincing in the form of innocence, Lucifer may tend to appear more in the form of the aforementioned child.
"Beelzebub and them that are with him shoot arrows" from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) ( Public Domain )
Leonhard is a demon with fox ears and three horns. He is the leader of the witches’ Sabbath. He can appear in the form of a bull or a dog and he is the chief of all witches and wizards.
Behemoth, the “Lord of Greed”, can appear in the form of large animals such as an elephant. His walk is said to cause earthquakes.
Belphegor is a lazy demon in the form of a young girl. He is the “Lord of Lazyness” and is invoked by lazy wizards in order to ease their work or to provide them with ways of becoming rich faster.
Belphegor illustration from the Dictionnaire Infernal ( Public Domain )
Stolas appears in the form of a wise owl. He is said to command 26 infernal legions and he can teach wizards astrology and the magic of precious stones and plants. He is the patron of all wizards and practitioners of the occult who make use of infernal aid.
Stolas as illustrated by Collin de Plancy in Dictionnaire Infernal. ( Public Domain )
Buer is a demon that moves like a wheel. He teaches wizards logic and philosophy. He can help with one’s career if invoked and he can cure diseases.
Cerberus can also grant gifts of knowledge, but he is a very dangerous demon. One bite from him is enough to cause the death of the one who invoked him.
Buer, the 10th spirit, who teaches "Moral and Natural Philosophy". Illustration by Louis Breton from Dictionnaire Infernal. ( Public Domain )
Malphas is the demonic patron of builders. In exchange for their souls, he can help builders in their work. Masonic lodges also used to invoke him in some of their rituals.
Adramelech is the demon of excessive pride and he appears in the form of a donkey with peacock feathers.
Image of Adramelech ( Public Domain )
Ukobach is the keeper of the infernal flame and he has the lowest position in the infernal hierarchy. He is credited as the inventor of fireworks.