Top 10 SCARIEST DEMONS We're Glad DON'T EXIST (Incubus, Surgat)
Theologies throughout time and across the globe have manifested inspirational stories and tales of wonder, but they’re also responsible for breathing life into unspeakable terrors. Demons serve a multitude of purposes and vary from religion to religion, but if there’s one constant, it’s that we’re glad these top ten most terrifying demons don’t exist… we hope.
In The Grimoire of Pope Honorius, there is mention of a lesser demon known for being a deceptive little creature that’s sly enough to make him dangerous. Dubbed the “One Who Opens All Locks,” Surgat is bestowed with the ability to unlock any lock in the world, meaning hiding from him is no easy feat. In fact, a victim targeted by surgat is forced into a pursuit that is almost guaranteed to end with the demon reaching his mark. Legend has it that those caught by Surgat go mad over images presented to them by the demon.
Though often referred to as a physical place, in Job 28:22, Abaddon was personified as a corporeal being. In Hebrew, the demon king’s name means “to destroy,” and, according to Revelation 9:11, after the trumpet of the fifth angel is blown, Abaddon will emerge with an army of horse-like locusts sporting human faces, women’s hair, and lions’ teeth under his command. The monstrosity of Abaddon has been mentioned in multiple texts as the “Angel of Death” or “Angel of the Abyss,” but it was Protestant commentator Matthew Henry who proposed that the demon was the Antichrist. Over 160 years later, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary suggested Abaddon to be Satan himself, a concept echoed by the Latter-Day Saints.
First written in the Ars Goetia, a selection from the Lesser Key of Solomon depicting 72 demons evoked by Solomon, Andras sports a unique, albeit confusing and terrifying, look. Marquis Andras, or the Night Demon, was a spirit in the form of an angel, depicted with a black raven’s head and riding on the back of a large black wolf with a saber at hand. Andras was the 63rd spirit conjured by Solomon and commanded over the 30 legions of spirits, though his greatest skill came was giving advice on killing one’s opponent and worsening quarrels between factions.
Sporting six legs, twisted horns, a long tail, and slick flesh, this Slavic demon was said to terrorize the region of Srem, or Syrmia, between the Danube and Sava rivers. More than just hideous to look at, the Bukavac lurks in swamps, rivers, and other small bodies of water, awaiting unsuspecting prey to lunge at. Escaping the grasp of the beast wasn’t easy, especially as it suffocated the life out of its victims. The demon was named for the Slavic word for noise, buka, due to the unsettling, loud sound it was believed to make after nightfall.
This ghastly form is depicted in Shoshonean mythology as a towering ogre with a hunger for raw eggs. Dzoavitz was said to have stolen the Sun and has been accused with kidnapping children, often depicted as a dove’s eggs. While trying to steal the dove’s eggs, Dzoavitz was tricked into jumping into a hole dug by a badger. Legend has it that the towering demon, sometimes referred to as a stone giant, is still stuck in the hole, which may or may not be Devils Hole in Nye County, NV. Though the ogre had chased after the dove’s eggs, the monstrosity is often associated with cannibalism.
Incubus & Succubus
It’s hard enough to get a date these days without having to worry about whether your beau will bleed you dry. Literally. The incubus and succubus are two entities cut from the same cloth, a pair of Lilin-demons that seduce man or woman while they sleep. The incubus is known for lying with women while the succubus lies with men, appearing frequently as seductive beings to either drain them of their life force or, depending on the lore, procreate. The earliest mention of the incubus dates back to 2400 BC on the Sumerian King List where Gilgamesh’s father is listed as Lilu, or a demon similar to an incubus, and the duo have roots in Christian folklore.
As Satan’s second in command, Malphas is an evil force to be reckoned with. Under his command are 40 legions of demons, eager to act on his word, but that’s not even the worst of it. Though not petrifying in appearance, the demon masquerades as a large raven and is a deceptive creature, even to those that worship him. Those that summon Malphas are in for an unwanted surprise for the demon is willing to accept sacrifices but is deceptive to those performing the sacrifice. To those that oppose him, Malphas has the ability to destroy their desires or make their deepest thoughts known.
A fiend of the day, Lady Midday, or Poludnitsa, haunted Slavic villages not in the shadows, but in the light of noon. Depicted either as an innocent young girl, stunning lady, or a wicked wench, Lady Midday traveled as a cloud of dust and carried a scythe used for far deadlier purposes than reaping crops. Those that encountered Lady Midday were engaged by the creep with a series of questions or conversation. Should they answer a question wrong or try and change the topic, the demoness would either decapitate them or, if the mood struck, simply bequeath them with heatstroke.
Bred from the mind of ancient Egyptians and popularized by Dungeons & Dragons, Aldinach is a demon lord with control over the desert sands and certain weather phenomena. Said to be behind the fiercest of storms, Aldinach is the daughter of Lamashtu and takes the form of an imposing, giant scorpion with razor-sharp claws. Furthering her grotesque image is a human head, lodged beneath a carapace that’s covered in smaller scorpions. Worshipping this scorpion queen is no easy feat, requiring a subject to lie in the Sun for an hour before consuming a live scorpion.
According to Sumerian lore, the Asag is an unpleasant sight to behold, believed to be so ugly that its appearance was enough to make fish boil in rivers. What makes it so ugly, you ask? Consider a large beast, rounded with six total appendages, no neck, multiple eyes, and skin as hard as rock. Despite its looks, the Asag, which is said to have had a strange relationship with the mountains that spawned an army of rock-like offspring, was a plague demon, connected to head fevers and paralysis of those he infected.