| Demons in smoke form|
Demons possessing human bodies
|Type||Warped, mutilated human souls|
|Culture(s) of origin||All worldwide cultures|
|Distinctions|| Possesses human vessels|
Changes vessel's eye colour
|Appearance(s)||See full list below|
|Notable individuals||See full list below|
Demons are dark, evil, malevolent spirits of Hell, created from damned human souls after extensive torture, mutilation and corruption in Hell. The majority of demons are trapped in Hell, but some can reach the Earth, where they can possess human bodies for their own cruel, destructive purposes.
Demons are created from human souls in Hell through Hell's immense torture, corruption and mutilation of said souls. Over the centuries, the intense torturing warps and darkens and corrupts the soul, burning away its humanity and feelings and creating an evil, malicious, inhuman and cruel spiritual creature. According to Ruby, some demons not only forget conscience and empathy and what it means to be human but also that they ever even were human. (Malleus Maleficarum)
Demons have a true form, which can be seen beyond the demons' vessels' faces by other supernatural beings (such as angels) and by humans whose crossroads deal is up. When able to see demons' true faces, Dean Winchester described their true forms as awful-looking and ugly, and described Ruby's true form as "an ugly old broad". (No Rest for the Wicked) A glimpse of Azazel's true face showed it to be a skull-like face. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2) In Hell, demons seemed to at least sometimes appear in human forms, and could apparently choose what human's form to take. (Taxi Driver)
On Earth, demons manifest as long, slender clouds of black smoke and vapour, though there is one known demon whose smoke form on Earth is instead red. (What's Up, Tiger Mommy?) Demons generate electromagnetic interference in this smoke form, especially when together in large numbers. (The Magnificent Seven, Jus in Bello) Demons can possess human bodies as vessels on Earth with which to better interact with the mortal realm than would be possible in their smoke form. When a human is possessed by a demon, the only distinguishing feature is that their eyes will change colour (when the demon reveals its demonic or malicious nature) to black, red, white, yellow or another colour, depending on the type/rank of the demon.
When possessing vessels on Earth, demons can exhibit and use several supernatural powers and abilities.
Among the basic powers among demons and the abilities which all demons possess are telekinetic powers with which to move people and objects around and through the air with the demon's mind. Demons also give their vessels enhanced and superior strength and stamina compared to an ordinary human's when possessing the vessel, and can sustain themselves without any need for sustenance or sleep and possess enhanced senses.
Injuries to a demon's vessel that would be fatal to humans such as stabs, gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma do not harm the demon unless the injuries are caused by special means such as supernatural weapons and creatures, although the demon still does not heal the physical damage to its vessel and thus must smoke out of a vessel if and when the vessel is badly crippled enough by sustaining enough damage. Like other spiritual beings, demons can see ghosts, reapers and hellhounds as well.
Some black-eyed demons and higher-ranking demons have displayed several abilities not seen among regular-ranking demons, including invisibility and instantaneous teleportation from one place to another. Demons can also manipulate electronic equipment to their will, can use thermokinesis and generate and control fire, can cause tremors, and can manipulate others' biology for purposes such as torturing by using this power to cause painful haemorrhaging. Some demons (crossroads demons in particular) were claimed to be able to read humans' souls and assess the person's emotional condition; and demons can also practice magic and witchcraft and Enochian spells and rituals.
Very high-ranking and powerful demons such as the King of Hell, Azazel, Samhain, white-eyed demons and Knights of Hell possess higher and more powerful special abilities, and sometimes are even powerful enough to challenge angels' power. High-ranking demons could enter and manipulate humans' and the special children's minds and dreams, and Lilith and Samhain could generate massive bursts of intense, burning light capable of obliterating large areas.High enough ranking demons are more resistant against and less affected by anti-demon weapons such as salt, holy water, the demon-killing knife and (in cases such as Alastair) even smiting by angels; and some of them such as Azazel, Crowley and Alastair could teleport between Earth and Hell without the need for great effort or assistance that lower demons usually require to escape Hell. When very high-ranking demons such as Azazel and Abaddon are present somewhere on Earth, their presence and abilities can cause storms, small gales and demonic omens such as crop failures in the area.
Through a deal, demons can access powers and abilities that allow them to fulfil their end of the bargain, although the contract binds the demon to follow through with its end of the deal. These powers for the deal include resurrection, healing any illness or injury, and warping and altering reality to the correct extent for the wish of the human that makes the deal with the demon.
In the mortal realm, demons can possess human bodies as vessels for them to use to physically interact with the physical world. Unlike angels, demons do not need a human's consent to possess them, and they can possess corpses as well as living human bodies. Humans are especially vulnerable to possession when feeling scared or anxious. Demonic possession can be blocked by wearing anti-possession charms. Demons usually possess a vessel by entering the human body in their smoke form through the mouth. At least powerful demons such as Azazel can possess reapers as well.
Once a human is under demonic possession, the demon can take full control of the body from the human, although the demon can also give the human back control if it wishes or the human can take back control from the demon through very strong willpower. If and when the demon is exorcised, the vessel will retain no memory from possession except for times when the demon let the human be conscious while the demon used their body. During demonic possession, if a living vessel suffers any injuries, then while the possession will stop these injuries from affecting the demon and keep the vessel alive, it will not heal or repair them; thus, if and when the demon leaves its vessel, then the injuries will take harm and effect on the former-vessel.
Demonic possession apparently also causes a chemical change in the vessel's circulatory system, making the vessel's blood become demon blood; and whenever a demon uses their powers, they leave behind a trace of sulphuric yellow powder. It would appear that the amount of sulphur a demon produces depends on its power-level; most demons only leave small traces of sulphur whereas Azazel left piles of it. The biological changes that appear in vessels during demonic possession is said to be because when a body is possessed by a demon, the demon infects every cell, muscle and body part.
Demons can leave their human vessel by exiting through the mouth, which is called smoking out due to the smoke form demons take on Earth outside of vessels; demons can either smoke out by will, or can be expelled their vessel by means such as exorcism. However, angels can use their abilities to grab the smoke forms of demons smoking out and force them back into their vessels, and saying exorcism rites in reverse can also send smoking out demons back into their vessels; and there are some spells that can lock demons inside their vessels and render them unable to smoke out and/or teleport, as can some sigils carved onto the demon's host body. It would also appear that gagging or otherwise obstructing a demon's mouth can stop them exiting their vessel as well.
Among the means of forcefully removing demons from their vessels, the most common is exorcism. Exorcism is painful for the demon, and once the exorcism rites are completed, the demon will be expelled from its vessel and sent back to Hell. It seems to vary between demon exorcisms whether or not the vessel survives the process, although if the vessel suffered any fatal injury during demonic possession, then death is effectively certain. However, very powerful demons such as Abaddon, a Knight of Hell, are immune to exorcism. If a demon's vessel ingests large quantities of salt, this can also force the demon out of the vessel body.
Through training, tutoring and development and the consumption of demon blood to boost their powers, special children can develop their abilities to affect and harm demons; they can torture demons, pull them out of their vessels and send them back to Hell, and even kill demons when powerful enough. Ghosts can pull demons out of their vessels as well and physically grab and restrain demons in their smoke form.
Harming and trappingEditThere are several means of binding and trapping demons and of causing them pain and/or harming or incapacitating them. Like most other spiritual creatures, most demons are unable to easily cross a line of salt or break the line, and being hit by or ingesting or getting injected with salt causes demons great pain and can even force them out of their vessels. However, higher-tier demons such as Azazel are largely immune to the demonic weakness to salt.
Iron has a similar burning and uncrossable effect on demons to salt. Holy water is known as well to badly burn demons like acid (although it does not cause physical harm to the vessel) and thus can repel and stun demons; however, higher-tier demons such as Azazel are apparently almost completely unaffected by holy water. Stabbing a demon with Palo Santo will painfully immobilise the demon and pin it to a single spot. It is known that at least some demons cannot cross onto hallowed ground, although others can, and that hex bags can hide people from all demons, including even the most powerful demons such as Lilith.
One of the most common means of trapping and binding demons is devil's traps; though demons can enter devil's traps with ease, once a demon is in the trap it cannot get out, and the devil's trap (dependent on the demon's power-level and the kind of devil's trap used) will bind the trapped demon's powers. Unless exorcised, devil's traps can lock demons in their vessels as well. However, if the image used as a devil's trap is in any way altered or broken, then the trap will immediately become ineffective and unable to trap demons or keep them trapped. It is known that if an object with a devil's trap on it is inside a demon's vessel, then it will pin the demon to the spot unless the demon is moved by outside forces, and it will restrict the demon's movement and bind it to its vessel.
Though little-known among hunters, there are several ways and means of killing and destroying demons. Stabbing a demon with an angel blade or the demon-killing knife, or shooting it with the Colt, will destroy the demon; although it must be an injury to the vessel that would be fatal to a human (i.e. a deep stab or slash to the throat/a shot to the heart or head), or it will simply harm the demon. Death's scythe is also said to be capable of killing demons.
Angels can kill demons, by placing their hand on the demon's vessel's forehead and then using their power to destroy the demons; this method of killing demons also kills the vessel. However, regular angels cannot kill very high-level demons such as white-eyed demons this way, and (if the said regular angel is cut off from Heaven and its powers more limited) then the angel won't even be able to use this ability to kill regular demons.Though very little-known, when demons are on Earth, burning their bones from when they were alive and human will also burn and destroy the demon. It has been implied that demons are capable of themselves killing lower-level demons. There is also a spell which, when activated, will completely destroy any demons in the vicinity, vessels and all. Also, Ruby claimed to know a ritual involving cutting out a virgin's heart which will, when carried out, destroy all and any demons within a one-mile radius.
- "They don't want anything, just death and destruction for its own sake."
- ―Dean Winchester describing demons' malevolent actions and intentions.[src]
Due to the centuries of extensive torture and corruption in Hell burning and stripping away all their humanity, demons are vicious, malicious and cruel creatures which revel in chaos, death, pain and suffering and may engage in torturing and killing others simply out of fun.
The majority of demons are internally selfish as well as evil and malevolent, and may choose their loyalties based on which one will result in less torturing for them as punishment from the other loyalty in future. Most demons also engage in destruction and torturing to avoid themselves being tortured and/or simply for the fun of it, but there are a small number of demons who are true believers in Lucifer's intentions of cleansing the Earth of humanity and actually consider themselves equal or superior to humans in terms of morals and loyalty to their faith.
Demons also have no qualms or quarrels over killing or torturing their own kind, even when it is not necessary to do so, and will casually sacrifice other demons without any hesitation. However, some demons do still form family or romantic bonds with each-other, and these demons that do can become angry when their fellow demons are killed or exorcised.
CureEditThere exists one known ritual which, when performed on hallowed ground such as a church, can cure demons and restore their humanity. The ritual involves injecting the demon once every eight hours with blood that has recently been purified through holy confession, which will, after the first few doses, gradually begin to cause remorse and empathy for its actions and emotional anguish in the demon. After the eight dose of purified blood, the caster of the ritual then says the incantation, "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus. Hanc animam redintegra, lustra! Lustra!" And then the caster slits the palm of their hand and places it over the demon's mouth, which will complete the ritual and restore the demon's conscience and humanity. (Clip Show)
The demons began thousands of years in the past; during Lucifer's rebellions against God but before his imprisonment in Hell, to spite God for choosing humans over him, Lucifer took a human soul and twisted and corrupted it until it became the first ever demon, Lilith. (When the Levee Breaks) From then on, all and any human souls that went to Hell after death would be tortured and twisted and corrupted until they themselves became demons. (No Rest for the Wicked) After Lucifer was imprisoned in the cage, he was worshipped among his demon creations as their God. (Sin City)
It is also known that at some point, Lucifer selected a number of the first demons to become Knights of Hell; pure, ruthless and powerful demons. Most of the Knights of Hell were killed by their mentor, Cain, in the early 1860s in retaliation for taking Cain's human love; but one of the Knights, Abaddon, escaped Cain and survived. (First Born) In 1957, Abaddon disappeared for 56 years when she time travelled to 2013, and was believed dead among the demons until her return in 2013. (As Time Goes By, Sacrifice)
Plan to release LuciferEdit
By the 20th century, the demon Azazel was the tyrannical leader of the demons with Lucifer absent and Lilith trapped deep in Hell. (Sin City) Azazel successfully made contact with Lucifer in 1972, and through Lucifer's instructions on how to free him from the cage, Azazel began creating special children as part of a secret master plan to free Lilith from Hell so that she could break Lucifer's seals and free Lucifer from his cage. (Lucifer Rising) Between 2005 and 2007, once a generation of his special children were ready, Azazel initiated his plan to bring about Lucifer's freedom by having the strongest special child open a devil's gate in Wyoming. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2)
Though all the demons except Lilith, Azazel and Ruby (these three were the only ones in on Azazel's true master plan) believed that Azazel's intentions in creating the special children and opening the devil's gate were to release enough demons to war against humanity with the strongest special child as their leader, (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1) in actuality, Lilith was the only demon Azazel wanted to release from Hell through the gate, so that she could break Lucifer's seals. (Lucifer Rising)In early May, 2007, Azazel succeeded in having his strongest special child open the devil's gate and release hundreds of demons including Lilith from Hell, but was killed in the process, (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2) and thus the freed demons (who had been expecting to follow Azazel and Sam Winchester, but Sam had turned away from Azazel's plans) were initially left scattered and unorganised and unable to execute a proper war against humanity. Some demons wanted to follow Sam as Azazel had supposedly planned, while others began to follow Lilith. (Season 3)
Within a year after the hundreds of demons were released from the devil's gate, most of the demons were following Lilith as their leader, and Lilith had organised the demons together. After Dean Winchester, circa August 2008, unknowingly broke the first of Lucifer's seals, under Lilith's direction and leadership, the demons on Earth began breaking the other seals one-by-one and working in opposition to the angels to break 66 of the seals and free Lucifer. (Season 4) In mid-late 2009, after 65 seals were broken and Lilith was left the last remaining seal on Lucifer's cage to be broken, she and Ruby initiated the final phase of Azazel's master plan and allowed Sam to kill Lilith, which released Lucifer from Hell and started the Apocalypse. (Lucifer Rising)
During the Apocalypse, following Lucifer's release from Hell, Lucifer took command of virtually all the demons both in Hell and on Earth, who worked for Lucifer, the Whore of Babylon and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse against the angels and humanity and in Lucifer winning the Earth from Heaven and humans. (Season 5)
After the aversion of the Apocalypse and Lucifer's reimprisonment in his cage circa mid 2010, (Swan Song) the crossroads demon Crowley took over all the demons as King of Hell; (Family Matters) most of the demons fell under Crowley's command, but a few remained loyal to Lucifer and were against Crowley, who had these Lucifer loyalists hunted. (Caged Heat) After Crowley took over as King of Hell, him and the demons began working over the following 1 - 2 years to find a way to open a door to Purgatory so that Crowley could use the monster realm's power; (The Man Who Would Be King) but Crowley's intentions ultimately failed due to Castiel's interference. (The Man Who Knew Too Much)
Shortly afterwards, the Leviathans were released from Purgatory and planned to take over the Earth and farm humanity as cattle. (Season 7) When the Leviathan leader refused to negotiate with the demons or give them anything and threatened to wipe them out, (Slash Fiction) Crowley had the demons refrain from attacking the Winchester brothers and stay out of their way so that the brothers could focus on defeating the Leviathans. (Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!) After the Leviathans were defeated, Crowley presumably lifted the demons' restriction against attacking the Winchesters. (Survival of the Fittest)
Within a year after the Leviathans' downfall, after one of the Word of God tablets was found by Crowley and he learned that the tablet recorded how to open and close all the gates of Hell, Crowley had his demons hunt and search for the prophet Kevin Tran so that Crowley could force Kevin to translate the Word for him (to learn the Trials of God to lock all demons in Hell forever before Sam and Dean did, so as to stop the brothers). Crowley also worked to retrieve another Word of God and learn its secrets after discovering that this Word was about angels. Though Sam and Dean almost completed the Trials of God to seal Hell, they ultimately stopped. (Season 8)
In the process of nearly completing the third trial, the Winchesters captured Crowley and kept him captive afterwards, and thus the demons mostly assumed Crowley dead, and the returned Abaddon stepped in to take over as leader of the demons and Queen of Hell. (Season 9) While some of the demons began to follow Abaddon, many of them remained uncertain and remained neutral, and eventually Crowley returned for a power struggle with Abaddon for rule over Hell. (Road Trip)
Types and ranksEdit
Black-eyed demonsEditThe most common type/class of demons seen, black-eyed demons, excluding the Knights of Hell, are often either mostly self-serving, or are thugs, drones, soldiers, minions and henchmen for superiors and higher-level demons. They are distinguishable from other classes of demons in that they have black eyes, causing their vessels' pupils to expand across the entire visible area of their eyeballs.
A class of demons who are often more self-serving and less affiliated with the demon hierarchy and leaders, crossroads demons offer tempting Faustian deals and bargains to vain or desperate humans; granting their wish in exchange for their soul after a length of time (usually ten years). They are distinguishable from other classes of demons in that they have red eyes, causing their vessels' eyes to turn all-red.
White-eyed demonsEditA very powerful and high-ranking class of demons, white-eyed demons are the highest-ranking demons in Hell's hierarchy, second to Lucifer, and are greatly feared among lower demons and are powerful and resistant enough to take on even angels. The only two known white-eyed demons are Lilith and Alastair, both of whom are dead. They are distinguishable from other classes of demons in that they have white eyes, causing their vessels' eyes to roll all the way up.
An elite and powerful class of demons, yellow-eyed demons rank very high in Hell's hierarchy but below white-eyed demons. The only known yellow-eyed demon is Azazel, who is dead. They are distinguishable from other classes of demons in that they have yellow eyes, turning their vessels' retinas yellow.
Among the first demons and handpicked by Lucifer, Knights of Hell are very powerful and independent demons who acts as high agents and assassins. All but at least one of the Knights of Hell were destroyed by the archangels before the 20th century. Knights of Hell such as Abaddon have black eyes, although they are by far superior to most other black-eyed demons.
Vicious and animalistic Zoroastrian shadow demons, daevas are sometimes used by other demons as hunters and killers, but can attack their demon masters if their control is broken. Daevas are invisible and can only be seen by their shadows.
A lower-ranking but deadly and vicious type of demon, Acheri can manifest on Earth without a vessel, taking the form of a little girl but taking on a more demonic appearance when attacking.
A rare class of demons which are sent to Earth to cause disasters such as vehicle crashes. They are distinguishable from other demons in that their smoke form more closely resembles a swarm of black insects and they enter their vessels through the eyes.
Demons and Hell have their own hierarchy, albeit not a rigid and controlled as the angels' and Heaven's was before the post-Apocalypse, with the strongest and most powerful demons seeming to seize and assume control of Hell and the demons. It is known that most higher-level demons punish betrayal among their subordinates (be it working against their superiors or giving the enemy information) brutally and severely, to the point that some lower-level demons prefer death to facing punishment by their demonic superiors for their betrayal.
Demons also have a religious belief system analogous humans', in that similarly to how some humans believe in God as their creator and higher power, some demons believe in Lucifer as theirs. (Sin City) However, according to Azazel, by 1972, most of the demons had either lost faith in Lucifer or had given up on finding him and releasing him from the cage; this was presumably changed by Lucifer's release from the cage in 2009. (Lucifer Rising)
Most other supernatural races and beings usually look down on demons with contempt and disdain as disgusting and whorish abominations.
Demons have no qualms at all over killing, torturing and abusing humans, and will sometimes do it simply for fun. Some demons such as Lucifer loyalists even consider themselves morally equal or superior to humans.
Angels and demons detest each other by nature, with demons considering angels arrogant, sanctimonious zealots and angels viewing demons as disgusting, sinful and unclean abominations. However, most demons except high-level demons are also known to fear angels for their strength and power against them.
Leviathans such as Dick Roman view demons with intense disdain, hatred and disgust, considering demons such as Crowley (the King of Hell at the time) to be lazy, ugly, whorish parasites and mutations and viewing them as deserving of being eradicated from the universe. Despite wanting the Leviathans destroyed, demons also seemed to fear and respect Leviathans and were unwilling to strike against them directly.
The four horsemen's view of demons seemed to vary among them. The horseman Famine sees demons as nothing more than expendable pawns and would sacrifice his own demon carers and henchmen simply for his or his victims' sustenance; while Pestilence seemed to genuinely care about at least some of his personal demonic assistants.
Though themselves petty, cruel and disloyal, gods and deities such as Plutus seem to also look down on demons with contempt. However, at least some pagan gods are still not above working with demons for their own benefit.
- Azazel (deceased)
- Lilith (deceased)
- Alastair (deceased)
- Meg (deceased)
- Ruby (deceased)
- Tom (deceased)
- Female Crossroads Demon (deceased)
- Cindy McKellan's Demon (presumed deceased)
- Christian Campbell's demon (deceased)
- Astaroth (deceased)
- Brady (deceased)
- Casey (deceased)
- Dwayne Tanner
- Ellsworth (deceased)
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Father Gil (deceased)
- Guy (unknown)
- Jackson (deceased)
- Marcus (deceased)
- Red (unknown)
- Rosco (deceased)
- Julia Wright's demon
- Jeffrey's demon
- Phantom Traveller Demon
- Peter Kent's demon (cured)
Other demonic creaturesEdit
- "So, every religion in every world culture has the concept of demons and demonic possession, right? I mean Christian, Native American, Hindu, you name it."
- ―Sam Winchester on the prevalence of demons in lore.[src]
- Phantom Traveller
- Devil's Trap
- In My Time of Dying
- Crossroad Blues
- Born Under a Bad Sign
- All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1
- All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2
- The Magnificent Seven
- The Kids Are Alright
- Sin City
- Bedtime Stories
- Fresh Blood
- Dream a Little Dream of Me (dream)
- Jus in Bello
- Time Is on My Side
- No Rest for the Wicked
- Lazarus Rising
- Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester
- In the Beginning
- Yellow Fever (hallucination)
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
- Heaven and Hell
- Criss Angel Is a Douchebag
- Sex and Violence (voice)
- Death Takes a Holiday
- On the Head of a Pin
- The Monster at the End of This Book
- The Rapture
- When the Levee Breaks
- Lucifer Rising
- Sympathy for the Devil
- Good God, Y'All! (hallucination)
- I Believe the Children Are Our Future
- Abandon All Hope...
- Swap Meat
- My Bloody Valentine
- 99 Problems
- The Devil You Know
- Two Minutes to Midnight
- Swan Song
- Exile on Main St. (hallucination)
- Weekend at Bobby's
- Family Matters
- All Dogs Go to Heaven
- Caged Heat
- Mommy Dearest
- The Man Who Would Be King
- Let It Bleed
- The Man Who Knew Too Much
- Meet the New Boss
- Slash Fiction
- Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!
- Repo Man
- The Born-Again Identity
- Reading Is Fundemental
- There Will Be Blood
- Survival of the Fittest
- We Need to Talk About Kevin
- What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
- A Little Slice of Kevin
- Torn and Frayed
- As Time Goes By
- Goodbye Stranger
- Taxi Driver
- The Great Escapist
- Clip Show
- Devil May Care
- Slumber Party
- Heaven Can't Wait
- Road Trip
- First Born
- Demons are overall the main antagonists of Supernatural and among the show's most recurring creatures with ghosts.
- The first demon ever to appear on Supernatural (the disaster demon in Phantom Traveller) was notably different from the other demons that would later appear. This was the result of several retcons by the writers and producers as they developed the show's demon lore.
- Though demons' true forms have almost never been shown on Supernatural, if one looks carefully in All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2 when John is wrestling with Azazel in the latter's smoke form after pulling the demon out of his vessel, a skull-like face is visible.