An artist's depiction of demons.

Demons are malevolent otherworldly beings said to be dedicated to evil and no other purpose who feed on living souls. Demons are related to vampires in that they are unholy creatures, although they are immune to silver and their only weakness is faith in God. Some demons do not show up in daylight and can only appear after dark, furthering their connection to vampires as nocturnal creatures. Little has been revealed about them to date, save that they are vastly powerful and evil entities, apparently residing in an otherworldly dimension and visiting Earth only when summoned by magic or when possessing humans.

Anita describes a demon in Blue Moon at first as black and possibly smoke-like with fluid shape that was hard to see, and then solidifying into a being about eight feet tall, very thin, with long legs, a long serpentine neck, a head with a beak but no visible eyes, a long thin whip-like tail, and hands with talons. He had been summoned by Linus Bech to find the Spear of Destiny for Frank Niley.

Early History[edit | edit source]

The true origins of demons is unknown. Virtually all human religions have their own beliefs about the origins of demons. In the Bible, demons are the rebel angels that Lucifer led against God, but were defeated and cast into Hell. The Torah holds the same views, although Lucifer is not a demon in Jewish beliefs but rather an angel of death named Sammael. In the Qur'an, demons are fiery shape-shifting beings called Djinn. None of these beliefs have been firmly confirmed nor denied in the Anitaverse and no other theory has been put forth, although the angelic origin is hinted at, and jinn or genies (both alternative spellings for djinn) are introduced in Skin Trade as air spirits that do share some characteristics with demons.

Powers & Abilities[edit | edit source]

Demons possess various supernatural abilities.

  • Immortality - Demons exist in virtually every religious belief system. As such, it can be implied that demons are immortal. Additionally, demons are believed in the Bible and other theological texts to be angels cast out of Heaven for disobedience, making them immortal beings of considerable supernatural potency.
  • Possession - Demons can in some circumstances place their spirits into the bodies of humans and possess them. However, demons seem to require a summoning in order to manifest without a host body. It's unclear whether a possession also requires an invitation of some sort.
  • Superhuman Strength - Those possessed by demons exhibit a drastic increase in strength sufficient to throw grown men across a room. Their strength in relation to vampires and lycanthropes has yet to be demonstrated, however it can be assumes that their strength approaches that of the average vampire with stronger demons approaching or even surpassing that of a Master vampire or Alpha lycanthrope. Certainly no human could stand to match a demon's raw strength.
  • Intangibility - Demons that have been summoned usually aren't tangible enough for normal weapons to do any kind of damage to them, and the rare ones that are tangible enough might only be that for the brief duration of their own attack.

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

Demons can be fought or defended against with the following:

  • Innocent Faith - Those pure of heart and strong in their faith are not fitting sacrifices for a demon, because their souls are spoken for. Specific religion is irrelevant, as long as there is faith.
  • Prayer - A prayer backed with faith can hold a demon back.
  • Blessed Objects - Presumably blessed objects cause damage to demons in similar way than they cause it to vampires. We haven't seen any used against demons in Anitaverse so specific effects are unknown, but in Skin Trade the SWAT team prepares for a potential demon confrontation by having a priest bless their bullets.
  • Banishing Spell - A demon can be cast back to its own dimension by a banishing spell.
  • Exorcism - Like banishing spell, exorcism can cast away a demon that has possessed a person.

Other limitations:

  • Summoning - Demons seem to be slaves to summoning rituals, and as long as the ritual is upheld must do the bidding of their summoner--although given the chance a demon will turn on its master and thus breaking the ritual is likely to be fatal for the summoner. It also seems that demons are unable to leave their own dimension without being summoned, with the possible exception of possession.

Summoning Demons[edit | edit source]

A demon can only be summoned by a sorcerer.

  • A circle of power is 'drawn' to control the demon. The circle can be formed from blood and pentagrams marked on trees, or some sort of dark powder. Most often the circle is built to contain evil, making the demon unable to exit the circle.
  • A human sacrifice is required as a kind of food for the demon. The sacrifice has it's soul taken and devoured by the demon and can subsequently never be raised by an animator or necromancer.
  • Although not necessarily a requirement, sometimes the summoner speaks the following: "I offer you a sacrifice of flesh and blood and soul. Take this my offering and do my bidding".

Demonic Possession[edit | edit source]

"There were no glowing eyes, no smell of sulfur ... but I felt evil rise off of her like some disturbing perfume."
Anita Blake[src]

In some cases a mental illness or some flaw of character can open a person up to demonic possession. In one case Anita meets a woman diagnosed schizophrenic. She suffered from multiple personality disorder. The main personality was an ordinary housewife, and a mother of two, but the second personality would kill neighborhood pets, drain them of blood, abuse the children and cheat on her husband. Once the woman was exorcised she returned to being a normal housewife. Exorcism didn't cure her of the mental illness, but without the possession her medication was enough to keep the symptoms in check.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • After the demon kills Linus in Blue Moon he comes close to Anita and ask her if he is "free". When Anita confirms this he thanks her and disappears. Before he does that his form wavers and she thinks she sees a pure, almost shining male face, hinting that the angelic origin may indeed be true for Anitaverse, even if she isn't certain she didn't just imagine the whole thing.
  • Anita notes that a devil, a greater demon, has not been seen above ground in a very long time. However, later she ponders about how the death penalty for practitioners is usually carried out swiftly, because "a few years back" an arrested sorcerer had called a greater demon in his cell and caused a death toll of some 42 or 43 people before being tracked down and killed during the capture attempt. (Obsidian Butterfly)
  • Anita notes that the only two demonologists in the country are Father Simon McCoupen, who has the record in this century in this country for number of exorcisms performed, and Doctor Philo Merrick, who teaches at the University of San Francisco. (Obsidian Butterfly)
  • In Skin Trade, Anita finds out about Todd Bering, a "natural witch" diagnosed with schizophrenia, who summons a demon that had big, blade-like hooks in place of hands.
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