Demons and Jinn

The āl, from Middle Eastern folklore, is a lilitu-like demon that steals embryos from pregnant women, or the organs of a woman who has just given birth. After doing so, the āl will run toward a river, or the nearest body of water to wash the stolen organs, before eating them. To prevent the creature from crossing, you must stir the water with a stick or sword before she’s finished.

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Barong is the benevolent king of the spirits in Balinese mythology, and the enemy of Rangda, the demon queen. In Bali, each region of the island has its own version of Barong modeled after different animals, including a lion, pig, and tiger. Image: an edit of work by Beeyan on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

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Atranrbiabil is a fire demon with the complexion and temperament of the element. He can control death and decay: killing with a word, raising armies from the grave, and reversing decay. To summon him, one must burn a specific collection of perfumes. Art: Eve Harms CC BY 3.0

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Demon costumes from the Nuremberg’s Schembart Carnival. The carnival was popular in the 15th century, with its parade of elaborate costumes and huge ships on runners, known as “Hells.” It ended after 90 years following a famous preacher’s complaint. From Schempart Buech, 1590. Source: UCLA Library Digital Collections.

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Depictions of demons and the devil with extra faces, often on the groin, are common in medieval manuscripts. Some theorize that it represents their spiritual corruption, by emphasizing the senses that focus on the material world, others think it’s merely to make them monstrous.

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The Compendium Of Demonology and Magic is a book full of bestiary illustrations and magical diagrams, written in German and Latin. It’s title page has the warning “Don’t Touch Me” and the year 1057, but it’s been dated to 1775. Likely the book was created to sell to collectors.⠀

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Ezequiel or Chazaqiel is one of the fallen Watcher Angels, class of angels meant to be sentinels or messengers of Yahweh. He taught forbidden knowledge to humans, including how to identify omens the clouds. He was also known to lust after women. ⠀

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