The Namahage Sedo Festival is a folk festival in the Oga Pennisula of Japan, held on New Year’s Eve. The festival welcomes demons for a good harvest. People wearing demon masks and straw clothing visit houses, only leaving when given rice cakes and sake. ⠀
Ammit or Ammut is an Egyptian demon, who holds the titles “Devourer of the Dead” and “Eater of Hearts”. If Anubis determined a deceased’s heart was impure, Ammit would devour it, causing the soul to be restless forever. She was also known to cast hearts into a lake of fire.⠀
Demonic imagery from different books of hours. A Book of Hours was a type of Christian book popular in the Middle Ages that contained prayers, psalms, hymns and lessons that were meant to be read at certain hours of the day, everyday.
Depiction of the four humors, the chemical systems believed to regulate human behaviors. According to Hippocrates, who is credited as the first to apply the principle to medicine, the humors were blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Image: Bartholomaeus Anglicus, mid-15thC
After witnessing a mesmerist induce a trance, Edgar Allan Poe included it in his story The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. In the tale, a dying man is put into a trance and able to speak and move his “swollen black tongue” after death. The tale was written like a medical case study.
At the time, Poe was a journalist and the story was taken as a news report, never being explicitly presented as fiction. It was even reprinted in London’s Sunday Times with the headline: Mesmerism in America: Astounding and Horrifying Narrative, helping legitimize and popularize mesmerism.
Source is Occult America by Mitch Horowitz. It’s a fantastic read, and highly recommended!
In the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, the hero Rama and his army of monkey and bears fight and slay many demons, including the demon king Ravana, who had 10 heads and 20 arms. The Ramayana (Tales of Rama; The Freer Ramayana), Volume 2, 1597 ⠀
Hepoth is demon named in The Keys of Solomon that has the power to make any person seem to appear, even if they are a great distance away. He’s servant to the spirit Sirachi, who serves under Lucifer. Composite art by Eve Harms
Though jinn are normally thought of spirits of the desert, some types have been found lurking in the forest too. In the forests of Yemen, one might come across the nisnas or nasnas, a jinn that resembles a man split in half. Reportedly, their flesh tastes sweet.
Grilandas inventum libri by Paolo Grillandi is a series of 16th century diagrams that tied aspects of the human body to astrology. The Italian author wrote seminal books on witchcraft and demonology and was a papal judge in witch trails.⠀
Alleborith: a demon from The Testament of Solomon. While most demons have many powers to inflict horrid ills upon humans, Alleborith has only one: he can cause people to choke on fish bones. No angel is assigned to banish him, perhaps because of how minor & specific his power is. Art by Eve Harms⠀
Gamigin is a marquis who rules thirty legions of lesser demons. With his necromantic powers, he revives the souls of the dead who were drowned at sea or stuck in purgatory. The souls appear into airy, non-physical bodies, where they can be questioned. ⠀