Halloween is almost upon us. That’s right- Fright Night, the one night of the year when it’s OK to make your friends, family and neighbors shriek in fear and alarm- is just about here. There are parties with pumpkin flavored beer to attend, tons of cheap candy to consume, haunted houses and hayrides to go to and the whole gamut of spooky activities to choose from. There’s also no better time to take a look back at some seriously freaky devil and demon pics from the past.
There really are a whole host of infamous demons and devils out there ready to scare the hell out of you (see what I did there?) and keep you up nights drinking your chamomile tea and hiding under the sheets. There are devils from other cultures. There are demons from books, movies and TV shows. Yup, and there are even some pretty far out-there dudes who either thought they actually were demons or who were so evil everyone else thought they must have been one. In fact, there were so many pictures of seriously scary demons and devils to choose from that we had a hard time narrowing it down to just 15 of them. Fortunately, these 15 represent the biggest, baddest and most scary ones of the bunch and that’s no small trick.
So if you think you’ve seen enough devils and demons in your life, you came to the wrong place. But if you think you’ve seen enough devils and demons before and they don’t scare you anymore, think again. This list of the fifteen freakiest demon pictures, both real and imagined, will certainly change your mind. You’re welcome.
15. The Balrog
We start off with a badass demon from mythology. But not from the mythology you might think, that of the ancient Greeks or Romans or even Egyptians. No, this demon comes from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, who invented the Balrog (and a whole host of other imaginary creatures) for his epic fantasy book trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. When director Peter Jackson adapted the books to the screen he made sure to make the Balrog as visually scary as he possibly could. After all, this is the demon that killed Gandalf. Everyone loves Gandalf! Anyway, look at this guy- would you want to meet that in a dark alley? I think not.
Fox’s series Lucifer, based on the graphic novels of the same name, has quite the title character. He’s charming, he’s dashing and the ladies all love him (well except for the one lady he likes, of course). He owns the coolest nightclub in L.A., he stays up all night drinking (and no hangover for this guy either- no way), parties with supermodels and starlets, and in general behaves like a spoiled bad boy. Little does anyone know he’s actually the biggest bad boy out there- Lucifer, the King of Hell. Until, of course, he gets P.O’d and turns on his scary face. There’s no question then just who exactly he is and no amount of booze is going to drink that image away.
I get it- why this dude? David Boreanaz, for the most part, played Angel as a good guy, a slightly misunderstood, totally hot demonic vampire who was just a little bit different than your average devil-type. It’s the whole shtick that made his character work in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. That is until, like most of the other spawn on this list, he got angry. Angry demons usually look pretty freaky and this guy is no exception. Who cares if he’s technically a vampire who often fought actual demons from hell? He’s more than scary enough for this list.
There’s a reason The Exorcist is just about the most famous horror movie in history and no, it’s not the projectile vomiting pea soup scene, as gross as that is. That scene is just a small part of the whole freaky “Linda Blair is horribly possessed by the devil” experience that the movie offers. Apparently, the demon Blair’s character Regan was possessed by was called Pazuzu and had its origins in ancient Babylon. Too bad we couldn’t have left it there where it belonged- this dude is seriously scary and seeing him first appear in control of a sweet little girl is still one of the most shocking scenes in movie history.
Clowns suck. Evil clowns suck even more. Just ask every schoolkid in America nowadays; you know, the kids who are afraid to go to school because some idiots think it’s funny to hang around schoolyards dressed as clowns and freak out kids. But you know what kind of clowns really, really suck? Ones invented by Stephen King, that’s who. Take “It” for example, the devil-clown in King’s book (and movie, and remake) who liked to kill children and lived under a sewer grate. Some of us are still freaked out by this guy and want no part of the reboot. Unless he’s going after asshats who dress like clowns, of course.
10. Evil Dead Witch
Demons who come from weird, unholy books of the dead and live in the basements of abandoned cabins in the woods are usually the types of demons I like to avoid. You know, apart from all the other perfectly normal demons on this list. Fortunately for horror fans everywhere, Bruce Campbell has no qualms about hanging out with nasty, scabby, seriously messed-up looking old lady demon-witches and showing them his chainsaw, if you know what I mean. I’ll stay away, thank you very much. And I’m not going on any trips to the forest any time soon.
The Knights Templar were some serious sword-carrying badasses no matter how you slice it (did you catch what I did there?). Even if you don’t believe every conspiracy theory ever written about them (they figure prominently in both National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code, for starters), they still have a reputation for ruthlessness and efficiency that started way back during the Crusades. That’s around the same time that this hellish-looking goat-head devil first reared his ugly head in the Templar history. Who knows if they really worshipped some nasty, feral goat-head devil. All I know is that, if my peeps groveled in front of some barnyard monstrosity, I’d go find a new club to join. This guy just looks wrong. By the way- that’s a real statue from a real temple. Shiver.
If you’ve never seen the Hellraiser movies based on the Clive Barker books, and you’re like me; by which I mean, you get totally freaked out by horror movie dudes, then steer clear of good ol’ Pinhead and his friends. I mean, the guy’s proper name is “Hell Priest,” after all. His only function is to harvest human souls. He does this in a quiet, dignified manner, which, if you ask me, is way more messed up than some psycho gibbering away at you. Just look at this guy- would you want to wake up and see that standing by your bedside? Yeah, I thought so.
7. The Shaker-Heads
I’m not really sure where these demons from the movie Jacob’s Ladder are supposed to come from or quite what they represent but if their job is to scare people sh**less they’ve succeeded. I’ve only ever seen this movie once, years ago, but that scene in the hospital where Tim Robbins is strapped to a gurney and the shaker-heads keep doing their thing is still with me. Apparently there’s a horror term for this sort of effect upon people- it’s called “Nightmare Fuel” and I’ve got it in spades. I can’t even get paint mixed at the hardware store without thinking about them.
It’s every boy’s dream isn’t it, to live on a desert island with only your friends, no adults, and spend your days eating bananas and playing a sort of endless Capture the Flag game? That’s pretty much what you get with Lord of the Flies, the movie based upon William Golding’s book (you know, the one that’s required reading in every 7th grade English class). That is, until the devil (in this case old standby demon Beelzebub from the Bible) decides to show up and make the game a little bit more serious. You know, by wearing the gory dead head of a pig and siccing an entire tribe of boys upon other, weaker boys. This is no Peter Pan setting, that’s for damn sure. Look at that thing- would you go anywhere near it? In case you hadn’t figured it out, “Lord of the Flies” is Beelzebub’s nickname. Nice.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Fallen with Denzel Washington as the one honest cop left who hasn’t been “infected” by the demon Azazel (or has he been?) then you know precisely where I’m going here. Sure, Denzel seems to be the good cop and, at first, John Goodman seems like a nice guy too, doesn’t he? But soon enough you’re not quite sure who to trust- anyone could be Azazel. Anyone. Maybe that’s why Denzel looks so quietly freaked here- he has no clue who the demon is. He doesn’t even know if he’s the demon. We could be looking at Azazel in this picture and not know it! Anyway, I know you wouldn’t want Goodman in full-on demon-possessed mode sitting next to you on the bus or train. Unless it’s actually Washington you should be worried about. I’m not telling- too freaky.
4. Angru Mainyu
There are a lot of devils out there in ancient history- the Persians in particular seem to have a bunch of them. I chose this guy because, well, c’mon- look at him. He’s eating a freakin’ horse! This demon was considered the “adversary,” of the “good” God, Spenta Mainyu, and was the bringer of death. Sound familiar? He’s also a boss in both Final Fantasy XI and World of Darkness, for whatever that’s worth. All I know is that, if I were an ancient Persian, I would not want to see this guy carved into the city walls every time I went for my evening constitutional.
3. Charles Manson
Alright, here’s a real devil for you. Or at least old Charles thought he was a devil. He was even once featured in a documentary about real- life Satans. We all know Charles Manson; his “family” is infamous for their murder spree that Charles instigated in hopes of starting a Race War. The cult of Manson is still going strong today. If you ask me, the whole Charles Manson thing is pretty stupid- the guy’s just another criminal and cult leader. On the other hand, that crazed stare and swastika-scarred forehead are pretty creepy.
Unlike Manson, this guy didn’t think he was the devil, but he pretty much really was- 6 million dead Jews will give a guy that title. Just one look at him and you can tell there’s something off with him- the mustache gives it away. All joking aside though, it’s not necessarily the images of Hitler himself that should scare you, it’s the countless millions of images of the death, destruction, and devastation he visited upon most of the world by starting WWII that should make you shiver. Evil incarnate indeed.
1. The Devil
And then there’s Satan himself. The Great Dragon. Lucifer. Old Scratch. The Devil. By whatever name you know the Master of Hell (and holy geez, does this dude have a lot of nicknames), you know he just absolutely freaks you out. We’re all used to his shtick- the fire and brimstone, the pitchfork, the cloven hooves and forked tail standing in a sea of flame- but that doesn’t make him any less scary. Yeah, he’s certainly on this list and he deserves top billing. I wouldn’t want to leave him off anyway- he might get offended and we don’t need that. There are so many horrific images of Satan out there from every possible kind of media but we’ll stick with a classic; the character Darkness from the movie Legend. I really don’t want to see that guy again anytime soon.