Getting possessed by a demon sounds horrible—all that contortionism probably leads to awful back problems. But some demonic possessions aren’t all that bad. A possession doesn’t have to be all spooky voices, matted hair and projectile vomiting, after all. Here are the five best and five worst demons to be possessed by.
Aquiel is a demon who presides over Sundays, and because he’s a demon in Christian mythology, he does everything he can to destroy and degrade the practice of keeping the Sabbath holy. That doesn’t sound too bad. But consider what kind of damage he could do if he possessed the wrong person. That’s right, this demon possesses one senator, and suddenly the entire state of Wisconsin has the “right” to work seven days a week without a single day off. Just sayin’.
Many of the demons on this list are first mentioned in the Great Grimoire of Honorius. Who was Honorius? Historians aren’t sure, but they think that he was Honorius III, who was the Pope from 1216 to 1227. Whether he wrote the book or not, Honorius is famous among popes for deliberately doing ceremonies to summon demons so he could then banish the demons back down to hell. Apparently, he wanted to be ready to fight Satan at any time, and the demons were his sparring partners. Surgat, of all of these, earns his place on the scary list because he can’t be shaken. He’s described in Honorius-the-Professional-Demon-Ejector’s book with one sentence: “Surgat is he who opens all locks.”
Agares can be a woman or a man. If the demon is a man, the man is old and riding a crocodile. If the demon is a woman, she’s young and angelically beautiful—because even demons have messed up double standards when it comes to beauty. A surprising amount of demons are teachers; they instruct those they visit or possess, and give them knowledge and power, which is often why humans let them in. The good news is a short time with Agares will give you knowledge of every language in the world. The bad news is that he or she will only teach you the foulest and most offensive words. And if you think that’s cool, remember that foul words include racial and ethnic slurs. So you’ll be both educated and vile.
Oh, and Agares also forces people who have left their homes to return. I guess that works because once you’ve trashed your friendships, got fired from your job, and have a fight with your landlord, the only place you can go is home to your parents.
Ronove is also a teacher, and reportedly instructs the person he inhabits about rhetoric and the art of insinuating themselves into other people’s good graces. He’s the demon who wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People. That would make him horrible enough, but he’s also the “taker of old souls.” Basically, anyone who is older and looking a little poorly is going with Ronove when he decides to leave. So learn your rhetoric, but don’t look at any old relatives, friends, or pets. (Yeah. He even kills pets.)
Could we top this list with anything but the Big Bad? The devil is so overexposed by movies that he’s lost a lot of his scariness. Let’s get some of that back with a tale of the last “confirmed” time that the devil came down to
It started in the early 1600s, when a young nun named Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud wasn’t having a good time. She began having fits, shouting obscenities, and making claims that she had engaged in lewd sexual acts with demons and witches. It was decided that she was possessed by none other than Satan himself. The possession spread through the nunnery, with another woman, Louise Capeau, suffering “attacks” as vicious as Madeleine’s. The situation got worse and worse, and so, to calm everything down, they brought in Sebastian Michaeli,the local Grand Inquisitor.
Amazingly, this didn’t drive out Satan, but it did lead the girls to accuse a priest who had acted as counselor to Madeleine when she’d first started acting strangely of being a witch and inciting her, through his witchcraft and devil worship, into committing lewd acts. The priest denied everything. The Inquisitor started a multi-year campaign against the priest, helped by the nuns, who mimed the sex acts they had committed with the priest in front of both him and the inquisitor. The priest, after being baited, said sarcastically that if he were a witch he would give his soul to the devil. Sarcasm is lost on the Inquisition, and the priest was arrested, tortured, confessed, recanted, was tortured some more, confessed again, was tortured a little more, and then burned. The girls went on to get another few people burned at the stake before they were accused of witchcraft themselves, and were imprisoned.
Much of this story is diabolical. There are to things to be learned from it: Try not to get possessed by the devil, but if you are, keep it to yourself.
Look, we can’t pretend we’re not a little star struck. Azazel, as a concept, goes way back. The term “scapegoat” refers to the idea that all of a community’s sins could be symbolically transferred to a goat, and the goat could be sent off into the wilderness. Azazel was what the goat was being sent off to meet. Some people think he’s a mistranslation and that “azazel” works out to “harsh and stony ground.” Some people think he was the devil, and not just a demon.
But whatever he was, today he’s a star. He’s been in TV shows like Supernatural. He’s been in comic books like Sandman. He’s been in movies like Fallen. He’s all over the place. Can you imagine how much fun it would be to sit down possessed by Azazel and get his opinion on what pop culture has to say about Azazel?
There’s not much information on Ben Tamalion, a demon who appears in Jewish mythology. He possesses a princess. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai walks up to the princess and says, “Ben Tamalion, go! Ben Tamalion, go!” Ben Tamalion goes. How did the princess’s father, a mighty emperor, know to get this particular rabbi? The princess was calling the rabbi’s name while she was possessed. After she was cured, her father allowed the anti-Jewish laws in his books to be torn up.
Ben Tamalion has you say the name of the person who can drive him out, leaves your body faster than a case of pink eye, and his only lingering after-effect is a marked decrease of antisemitism. You might want to get possessed by this demon just for the experience.
Andras gets in your head and gives you advice on how to kill people. Now, I’m not going to say that’s good.... but I’m not going to say it’s not useful. Also, in corporeal form, Andras has the head of an owl, and I like owls.
Asmodeus is the demon of carnal desire, so, even if the possession gets bad, you’ll have some great stories to tell afterwards. To be honest, these days a person possessed by a lust demon should fit right in. Enjoy the ride!
However, there is a down side to unbridled lust. Asmodeus was a jealous demon. When he became enamored of one woman, he waited until her wedding night and slew her husband before they could consummate the marriage. (To be fair, the fact that seven husbands in a row died this way shows that the woman had to have been pretty hot.) Homicidal tendencies aren’t as well-tolerated as lust, so possession by Asmodeus would be a problem if he wasn’t almost tragically easy to defeat. The eighth husband put some fish guts on hot coals, and the smoke alarmed Asmodeus so greatly that he fled to another country. Asmodeus also hates water and birds, because they both remind him of God. When you want out of the possession, take a dip in the ocean, chase some seagulls, and do some fishing, and your demon is a thing of the past.
Okay, this guy is awesome. First of all, his sacrificial offering is excrement, so it’s easy to summon him. Also, he’s a famous literary figure—he stars in the 1690 play by John Wilson entitled, Belphegor, or The Marriage of the Devil. When demons get sick of hearing from the condemned men in hell that the only reason they’re in hell is because their wives sent them there, Belphegor goes topside to prove that there is such thing as happiness in marriage and that the damned men were just weak and sinful. He fails, and has to wander the earth, trying to find a happy marriage.
Here’s the thing: for some reason, Satan named him the ambassador to France. And for some other reason, he’s strongest in April. That means that, if you get possessed by him, you should take April off and travel to the capital of France so he can be an ambassador. Do you know how nice April in Paris is? It’s so nice that there is a song called “April in Paris.” And Belphegor is a demon of sloth. So when you’re on your spring vacation in Paris, you spend your time relaxing, and occasionally trying to make a happy marriage. That’s not a possession, that’s a chick-lit novel.