|“||You demons. You think you're something special, but you're just spirits -- twisted, perverted, evil spirits, but end of the day, you're nothing but ghosts with an ego.||”|
Demons are malevolent spirits that are the direct opposites to angels. They are created from human souls that have endured extensive torture in Hell by Alastair and other demons. In this process, they become corrupted, extremely evil, and also very powerful. Similar to Angels, they require a vessel to walk the Earth, though they are able to roam in their smoke form. The species as a whole functions as the series' primary antagonists and are the most recurring supernatural creatures in the series.
|“||They don't want anything, just death and destruction for its own sake.||”|
— Dean, describing demons
Demons are the result of human souls going to Hell and being tortured until no humanity is left in them, thus turning into demons - dark, malicious spirits that revel in pain, chaos, and death. According to Ruby, most demons forget what it means to be human. Some have even forgotten that they were once human. In general, demons engage in torture and destruction because it is fun or to avoid being tortured themselves. Some demons, however, are true believers in Lucifer's agenda to "cleanse" Earth, and actually consider themselves morally superior to humans.
There are many ways of becoming a demon, from making a deal with a Crossroad Demon, to being a witch, and making a deal with another demon. They manifest on Earth in the form of a long, slender cloud of black smoke. Crowley appears as the only exception, appearing as a blood-red cloud. Their true forms have not been shown onscreen, however Dean has seen their true forms, before he was taken to Hell. He says they look horrible even going as far to call Ruby "one ugly broad."
Once a soul becomes a demon, it gains the basic demonic powers (possession, superhuman strength, etc.) and from there, it can work its way up the ladder to positions of greater authority and power within Hell. Often when a demon has used its powers, they leave a trace of sulfur in the nearby space, or if on a person, around the victim. This can give away the demon's presence, indicating to hunters that they are hunting a demon. Very powerful demons leave much more sulfur than average, as evidenced when Azazel kidnapped Sam. Some demons are sent back to Earth to accomplish certain tasks, such as causing disasters, spreading diseases, assassinating hunters, or manipulating people into committing crimes that will get them sent to Hell. To do this, they have to take a vessel or "meatsuit" in order to physically exist. While nearly all demons desire to escape Hell any chance they get, some demons actually prefer Hell, like Alastair, and even have never left Hell after becoming a demon like Belphegor.
When they possess humans, they usually enter through their mouths. On one occasion, a demon entered a human via the eyes (as seen in the episode Phantom Traveler). Possessed humans often look exactly the same as they did before possession, the only noticeable change being that their eyes will sometimes change color (black, red, white, grey, or yellow depending on the demon possessing them). Demon possession also causes a chemical change in the circulatory system of the host; demon blood is known to be a unique serum and has certain attributes when ingested. Whenever they use their powers, they leave a trace of sulfur in the form of yellow dust. Angels and other supernatural beings can see the true faces of demons underneath their vessels.
Often under possession the human begins speaking and acting like the demon would. Upon exorcism the human - if they survived - retains no memory of their time during possession (unless they have been "awake" during possession, in which case the time of possession is a nightmare for them). The possessed humans also gain the powers of whichever demon is possessing them. Unlike angels, whose possession of a human vessel has to be with the vessel's consent, demons forcibly possess humans. People suffering from stress, fear or panic can be vulnerable to demonic possession. Demons abhor the name of God (Christo), and will flinch and reveal the vessels black eyes if it hears the word.
Demons apparently cannot leave a host body if they are gagged by an encrypted gag; Sam and Dean make use of this tactic against the Phantom Traveler via blindsiding it and taping its mouth shut, while both Meg and Ruby have been gagged while undergoing torture to prevent them from fleeing their hosts.
Demons have no quarrel with killing or torturing their own kind to achieve their goals. Tom, for example, tested the fake Colt by shooting his demonic "sister" Meg. When pitted against other demons due to their individual goals, Ruby, Crowley, and Meg herself have killed their own kind without pause or remorse. High-ranking demons will casually sacrifice their underlings without hesitation. At the same time, though, some demons forge bonds with their siblings. Azazel, for example, referred to Meg and Tom as his "children" and was angered when Sam and Dean exorcised Meg and killed Tom (Devil's Trap).
|“||My soul did a stint in Hell, where it became demonized. Then I had to possess another person so I could traffic with the living.||”|
It is revealed that demons, although being tortured and twisted human souls, can be cured. Father Max Thompson, a member of Men of Letters, tried to find this cure, having made several experiments, but always ending with the demons' escape. Finally, he found that it is necessary to perform it on sacred ground and use purified blood to heal a demon. He injected his own purified blood into the demon hourly eight times and after the eighth he recited the exorcism achieving the cure. Sam later used this cure successfully on Dean.
Like angels, demons tend to dress in formal wear while possessing a human, wearing dark suits in contrast to the lighter colored suits worn by angels. Some demons prefer whatever outfit the human was wearing. A notable exception is Crowley, who despises anything other than a well-tailored, dry-cleaned suit. However, demons such as Meg, Ruby and Duke prefer leather jackets. Certain crossroads demons, especially ones in female vessels, wear appealing outfits to appease their clients.
Although demons are born from twisted and tortured souls and are notorious for their vicious nature, demons under Crowley tend to act much like regular humans in that they operate in a business-like fashion and rarely exhibit unrestrained behavior. One demon explained that "You can be damned and a conscientious worker." A majority of the demons do not recall their time as a human.
Some demons also emit demonic omens in their presence. They can range from electronic failure to cattle deaths.
It is revealed by The Shadow in the Season 13 episode "The Big Empty" that all demons go to a dimension called The Empty when they die. Once there, they slumber for eternity along with angels who are also sent to the dimension.
Types of Demons
White-eyed demons are ancient demons, Lilith being the oldest of the demon kind. They're terrifyingly powerful and they rank the highest in the hierarchy of Hell acting as the demonic chiefs of staff of some sorts according to the writers. They inspire fear in their subordinates as all other demons seem to be terrified of them. Being as powerful as they are, they were resistant to many demonic weaknesses. They were even capable of holding their own against regular angels. So far, the only known demons of this type are Lilith and Alastair.
The yellow-eyed demons are the Princes of Hell, the first generation of demons created after Lilith and the rightful rulers of Hell. The four Princes are Azazel, Ramiel, Asmodeus and Dagon. Besides having a unique durability threshold and advanced telekinesis, Azazel could manipulate fire, control dreams, make electrical devices go haywire, and could even possess reapers. The initial leader of the demon army, Azazel was the designer of the master plan to free Lucifer from Hell. He was impervious to holy water and most other conventional defenses against demons, but was finally killed by the Colt. Ramiel proved invulnerable to the demon-killing knife and an angel blade and only showed vulnerability to the Lance of Michael. Currently, only Asmodeus is alive after the Winchesters killed Azazel and Ramiel and Castiel killed Dagon with the help of the Nephilim Jack. Asmodeus was later killed by the archangel Gabriel, leaving the Princes of Hell extinct.
Knights of Hell are very powerful demons, said to be some of the first demons; handpicked by Lucifer himself, they were trained by Cain, the Father of Murder and himself the first Knight. Legend among Men of Letters had it that the archangels have destroyed all but one, but in truth Cain himself killed them. Knights possess a number of abilities not seen from other types of demons. They are also nearly invulnerable, being immune to many defenses against demons, including exorcism rites and even the demon-killing knife. The only weapon that can kill one is the First Blade. With Abaddon's death and Dean being cured, Cain was the only Knight left until Dean ended him after Cain began killing again and leaving the Knights of Hell extinct.
Red-eyed demons, more called Crossroads Demons, are one level higher than black-eyed demons, and have more powerful abilities, such as teleportation and deal making. Since red-eyed demons have the ability to teleport, they are usually stationed as crossroad demons, so they can teleport to the crossroads without having to be forcefully summoned. As crossroads demons, they make deals with humans, granting them one wish in exchange for their soul. In a period of time, normally ten years, a hellhound will be sent after the deal maker and drag them to Hell, where they will become a demon. While stationed as crossroad demons, red-eyed demons generally possess attractive females, presumably to attract men to make a deal. If favored by the Ruler of Hell, or another higher demon, red-eyed demons can be promoted from a crossroads demon to a higher position.
The most common and standard class of demons on the show, black-eyed demons possess only basic powers, such as possession, super strength and telekinesis. Effective defenses against these demons include holy water, salt, iron, a Devil's Trap, etc. Stronger black-eyed demons, such as Meg or the Seven Deadly Sins, have more resistance such as not being barred from entering hallowed ground and one demon, Astaroth, is shown to have the ability of causing internal bleeding and extensive magical knowledge, such as when she recites a ritual to exorcise Ruby from her body. Astaroth was also able to stop a bullet shot from the Colt in mid-air. Although the Knights of Hell are black eyed demons, they are far more powerful and possess much greater abilities.
The Acheri are a type of demon that can materialize their own form without the need of the use of a vessel, generally, if not always, taking the form of little girls. They can be summoned and controlled.
Cambions are demon/human hybrids, which are created when a demon reproduces with a female human virgin, by using said human as a vessel. Jesse Turner is the only known cambion. Their powers far exceed that of any demon and grow to much greater levels when Lucifer is out of his cage.
The Daeva are a type of demon, that can materialize their own form to that of a shadow which can be summoned and employed by other demons similar to hellhound.
Tempter Demons are a type of demon that exist in an alternate reality. They have horns and sharp teeth.
- The multicolored-eyed demon, Samhain, the origin of Halloween, who can be summoned through three blood sacrifices every 600 years.
- The Seven Deadly Sins, the physical embodiment's of the eponymous sins.
- The daeva, Zoroastrian shadow demons, who are sometimes used by other demons to attack targets, but are difficult to control, and can turn on the demon controlling them. They do not seem to require a host.
- Disaster Demons, a demon that causes disasters, a rare type, each causes a specific type of disasters, both natural or man made as on the episode Phantom Traveler (causing airplane crashes). They are also quite unique, as their form on Earth resembles insects more than smoke, they enter their victims through the eyes, and only the irises turn black when possessing a victim. They can also possess inanimate objects such as cars and planes.
- The Acheri, demons that appear as young girls with feline features. They do not seem to require a host.
- Dever/Reshef - Demon of plague and pestilence and the creator of the Croatoan Virus. May be one of the demons that causes disasters. "Dever" and "Reshef" are ancient Hebrew words fo "plague", metioned in the Old Testament.
- The cambion Jesse Turner, a boy born from a human woman while possessed by a demon, was meant to become the Antichrist, destined to help Lucifer not only destroy humanity, but also destroy the Host of Heaven. Lucifer's presence on Earth increased his powers tremendously. Even though he was still a child, he was powerful enough to turn Castiel into a toy figure. However, thanks to Sam and Dean's encouragement, Jesse rejected his destiny and went into hiding.
- Tempter Demons are a type of demon that exists in an Alternate Universe. They are the only known type of demon to possess horns.
- Green-eyed Demons, demons that were only mentioned one time, but never seen.
- Orange-eyed Demons (non-canon), a rare type of demon mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting, Bobby compared the behavior of these demons with those of the demon who possessed his wife, Karen.
- Moa'ah (non-canon), is a unique demonic breed of creature which is commonly found in Southern America. It's commonly found on land which supported massive carnage. According to Castiel, it was very common to be found on The Civil War battlefields where both sides (Union and Confederate) spilled their blood on fierce battles, but they somehow wiped out to the point it was no longer detected, even by the angels. It's very presence on a land is a signal of the Apocalypse.
- Belphegor a demon whose eye color is neither black or red.
- Dean's Crossroad Demon (deceased)
- Bela's Crossroad Demon
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Crowley (deceased)
- Bobby's Crossroad Demon (deceased)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Guy (unknown)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Grandma (exorcised)
- Snooki's Crossroad Demon (exorcised)
- Dar (unknown)
- Unnamed male (deceased)
- Guthrie (deceased)
- Duke (deceased)
- Jael (exorcised)
- Barthamus (deceased)
- Abaddon Loyalist (deceased)
- Abaddon's Demon Army (deceased)
- Abaddon's Demon Guards (deceased)
- Abaddon's Henchmen (unknown)
- Abaddon's protégé (exorcised)
- Abraxas (deceased)
- Abraxas' Friend (deceased)
- Alastair's Henchmen (two deceased, one exorcised, two unknown)
- Aldo (unknown)
- Amelia Novak demon (exorcised)
- Anthony (exorcised)
- Ardat (deceased)
- Asmodeus' Guard (deceased)
- Asmodeus' Messenger (exorcised)
- Asmodeus's Victims (deceased)
- Astaroth (deceased)
- Bar Attackers (deceased)
- Bar Demon (deceased)
- Barthamus' Minion (deceased)
- Bearded Demon (deceased)
- Blood Source Demons (deceased)
- Blue Earth Demons (eight deceased)
- Bobby Singer demon (deceased)
- Brady (deceased)
- Brandon Favors (unknown)
- Bunker Incursion Demons (deceased)
- Casey (deceased)
- Captured Demon (deceased)
- Captive Demon (exorcised)
- Castiel and Lucifer's Attackers (deceased)
- Castiel's Captive (deceased)
- Cecily (deceased)
- Channing's demon
- Claire's captors (deceased)
- Cole's Captive (unknown)
- Convenience Store Demons (two deceased and one alive)
- Cop Demon (deceased)
- Cowboy Demons (deceased)
- Crowley's Trusted Advisors (unknown)
- Crowley's Assassins (deceased)
- Crowley's Captors (deceased)
- Crowley's Lair Guards (one deceased)
- Crowley's Mansion Guards (deceased)
- Cindy McKellan's demon (deceased)
- Christian Campbell Demon (deceased)
- Demon Minion
- Dean's Captives (deceased)
- Del (deceased)
- Demon (The Bad Seed)
- Deputy Demon (unknown)
- Dermott Culp's demon (deceased)
- Dipper (deceased)
- Drew Neely (deceased)
- Duane Tanner
- Documents Holder
- Eunis (deceased)
- Ellsworth (deceased)
- Ellsworth's Hunters (deceased)
- Executed Demon (deceased)
- Executioner Demon
- Famine's Soul Carrier (deceased)
- Famine's Servants (exorcised)
- Father Gil (deceased)
- FBI Demon (exorcised)
- First Demon Nanny (deceased)
- Gerald (deceased)
- Grab (deceased)
- Gregor (deceased)
- Gregor's Henchmen (deceased)
- Gordon's Captive (exorcised)
- Harrington (deceased)
- Hell Dungeon Guards (deceased)
- Humboldt Hotel Guard (deceased)
- Hotel Assassins (deceased)
- Iowa Factory Guards (deceased)
- Jackson (deceased)
- Jason (deceased)
- Jeffrey's Demon (exorcised)
- Julia Wright's demon (exorcised)
- Jervis (deceased)
- Karen Singer demon (exorcised)
- Kevin's Demon Guards (deceased)
- Kipling (deceased)
- Kipling's Henchmen (two deceased, three alive, one presumably deceased, four unknown)
- Linda's Attacker (deceased)
- Lilith's Assassins (two deceased, one exorcised)
- Lilith's Entourage (deceased)
- Lucifer's Crowley Hunters
- Lucifer's Guards (deceased)
- Lucifer Loyalists (deceased)
- Lisa and Ben's Captors (five deceased, three alive)
- Lisa Braeden demon (exorcised)
- Malfayan (deceased)
- Marco (deceased)
- Marcus (deceased)
- Martin Hayward (unknown)
- Meg and Kevin's Demon Kidnappers
- Meg (deceased)
- Meg's Captors (deceased)
- Meg's Minion (deceased)
- Merrick (unknown)
- Messenger Demon (deceased)
- Monster Prison Guards (deceased)
- Mr. Richie (deceased)
- Muffin's Owner (unknown)
- Nebbishy Demon
- Nebraska Factory Guards (deceased)
- Nick's Henchmen (one deceased, one unknown)
- Niveus Guard (deceased)
- Niveus Warehouse Guards (deceased)
- Nora's demon (exorcised)
- Nun Demons (exorcised)
- Old Woman demon
- Orderly Demon
- Pestilence's assistant (deceased)
- Peter Kent demon (cured)
- Pimp Demon (deceased)
- Rachel Nave (deceased)
- Ramiel's Protector (deceased)
- Raul (deceased)
- Red (unknown)
- Rodger's demon (deceased)
- Rodger's wife's demon
- Rosco (deceased)
- Rosco's Partner (deceased)
- Ruby (deceased)
- Sam Winchester imposter (deceased)
- Second Demon Nanny (deceased)
- Siege Demons (deceased)
- Sierra (deceased)
- Simmons (deceased)
- Smitty (unknown)
- Spevak (deceased)
- Suicidal Demon (deceased)
- Tablet Hunters (deceased)
- Thomas (deceased)
- Tom (deceased)
- Tom Wepram's demon (deceased)
- Trucker Demon
- Trish (unknown)
- Two-Faced Demon
- Viggo (deceased)
- Waitress (exorcised)
- Wally's Attacker (deceased)
- Winchester imposters (unknown)
- Wingman Demon (unknown)
Unknown Demon Type
- Belphegor (deceased)
- Disaster Demon (exorcised)
- Green-eyed Demons (mentioned only)
- Samhain (exorcised)
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Succubi (mentioned only)
- Tempter Demons
- Azazel (Anime Series) (angel turned demon, deceased)
- Agrat Bat Mahlat (unseen; tie-in Novels only)
- Belial (tie-in Novels only)
- Eisheth (tie-in Novels only)
- Gayle's Demon (Anime Series)
- H (tie-in Novels only)
- Judas Iscariot (tie-in Novels only)
- Meg's Demon (Anime Series) (deceased)
- Moa'ah (tie-in Novels only)
- Orange-eyed Demons (mentioned in Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting)
- The Heart of the Dragon (Demon) (tie-in Novels only)
As the primary antagonist of the series, Demons, along with Angels, are the most recurring supernatural creatures in the series, appearing in a total of over 100 episodes.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- In My Time of Dying
- Everybody Loves a Clown (mentioned only)
- Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (mentioned only)
- Simon Said (mentioned only)
- Crossroad Blues (first appearance of a Crossroad Demon)
- Hunted (offscreen)
- Born Under A Bad Sign
- All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1 (first appearance of an Acheri)
- All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 2
- Season 3
- The Magnificent Seven (first appearance of the Seven Deadly Sins)
- The Kids Are Alright
- Bad Day at Black Rock (mentioned only)
- Sin City (first mention of a Succubi)
- Bedtime Stories
- Malleus Maleficarum
- Dream A Little Dream Of Me (in a dream)
- Jus In Bello (first appearance of a White-eyed Demon)
- Long-Distance Call (mentioned only)
- Time Is On My Side
- No Rest For The Wicked
- Season 4
- Lazarus Rising
- Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester
- In The Beginning
- Yellow Fever (hallucination)
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
- Heaven and Hell
- Criss Angel Is A Douchebag
- After School Special (mentioned only)
- Sex and Violence (voice only)
- Death Takes A Holiday
- On The Head Of A Pin
- The Monster at the End of This Book
- The Rapture
- When the Levee Breaks
- Lucifer Rising
- Season 5
- Sympathy for the Devil
- Good God, Y'all (hallucinations)
- Free To Be You and Me (offscreen)
- Fallen Idols (mentioned only)
- I Believe The Children Are Our Future (first appearance of a Cambion)
- Changing Channels (mentioned only)
- The Real Ghostbusters (mentioned only)
- Abandon All Hope...
- Sam, Interrupted (mentioned only)
- Swap Meat
- The Song Remains the Same (mentioned only)
- My Bloody Valentine
- Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (mentioned only)
- Dark Side of the Moon (illusion)
- 99 Problems
- Point of No Return (mentioned only)
- Hammer of the Gods (mentioned only)
- The Devil You Know
- Two Minutes to Midnight
- Swan Song
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Keep Calm and Carry On
- Mamma Mia
- The Foundry
- Celebrating The Life Of Asa Fox
- Rock Never Dies
- First Blood
- Stuck in the Middle (With You)
- Family Feud
- Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
- The British Invasion
- The Future
- There's Something About Mary
- All Along the Watchtower (first appearance of Tempter Demons)
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Season 15
- Supernatural: The Animation (non-canon )
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- As mentioned in The Essential Supernatural, White-eyed Demons serve as Lucifer's demon chiefs of staff and yellow-eyed demons as demon army generals. However, Azazel, Alastair and Lilith died before Lucifer could break out of the cage. And the princes of hell, like the knights of hell, were long thought dead, and lost their interest in hell and their belief in Lucifer.
- Belphegor is the only known eyeless demon whose eye color was not revealed. Besides Cain, he is one of the two major demons whose eye color remains unknown.
- Of all the demons that appeared in the series, Belphegor is the only low-tier demon that is neither a Black-eyed or Red-eyed Demon.
- The first demon ever to appear (a disaster demon in Phantom Traveler) was notably different from the other demons that would later appear. This was the result of several retcons by the writer as they developed the demon lore.
- Crowley's true form took on a reddish smoke, as opposed to the usual black color.
- In Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting, Samhain was described as a blue-eyed demon (which is partly true, since his irises are very light blue).
- Demons are the main antagonists of the show, and the most recurring one. Up to date four main villains have been demons, specifically Azazel, Lilith, Crowley and Abaddon. Likewise three secondary villains have also been demons, specifically Meg, Alastair and Ruby.
- In Frontierland, Samuel Colt kills two demons who, upon death, flash blue opposed to the regular red-orange. It is never explained how the demons differed from others. Azazel's demonic son, Tom, also shared this trait when he was killed by the Colt.
- In Taxi Driver, it is implied that demons do not need vessels to appear human while in Hell, as one on-screen demon (and many more off-screen) were able to appear as Sam without possessing him.
- It appears that the King of Hell can turn demons to dust with just a snap of his fingers, as Crowley did to the Wingman Demon. Whether this destroys the demon or merely banishes it back to Hell is unknown but it appears similar to Molecular Combustion which Lucifer uses to turn demons to dust. However, Crowley always relied on weapons to kill demons both before and after this.
- In the episode The Chitters, it was revealed that Green-eyed Demons exist.
- Samhain and Ramiel are the only high-tier demons that appeared in just one episode.
- It has been shown on several occasions that most, if not all, monsters too are aware of the existence of demons; while the vast majority seem to fear demons greatly, the higher-tier monsters apparently do not.
- Initially, it was thought that demons cannot be resurrected. Azazel was seemingly resurrected at the beginning of Season 6, but this was just an illusion created by a Djinn. In The Big Empty, its revealed that both demons and angels go to the Empty where they eternally sleep, a place that only Castiel has ever returned from due to unique circumstances. However, in Proverbs 17:3, God resurrested Lilith, proving that demons can be resurrected.