Demonology is the study of demons. This resource discusses demon history, creation, characteristics, types, and specific examples of demons who - when not possessing humans - appear as smoke.
Creation & Culture
Demon Sunday school story. God prefers humans to angels. Lucifer gets jealous and then he gets creative. And he twists and tempts a human soul into the very first demon as a 'screw you' to God. It's what got him locked up in the first place.
The first demon was created by Lucifer, an archangel, after God banished him from Heaven for refusing to revere humans. In revenge, he took a human woman - Lilith - and stripped away her humanity to make her the first demon. For this offense, God commanded Michael to imprison Lucifer in a cage in Hell.
Demons have a belief system analogous to humans, according to the demon Casey, but while humans believe in God as their higher power, demons view Lucifer as theirs. No demon had ever actually seen Lucifer according to Casey, at least until that point in the show's progression. If this is true, it would mean Lilith was turned into a demon without seeing her maker.
All demons were once originally humans, who become demonic when tortured in Hell until their humanity is lost. Prior to becoming demons, it is unclear on what criteria the human spirits are judged as being worthy of Hell, other than selling one's soul to a crossroads demon or being a witch.
According to Crowley, some demons live together in "nests."
The Hierarchy of Demons
- White-eyed demons - The demon chiefs of staff.
- Yellow-eyed demons - The demon army generals.
- Knights of Hell - Some of the first souls handpicked by Lucifer to become demons.
- Red-eyed demons - The demon deal-makers.
- Black-eyed demons - The soldiers, thugs, henchmen, minions.
Hell is like, um... Well, it's like Hell. Even for demons. It's a prison, made of bone and flesh and blood and fear. And you sent me back there.
Hell was created sometime after Lucifer's rebellion. It is a place where demons are produced from human souls after centuries of torture. Human souls can get sent to Hell after making deals or agreements with crossroads demons or other demons. Hellhounds hunt and then kill humans who made a demonic agreement and then the human's soul is sent to Hell. Black-eyed demons are constantly being created, and they occupy positions on Earth under the demon-favored term for their human shell - "meat-suits." Time itself is also altered in Hell, as 4 months on Earth is equivalent to 40 years in Hell.
The exact structure of Hell remains undefined, although Ruby reveals "there's a real fire in the pit, agonies you can't even imagine." Meg describes this place as "...a prison, made of bone and flesh and blood and fear." Dean is seen suspended from hooks embedded in him when his soul arrives in Hell. Angels can bypass Hell's defenses, enter and retrieve human souls, as Castiel and other angels laid siege to Hell to save Dean. Death can enter Hell and bring souls back to Earth, as shown when he retrieves Sam's soul from Lucifer's Cage. The King of Hell has limited access to Lucifer's Cage, as Crowley was able to raise Sam's body from the Cage after assuming command over Hell, but it is later revealed to be Castiel, who raised Sam's body from Perdition. There is also a portal in Purgatory that reapers use as aback door into Hell to retrieve souls. The part of Hell accessible through the portal, at least in 2013, takes the form of a dungeon.
Azazel was a significant leader among demons, directed as he was by Lucifer in the plans involving the Special Children, and the plot to release him from his prison. Following Azazel's death, Ruby and Lilith continued the plan until their deaths and Lucifer's release. After Lucifer's re-imprisonment, Crowley declares himself King of Hell.
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 usually do not have bodies of their own, except in the case of Acheri demons, who can "manifest" as human children. Other demons appear as black smoke in their incorporeal form. Their presence may leave traces of sulfur. They manifest by possessing humans, alive or recently deceased, via demonic possession.
Exorcism will drive the demon from its human host and return it to Hell. A possessed human may incur physical damage while the demon is present, including fatal injuries, but will survive until they are dispossessed. A high volume of dispossessed individuals die; Dean commented that demons seem to enjoy wearing out their meatsuits. Humans possessed by demons exhibit black, red, yellow or white eyes depending on the demon involved.
Demons' abilities and weaknesses vary depending on the apparent rank of the demon. Demons share many strengths and weaknesses with ghosts.
- Telepathy and telekinesis - Demons can read minds. Some can influence an object's movement with their minds.
- Superhuman strength and enhanced endurance - While hosting a demonic entity, a human's body can be made to perform extraordinary feats and resist damage. However, when the demon leaves, the host often dies of its injuries.
- Seeing reapers - Like angels, demons can perceive entities that are invisible to human beings, like reapers.
- Can resurrect or heal people, but only if a deal is made.
- Capable of overpowering Alphas; a group of demons captured the Alpha Vampire on Crowley's orders, though only after it had been injected with enough dead man's blood to bring down a nest of regular vampires, and when they all attacked at once.
- Mind control - Demons can influence and control the actions of human beings.
- Pyrokinesis (known: Azazel, Brady; shown: Crowley)
- Injury to humans by thought (shown: Azazel)
- Destruction of objects with telekinesis (shown: Crowley destroys a light) and with the "fiery white light" (shown: Lilith, Samhain)
- Overpowering or possessing reapers (overpowering: Alastair, possessing: Azazel)
- Resurrecting people at will (Crowley, claimed).
- The ability to exorcise and send lower-tier demons back to Hell with a single touch. (Abaddon)
- Smiting other demons with a touch. (Cain)
Vulnerabilities & Preventative Measures
Preventing possession and location
- Exorcism - When a demon is exorcised via ritual, it returns to Hell.
- Preventative Charms - After Sam is possessed, Bobby gives the boys charms to protect against possession.
- Preventative symbol tattoos - Sam and Dean reveal that they have the protection symbol tattooed on their chests.
- Hex bags - Hex bags can be used to help disguise and hide a person’s whereabouts from demons.
- Holy water and consecrated ground - While most have some vulnerability to holy water, higher level demons, such as Lilith and Azazel, appear immune. Some demons are also able to enter consecrated ground such as churches, as shown by:
- Salt - Most cannot cross a line of salt and they feel intense pain when they come in contact with it. Hunters use it in shotguns to wound them.
- Iron - They cannot cross an iron line, and can be hurt with an iron rod.
- Palo Santo - Burns in a similar way to holy water.
- Devil's trap - A symbol that is marked on the floor or ceiling that can trap a demon within it. If carved into a bullet and shot into a demon, it will bind the demon to their meatsuit and make it impossible for them to move far.
- Holy fire - While not capable of killing a demon, it will cause them great pain as shown when Meg was tossed into a ring of it by Castiel to act as a bridge out and when Sam doused Abaddon in it causing her so much pain she fled her meatsuit.
Means of Killing Demons
- The Colt - Until season three, the only method of permanent dispatch was to shoot them with the Colt and one of the original bullets. Bobby rebuilds the Colt with Ruby's help so that it can kill demons with new ammunition.
- Ancient demon-killing knife of the Kurds - The character Ruby introduced a knife that could kill demons, as well. In season eight it was revealed to be an ancient demon-killing knife of the Kurds by Henry Winchester.
- Angels - Angels have the power to kill demons with a touch.
- Sam's powers - Late in season four, Sam's powers also allow him to kill demons.
- Death's scythe: It is mentioned multiple times that Death's scythe can also kill demons.
- Burning earthly remains - Demons, like spirits, can be killed by burning the bones of the bodies they had as humans, before they became demons.
- Spells - According to Ruby, there is a spell that can kill every demon in a one-mile radius that requires the heart of a virgin. As long as the meatsuits haven't been killed already, they will survive the spell. Demons can also be killed by a spell described in the Word of God tablet that completely destroys both the demon and the meatsuit. Kevin Tran and his mother refer to this spell as a "demon bomb" and it requires ingredients from all over the world. According to Kevin, just the first three ingredients are nearly impossible to get.
- Angel sword - An angel's sword is also capable of killing demons.
- First Blade - The First Blade, combined with the power of the Mark of Cain, can kill any demon including the Knights of Hell. The First Blade is the only known weapon capable of killing a Knight of Hell.
History relative to the Winchesters
[to Sam] Stay right there, dreamboat. Can't hurt you. Orders. [to Dean] You, on the other hand? Hurting you's encouraged.
The most essential aspects of demon history that relate to Sam and Dean begin in 1972. That year, Azazel makes contact with Lucifer by sacrificing a dozen nuns at a convent. He is then instructed to find a "special child" who would be essential in breaking the 66 Seals that are the lock to Lucifer's Cage. Azazel embarks on his plan and in 1973 makes a deal with Mary Winchester for the life of her fiancé, John Winchester. Ten years later he returns and feeds demon blood to an infant Sam Winchester. He kills Mary when she tries to intervene, driving John to become a hunter.
Throughout Sam's childhood, Azazel has demons possess people in Sam's life to keep an eye on him. When Sam leaves hunting for college, he pursues a normal life. To combat Sam's transition, Azazel has a demon possess Sam's friend Brady. Brady introduces Sam to Jess. They fall in love, and Azazel orders her death as a means of propelling Sam back into hunting - and the path to becoming Lucifer's vessel.
John has been searching for the demon that killed his wife for decades, and after Sam returns to hunting, he and Dean join the effort to avenge Mary. They require, and eventually obtain, the Colt, the only weapon that can kill this demon. Azazel also needs the weapon, and possesses John in an attempt to acquire it. He does obtain the gun by later making a deal with John, saving Dean's life in exchange for his soul and the gun. John is sent to Hell.
Eventually Azazel takes Sam, along with other Special Children he has created over the years, to a ghost town where he intends for them to fight to the death. He will allow the sole survivor to live, and has tasks for that individual to perform. One of the other candidates - Jake - kills Sam. To resurrect Sam, Dean sells his soul. Later, it is Jake who helps Azazel open the Devil's Gate in Wyoming, loosing demons on the Earth before Bobby and Ellen can close it. During this confrontation, Dean finally kills Azazel with the Colt, and some help from the spirit of John Winchester, who escaped Hell through the gate.
The demons unleashed by the opening of the Devil's Gate are very powerful, and include Lilith, the first demon. It is revealed that she held the contract for Dean's soul. The demon Ruby also escaped Hell through the gate. She gets close to Sam and gains his trust. She tries to encourage him to use his powers, but he initially resists. The brothers do what they can to combat Lilith and the other escaped demons, but eventually Dean's time is up, and he is killed by hellhounds. Grief stricken after Dean's death, and his failure to save him, Sam grows careless. He is saved by Ruby, who at last convinces Sam to use his powers, ostensibly to save people from demonic possession, with the promise that he will one day be able to kill Lilith, and avenge Dean. The use of his powers requires him to drink demon blood.
In the mean time, the demons are anxious to begin freeing Lucifer. The first seal on Lucifer's Cage is prophesied to be broken when "a righteous man spills blood in Hell." When John Winchester makes his deal with Azazel for Dean's life, he is sent to Hell and tortured continuously. The plan is that he will break the seal - but he manages to resist until he escapes. Dean's deal gives the demons another opportunity to break the first seal. They are successful when Dean, after thirty years of torture by Alastair, surrenders and becomes a torturer.
Dean is saved from Hell by Castiel, who informs him about the seals, and the effort to free Lucifer. Lilith and other demons work to break the required sixty-six seals while Sam, Dean, Bobby, and Castiel try to block their progress. They are unsuccessful, and eventually only one seal remains. Sam chooses to kill Lilith with Ruby's help, leaving Dean behind. Lilith is killed by Sam, high on demon blood, and it is discovered that Lilith is the final seal. Her death frees Lucifer. Ruby has been playing Sam all along in order to get him to kill Lilith and free the Devil. The higher level angels have been complicit in letting this happen, as Michael wishes to kill Lucifer.
Lucifer rises. With demon aid Lucifer wreaks havoc, instigating the Apocalypse. Most demons are anxious to serve him, either because they revere him or because they fear him. Even Meg is glad to follow him. An exception is the demon Crowley, who suspects that Lucifer will kill off the demons as soon as he has destroyed humanity. He gives aid to Sam and Dean, including providing them with the Colt, and then helping them to locate two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Lucifer requires a vessel, and while he finds a temporary one in Nick, Sam is the vessel he needs. In the same manner, Michael needs Dean. The demons attempt on several occasions to capture Sam, and put a price on Dean's head. Sam eventually allows Lucifer to possess him, and is able to overpower him and throw him, along with Michael, into Lucifer's Cage.
Following Lucifer's defeat, Crowley assumes control of Hell. He resurrects Samuel Campbell and begins a quest to find Purgatory, but is apparently killed by Castiel before succeeding. In reality, he is working with the angel to reach the monster souls in Purgatory and share their power. Crowley tortures monsters in an attempt to find the entrance, with limited success, until Castiel captures Eleanor Visyak. They gather the necessary ingredients to open the gate at the next eclipse, but Castiel reneges on their original agreement, so Crowley seeks out Raphael, and makes a deal with him instead. They are not able to stop Castiel from absorbing all the souls in Purgatory, and Crowley flees. Castiel, despite his powers, spares Crowley, leaving him in charge of Hell.
After the leviathans emerge from Castiel, Crowley attempts to create a partnership with their leader, Dick Roman. Dick thinks demons worthless, and declines, so Crowley instead supports Sam and Dean's efforts, restraining demon activity that would harm their anti-Leviathan quest. However, demons, possibly working on Crowley's orders, come into conflict with them a few times over the fallen angel Castiel.
After Dean and Castiel kill Dick, Crowley makes his move: he kidnaps the prophet Kevin Tran, captures the demon Meg who is against him and assisting the Winchesters and brings in an army of demons to deal with the leviathans remaining in SucroCorp who are now disorganized and confused as their leader is dead.
After capturing Kevin, Crowley begins an effort to open the Gates of Hell and release all demons upon the world using information from a Word of God tablet and Kevin. However, Kevin betrays him and escapes, revealing to Sam and Dean the possibility of using the tablet to do the opposite: to close the gates forever and banish all demons from the Earth permanently, something they are now determined to do. Currently, the Winchesters and Crowley each hold one half of the tablet and are both determined to get the other half. After torturing the captured Samandiriel, who is eventually rescued by Sam, Dean and Castiel; Crowley learns that there is a tablet on angels which the angels fear as if it falls into demon hands and they use it, they could cause great evil with it. Crowley begins a search for the tablet, but Sam, Dean and Castiel locate it first with the help of Meg who Crowley kills while Castiel goes on the run with the angel tablet. Some time afterwards, Sam sneaks into Hell and rescues Bobby Singer from the demons that are holding him captive and torturing him. Crowley attempts to stop Sam from releasing Bobby's soul into Heaven, but is stopped by Naomi. Shortly afterwards, Crowley captures Kevin and his notes on the demon tablet, leaving Sam and Dean with no clues on how to complete their mission to close the gates of Hell. Crowley manipulates Kevin into reading his half of the demon tablet, but Kevin eventually realizes the truth and is rescued by Metatron taking with him Crowley's half of the demon tablet. From it and Metatron the Winchesters learn that the third trial is to cure a demon, but at the same time, Crowley gets the angel tablet from Castiel and tells Kevin that he doesn't need him or the demon tablet anymore as he has many deals and plans in the works as well as the angel tablet. Crowley later starts killing people the Winchesters have saved to force them to surrender the demon tablet to him and give up the trials, but they manage to capture him instead and use him for the third trial. They also retrieve the angel tablet from him. Crowley starts to become human, but his attempt to summon help summons Abaddon who wants to take over Hell. Sam douses her in holy fire, destroying her meatsuit and driving her away, but stops before completely curing Crowley as Dean learns that he will die if he completes the trials.
Crowley is held captive by the Winchesters who want to use him to find all the demons on Earth and kill them. He eventually agrees to give them what they want if they help him with what he wants. At the same time, Abaddon gets her meatsuit restored and starts a crusade to take over Hell and Earth and tries to kill the Winchesters and get the location of Crowley from them, but is forced to flee when the angel Gadreel intervenes. Abaddon works to take over Hell, voiding all deals and collecting the souls early. Eventually Crowley is released in exchange for successfully helping Sam expel Gadreel and he starts a war with Abaddon over who will rule Hell. To this end, Crowley forms a reluctant alliance with Dean to find the First Blade, the only thing that can kill a Knight of Hell. The two find the demon Cain who killed the other Knights and transfers the Mark of Cain to Dean along with giving him the location of the Blade so he can kill Abaddon and when he is done, Cain himself. As the Blade is at the bottom of the ocean and they need as many allies as possible against Abaddon, Dean and Crowley maintain their alliance.
Azazel is one of the most powerful demons seen on Supernatural. He is a ruling demon, as implied in 3.04 Sin City by Casey when she states "Azazel was a tyrant, but he held us all together." He may have acted as the King of Hell during Lucifer's imprisonment, a post later assumed by Crowley. His presence in an area will be presaged by cattle deaths, electrical storms, temperature fluctuations. It can stop clocks and disrupt electrical devices. His strength and telekinetic ability are profound. He has some distinctive characteristics and abilities that set him apart from common demons:
- Is pyrokinetic (controls fire).
- Is impervious to holy water.
- Has yellow eyes (iris and pupil).
- Unaffected by a salt barrier.
- Can possess other supernatural beings such as a Reaper.
- He has the power to cause internal bleeding and grievous wounds with his mind.
Azazel killed Mary Winchester, and made Sam one of his Special Children. It is later revealed that he did this on Lucifer's orders. He discovers the door to Lucifer's Cage in 1972, and after sacrificing a group of nuns is able to speak with Lucifer. The Devil orders him to find "a very special child." Azazel refers to Lucifer as "father." He is greatly respected by other demons, and commands multiple demons in his machinations. These subordinate demons include Meg and Tom, who he refers to as his children. Like crossroads demons, Azazel can raise the dead, but only after he has sealed a deal with someone. After Azazel makes an agreement with Mary that would allow him access to baby Sam, he then raises John from the dead. He also saves a dying Dean after making a deal with John. Azazel arranges for the Devil's Gate to be opened, and is killed by the combined efforts of Dean with the Colt with the help of John's spirit.
Tom is a black-eyed demon, who along with Meg was refereed to by Azazel as one of his children. Tom makes his first appearance in 1.21 Salvation, where he and Meg try to negotiate a trade for the Colt from John Winchester. Realizing that they have been tricked by John, they chase and eventually capture him. In 1.22 Devil's Trap, Sam and Dean find out where Tom is holding John captive, and go about trying to rescue they're father. During they're escape Tom ambushes and proceeds to beat on Sam, until Dean uses the Colt and shoots Tom in the head, killing him.
Meg is a black-eyed demon who trained as a torturer in Hell under Alastair. Meg initially worked for Azazel, making contact with Sam and twice trying to kill John Winchester. She is captured by Bobby and the Winchester's at Bobby's place, and it is through her it is revealed that the demon is possessing a young woman who dies when the exorcism is performed. She later returns as a free agent possessing Sam and killing hunters in revenge. Bobby exorcises her again.
She returns to Earth as a minion of Lucifer during the Apocalypse. As a Lucifer loyalist she is hunted by Crowley, and forms an uneasy alliance with the Winchesters to try and capture him. She later forms another alliance with them to protect Castiel and defeat the leviathans, but is captured by demons working for Crowley after they succeed. She is eventually rescued after being tortured to lead Crowley to the angel tablet and is killed by Crowley with an angel sword while buying time for the Winchesters and Castiel to escape.
Ruby is a black-eyed demon that makes her first appearance in 3.01 The Magnificent Seven. She saves Sam using a knife that can kill demons. It is revealed that Ruby was a witch that sold her soul during the Middle Ages, and became a demon in Hell. She continues to follow and speak to Sam during season three, suggesting that she knows how to save Dean from Hell. After Dean's death, Ruby becomes a teacher to Sam, helping to use his powers and providing the demon blood needed to improve them. In the end, Ruby is revealed as a confidant of Lilith and she plays a critical role in the plan to free Lucifer by setting Sam up to break the final seal. After her exposure, Dean kills her with her own knife.
In episode 3.01 The Magnificent Seven the Seven Deadly Sins, who were released when the Devil's Gate was opened, possess humans and start killing people. Bodily contact with one of the demons appears to imbue the person touched with the sin the demon represents. Thus a family starve to death in front of a television (Sloth), Isaac drinks drain cleaner (Gluttony), while Pride confronts Sam and Lust tries to seduce Dean.
Envy possesses Walter Rosen, who is killed in the process, but is exorcised by Tamara. After Gluttony kills Isaac, his body is possessed by Wrath, but is immobilized by Tamara with a stake of Palo Santo. Sloth is trapped under a devil's trap and exorcised by Bobby, while Lust is subdued by Dean with holy water. Wrath and Lust are later exorcised by Bobby. Gluttony, Greed, and Pride are killed by Ruby with a demon-killing knife.
Tammi was a prominent servant of Lilith, appeared to be more powerful than other black-eyed demons, and claimed the soul of Ruby when she was a witch, later becoming a demon herself. She is able to block a shot from the Colt and hold off Sam, Dean and Ruby. She is killed when Dean breaks free and stabs her repeatedly with Ruby's knife.
Lilith is the first demon created by Lucifer. She has white eyes. She is first mentioned in 3.09 Malleus Maleficarum. Her initial onscreen appearance is in 3.12 Jus in Bello. On that occasion, as well as in 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked, Lilith chooses to manifest inside a little girl. In later episodes Lilith does possess adult women. She is extremely powerful among demons, exhibiting both telekinesis and a destructive power that appears as a bright white light. Sam is immune to her powers.
Lilith controls a large number of demons, some of which constitute her "entourage." This group includes a "chef" responsible for supplying Lilith with baby's blood. With the assistance of these demons, Lilith endeavors to free Lucifer by breaking the 66 Seals. Lilith held the contract that sent to Dean to Hell, where he broke the first seal, and she raised the Witnesses, selecting spirits that would attack hunters. Lilith is herself the final seal on Lucifer's Cage; her death at Sam's hand frees Lucifer.
More information on Lilith in Jewish Mythology can be found here.
Samhain is a demon who Sam referred to as the "Origin of Halloween." Before he was imprisoned in Hell centuries ago, he reigned over Earth on Halloween night. People kept their children inside, they left treats to appease him and they left carved pumpkins on their doorsteps to worship him. His power seems to be intermediate between that of black-eyed demons and white-eyed demons. He maintains all traits and powers of a normal black-eyed demon, and he also proved capable of emanating a demonic energy blast similar to Lilith's. Unlike other demons, however, he is capable of summoning monsters, such as ghosts, zombies, etc. He is summoned by two witches, one of whom he kills himself, but Sam manages to exorcise him again with his powers.
Alastair is a torturer in Hell, and specifically was Dean's torturer. Described by Ruby as "Practically the Grand Inquisitor downstairs. Picasso—with a razor." He first appears in pursuit of Anna Milton in 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer and 4.10 Heaven and Hell. He reappears in 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday and attempts to break a seal by killing two reapers, but is captured by angels. He is destroyed by Sam in 4.16 On the Head of a Pin.
Alastair is known to be a very powerful demon. He has white eyes (iris and pupil). He tortured both Dean and John, and in both instances offered to end the torment if they would become torturers themselves.
It is Alastair that reveals the first seal was broken when Dean accepted this offer. Alastair can send angels back to Heaven, is resistant to Ruby's knife, and is resistant to an angel's power of exorcism, as shown when Castiel tries to expel him in 4.10 Heaven and Hell. While initially immune to Sam's powers, he is eventually killed by them.
Crowley was the leader of the crossroads demons, and has referred to himself as "King of the Crossroads." He has red eyes, and his corporeal form is red smoke. As a human his name was Fergus Roderick MacLeod, and he was born in Canisbay, Scotland in 1661. He sold his soul to a demon, thus ending up in Hell and becoming one of them.
According to Becky, he was Lilith's right hand demon prior to her death, and takes possession of the Colt from Bela. He keeps the Colt for over a year, and when Sam and Dean track him down to find the weapon in order to kill Lucifer, Crowley gives it to them freely. Crowley believes that once Lucifer succeeds in wiping out the human race, he will then destroy all the demons, who are lesser still than humans. His beliefs are backed up when Lucifer sacrifices several demons to raise the horseman Death saying: "They're just demons."
After giving the weapon to the Winchesters, and following their inability to destroy Lucifer with it, Crowley becomes a target for demon retribution. When he learns that Sam and Dean have another means of stopping the Devil, he decides to help. He leads them to Brady, who gives them the location of Pestilence, and after borrowing Bobby's soul, locates Death.
Following Lucifer's defeat, Crowley assumes leadership of Hell. He claims responsibility for resurrecting Sam and Samuel Campbell, and for holding back Sam's soul. He manipulates Sam, Dean, and Samuel into capturing Alphas so that Crowley can interrogate them about the location of Purgatory. He appears to be killed when Castiel burns his bones, but this is a ruse to hide their partnership. Castiel breaks their agreement to split the souls in Purgatory, so Crowley attempts a deal with Raphael, which ends disastrously when Castiel gets the souls first. Castiel kills Raphael, but spares Crowley to continue as the leader of Hell.
When the leviathans appear, Crowley attempts to make a deal with their leader, Dick Roman, but is rebuffed. Crowley turns his support to Sam and Dean, and curtails demon activity that would be counter-productive to their efforts to destroy the leviathans.
After Sam and Dean defeat the leviathans, Crowley starts an effort to open the Gates of Hell and allow all demons out into the world, something he is determined to do by capturing Kevin Tran and forcing him to translate the Word of God demon tablet..
In order to do the third trial to close the Gates of Hell, Sam and Dean capture Crowley and try to turn him human. While they ultimately stop before completing the process, allowing Crowley to revert back to his normal mannerisms. He remains a prisoner of the Winchesters who want to get the name of every demon he has on Earth, to which Crowley ultimately acquiesces and gives up the names of two demons as freebies, but will only give the Winchesters more information if they agree to a "Quid Pro Quo" arrangement. He is later released by Dean after agreeing to save Sam from Gadreel. By briefly possessing Sam himself, he succeeds and starts to fight against Abaddon to win over Hell. He later forms an alliance with Dean to get the First Blade, the only weapon that can kill Abaddon.
Sometime during the hunt for Lilith and her lieutenants, Sam and Dean were led to the demon possessing Jeffrey by white witch Nora Havelock. The demon was hunting and killing women, removing their organs. The brothers tortured it for information, and eventually exorcised it. Years later, the demon appears to have returned and to be killing again. In fact, Jeffrey is the murderer. He intends to summon his demon back, because he enjoyed being possessed.
When his demon returns, it possesses his captive, Nora's son. The demon thanks Jeffrey for freeing him, and expresses pride in his student. He refers to himself as a "talent scout," a demon sent out to possess potential evildoers, people who would become fearsome demons after their time in Hell. Jeffrey had the desire to kill, and the demon taught him how. The demon refuses to return to Jeffrey, saying it has nothing more to teach. It thinks little of Nora's son, who lacks the raw material it would like to work with.
Redd is a demon hunter, one of Crowley's underlings ordered to find and capture monsters to support his attempt to open Purgatory. He was captured by Sam, Dean, and Bobby and tortured, yielding information about Ellsworth. He is then presumably killed.Castiel, Ellsworth is the demonic version of Bobby Singer. Similarly to Bobby, he answers phones posing as an FBI agent. Rather than a bank of phones, he has a number of blood goblets. After Samuel Campbell's death in 2011, Ellsworth leads a group of demons whose objective is gathering monsters for Crowley to interrogate about Purgatory. He is killed by Castiel, who wants to prevent Sam, Dean, and Bobby from finding and interrogating him about Crowley's whereabouts and his partnership with Castiel.
This demon gave birth to Jesse Turner, a cambion who was technically conceived by Julia Wright. This demon was extremely strong and appeared to have some type of a connection and bond with Jesse. The demon gave birth to Jesse on March 29, 1998, the intense pain of the birth allowed Julia Wright to wrestle control of her body from the demon, giving her just enough time to ingest salt and eject the demon from her body. The demon reappeared twelve years later when news of Jesse Turner's abilities and whereabouts surfaced, when it tried to convince Jesse to embrace his powers and join it, however Sam Winchester talked Jesse into doing the right thing, leading him to eject the demon from Julia's body.
An incredibly powerful black-eyed demon who is one of the first demons ever created and a Knight of Hell, an elite group of demons believed to have been destroyed by archangels. In fact, after she and the other Knights kidnapped Cain's wife, he killed them himself and accidentally his wife after trying to kill her while Abaddon possessed her. She slaughters the Men of Letters and follows Henry Winchester through time to get the key to the greatest storehouse of supernatural knowledge that ever existed, but is defeated by Henry and Dean after Henry shoots a bullet with a devil's trap into her brain, binding her in her meatsuit. Dean then says that he is going to cut her into pieces and bury them in concrete, trapping her forever. She is later put back together by Sam and Dean in order to cure her of being a demon as the third trial to close the Gates of Hell, but she escapes while they are distracted. She later attacks Crowley and Sam after Crowley calls for help after being captured, planning to take over ruling Hell herself. However, Sam douses her in holy oil, lights her up, forcing her to abandon Josie Sands' body and flee in her smoke form. Abaddon later has Josie's body restored and begins a crusade to take over Hell and Earth. She tries to kill Sam and Dean and get Crowley's location from them, but flees when Gadreel reveals himself nearby. Abaddon then works to reshape Hell, using Crowley's absence to take over. After being freed by the Winchesters, Crowley starts a war against her, allying with Dean to find the First Blade, the only weapon that can kill Abaddon.
A demon possessing a man by the name of Peter Kent is the only known demon to be "cured." At some point in the 1950's, a priest by the name of Father Max Thompson purified the demon who was residing in in the body of Peter Kent. After eight hours of being injected with purified blood, and having a special exorcism invoked, the demon appeared to show great remorse for all the evil it had done. Though what happened afterward is not known, as the tape recording was soon cut-off.
Cain is the biblical Cain who became a demon after making a deal with Lucifer to guarantee Abel passage into Heaven. Cain became the most feared demon in existence, the Father of Murder who formed and led the Knights of Hell. When he met and fell in love with Colette, Cain retired from his ways, but when the Knights kidnapped Colette to draw him back, he slaughtered all but Abaddon with the First Blade, the weapon he used to kill Abel. After accidentally killing Colette, Cain followed her wish for him to retire completely and tossed the Blade in the ocean and eventually became a bee keeper in Missouri. He is tracked down by Dean and Crowley who are looking for the First Blade to kill Abaddon. After watching Dean fight several demons single-handedly, Cain decides he is worthy of the Mark of Cain, the Blade's source of power and gives it to him with a warning of a terrible price that comes with it and the location of the First Blade. Cain's only request is that Dean return one day and kill him too. Returning to his old ways, Cain teleports Dean and Crowley to safety then takes on an entire demon army alone.
These anonymous demons appear as grunts, and seem to work for high-classed demons, sometimes appearing in actual groups. They are often used by high-level demons when they are going up against other strong forces or when a specific task must be completed. Sometimes, they are silent, while other times they speak. A large group of them are patrolling, in the act of protecting Lilith, in 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked. Alastair uses them in 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer and again in 4.10 Heaven and Hell. More are seen in 4.15 Death Takes a Holiday. Lucifer sends a group of them to care for Famine in 5.14 My Bloody Valentine. As the Apocalypse looms even further, Lucifer is accompanied by two elite demons in 5.22 Swan Song. A group of them capture the Alpha Vampire under the instruction of Crowley in 6.07 Family Matters. In 8.07 A Little Slice of Kevin and 8.10 Torn and Frayed groups of henchmen guard Crowley's bases where he is holding the future Prophets and Samandiriel respectively.
Types of Demons
Acheris are a lower rank of demon, that are able to manifest as children, according to Sam. Ava Wilson was shown to be able to summon and control Acheris, and uses them against the other Special Children. They are susceptible to the weakness that affect other demons and spirits; like being dispelled by an iron rod, as well as not being able to cross a salt barrier.
I mean, demons, they don't want anything, just death and destruction for its own sake.
These demons are the most common types, but they are not a homogeneous group. They occupy positions on earth and in Hell, as they are constantly being deployed and produced throughout Hell.
They appear to hold different ranks in demon society and display a range of abilities and powers. They are grouped together because when they possess a human, they can turn the hosts eyes entirely black at will. Most black-eyed demons serve a higher ranking demon or entity. Both Lilith and Crowley have black-eyed body guards; others serve as members of an entourage, like Lilith's "personal chef." One group of the demons is assigned by Lucifer to care for Famine. They are subject to the typical demon weaknesses - holy water, salt, exorcism, the Colt, Ruby's knife, and the devil's trap. Some of the more powerful black-eyed demons, such as Meg, are impervious to hallowed ground:
- Pastor Jim: I know what you are. You can’t be here. This is hallowed ground.
- Meg: Please. Maybe that works in the minor leagues, but not with me.
Tammi, the demon in 3.09 Malleus Maleficarum, was one of the strongest black-eyed demons encountered. Like the yellow-eyed Azazel and the white-eyed Lilith, she can pin both Sam and Dean to a wall telekinetically. Tammi also stops a bullet from the Colt in mid-air when Sam tries to shoot her. She provides power to witches in exchange for their souls.
The Knights of Hell are black-eyed demons who were amongst the first fallen humans, handpicked by Lucifer. They were rumored to have all been killed by the archangels. They all have the powers of other lower-ranking demons, but at least one has shown abilities and powers far beyond that of any other demon seen so far.
These stronger black-eyed demons often have an advanced knowledge of magic and spells that helps them achieve their goals. Tammi and Ruby both made extensive use of hex bags. Meg uses a black altar to control daevas in 1.16 Shadow. Later, while she is possessing Sam in 2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign, she manages to resist exorcism for a time using a binding link with him. Both Meg and Brady communicated via the goblet of blood with the Yellow-Eyed Demon and Pestilence respectively. Abaddon knew a spell to travel through time.
As with most demons, their appearance can be accompanied or presaged by odd weather phenomena and electrical interference, as well as the presence of sulfur. Demons are also associated with EVP.
Other examples of black-eyed demons include:
- Airplane Demon
- Christian Campbell
- Cindy McClellan (Lilith’s chef)
- Duane Tanner
- Father Gil
- Nurse Palomino
A crossroads demon makes bargains with people, granting a wish in exchange for claiming their life and soul at a later date. Deals are sealed with a kiss. They have red eyes, though they tend vary from being completely red to red wit black pupils.
In 3.05 Bedtime Stories, Sam summons a demon, hoping to force her to release Dean from his contract with the Colt. She reveals that "someone higher" than her holds the contract and describes herself as "a saleswoman." Sam kills this demon with the Colt, and stabs another that he summons in 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer. On this occasion, it is revealed that crossroads demons can refuse the offer of a soul if they choose. Higher ranking demons who can also make deals include Crowley, Lilith, and Azazel. Another is later captured, tortured and killed by Bobby Singer in 6.04 Weekend at Bobby's after she gives information on Crowley. In 8.19 Taxi Driver another crossroads demon is summoned and tortured by Sam and Dean for information on how to sneak into Hell. After he gives it up, Sam and Dean kill him at his own request.
- Binsfeld's Classification of Demons
- Demon Blood
- Demonic Possession
- Demon Smoke
- Devil's Trap
- Hell Gates
- Knights of Hell
- Wikipedia's entry on Demonology
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 3.04 Sin City
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.09 Malleus Maleficarum
- ↑ The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.10 Heaven and Hell
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 2.14 Born Under a Bad Sign
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 3.16 No Rest for the Wicked
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 5.22 Swan Song
- ↑ 4.09 I Know What You Did Last Summer
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 3.12 Jus in Bello
- ↑ 3.01 The Magnificent Seven
- ↑ 4.20 The Rapture
- ↑ 4.16 On the Head of a Pin
- ↑ 6.04 Weekend at Bobby's
- ↑ 8.01 We Need to Talk About Kevin
- ↑ 8.07 A Little Slice of Kevin
- ↑ 8.10 Torn and Frayed
- ↑ 4.03 In the Beginning
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 1.22 Devil's Trap
- ↑ 2.01 In My Time of Dying
- ↑ 8.02 What's Up, Tiger Mommy?
- ↑ 2.21 All Hell Breaks Loose: Part One
- ↑ 1.21 Salvation
- ↑ 1.04 Phantom Traveler