Demons have been a prominent fixture in the world of the paranormal, used as both symbolic and real manifestations of evil. Demons are often said to visit our world in the form of possessions, taking over the soul or the mind of a human/animal and using them to either spy on the human race or to perform evil actions against it.
Even our very own Enfield Haunting poltergeist has been connected to demons and possessions. But just what do they actually look like, how do they present themselves and what do the written and recorded accounts say of these evil creatures?
What Does the Bible Say About Demons?
The bible says that demons are fallen angels. Satan, referred to as “the great dragon”, was apparently “hauled down to earth”, followed by his angels. Based on this, and assuming that God, the devil, angels and demons are real, we can safely assume that there isn’t a huge difference between the way that angels look and the way that demons look.
Angels are humanoid in nature, basically like us, but probably with less acne and self-esteem issues. But demons are said to have been “bound with everlasting chains” and to have spent an eternity in darkness and evil. This likely changed their appearance a little and it’s why we often portray them as goblin-like beasts.
There isn’t much in the bible that explains how Satan or his demons look, but in 2 Corinthians 11:14 we get the passage “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”, which suggests that he is able to at least disguise himself as an angel, but that he doesn’t look like one of them naturally.
There are also further passages that suggest he is very deceptive in nature and that if he were to reveal himself he would take the form of something that we would trust or at least not be immediately scared by. This is where the possession aspect comes into play and it’s something that has been a common trend throughout the lifespan of the Christian religion and indeed many similar monotheistic religions.
Are all Demons Fallen Angels?
Yes, and it seems that they all stem from the initial fall of Lucifer. They fell with him and have remained with him ever since. The bible does not go into great detail about this, but there are other religions that elaborate further on the matter.
Has Anyone Seen Satan?
Many people have claimed to have seen Satan, but many have also claimed to be him. In fact, there are probably people out there who believe they have assumed the form of a carton of Kraft Mac n Cheese. The point is, humans are not a very reliable source when it comes to things like this and because they are the only source we have, there is no way of knowing anything.
Unless you see Satan or a demon yourself and have a close and personal heart-to-heart, you’re probably never going to know for sure what he looks like and whether or not he’s even real. And even if you do, you should probably call your psychiatrist before you give CNN a call.
Hauntings Involving Demons
There are many cases of apparent hauntings involving demons, often in the form of possessions. As mentioned already, the Enfield Haunting poltergeist case was one such haunting, but there are many other famous cases. The Amityville murders were said to be the result of demonic possession, with those demons being a trigger for Ronald DeFeo Jr. to kill his family, before causing problems for the Lutz family that moved into the house some 18 months later.
The Sallie House, one of the most famous hauntings in the United States (albeit one that didn’t quite achieve the same sort of global fame as the Amityville haunting) was also said to be the result of a demonic possession. The house was haunted by an apparition that apparently caused physical harm to the members of the household and to the people who investigated the case, but this ghost was said to be influenced by darker forces.
There was also a case known as “The Cage”, whereby the owner was harassed by a demon for a number of years, even having her backside slapped by it. The Cage was once a witches’ prison, and these spirits were said to be the troubled souls of the witches, as well as a “Goat Demon” thrown in for good measure.
Because, why not?
The Black Form
In the cases where demons have not simply possessed a human, they are said to take the form of a black shape. This is a form that has also been used by countless horror films to depict the presence of demons and it’s one that you can find in many written accounts as well. Paranormal experts say that this is a manifestation of evil as opposed to what demons look like.
Media Depictions of How Demons Look
TV and Hollywood depict demons based on a perception that was birthed in the Middle Ages, one that came partly from the bible but mainly from a bunch of creative artists. This was the same era in which the baby Jesus was depicted as being born with a golden halo and a set of washboard abs, so we probably shouldn’t give too much credence to this creative license.
If we acknowledge that they are fallen angels that have gradually lost their bright and happy aesthetic thanks to the bounds of evil and darkness, then they will likely be humanoid, but if the aforementioned bible passages are to be believed then they will also make an effort to avoid ever showing their true selves to us humans.
How to Draw Demons?
If you’ve been tasked with drawing demons and you’re not quite sure where to begin, then learn from the artists in the Middle Ages. They twisted the human form into something that reflected evil, darkness and taboo; something ugly, unaesthetic and nightmarish. That is as close to the true form of a demon as you are every going to get. It also gives you license to have a little fun and to use your imagination.