List of Demons from the Middle East and Asia

Many of what are considered "evil spirits" within Middle Eastern & Asian culture - and especially in Hinduism - are known as such because Christianity adapted their gods/goddesses as foes to their true God. This is a common thread throughout history - one culture adopts another's deities as adversaries of their gods/goddesses. In this regard, "evil" is relative. That's not to say that many of these supernatural beings don't have destructive sides - but whether it is fair to classify them as "demons" is debatable.

Note: Hindu deities like Kali and Bhairava (for instance) are included because they were listed in a historical compilation of demons by Collin De Plancy. I tried to be fair and include descriptions from the Puranas to balance what de Plancy said, but I can't change the fact that he included them in his list. If you're still offended, you can read my response to angry emails I've received concerning this. You can also visit the Demon FAQ for more info on my philosophy behind the classifications.

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Rakshasas

Rakshasas

The rakshasas are evil spirits in Hindu mythology with magical and shape-shifting abilities. The Ramayana states that they were created from the foot of Brahma to protect the primeval waters. The demon, Ravana, was their king. Other sources refer to the rakshasas as the descendants of Pulastya or the children of the Vedic goddess of death, Nirriti, and her consort Nirrita, & … [Read more...]

Pretas

Pretas - Hungry Ghosts

In Hindu mythology, the Pretas are the spirits of dead people that inhabit Preta-Loka, the realm of tortured spirits. These are the spirits that had committed wrongful deeds in a former life and have been committed to the circle of perpetual hunger. Some are said to animate dead bodies and inhabit graveyards. In total, there are thirty-six classes of Pretas, some only … [Read more...]

Nagas

Ananta-Shesha

In Hindu mythology, the Nagas/Nagis were a race of serpents whose purpose was to populate the underworld, Patalas. They were the 1000 offspring of the sage, Kasyapa, and Kadru, the daughter of Daksha. They are associated with weather (especially rain) & pictures of them are worshiped during times of drought. In terms of appearance, Nagas wear precious jewels on their heads … [Read more...]

Mara

Mara's assault on the Buddha - Amaravati, India

Mara ("death" or "thirst"), also called Papiyan ("more wicked") and Varsavarti ("he who fills desires"), is the evil spirit (or sometimes as simply the personification of evil) in Buddhism who tempted Siddharta during the time he searched for the way, and as he sat beneath the Bo Tree and meditated. During this confrontation, Mara, whose attributes include blindness, … [Read more...]

Kappas

Drawing of Kappa (1836) - Artist Unknown

The Kappas are water demons in Japanese mythology. They are monkey-like creatures with saucer-shaped heads, yellowish-green skin, and long noses. Their main weakness is that their heads are filled with water, which gives them strength. If the water is spilled, the demon loses it's power and can be easily overcome. Reference Book: Dictionary of Ancient DeitiesBook: … [Read more...]