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.

Pretas

Pretas - Hungry Ghosts

In Hindu mythology, the Pretas are the spirits of dead people that inhabit Preta-Loka, the realm of tortured spirits.

Nagas

Ananta-Shesha

In Hindu mythology, the Nagas/Nagis were a race of serpents whose purpose was to populate the underworld, Patalas.

Mara

Mara's assault on the Buddha - Amaravati, India

Mara is the evil spirit in Buddhism who tempted Siddharta during the time he sat beneath the Bo Tree and meditated.

Kappas

Drawing of Kappa (1836) - Artist Unknown

The Kappas are water demons in Japanese mythology.