Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Why study demonology? How is it relevant to the modern world?
- What criteria do you use to identify and classify something as a “demon” on this site?
- What are the sources and criteria of the information on this site about demonology?
- How can I learn more about demonology? What are some reputable sources that you recommend?
- Q1: I felt like I was being watched for followed by an unseen force. Is it possible that this was a demonic presence?
- Q2: I woke up from a dream and I couldn’t move. I felt a demonic presence – what was that?
- Q3: I dreamt of a particular demon’s name – what does it mean?
- Q4: I think someone I know may be possessed. They are acting strangely, using drugs, and getting into trouble. How can I help them?
- Q5: I think my house may be haunted. There are strange noises and weird smells. Sometimes I feel a presence nearby. What should I do?
Why study demonology? How is it relevant to the modern world?
Studying demonology can be a valuable way of exploring the history of beliefs, practices, and institutions related to the supernatural, the occult, and the religious. Demonology is not only the science of demons and their actions, but also the cultural and intellectual reflection on the nature and role of evil in human society. By examining how different people and groups have defined, confronted, and exploited the concept of demons, we can gain insights into their worldview, values, fears, and aspirations.
Studying history in general can help someone better understand the modern world by providing a context and a perspective for the present. History can reveal the origins, causes, and consequences of various phenomena that shape our lives today, such as wars, revolutions, ideologies, movements, institutions, inventions, and discoveries. History can also help us appreciate the diversity and complexity of human cultures and experiences, as well as the similarities and connections among them. History can challenge our assumptions, broaden our horizons, and inspire our imagination.
What criteria do you use to identify and classify something as a “demon” on this site?
The concept of evil varies across different religions and cultures. Some religions and cultures share similar or identical views on evil, while others have contrasting or even opposing views.
Different religions and cultures also have different ways of representing evil through various entities. These entities may have different names, origins, functions, and attributes. Some religions and cultures may have more than one type of evil entity, while others may have none at all.
For the purpose of this site, we use the term “demon” to refer to any entity that exhibits one or more of the following features (which are not exhaustive or exclusive):
- Has a connection or resemblance to the Judeo-Christian devil
- Is classified as a demon by a reputable demonologist
- Fits the “trickster” archetype described by CG Jung
- Is related to Death or the Underworld
- Displays harmful or malicious behavior (e.g., killing, drinking blood, causing chaos, etc.)
- Represents a destructive force of nature (e.g., Whirlwind)
The site also uses a broad definition of “demon” to include any entity that relates to evil in different religions and cultures. The site does not intend to offend or endorse any religious or cultural views on evil, but rather to explore how different people throughout history have imagined and portrayed evil through various entities. The site acknowledges that some sources may be biased, inaccurate, or outdated, and does not claim to provide a definitive or authoritative account of demonology.
This site provides information on demonology, which is the study of demons and their relations with humans, from a historical and literary perspective. Some of the types of source material used on this site are:
- Archaeological artifacts, such as inscriptions, amulets, or statues, that depict or mention demons or their worship.
- Literary texts and manuscripts, such as myths, legends, poems, or grimoires, that describe or invoke demons or their powers.
- Scholarly research, such as books, articles, or dissertations, that analyze or interpret the historical, cultural, or psychological aspects of demonology.
The references section of each page provides the specific sources used for that page. The sources are cited according to the MLA format.
How can I learn more about demonology? What are some reputable sources that you recommend?
If you are interested in learning more about demonology, there are many sources and references that you can consult, depending on your level of knowledge, interest, and preference. Here are some examples of scholarly but approachable books that you can read to expand your understanding of demonology:
- Evil: A Guide for the Perplexed by Chad Meister: This book examines the philosophical and theological issues raised by evil. It covers classic and recent debates, from scientific, environmental, and religious perspectives. It also includes new chapters and topics on different responses to evil and skeptical theism. It is a balanced guide to both traditional and contemporary problems of evil.
- The Devil: A Very Short Introduction by Darren Oldridge: This book provides a concise and captivating overview of the history and role of the Devil in Western culture. Darren Oldridge, a historian of religion and witchcraft, examines how the concept and image of the Devil have changed and developed from ancient times to the present day. He explores how the Devil has been understood and portrayed in different religious, philosophical, artistic, and literary contexts, as well as how he has influenced human behavior, morality, and society. He also addresses some of the common questions and misconceptions about the Devil, such as his origin, appearance, powers, and relationship with God.
- The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil’s Biblical Roots by T.J. Wray and Gregory Mobley: This book explores how the figure of Satan emerged from the biblical texts and traditions. It examines the various names, images, and roles of Satan in both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. It also discusses how Satan has influenced Christian theology, art, literature, and popular culture.
- The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of Good in History by Jeffrey Burton Russell: This book explores the history and role of the Devil in Western culture. It shows how the Devil has evolved from ancient to modern times, in different religious, philosophical, artistic, and literary contexts. It also discusses the questions and challenges posed by evil, such as its origin, appearance, powers, and relationship with God. The book is a single-volume summary of Russell’s four-volume series on the nature and personification of evil.
- The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West by Brian P. Levack: This book examines the phenomenon of demonic possession and exorcism in Europe and North America from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century. It explores the causes and consequences of possession, the methods and rituals of exorcism, and the cultural and historical factors that shaped the beliefs and practices of both exorcists and possessed.
- Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Satanic Abuse in History by David Frankfurter: This book investigates the origins and manifestations of the fear of evil forces conspiring against humanity in various historical periods and regions. It focuses on the cases of alleged demonic cults, witchcraft accusations, satanic panics, and ritual abuse scandals. It also analyzes the social and psychological dynamics that generate and sustain these rumors of evil incarnate.
These are just some of the many books that you can read to learn more about demonology. You can also consult other sources, such as academic journals, online databases, podcasts, documentaries, or websites that specialize in demonology or related topics. However, you should always be critical and careful when evaluating the credibility and quality of any source or reference that you use for your research or learning.
I have been running this site for 20 years, and I have received many questions about demons from people with different backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Some questions are based on curiosity, fear, or personal stories. Some questions are shaped by media, culture, or religion. I appreciate all these questions and I try to answer them as objectively as possible. However, please note that I am a historian, not a paranormal researcher or exorcist. I will always default to looking for a scientific explanation before entertaining anything else.
Q1: I felt like I was being watched for followed by an unseen force. Is it possible that this was a demonic presence?
The feeling of being watched or followed by an unseen force can be very unsettling, but it is not likely that it was a demonic presence. There are many possible explanations for this sensation, such as:
- Psychological factors: Anxiety, stress, fear, trauma, or other emotions can make us more alert and sensitive to our surroundings, and more prone to interpret ambiguous stimuli as threatening. For example, if you are walking alone at night, you may feel more nervous and imagine that someone is following you, even if there is no one there. This is a natural response of our brain to protect us from potential danger, but it can also lead to false alarms or paranoid thoughts.
- Neurological factors: Our brain has a complex system of processing visual information, involving different regions that perform different functions. Sometimes, these regions can malfunction or miscommunicate, resulting in distorted or inaccurate perceptions of reality. For example, some people may experience a condition called “blindsight”, where they can respond to visual stimuli without being aware of seeing them. This can create the illusion of being watched by something invisible.
- Environmental factors: Our senses can also be influenced by external factors, such as noises, lights, shadows, reflections, or movements in our surroundings. These factors can create optical illusions or auditory hallucinations that make us think we are being watched or followed by something that is not there. For example, if you hear a rustling sound behind you, you may think it is caused by someone or something following you, but it could be just the wind or an animal.
Therefore, if you feel like you are being watched or followed by an unseen force, it is more likely that it is a result of your own mind or environment than a demonic presence. However, if this feeling persists or interferes with your daily life, you may want to seek professional help from a doctor or a therapist to rule out any underlying medical or psychological issues.
Q2: I woke up from a dream and I couldn’t move. I felt a demonic presence – what was that?
It sounds like you experienced sleep paralysis, a condition where you are unable to move or speak while waking up or falling asleep. This can be very scary, but it is not harmful or dangerous. Sleep paralysis happens when there is a mismatch between your brain and your body during the transition from REM (rapid eye movement) sleep to wakefulness. REM sleep is the stage of sleep where you have vivid dreams, and your body is normally paralyzed to prevent you from acting out your dreams. Sometimes, you may become aware of your surroundings before your body is fully awake, resulting in a temporary state of paralysis.
During sleep paralysis, you may also have hallucinations, which are sensations that are not based on reality. You may see, hear, feel, or sense things that are not there, such as a demonic presence, a shadowy figure, a voice, or a pressure on your chest. These hallucinations are influenced by your subconscious thoughts, emotions, fears, and expectations. They are not caused by actual demons or spirits, and they cannot harm you physically or spiritually. They are simply the result of your brain trying to make sense of the situation while still in a dream-like state.
Sleep paralysis is more likely to occur if you are sleep deprived, stressed, anxious, depressed, or have an irregular sleep schedule. It can also be triggered by certain medications, substances, or medical conditions. To prevent or reduce sleep paralysis, you should try to improve your sleep quality and quantity, avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed, relax and unwind before sleeping, and maintain a consistent sleep routine. If you experience sleep paralysis frequently or severely, you may want to consult with a doctor or a therapist to rule out any underlying issues or get treatment.
Sleep paralysis can be a frightening experience, but it is not a sign of anything supernatural or sinister. It is just a natural phenomenon that occurs when your sleep cycle is disrupted. Remember that it is not real and it will pass soon. You are not alone in this experience, and there are ways to overcome it.
Q3: I dreamt of a particular demon’s name – what does it mean?
Dreaming of a particular demon’s name does not mean that you have summoned or contacted a demon. It may be a result of your exposure to demonology or other sources of information about demons. Demons are supernatural beings that appear in various religions, mythologies, and folklore. They are often associated with evil, chaos, and temptation. However, there is no conclusive evidence for their existence or influence on human affairs.
The name of the demon you dreamt of may have some symbolic or historical meaning, depending on the origin and context of the name. If you are curious about the meaning of the demon name you dreamt of, you can browse the list of demons on this site to find more information about it.
However, you should not take your dream too seriously or let it affect your life negatively. Dreams are often influenced by our subconscious thoughts, emotions, memories, and fears. They do not necessarily reflect reality or predict the future.
Q4: I think someone I know may be possessed. They are acting strangely, using drugs, and getting into trouble. How can I help them?
I’m sorry to hear that you think someone you know may be possessed. However, as a historian, I urge you to think about the psychological and medical aspects of your friend’s situation. Possession is not a proven phenomenon, but a cultural and religious interpretation of various behaviors that have other explanations. Exorcism or any other ritual can be dangerous and harmful for you, your friend, and others. It can also cause physical, mental, and spiritual problems for both the exorcist and the person who is supposedly possessed. It can also involve violence, abuse, coercion, or fraud. Please do not try it for any reason.
Instead, seek professional help from a doctor, therapist, or counselor. They can diagnose and treat the underlying causes of the person’s behavior, such as mental illness, substance abuse, trauma, or stress. They can also provide you with support and guidance on how to cope with the situation. There are many effective and compassionate ways to help someone who is struggling with their health or well-being, without resorting to superstition or pseudoscience.
You should also try to support your friend or family member who may be struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health issues. You can do this by expressing your concern and care for them in a non-judgmental way, encouraging them to seek professional help and treatment, offering to accompany them to appointments or meetings if they want, respecting their privacy and boundaries, avoiding blaming, shaming, or criticizing them for their behavior, educating yourself about substance abuse and mental health disorders, and taking care of yourself and seeking support if you need it.
Q5: I think my house may be haunted. There are strange noises and weird smells. Sometimes I feel a presence nearby. What should I do?
Many reports of hauntings can be explained by environmental factors, such as noises, drafts, lighting, humidity, or temperature changes. They can also be influenced by psychological factors, such as expectations, beliefs, emotions, or suggestibility. Some of the possible causes of the strange noises, weird smells, and feeling a presence may be:
- Electromagnetic fields: Some studies have suggested that electromagnetic fields can cause unusual activity patterns in the brain’s temporal lobes, creating the perception that there is a “presence” in the room with them. Electromagnetic fields can also interfere with electronic devices or appliances, causing them to malfunction or make noises. Sources of electromagnetic fields include power lines, wiring, appliances, cell phones, or radios.
- Infrasound: Infrasound is sound at levels so low humans can’t hear it, but it can still affect the body and mind. Infrasound can cause disorientation, feelings of panic, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and other effects that could easily be associated with being visited by a ghost. Sources of infrasound include wind turbines, traffic noise, earthquakes, storms, or animals.
- Mold: Mold growth can cause health problems such as allergies, asthma, headaches, nausea, or fatigue. Mold can also produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause odors or irritate the eyes, nose, or throat. Some types of mold can even produce hallucinogenic substances that can affect the brain and cause visual or auditory hallucinations. Sources of mold include dampness, leaks, poor ventilation, or organic materials.
- Suggestions/Influences: Suggestions are proposals or recommendations that are made or received by external sources, such as media, peers, or authority figures. Suggestions can affect our perception, memory, behavior, or emotion, and make us more likely to experience or interpret things in a certain way. Suggestions can also create false memories or expectations that can influence our experiences. For example, if you watch a horror movie or read a scary story about ghosts, you may be more suggested to see or hear things that are not there in your house.