The existence of demons and monsters is often crucial to a religious system. These scary Buddhist monsters don't exist just to spook you - they symbolize vile and evil aspects of human nature. Buddhists believe every human being possesses Buddha-nature and can achieve enlightenment, but also that humans are inherently predisposed to giving in to their basest desires, such as greed, ego, lust, and anger. Scary demons from Buddhism typically embody impure thoughts and desires that lead to negative behavior, though some are simply frightening reminders to do only good things.
The world is full of things both good and bad. The same applies to monsters in Buddhism. Some of the monstrous creatures on this list are benevolent, while other Buddhist demons are troublemakers with evil intentions. One thing they all have in common: supernatural abilities and an otherworldly appearance, which makes them terrifying.
Beyond being fearsome fictional characters, these weird Buddhist demons are central to the belief system of many Buddhist sects, which gives them the power to influence human behavior. Depicted in archaic scriptures and passed along from generation to generation, Buddhist demons will scare the sh*t out of you, no matter your religious affiliations.