14 Demonic Movie Monsters That Still Make Us Shudder

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Vote up the demonic movie monsters that still send a shiver down your spine.

While most horror film protagonists are worthy of fear on some level, there's something more primal about movie monsters that are demons. Maybe it has something to do with the religious connotations demons carry, or maybe they just spark the imagination more than your average, everyday scary antagonist.

Whatever the case, some of the most famous movie monsters in film history have been demonic in nature: Pinhead. Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Chernabog. You better keep a cool head; these supernatural beings are ready to haunt your dreams for days after the credits have rolled.


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    88 VOTES

    Bughuul From 'Sinister'

    Bughuul From 'Sinister'
    Photo: Sinister 2 / Focus Features

    Where Does It Come From: This immortal bogeyman resides in the "netherworld" and influences children to kill their families in gruesome, unique ways before bringing them to the netherworld to eat their souls. Just how he manages to do this is unclear, as he has no eyes or mouth. How can he see his victims? How can he influence his victims? That's part of the fun. Maybe the guy is just really into Slipknot's music? He looks like he would be...

    Demonic Powers: He can travel between the netherworld and our world through images of himself. He also influences children to do away with their families in odd ways and record the murders on home video. Bughuul can also consume souls and disintegrate people in an instant.

    Creepiest Moment: Well, that time Bughuul summoned a bunch of rats in order to have them eat through a group of tied-up family members' stomachs in Sinister 2 stands out. That is not your garden-variety murder right there.

    88 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: Pyramid Head (AKA "Red Pyramid," "Triangle Head," "Bogeyman," "the Executioner," etc.) is from the lovely town of Silent Hill in the Northeastern United States, best known for the titular video game series. The film version, specifically, is from West Virginia. The Pyramid Head of the video game series is more or less a physical representation of the main character's guilt. The version of Pyramid Head from the film series is decidedly more "movie monster" in nature.

    Demonic Powers: The film version of the character doesn't have any wild demonic powers, but he does carry around a massive sword that would make Cloud Strife jealous while standing nearly 7 feet tall - so does he really need powers? When giant bugs kind of follow you around, you're pretty much good to go.

    Creepiest Moment: When he materializes right behind Anna in the first Silent Hill film and grabs her by the throat. Watching him menacingly climb a set of church steps as he carries a human being like a ragdoll is quite the sight.

    91 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: The petrifying villain of the Conjuring franchise is a literal demon from hell. It was summoned by a duke in Romania a long time ago and was subsequently imprisoned by holy warriors using the blood of Christ to seal it away. Well, that pesky WWII and its bombs ended up freeing Valak from captivity, unleashing its evil upon the monastery in which it was held prisoner. Seeking to mock the holy people who kept it locked up for centuries, Valak took the form of a nun and became the catalyst for viewers' nightmares across the globe. 

    Their Demonic Powers: Well, Valak is your basic demon. It'll possess human bodies, it can shapeshift, it's highly intelligent, and it's telepathic. The only notable thing about Valak is its nun form... because it genuinely makes your skin crawl.

    Creepiest Moment: Probably the banned jump-scare trailer? Remember that whole debacle?

    74 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: This saggy-skinned freakazoid comes straight from the twisted mind of Guillermo del Toro. If films like Mimic and Hellboy didn't prove the director's bonafides when it comes to monster design, then Pan's Labyrinth certainly did. It's unclear where the Pale Man lives, as Ofelia enters his lair through a door she drew with magic chalk, but maybe it's better not to know. We'd advise staying away from monsters who have eyes in their palms. That should probably go without saying.

    Demonic Powers: The Pale Man doesn't seem to have any traditional demonic powers, though how he's able to stumble around with legs that seemingly have no muscle is quite incredible. His eyeball-hands and ability to eat children will just have to do.

    Creepiest Moment: It has to be when he wakes up and plops his eyeballs back into his hands. Sure, he has a predilection for eating children and fairies, and that is quite upsetting - but is it creepier than grabbing eyeballs from a plate and placing them into hand holes?

    93 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: Pennywise the Dancing Clown is the antagonist of Stephen King's It and the various adaptations of the popular novel. Where does he come from? Well, it's said the shapeshifting monster is actually a cosmic being who comes from a void known as the "Macroverse" that somehow surrounds and contains the universe of the novel. It came to Earth on an asteroid. How did it get from the void to an asteroid? Don't worry about it, man... it's Stephen King! It just works.

    Demonic Powers: This cosmic monster is basically eternal, being around since the beginning of time. It has all kinds of power at its disposal: It's got telepathy. It's got some low-level mind-control capabilities. Everyone knows about its intense shapeshifting abilities. In addition to all of this, It has varying levels of telekinesis, invulnerability, illusion creation, and superhuman speed/strength. 

    Creepiest Moment: The late-2010s adaptations have all kinds of truly creepy moments. There's the opening of the first film, the slideshow scene with It's insane teeth, and whatever the heck was going on with Mrs. Kersh in the second film, among many more. But, for our money, it's the very funny, very weird, and very creepy dance that took the internet by storm.

    85 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: When Clive Barker created Pinhead for his 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart and subsequent film adaptation Hellraiser, he didn't give the Cenobite a name. And though Barker has given him various names over the years ("Hell Priest," "the Pontifex," the "Cold Man," etc.), it was "Pinhead" that stuck. The iconic, pin-faced character is one of the leaders of the Cenobites, demons obsessed with sadomasochism that live in a version of hell. It turns out that Pinhead was once a human soldier in WWI who ended up summoning the Cenobites and joining them out of disillusionment with his life.

    Demonic Powers: Pinhead is kind of like a fetishistic version of Voldemort. He's got magical powers, he delights in tormenting others, and he is imbued with a ghostly visage. However, we find the whole pins thing to look way cooler than Harry Potter's snake-faced nemesis. Also, unlike Voldemort, Pinhead can be reasoned with and doesn't punish those deemed unworthy. So, he's tough, but fair... kind of.

    Creepiest Moment: Watching him do whatever the heck he was doing in that church in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. He blows out all the stained-glass windows, melts a priest's hand off, takes two of the pins from his skull (that have worms on them?), and imitates Jesus Christ getting crucified by sticking them through both his hands. It's an awesome scene.

    90 votes