Even if you’re not religious, you’ve got to give religions credit for at least one thing: they really know how to scare the living daylights out of people. Religious demons often sound more terrifying than anything a human could dream up, which isn't a bad way to keep potential sinners in line.
This list of demons from religion includes figures from many different faiths. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism—if it’s got an evil demon, it’s probably here. Some of these are familiar, some of them are obscure, but they’re all really scary.
Rangda is part of Balinese mythology and closely tied to Hinduism. She is a widow who thirsts for revenge and consumes little ones. She has supernatural powers and commands an army of witches against Barong, who is the complete opposite of Rangda. She is physically depicted as a grotesque old woman.
Abbaddon is a Christian demon whose name means “Destroyer.” Abbaddon rules over a bottomless pit and commands an army of locusts to torment anyone who does not have the symbol of God on their forehead. Better get on that quick if you don’t want to be attacked by locusts.
A Dybbuk is a demon from Judaism, which clings to the soul of a living person and inhabits their body. Dybbuks are said to be the souls of those who cannot pass on to the afterlife because of the totality of their evil. They enter a person when they have sinned and not atoned, leaving a door open for demonic influence.
So if you don’t want a demon possessing you and wrecking your life, just don’t sin. Should be easy, right?
Have you ever heard the phrase “I am legion,” signifying solidarity with a particular group? You probably wouldn’t have guessed that the phrase comes from the story of a possessed man in the Bible. Jesus comes across an unnamed man who is plagued by a demon. He performs an exorcism, and in order to cast the demon out, he asks it for its name.
It responds, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” This is, of course, simultaneously incredibly cool and incredibly terrifying.