Demonic possession is a topic that has been addressed by various religions and cultures across the world. As it turns out, there are an alarming number of demons contributing to all that’s wrong in the world. Some of these creatures rule in hell, others hang out here on Earth to stir up trouble for their own amusement, and then there are those particularly vile creatures that take control of humans and turn their world upside-down.
In most cases, when one hears the word "possession," Satan springs to mind, but there are quite a few more demons out there who (if one believes the lore) are far more likely to run around possessing people than Lucifer is.
No matter who the demon is or what they look like, the act of demonic possession takes some time. Allegedly, the demon spends months haunting and oppressing their target, wearing them down physically, mentally, and spiritually so they can break their target's will to fight back, letting them slip right in. Then, the havoc begins. This list contains some of the worst demons to be possessed by, and some insight into how demons can wreck your life.
Azazel is known as the father of possession, since he is the demon responsible for discovering and "perfecting" the act. In ancient Jewish tradition, two goats were brought to the tabernacle on the Day of Atonement. One goat was slain and sacrificed to Yahweh (God), and the other, the "scapegoat," was released alive into the wilderness carrying the people's sins with it.
Azazel was the king of the se'irim ( ancient goat spirits somewhat like satyrs) and the recipient of the scapegoat. He was depicted as an important adversary to God long before Christianity introduced Satan into the mix. Many believe Azazel and Satan are actually the same demon.
According to the lore, Azazel was once imprisoned, driven mad, and literally tore his spirit from his physical form to escape. It was while roaming bodiless that he discovered he could take over humans by force, and he soon perfected the technique demons are said to use today. He takes pleasure in killing those close to his targets and prefers setting up situations that seem impossible for the person to survive instead of killing them himself. If someone survives a possession by Azazel, they will never be the same. He leaves behind a shell of the person that once was.
Zoroastrian mythology speaks of Aka Manah , who also goes by the names Akem Manah, Akoman, and Akvan. Having a name that loosely translates to "mind made evil," he is the demon of evil intention, and that’s exactly what he does while inside a human host. His purpose is to taint the mind and destroy all morals.
He is said to prevent people from doing any good in the world, causing them to sit back and watch evil prevail. Whether it’s displaying an indifference to daily responsibilities or blatantly ignoring large-scale moral obligations, Aka Manah plants seeds of evil in human minds, including lust, sloth, and deceit.
While some cultures believe demons are entities that were never human, others think that those who were evil in life will become demons in the afterlife. A type of demon from Japanese Buddhist mythology known as a jikininki comes from the spirits of those who were greedy, selfish, and ungodly people in life. They are cursed to spend eternity in self-loathing, feeding on the flesh of human cadavers.
While most demons enjoy their evil existence, the jikininki are miserable and are more than willing to take other people down with them. They strive to make a person’s life a living hell so the jikininki doesn't have to suffer alone.
Agares is a demon of Christian demonology, said to rule the eastern region of Hell with 31 legions of demons under his command and the ability to cause earthquakes. Agares speaks many languages, but he only focuses on teaching profanities to those whom he “advises,” or takes possession of.
He's depicted as an elderly man riding a crocodile, with a hawk on his fist, though he sometimes appears to those he will seduce in the form of a beautiful young woman.