Aquiel is a demon who presides over Sundays, and because he’s a demon in Christian mythology, he does everything he can to destroy and degrade the practice of keeping the Sabbath holy. That doesn’t sound too bad. But consider what kind of damage he could do if he possessed the wrong person. That’s right, this demon possesses one senator, and suddenly the entire state of Wisconsin has the “right” to work seven days a week without a single day off. Just sayin’.
Many of the demons on this list are first mentioned in the Great Grimoire of Honorius. Who was Honorius? Historians aren’t sure, but they think that he was Honorius III, who was the Pope from 1216 to 1227. Whether he wrote the book or not, Honorius is famous among popes for deliberately doing ceremonies to summon demons so he could then banish the demons back down to hell. Apparently, he wanted to be ready to fight Satan at any time, and the demons were his sparring partners. Surgat, of all of these, earns his place on the scary list because he can’t be shaken. He’s described in Honorius-the-Professional-Demon-Ejector’s book with one sentence: “Surgat is he who opens all locks.”
Agares can be a woman or a man. If the demon is a man, the man is old and riding a crocodile. If the demon is a woman, she’s young and angelically beautiful—because even demons have messed up double standards when it comes to beauty. A surprising amount of demons are teachers; they instruct those they visit or possess, and give them knowledge and power, which is often why humans let them in. The good news is a short time with Agares will give you knowledge of every language in the world. The bad news is that he or she will only teach you the foulest and most offensive words. And if you think that’s cool, remember that foul words include racial and ethnic slurs. So you’ll be both educated and vile.
Oh, and Agares also forces people who have left their homes to return. I guess that works because once you’ve trashed your friendships, got fired from your job, and have a fight with your landlord, the only place you can go is home to your parents.
Ronove is also a teacher, and reportedly instructs the person he inhabits about rhetoric and the art of insinuating themselves into other people’s good graces. He’s the demon who wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People. That would make him horrible enough, but he’s also the “taker of old souls.” Basically, anyone who is older and looking a little poorly is going with Ronove when he decides to leave. So learn your rhetoric, but don’t look at any old relatives, friends, or pets. (Yeah. He even kills pets.)
Could we top this list with anything but the Big Bad? The devil is so overexposed by movies that he’s lost a lot of his scariness. Let’s get some of that back with a tale of the last “confirmed” time that the devil came down to Georgia France.
It started in the early 1600s when a young nun named Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud wasn’t having a good time. She began having fits, shouting obscenities, and making claims that she had engaged in lewd sexual acts with demons and witches. It was decided that she was possessed by none other than Satan himself. The possession spread through the nunnery, with another woman, Louise Capeau, suffering “attacks” as vicious as Madeleine’s. The situation got worse and worse, and so, to calm everything down, they brought in Sebastian Michaeli, the local Grand Inquisitor.
Amazingly, this didn’t drive out Satan, but it did lead the girls to accuse a priest who had acted as a counselor to Madeleine when she’d first started acting strangely of being a witch and inciting her, through his witchcraft and devil worship, into committing lewd acts. The priest denied everything. The Inquisitor started a multi-year campaign against the priest, helped by the nuns, who mimed the sex acts they had committed with the priest in front of both him and the inquisitor. The priest, after being baited, said sarcastically that if he were a witch he would give his soul to the devil. Sarcasm is lost on the Inquisition, and the priest was arrested, tortured, confessed, recanted, was tortured some more, confessed again, was tortured a little more, and then burned. The girls went on to get another few people burned at the stake before they were accused of witchcraft themselves, and were imprisoned.
Much of this story is diabolical. There are to things to be learned from it: Try not to get possessed by the devil, but if you are, keep it to yourself. Read more at io9