Much the same as other legendary creatures, demons were created by our ancestors with the main purpose of censuring them for our disasters. Demons were blamed for ailments and sicknesses and in addition the committal of sins.
They also served as a warning and were useful figures for the purpose of scaring children into obedience. And while most of the demons are terrifying, some are also incredibly ridiculous. Below we have a list of ten such ridiculous demons.
Titivillus is often referred to as the “Patron Demon of Scribes”. Back when the mechanical printing press was not yet invented, copies of books or documents had to be made by hand. This was done by professional scribes who were often monks in the Scriptorium of their monasteries. As one can imagine, errors could not be avoided.
Instead of owning up to their mistakes, the monks invented Titivillus. The demon was not only blamed for scribal errors but also served as a warning to the inattentive monk.
It was said that Titivillus wandered the earth every day collecting scribal errors until he had collected enough errors to fill his sack a thousand times. At the end of each day Titivillus would take his sack to the devil and each scribal mistake would be entered in a book beside the name of the monk who had made it. It was believed that on Judgement Day, the errors would be read out loud and held against the monk who had made it.
Pugot is a headless, human-like demon from the Ilocos region. It usually appears in dark places and in large, uninhabited buildings or in buildings that are in a ruinous state.
Pugot can transform itself into various evil spirits that come in different shapes, such as human or animal. However, if it transforms itself into a human it will be of colossal size. If it transforms itself into an animal it usually takes on the form of a horse, dog, hog, or chicken.
Interestingly, it is believed that the Pugot takes a fancy to women’s underwear.
Bushyasta is a demon from Zoroastrian mythology in service under Ahriman. The demon is said to have a gaunt body, long arms and yellow skin. He is often described as an “evil genius”.
Bushyasta is the demon of lethargy, sloth and procrastination. In fact, every day just before dawn Bushyasta leaves the north and rushes into darkness, muttering a strange incantation: “Sleep on, O men! Sleep on, O sinners! Sleep on and live in sin”.
It is through the recital of this incantation that Bushyasta hopes to make people to sleep through their religious obligations. However, at dawn the demon must abandon his plans and return back to his darkness. So whenever you sleep through an important obligation or see yourself procrastinating, you know who to blame!
In Hindu mythology, Pishacha is an evil spirit that haunts graveyards. Pishacha is a demon that is similar to a zombie in that it likes to feast on the flesh of the dead. The terrifying demon is said to have black skin, huge bulging red eyes and engorged veins. He speaks a mysterious language known as Paischachi.
Pishacha likes to take possession of living humans which causes all sorts of problems for the possessed, such as madness and disease.
However, you can prevent a Pichacha from entering your body through the performance of certain chants or mantras as well as through offerings of food and drink. Because what demon doesn’t like a good feast.
6. Hantu Raya
Hantu Raya, or “large ghost”, comes from the folklore of West Malaysia. It is a type of aerial devil that is bound to a Malaysian black magic practitioner who chooses the demon as its familiar.
A practitioner can receive the Hantu Raya after forming a pact with a Djinn or else through inheritance. If the demon is not passed down to a new practitioner, it will take on the image of its last master and will roam the area seeking food and a new master of its own choosing.
However, if the practitioner fails to pass down the Hantu Raya before he dies, his death will be extremely long and painful and could result in him returning as a zombie.
Hantu Raya can take on the form of any human or object and will dutifully carry out the orders of its master. However, if left to its own accord the demon will attack anyone who travels late and night and passes through a crossroads.
To prevent a Hantu Raya from possessing you, you must provide it with regular food offerings of “acak” – a type of cake made from eggs, rice cakes, roasted chicken, and yellow glutinous rice. Of course, the occasional offering of animal blood may be also required.
Mukil-Res-Lemutti is the demon of headaches who originates from neo-Assyrian and neo-Babylonian mythology. He is said to have the body of a lion and the head, torso, arms and hands of a man. He apparently also wears the horned cap of divinity.
Mukil-Res-Lemutti translates to mean “evil-attendant”, “he who offers misfortune” and “the holder of the head of evil”.
Mukil-Res-Lemutti causes not only headaches but also a wild swing in emotions. These wild swings in emotion can sometimes lead to death as can be seen from the ancient doctor’s diagnosis: “If he continually laughs, “hand” of mukil res lemutti; he will die… If he rejoices and is terrified, “hand” of mukil res lemutti; he will die… If he feels harassed, he will die.”
Atahsaia is a type of giant demon that comes from the Zuni of the Southwest North America. In a way, the demon is the original Bigfoot and likes to hunt both demons and humans for food. However, the demon’s favourite activity is capturing and eating women that have strayed from their villages. During a special ceremonial dance, the Zuni use the figure of Athasaia to frighten children into obedience.
It is said that Atahsaia has a torso as big as an elk, a mane of grey bison hair and hands so thick that his knuckles appear horned. In some versions, Atahsaia’s chest hair is compared to porcupine’s quills and his arms are said to be covered in scales. Everyone agrees that he has unblinking eyes and yellow tusks.
3. Reeri Yakka
Reeri Yakka, also known as the demon of blood, comes from Singhalese folklore. Reeri Yakka is said to have the face of a monkey and the body of a man and his skin is supposedly fiery red. He uses a red bull to ride on.
The Singhalese believe that the demon is responsible for all sorts of diseases, but especially those that produce a flux of blood from the system. It is also believed that when a man is dying, Reeri Yakka is present by means of an avatar (an incarnation of any being or spirit) or an apparition known as “Maru Avatar”.
The demon can also assume the apparition of death. In this case, the demon assumes the dimensions of a pigmy, carrying in one hand a cock, in the other hand a club and in his mouth the corpse of a man.
In Japanese Buddhism, Jikininki or “human eating ghosts”, are the spirits of greedy, selfish or godless people who were cursed after death to eat human corpses. Thus their nights are spent seeking out newly dead bodies as well as food offerings left for the dead. Sometimes Jikininki also rob corpses for valuables which they then use to bribe local officials to leave them in peace.
It is said that Jikininki resemble decomposing cadavers and only a few inhuman features give away their true nature. Any mortal who views them supposedly freezes in fear. However, some believe that Jikininki have the ability to disguise themselves as normal human beings and even lead normal lives by day.
According to Christian theology, Mammon is the demon of greed that has the power to inspire greed, envy and lust. Under Mammon’s control, even a good man could be driven to corruption. It is said that once you fall under Mammon’s spell you will become obsessed with whatever it is he is trying to tempt you with.
Believe it or not, there is no consistent image of Mammon. Some have imagined him as a huge, lumbering demon while others claimed he resembled a glorious emperor somewhat like Julius Caesar. Still others believed he was a crooked old man who could easily blend in with the crowd.
During the Middle Ages many people believed that Mammon was a deity, albeit a black-hearted deity. Church leaders also saw his power and distinguished him as a powerful lord, naming him one of the “Seven Princes of Hell.” In fact, some theologians estimated that Mammon would have as many as 6,600,000 demons under his control!