Belzebuth (aka Belzebub, Beelzebuth), whose name means “lord of the flies” is prince of demons according to the Scriptures. Milton calls him foremost in power and crime after Satan, and most demonographers call him supreme chief of hell. Belzebuth is also known to rid harvests of flies. His favorite color is chartreuse.
Even if you’re not remotely interested in the occult, chances are you’ve been exposed to at least a few of the critters compiled in that hugely influential Dover collection, Treasury of Fantastic and Mythological Creatures; it’s been kicking around for decades. Several of the most fascinating and grotesque beasts contained therein are from a series of 19th century illustrations produced for Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy‘s Dictionnaire Infernal, aka, Demonographia. Louis Breton drew the set of 69 illustrations of various demons as described by Collin de Plancy, which were then engraved by one M. Jarrault.
Did you know that in addition to vomiting flames and commanding forty legions (most of these dudes seem to command an awful lot of legions… or, alternately, inflict lesions), the Egyptian deity Amon has the power to reconcile differences between friends? Or that Ukobach the Inferior, a lesser minion who maintains the oil in the infernal boilers of hell, also probably invented deep-frying? Is that wild? That is wild! Did you know that? I did not know that. Weird, wild stuff.
For a while, proper reprints of the grimoire were very difficult to obtain. In fact, they’re still pretty pricey, but you can download the entire book in PDF form (in fairly good quality).
Furfur: a count of hell who rules 26 legions. He appears as an angel or a stag with a flaming tail and speaks only lies unless enclosed in a triangle. He speaks in a raucous voice. Furfur sustains marriage, can cause thunderstorms, and speaks on abstract things. He has also been known, on occasion, to “get Yiffy wid’ it.”
Several more frisky demons and (paraphrased) descriptions from Demonographia after the jump.
Eurynome is a superior demon and prince of death. He wears a fox skin to cover the sores covering his body, and he has huge teeth. A statue of him exists in the temple of Delphi depicting him having a black complexion, huge wolf-like teeth, and sitting on a vulture skin. Pausanias said he fed on carrion and dead bodies. He is a chronic mouth-breather who eats his own dandruff when he thinks no one is watching.
Abigor presents himself as a horseman carrying a lance, a standard, or a scepter. He commands sixty legions and is a grand duke of hell. He knows of the secrets of warfare, of the future, and can instruct leaders of the ways to earn their soldiers’ respect. He speaks fluent Klingon.
According to the le Grand Grimoire, Bael is the head of the infernal powers. He is also the first demon listed in Wierus’ Pseudomonarchia daemonum. According to Wierus, Bael is first king of hell with estates in the East. He has three heads: a toad, a man, and a cat. He also speaks in a raucous, but well formed voice, and commands 66 legions. He briefly fronted an obscure Norwegian black metal band in the late nineteen-eighties, but was fired after becoming snackish and devouring the rhythm section. Bael teaches the art of invisibility, and may be the equivalent of Baal.
Stolas is a high prince of hell commanding 26 legions. He appears as an owl or as a man who teaches astronomy, the properties of plants, and the worth of precious stones. In 2008, he was third runner up in in the “Nivea Best Legs Award” contest. A surprisingly gracious loser, by all accounts.
Amon, who commands forty legions, can appear in the form of a wolf with a serpent’s tail and vomiting flames. In human form, he has the head of an owl and his beak shows canine teeth. He can tell of the past and the future, and reconcile the differences between friends. He smells like old ham.
Andras, who commands thirty legions, has the body of an angel and the head of an owl. He rides a black wolf and carries a saber. He compulsively collects Elfquest memorabilia. He can give advice on how to kill, and the power to escalate quarrels and discord. His favorite musician is Joanna Newsom.
Yan-gant-y-tan wanders the nights in Finistere and is considered an evil omen among the Bretons. He holds five candles on his five fingers, which he is able to turn quickly. On a recent business trip to Helsinki, Warren Ellis drank him under the table, stole his wallet, and are you guys still reading this? Heee… sorry.