Dictionnaire Infernal (Demonographia)

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.

21 Responses to “Dictionnaire Infernal (Demonographia)”

  1. Ben Morris Says:

    Oh…these are great, I’m gonna enjoy this PDF.

    Also quite fun is Jorge Luis Borges’ The Book of Imaginary Beings.

  2. William J. Kiesel Says:

    This book is a favorite of mine and was published by a local colleague at http://www.tridentbooks.us

    Unfortunately it is out of print which is probably why it ended up being uploaded to scribd.

    Keep your eyes open in the Northwest for esoteric publishing where there has been a long tradition of issuing grimoires and other occult works over the decades. There are plans in the coming year to hold an esoteric bookfair to feature the best in contemporary occult publishing by US and European publishers.

    Here are a few texts from our humble publishing endeavor.

  3. Pat Says:

    So, about a decade ago, I applied to work at a bookstore that doesn’t exist any longer, and the guy who ran it asked me if I liked books. I replied that I had spent the previous Summer cataloging the order and dispensation of the angels of heaven (Book of Enoch, represent.) He replied “I like a guy with a sense of humor”

    I don’t think he ever knew where it went wrong for him.

    PS: Andras has had a bad rap ever since Promethia.

  4. tyhiliet Says:

    i almost fell for that last bit there. hehe. would you know of a yellow critter that is as fast as lightening, with clockwork eyes? would you??

  5. sarah e Says:

    Like the above poster, I too used to work at a bookstore that no longer exists; we sold rare, antique, and esoteric books, and this was one of my favourites to thumb through we when had down time (which…near the end, was ALL the time) What a treat to find a write up on it out of the blue on the Coilhouse blog here! I tell you what, that was the best job ever, although the one time I nicked myself with the box cutter and bled on Le Dragon Rouge I really started to worry what might have happened with THAT :P

  6. Ornith Says:

    So that’s where Shadow Hearts II got all its wacky demon descriptions from. And here I thought it was just ordinary Japanese RPG Crack.

  7. William J. Kiesel Says:

    Hey Sarah . . . do you mind sharing the name of the bookshop you worked at?
    I’ve been doing business with esoteric shops for the last 14 years and sometimes I wonder about various shops that have disappeared.



  8. Bunny Says:

    William: your books are beautiful! I knew I would find more things to buy if I checked your site.

    I think Mer needs to print her updated daemonic descriptions on vellum and bury it for posterity : P

  9. Tanya Says:

    This would be a lovely companion piece to Borges’ “Book of Imaginary Beings.” I always wanted to find a well illustrated edition of the book.

  10. Paul Komoda Says:

    Delightfully presented, Mer!
    I believe I have that book….though my brother’s been holding on to it since time out of mind.
    I adore BAEL. I must sculpt the fucker.
    I was(sort of) introduced to him in the pages of the Moore/Bissette/Totleben SWAMP THING, though his central head was depicted as a baby’s.

  11. Alice Says:

    I’ve always been a huge fan of the all the crazy descriptions of angels and other heavenly (and hellish) beasties. I think it’s definitely gonna be worth it to download that PDF!

    What I want to know is…who decided (found out?) all these great details? And how? Meredith, you clearly have some insight! Do tell!

  12. sarah e Says:


    I worked with my step-father, Steve Savedow at Serpents Occult Books in FL; Steve went out of business nearly 5 years ago, about a year after I moved up north to pursue other (unrelated, sadly) opportunities. I guess it was/is/continues to be difficult to be a small business owner whatever your business may be, but I do wish he could have kept it going…

  13. William J. Kiesel Says:

    Bunny: Thanks for the kind words!

    Sarah: Yes, I know Steve and did business with him for years. It was a shame when his place was hit by a succession of hurricanes. Events like that will kill a small niche market like ours. I hope all is well with him nonetheless.

  14. Shay Says:

    Once upon a time I entered a small bookstore in Greenwich Village and swiftly came out holding this book about the devil. My sisters who were with me in New York both thought I must’ve been possessed, but honestly, I’ve just always been fascinated with the various mythologies (and particularly the judeo-christian) take on the underworld. The book has a ton of artwork, much of it medieval, which is a personal favorite, as well as a lot of information and stories about demons – From the Morning Star’s fall to story of The Watchers or Lilith, and Moloch, Abbadon, Beelzebub, and all the hordes of hell, it’s all there and more. I can’t recommend it enough.

  15. Mer Says:

    Ooo, Shay, that’s a good’un. Have you ever read Alice K. Turner’s “The History of Hell“? That’s another doozy… with a lot of really dry, funny commentary to go along with all of the great visuals. I bet you’d love it.

  16. Ed Autumn Says:

    O.O Thank you!!

  17. Jerem Morrow Says:

    This solidifies my need for an external hard drive. My Mac may well outweigh my bookshelf. Though, there are books here that’ll balance things out, little doubt.

    Paul: DOO EET.

  18. Shay Says:

    @Mer – Wow, no I hadn’t seen it. It looks amazing. Added to my amazon wishlist, will get to it soon enough =] Thanks!

    In the ‘what made me weird’ category, I think my interest in this subject can be directly linked to the early exposure of my impressionable mind to this book and this one. Who says D&D doesn’t make kids turn to satanism? :D

  19. Nekko Says:

    When a bibliophile sees a book harmed, he gets violent. When he sees a book damaged, he attempts to repair it, or tenderly takes it under his wing for protection. When he sees a book of interest, he will stop at nothing to read it. When he finds a book he does not have, but wants, the world seems but a blur as he seeks out a means to obtain it.

    As I perused this little board, the amusing notes on it, and the comments by those of like interests, I must say…I want these books. The Dictionnaire Infernal, the Book of Imaginary Beings, The History of Hell, all pique my interest. I have to say, my heart breaks when little book shops fall beneath the mighty tread of the economy. Thankfully, in my little neighborhood of Loveland, Colorado, there is a small shop called the Anthology Book Company (the building is early 1900’s I believe) where one may purchase new and used books, and take in books that need a new home. Perhaps I may find some of these classics there, or at least I can hope. You, my friends and fellow readers of the strange and curious, I thank for opening me up to many more books which I strive to add to my collection of oddities. May you all have wonderful lives ahead of you!

  20. Zosimus Says:

    Stolas, in addition to being adorable, is also currently making some brutal-ass metal music with his band Flaming Tusk.

  21. Danny Corso Says:

    Demonographia is a great book, but it conains only 69 illustrations. The full Dictionnaire Infernal contains 550 illustrations of which 72 are portraits of demons. It’s a huge book and one of my favorites. It contains so many references to pagan deities and versions of their names plus a plethora of famous (and less famous) occultists.

    It’s kind of hard to believe that this edition of Dictionnaire Infernal was never translated into English.