One of the most common ways that types of demons are classified in the study of demonology is by domain. When types of demons are classified by their domain, they attributed to a specific activity such as mortal sin, knowledge, questionable behavior that some people may be prone to, or certain misfortunes, sicknesses, or addictions. Each demonic entity within its domain has its tasks and abilities according to their authority, and each interacts with humanity in their unique way. Below are various ways that these dieties have been classified by domain throughout the ages. We also have a list of general demon names if that is what your looking for.
What is a demon?
Before we get started, the definition of a demon according to Webster’s dictionary, a demon is:
Demons in The Testament of Solomon
King Solomon purportedly wrote one of the earliest works in Western Culture where types of demons are classified by domain, the Testament of Solomon. In this piece, King Solomon describes his interactions with Beelzebub and other demons who he enslaves to help build his temple. The book also contains numerous rituals and sigils that are still used to today to conjure demons.
Demons listed by Psellus’
In the 11th century, Michael Psellus attempted to classify types of demons by domain. The types of demons that Psellus divided demons into were Empyreal (Fiery), Aerial, Subterranean, Lucifugous (Heliophobic), Aqueous, and Terrene (Terrestrial).
Demons Listed by the Seven Deadly Sins
1. Deadly Sin 1 – PrideThe Lanterne of Light (an anonymous English Lollard tract often attributed to Wycliffe) was an unknown work that is now believed to be written by Wycliff. The book categorized types of demons based upon the Seven Deadly Sins. These types of demons that Wycliff used would be later found in the books by John Taylor, the Water Poet.
St. Catherine of Siena Attacked by Demons1. Deadly Sin 1
- 1. Deadly Sin 1
- Demon – Lucifer
- 2. Deadly Sin 2 – Envy
- Demon – Beelzebub
- 3. Deadly Sin 3 – Wrath
- Demon – Satan
- 4. Deadly Sin 4 – Sloth
- Demon – Abaddon
- 5. Deadly Sin 5 – Greed
- Demon – Mammon
- 6. Deadly Sin 6 – Gluttony
- Demon – Belphegor
- 7. Deadly Sin 7 – Lust
- Demon – Asmodeus
Spina’s list of Demons
Inspired by different Legends and stories of his time, Alphonso de Spina, in 1467 classified demons by:
- Demons of fate – Otherwise known as the angel of death
- Incubi and succubi – Demons that have sex with the living
- Wandering groups or armies of demons – otherwise known as Legion
- Familiars – Familiars are animal spirit guides for witches and warlocks who are considered “personal demons.”
- Drudes – In German folklore, it is an evil spirit that causes nightmares
- Cambions and other demons that are born from the union of a demon with a human being.
- mischievous demons
- demons that attack clergy
- Demons that entice people into the occult, or witchcraft
Binsfeld’s Types of Demons
In the Princes of Hell by Peter Binsfeld in 1589 different types of demons again are classified by the seven deadly sins, the only exception is that the names of the demon are slightly different than Lanterne of Light.
- Lucifer: Pride
- Mammon: Greed
- Asmodeus: Lust
- Leviathan: Envy
- Beelzebub: Gluttony
- Satan: Wrath
- Belphegor: Sloth
The King James Bible’s Demons
Several years prior to the King James Bible in 1591, King James wrote Daemonologie. Daemonologie separates demons into 4 different types based on ways that the devil causes torture on the living and the dead.
- Spectra: In the modern world referred to a haunting, spectra or spirits of the dead that haunts places, or objects.
- Obsession: Ghosts or Spirits that haunt people
- Possession: Demon or spirits that take over the body and soul of the living
- Fairies: Spirits or demons that give advice to the living
Types of Demons According to Michaelis
The types of demons that Sebastien Michaelis’s has in his book the Admirable History were given to him by the demon Berith when he was exorcizing a nun. His classification system is based up the sin the devil tempts the living to commit.
First hierarchy – Princes of Fallen Angels
- Beelzebub – the demon that tempts men with pride, is opposed by St. Francis of Assisi.
- Leviathan – the demon attempts people to give into heresy, and is opposed by St. Peter.
- Asmodeus – the demon that tempts men into wantonness, is opposed by St. John the Baptist.
- Berith – the demon who tempts men to commit murder, is opposed by St. Barnabas.
- Astaroth – the demon tempts men to be lazy, opposed by St. Bartholomew.
- Verrine – the demon tempts men with impatience, opposed by St. Dominic.
- Gressil – the demon tempts men with impurity, opposed by St. Bernard.
- Soneillon – the demon tempts men to hate, opposed by St. Stephen.
Second hierarchy – Demons of Powers, Dominions, and Virtues
- Carreau – the demon of powers, and is opposed by St. Vincent and Vincent Ferrer.
- Carnivale – the demon tempts men to obscenity and shamelessness, is opposed by John the Evangelist.
- Oeillet – the demon that tempts men to vow of poverty, is opposed by St. Martin.
- Rosier- a demon of dominions, this demon He tempts men against sexual purity, opposed by St. Basil.
- Belias – a demon of virtues, this demon He tempts men with arrogance and women to be vain, raise their children as wantons, and St. Francis de Paul opposes gossip during mass.
Third hierarchy – Demon of Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
- Olivier was the prince of the Archangels. He tempts men with cruelty and mercilessness toward the poor and is opposed by St. Lawrence.
- Luvart was the prince of Angels. At the time of Michaelis’s writing, Luvart was believed to be in the body of a Sister Madeleine.
- Verrier was the prince of Principalities. He tempts men against the vow of obedience and is opposed by St. Bernard.
These demons and ranks also appear in the Sabbath litanies of witches, according to with Jules Garinet’s Histoire de la Magie en France, and Collin De Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal.
9 Types of Demons According to Francis Barrett
In Francis Barrett’s book The Magus (1801), offered this his classification for types of demons.
- False Gods – Demon of False Idols, prophets
- Spirits of Lying – Demon of Liars
- Spirits of Lying – Demon of Liars
- Vessels of Iniquity – Demon of evil things
- Demon of Wickedness
- Imitators of Miracles – Demon of Witchcraft
- Aerial Powers – Demon of pestilence
- Abaddon: Furies –
- Demon of discord
- Astaroth: Calumniators –
- Demon of inquisitors and fraudulent accusers
- Mammon: Maligenii –
- Demon of tempters and ensnarers