Creepy Places

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Demons

Demons. Demonology. Satanism...it's part of the paranormal field in both practice and on television. Why? Because it is the "in" thing right now. It helps increase ticket sales, television ratings, and also adds a risky element to paranormal videos. But is it useful in Paranormal Investigations? It cannot be dismissed completely, but like most things in the paranormal, it is based more on legends and superstition than facts and science. There are many in the field who claim to be demonologist, but demonology is hardly a discipline that is properly studied, but rather it's based on pop culture and misunderstanding. Demonologist don't have a degree in demonology, with the closes one can get in it in terms of a degree is something in theology or religious studies. Most don't even have that in their portfolio. Today, the general knowledge of demons is based more on what is seen in the movies or television.

Today, especially in the Western world, demons are considered fallen angels who are pure evil. Historically, "demon" comes from the Greek word "daimon" or "daemon", which didn't have a negative meaning. In Greek mythology, demons were simply nature spirits that can be good or evil. It was common for a lot of areas of the world (The Middle East, Asia, etc) for demons to be non-human entites (or even gods) that can be good, evil, or amoral rather than fallen evil angels. It wasn't until the popularity of Christianity in Europe did demons become just evil entities. Not only that, Christianity gave more power to demons by making them a force to be reckon with. They were often trying to seduce human souls and were the main of various evil events.  Around this time of Christianity's power in Europe, pagan gods became demonic entities. The purpose of this was to justify the mistreatment and persecution of pagans in Europe (along with Jews and Muslims). This led to Europe having religious wars, the Crusades, and the Inquisitions. Now, here are a few examples of demonic names and their origins.

Beelzebub

What demonologist think of Beelzebub: He is a high demon, the prince of demons, and one of the top level leaders in the hierarchy of Hell. In the New Testament Bible, the gospel writers did view "Beelzebub" as something evil. An example is Mark 3:22 (KJV) which states "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils." This and several other New Testament passages state the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons with the help of Beelzebub. It is apparent that the Pharisees and the gospel writers viewed Beelzebub as a powerful evil entity for devils. In more modern times, many have suggest, including those in the paranormal field, that Beelzebub and Satan are the same.

 
The Origins: In the Old Testament, Beelzebub (spelled Baalzebub in Kings James Version of the Bible) is considered to be the god of Ekron (a Philistine City believed to have been located many miles south of Jerusalem) in 2 Kings. The name stems from Baal, a Semetic god who's name means "Master" or "Lord." It is also spelled Ba'al, Ba'alat, and Ba'alath, depending on the region. He has been worshiped as a pagan god since the Bronze age, with groups including the Canaanites and the Phoenicians worshiped him as a representation of strength and fertility. The Hebrews, however, did not like Baal and his followers. This led to the formation of word Beelzebub. "Zebub" evolved from the word "zebel" meaning "dung", and when connected with "Baal" it means "god of the dung", "lord of the dung", and more commonly  "lord of the flies." The phrase is a rabbinical mockery of Baal, the religion, and the people.  In essences, it is a slang that is calling Baal a pile of shit and his followers mindless flies. The Hebrews of the Old Testament hated the Philistines and other pagans groups, with many Hebrew writings relating their beliefs of an "inferior" polytheism vs "superior" monotheism conflict. The word "Beelzebub" is a byproduct of that conflict, becoming an ethnic slur. Eventually, the name even made it's way into Christian thought, turning Beelzebub from an ethnic slur to a demonic name in order to make evil of a pagan god.

Baphomet

What demonologist think of Baphomet: It is a symbol of Satanism and black magic that resembles a goat. Also called the Black Goat, the Judas Goat, and the Goat of Medas, it's believed that the Order of the Knights Templar worshiped Baphomet as a false idol after they rebelled against the Catholic Church during the Crusades. The Church of Satan even adopting a symbol called a "Baphomet" that represents a goat head on a reverse pentacle.

The Origins: The name "Baphomet" has it origins to the 12th century and the Order of the Knights Templar. During that time, the Catholic Church was at war with the great enemy of the Church: Islam. Much like the Hebrews distaste for the Philistines and Baal worshipers, European Christians hated and feared Muslims. One can read this in early European literature, such as King Horn. In the story, the main character reclaimed his land from Saracens (a term used for Muslims in the medieval era). The Saracens are attacking the land, destroying churches and kill those who worship Christ. So animosity between Islam and the Church has already been established. This is where the connection between the formation of "Baphomet" and the hatred of Islam began.

The connection began during the First Crusade (1096 to 1099) when Raymond of Aquilers (a chronicler for the First Crusade) talked about the Muslims in terms using Baformaria for mosques and Bafomet for Muhammad. The development of the word "Baphomet" stemming from Muhammad (The Prophet of Islam) has been suggested by many authors (such as Peter Partner, Malcolm Barber, and Michelle Belanger) and that it is a corruption of the Latin term for Muhammad, Mahomet. During the Crusades, the Knights Templars were arrested and tortured for blasphemy by the Catholic Church for their worsho by worshiping Baphomet. Additionally, they were accused of sodomy, urinating, and spitting of the cross. Many knights did confess to worshiping Baphomet, ipt these were done under extreme torture and were likely false confessions. However, many doubt that such actions occurred, and that the spitting of the cross was a form of hazing or preparation for what may happen to a captured Knight at the hands of the Muslims (as suggested by Malcolm Barber and Michael Haag). In fact, it is believed some of the Knights may have embarrassed Islamic practices and the idea of them worshiping a false pagan idol is a misunderstanding of Muslim culture. Early Christians falsely believed Muslims worshiped idols and that Muhammad was seen as a god, almost viewing them as similar to pagans and Jews: corrupt, evil, and deserving of Hell. Even in Dante's The Inferno, Muhammad is placed in one of the Circles of Hell. There appears to be no evidence for an actual pagan cult that worshiped an idol called Baphomet, and seems to come from the corruption, hatred, and misunderstanding of Islam.
 

Leviathan

What demonologist think of Leviathan: He is a very strong demon who has power over spiritual pride and hinders deliverance. Some have even suggested that he is one of the crown Princes of Hell.  It's believed he is a horrible, ghastly, and powerful evil spirit that can paralayze you with fear. In pop culture, Leviathan is the Lord of Hell in the horror film, Hellraiser II.  Additionally, St. Thomas Aquanis describes him as the demon of envy. 


The Origins: By all Biblical accounts, Leviathan is a simply sea creature who was described in great detail in Job 41.  Resembling more of a mystical sea dragon than a demon, the Bible treats Leviathan as nothing more than an animal.  In Psalm 104:26 , Leviathan is a sea creature God created to play among the ships.  In the same Psalm, God is praised for all that he created, which included Leviathan.  Psalm 74:14 states Leviathan as being something that can be killed and eaten.  With these Biblical verses, Leviathan appears to be nothing more than an animal.  Some Christians even believe that Leviathan is a dragon, crocodile, whale, or even a dinosaur. The demonic origins appears to be associated with early Christian art and literature.  


Starting around the 800's A.D., Leviathan was portrayed in Angelo-Saxon art as part of the Hellmouth, an entrance to Hell that resembles a huge mouth.  An exact connection to the earlier works and to Leviathan is hard to established, but the idea that Hellmouth was a huge mouth belonging to a giant monster does go back to the 5th century. Over time, other iconic creatures, such as the Norse Fenrir and the Greek Cerberus, were also used to portray the Hellmouth.  These, and other paintings, were meant more for props  and symbolism than for proper Biblical fact.  In other words, what started off as symbolism and art turned into another entry in the demonology playbook. 

Zozo

What demonologist think of Zozo:  An evil demonic entity that often inhabits an Ouija Board.  If one is using an Ouija Board and the name "ZOZO" is spelled out, that person will experience all forms of bad luck as the demon curses and threatens the user. Many people have been using paranormal Internet-based message boards to describe the chaos that happen when Zozo came forth. There is even someone who calls himself a Zozologist


Origins: It is unknown how many of these Ouija Board sessions involved the participants using drugs and alcohol, but with drug use at 60 percent usage among 12 to 17 years old and 37 percent for 18 to 25, it is safe to assume that some users were high. Additionally, it is unknown how many of these sessions were nothing more than victims of the ideomotor effect or even if the person was a victim of a prank.  Again, it is safe to assume some were. In fact, it is most likely that nearly all of the Zozo stories are false.  


As for the demonic origins of the name, Zozo, this appears to be a new phenomena started by the Internet, as Zozo was a 2005 movie,  the original name of the character, Curious George,  the name of a town in Final Fantasyand a restaurant (one of several actually).  However, some on the Internet claim that "Zozo" stems from a Babylonian demon named Bahzozo, but there appears to be no entity named Bahzozo in any Mesopotamian belief systems.  However, Bahzozo might come from Pazuzu, the Babylonian demon of the wind who was made a demon for Satan in the movie, The Exorcist.  The main evidence for the beginning of all of this Zozo Ouija demon stuff came from a crappy Youtube video that was eventually made into a crappy movie. These help create an Internet-based mythology that is similar to Slender Man. This demonic entity appears to be nothing more than a byproduct of someone's imagination.    

Satan

What demonologist think of Satan: He is the ultimate evil and the great villain of all that is good. He is a fallen angel that is ready to lead good people into temptation and sin. It was Satan that went into the Garden of Eden to cause Adam and Eve to Sin. He has many symbols associated with him, such as the number 666 and inverted crosses. He is also said to cause everything from depression to UFO sightings. Satan targets people, particularly poor white trash, for possession, and has control over the entire world, from music to politics. And what does he look like... someone usually with red with horns and a pitchfork.


The Origins: Satan does make several appearances in the Bible, such as in Job 1 and in Matthew 4:1. However, in the Old Testament and in Judaism, Satan has an entirely different meaning. In Hebrew, Satan means "adversary" and that in much of Old Testament, his official title is "Ha Satan" ('the adversary"), a common noun and not a name.  In fact, Judaism don't see Satan as an actual being, but rather a metaphor for mankind's daily struggle with evil inclination (Yetzer hara).  In Judaism, the idea that Satan was an angel with free will that caused him to rebel against God, is alien.  The belief is that angels cannot sin, since they do not have free will to do so. In the end, Ha Satan is not an enemy of God but rather his servant. Lucifer, which means "light-bearer", was said to be Satan's name before he rebelled. However, this appears to be a misunderstanding of the word when it appeared in Isaiah 14.  Lucifer, in the entire context of the chapter, is not talking about Satan, but rather the King of Babylon.  The development of "Satan" into an opponent of God stems from Zoroastrianism, a religion that formed in ancient Iran. It was further developed by the writings of the apostle Paul.  Over the years, the modern concept of Satan developed due to scriptural influences from medieval Christian mythology.  


The pitchfork that Satan often carries? It comes from the trident, first associated with Greek and Roman Gods, before becoming associated with Satan.  The half-goat, half man look of Satan? That originates with the demonization of Pan, the Greek God of nature. In fact, Satan's more menacing look appears influenced by the early Catholic Church's conflict with Pagan beliefs,  as many of the Pagans worshiped Horned Gods. And what about Satan being the serpent in the Garden of Eden? That too is false, as the entire book in Genesis does not once refer to the serpent as Satan, but rather just a cunning animal.  The serpent/Satan links comes from traditional thought with it's origins in Revelation 20:2, which never explicitly states that Satan was the serpent in the Garden, rather an ancient serpent in general. It is not a coincidence that serpents (along with dragons, another thing Satan is called in the verse) have been associated with paganism. So, much like what was written before, it all stems back to hatred and misunderstanding of other cultures and people. Even in modern times, that belief holds true, with Satan being associated with gays, feminists, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, and so forth.