5 Books That Successfully Summon Demons
When it comes to night dwellers of the supernatural variety, there’s something uniquely unnerving about demons. They have always been the creature that scared me the most; paranormal activity had me sleeping with the lights on for weeks, and my true fear of demons is so well documented (and mocked) in our family that my brother specifically advised me never to watch Hereditaryin case it completely breaks my psyche.
This may be because demons are invisible, yet strangely make themselves known; an insistent scratch, thump, or thump designed to drive you crazy. This may be because they are multiple in nature, capable of taking on magnificent, familiar, or grotesque forms at will. Or maybe it’s the idea that sometimes summoning a demon is much easier and more tempting than arcane lore would have it. No pentagrams, candles or rituals necessary; very little active participation required, in fact, other than a willingness to let someone in.
To me, the idea that a demon could choose you, woo you, become fascinated by you as the most insidious type of stalker – or that you could inherit one without ever asking, as particularly nasty generational trauma. – is easily the most gruesome takeover.
Get closer by Sara Gran
This is one of the most terrifying books about demonic possession I have ever read because it seems so strange real; like something that could actually happen to you, or almost anyone. The main character, Amanda, is a successful architect in a seemingly strong marriage, when she is tormented by a demonic entity named Naamah. Naamah initially manifests as repetitive noises that only occur when Amanda is in her loft, followed by sensual, almost hypnotic dreams in which she and the handsome demon grow closer and closer; the entity bears an uncanny resemblance to the “imaginary friend” Amanda invented to cope with a difficult childhood. What happens next is a progressive possession that leaves the reader wondering to what extent Amanda’s new brashness, deceit, violence, and unbridled sexuality are simply the result of her own frustrated desires, rather than the dark whims of the demon – until they turn into spirals. of a grotesque and utterly gripping horror spectacle that leaves no doubt as to what is going on.
The good demon Jimmy Cajoleas
In The good demon, Jimmy Cajoleas explores a particularly convincing concept: what if an exorcism was performed against the will of the possessed? What if you loved your demon and missed her fiercely, would you do anything – and sacrifice anyone – to get her back? Again, the main character’s traumatic childhood in the rural south – particularly witnessing the death of her father by drug overdose – left her vulnerable to demonic possession, as opposed to any ritual of invocation elaborated. However, there’s also plenty of spooky arcane lore here, as well as stunningly beautiful lyric writing and an atmosphere so eerie and evocative you almost wonder if the author knows a bit more. also a lot about demons. It also draws compelling parallels between addiction and possession that add even more depth to the story.
The possession by Michael Rutger
The second in the author’s The Anomaly Files, this book is both absolutely horrifying and hilarious, thanks in large part to Rutger’s incredibly skillful and fun first-person narration. The possession follows the American “explorer” myth and legend (with only one underfunded and relatively unpopular YouTube show under his belt) Nolan Moore – the wise, thoughtful and truly delightful Indiana Jones we all need – as he and the gang explore the phenomenon of unexplained, freestanding walls in a quaint little town in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I’ve never seen this extremely clever take on demons before, and I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s based on the notions that 1) these mysterious walls function as a barrier, keeping demonic entities out of our world; and 2) reality is fundamentally an illusion, an ever-changing amalgam put together by our brains rather than anything concrete. So what if demons could manipulate that perception and entirely alter what reality even means to us? It triggered all the phobic fears I have of not being able to trust my own mind, and I love this. (So much so that I had to stop reading the book at night.)
dead beat by Jim Butcher
Jim Butcher is by far my favorite author of urban fantasy, and his legendary Harry Dresden, the Chicago Wizard for Hire, is an unrivaled fan favorite. As part of Harry’s insanely impressive character arc through the Dresden Files, the wizard picks up a fallen angel – one of my favorite types of demons, due to warmth combined with ancient sneakiness – in order to prevent his power from falling into the wrong hands. The epic (and very sexy) struggle of wills between Harry and Lasciel – or rather Lash, the copy of the fallen angel who lives in Harry’s mind – is a fascinating character study in temptation, resistance and hard work. necessary to maintain the personality. integrity. It is also a more traditional depiction of an invocation, in which the demon resides in a tainted object before possessing its victim.
the devil you know by Mike Carey
Another urban fantasy favourite, a dark exorcist! Felix Castor is a professional exorcist working in a supernatural London plagued by were-creatures, ghosts and all flavors of the possessed. He is able to drive away spirits and demons using a tin whistle, allowing him to functionally lure creatures away from their hosts by portraying their true nature with music – a very creative take on it. of the idea that demons can be coerced and bound by their true names. Felix’s best friend is in an institution for magical lunatics, possessed by a particularly vicious demon due to a black magic ritual gone wrong – an example of a more traditional summoning – and Felix’s guilt for inextricably linking his best friend in Asmodeus is a constant torment. (The story also features one of the hottest succubus ever, Ajulutsikael (Juliet for short), second only to Lara Raith in the Dresden Files.)
Lana is the author of four YA novels about modern witches and historical murderers. Born in Serbia, she grew up in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria before moving to the United States, where she studied psychology and literature at Yale University, law at Boston University and publishing. at Emerson College. She recently moved to Chicago with her family.