Hey there, fellow horror geeks and horrophiles! Prometheus here with our next installment of FRIGHT FIGHT FRIDAY! Today is the first fight of the EVIL SPIRIT bracket. In this bracket, I will need to take a few liberties, considering this will be demons fighting each other. Some are actual demons from mythology, others are fictional and only exist in the film world.
Today I have two extraordinarily strong demons for you guys! VALAK VS BAAL!
I want to be clear, in cases where the characters are based on real demons, I will be taking their mythology into account. Especially if the movie is rooted in that mythology, like THE RITE. That being said, let’s go!
From the Conjuring universe, Valak is an immensely powerful entity who is loosely based on the demon Valac. He appears in the films the Conjuring 2 and The Nun as a creepy ass nun and also in the form of The Crooked Man, from an actual old-time urban legend that you are NEVER supposed to read aloud.
He is capable of temporary possession, thought suggestion and manipulation. Although he is based on Valac, the two share little resemblance. In mythology, Valac manifests as a small boy child with angel wings, riding a dragon, not a nun.
In the films, Valak is powerful enough to hide its presence from the clairvoyant Lorraine. This is not a demon to be taken lightly.
Not much is known about Baal in the film the Rite, except that he is extremely powerful. So, I did some research. Baal is one of, if not the most powerful demons in mythology. Seriously, this guy is bad news.
It’s said he is the Great President of Hell and right hand to Lucifer himself. He manifests as a human-like figure but with the head of a man, cat, and toad. Some depictions show him with the legs of a spider.
One thing about Baal is that he commands more legions of demons that basically any other ruler in hell. In other words, Baal is the HDIC. (The Head Demon in Charge.)
They pull into the driveway at about 12:30 PM. The sun is shining and bird's sing valiantly as a slight breeze sways the branches on the ancient oak tree in the front yard. Next to it, a rusted swing moves back and forth unattended; like a pendulum slowly winding down before coming to a stop.
“Well,” asks the man driving as he turns to his daughter, Samantha in the back seat. “What do you think?” It’s a much larger house than their one-story flat in the city. Not to mention, has a yard. Something Samantha desperately wanted. “It’s all ours.” He points to the name on the mailbox. “The Murphy’s.”
“I think,” replies Sam, “that I suddenly have no friends, nothing to do, and nowhere to go.” She opens the door and steps out of the car. “The swings a nice touch, though.” She shuts the door and walks off into the large yard. The grass is wild, unkempt and tall, but still green.
“Samantha,” calls her mother as she steps out, stretching her legs. “don’t be fresh.” She turns to her husband, “She’ll adjust, John. Give her some time.”
“I’m just hoping we didn’t make a mistake, you know, moving her away from her friends.”
“She’s nine years old. She’ll make new friends. This is the best thing for us.” She looks John in his eyes, “For all of us.” Then, looking around the land, and at the large three-story home she continues, “It’s going to be a good year. I can tell.”
Her parents head inside the home while Samantha hangs back in the yard. Maybe now her father would finally let her get a puppy.
As her mind drifts to thoughts of what kind of puppy she would actually want, her feet autonomously lead her to the swing. A Chocolate Lab? Maybe a Golden Retriever? She sits down and her feet begin to leave the ground as these thoughts swirl through her mind, preoccupying her. A Pitbull! She thinks as the swing reaches higher and higher with each oscillation, almost as if being pushed. No! A Dalmatian!
As the swing reaches maximum height, little Samantha is propelled from the seat. She lands face hard, face down in the overgrown grass. Her mother hears her scream from inside and rushes out to the yard.
“Samantha, are you OK?” She asks her daughter, bending down to help her up. Tears are welling in her eyes as she brushes herself off.
Wiping her nose with her sleeve she replies, “Something pushed me, momma.”
“That’s gross, Sam. What have I told you about doing that? And don’t tell fibs. Go get cleaned up for lunch.”
“I’m not fibbing! Something pushed me from the swing, momma! I swear it!”
“I’m sure it did, honey.” She kisses her daughter’s forehead. “Stay off the swing until we can make sure it’s safe OK? It looks pretty old.”
They head inside together for some lunch and as they reach the front door Samantha glances back at the swing, sure of what she felt.
Later that night…
Samantha didn’t know what woke her up, but now that she was awake; she really had to pee. Her parents were asleep in their bedroom across the hall, and the house was completely dark and unfamiliar. She didn’t want to move here, to this creepy old house away from all of her friends. She didn’t care if it was bigger.
She heads down the creaky old hallway, careful not to make too much noise. The bathroom was at the end of the hall, just past the stairs.
She turns on the light and sits on the cold porcelain toilette when suddenly, she hears footsteps coming down the hall. They draw closer with each step, now passing the stairs. “Mom?” The footsteps were too loud to be her mother, though. “Dad?”
They finally reach the door and stop right in front of it. “Dad, is that you?” Her voice is audibly shaken and higher than normal. “Dad, it’s not funny.” She stands up and opens the door, expecting to see her father grinning at her. The hall is dark and empty though. Her parents' light is still off. She turns back toward the sink to wash her hands.
The water is warm and soothing as she rubs her hands together under it. Her eyes glance up to the slightly tarnished mirror. The face of a nun, her eyes black and sunken in appears behind her, just over her shoulder. Her mouth opens wide as if to swallow her whole. Her teeth are sharp, jagged, and yellow.
Samantha lets out a blood-curdling scream as she flees toward her parents’ room. Her father is up and, on his feet before she gets there.
“What is it, baby? What’s wrong?”
“Daddy, there’s an evil lady in there!”
He chuckles to himself, mindful not to hurt her feelings. “Where?” He asks, leading her back toward the bathroom. “In here?”
She shakes her head yes and he opens the door, turning on the light.
“She was in the mirror.”
“In the mirror?” He looks into it, his hand over his eyes as if he were gazing at something far off in the distance. “We must have scared her off. Nothing here.”
“It’s not a joke! She was there just a minute ago, I saw her!”
He kisses her on the top of the head. “It’s late honey, let’s go back to bed.”
“Can I sleep with you and mom?”
He looks at her like he’s going to say no but sees the fear in her eyes. “Sure, baby.”
The next day Samantha is bringing some of her outdated toys down to the basement when she stumbles across an old chest in the back corner. It’s covered in dust and looks like it hasn’t been opened in quite a long time.
Inside is an antique zoetrope, on it are pictures of “The Crooked Man” in various grotesque poses. Underneath the zoetrope is a handwritten note that reads:
“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.”
She reads it aloud and places it back inside the chest along with the zoetrope as her mother comes down the stairs. “What’s that?”
Samantha doesn’t respond.
As her mother gets closer, she spins around. Her eyes are rolled back, and her head is cocked to the side. Her voice is that of a full-grown man’s as she speaks in Latin. The laundry basket and several yet to be unpacked boxes rise into the air, then go crashing into the walls. Samantha begins to levitate off the ground.
“John! Get down here!”
As he comes running down the stairs, Samantha collapses to the ground, unconscious. John looks at his wife as he stands over his daughter. “What the hell just happened?”
Somewhere in the mid-west…
It had been three days since his return to the states, and he still didn’t feel right. He didn’t feel sick, per se, but something was off. His palms were sweaty, his head hurt worse by the day and he was always hungry. Ravenously hungry.
At first, he just chalked it up to exorcism being tough work, but now he wasn’t so sure…
He wasn’t ready to perform an exorcism, but what choice did he have at the time? Father Lucas was possessed by Baal. It was a matter of life or death.
As he sits questioning his decisions, his phone rings. “Father Kovak, we have another one.”
He arrives at the Murphy’s home expecting to find what he usually finds. Nothing at all. Mrs. Murphy greets him at the door.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re here. Please come in.”
He feels it as soon as he steps over the threshold. A malevolent force, strong in nature. Something was definitely here.
“She’s up in her bedroom.” She leads Father Kovak up the stairs.
“When did this start?”
“The other day, in the basement. It comes and it goes…” She opens the bedroom door gesturing Father Kovak in. “Samantha, this is Father Kovak, he’s here to help us.”
Samantha smiles politely. John is sitting in a chair next to the bed and he stands up to shake the priest’s hand. “I’m John. Sam’s father.”
“Can you help us, father?”
“I hope so.” His head is throbbing, his vision blurring in and out. “When was the last incident?”
“Last night” Answers John. “She threw me across the room like I weighed nothing.” He brushes his hair back, revealing a bruise on his head. She keeps mumbling about a crooked man, some rhyme she found in the basement. Along with this.” He hands the zoetrope to the priest. “The night before that she said she saw an evil nun in the bathroom mirror upstairs.”
‘Interesting.” Father Kovak looks at the cross hanging on her wall, then at Samantha. “Do you believe in God, child?”
“Yes. I think so.”
“There is no thinking, you must believe.”
“Are you able to summon it?”
“I don’t know. It just happens sometimes. Other times I see things, in the dark.”
The priest puts his black duffle bag on the bed and unzips it, but before he can take anything out, the lights go out.
“Samantha?” The priest's bag falls to the floor, spilling its contents.
The glass in the windows shatter as the bed levitates in the air.
“Momma, help me!”
The pictures on the wall fall to the ground and the bedroom door slams shut. Father Kovak utters a prayer in Latin, quietly at first, then louder. The bed shakes harder and the walls begin to crack.
“It’s not working!” John yells as his heart beats out of his chest. “Leave my daughter alone! What is it you want?”
The bed falls to the ground, the lights turn back on. Samantha jumps off the bed and runs to her father as the priest falls to his knees.
“Father Kovak?” Samantha’s mother walks over to him. “Are you OK?”
The priest looks up, his eyes are now black, his skin is turning hard and scaly in spots. “Go, now! Take your daughter and get out of here!” His back arches unnaturally and his body jerks as he screams in pain.
Without a second thought, Mrs. Murphy grabs Samantha and runs for the exit. John follows close behind, stopping to gather the car keys.
The zoetrope, now sitting on the bed begins to spin, slowly at first, then faster and faster. Two bent and disfigured hands grab on to the side of the doorway, one on each side as a slim, lanky figure lowers itself down from the ceiling. Its limbs are longer then they should be, its neck extended and bent. It wears a red, pinstriped suit, a matching hat covers its eyes. Its teeth are jagged and awful. The Crooked Man.
The priest stands up, Father Kovak no more. The Crooked Man rushes toward the possessed priest but is blown back into the wall with such force that it shakes the house. “I, am Baal, Prince of Hell!”
Valak stands up, shifting its form into the evil nun. He motions his hands and the dresser flies toward Baal but disintegrates before connecting. Valak disappears, then reappears in front of Baal, grabbing him, lifting him off the ground, and throwing him into the wall.
Baal is unphased. He stands up and raises his hands. Everything on the walls, including an old cross, begins to hover around the room. “You dare to challenge, me?” Baal surges with power as the walls in the home begin to crumble. The cross glows red hot, then flies toward Valak, sticking into its forehead.
Valak lets out a scream as his physical body begins to fade. The former priest, now fully consumed by Baal, laughs in several voices as flames ignite around him.
OK, if I’m being honest, this one was tough. Both are extremely powerful demons, not only in their respective film worlds but in actual mythology. Although we know more about Valak in the films, Baal is one of the most powerful demons in all of demonology, and commands more legions of demons than Volac; the demon Valak is based on. Being that we know less about Baal in the film, I had to fall back on who Baal is in mythology, and he is no joke. I leave that rabbit to you.
What do you think? Am I way off? Would Valak overtake Baal? Yell at me in the comment and let me know! See you next week for PAZUZU VS PAIMON! Place your bets below! Until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua "Prometheus" Scafidi