Hey there, fellow horror geeks and monsterphiles! Prometheus here with round #2 of FRIGHT FIGHT FRIDAY’S EVIL SPIRIT bracket! PAZUZU (The Exorcist) VS KING PAIMON (Hereditary)!
In case you didn’t know, every week we have two of our favorite horror movie baddies face off against each other! I have designed eight-man brackets and each one has it’s own theme!
The winner of each bracket will move on the final bracket, where they will compete for the coveted title of FRIGHT FIGHT FRIDAY’s “King of the Monsters!” As a bonus, when that is said and done and only one remains, we will have a Hero bracket! The winning hero will have a chance to take down our “King of the Monsters” in a one-shot, epic brawl for it all! Got it? Good!
If you’re new to the series click here for a rundown of the rules! Click here and type in FRIGHT FIGHT FRIDAY to catch up on our past fights! Let’s go!
The film that started it all as far as possession movies go, The Exorcist introduced us to the demon Pazuzu. In my opinion, still one of the scariest films of all time. Did you know Pazuzu is an actual demon, steeped in mythology?
Dating back to Mesopotamia, Pazuzu was the demon king of the wind. Here’s where it gets interesting though. Even though he is an evil spirit himself, he was often evoked via amulet to ward off other evil spirits! That’s right! Other demons fear this guy! He appears as with the body of a man, the head of a lion, two pairs of bat-like wings, eagle talons for feet and a scorpion tail. (Can someone say, overkill?)
I often wondered why a movie so drenched in Catholic ideology, such as The Exorcist, would choose an ancient Mesopotamian demon as the main evil antagonist, but then again, demonizing pre-Judeo-Christian deities is nothing new for Catholics. (OK, OK, settle down…) The point of all this is PAZUZU is never to be taken lightly. Especially if you're another evil spirit.
Seen in the film Hereditary, King Paimon is a force to be reckoned with. Although the film's mythology took several liberties when it comes to rituals, etc., a lot of it is based on actual mythology. Including Paimon and who he is.
King Paimon, is a just that, a king of Hell. His roots far predate Christianity, as with most demons, and he was actually a Djinn in the pre-Islamic era. (Yeah, you read that right.)
He is depicted as male, but with a feminine face and always riding a camel. He wears a glorious crown and is said to be one of Lucifer’s most obedient servants. He is listed in the Lesser Key of Solomon as well as other grimoires on demonology. This demon is no joke. Although originally a Djinn, (genie) do not piss this dude off!
20 Years Ago, Location Unknown...
Beads of sweat form on her head as the pain increases to excruciating levels. She didn't need a damn hospital or any fancy drugs for the pain. She could do this. Just as her mother did, and her grandmother before her. Her hand squeezes a small, copper amulet as she cries out into the night.
Lightning flashes in the otherwise black sky, followed by a loud crash of thunder. The wind howls, beating the rain against the windows and walls of the small, single-family home.
The candles begin to flicker, then extinguish entirely. As the room is enveloped in black, and as the woman gives one final scream; a baby begins to cry for the first time. The woman drops the amulet to the floor, next to an open book of spells; to be forgotten.
Halloween Night, Present Day in Salem, MA…
“There’s no freaking way I’m touching that,” she replies as her friends look on, gathered around the glass living room table.
“Come on, Jen. What’s the worst that could happen?”
She looks at her oldest and dearest friend, her eyes as serious as bad news. “Um, let's see… First of all, there are about 15 movies I can think of that start off this way. Spoiler alert: they all end badly, Sarah”
Sarah chuckles, “That stuff isn’t real, Jen.”
“And they all have some dumbass in them that says that. Exactly that! I’ll pass.”
The slumber party started out innocent enough. A few scary movies, some wine coolers, and no boys. Simple. But what started as 4 high school girls having some innocent fun, quickly devolved into something much more personal for Jen.
Her adoptive parents were great and never gave her a reason to wish she knew her real ones, but of course, a part deep inside of her longed to know who she was. Where she came from.
All she knew was that her dad took off when her mother got pregnant, supposedly dying years later in a car crash. Her mother died shortly after giving birth to her before she was a full month old. She went crazy and slit her own wrists, leaving her to foster care. All she knew about her was that she was into witchcraft and the occult, causing her to study the subject secretly for years. Her foster parents didn’t like to talk about it, and frankly, neither did she. And she for damn sure wasn’t touching that Ouija board.
“Come on, Jen.” Her friend Marcy eggs on. “It’ll be fun, lighten up.”
“Yeah,” replies the fourth girl, Amy. “Don’t be a wet blanket.”
“I just don’t like stuff like this. You guys know that.”
“You need to learn to face for your fears,” says Sarah. “How else can you move on?”
“I’m not fucking scared, OK? I just don’t think people should mess with that kind of stuff.”
Amy and Marcy didn’t know the full story, but Sarah did. She was aware that Jen assumed witchcraft had something to do with her mother’s death, but she didn’t buy into it like her friend did and was always looking for some way to disprove it.
“No?” Sarah walks over to Jen. “Prove it. Unless, of course, your chicken shit.”
“That’s not fair, don’t do that.”
“You know she’s scared,” jests Amy. “Let her be a baby, it’s her party.”
“I hate you guys,” replies Jen. “You do know that, right?”
“Yeah, whatever,” replies Sarah. “Now come put your hand on the stupid little heart-shaped thingy and stop whining.”
“It’s called a planchette, dumbass.” Jen places her hand on the old, wooden utensil and as she leans over a tarnished copper pendant can momentarily be seen around her neck. The three other girls join their hands on top of hers.
“How does this thing work?” Marcy looks confused.
“I think you just ask a question and it answers you,” replies Amy.
“It’s not that simple,” says Jen. “This thing is a vessel, not a computer or a magic freakin’ eight-ball. You need to clear your mind and know for certain who you’re trying to contact. Or else we could end up with a malevolent spirit.”
“What about that... thing around your neck? What’s its name again?” Amy didn’t mean to offend Jen, but she clearly struck a nerve.
“No. No way.”
“Why not? What’s the big deal? You said to know who we’re contacting, right?”
“Sure,” replies Jen. “You want to summon an ancient Mesopotamian demon king? Does that sound like a very promising idea to you?”
“You know,” interrupts Sarah. “For a girl who says she wants nothing to do with witchcraft, you certainly seem to know a lot about it.”
“That’s not witchcraft, you ignoramus, and this…” she looks down at the time-worn Ouija board, “is a stupid kid’s toy. Nothing more.”
“Good, so then it won’t matter when I say this,” answers Sarah. “Are there any spirits out there who would like to communicate? I command you to let your presence be known.”
“Sarah! That’s not funny,” snaps Jen.
Suddenly, the antique planchette moves. Only slightly at first, but then it slides to the top left of the board, hovering over the word “YES.” The four girls look at each other questioningly.
“Haha, Sarah. Not gonna work,” says Jen.
“OK, that wasn’t me.”
“Well, it wasn’t me,” replies Amy.
Marcy looks confused again. “Well, I didn’t move it.”
The candles lighting the room begin to flicker, go out, and then reignite on their own a few seconds later.
“Is… somebody there?” Sarah’s voice cracks as she speaks. The planchette circles the board, stopping back on “YES.”
“Guys, this isn’t funny anymore,” replies Marcy. Her face now a pale, whitish color.
“Shut up,” snaps Sarah. “Nobody moves their hands.” She clears her throat and raises her voice. “Who are you? State your name.”
The planchette slowly creeps across the board. The girls watch in angst until it stops on the letter “P.”
“The first letter in your name is P?” Sarah’s voice is now a little more confident. “What is the second letter?”
As their hands move in unison, stopping on the letter “A,” Jen throws up her hands. “That’s it, I’m done playing.” She looks at Sarah as she stands up, clearly pissed. “And you know what? Screw you.”
“Jen?” Sarah stands up as well, “What’s wrong?”
“What’s wrong?” She asks sarcastically. She pulls the pendant out from under her collar, holding it up. “You know damn well this thing’s name is Pazuzu, and that it’s the only thing I have of my mother’s. In fact, you’re the only one I’ve ever told that. “
“No. I don’t want to hear it, Sarah. Because clearly, you’re doing this to mock me, and that’s really shitty.” She turns her back to walk out, but Sarah grabs her by the shoulder.
“Jen, I didn’t do that. I forgot the things name to be quite honest. I mean, sure I bust your balls, but I wouldn’t patronize you that way. Who do you think I am?”
“I don’t know…”
While Jen and Sarah are arguing, Amy is watching the Ouija board. Suddenly, she interrupts them. “Um, guys?”
“What?” Jen and Sarah yell at the same time, turning to Amy.
“L-L-look,” her voice stutters as she points toward the table, her hand visibly shaking. The planchette was moving on its own. It stops on the letter “I.”
“I fucking told you,” says Sarah as she shoots her best friend a dirty look. “It wasn’t me.” The thing continues to move, this time stopping on the letter “M.”
Jen runs over to the table, immediately flipping the board over, knocking it to the floor. The planchette goes flying across the room.
Sarah looks at her puzzled. “Jen, what are you doing?”
“Fuck that shit. I’m not messing with that. No way.”
“What do you think it was trying to spell?” Marcy isn’t the brightest one in the room, but she can clearly tell Jen knows something she isn’t spilling.
“It’s probably nothing, forget it,” replies Jen. “Can we just do something else now, please?” She goes to pick up the Ouija board and stops in her tracks. “What the fuck?” Somehow, the board is facing upright again, the planchette back on top of it. “Did one of you…?” Her sentence is cut short as the planchette begins to move again, landing on the letter “O.”
Amy looks around the room frantically. “Guys, I don’t like this.” Her words are broken and cracked. “Something doesn’t feel right.”
“Shit…” Jen watches as the wooden planchette moves to the next and final letter, already sure of what it would be. It stops on the letter “N.”
Marcy puts the letters together, exclaiming “Paimon!” Thunder crashes raucously and every candle in the room extinguishes at the same time, leaving only the lightning to illuminate their terrified faces.
“No, no, no. This is bad, guys. This is really fucking bad!” The wind outside picks up severely, crashing against the house and forcibly shaking it on its foundation. Jen drops to her knees, holding her head. With her back facing her friends, she lets out an inhuman, ear-piercing screech that shatters the glass table along with all the windows on the first floor of the house.
“Jen?” Sarah walks closer to her, slowly. “Jen, are you OK?”
Marcy and Amy stand next to each other, frozen. As Sarah nears her best friend in the world, she reaches out her right arm, placing it on Jen’s shoulder. Sobs come from the girl, quietly at first, then louder. As the sobs rise in volume, they change. What sounded like their friend crying, is now mixed with the sound of a man’s laughter. An evil, slow, and sinister laugh. Her head turns toward them slowly. Her eyes are black and dull.
“What the fuck is wrong with her?” Marcy shakes Amy’s arm as she points toward Jen, but Amy has no words.
“Who dare call me forth, and not use my proper title?” The voice is thunderous and deep. Jen’s back arches at an unnatural angle, bending until her head almost touches the floor.
“Jen?” Sarah is scared but refuses to show it.
Jen sits up straight again, her movement impossible for a human being. “I… am King Paimon! Why have you summoned me?” Sarah is blown back by the force of King Paimon’s voice and she lands hard on her left arm. Marcy runs for the door and manages to get it open about two inches before it slams shut, propelled by some unseen force. She pulls with all her might, but it won’t budge.
“Fuck this,” yells Amy as she runs toward the nearest window. She tries climbing through, but the last two pieces of jagged glass left in the pane shake loose and lodge themselves into her neck, deep enough to nearly decapitate her. Blood pours on the floor as Marcy shrieks in terror, falling to her knees.
Jen begins to levitate off the ground. The shattered glass from all the windows is lifted into the air and swirls around the room like a cloud of angry bees, slicing Sarah’s face open as it passes her by, once, then twice.
Suddenly, the amulet around Jen’s neck glows briefly and she falls, crashing to the floor. The glass stops instantly in place as if frozen in time, then also falls to the floor. The wind and the rain stop. The room becomes so quiet, you can hear every little shard of broken glass as it bounces and then lands again. Jen lies on the floor motionless.
“What the fuck is happening, Sarah?” Marcy looks over at Amy. “Is she…?”
Sarah just nods. Her head swooning from what she just witnessed. She walks over to Jen, who still hasn’t moved. She shakes her, but it does nothing. She places her finger under Jen’s nose, checking for breath. “She’s breathing, but I think she’s unconscious.” She shakes Jen again. “Jen, can you hear me?”
Marcy sits down and puts her head in her hands. “What did we do, Sarah?” Tears fall between her fingers as she tries to control her breathing.
“How could we have known?” Sarah looks over at Amy’s lifeless body, hanging half out of the window. “I mean, this shit isn’t real right?” She laughs unsettlingly. “Right?”
Meanwhile, Deep Inside Jen’s Psyche…
Her breath is hot and it burns to inhale but she knows she must keep going. The blackness surrounding her is total and complete. It envelopes her the way a blanket would, covering her body in its entirety. This isn’t just the absence of light. No, this darkness has a weight to it. This is truly the abyss.
She has no idea how long she’s been running, or what she’s running from, but she knows its close. Real close. She can smell it. Feel it. Taste it, even. She knows she can’t stop because if she does, it will take her, but she doesn’t know what that means. She just knows it to be the truth. In the distance, she can hear what sounds like her friend Sarah calling to her, but the voice is so faint and so far away, she couldn’t be sure.
Then, without warning or any indication, she was standing in a field of beautiful white lilies, her favorite flower. A woman stands in the field with her back to her, dressed in immaculate white linen. Somehow, she knows exactly who this woman is. “Mom?” She is unable to hide the joy in her voice. “Mom, is it really you?” The sound of trumpets and symbols can be heard from all directions.
She walks closer, bubbling with giddy anticipation at the thought of finally seeing the face of the woman who brought her into this world. She reaches out her arm and the woman fades away. In her place is a man on a camel, a flaming crown upon his head. His face is soft and feminine, but he exudes extreme power as he roars like a lion. His presence is great and terrible, but somehow noble.
He reaches down for her but is knocked from his camel before he can make contact. Once again, she is swallowed by complete blackness. “Hello?” She calls out to the abyss. “Show yourself!”
With that, she is able to see. Even though she is surrounded by darkness. A figure stands before her with the body of a man, but the head of a lion. Its feet are like talons and it has two pairs of bat-like wings. It looks a lot like her amulet.
King Paimon attacks from behind with a sword of flames, but Pazuzu flaps his wings flying into the air. He swoops down, lifting the demon king into the air.
The sounds of battle are deafening as two near-immortal creatures fight for her flesh covered vessel. A gateway into a world they both envied and longed for. They crash to the ground hard, and King Paimon lifts his sword again, slicing Pazuzu. It seems to hurt him for a moment, but only slows him temporarily.
Pazuzu digs into Paimon, gripping him with his claws. He lifts him back into the air as Jen watches in horror. “What do you want from me?” She screams her question into the darkness. Paimon’s body falls to the ground, charred and decapitated.
She hears Pazuzu land behind her. She can sense him coming closer and closer when he finally speaks.
“Your mother compelled me to protect you from evil spirits when you were born. You wore the amulet and held up your end. She completed her end. Now, so have I.”
“What was her end?”
“Her warm, precious blood. She gave her life for yours.”
“That’s not true! It can’t be!”
Pazuzu laughs. “Oh, but it is. Don’t worry though, I’m here to make everything better…”
Back Inside the House…
Marcy shakes Sarah, who was in the middle of a meltdown and still laughing, hard. “Get it together!” She looks down at Jen. “We need to get her to the hospital now.”
A look of realization comes over Sarah’s face. “Right. Of course.”
“No hospital, I’m OK,” says Jen as she rolls over and slowly staggers to her feet.
Tears well up in Sarah’s eyes. “Thank God, I thought you were…”
“Dead?” Jen looks at her two friends. “Nah, I’m fine.” A slight grin comes over her face as her eyes go black. “Perfectly fine.”
This was easier to call than Baal VS Valak was. Let me explain my reasoning. In mythology, Pazuzu can ward off other evil spirits. They’re scared of him. If that’s the case, Pazuzu must be one badass demon.
I chose to keep the actual fight sequence short because a demon that can ward off an evil spirit, probably wouldn’t need a lot of time to do it. I also wanted to highlight how many times as humans, our curious nature leads us to mess with things we don’t understand and can not control. Jen’s mother’s deal with Pazuzu wasn’t all it was cracked up to be because he’s you know, a demon.
Most importantly, I wanted to do something a little different, something we haven’t done before. So, I chose to have the battle take place in Jen’s mind for control of her body. What do you think out there? Am I dead wrong? Did you see King Paimon taking down Pazuzu? Yell at me in the comments below!
I’ll see you next week for round #3 of our Evil Spirits bracket, THE HULL HOUSE DEMON (Night of the Demons) VS THE CADAVER (The Evil Within)!!! Trust me, it’s going to get crazy with these two insane and unique demons! That’s it, for now, folks, until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi