The Bestiary: Pazuzu

Jules R. Simion
5 min readMar 24, 2019
© 2007, Musée du Louvre / Thierry Olivier

I used to do this series on Instagram, and I’m still flirting with the idea of a podcast on the subject. In the meantime, I figured it would be nice to do it on Medium, as well, because it gives me room to expand on each topic.

Loving all things of the occult and supernatural, I’ve amassed an interesting collection of books and encyclopedias, all filled with beastly creatures and lore that spans back thousands of years. We’ve always had a thing for the otherworldly, and there are numerous cultures that have worshipped or feared these figments of ancient, collective imagination.

Aside from the already popular vampires and werewolves, other monsters and fantastic creatures have influenced us over the centuries — some owned the night, deadly and terrifying, while others occupied entire godly pantheons before falling from grace and becoming mere beasts. A few changed their identities across mythologies, beloved and admired in some cultures, yet reviled in others.

So, sit back and allow me to dig as deep as I possibly can in the annals of folklore, to bring you some of the lesser known but equally fascinating monsters of this world.

Pazuzu bronze head, British Museum (Wikimedia Commons)

Pazuzu, God and Nightmare

Most of you might remember the name as belonging to the demon in “The Exorcist” (1973), based on the eponymous novel series by William Peter Blatty. He was responsible for all the head spinning and projectile vomiting that shocked and fascinated audiences around the world, when he possessed Regan MacNeil.

Originally, Pazuzu was a demonic god of ancient Mesopotamian origin. Known as the king of demons of the wind, he controlled the west and south west winds that brought famine during the dry season, and devastating storms and locusts in the rainy season.

With his frightening appearance as a hybrid of sorts — eagle’s feet , lion’s head and scorpion’s tail, Pazuzu was, by all means, a widely feared entity. He was the son of Hanbi (Hanba), known as king of the demons of the underworld, and the brother of Humbaba (Huwawa), most famous for his role as the demon-god protector of the Cedar Forest in “The Epic of…

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Jules R. Simion

Writer, Screenwriter, Artist, Genuine Nerd, Sci-Fi Gobbler, Science & Design Lover, Blunt Humanist, Adorable Idiot.