Pazuzu is a Demon fom the Exorcist Franchise. He is based on the Demon of the same name from the Bible. First appearing in William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist and has returned for two sequels and two (alternate) prequels.
Although not known by name and more commonly as "The Exorcist", Pazuzu is widley known the world over as an iconic Horror character.
Being a Judeo-Christian demon, Pazuzu was created as an angel to worship and serve God. After rebelling against God with Lucifer, God banished them and all their cohorts from Heaven, and they became demons. As a demon, Pazuzu sought to violate and destroy God's favored creation, humans.
He took the form of a pale skinned human-like ghoul, with brown irises, sagging lower eyelids, and yellow teeth. Sects of humans who worshipped him as a deity depicted him in statues with stubby horns, sharp teeth, two pairs of eagle-like wings, and a long, serpentine penis.Pazuzu, along with the rest of his demonic brethren, was given limited power to alter what God had created, but not to create. He could cause levitation, and psychically alter humans' perceptions of what they saw and heard. He could imitate and mimic the sound of any human and animal with precise detail, including all manner of languages and accents, and loud, terrifying animal bellows.
Perhaps, being a demon, Pazuzu's greatest ability was the complete overtaking of a human or animal victim, known as possession. A demon's plan of attack in possessing a human was to search for an individual with a spiritual weakness. Then they would begin infestation, by taking residence in their victim's home. Slowly, and methodically, they would then begin oppressing their victim until they had completely broken down their defenses, at which point the demon could enter the victim's body, taking it over as a vessel. It was not uncommon for multiple demons to reside within a single victim.
Pazuzu was a violently cruel and blasphemous being, uttering all manner of profane language and behavior. He would often cause his victims to vomit, sometimes in projectile streams.
Pazuzu plagued Africa with swarms of possessed locusts. As the king of the wind demons, this was a fitting exertion of Pazuzu's power, as the locusts rode on the back of the wind to spread Pazuzu's influence across the continent. It was here however that Pazuzu would eventually meet what would become his greatest enemy on the Earth.
Meeting Lankester MerrinEdit
Lankester Merrin is a Priest that has taken a sabbatical from the Church and devoted himself to history and archaeology as he struggles with his shattered faith. He is haunted especially by an incident in a small village in occupied Holland during World War II, where he served as parish priest. Near the end of the war, a sadistic Nazi SS commander, in retaliation for the murder of a German trooper, forces Merrin to participate in arbitrary executions in order to save a full village from slaughter.After WWII, Merrin is an archaeologist in Cairo, when he is approached by a collector of antiquities who asks him to come to a British excavation in the Turkana region of Kenya. This dig is excavating a Christian Byzantine church from about circa 500 A.D. — long before Christianity had reached that region of Africa. Merrin is asked by the collector to recover an ancient relic of a demon before the British can find it. Merrin agrees and travels to the dig site. He is joined by Father Francis, a Vatican scholar who was on his way to do missionary work in East Africa but is diverted by the Vatican to ensure that the church is not desecrated. Upon arriving at the dig, Merrin meets Major Granville, the British military officer in charge of the dig. Merrin also meets the chief excavator, a brutish man with visible boils on his face. And he meets Sarah, a doctor who spent time in a concentration camp during WWII and is haunted by what happened to her there. Merrin's translator and guide is Chuma. In addition, Merrin learns that the diggers are disappearing or leaving in droves because the local tribemen fear the church is cursed. Merrin witnesses a digger inexplicably experience a seizure.
Merrin visits the dig site, although only the dome is uncovered, with the rest of the church buried beneath the earth. Merrin discovers that the church is in perfect condition, as though it had been buried immediately after the construction was completed. Merrin, Francis, and Chuma enter the church through the dome. They find it is near pristine condition, but there are two oddities. First, all of the statues of the angels holding weapons are pointing the spears downward, whereas it is convention for statues of angels not to have weapons or for them to be pointed triumphantly to heaven. Merrin and Francis deduce the sculptors were trying to depict the angels restraining something that was beneath the church. The second disturbing discovery is that someone has vandalized the church by ripping the enormous crucifix from its place on the altar and suspending it with Christ on the cross in an upside position, which is considered a desecration.
Merrin is determined to learn more about the archeological dig and asks to consult with the lead archeologist, Monsieur Bession. Merrin is told by Sarah that Bession went insane three weeks earlier and was transferred to a mental hospital in Nairobi. Merrin visits Bession's tent at the dig site and sees dozens of drawings of the same thing, the demon artifact that Merrin was asked to find by the collector. Merrin then travels to Nairobi to visit Bession. But when he enters Bession's room, he discovers Bession has carved a swastika on his chest and is speaking through demonic possession in the voice of the sadistic SS commander who tormented Merrin during the war. As Merrin registers these events, Bession slashes his own throat after saying he was "free." Father Gionetti, warden of the asylum, speculates that Bession was not possessed but rather "touched" by a demon, which drove him mad and eventually to suicide. Merrin is very skeptical, but before he returns to the dig site, Father Gionetti gives him the volume of Roman rituals to use in exorcism, although Merrin claims he will never use them.Upon returning to the village, strange events continue. A local boy is attacked and killed by hyenas that seem to continuously stalk the dig, night and day. His younger brother, Joseph, enters a fugue state after watching his brother ripped to pieces. Merrin begins to suspect that something evil lies in the church and is infecting the region. There are stories of an epidemic that wiped out an entire village. However, when Merrin, growing suspicious of these rumors, digs up one of the graves of the supposed victims of this plague, he discovers it is empty. Meanwhile, the evil grows, turning people against each other and resulting in violence, atrocities, and more bloodshed.
Father Francis reveals to Merrin that the builders of the church never meant it to be recorded in Vatican documents, however, a vague reference to it was recorded, leading to its subsequent discoveries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Francis also reveals that the church stands on the supposed site where Satan fell to earth after the war in heaven, and it was constructed by early christians in an attempt to purify the evil that resides there.
Beneath the church lies the ruins of an even older temple — but not a Christian one. Rather, in the ruins under the church, Merrin and his allies find demonic icons, and other signs of evil and Satanism. This land is where he first encounters the demon that calls itself Pazuzu, which he will encounter again in The Exorcist. This is the demon that "brushed" Bession (driving him insane) and Joseph (making him ill).At the end of the movie, the dig's doctor, Sarah, turns out to be the possessed individual and has the demon exorcised from her in the tunnels below the church but dies. Dr. Merrin and Joseph emerge from the church, (once again buried in sand) and history has repeated itself. 50 (and 1500) years ago, everyone at the site was killed by an evil presence from the church, except for one priest. Now, only Father Merrin and the little boy are left as the British soldiers and the local tribes have annihilated each other. Merrin returns to Rome and meets with the collector at a cafe, explaining he was unable to find the relic, the collector replies, "But you found something....Didn't you?"... As he leaves, Merrin is revealed to be wearing a collar and is now a priest again, having regained his faith in God, after defeating the demon with holy exorcism rituals.
This encounter caused Pazuzu to fear Merrin to an extent, and the demon never forgot Merrin's triumph over him as he fled.
The Posession of Regan McNeilEditEventually, Pazuzu, having been vanquished twelve years prior by Lankester Merrin, was ready for a final showdown with him. When 12 year-old Regan MacNeil began using a Ouija board she had found in her basement, Pazuzu, along with at least two demon cohorts, answered her call. Pazuzu identified himself to Regan as "Captain Howdy". Regan, being an unbeliever in God, and currently going through emotional distress from her parents' divorce, was set up for demonic oppression.
Pazuzu and his cohorts took residence within Regan's house, and began scratching at the walls and attic floor. Regan's mother, Chris, investigated her attic one night when she heard the scratchings, believing they were coming from rats. She searched around with a candle, and to frighten her Pazuzu made the candle's flame flare up before Chris' face. Slowly but surely, Pazuzu increased his hold over Regan, causing her personality to take a dramatic shift into violence just as Kokumo had done before her. After a series of bizarre events involving Regan's new personality took place, her mother decided to seek a medical remedy from the field of medicine, believing her condition to be a physical malady without considering spiritual turbulence. After all medical possibilities were exhausted, Chris MacNeil was advised by the doctors to have an exorcism performed on Regan and sought the counsel of the skeptical Father Damien Karras, a psychiatrist and priest who was undergoing a crisis of faith while also dealing with the loss of his mother.Damien met with Regan at the request of her mother (hearing one instance of expressed fear of someone named "Merrin" from the demon's mouth), and though he remained skeptical due to his shaken faith, he sought permission from the Church to have an exorcism performed on Regan. One of the few known exorcists with experience was Lankester Merrin, now famous for his ordeal with Pazuzu twelve years prior. Merrin arrived in Georgetown and, with the assistance of Father Karras, began the ritual to drive the demon out of Regan's body. The ordeal escalated as the two old enemies battled once more for yet another life. While Merrin was fairly immune to Pazuzu's psychological attacks due to his prior experience with the demon in Africa, Pazuzu sought to exploit Father Karras' lingering guilt over the death of his mother in an attempt to undermine the exorcism. After Karras showed signs of faltering due to the demon's psychological torture, Merrin, weakened by his frail health, attempted to confront the demon alone, but suffered a fatal heart attack at the hands of the demon's power. Though Karras returned and attempted to revive Merrin, Pazuzu, still in possession of Regan, merely giggled. At this, Karras viciously assaulted the possessed girl, challenging the demon to enter his body instead in an attempt to coax it out of Regan. Eventually, Pazuzu took the bait and left Regan's body, possessing Karras instead. Karras was able to regain control long enough however to throw himself from Regan's bedroom window and down a long flight of stone steps, resulting in fatal injuries to his body and depriving Pazuzu a functioning body to inhabit. With this, it is presumed that with his defeat, Pazuzu was forced back to Hell.
Revenge on KarrasEdit
Though Pazuzu's plan to destroy Regan MacNeil was thwarted by Lankester Merrin and Damien Karras, the vengeful demon decided, before being sent back to the pit of Hell, to exact revenge upon Karras. To this end, Pazuzu entreated the departing spirit of a serial killer, the Gemini Killer, who was killed at the same time as Father Karras, to attach itself to the dying body of Karras. Though Karras' fall had caused serious brain damage and he was buried, the presence of the Gemini Killer's soul kept the body (and thus Karras) alive but held hostage. He escaped Karras' grave and wandered the streets before being found, amnesiac and lost, and committed to a psychiatric ward.
Return for ReganEdit
Pazuzu returns to haunt Regan. Pazuzu inflicts Regan with memories of his first encounter with Merrin in Africa. After a long confrontation, Regan and Father Lamont, a priest who had been trying to help her, but had become possessed by Pazuzu, return to Georgetown. After a struggle, he declines Pazuzu's offer of power and Regan banishes Pazuzu, appearing in the form of locusts.
The Exorcism of the Gemini Killer from Karras' BodyEdit
15 years on from Regan's first Exorcism, the Gemini Killer had possession of Karras' body, and the wounds inflicted on Karras' body by the fall healed. Due to Karras' confinement, the killer's spirit would flit in and out of Karras to take possession of other residents of the ward to commit murders in the same fashion as the killer did in life.Eventually, Lieutenant Kinderman traced the killings to the ward and discovered, to his great shock, Karras' presence there. After discovering the truth of how the Gemini Killer was committing the murders, Kinderman was able to help Karras regain control of his body long enough for Damien to plead with Kinderman to kill him and end the killer's hold over him. Kinderman complied with Karras' final request, shooting him in the head and breaking the killer's hold over Karras, allowing the priest to move on and for the killer to go where he was originally destined to have gone, Hell.
Pazuzu had accomplished the diabolical goal of destroying countless humans' lives through the ages. Pazuzu would come to be banished to Hell forever, never again to torment a human soul.
- The Exorcist
- Exorcist II, The Heretic
- Exorcist III, Legion
- Exorcist: The Beginning
- Dominion: A Prequel to the Exorcist