Demons are supernatural creatures that inhabit Hell. Demons were either previously human sinners that died and were sent to Hell or similar to Charlie's case, Hellborns that are naturally demonic in nature, and thus not having been previously human.
Demons come in all shapes and sizes. Their physical forms typically have characteristics associated with the human body, with the exception of having ears and sometimes lack of a nose. Some Demons can alter parts of themselves, such gaining an extra or new set of appendages such as an extra pair (or more) of eyes, horns, or simply just get enhanced versions of their default form's body parts (such as the rest of Charlie's teeth becoming pointed fangs).
The typical abilities that Demons possess are the ability of longevity, different varieties of magic, and even the natural abilities of the entities their characters are based on (such as electricity, night vision, heightened senses, and hunting instincts).
Demons typically don't die easily but they all inevitably succumb to the weapons used by Exorcists. When hit by their weapons, it results in the body of the Demon getting "killed off" with the dark energy that's left in the soul to wander into inanimate objects in its surroundings, which explains why some things such as regular furniture have functioning eyes. Although they are the souls of dead sinners, Demons are shown to still consume food and the like which suggests that their bodies still need the intake in order to survive. Sinners stop aging once they are turned into demons and remain the same age as when they have died (ex: Alastor dying in his 30s will remain 30 years old for the rest of eternity in Hell). As for Hellborn Demons, they are proven to age, albeit slower than humans (as shown in The Magne Family portrait of 1875), maturity and intellect-wise but they show little to no changes when it comes to their physical forms. It has also been stated that just because they live for a long time, it does not make them immortal, suggesting that they can still die of old age or by natural causes.
There are two main groups in Demon society: The Sinners and The Hellborns.
Sinners are humans who have done bad deeds on Earth that resulted in their punishment of being sent to Hell and thus being transformed into Demons. Whereas Hellborns are "Original" Demons that are born in Hell, thus them not having had any experience in the human world or any experience as a human. Hellborn demons are able to traverse across any of the rings of Hell, whereas sinners are confined to the Pride Ring of hell.
Demons of Hell govern by a hierarchy, and it is dominated by Lucifer Magne above all other Demons (even Satan and Beelzebub). This hierarchy is divided into tiers; going top-to-bottom, it is as follows:
- Lucifer, king of Hell
- Charlotte Magne, heir apparent to Hell's throne
- The Seven Deadly Sins
- The Ars Goetia, which includes Stolas and the Goetia Demons.
- Regular sinners
- Succubus, Incubi, and other unknown demon classes of Hell
- Imps and Hellhounds, the bottom of Hell's society
The existence of the tiers demonstrate exceptions to the hierarchy system. The first being that a Demon's status is treated variably. For instance, Charlie, despite being the second highest-ranking demon, is not respected by the populace due to their spiteful climate. Rather, respect is dependent on the intimidation of one's character, like in Lucifer's case. Furthermore, demons can elevate their status by accumulating dark powers, which they receive by making deals, soul dealing, or even taking it by force. These beings can rival higher-ranking Hellborn Demons and the royalty of Hell, although the royalty is still considered above them. The hierarchy also states that not all Hellborns are inherently above Sinners: different species of Hellborns have a designated standing. For example, Imps are considered the lowest type of Demon in spite of being Hellborn Demons, and the canine-like Hellhound Demons are demons for hire.
There is a specific type of stronger than average Demon referred to as Overlords, which counts as virtual Gods of the underworld. These Demons possess enhanced abilities and frighteningly destructive powers that no mere Demon can match, granting them a high place in Hell's hierarchy. They usually obtain/enhance their powers by making deals with other Demons as well as dominating them in battle and taking in their dark energy.
Demons have their own languages similar to how humans have a wide variety of languages, as revealed when Charlie is said to be fluent in every Demon language she has learned while growing up. Although they have yet to show anyone speaking in this language, as of now the characters have only been shown to speak human languages such as English (for the most part) and Spanish (by Vaggie).
The Demon civilization is not that different from that of human civilization as they also have laws, facilities such as shops, news stations, bars, etc. and a hierarchy that's to be followed and respected. This also applies for their forms of technology as it is also not that far off from human technology, but with their own twists to it.
Most Demons hold little to no value for the preciousness of life. Being part of a society wherein many individuals share the same traits, demons have come to objectify any and all life forms, allies and enemies alike. As such, they tend to treat each other and themselves as disposable commodities.
While there has never been mention of Demons practicing any form of spiritualism or religion, the existence of a sign that says "Satan Bless" that can be seen being held by a homeless demon in the pilot episode of Helluva Boss implies some sort of belief system. Additionally, Vivziepop has mentioned that they also celebrate Christmas but instead of Santa Claus, they eagerly await Krampus's arrival.
Demons tend to have an overarching theme to their design. They can resemble animals (some more so than others), objects (such as Vox and some gun-esque demons), homunculi, and more, coming in a wide array of colors, appearances, sizes, and structures based on what creature their character is based on. According to Vivxiepop, Demons that appear more humanoid looking are actually quite rare.
Demons can have either only one eye (Niffty, Cherri Bomb, etc.), two eyes (Charlie, Alastor, Angel Dust, etc.), or even several eyes (Sir Pentious, Helsa, etc.). A feature consistent to all demons is their lack of ears or ear-like structures in their default forms (with the exception of Hellhound Demons and Demons like Husk). Aside from their origins, there are physical differences between the two Demon types; Hellborns don't look human at all and have various different species, such as Imps and Hellhounds. This is unlike the Sinners, whose appearances are highly individualized.
As shown in Helluva Boss, humans are able to see and interact with Demons despite them being classified as souls.
Most, if not all, demons share the following traits:
- Demon Transformation: According to artist Faustisse, Demons have a stronger alternate form as opposed to their default forms which they can transform into when enraged or when in combat.[note 1] So far, only Charlie, Katie, and Alastor have demonstrated this.
- Summoning: Demons have the ability to summon elements, objects, and even assistance one way or another. Examples of this are Alastor being able to summon an army of shadow creatures and Charlie being able to summon fire out of the palm of her hand.
- Non-Senescence: Demons do not age, and thus do not die of old age and most of the other natural causes that kill humans. However, they can still be killed once they are hit with any of the Exorcists' weapons or if they have been infected by Hell's own diseases and the like.
- Unique abilities: Demons have a wide range of abilities that are exclusive to certain demon types or individual demons. These range from Alastor's wide range of powers, Angel's ability to sense storms and jump really high, or Husk's ability to fly.
As mentioned before by Vivziepop, Sinners cannot reproduce, although Hellborns can. In the case of Charlie, her birth is yet to be explained as Lucifer is a Fallen Angel-turned-Demon and Lilith is a human-turned-Succubus Demon.
- Angel Dust
- Sir Pentious
- Cherri Bomb
- Katie Killjoy
- Tom Trench
- Lilith Magne
- Mrs. Mayberry
- The creature that each Sinner is turned into when they become demons are associated with their human life, or as Viv puts it, individual reflections of their souls. Because of this, their appearances are actually not randomized as many fans have speculated.
- An example is how there's a reason why Angel's family in Hell all take the form of spiders—they are a "web" of organized crime.
- When Sinners arrive at Hell, they make up their own name that they are known for as Demons. However, Alastor is excluded since he dislikes giving himself any sort of nickname.
- Once a demon dies in Hell, the dark energy within them wanders off and possesses random everyday inanimate objects such as furniture and tools, which explains why some of the things seen in the background and such have functioning eyes.
- Since Demons theoretically can not die via natural causes, such as illnesses and overdosing, they are able to consume amounts that would be lethal to humans without any risk of dying.
- This is shown in both Angel Dust and Husk as both are able to consume vast amounts of drugs and alcohol without any threat of death.
- This does not mean, however, that there are no negative side effects, as Loona makes clear Demons can still get hangovers.
- According to Vivziepop: