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Arabic: shaytān
Hebrew: sher

In religions, supernatural being usually of bad or evil character. Demons often have the ability to influence human lives.
The opposite of a demon is the category of angels. In most cases, there were clear distinctions between the two, but in many cases angels could have negative qualities, and demons could have good qualities.
The word comes from the Greek word daimon, a designation for special powers between gods and humans.
Demons are central to most religious systems, dating back to prehistoric times. In many religions demons could be angry ancestors.
Demons in the Old Testament, hence Judaism, are referred to as unclean spirits. In Christianity, demons came to be understood as fallen angels, led by Satan. In Islam, demons are evil jinns, that are involved in destruction and ruling over specific places where evil activities take place. In Zoroastrianism, demons were called daevas, and considered malevolent beings.
Defense against demons is often acted out as exorcism, often done by a person with special authority.

By Tore Kjeilen