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A Great Terror will soon fall upon Salem, and there is not a soul alive upon this dull Earth who can stop me.
— The Devil to the witches

The Devil, alternately called Lucifer or the Dark Lord, is the Lord of Chaos and Destruction, proprietor of the Underworld, as well as the primary patron of Witchcraft. He has many names, but his angelic name is Samael, the Angel of Death

The Devil is a major character and ultimate antagonist in Salem, primarily portrayed by American actor Oliver Bell.

Early Life

Very little is known about the history of the Devil because his story has been passed down from different people scattered in different parts of the world, some of these legends are in fact contradictory. One of the few sure things is that aeons ago he rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven, became the head of the infernal legions, and taught humans to practice dark and perverse forms of magic. One of these was the Countess Von Marburg, who was committed to finding a way to free her beloved Dark Lord after the latter was imprisoned in Hell. According to Tituba and The Sentinel, the Devil is, in fact, Samael the Angel of Death.


The Devil is a trickster par excellence, able to whisper in the ear of men exactly what they want to hear, manipulating them to make the most nefarious actions, with the promise of power, wealth, health and everything that anyone could want. From the words of witches as Tituba, Mary Sibley or Countess Von Marburg, the Devil appears to be a sort of champion for the weak and oppressed, but by the time he was given a human body by means of the Grand Rite, the Devil showed to be very cold, cruel and ruthless, not least against the witches themselves. His personality also appears to be sadistic and restless in nature, totally inclined to reprehensible acts such as rape and physical violence of any sort. Possibly part of his personality is mixed with that of his host, who even before the total possession showed evil imbalances, making possible a blend of the two intrinsic personalities inside the vessel.


Different cultures have attributed to this being different qualities. Nevertheless, due to the fact that there are many interpretations of what and who the Devil is, there are many variations of the Devil's identity. While the basis of what and who the Devil is has been a subject of intense debate for thousands of years, most religions, such as Christianity, believe the Devil to be the chief spirit of evil. Reverend Cotton Mather once held a sermon where he explained how the Devil would never allow a promised land be built without a fight, and that witches armed with deadly malice were the most insidious weapons in that war. He expressed how even a single witch was enough to destroy everything the Puritans have built and ever hope to build.

Witches believed to be a Pagan god who represented the primal nature and wildness of man. He was an illustration of mankind unencumbered by civilization and lived by his instincts in a natural state of being. While the witches have always known for the God to have dark characteristics, they also believed him to have a bright nature and viewed him as both a benevolent and malevolent deity.

While most Shamanic traditions do not hold the same beliefs about the Devil as those held by Abrahamic traditions, most Native Americans do share the belief that spirit can be either benevolent or malevolent, and that the Devil falls under the latter. This was confirmed after a powerful shaman of the Wampanoag tribe warned John Alden about a dark spirit that lived inside of the Earth and voiced his fear of the chaos that would befall the world should the witches succeed in their attempts to resurrect him.

Physical Appearance

The Devil took over the physical appearance of John Sibley. Following the sacrifice of Cotton Mather, the Dark Lord harnessed such energy to spin adulthood in the span of a few minutes. As an adult, he has retained fair complexion, green eyes, and thick black hair. His body is slim and quite muscular, tall and with broad shoulders. The jaw is quite squared, as opposed to the delicate face of John Sibley in childhood.

Previously he has appeared several times as a demon in the guise of a man completely covered in blood and mud, with goat features, such as horns, cloven-hoofed, and black fleece reminiscent of the satyrs of the Hellenistic culture. His true physical appearance, if he has one, has not yet been shown.

Throughout the Salem Series


During the first season, the main goal of the Witches of Salem, later identified as the last descendants of the Essex Hive, was to get rid of oppression imposed by the hypocritical Puritanism by awakening the Devil through the Grand Rite, a ceremony of the blackest magic that involves, in its process, an horrible plague.

The Devil in the guise of a satyr

The Witches, especially Mary Sibley and Tituba, are so blinded by the desire for revenge to not noticing that they are only puppets in the hands of the Evil One; they are so deceived by the Devil to believe him the Kanaima, a term that in South America's lore describes a vengeful spirit. Since the Great Rite requires an escalation of ritual murders, Mary Sibley makes maliciously commit them by the Puritans themselves, leaving them to wet their hands with innocent blood. The Devil makes sporadic appearances in the guise of a satyr covered in blood, proclaiming Mary Sibley as one of his witches taking as reward her unborn son. He reappears in the guise of a satyr when Mercy Lewis is initiated into Witchcraft by Mary Sibley, in the woods of Salem.


The rite of exorcism performed by Rev. Cotton Mather has the side effect of almost total awaken the dormant devil inside John, born with the sole purpose of being the Devil's vessel on Earth. In this time, the Devil communicates his real intention to destroy the Earth, without special attention in regard to his witches, whom he treats as expendable pawns in the chessboard. [1]

Rise of the Beast: Legion inhabits John's deceased body

The Grand Rite is completed by the witches of Salem (Mary, Tituba and Anne) and the Marburg. Once John is burned in the body and soul by the hellfire, the Devil has a mortal body by means of which he can conquer the Earth. [2]

Totally at ease in Salem, the new "capital of Hell" as described by Cotton Mather, the Devil punishes Mercy for her vanity and pulls off the tip of her index finger that the girl used to indicate to the witch hunters the people to kill. The Devil also shows an apparent clemency against Tituba, only to kills her after in the woods by making her attacked by a flock of crows. Developed a total obsession over Mary, who wants as his wife, the Devil also kills the Countess, fatally stabbing her in the back and chest, because she tried to kill Mary Sibley out of jealousy. [3]


File:Salem 301-7.jpg

Sebastian introducing the devil to his followers

In the Salem woods at night, in the form of a black snake in the hands of Sebastian heralding his ascension, the Devil appeared before the gathered witches from any remote place on earth, demanding their devotion. When the spokeswoman for the Essex Hive refused to kneel, asking the Devil to live up to his promise, the Dark Lord executed her by lifting the woman from the ground with a wave of his hand and causing her fatal bleeding disorders. Later, the Dark Lord communicated to Sebastian and Anne about his plans on his "Inauguration" and how he would use the hatred between refugees and citizens to foment a war. That same evening, left alone with Sebastian, the devil forced the witch to drink the blood of Mary from a silver goblet, ordering Sebastian to forget the love for the woman since she would be his bride. Late at night, the Dark Lord received the visit of the long-lost brother and fellow fallen angel, The Sentinel. The two recalled past events during their fall, while the Devil was confident about the success of the new rebellion.[4]

Dark Lord dining with Sebastian.

The Devil warmly welcomed the visit of Mary, believed dead, and immediately made sure that she was comfortable in her old house, leaving her with the Sentinel so that he might torture the woman while the Devil subjugated Salem through the words of the Reverend Cotton Mather, blackmailed to ally with the Devil. When Mary tried to stab to death the vessel in the bathtub, he lifted the glamouring veil out to be none other than the Sentinel, who instantaneously healed from the wounds. The Dark Lord appeared across the room, disappointed because Mary had failed the test. [5]

When the Dark Lord refused to kill Mary on the spot, the Sentinel swore at him, telling him to have softened; To which the Devil remembered his brother the pleasant pain that can be inflicted on a mortal body, far worse than death. While Sentinel tortured Mary, and Sebastian Vo Marburg urged the guerrillas outside the city limits, the Dark Lord revealed in the gloomy atmosphere that heralded the defeat of God. When Sebastian expressed doubts about such motivations, the Devil informed the witch of how he was going to wipe out the presence of God from the earth, creating a total war and lack of faith and hope in the future. Later that same night, the Dark Lord Mary deprived of all her witch powers in a dreadful ceremony known as "The Reckoning". After nailing her familiar toad on her hand, the Devil stripped the elements from Mary's body, leaving her in agony on the ground.[6]

Before devoting himself to his daily tasks, the Dark Lord, he was visiting an ailing Mary Sibley, still recovering after the Reckoning. Pleased by the woman's hatred so close to love, let her rest. Enraged by the recent escape of Cotton Mather, the Devil unleashed his Night's Black Agents so that they went immediately on his trail. When Cotton seemed nowhere to be found, even after the Dark Lord had released a flock of crows, he directed his anger on Anne Hale, lifting her against the ceiling beams and affecting her flesh until she bled painfully.[7]

File:305 still Mary and the Devil.jpg

Dark Lord and his betrothed Mary

Only the sudden return of Cotton Mather convinced the Devil to spare the ginger witch. He did this only if Cotton had agreed to become the clerk of his glorious deeds, by recording the Fall of the Angels from the perspective of the fallen themselves. When Mary begged the Devil to have a reason for living, he informed the woman about the Royal Marriage, and how they would become a divine couple. By doing so Mary was able to put the brothers against each other. The Sentinel, angered by his brother's aspirations, threatened to turn against him with the others still trapped angels. Cornered, The Dark Lord paid a visit to Tituba, who had remained a secret ally of the devil. The two shook a new covenant sealed with blood; Tituba was going to kill the Sentinel, if the Devil would give Tituba the revenge she so coveted.[8]

Dark Lord playing chess

Satisfied by the destruction and despair felled upon Salem, the Dark Lord gathered his inner circle composed of Mary, the Sentinel, Sebastian, Cotton and Anne in the parlor of Sibley Mansion to show them the Dollhouse, a mystical object that would protect those whose effigy would have been in the house. While speaking, he placed the statuette of Mary in the dollhouse. Later in the afternoon, while the transcription of the Word of the Devil at the hands Cotton continued, the Devil was playing chess with an invisible player, apparently God. It was just that directed the conversation to the true nature of angels, namely monsters, or engines of the wrath of God. The Devil expressed that all the plagues and devastation were and are still part of God's plan, a terrible despot. Harnessing the magic of the dollhouse, the devil discovered the secret meetings between Mary and Sebastian. [9]

The Dark Lord did not express disappointment when Sebastian, on his knees, confessed that he had slept with Mary, as the Devil said to have no preference for virgins like his father. He, however, was disappointed to discover that Mary was conspiring with Essex Hive in the woods. When he reached the place with Sebastian, however, he discovered that he had been deceived. Sebastian and even his own brother were allied with Mary, who dismembered the Devil's Vessel thanks to the ultimate sacrifice of the whole Essex Hive, only after Essex Elder reminded him the true meaning of sacrifice. After everyone had gone away, a mysterious hooded figure picked up in a bag the dismembered limbs of the body. [10]

Tituba sewing the Devil's host body

The mysterious hooded figure turned out to be none other than Tituba, who sewed the limbs with cunning craft and burning desire for revenge. (Friday's Knights) As events continued to plummet precipitously towards the completion of the Great Terror in spite of the various attempts to Mary, and John Cotton to stop him, the Dark Lord dragged his battered body before the Hell Gate, opened by Anne Hale, blackened to the bones without possibility of redemption. [11]

Dark Lord seducing Mary

Before the Hell Gate, the Devil and Anne were able to force Cotton to sacrifice himself by entering the doorway to Hell to save the souls of Salem interrupting the ticking of the Instrument. In doing so, the devil was hit by new vitality. His adult body, in fact, began to make his way from inside the child, ripping limbs and decapitating the vessel until a naked and covered in blood adult man emerged from within child's mortal remains. He then seduced Mary, reminding her that she has done worse things than incest when she was a witch, and that she can not deny that she's sexually attracted by the masculine body standing in front of her. Cleaned and wearing a pair of trousers, the Dark Lord greeted Mary in his bed, ignoring that the body of the woman was possessed by the Countess.

Dark Lord's vessel death

When during intercourse, Anne Hale joined the couple, the Devil showed no opposition. It was only when Anne pointed his throat with the Angel Dagger that he expressed some concern, immediately abandoned when he realized that Anne had the real potential to become Queen of the Night. Already carrying a baby in her womb to use as a vessel, she promised to raise him again to a new glory. At that point, he voluntarily accepted the death of his current human body.[12]

Powers and Abilities

You are first among equals. Stronger than I or any of our brothers . . .
— The Sentinel acknowledges his brother's power.

The Devil brutally kills an Essex elder.

The Dark Lord is believed to have been God's favorite angel, thrown into Hell after his rebellion; thus making him a Fallen Angel, possibly the first of his kind. Mary Sibley described his magic as rough as it is mainly based on bloodshed and violence of all sorts, to the point that rape is considered one of the initiatory forms he used to make a pact with aspirant witches. His powers are vast and to a certain level, they are still unknown since his true potential was never shown. His hallmark is clearly the demonic possession, although he needs a special host body known as Vessel, appropriately prepared to host his immense essence. In addition to this particular form of possession, the Devil is able to appear on Earth using one of the many projection abilities available via magic - usually in the form of a satyr-like beast, with cloven feet and horns.

He has shown a stunning mastery of telekinesis and puppetry, as well as the ability to raise the dead, like when he revived a flock of dead crows and has influenced their actions, manipulating them to do his bidding. The powers of this demonic creature extend beyond mere physicality, since he showed a remarkable affinity with psychometry, or the ability to perceive facts, emotions, and secrets without having to resort to divination or physical contact. The Dark Lord is also able to instinctively perceive lies at a glance.

A deadly recitation in Enochian causes listeners great pain.

The Devil also managed to create noise disturbance by simply reciting litanies in the Old Tongue, an archaic language spoke by unearthly beings, as demonstrated during the attempted exorcism on his host body by Cotton Mather. His skills also include glamouring, or the creation of illusions, and shapeshifting, as well as considerable physical strength, inferred by the fact that he has torn part of the Mercy Lewis's finger with just a bite. His power over his human body is such that he can inflict inhuman movements to his Vessel without any permanent damage, such as when he turned his head backward, walked covered with Hell-blood, or vomited swarms of insects.

Since the deadly practice of malice, commonly known as Witchcraft, originates from him, it is fair to believe that the Devil is able to work all of the magic feats made by his witch followers.


Memorable Quotes

Mary Sibley (to Anne Hale): "Neither the world, the flesh, nor the Devil himself is like a Puritan suit in only black and white. All is gray. And the Devil they fear is not the Devil I know."
Cry Havoc
Shaman (to John Alden): "The Earth and all the things that live on it share a single invisible form within. Like the bones within a man. But this is not bone, it is alive. Like a great, invisible Snake coiled, sleeping inside the Earth. They seek to wake Him. They think they can control it but it will destroy them, and when they are through, this will not be the place we knew. It will be Hell."
Cry Havoc
The Devil: "Cotton Mather, did you know you're in Hell even now? My children tear the wings from your soul as from a fly."
On Earth as in Hell
The Devil: "I tell you what I once told him, I am Legion, and I come from Hell to the place prepared for me, Salem. And I owe it all to you and Mary rutting in the graveyard. Ah, my Mary, she was the finest of my witches. She did all I asked. Slaughter my enemies or got the fools to slaughter each other for me. But now the bitch thinks she can betray me? Stop my triumphant entrance into this miserable dunghill of creation?"
Cotton Mather: "What is your purpose here?"
The Devil: "This little puppet of shit and bones shall be my royal carriage so I may grow to manhood and rule this land."
On Earth as in Hell
The Devil: "Come, Father. Come to me. I can offer you anything. Do you want to love Mary Sibley or kill her? Or perhaps you'd like to kill her, then love her. I can make the dead dance in the most delightful ways."
John Alden: "Enough!"
The Devil: "Oh, Father, how many men have you killed? What makes you think I'm here because my mother was a witch and not because you, Father, are a soulless killer?"
On Earth as in Hell
The Devil: "I've never forgotten the sight of you lying on the damp forest ground mouth agape in pain, legs strained wide in birth, and your eyes as black as the endless night where I dwelled. And I knew, at last, you were the one."
Mary Sibley: "I remember that night, too. Thank you for reminding me that you are not my son. You are his tomb."
The Witching Hour
The Devil: "A true God wants true love. Now, who will give me that?"
Countess Von Marburg: "I will. I do. My whole long life, I have loved no one else."
The Devil: "That is very good of you, madam. But it is her love I must have."
The Witching Hour
Countess Von Marburg: "What shall we do first? How shall we conquer and rule?
The Devil: "I truly love all you do for me. But you know, I really must have my mother beside me. Today my mother, but tomorrow my queen. She and she alone must one day be my bride. There can be only one royal marriage One true consummation. You know it, and you must make it be."
The Witching Hour
Sebastian Von Marburg: "History would say the Devil was born in Salem. Their God is dead, or lost in senile slumber, but not ours. Our God, their Devil, is alive. And now he’s here."
After the Fall
The Devil: "Remember, dear ones, to the reaper all flesh is grass. Even witch flesh. A great terror will soon fall upon Salem, and there is not a soul alive upon this dull earth who can stop me."
After the Fall
The Dark Lord: "That is your God. A vengeful, jealous, sadistic murderer, and hypocrite."
Cotton Mather: "And yet you plan a sacrifice every bit as cruel as the ones you charge Him with. Doesn't that make you the hypocrite?"
The Dark Lord: "No. I at least am honest. I do not ask those I torment to love and worship me. I am satisfied with mere obedience."
Cotton Mather: "Bitter is what I would call you. You don't just plan a mass sacrifice. You wish to inaugurate an age of total war. You cannot compete with man for God's love, nor with God's for man, so you would see his most beloved creation destroy itself. You, sir, are the vengeful one. All you want is revenge on God. It might be honest, it might even be just, but it is also petty and unworthy of one of the architects of creation."
Wednesday's Child
The Dark Lord: "You and I shall both be gods. And we shall birth a race of gods and monsters."
Black Sunday
The Dark Lord: "Mary, Mary, Mary. You have already violated every dicta of God and man ten times over. You have wonderfully overthrown every shackle of convention. Don't stop now. Say yes to a whole new world of freedom and feeling. What could hold you back from becoming my bride, and the real Queen of the Night?"
Mary Sibley: "Revulsion. The thought of touching you disgusts me."
The Dark Lord: "Is it revulsion that makes your heart beat faster and faster as I approach, or is it desire? Does my person not please you? (laughs) I can see that it does."
Black Sunday
The Dark Lord (to Anne Hale, whilst dying): "I can taste your destiny. How did I not see it? You are indeed the one. You will bring me back. And who knows, maybe this time, with you, I shall have a happy childhood."
Black Sunday


  • Samael: Hebrew: סַמָּאֵל‎, "Venom of God", or "Poison of God," or "Blindness of God". Also spelled as Sammael or Samil. In Salem, this seems to be the primary name of this being.
  • Lucifer: literally "bringer of light," "illuminator" in Latin; In Greek-Roman culture, the term depicted the planet Venus, also known as Morning Star, often portrayed as Satan's name before he fell from Heaven.
  • Satan: Hebrew: שָּׂטָן‎‎ ha-Satan, meaning "enemy" or "adversary"; Arabic: شيطان‎‎ shaitan, meaning; "astray", "distant", or sometimes "devil". [13]


  • The Devil: from Greek: διάβολος or diábolos, meaning "slanderer, accuser". [14]
  • Kenaima: also spelled as Kanaima or Canaima. In the belief system of the Carib tribes, Kanaima is an evil spirit that possesses people and causes them to turn into deadly animals and/or go into a murderous rage. Tituba is the only witch who refers to the Devil with this name.
  • Dark Man: an epithet used by Tituba in reference to the devil, probably because of its dark nature.
  • Serpent: in reference to the Biblical tempter in the Garden of Eden.
  • The Beast: in reference to his monstrous nature. Also used in the Bible.
  • Legion: as the head of a legion of demons, he is like the Greek Hydra, a monster with multiple heads.
  • Father of Lies: an epithet used by Essex Elder, to underline the propensity to lie of this being.

Status and Rank

  • Angel of Death: his primary role in the Heavenly host as the bringer of death on God's behalf.
  • The Dark Lord: is the title that describes this being par excellence, used by most of his servants to emphasise the majesty of the Devil. As the chief of the Fallen Angels, and of all the hives of witches on Earth, the Devil is the de facto Lord of Darkness.
  • George Sibley's Heir: the Devil maintains a façade in society as heir to Sibley's fortune, one of the most prominent Puritan families, by inhabiting the body of John Sibley, the child that the world knows as the only living male heir of George Sibley.


Season One

Season Two

Season Three

Season One

Season Two

Season Three



  • The Bible claims that near the end of the world, a "Beast" will ascend into great political power and attempt to take over the world. Having been given power by Satan, the Beast will convince the leaders of the earth to follow him into war against God. Whether or not this is the intention of the Devil in Salem remains unknown.
    • However, the shaman friend of Alden warned the latter that when the "snake" will wake up, will only bring chaos and destruction to all, including witches.
  • It is not clear if the accomplishment of the Grand Rite kills or not the human being that houses the Spirit, although the spell explicitly require destroying the "human shell" by burning it in both body and soul; Since John Alden shot the child in the forehead, hoping to stop the possession process, we can deduce that the child is dead and the Devil is inhabiting a dead body.
  • "Legion" is a group of demons referred to in the New Testament; Gospels of Mark and Luke describe an incident in which Jesus meets a man, or men, possessed by demons who, when asked what their name is, respond: "My name is Legion, for we are many." The quotation has been referenced and alluded to many times throughout history in popular culture. The author of the Gospel of Mark could well have expected readers to associate the name "Legion" with the Roman military formation, active in the area at the time (around 70 CE). The intention may be to show that Jesus is stronger than the occupying force of the Romans. Seyoon Kim, a noted biblical scholar, however, points out that the Latin legio was commonly used as a loan word in Hebrew and Aramaic to indicate a large number. This could mean that the Devil then responds to many names (see the infobox to read some of them), it'll be spoiled for choice.
  • "The Dark Lord: the devil boy" is the description that accompanies the promotional photo for the third season on Salem official Instagram account.
  • The Zohar describes Samael as meaning "poison of God." Samael is also called "Venom of God," and "Blindness of God." He is the main archangel of death in Talmudic and post-Talmudic lore and can be good or evil depending on who is writing on him. Rabbinical writings describe Samael as the guardian angel of Esau and a patron of the Roman Empire. Samael is the collector of Moses' soul. The Chronicles of Jerahmeel hails Samael as “chief of the Satans." Samael is the third name of the demiurge, aka Yaldabaoth and Saklas, in The Apocryphon of John, found in the Nag Hammadi library. [15]


  1. Joe Menosky & Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). July 13, 2014. "On Earth as in Hell". Salem. Season 2. Episode 11. WGN.
  2. Donna Thorland & Adam Simon (writer) & Alex Zakrzewski (director). July 13, 2014. "Midnight Never Come". Salem. Season 2. Episode 12. WGN.
  3. Adam Simon (writer) & Brannon Braga (director). July 13, 2014. "The Witching Hour". Salem. Season 2. Episode 13. WGN.
  4. Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). November 2, 2016. "After the Fall". Salem. Season 3. Episode 1. WGN.
  5. Adam Simon (writer) & Tim Andrews (director). November 9, 2016. "The Heart Is A Devil". Salem. Season 3. Episode 2. WGN.
  6. Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson (writer) & Wayne Yip (director). November 16, 2016. "The Reckoning". Salem. Season 3. Episode 3. WGN.
  7. Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Joe Dante (director). November 30, 2016. "Night's Black Agents". Salem. Season 3. Episode 4. WGN.
  8. Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). December 7, 2016. "The Commonwealth of Hell". Salem. Season 3. Episode 5. WGN.
  9. Adam Simon & Donna Thorland (writer) & Peter Weller (director). December 14, 2016. "Wednesday's Child". Salem. Season 3. Episode 6. WGN.
  10. Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders (writer) & Jennifer Lynch (director). January 4, 2017. "The Man Who Was Thursday". Salem. Season 3. Episode 7. WGN.
  11. Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders (writer) & Jennifer Lynch (director). January 18, 2017. "Saturday Mourning". Salem. Season 3. Episode 9. WGN.
  12. Adam Simon (writer) & Brannon Braga (director). January 25, 2017. "Black Sunday". Salem. Season 3. Episode 10. WGN.
  13. Meaning of Satan on Jewish Encyclopedia.
  14. Devil on Encyclopaedia Britannica
  15. Salem exposes the evils of Angels

See Also