13 of the most nightmare-inducing evil entities in the Buffyverse

Contributed by
Mar 8, 2017

Vampires. Demons. Things with more tentacles than you care to count. The Buffyverse is positively seething with malevolent creatures, and they can't all be staked.

Evil comes in every incarnation imaginable, and some forms almost impossible to imagine. They range from mindless sets of razor teeth with two eyes and a stomach to merciless psychopathic monsters who play killing games for their own twisted entertainment. The question is what kind of beastly things will linger in your waking mind long after you’ve woken up in a cold sweat ...

Is it the ones that look so monstrous you don't even need to know what they're capable of to run screaming, or the more insidious ones who end up eating your soul? Aliens that slime you to death? Creeps that carve out your heart with a scalpel and a sickening smile? Serial killers whose bloodlust rages after they've been turned into vamps? Body snatchers that liquefy your insides?

Whatever it was that had you leaving the light on during the seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (because I know you all did at some point, and don't try to hide it), relive some of the most terrifying moments in Sunnydale with 13 of the most horrifically haunting entities to ever invade your dreams.

Gnarl

Not only could he pass for a more skeletal reflection of Gollum (they share the same sharp teeth and decades-overgrown fingernails desperately in need of a manicure), but this demon doesn't just sink his teeth into raw fish — try raw flesh. Gnarl is a parasite who produces a paralytic venom that lets him feast on human skin and drink blood like wine while his victims are still alive. As if consuming them alive while they can't even scream isn't enough, he also gets off on sadistically watching his victims suffer. He taunts potential meals as he cuts them with razor nails and licks the blood off his fingers. That creepy singsong voice of his will crawl down your spine and echo in your skull.

The Judge

If the Judge were to make a final ruling about humans, they would be extinct. His paranormal power is extinguishing the "plague" of people by "burning the humanity" out of them. He reverse-sentences souls to eternal life or hellfire by judging righteousness or evil and then setting the righteous aflame, hence the name. This is one demon who isn't easily destroyed. After blazing a murderous path through piles of bodies in the 14th century, he was finally hacked to pieces. The disembodied parts of his body (which could still kill on their own) were locked in iron boxes and scattered to every conceivable corner of the Earth, only to be reassembled by Spike 600 years later. He then sucks out Angel's soul. Verdict: evil.

Der Kindestod

When you're a kid with a ridiculously high fever, the last person you want bending over you in your hospital bed is a Freddy Krueger-Crypt Keeper hybrid with eerily blank eyes that extend like antennae and unleash micro-fangs to suck the life out of you. Oh, and your parents can't see him. Neither can any doctors or nurses. Nobody can but you. Der Kindestod (meaning 'the child's death' in German) craves children, but only sick ones, so he can make it look like illness took them in their sleep instead of a demon too hideous for even a Halloween mask. He leaves no evidence of a supernatural death, so an autopsy would be pointless. Even the nastiest cough medicine sounds like candy at this point.

Kakistos

When your name literally translates to "the supreme evil of evils," you hardly have to introduce yourself to inject fear into your victims. Seems that even vampires can't prevent the signs of aging. Kakistos is scary enough to look at even before he sucks your blood, with a perma-demon visage and cloven hooves that evolved with extreme old age. Besides the fact that he looks like a devil's minion straight off a medieval tapestry, what's really terrifying about this ancient relic is that he's developed a resistance to stakes. The standard sharpened sticks and chair legs will only scratch him— you'd need a monstrous wooden fang. Even creepier, if you're Angel, he's always stalking you because he can supernaturally sense the presence of your soul.

Zachary Kralik

Vampires are serial killers by nature, so it should be no surprise that a human who was already a serial killer got a new lease on death when he was turned. Not that biting victims in the jugular is ever enough for a psychopath like Kralik. Before he was turned to the dark(er) side while behind bars, this fanged Ed Gein murdered his own mother and then devoured her, though she was a monster in her own right who supposedly castrated him with scissors. Even other children of the night stay away from him. Being a vampire doesn't stop him from needing anti-psychotic pills that have horrific side effects — and ultimately leads to his demise when Buffy tricks him into drinking them with Holy Water.

Hellmouth Spawn

This Lovecraftian thing may not have much of a brain of its own (if it even has one at all) to be warped in the psychological sense, but tell me it wouldn't invade your nightmares if was the last thing you saw before flicking the light off. It has so many slithering tentacles that it wouldn't miss any hacked off during its mission to destroy you and everything else in its way. It only crawls back into its hole when Buffy stakes the Master, but in no way is it done terrorizing Sunnydale just because the most ancient of ancient vampires has gone to dust at the hands of a teenage girl. An Armageddon-inducing ritual brought it seething and writhing into the open again. Cthulhu would be proud.

Queller Demons

When alien and demon collide, you get this extraterrestrial humanoid mass of protoplasm with rows and rows of teeth resembling a sea lamprey. Their targeting of asylum residents is ironic considering that just a glimpse at one of these red-eyed slug-things is enough to make anyone insane. These mucousy oversized mollusks can also stick to walls and ceilings, even crawling under your bed and lying in wait until you unknowingly pass one and get smothered to death in alkaloid slime. Not that they even needed the habitable conditions of our planet before they were summoned. Here's the real reason we don't want anything from the far reaches of space to come crashing to Earth — these things slithered over here by worming their way into meteors.

The Master

With a face that makes Voldemort look like a teddy bear, The Master, aka Heinrich Joseph Nest, is the oldest vampire in existence who will stop at nothing to suck mere mortals into the chasm of evil. This nearly immortal monster has spawned some of the most fearsome Nosferatu ever to stalk the night. He came to syphilitic prostitute Darla dressed as (irony of ironies) a priest claiming to be her savior, never mind he looked more like the Grim Reaper to anyone even hallway conscious. He even defeated and sired a Slayer. Via a bloody ritual that involved leeching off a feeding vampire's power, he tried to open the Hellmouth in Sunnydale, which would disgorge every evil thing the human mind could possibly conceive and some that were beyond imagination.

Illyria

Even a stone sarcophagus can't contain this vengeful blue-haired beast, who has been around since time immemorial and once commanded a demon army of epic proportions. Even most malicious entities cowered in her presence. What appeared to be her death was anything but final, since she'd already planned her rise from the shadows and plot for world domination before she was imprisoned in what was thought to be an impenetrable coffin. The demoness invades a mortal body when her essence seeps out of the casket and into Fred's mouth, taking a parasitic hold by liquefying her host's organs and devouring the soul. Her destructive rampage claims not only human lives and military-grade equipment but several perfectly manicured suburban lawns and even an ice cream truck.

The Gentlemen

Anything but gentle, these are the specters nightmares are made of. They even have their own theme song that sounds like a warped lullaby sung by the creepiest little girl ever. Having emerged from fairy tales gone horribly wrong, they levitate upright through the streets, searching out the seven human hearts they need to stay ... alive? Undead? Dressed in impeccably tailored suits, the corpselike men with metal teeth are deceptively courteous as they commit carnage, politely passing a scalpel between them to extract yet another heart from its still-living body. There is no shrieking since they snatch the victim's voice and lock it in an enchanted box. Nothing can scar their skin, and that means stakes, swords or even electric shockwaves. Slenderman has nothing on them.

The Beast

The name says it all. If the dinosaur-esque devil horns and ghastly complexion don't get you, his hunger for human sacrifice and ability to break out of the deepest pits of hell will. He'll do anything for attention, especially kill on repeat until Angel finally notices he's dying to make a demonic deal involving even more blood. Don't forget the torrential Rain of Fire (which is exactly what it sounds like) he unleashes on L.A. Or that he massacres the entire staff of Wolfram & Hart only to morph them into zombies. Or that he drains an ancient and malevolent demon of all her dark energy and then goes butchering even more unfathomably old demons to eclipse the sun and bring eternal darkness upon Earth.

Camazotz

Half human and half bat, Camazotz is the classical vampire stereotype on steroids. This Mayan blood god who is the damnable offspring of a mortal and a deity is who you want to thank for the infestation of bloodsucking undead in the Buffyverse, since he gave rise to them by sharing his blood with one human, who then bit another, who then ... you know how it goes. The bat-beast shows no mercy for his own minions, dusting them if he has to in order to strengthen himself after being mangled by a scimitar. Like his antediluvian brethren, he's also conveniently immune to stakes and anything else with a pointy end — unless it's made of gold.

Glorificius

Glory is the evil alt-verse version of Samantha from Sex and the City, and that includes the designer shoe obsession. She'll use you as a vessel for her inhuman purposes or make you kneel to her with magic, and if that doesn't work, she'll stick her immaculately polished fingers up your nose and suck the energy out of your brain. There is only one weapon in existence that can kill this psychopathic body-snatcher extraordinaire, but even The Abomination has a very human weakness. Her epic status as the biggest bad of Big Bads still didn't stop her from throwing a tantrum (of such magnitude that it crushed an entire building) over something that could only enrage the demonic mirror of Samantha Jones: her shoe broke.