Deadites, AKA Dybbuks
Origin: first named in the Evil Dead (1981 franchise)
"Look at her eyes. Look at her eyes! For God's sake, what happened to her eyes?"
— Shelley, The Evil Dead
"Why have you disturbed our sleep; awakened us from our ancient slumber?" "We are the things that were and shall be again! Ahahahaha! Spirits of the book! We want what is yours: LIFE! Dead by dawn! Dead by dawn!" "Someone's in my fruit cellar! Someone with a fresh soooul!" "Soon all of you will be like me... And then who will lock you up in a cellar? ...You will die! Like the others before you, one by one, we will take you!" "I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!" "It's useless! Useless! In time IT will come for him, and then IT will come for you!" "Even now we have your darling Linda's soul, as she suffers in torment! ...Yes! Your love was a lie! And now she burns in hell!"
— Deadites, The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead II
A "Deadite" is a person, animal, severed or attached limb, plant, or (rarely) inanimate object possessed by a host of minor Kandarian spirits. Deadites can be described as evil demonic zombies and are the main antagonists of the Evil Dead (1981 franchise). The person possessed by the Deadite is totally overwhelmed by the Kandarian Demon's main consciousness, with the resulting Deadite having access to all the host's memories and behaviour; for all intents and purposes, Deadites are Kandarian Demons, and the Kandarian Demons are Deadites. Deadites may claim to be demons from "Hell", though it is unknown whether this is the Hell of scripture, or merely the Deadites' term for a similar place of torture. The Deadites may behave like an efficient network, all connected to each other in the form of a sort of "hive mind", sharing common memories, goals, etc.
Human Deadites may vary in form, often displaying white eyes with no pupil or hollow black eyes, reverberated voice, distorted facial features, sharpened teeth, altered hands, skin tone change perhaps due to rapid corruption and decay (grey, yellow, rosey or white) and differently-colored blood and fluids (white, dark or light red, black or green). Among the supernatural abilities of a Deadite include superhuman strength and stamina, levitation, invulnerability to knife cuts and minor gun shots or other physical wounds that are not involved with the brain. Sometimes, perhaps given enough time, they can alter their overall body structure, or even grow extra limbs from the inside of their bodies; among the most dramatic changes they can sustain is the conversion into a bat-winged brownish creature which no longer resembles the former human form anymore. Deadites can also create hallucinations that change their aspect in order to deceive people, but the effect lasts just a few minutes.
The Deadites have complete recall of the lives of their hosts, their memories, their emotions, and their relationships, and are able to temporarily appear as fully human again to communicate with those not possessed; through this trickery, the Deadites provoke an irrational and emotional response in their captors or would-be killers to allow them an opportunity either for escape or to catch them off-guard. When a human becomes a Deadite they have no control over their physical body. Their souls are allegedly taken to "Hell" and tortured, although this might just be the demons' threat to scare those not possessed.
Deadites are often created when a demonic being possesses the body of the living, perhaps as a result of the corpse being "brought back wrong" in a misguided attempt at necromancy and resurrection.
Heresies and Controversies
- These creatures resemble the Dybbuk of Jewish mythology, as a (typically) human body inhabited by a malevolent (or sometimes mischievous) demonic spirit (Djinn); compare to Ghouls....
Associated Mythos Elements
- Tome: Necronomicon Ex-Mortis
- Race: Kandarian Demons
- Cult: The Dark Ones
- Artifact: Kandarian Dagger
- Location: Kandar
- Character: Eligos, a "weak" Kandarian Demon
- See the Evil Dead Wiki Entry for more details and source of much of the description.
- Fiction and Film:
- Evil Dead (1981 franchise)
- Re-Animator (1985 franchise)
- The Gate (1987 franchise)
- Pet Semetary (1989 franchise)
- Dead Birds (2004 film)
- We Are Still Here (2015 film)
- I Sell the Dead (2008 film)
- The Plague (2006 film), as one possible interpretation of the kids' condition
- DOOM video game series and film
- "Herbert West: Reanimator (fiction)" by H.P. Lovecraft