The Conjuring Demons Ranked From Mildly Creepy to Terrifying

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The Warrens are back for another descent into demonic possession with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. As advertised in the title and some of the scarier moments in the trailer (waterbed, anyone?), we can expect to see some hellish figures plaguing our poor humans, with Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) being the only ones able to expel the evil forces. They should be plenty used to it by now, as we’ve seen what kind of demonic forces they’ve faced and sent back down to the Devil – or just locked in a big closet.

The Warrens’ foes have been as diverse as they are terrifying, and in honor of the latest installment of The Conjuring universe, I decided to look back at the evil beings, demons, and generally creepy things and rank them on a scale of “Yep, that’s creepy” to “Nope, nope, nope.” This list has everything from haunted board games to diabolical demons, so grab your religious tome of choice, say a prayer, and venture into this ranking of the rancid and vile. Enjoy?

RELATED: The ‘Conjuring’ Universe Explained: From Demon Nuns to Deadly Dolls

10. Assorted Haunted Trinkets

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Image via Warner Bros.

Across the rest of this list, you’ll find individual demons & ghosts, but it would be a doll-faced lie to say it’s these humanoid specters alone that have given audiences nightmares over the years. To talk about the absolute scariest of The Conjuring franchise, you have to address the trinkets and toys that have made their way into the Warrens’ secret room. Among these is the Accordion Monkey that a journalist was warned not to touch, despite its cuteness; that music box with a spiral mirror Lorraine looks into during the first movie; Feely Meely, the horrifying game that requires players to stick their hands into holes in the sides, having no idea what they’ll touch and; the twisted television set that shows Daniela Rios (Katie Sarife) horrifying glimpses into her near-future. One gift of the series has been various filmmakers’ challenging themselves to make everyday items as terrifying as any demonic entity.

9. The Samurai (Annabelle Comes Home)

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Image via Warner Bros.

One of the many terrifying figures from the Warrens’ cupboard of nightmares, the haunted suit of samurai armor stands out as especially eerie. Making its presence known in Annabelle Comes Home, the armor let loose with ghostly echoes of violence emitting from its…body? Mouth? I don’t know. It’s coming out of somewhere, and it’s horrifying.

8. The Bride (Annabelle Comes Home)

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Image via Warner Bros.

While it may be easy to forget, 2019 gave us not one, but two homicidal film dresses: The stylish-yet-dangerous red dress from In Fabric, and the unassuming wedding dress from Annabelle Comes Home. This piece of elegant fabric comes with a cost (beyond the steep price tag) as it’s possessed by a spirit that forces the (un)lucky bride to murder the man she’s about to marry. In Annabelle Comes Home, the Bride manifests as a figure carrying a butcher knife, covered in the blood of seven unlucky grooms. While her Big Scare is a bit too reminiscent of a Nun sequence in The Conjuring 2, there’s something classically terrifying about a ghostly bride out for blood, and with the dress itself as the true harbinger of evil, I kind of hope the series uses it as a reason to dig deeper into the lore of more haunted clothing.

7. The Ferryman (Annabelle Comes Home)

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Image via Warner Bros.

Inspired in part on the mythological figure Charon, the Ferryman of the Conjuring universe looks about as ghoulish as you’d expect the guy (thing?) who ferries the dead across the river Styx would look. Like a mummy without its wrapping and sporting two shiny coins on his (its??) eyes, this unsettling baddie added an extra layer of fantastical horror to Annabelle Comes Home, as Mary Ellen ventures into a sort of evil side-realm to retrieve Annabelle, walking past several dead folks with coins on their eyes as the Ferryman follows her in the dark. With most of the movies taking a more grounded approach to demons and overall evil-ness, the Ferryman has a grim vibe and ancient mythos to him (it???) that’s a refreshing change of pace into something more darkly ethereal.

6. La Llorona (The Curse of La Llorona)

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Image via Warner Bros.

While the movie she’s attached to is a dreary miss, the tragic ghostly figure La Llorona is, appropriately, the best thing about The Curse of La Llorona. Based on Latin-American folklore of “The Weeping Woman”, the movie depicts her as a violent entity who attaches a curse onto children, drowning them as she did her own children 300 years earlier. The movie, ironically, takes a pretty shallow approach to her lore, but La Llorona is still one of the few Conjuring villains on this list with a human background, one that motivates her vicious afterlife. She’s unrelenting, and director Michael Chaves earns some credit for giving her a bit of stature, centering all the terror on her ghastly presence and unnerving weeping. Often cloaked in shadow and coming off gentle—even vulnerable—before lashing out, there’s a unique, spine-chilling vibe to her that, if involved in a better movie, could’ve made for a complex and even more terrifying villain.

5. The Crooked Man (The Conjuring 2)

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Image via Warner Bros.

The Conjuring 2 featured an impressive slate of new creepies, and The Crooked Man feels ripped straight from the pages of a nightmarish fable. Drawn from a real, unsettling nursery rhyme and linked to an equally unsettling wind-up toy, The Crooked Man is a massive, gangly demon-monster who looks like Jack Skellington and the Babadook had too many drinks one night and nine months later had to live with the consequences. A change-up from the ghosts and demons of the series thus far, The Crooked Man is an unsightly creature who left such an impression in such a short amount of time, his solo movie is still planned for some time in the future.

4. Bill Wilkins (The Conjuring 2)

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Image via Warner Bros.

Nobody wants a crotchety old Englishman yelling at them when they’re alive, so The Conjuring 2’s vengeful, angry, demonic version is pure nightmare fuel. Based on the infamous Enfield Poltergeist, Bill Wilkins terrorizes the home of the Hodgson family, hoping to force them from what he still believed to be his property. The look of Wilkins—with decaying flesh and teeth beneath yellow eyes—adds a healthy dose of terror to his visual jump scares. But what makes his unseen presence so haunting is in the way director James Wan makes the house feel cold, uninviting, and cursed by Wilkins’ presence. Wan also understands there is something inherently unnerving about old furniture, as if touched by something that doesn’t want to let go. With Wilkins, that’s his beat-up leather chair sitting ominously in the corner, the focal point for some of the movie’s scariest sequences.

3. Annabelle (The Conjuring, Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, Annabelle Comes Home)

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Image via Warner Bros.

The doll so iconic she got a trilogy before the Warrens, the Annabelle doll’s plastered smile, worn face, and tattered clothes have been burned into the psyches of moviegoers since 2013. On its own, though, the doll isn’t too terrifying. Scary fae or not, you can always just chuck that thing in the closet with a box of unloved Funkos. What makes Annabelle such a memorable figure is the way she acts as a conduit for a far more malevolent demon. With a horned head, red eyes, long fingernails, and pitch-black, leathery skin, this demon’s brutal presence has been a terrifying sight as early as the first Annabelle—in that movie’s only truly scary sequence—and through the following two sequels. Whether lingering in the shadows or in full, monstrous view, this demon couples with the doll’s off-putting presence for an incredibly long list of horrifying scenarios.

2. Bathsheba (The Conjuring)

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Image via Warner Bros.

The Warrens’ first cinematic outing is easily their best, with Wan’s polished approach to grounded scares remaining effective to this day. Aiding every unforgettably terrifying sequence is the Big Bad herself, Bathsheba, a witch who cursed the land the Perron family now owns. A truly evil sight to behold thanks to some incredible makeup, Bathsheba’s close-ups are shocking, like when she pins down Carolyn Perron (Lily Taylor), or, most memorably, when she perches on top of a wardrobe before leaping down onto Cindy Perron (Mackenzie Foy). Wan knows exactly how little to show of Bathsheba as he ratchets up the tension, which makes her showing up in full grisly glory all the more memorable. Actor Joseph Bishara’s performance under the makeup, displaying horrifying facial expressions and physicality, ensures Bathsheba haunts your dreams forever – or at least makes you avoid wardrobes at all costs.

1. Valak (The Conjuring 2, The Nun)

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Image via Warner Bros.

Ever since stealing the show in The Conjuring 2 – introduced in the iconic Amityville house and eventually making its presence known in the finale – the demon Valak has become a bit of a horrific superstar. Taking on the form of “The Nun” (brought to life by actor Bonnie Aarons), Valak plagues the Warren family with a stoic presence, soul-piercing stare, and all-around evil intensity. With the costume and makeup departments not overdoing the look, Aarons’ magnificent work, and, on a subtextual level, the idea of Valak’s defilement of religious purity, this character’s presence instantly dominates any scene. Diabolical, Valak’s role in The Conjuring 2 is that of pure evil, wanting nothing more than to cause pain, which tabs into the kind of primordial, human fear that made movies like The Exorcist hits with audiences. Viewers couldn’t stop talking about Valak in 2016, and a spinoff movie was greenlit. Wan used the entity more effectively in The Conjuring 2 than Corin Hardy did in The Nun, but that didn’t stop audiences from making the latter a monster hit. Valak is compellingly terrifying, and just like Annabelle, we can expect to see more of that nightmarish stare in the future.

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