Demon, more properly known as a spirit, is a general term for any of the supernatural entities originating from the Other Place. And they are commanded by magicians in the world of the Bartimaeus Sequence.

Although considered disparaging and more than a little disrespectful by Bartimaeus, "demons" is commonly used by magicians, particularly during their incantations. Bartimaeus finds the word "demon" to be highly insulting, and prefers that people call him a spirit, djinni, or "exalted djinni" (out of his ego).

Classes of Spirits (Five Basic Ranks)Edit

Note: Jonathan Stroud's description of the spirits can be found at the book The Ring of Solomon in its "A Note on Magic".

There are five basic "ranks" of demons, although there are, according to Bartimaeus, "legions of lowly sprites" too weak to fit within the lowest subclass, and "great entities of terrible power" that are likewise too powerful to fit within the highest class of generally summoned spirits.

  • Marids are the strongest class of commonly summoned spirits, although none are actually summoned in the trilogy. Marids are so powerful that they leave behind traces of their powers that can be tracked, similar to the slime left behind by a snail. It is unwise to use this analogy in the presence of one though, for obvious reasons. Even for a weak Marid, summoning usually takes two magicians.
  • Afrits are the second strongest conventional class of demon and are seen much more often throughout the trilogy than marids. They are described as being spirits of fire and possessing fiery hooves. Bartimaeus refers to them in Ptolemy's Gate as "overrated", although this comment is probably the result of jealousy on his part.
  • Djinn (singular = djinni ) are an intelligent, powerful, and the most varied class. Equipped with enough powers and skills to be potent and controllable as a servant spirit. The books feature the djinn the most. Sub-classes of Djinn include Horlas, Ghuls, and Utukku.
  • Foliots with some intelligence and power but are considerably less than those of djinn. They are used as spies and guards. They are somewhat prone to petty squabble but are apparently capable labourers.
  • Imps have little power that they are barely worthy of classification. Although, certain sub-types of them fulfill useful roles, such as acting as Search Spheres. Imps are commonly used by magicians as messengers, sentries, or other minor roles. Personality-wise, imps tend to be disrespectful and extremely dull.

The Twin Problem Edit

Every summoned spirit experiences the twin problem of having no free will and being constantly at pain. Their slavery and suffering fuel their desire to go back to the Other Place. One method, and the most direct, to return home involves killing the summoner.

Summoning Edit

In order to summon a magical entity from the Other Place, a magician must draw a pair of pentacles, in one of which he must stand and in another of which the demon will appear. Many other precautionary measures must be taken to prevent the magician's death at the hands of the entity he summons.


Spirits are composed of Essence, which is entirely different to anything from this world; described as a kind of 'smokey liquid'. They do not have a physical form in The Other Place but have to take one when summoned to our world.

They can shape-shift to different forms when on our realm but their "spirit form", often a hideous creature with many tentacles and other protrusions, can be viewed on higher planes. The stronger the spirit, the more shape they can take and the higher the plane can their form be viewed.

A spirit is constantly at pain while on our realm unless bound into a physical object (in the case of Honorius and the demons in the Spirit Revolt of Ptolemy's Gate)

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

All spirits, if not contained in an object, lose strength overtime while in our world.

Although the exact powers of imps and foliots are not exactly sure some of the foliots have been known to use the attacks, it is known that djinn, afrits, and marids can also deal powerful magical attacks, such as:


  • Concealment - make something covered by something else. It is used to avoid attention.
  • Glamour Charms - make anything appear into something so enticing. It may change and/or enhance the appearance of the subject. It is used to lure a target.

General Skills:

  • Flight - all spirit classes
  • Shape-shift - some can shift more so then others, with the general amount of power depends on the level of the demon in question. It can be pierced in higher Plane levels depending on the spirit's power.
  • Invisibility - It can be pierced in higher Plane levels depending on the spirit's power.

Super skills (performed by spirits higher than marids):

  • Teleportation by Uraziel
  • Perhaps Anything by Uraziel
  • Reality Warp by Ramuthra

It should be noted that Bartimaeus has employed the use of spells such as the Whispering Breath, Pulses, Shields, Flames, and Concealments and mentioned (but not used) another by the name of the Noisome Wind. These are, however, not attack spells.

The majority of djinn, and all afrits and marids are able to see on all seven planes. It was stated by Bartimaeus in the books that there are more than seven planes, although those who operate above the seven are "just showing off". Lower spirits (foliots and imps) are able to see on less than 5, though usually, demons see more than 3 planes.

Weaknesses Edit


  • Silver: It offers a degree of protection from them. It is used to make weapons to fight spirits.
  • Iron. It weakens spirits to a maybe lesser extent than silver
  • Certain herbs and powders, such as rosemary.

In addition, demons' masters can inflict cruel and torturous magical punishments upon their demons, although these can be reversed by the demons if they somehow come into possession of their master's birth name. These punishments include:

The magician-demon relationshipEdit

Usually, demons are enslaved forcibly by magicians. Over the millennia, most demons have come to loathe magicians (although it is noted that a large proportion of them feel no particular hatred of commoners), and to seek ways of killing and destroying them. If a demon is summoned incorrectly, then they will attempt to kill (and more often than not succeed to kill) the magician doing the summoning. They may also attempt to scare or trick the magician into leaving his pentagram, thus allowing the demon to kill the magician. In recent times, the djinni Faquarl, along with the greater spirit, Nouda, manipulated the magicians of London into summoning demons into their own bodies, wrongly thinking that they would receive demonic powers whilst still remaining in control of their minds. Once summoned, however, the demons destroyed the minds of the magicians and began a revolt, which was stopped as a result of the teamwork of Bartimaeus and Nathaniel.

There are exceptions to the rule. Not all demon-master relationships are relationships of hate and distrust. The Egyptian magician Ptolemy was known for being especially benevolent to the demons he summoned and went so far as to follow Bartimaeus back to the Other Place in order to show his trust. A relationship of respect also formed between Bartimaeus and Kitty after she underwent a similar ordeal, which eventually extended to Nathaniel, when he released Bartimaeus from his service before he was going to be killed in Ptolemy's Gate. Bartimaeus also describes Khada's marid, Ammet, having a connection in which Ammet adored Khada.