18 Attributes of a Demonic Spirit


Mark 5:1–20, The Gadarene demoniac. This encounter between Yeshua and this demon-possessed individual teaches us about the characteristics of one who is tormented or even possessed by an evil, unclean spirit.

  1. One with an unclean spirit is “unclean in thought and life” (Mark 5:2).
  2. Such an individual may have a pre-occupation with things relating to death and dying (Mark 5:3).
  3. They may possess superhuman strength thanks to the aid of the demon in him (Mark 5:4).
  4. They may act wild, and unable to be restrained (Mark 5:4).
  5. They may be prone to fits of shouting loudly (Mark 5:5), shrieking or making a shrill cry (Mark 9:18).
  6. They may cut themselves, or resort to other acts of self-mutilation (Mark 5:5) or self destruction (e.g. burning oneself by fire, Matt 17:15; Mark 9:22), or attempts at drowning (Mark 9:22).
  7. The demoniac may possess supernatural knowledge (Mark 5:7).
  8. The demon can speak through the demonized person (Mark 5:7), or cry out (Mark 9:26).
  9. A demonic spirit wants to possess or inhabit something; if not a human, then an animal (Mark 5:12), or a house, an objects like idols or books (Acts 19:19).
  10. They may be clothed improperly or scantily (Mark 5:15).
  11. They will not a possess a “right [sound, self-controlled, sober]” mind (Mark 5:15).
  12. A demonic or an unclean spirit may cause convulsions or spasmodic contractions, bodily contortions within a person, or cause a person to be hurled to the ground (Mark 1:25; 9:18, 20), wallowing or rolling around on the ground (Mark 9:20).
  13. Epileptic-type seizures or madness can be some symptoms of demon possession (Matt 17:15).
  14. A demoniac may foam at the mouth (Mark 9:18, 20).
  15. A demoniac may grind or gnash of the teeth (Mark 9:18)
  16. A demonic spirit can cause one’s body to waste away, dry up or become rigid (Mark 9:18).
  17. Demonic spirits can accompany people as they come into the congregation of YHVH (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33).
  18. A demonic spirit can make one to be mute or unable to speak (Mark 9:17).

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