It was about a month ago that a librarian friend of mine mentioned pursuing a research question on a particular demon. This brought to my attention that there are many, many books out there that are presented as being comprehensive lists of spirits.
I thought it might be fun to examine them. Before examining any at great length, I came up with a list of half a dozen particular entities. By covering their treatment in each of these books, we might get a good idea as to what books might be best for the cost-conscious bibliophile or librarian. It’s an unscientific process, to be sure, but I wanted to keep it fun.
Our contenders are as follows:
Bane, Theresa. Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2012.
Belanger, Michelle A. The Dictionary of Demons : Names of the Damned. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 2010.
Collin de Plancy, J.-A.-S. Dictionnaire Infernal. Paris: BH. Plon, 1863.
Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels. New York: Free Press, 1967.
Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Demons : A Guide to Demons and Demonologists in Occult Lore. North Pomfret, Vt.: Trafalgar Square Pub., 1988.
Guiley, Rosemary. The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. New York: Facts On File : Checkmark Books, 2009.
Lurker, Manfred. Dictionary of gods and goddesses, devils and demons. London; New York: Routledge and K. Paul, 1987.
Mack, Carol K., and Dinah. Mack. A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1999.
Update: For those interested in reading the entries for each entity, they are as follows: