Transformation Of The Possessed
Being Demonically Possessed rarely works out well for the host, however, every once in a while things go From Bad to Worse. Perhaps it's just that Evil Makes You Ugly, Evil Makes You Monstrous, or that your body is the plaything of the mind, but when the body your mother gave you has a new landlord there is a nasty tendency for you to be remodeled, and possibly shown off. Sometimes justified in narration as the host becoming the new body of the guest either as a intrinsic feature or as a deliberate action on the part of the guest. In extremely unfortunate cases, the host body also suffers from Possession Burnout which will quickly destroy it. Compare and Contrast: Glowing Eyes of Doom, Power-Upgrading Deformation, Red Eyes, Take Warning, and Viral Transformation
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Apparently happens in Ao No Exorcist. Father Fujimoto is definitely an example. So is Toudou, later on, although it does seem to depend on how powerful the demon in question is.
- This happens to Orochimaru's hosts.
- When Naruto has a demon cloak with four or more tails, the nine-tailed fox is controlling him.
- The Edo Tensei technique works by taking some genetic material of a deceased person and forcing them into a still-living body. This transforms the host's body into that of the deceased person's, killing the host in the process but allowing the body to become animate.
- In Chapter 679, Kaguya apparently inflicts this on Madara.
- Animals possessed by spirits in Berserk get deformed human-like faces
- In Bleach, when Kaien is possessed by Metastasia he first gets hollowed, empty eyesockets, then he starts sprouting tentacles from his limbs, sockets and mouth.
- In Soul Eater, when Medusa loses her body, she possesses a young girl and twists her appearance into a younger version of herself.
- Sailor Moon: Season 3's Mistress 9 has the transformation come in stages. While relatively dormant, her host, Hotaru, grows steadily weaker and while in (brief) periods of direct control, undergoes an Evil Costume Switch and Glowing Eyes of Doom with Face Framed in Shadow. After gaining complete control, however, she ages Hotaru's body into her mid-20's and becomes a Woman in Black with Rapunzel Hair.
- Kagerou Project: This happens to Konoha when he is possessed by the series' Big Bad, The Wide-Open Eyes Snake; the transformation turns his hair, shirt and boots black, makes his skin even paler, and turns his eyes bright yellow.
- Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges tend to possess people solely to asssist them in finding new corpses for their spirits to occupy after the destruction of the previous one, but Judge Mortis once possessed the Chief Judge and directly decayed his body into the cow-skulled monster that he is.
Films — Live-Action
- In Casper, Dr. Harvey, shortly after getting possessed by the Ghostly Trio, is morphed into Clint Eastwood, Rodney Dangerfield, Mel Gibson, and the Crypt Keeper. note
- Happens twice in Constantine. In the beginning, when the soldier demon inhabits the young woman her face is covered with blotches. When Angela Dodson is possessed by Mammon (Lucifer's son) near the end the change is much greater. In each case, once the possession ends the skin changes disappear.
- The Exorcist had a pretty gruesome transformation.
- Legion: various angels do odd things to the bodies they inhabit.
- The Devil Inside plays it straight, but in fairly plausible ways. Those possessed sport freakish flexibility, dilated eyes (a line of dialogue indicates that the human eye can dilate to 9 mm, 11 mm under the influence of some drugs, but possession can force it further), and red eyes. All could be explained by actual physical symptoms.
- The Candarian demons in the Evil Dead series use this in a variety of ways.
- In the original film the only change was in the eyes (and spreading black veins in one case), but physical damage inflicted on the host quickly reached gruesome levels.
- Evil Dead 2 had a greater degree of Body Horror, including a possession victim with an extremely long neck.
- Army of Darkness had Sheila suffer some minor changes in bone structure when she was possessed, and the rest of the Deadites took on a rotted appearance even without any injuries.
- Finally, the 2013 remake only gives the possessed yellow eyes by default, but they then inflict gruesome injuries on themselves, apparently to match the documented appearance of whatever spirit is possessing them.
- Happens to the Chosen One in John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. Satan, in the form of an evil green fluid, enters the mouths of his victims to control them, but the Chosen One ingests the lion's share of the fluid and becomes the personal vehicle of Satan himself. (This causes said Chosen One's body to appear progressively rotten and decayed as the movie goes on.)
- In Demon Knight, this is the fate of everyone possessed by demons. The last transformation in the film of a young boy is especially grotesque.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge: Every time Freddy possesses Jesse, he forcibly converts Jesse's body into his own form.
- True for most Denarians in The Dresden Files, though some of them choose to keep their human appearance.
- Played With in Perelandra, Dr. Weston's possessed body at first looks quite normal but as it is damaged beyond repair in the course of the plot (yet continues to move thanks to the devil inside it), it becomes horrible to look at and wholly inhuman.
- In Inheritance Cycle, when a human is possessed by spirits and becomes a Shade, it transforms their appearance, including turning their hair bright crimson.
- Professor Quirell from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. As he's the willing host of Voldemort, the latter's face appears at the back of Quirell's head. Quirell wears a turban at all times precisely because of that, so he can conceal his master's existence. Unlike most other examples on this page, Quirell actually retains his mind, and works for Voldemort, as opposed to Voldemort directly controlling his body.
- Spellbent: Possession victims get funky eye colors. Their sclera (white of the eyes) turns red or in some cases purple, depending on the power level of what's possessing them.
- In Night's Dawn, possessors can reshape their hosts' bodies, but shouldn't because it's carcinogenic.
- The listeners of The Stormlight Archive can shift between a number of different physical forms by bonding to different spirits. The closest example of this trope comes in stormform, which they gain by binding a spirit of Cosmic Hatred.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when the Pa-Wraiths possess someone, the person's sclera's become red.
- In Kamen Rider Den-O being possessed by any of the friendly —taro imagin gives the character a lock of appropriately colored hair and sometimes a change in wardrobe.
- Demonic possessions eventually tend to disfigure the host in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The iconic vampire Game Face is one example. Vampires also gain more demonic features with time such as permanent game faces and even hooves.
- On Doctor Who, when the Master steals the Trakenite consul Tremas's body, he de-ages it by several years, restyles its hair, beard, and clothing, and causes a pair of black leather gloves to appear from absolutely nowhere in the process.
- Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 & 4.0: Many fiends find remodeling their new body to their advantage and extensive remodeling can result in being completely replaced.
- In Warhammer40000, Daemons will alter the body of their host, moulding it into one more suitable for them. The host rarely lasts for very long.
- In Demon The Fallen, Demons knowledgeable in the lore of transformation can make permanent alterations to its host.
- The Fomori in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. When a bane (an evil spirit of the Wyrm) possesses a human body, that person's body is hideously mutated with whatever the Storyteller picks from a grab-bag of disgusting Body Horror-based powers. Examples include multiple limbs and mouths, corrosive puss boils, and internal organs replaced by infectious fungus.
- Likewise, the spirits in Werewolf: The Forsaken can do this to their hosts, but only at the point where they've either destroyed the host's consciousness or irreversibly taken over their soul. In any case, the body starts to take on elements of the spirit possessing it - for the Hosts, this is usually the creature the Host derives from (examples include spiders, rats, crows, worms, fungi, etc.), but for the Spirit-Claimed, the possessed takes on elements of its nature (a fire elemental will give its host bright eyes and blisters, a death spirit will make its host look gaunt, etc.).
- However, getting too full of himself, "Poseidra" put on the bracelet, and instantly his body began to change, and the "Mermail" King spoken of in legends appeared. "Poseidra's" body was taken over by the king residing in the bracelet. The king eliminated the "Atlantean" army with ease. It appears that "Abysstrite" sealed the bracelet away because the advent of the king required a sacrifice.
- Krocodilus is forcibly transformed into Greydle Crocodile in the artwork for Greydle Parasite
- In Diablo, this happens to Prince Albrecht when he is possessed by Diablo, and following the hero's sticking of Diablo's soulstone into his own head, he winds up possessed as well, and becomes the new Diablo in Diablo II. In Diablo III, Leah transforms into Diablo when Imperius tries to incinerate her to draw Diablo's true form out.
- In Doom 3 (and, quite possibly, the old Doom games) demonic possession turns people into zombies.
- Dragon Age:
- This eventually happens to anyone possessed by a demon.
- If a Darkspawn Archdemon is killed by anyone but a Grey Warden, its soul will simply jump to the nearest Darkspawn. Corypheus (second and third game spoilers) has a similar power, what with being one of the Magisters who became the first Darkspawn. Unlike an Archdemon, however, he can posses Wardens and survive the process.
- Kirby games show this as a possible side-effect of being possessed by Dark Matter. For instance, King Dedede grows a Belly Mouth, and a friendly Waddle Dee becomes a Waddle Doo. This is always undone once they're freed from its control.
- Legacy of Kain: Raziel learns to occupy corpses and shape them into an image of himself.
- When an Ing from Metroid Prime 2 fuses itself to a host, the host takes on a darker, mutated appearance as a direct result.
- Super Robot Wars UX: Noval Dilan becomes the physical embodiment of Kali Yuga (with Durga's appearance) and grows to the size of a planet.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, reading certain kinds of books will transform the reader into demons; this trope is implied in the process. It's most clearly seen in the case of Ogun and Dantalion, though Issachar and the victims of Red ingestion might also count.
- Tales of Destiny: Hugo's body takes on Miktran's appearance in the remake when he became strong enough to possess him completely, though it's implied he used the Eye of Atamoni to do it and it wasn't a necessary part of the takeover.
- Vaarsuvius from The Order of the Stick takes on a demonic appearance after being Soul Spliced with three epic-level casters.
- Emily from Our Little Adventure took on a horrid alien appearance as some kind of controlling, Angelo loyal parasite inside her took control of her body.
- AMI from Red Space Blues took over an enemy soldier by first impaling than replacing his head with her own .
- In Paranatural, the host of a spirit (whether human or object) will gradually begin to look like its host, albeit in barely significant ways.
- Noted in the Whateley Universe as one possible consequence of a low-powered Avatar-type mutant hosting a too-powerful spirit as the spirit will make changes to the Avatar's body to make itself more comfortable. And the Avatar trait is already all about being superhumanly good at this sort of thing...
- After being possessed by Zordrak in an episode of The Dreamstone, Amberley gains a pair of extremely evil looking glowing eyes.
- Jackie Chan Adventures: the ghost of Shendu (a dragon-demon-wizard) usually gives his host glowing red eyes when in control. While he's not capable of transforming his host's body under his own power, he once tried to do so manually with potions.
- In Adventure Time, the Ice Crown causes a physical transformation in its wearer, whom it tries to impose its own will on. As the person falls further and further under the Crown's control, they begin to develop blue skin, long white hair, and fangs (although some of these traits can vary depending on circumstance).
- Happened a few times in The Real Ghostbusters, most notably in the episode 'If I Were A Witch Man', where we see the ghostly-witch Kestral possess two people - one of which being Egon Spengler - and she turns their bodies into the old stereotypical witch look (or in Egon's case, an old man).
- In the Sock Opera episode of Gravity Falls, when Dipper is possessed by Bill, he gains creepy yellow eyes, and teeth that should probably not be on an animated character
- In The Legend of Korra, when a human is possessed by a spirit, the human's body starts to change to resemble the spirit. If they spirit stays inside too long, the host will die.
- An interesting case occurs in Wakfu when Anathar possesses Adamai. It seems like the transformation isn't solely due to his own power but also because he's exploiting and supercharging the natural shapeshifting abilities of his host. The result is a drooling grotesque mockery of a full grown Dragon with eyes all over its body that is strong enough to face Phaeris the Powerful in single combat.