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Anime and Manga
- Apparently happens in Blue 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.
- Basically all the demons we see are originally non Supernatural things from Assiah. Every monstruous or odd specificity id caused by transformation of the possessed.
- The bodies of Orochimaru's hosts change to have the same pale-white complexion as he does, then he uses a shapeshifting technique to get a Shapeshifter Default Form identical to his original body.
- 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, Black Zetsu / Kaguya inflicts this upon Madara.
- Happens to Gaara during the Chuunin Exams when he (purposely) goes to sleep and lets Shukaku take over. Naruto has to (literally) beat some sense into him.
- Animals possessed by spirits in Berserk get deformed human-like faces. The cultists in the Conviction arc also undergo a transformation when the spirits possess them.
- 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,grows her hair down to the floor and starts wearing an all black outfit.
- 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.
- Dragon Ball GT: Once Baby chooses Vegeta as his permanent host body, he slowly does this to Vegeta; eventually, Baby Vegeta is more Baby than Vegeta.
- Dragon Ball Super: Watagash is able to possess others and shift their forms, the transformation depending on how much evil and hatred the host has in their heart. When he possesses Barry Khan, he shifts into a large ape-like form, and then a Kaiju-sized reptilian beast that no longer resembles Khan at all.
- 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.
- In Star Wars: Paranormalities, this is a common side-effect of Forceless possession. Played for horror in that, unfortunately for the hosts, they are consciously aware of both the possession and the transformation.
- In the Persona 3/Persona 4 crossover fics Persona: Spirits in Pixels and Persona: World and Judgement, the characters' Shadows, now representing their desires to be reunited with departed loved ones (or in Aigis' case, to go back to being an emotionless machine), don't simply go One-Winged Angel upon their original's rejection this time around—they possess the original and then go One-Winged Angel. The Shadow of Yosuke Hanamura implies that if the possessed original's teammates aren't careful with their attacks, the original will die along with the Shadow.
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 when the demon Pazuzu manifested within Regan.
- 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 acquire ghostly pale, mottled skin, sunken eyes and a heavier brown when she was possessed; the rest of the Deadites (particularly Evil Ash) 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.
- Scalps features transformations whenever the homicidal spirit possesses a victim.
- In WarCraft, fel magic's calling card is its mutation of everyone who comes in direct contact with it.
- The orcs empowered by Gul'dan turn green.
- Blackhand, when empowered by Gul'dan, regrows his hand around the claw he's been wearing on the stump of the previous one but with sickly-looking flesh, grows skin on the spines he's been using as a cape, and looks less orcish and more bestial, with more teeth among other things.
- Gul'dan himself sprouts a crown of horns on his back from oft usage of fel.
- When he's fully corrupted, Medivh's skin wrinkles and turns dark blue, and he starts to sprout horns from his chin.
- When Carolyn is possessed by the ghost of Bathsheba in The Conjuring, her body visibly distorts to more closely resemble the witch, including a more prominently hooked nose, straightened and ruined hair, and wounds opening on the skin. Most of these, except the wounds, vanish almost instantly when she is banished.
- The Matrix: The Agents are Machine programs who manifest inside the Matrix by taking over the bodies of people who are still plugged into the program, which alters their physical appearance to that of the agent. Obviously, it's easier for them to do since the whole thing is a simulation. If an Agent is ever killed (no small feat), their host body turns back.
- 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.
- In The Stormlight Archive, the Listeners (a.k.a. the Parshendi) 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 and which comes with a large helping of This Is Your Brain on Evil.
- Gods in The Kane Chronicles need a human or animal host to exist on Earth but can shapeshift it to look like anything they want. For example, Bast can change her cat host into a human.
- In the second book of Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice trilogy, The Crystal Prison, Madame Akkikuyu unwittingly performs a ceremony that will bring the Big Bad, the evil cat Jupiter, back from the dead. However, as his old body was destroyed by fire, he will need a new one. Thus he awards Akkikuyu with "the highest honour that is [his] to give"... she will be the new host for his spirit. In preparation for this, she begins to transform into a cat, much to her horror. However, before Jupiter can fully take possession of her body, she kills herself by jumping onto a bonfire.
- 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.
- Downplayed in Twin Peaks: The Return: Mr. C's body is not directly changed by years of being possessed by BOB, but his style of hair and dress are drastically altered to resemble those of BOB.
- 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.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when the Pah-Wraiths possess someone, the person's sclera becomes red.
- 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 Ravenloft, this is how fiends gain physical form in the Domains of Dread, in a process known as Transposition. It is a five-step process that gradually transforms the body of the fiend's victim, advancing in a manner similar to how a person can be corrupted in Ravenloft by committing acts of evil, before culminating in the final step where the fiend takes the place of the victim on the Material Plane and condemns the victim's soul to an awful fate in the Outer Planes. Because of the nature of the Domains of Dread, this is just as much of a trap for the fiend involved as any other evil being caught in the Mists.
- 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 suffers the same fate when her own mother, who had her with the Diablo-possessed Aidan, uses the Black Soulstone, with all seven Great Evils inside, to turn her into a vessel for Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil. She 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.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- When "Ansem"/Xehanort's Heartless takes control of Riku's body in the first game, he transforms it into one resembling his own before he became a Heartless.
- When Master Xehanort possesses Terra in Birth by Sleep (creating the being who later possesses Riku), this act immediately turns Terra's hair white and his eyes gold. As Terra already bears great resemblance to Master Xehanort in his youth, Terra-Xehanort essentially becomes a dead ringer for his original incarnation.
- When Vanitas possesses Ven in the same game, it turns Ven's eyes gold and gives him Vanitas' outfit.
- One of the major reveals of Dream Drop Distance involves the true scope of Xehanort's plans: Organization XIII was originally created so that Xehanort could find candidates to divide his heart among as part of a greater plot to eventually gain access to Kingdom Hearts. This is why Nobodies like Xigbar and Saïx have physical features their original selves didn't possess, such as gold eyes, Pointy Ears, and lighter hair colors; they're slowly turning into Xehanort, and thus taking on their general appearance.
- 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.
- Tekken 5: Jinpachi Mishima, The founder of the mishima Zaibatsu and Heihachi's father, was imprisoned under the family estate and dojo Hon-maru 40 years before the events of the game by Heihachi, After he died, a demonic entity took control of his body bringing him back to life once more, only that he has no control over it, the demon also completely twists Jinpachi as spikes grow from his elbows,on his back and on his legs, also he acquires a second mouth that replaces his stomach, his skin turns purple and gains muscle structure and his eyes turn yellow with a red aura around him.
- 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.
- Persona 5:
- Humans who have had their Mental World messed with by The Conspiracy end up with Blank White Eyes and start bleeding sludge-like black blood from their mouth and eyes.
- When first offered a Deal with the Devil by their Guardian Entity "other-self," characters gain Supernatural Gold Eyes just like The Heartless they battle.
- Those who would wield the cursed blade Soul Edge become enslaved by its desire to feed on souls. Part of this process typically involves growing a hideous claw on one of their arms (the only exception being Cervantes, who suffered no physical deformities when he was using it).
- This is how the Kurain Spirit Channeling system works in the Ace Attorney titles. It comes in handy more than once, allowing a widow to see, hear and speak to her fallen husband one more time, allows a medium to hide from a vengeful spirit that wants them dead and allows a spirit to hide the fact that they have died from a friend of theirs, in order to keep their spirits up.
- 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.
- In Charby the Vampirate Zeno's eyes turn glowing red and his wings and horns grow when he is taken over by the wraith.
- When characters in Something*Positive are (possibly) possessed by the spirit of the homicidal colour-changing cat Twitchy-Hug (it all Makes Just as Much Sense in Context), their clothes start changing colour.
- Nebula: When Black Hole possesses someone, their appearance warps, spikes emerging from their body in random places and their hands shifting to have two thumbs each. And sometimes, the changes are more... extreme.
- 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 the 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.