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Evil Dead Wiki

A heavily mutated Deadite lurked within the pit below Castle Kandar in 1300 AD (Army of Darkness)

Deadites are a species of undead parasitic demonic spirits which feed on the souls of living creatures and possess their bodies.

Deadites first appeared in the 1981 film The Evil Dead, though they were not identified by name until Evil Dead II.




A hostless Deadite spirit roams the woods (Evil Dead: Hail To The King)

According to one source, the creatures which came to be known as Deadites originated as the souls of wicked humans that had been corrupted in the darkest pits of Hell itself. Discovered by the Kandarian Demon, the creature leaned to channel these cursed spirits and unleash them upon the world of the living.[1]

Another source implied that The Dark Ones were responsible for their creation, the first being a cursed human known only as "The Faceless Man".[2] Regardless of their true origin, it was during the age in which The Dark Ones ruled the Earth that the Deadites were used as soldiers to keep humanity in check. When The Dark Ones were banished from the world of the living, the Deadites were also expelled, and were held within a prison realm known as the Mirror Dimension.[3][4]

Following their imprisonment, the appearances of Deadites upon the Earth vary from universe to universe, though most seem to occur from the late 20th and into the early 21st Century.

Powers & Abilities


The internal process of Deadite possession (Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick)


The signature power of a Deadite spirit is it's ability to possess any creature of flesh (both living and dead). Though the most common form of possession occurs when the Kandarian Demon "injects" a desired target with the spirit, there are other methods in which a Deadite can take over a host, including:

  • Wounded Target: A slow "evil infection" can occur in a potential host subject that has been recently injured in an area in which a great deal of supernatural activity is occurring. Notable examples of this method include Linda,[5] Ed Getley,[6] and Ash Williams (though Williams managed to prevent further infection by sucking it out "like an evil snake bite").[7]
  • "Touch of Evil": One of the more infamous methods of possession comes from a physical violation of a potential host's body from living objects. Both Cheryl Williams[5] and Mia Allen[8] were subjected to this violation and infection through trees.
  • Bite/Scratch: A bite or scratch from a Deadite can result in a slow infection. The right hand of Ash Williams became infected after being bit by the severed head of Linda,[6] and Natalie was attacked by the Deadite Mia Allen.[8] Both Williams and Natalie cut off their hands to prevent a total infection. Kelly Maxwell was bitten by the Deadite Pablo Simon Bolivar, which resulted in a duplicate "mouth" connected to Bolivar's own growing on her leg.[9]
  • Contaminated Blood Injection: Bridget suffered from a slow infection (similar to ones seen from bites or scratches) after her Deadite mother Ellie stabbed her with a tattoo gun which she had just stabbed her own face with.[10]
  • Skin Contact: On Earth-818793, Ash Williams warned Colorado park ranger Erin about touching the corpse of her Deadite-possessed brother. Erin ignored the warning and touched the body, resulting in her own transformation into a Deadite.[11]
  • "The Orb": The Orb is a mysterious object which existed in two alternate realities, and both depicted that merely touching it resulted in instantaneous Deadite possession.[12]
  • Necronomicon Spell: An incantation found within the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis could cause instantaneous Deadite possession without the need to summon the Kandarian Demon.[13]
  • Blood of The Necronomicon: On Earth-818793, the blood "tears" of the Necronomicon could infect both the living and the dead with Deadite spirits.[14][11]

Though Deadites often prefer to take over living bodies, they have been known to possess corpses, even those that have been reduced to nothing more than skeletons.[15]


Even if a human is released of their possession, the Deadite's evil permanently taints the meat and blood of the former host. This "contamination" can be sensed by other supernatural creatures, such as Werewolves and Vampires, letting them know that their potential prey is spoiled.[16]

Other Powers

  • Enhanced Strength: There have been many known instances of Deadites picking up large or heavy objects without any considerable strain.[15]
  • Levitation: While some Deadites mutate their host body's appearance to have wings, most "standard" Deadites have demonstrated the ability to levitate for brief periods of time.[5][6][15]
  • Superhuman Durability: Deadites can withstand many injuries from firearms or other various weapons before falling.[15]
  • Shape-Shifting: Another one of the Deadites more notable powers is the ability to appear uninfected in an attempt to deceive other beings they wish to possess.[6][17] Following their possession over a body, they also have access to the host's memories, another method of trickery they use during their "uninfected" deception. If needed, they can even warp their host's body into grotesque forms that sport features which can given them an edge in combat such as bat-like wings for flight.[15]
  • Super-Speed: Deadites can run, climb, and "disappear" out of a target's sight in mere moments.[18]
  • Body-Jumping: An ability rarely seen, a particularly unruly Deadite spirit can jump from host to host in the form of a fine (almost invisible) mist without the need of the Kandarian Demon.[19]
  • Group Merging: There have been two instances of a group of Deadites merging their bodies together to form a larger entity. In one reality, the Deadites licked the blood-stained pages of the false "flying" Necronomicon in the cursed graveyard, and morphed into a giant doppelganger of Ash Williams.[20] In another, the Deadite Ellie, Danny, and Bridget combined their flesh to form a ghoulish creature known as "The Marauder".[10]
  • Survival In Space: In one reality where Ash Williams battled Deadites hidden aboard a space shuttle, the creatures were able to function in the cold void of space without difficulty.[21]
  • Energy Projectiles: In an alternate timeline, Deadites could create green fire-like energy projectiles, which they could throw towards their enemies.[22]



Ed Getley is a prime example of the alteration of one's physical appearance following Deadite possession (Evil Dead II)

Physical Appearance

Following possession over a living creature, Deadites manipulate the body of the host to reflect a more inhuman appearance. Though it varies from individual to individual, there are a small amount of physical traits that seem to be shared by all Deadites. These traits include:

  • Solid White Pupilless Eyes
    • While the white pupilless eyes are the most common, some Deadites have been seen with yellow pupils,[8] red bloodshot pupils,[10] solid glowing blue,[13][23] solid glowing red,[24][25][26][27], solid glowing yellow,[4] or even no alteration to their eyes at all.[28]
  • Skin Tone Change ("Rotting Flesh"): Ranging from grey, green, yellow, or white colors.
  • Blood/Bodily Fluid Color Change: Black, green, white, and blue being some known blood color alterations.
  • Claws: Sharp fingernails are used not only for slashing and digging into a target's body, but also for climbing along walls and ceilings like insects.[18]


Though the Deadites are frighting enough on their own, there are other creatures found within the world which even they dread to cross paths with. On Earth-818793, it was said that the Deadites feared Vampires, as they could not be possessed.[16] In another timeline, The Faceless Man, despite being hailed as the "King of the Deadites" by the creatures themselves, was so feared by his underlings that simply seeing his name written sent them into a state of panic.[2]

Killing A Deadite

In a general manner of speaking, there is no real way to destroy a Deadite spirit, only methods to prevent the continued usage of a individual's flesh and blood body, the most well known and effective method being bodily dismemberment.[5][6][8] Upon capturing or incapacitating a Deadite, the host must be dismembered limb by limb, and the head severed from the neck.[15][29] Failure to destroy the head can result in the Deadite still being able to operate the host body, as was the case with Ash's girlfriend Linda.[6] It has also been said that simply destroying the brain of the host can also greatly reduce the chances of "resurrection".[30] Upon the destruction of the body, the Deadite spirit is sent back into the Mirror Dimension prison,[31] although a spirit can eventually return to the world of the living following expulsion from a host, and even recall events from their "previous life".[32]


Across the many realities in which the Deadites exist, many weaknesses have been discovered by those who combat these creatures.

Connection To The Book of The Dead

The full extent of the connection between the Deadites and the various iterations of the Necronomicon (or Naturom Demonto) remains unknown, though it has been seen that the Deadites can feel it's pain, and even die if the book is not "saved" in time.[5] There are exceptions to this "weakness" as well: In one instance, the Ex-Mortis was destroyed by an oncoming New York City subway train, and the single active Deadite host was released of his possession unscathed.[33] In another situation, Eric tried burning Naturom Demonto to no avail, all while the Deadite Mia sensed and shared the agony the book itself was feeling, though she was physically unharmed.[8]

Kandarian Dagger

The Kandarian Dagger is extremely lethal to Deadites and Dark Ones alike, as a single touch from it's blade has been seen to burn the skin of all manner of demons,[34] or cause a Deadite to explode completely.[35]



"Deadite Off" was available as a spray can and cream (Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare)

Available as a liquid spray or in cream form, the mysterious "Deadite-Off" functioned similarly to insect repellent, but only worked for a limited time following application to the skin.[23]


There have been several instances of various talismans protecting a wearer from Deadite possession, including El Brujo's amulet, a Native American dream-catcher,[19] and a chicken foot.[36]

"Smiley Pucks"

In one reality, the Deadites were attracted to the scent of "Smiley Pucks", a puck-shaped glob of flesh made from grounded-up Deadites that "smelled like freeze-dried death". Annie Knowby and the simulacrum Ash Williams used the pucks to capture the Deadites which they had inadvertently unleashed upon the world.[4]

Holy Water

In a possible future of Earth-818793, those who were possessed by a Deadite would cry in agony if holy water touched their exposed skin.[16]

Holy Bible

On Earth-818793, the Mutant Priest was able to channel holy powers from his copy of the Bible, and unleash a beam of pure blue energy which instantly decimated the Deadites into dust (though it also killed him in the process).[37]

Deadite Spirit Expulsion Methods

Beyond dismemberment and the destruction of a host body, there are several ways in which a Deadite spirit can be removed without killing the host.


There is conflicting information regarding sunlight as a weakness for Deadites, as it seems to vary from universe to universe and person to person. In some instances, the Deadite within the host was seen melting or burning away by the purifying rays of the sun,[6][38] while others have depicted daylight having no effect on the creatures.[39][40]

"Power of Love"/Emotional Connection


The Deadite Ash begins to grieve over the loss of Linda (Evil Dead II)

One of the more uncommon ways a host has been released from Deadite possession involves the remembrance of love, or a deep emotional connection to someone else. The first known instance of this method was when the Deadite Ash Williams was getting ready to attack a wounded Annie Knowby, and found the necklace he gave his (now deceased) girlfriend Linda. Overwhelmed with grief, Ash was quickly transformed back into human form.[6] Another lesser-known instance happened to the Sheila of Earth-818793, who was released of her possession when Ash reminded her of their love.[41]

Vortex Extraction


The Deadite spirit is extracted from Jenny's body via a vortex (Evil Dead: Hail To The King)

Another rarely seen method involves the opening of a time-rift (also known as a time-vortex). In the one known instance of this, Ash's girlfriend Jenna was placed directly in front of an open vortex and had the Deadite spirit swiftly extracted from her body without harm.[42]

Necronomicon Spell

A passage found on a page of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis had the ability to instantly de-possess any active Deadites.[43]

Deadite Spirit Suppression Methods

In instances where dismemberment is not an option or there is no access to one of the spirit expulsion methods, there are several ways in which a Deadite spirit can be temporarily suppressed while remaining in a host body.

"Magic Powder"


The Wise Man's powder turns once hostile Deadites back into more "tame" beings (Ash Gets Hitched #2)

A strange crimson powder was in the possession of The Wise Man of one alternate reality. Upon inhaling this dust, the Deadite would temporarily allow the human host's soul to return.

Ankh Amulet

The Ankh Amulet was an ancient golden necklace charm that could suppress a Deadite spirit, although it's power could be overridden by the Deadite if the wearer was extremely agitated.[44]

Sigil of The Destroyer

The time-lost rock band KISS used face-paint to mark the Deadite-possessed Ash Williams with a magic sigil of The Destroyer (the entity which gave the band their powers), which could hold back the dark spirit inside him.[45]

Deadite Variations


Deaduns were a variation of Deadite found in the ruins of the "under city" below Deca City One in the year 2501 AD.[46] Though they were still hungry for souls and human flesh, the Deaduns behaved more like shambling, mindless zombies than the original Deadites.

Digital Deadites

As Deadites exist in multiple time-frames and several alternate realities, they have adapted for the more "futuristic" settings in which they find themselves in. In a possible future of Earth-818793 in the year 2501 AD, the Deadites have evolved into digital avatars stored within the Necronomicon program hidden in the under city mainframe.[46] In another future, Deadites are spread throughout the PathWeb virtual reality world through a malware file called "Nekron0micon", which not only takes over a the digital avatar of a user, but can infect and control the cybernetic implants which most inhabitants of this world possess.[47]

Animal Deadites

Animal Deadites have been seen in a number of alternate realities.[48][22][49]

Brute Deadites


A rare blue Brute Deadite (Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare)

Brute Deadites mutated their human hosts into enormous, grey-skinned muscular forms. While they were most commonly seen with glowing red veins and eyes, there was also a rare neon blue variation.[23]

Lord Deadite

In one reality, a mysterious "Lord Deadite" existed in ancient Egypt. Very little is known about him or the full extent of his powers, though he was able to mutate his form and expelled a swarm of poisonous wasps from his stomach.[50]

Deadite Queen of Darkness

The Deadite Queen of Darkness was a spirit that had more powers and abilities than that of a standard Deadite, and could be exorcised from a host's body. The one known host of the Deadite Queen spirit was Julie Hastings.[51]

Deadite/Human Hybrids

There have been several Deadite/Human hybrids found across the multiverse, including Sam,[22] Ted,[52] and the simulacrum Ash Williams.[53]

Irradiated Deadites

Irradiated Deadites were found in a post-apocalyptic London in the year 2093 AD. Mutated by the nuclear bombs which devastated the city, this new breed of Deadite spewed glowing nuclear vomit, and had their own "radiation field", which made those who dared approached them very sick.[1]


  • The first on-screen mention of the word "Deadite" was in the climax of the Evil Dead II film.
  • A rough prototype of Deadites appeared in the 1978 short film Within The Woods. While the monsters in the short acted more like shambling zombies, they did have some level of intelligence and super strength.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Army of Darkness Roleplaying Game (2005)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1 (July, 2014)
  3. Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator #3 (November, 2005)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Evil Dead 2: Cradle of The Damned #1 (January, 2016)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 The Evil Dead (1981)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Evil Dead II (1987)
  7. Ash vs Evil Dead: Home Again (Season 2, Episode 9) (2016)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Evil Dead (2013)
  9. Ash vs Evil Dead: Unfinished Business (Season 3, Episode 4) (2018)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Evil Dead Rise (2023)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Army of Darkness (Volume 2): Hellbillies And Deadnecks #14 (September, 2008)
  12. Army of Darkness (Volume 3) #1 (February, 2012)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Danger Girl And The Army of Darkness #4 (December, 2011)
  14. Army of Darkness (Volume 2) #13 (October, 2008)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Army of Darkness (1993)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Army of Darkness: Furious Road #2 (April, 2016)
  17. Ash vs Evil Dead: Bait (Season 1, Episode 2) (2015)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ash vs Evil Dead: El Jefe (Season 1, Episode 1) (2015)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Evil Dead 2: Tales of The Ex-Mortis #2 (November, 2015)
  20. Ash and the Army of Darkness #4 (February, 2014)
  21. Army of Darkness (Volume 4) #1 (December, 2014)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Evil Dead: Regeneration (2005)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Evil Dead: Endless Nightmare (2016)
  24. Vampirella/Army of Darkness (2015)
  25. Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness (2017)
  26. Death To The Army of Darkness (2020)
  27. Army of Darkness: 1979 (2021)
  28. Army of Darkness Vs. Hack/Slash #1 (July, 2013)
  29. Ash vs Evil Dead: Bound In Flesh (Season 1, Episode 9) (2015)
  30. Xena Warrior Princess/Army of Darkness: What, Again? #2 (November, 2008)
  31. Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator #3 (November, 2005)
  32. Ash And The Army of Darkness #7 (May, 2014)
  33. The Army of Darkness: Ash The Author (October, 2019)
  34. Ash vs Evil Dead: Books From Beyond (Season 1, Episode 3) (2015)
  35. Evil Dead 2: Tales of The Ex-Mortis #3 (February, 2016)
  36. Army of Darkness: Halloween Special (October, 2018)
  37. Army of Darkness (Volume 2) #4 (November, 2007)
  38. Ash and the Army of Darkness #8 (June, 2014)
  39. Army of Darkness (Volume 3) #2 (March, 2012)
  40. Ash vs Evil Dead: Fire In The Hole (Season 1, Episode 7) (2015)
  41. Army of Darkness: Shop 'Till You Drop Dead #4 (April, 2005)
  42. Evil Dead: Hail To The King (2000)
  43. Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness #5 (November, 2017)
  44. Danger Girl And The Army of Darkness #5 (April, 2012)
  45. KISS/Army of Darkness #2 (March, 2018)
  46. 46.0 46.1 Army of Darkness: Shop 'Till You Drop Dead #3 (March, 2005)
  47. Army of Darkness 1992.1 (November, 2014)
  48. Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (2003)
  49. Army of Darkness: Ashes 2 Ashes #1 (July, 2004)
  50. Death To The Army of Darkness #3 (June, 2020)
  51. Darkman Vs. Army of Darkness (2006)
  52. Army of Darkness (Volume 3) #7 (August, 2012)
  53. Evil Dead 2: Revenge of Hitler (March, 2016)