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This is a Pretty Un-Groovy Book: The ‘Evil Dead’s Necronomicon Breakdown

3 Minute Read
May 28 2024
The Necronomicon

From raising the dead to demonic possession, if you’re looking for the world’s evilest cookbook, the Necronomicon has you covered.

The Evil Dead series has been a classic in campy comedy-horror since the 80s. And it’s officially back with more in The Evil Dead Rises. Should you be in the mood for a frightening Halloween read, it’s best to skip The Necronomicon.

The Basics of the Necronomicon

The Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (or the Book of the Dead) is an ancient leatherbound book with a grotesque cover and dark powers. Its origin is a little mysterious, but we do know for certain that it harbors a dark energy that can, among other things, awaken demons and the living dead.

We first saw the Necronomicon in 1981’s The Evil Dead. Here discovering the Necronomicon and reciting passages from the book was one of the major infighting factors in the multiple demonic possessions of the movie. In that particular movie, once the book is burned, the people possessed that evening were also defeated, but that was clearly not the end of the Necronomicon or its evil influence.

The Creation of the Necronomicon

A dusty Necronomicon beside an ancient dagger

Nobody is entirely sure where the Necronomicon was created. Possible creation locations have ranged from Egypt to Sumer in Mesopotamia, and even in Hell itself. But it was created and written by a race of ancient beings known as The Dark Ones.

This ancient order of demonic beings once ruled the Earth with dark magic and their legions of the Deadites. Eventually, they were cast off of Earth and onto another plane of existence. The influence of The Dark Ones can still be felt on Earth through the artifacts they left behind. Such as the Necronomicon.

In one version of reality, the book was created by a specific Dark One known as Ruby. Another reality showed that it was made when The Dark Ones skinned the head of a powerful demon to get the horrible cover and binding the Necronomicon is infamous for before using the book to curse the demon to be the first Deadite.

In yet another reality, Ash himself almost had his face used for the book’s binding when he disrupted the ceremony where The Dark Ones were crafting the Necronomicon.

Ash from the Evil Dead franchise
Evil Dead II courtesy of Rosebud Releasing Corporation

The Book of the Dead: A History

After its creation, the Book of the Dead hopped around for a few thousand years. Sometime before 4000 BC it was briefly used in the Sumerian city of Akhsa to summon the demon, Dagen. Then in 1300 AD it was found in a graveyard in England where it was retrieved by a time-displaced Ash. Between these two encounters, there were possible uses for war and fertility rituals, but the specifics are not well known.

Eventually, it was discovered by Professor Rayment Knowby in the ruins of Castle Kandar. They brought the Necronomicon to the United States and began studying it in the remote cabin Ash would later discover it, and all of their notes and recordings.


The Necronomicon’s Powers and Abilities

Cheryl turned into a zombie
The Evil Dead Courtesy of Renaissance Pictures

The Necronomicon and by extension, people who come in possession of the book have access to a wide variety of powers. One passage will release the Kandarian Demon on the world of the living. Other passages are guides to demons and their powers. The book was also full of instructions for brewing potions, casting spells, various magical incantations. It also included prophecies for the future.

With the Necronomicon, somebody could also open a rift in time and space, and warp the fabric of reality. They could bring the dead back to life, either as their former self or a Deadite. Or they could cause humans to be possessed by the spirit of the Necronomicon itself.

Have you seen all of the Evil Dead movies? If you found the Necronomicon, would you try to use its demonic powers? Let us know in the comments!

Happy adventuring!


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