Demon’s wings are as angel’s wings.
Their halos are as shining bright.
They sing as well as angels, too.
But only when it’s night.
– Calvin Miller
Philosophically, Peris don’t deserve to be lumped into the “demonspotting” category, but I’m going to do it on a technicality–they are angels who were thrown out of heaven.
In the Persian (Modern Iran) tradition, when Satan and his army fought the forces of Heaven, a certain class of angel was out having too good a time to bother to participate on either side. These angels, known as Peris, stayed out of the entire conflict.
A while after the war, they realized their mistake and apologized to God.
God said, “Took you long enough,” and threw them out of Heaven. But because they’d apologized (just too late), He didn’t pack them off to Hell. Instead, they have to roam the Earth, doing penance.
Peris aren’t too troubled by worry, though. They are the kind of people who have too much fun to do that. So they hang out on Earth, looking for all the world like the standard beautiful fairy, and do whatever they want.
Their one trouble is the Daevas, the evil angels who did rebel against God. If one of them catches a Peri, it chains the Peri in an iron cage and hangs it from a tree because the Daevas think that the Peris should have joined the rebellion. Unless one of the other Peris risks its life to feed its comrade nectar, the imprisoned Peri will starve to death.
- Edwin Radford, Encyclopedia of Superstitions 1949, Kessinger Publishing, 2004
- Melville, Francis; The Book of Faeries: A Guide to the World of Elves, Pixies, Goblins, and Other Magic Spirits, 2002, Quarto Inc