How to Identify Evil Spirits

Evil spirits identified in scripture

(Notes from How to Try A Spirit by Mary Garrison – this book is an excellent resource and an easy reference for the evil spirits mentioned in the Bible.)

Spirit of Bondage (slavery)

Manifestations: Any type of addiction or habitual sin with an inability to break free.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

Spirit of Fear (worry, anxiety, stress, apprehension)


  • hypercritical
  • introversion
  • depression
  • undue caution
  • seclusion

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Deaf and Dumb Spirit


  • dumbness
  • insanity
  • seizures
  • suicide

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more! Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” Mark 9:25,26

Spirit of Heaviness


  • mourning (Is. 61:3)
  • sorrow or sadness (Neh. 2:2, Pr.15:13, Rom. 9:2)
  • self-pity (Ps. 69:20).

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

Spirit of Infirmity


  • weakness
  • lingering and deep-seated disorders (John 5:5)
  • fever (rebuke a fever Luke 4:39)
  • hunch-backed (Luke 13:11).

And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. Luke 13:11

Spirit of Jealousy


  • competition – Genesis 4:4,5
  • anger/rage/revenge – Genesis 4:5,6; Proverbs 6:34
  • hatred – Genesis 37:3,4,8
  • murder – Genesis 4:8

If the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife, although she has not defiled herself, – Numbers 5:14

Perverse Spirit


  • rebellion and hatred of God
  • sexual perversions
  • lust
  • false teachers. 2 Peter 2 (the whole chapter – New Living Bible) sums it up pretty well.

“The LORD has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst;
And they have caused Egypt to err in all her work,
As a drunken man staggers in his vomit.” Isaiah 19:14

Spirit of Divination and Familiar Spirit


  • all the black arts
  • consulting familiar spirits and the dead
  • witchcraft
  • diviners
  • mediums
  • fortune tellers
  • horoscopes, etc.

Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.”

And his servants said to him, “In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.”

So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.” 1 Samuel 28:7-8

Spirit of Whoredoms


  • idolatry (Matthew 6:21)
  • unfaithfulness to God (Ezekiel 16:15)
  • prostitution (Ezekiel 16:28).

Some of the things a Spirit of Whoredoms would cause one to prostitute himself for are as follows:

  • Love of the world (2 Timothy 4:10)
  • Love of position and social standing (Matthew 23:2-15)
  • Love of money (1 Timothy 6:10, 7-14)
  • Love of food (Romans 1:18, 1 Corinthians 6:13-16, Philippians 3:19)

My people ask counsel from their wooden idols,
And their staff informs them.
For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God. Hosea 4:12

Spirit of Haughtiness


  • pride (Isaiah 16:6)
  • scorn
  • bragging
  • stubbornness
  • gossip
  • contention
  • egotistical, etc.

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Lying Spirit


  • exaggeration
  • insinuation
  • flattery
  • profanity
  • hypocrisy
  • sometimes called a religious spirit.

“Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.”

2 Chronicles 18:22

Antichrist Spirit


  • all forms of opposition and persecution of those who believe Jesus is the Messiah
  • attempts to take the place of Christ
  • proposes other methods for the atonement of sin including adherence to laws.

“And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” 1 John 4:3