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10 Scariest Villains from the Hellboy Franchise

10 Scariest Villains from the Hellboy Franchise

Hellboy starts off in an alternate version of history, when the Nazis, through the help of Grigori Rasputin, tried to use the forces of the occult for the war efforts. Soon, this brought out the infant demon soon to be known as “Hellboy.” Sent to the United States, he is raised by the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, going on to become a top paranormal investigator.



Naturally, Hellboy’s line of work has caused him to encounter all sorts of supernatural monsters and enemies. Many of these enemies are horrifying, both because of the crimes they have committed and what they are capable of with their sheer strength and power. Some are recurring foes, while others made an impression in just a few appearances.

Due to the nature of the series, many of these characters are famed figures from world folklore, classic literature, and even history. Of course, with the supernatural trappings, some liberties are taken with the historical figures.

  • Stream Hellboy (2004) on Netflix.
  • Rent Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) on AppleTV.
  • Stream Hellboy (2019) for free on Tubi.
  • Stream Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron (2007) on YouTube.
  • Rent Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms (2006) on YouTube.

10 Karl Ruprecht Kroenen

In the 2004 Hellboy film, Karl Ruprecht Kroenen was once a young opera singer whose career went downhill after his voice changed. This drove him to become addicted to surgery, eventually performing experiments on himself. This, in turn, caused him to permanently wear a gas mask. He then joined the Nazi party, becoming head of the superstitious Thule Society.

A Lack of Vital Organs Can Come in Handy

Over the decades, science and black magic were used to preserve him, to the point of the blood being dried up in his body, which, along with a lack of vital organs, actually protected him from bullets. The film notably expanded on Kroenen’s backstory, somewhat conflating him with Unmensch, a similar Nazi cyborg character, and gave him a much larger role. His comic counterpart also comes off as somewhat more meek and affable compared to his film counterpart.



Release Date
April 2, 2004


9 Herman von Klempt

Herman von Klempt is a Nazi scientist who serves as a recurring antagonist to Hellboy and his allies. He knew Kroenen in his childhood and was originally behind making him into a cyborg. Von Klempt is normally shown to be a head in a jar, but there have been times when he’s been able to use a robot body, something he can even control remotely.

Even Rasputin Is Wary of Von Klempt

He also controls the “Kriegaffes,” a race of cybernetically enhanced primates. Notably, even Rasputin seems leery of him, thinking he was too much for the occult-themed Project Ragna Rok.

Von Klempt serves as the primary antagonist of the Hellboy: The Science of Evil video game, where he is voiced by Jürgen Prochnow. Under his command, the Nazis steal a sacred artifact known as “The Wind.” Von Klempt has the final showdown with Hellboy inside a castle built by the Nazis for experimentation. Hellboy defeats the scientist by taking his jar and forcing it into the core of the villain’s giant cyborg minion.

8 The Sadu-Hem

The Sadu-Hem is one of the Ogdru Hem. At one point, he had been vanquished by Watcher Angels, but was eventually reborn. It was then trapped on Earth to grant the Ogdru Jahad, from which it spawned, some foothold in the world. Initially appearing as a mass of tentacles, the Sadu-Hem was likely inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu.

The Sadu-Hem Can Regrow From a Fragment

Rasputin discovered the Sadu-Hem, with the entity soon serving as a go-between for Rasputin and the Ogdru Jahad. The entity was initially destroyed by Abe Sapien by slaying Rasputin. Just as before, however, the Sadu-Hem could regenerate, once being able to regrow from a fragment. Eventually, it managed to transform a town of people into frog creatures before being slain once again.

RELATED: Every Movie Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Ranked by Rotten Tomatoes

7 Hecate

Hecate is a legendary goddess of witchcraft. Much of her history is shrouded in mystery, though she is later shown to have been born from shadows from a wolf’s belly. Through the years, she’s had many names and titles, such as Goddess of Crossroads and Witch Queen.

The Sun Has Become Her Enemy

Hecate once manipulated powerful, yet dangerous, knowledge from Thoth, going so far as to kill and drink the blood of three angels. Thoth cursed her for this, causing her to be partially transformed into a snake and become weak against sunlight.

Hecate later appears as the main antagonist in Hellboy: Blood and Iron, where she is voiced by Cree Summer. Erzsebet Ondrushko made a deal with her to become a vampire. Hecate also appears to Hellboy and tries to have him embrace his destined fate as the Beast of the Apocalypse. When he refuses, she assumes a physical form to fight him. However, Hellboy defeats her by dragging her out into sunlight.

6 The Conqueror Worm

The Conqueror Worm is one of the Ogdru Hem, the spawn of the Ogdru Jahad. The Worm could release a powerful gas that transformed people exposed to it into froglike creatures. It would then eat its victims in order to increase its own power. A gas mask proved useless against the gas, though the victim still retained their human intellect and speech.

A Monster Worthy Named in Honor of Poe

Herman von Klempt, long having given up his goal to take over the world, hopes the Worm will help him obtain his new goal: to destroy it. While Klempt claimed it was impossible to control the Worm, it wasn’t infallible.

The spirit of the late Lobster Johnson, also known as “The Lobster,” was able to take down the threat, however, using lightning and a metal rod. As with many enemies in the Hellboy universe, the Conqueror Worm serves as a reference to classic literature, deriving its name from an Edgar Allan Poe poem.

5 The Jaguar Spirit

Benjamin Daimio was a former Marine who died and rose from the grave through mysterious circumstances. He would become a team leader for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. It soon came to light that Daimio’s death was connected to a cult that worshiped a jaguar god, and that the Jaguar Spirit now resided inside Daimio.

The Monster Inside of Daimio

While in control of his body, the Jaguar spirit was as deadly as it was powerful and could withstand all sorts of attacks. It seemed only fire or certain magical objects had a chance against it.

Daimio had fought to contain the monster inside him, having no control over his “Werejaguar” alter-ego. Adding to the horror, Daimio is completely aware of what’s going on, meaning he gets a first-hand look at the Jaguar Spirit killing victims but can do nothing to stop it. Daniel Dae Kim plays both Daimio and the Werejaguar in the 2019 Hellboy.

Hellboy Reboot


Release Date
April 10, 2019


4 The Crooked Man

Jeremiah Witkins, also known as the Crooked Man, was an American settler in the Appalachian Mountains. He sold guns and liquor to both the Native Americans and other settlers, during the time of the American Revolution and the Civil War. In time, he was killed by hanging, but he was sent back to Earth as a demonic being. Now gaining his “Crooked Man” alias, he collected souls in glass jars and recruited local women as witches, notably Effie Kolb.

There Was a Crooked Man…

Witkins could be repelled by holy objects and was unable to enter a church. This proved to be his undoing, when he was attacked with a blessed bone that Witkins ironically intended to use in a Satanic ritual. The fate of the souls he captured was left in the air, either being freed or dragged off to hell along with him.

Witkins’ alias is a reference to the nursery rhyme, “There Was a Crooked Man.” The character is also set to appear in the film, Hellboy: The Crooked Man.

RELATED: Every Film Directed by Guillermo del Toro, Ranked by Box Office Performance

3 Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is a famous witch from Russian folklore and appears as a prominent figure in the Hellboy universe. Hellboy first encounters the witch while looking into stories of missing children. Baba Yaga was to blame, capturing children to satiate her hunger. After Hellboy knocked out one of her eyes, she cursed a town to have children be born blind in one eye. She also hid herself away in a dimension resembling ancient Russia, though she is able to return to Earth.

The Wicked Witch of Eastern Europe

Baba Yaga is one of the most powerful magicians in the franchise. She also has connections to various figures, including Rasputin and Koschei the Deathless, giving the impression she can control things from the shadows. Her powers often appear connected to souls and death, complete with the power to command an army of the undead.

Baba Yaga appears in the 2019 film, portrayed by Emma Tate, who provides her voice, and Troy James, who plays her onscreen. Hellboy had already shot out one of her eyes before the events of the film, and she wants him to restore one to her.

2 Grigori Rasputin

Loosely based on the historical figure of the same name, Rasputin serves as Hellboy’s arch-nemesis. Serving as the head of Project Ragna Rok, he notably was the one to summon Hellboy to Earth. Through it all, Rasputin’s main goal is to bring forth the apocalypse.

The Villain Who Keeps Coming Back

Rasputin appears as the villain of the 2004 Hellboy film, where he serves as the main antagonist. Here, an otherworldly being within his body grants him regenerative immortality. At the start, he unleashes a portal to the realm of Ogdru Jahad, but was ultimately trapped inside before it disappeared. He is behind different events in the story with the goal of getting Hellboy to embrace his destiny. When Hellboy ultimately rejects this and stabs Rasputin, this ultimately releases the entity within his body.

Rasputin also appears in flashbacks for the 2019 film reboot. At one point, there were also plans to feature Rasputin as a ghost in Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

1 The Ogdru Jahad

The Ogdru Jahad, also known as the “Ogdru eb Jurhad,” are supernatural entities. Representing the Dragon foretold in the Book of Revelations, they are fated to one day bring about the end of the world, known as Ragnarok. Imprisoned shortly after the creation of the world, they were known for spanning hundreds of children, called the Ogdru Hem.

The Dragon of Revelation

In the Hellboy film, they serve as an overarching threat. Their appearance in the film resembles something out of H. P. Lovecraft’s work, complete with tentacles, while they would be given more of a dragonlike appearance in the comics. Creatures resembling either the Ogdru Jahad or the Ogdru Hem appear in the animated film, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, where they are described as “Dragons,” and are portrayed as the brothers of Thunder and Lightning.

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