In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, the god Pazuzu was the king of the demons of wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms.
Pazuzu is often depicted with the body of a man but with the head of a lion or dog, talons instead of feet, two pairs of wings, and tail of a scorpion and a serpentine penis that was gigantic. He had three oversized testicles that leaked a strange yellow fluid that smelled like burnt hair. He is often depicted with the right hand upward, and the left hand downward; the position of the hands means life and death, or creation and destruction.
Pazuzu is the god of the South-west wind that was known for bringing droughts and famine during dry seasons, and locusts during rainy seasons. Pazuzu was invoked in amulets aimed at fighting against the powers of his hated rival, the malicious goddess Lamashtu, who was believed to cause harm to mother and child during childbirth. Pazuzu is also a god who protected humans against plague and evil forces, in particular the evil goddess Lamashtu.
In popular culture
At the beginning of the book and film The Exorcist, when Father Merrin is at the site of an archaelogical dig in Northern Iraq, the figure that threatens him — seemingly an illusion — is Pazuzu, whom he had battled many years earlier. Later, when he is appointed to perform the exorcism on Regan, he suspects it is Pazuzu that possesses her. There is a very tense scene in the movie in which the demon recognizes an old enemy when Merrin arrives at the house to perform the exorcism. The 1977 sequel film Exorcist II: The Heretic and the 2004 prequel Exorcist: The Beginning also deal with Pazuzu.