This Demon Featured Throughout ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ at Halloween Horror Nights Makes a Blink-and-You-Miss-It Appearance in the Movie

Brit Tuttle

This Demon Featured Throughout ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ at Halloween Horror Nights Makes a Blink-and-You-Miss-It Appearance in the Movie

If you visited either Universal Studios Florida or Universal Studios Hollywood for Halloween Horror Nights this year, chances are you went through “The Exorcist: Believer” and saw many scares from a particularly frightening-looking horned creature. But did you know that this creature is barely in the actual final film, despite being a mainstay in the haunted houses?

The ‘Blink-and-You-Miss-It” Demon in ‘The Exorcist: Believer’

Lamashtu Demon The Exorcist Believer
Image Source: @cnelsonfx on Instagram

Fangoria recently reported on the demon, which was created for the film by Oscar-winning makeup artist Christopher Allen Nelson. Nelson shared a photo of the demon, named Lamashtu, on his Instagram, offering a closer look at the demon.

According to Fangoria, Lamashtu’s screen time can be “measured in frames.’ Nelson also spoke to Polygon, sharing that while a full suit was made, the demon didn’t make it off the cutting room floor:

You see [Lamashtu] very abstractly in the final exorcism. But we did an entire head-to-toe prosthetic suit, harness, wings, horns, a full realization of Lamashtu which I’m very, very proud of and was very difficult.

[…] I tried to talk David [Gordon Green] into putting it in there. But you know, David knows the movie better than I do. And it works well within the context of the story we’re seeing. But I would have liked to have seen more of the demon.

Christopher Allen Nelson, Special Make-Up FX Deisgner/Department Head, “The Exorcist: Believer”

Lamashtu at Halloween Horror Nights

Despite being in single seconds of the final film, Lamashtu is featured heavily throughout the scares in the haunted house for “The Exorcist: Believer” at both Halloween Horror Nights events at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood.

hhn32 blumfest panel 5538

During a Halloween Horror Nights Q&A panel at BlumFest 2023, Senior Director of Creative Development Mike Aiello, Assistant Director of Creative Development Group and Show Direction Lora Sauls, and Senior Show Director of Halloween Horror Nights Charles Gray shared insight into how the haunted houses were created without viewing the final film:

This was probably one of the most unique creative processes we’ve ever had for one of our haunted houses. Given the fact that I got the script for “The Exorcist: Believer” back in, I guess, maybe August of 2022, and read it, did some highlights of some things that could be appropriate for what we know a haunted house needs to be, because again, the adaptation is very specific.

It was actually a year ago yesterday that I sent the script to Charles [Gray] and Lora [Sauls], with just, again, an assortment of thoughts and highlights throughout that script of what we felt could be something to attatch to from the script itself. Again, no footage, no photography, just the written word is how the process started.

Mike Aiello, Senior Director of Creative Development

At a certain point in development, the haunted house was being created as the actual film was in production:

Once we created that framework, it was [a] parallel path, I would say, while they were shooting, we were creating. So we would get access to day-of pictures on the set, which was really fascinating. So, you may have a conception of what is on the page, what it looks like in your mind, and then within a day, see what it actually was on set. That was exciting.

Charles Gray, Senior Show Director of Halloween Horror Nights
Lamashtu The Exorcist Believer Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Studios Hollywood 1

Since the house was in development prior to the film’s release, it meant that the creative team had to get, well, creative with the subject material in determining what was of value for the house — whether or not it was exact to the final film.

That is a testament to the deisgn team […] to be able to take all of that reference photography — and a lot of it isn’t even from the camera angles that are in the film. This is someone on set literally just documenting all of the set pieces, all of the props, all of the costuming.

Our team then takes those assets and has to decipher them, not only for what we think is going to be of value for the experience, but at the same time, adapted for the viewpoints that we know our guests are going to end up walking through.

Which, in some cases, is identical to what the film approaches, and in other cases we’re malleable with some of the set pieces so we can ensure that you, the audience, is the camera at that point and getting the best shot and view of whatever scene is being created.

Mike Aiello, Senior Director of Creative Development

You can watch the full panel and hear more of their discussion here.

It’s certainly interesting that a movie monster can be so integral to the experience of a haunted house, and yet not make it past the cutting room floor in the final theatrical film.

What do you think about “The Exorcist: Believer” and its nearly-cut demon, and the very prevalent use of it in this year’s Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses? Have you seen the movie yet? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Check out our review of the house from Halloween Horror Nights 32 at Universal Studios Florida, and at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios Hollywood.

For more Universal Studios news from around the world, follow Universal Parks News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For Disney Parks news, visit WDWNT.


  • Brit Tuttle

    Brit didn't grow up going to the Disney Parks, but had basically the next best thing: the Phantom Manor ride operations simulator flash game and the Disney Sing-Along Songs Beach Party at Walt Disney World VHS. You can email them at brittan[email protected].

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.