"I'll be back! Fear always comes back!"
—Barbas to Phoebe and Paige.[src]

Barbas, also known as the Demon of Fear, was an ancient and powerful upper-level demon. His primary power was the reading the fears of his victims and use those fears against them.

Barbas was originally bound to a cycle which only allowed him to return to earth every thirteen hundred years. This cycle could only be ended if he killed thirteen unmarried witches on Friday the 13th. However, Barbas has since escaped the cycle and has grown into one of the most frequently recurring and dangerous enemies of the Charmed Ones.


Meeting the Charmed Ones

On Friday the 13th in 1999, Barbas returned to earth after thirteen hundred years. In order to be freed from the cycle, he needed to kill thirteen unmarried witches before midnight. His first victim was Tanjella, whom he killed with her fear of being buried alive in an earthquake. He then confronted Zoe, who believed she had conquered her fear of fire, though Barbas replied she had only repressed it before killing her.

Barbas then targeted The Charmed Ones and nearly drowned Prue in the shower, though she was saved when Andy Trudeau and Darryl Morris interrupted him. He proceeded to lure Phoebe to an empty house by pretending to be a client. He then used her phone to lure Prue there as well so he could use both their fears; drowning and losing a sister. When Prue arrived, Barbas pushed her into the pool and she nearly drowned until the spirit of Patty helped her conquer her fear. Due to Prue no longer being afraid, Barbas was banished.[1]

Ms. Hellfire

The following year, Barbas returned and worked with a criminal named Bane Jessup, who in turn, hired an assassin known as Ms. Hellfire to kill thirteen witches. After the sisters killed the assassin in self-defense, they checked her apartment. When D.J. arrived, he mistook Prue for Hellfire and took her to see Bane.

When Bane took Prue to meet Barbas, he used her fear of someone killing her sisters to hypnotize her. He convinced her that her sisters had been replaced by imposters. Piper and Phoebe were able to snap Prue out of her trance and confronted Barbas. After a short battle, it became midnight and Barbas ran out of time, sending him to purgatory once more.[2]

Manipulating Cole

While trapped in Purgatory, Barbas met another demon named Stimple, who taught him how to astral project. Barbas then began manipulating Cole Turner and the Charmed Ones as part of his plan to escape. After creating enough conflict, Barbas tricked Paige into giving Cole a power stripping potion. When Cole drank it, Barbas materialized and absorbed the powers.

Barbas freed Stimple and they took over Cole's penthouse. Initially Barbas was only interested in getting revenge on the sisters, though Stimple convinced him to take over the Underworld. While meeting with the demonic leaders, Phoebe appeared before him and taunted him. Barbas followed her to the manor and overpowered the sisters. He then trapped them in the manor and brought all their fears to life.

Stimple pleaded to Barbas to forget the witches, though Barbas vanquished him instead. When he confronted the sisters, Paige managed to orb another power stripping potion at him. The stolen powers were then returned to Cole, who vanquished Barbas with an energy ball.[3]

The Tribunal

When Inspector Sheridan filmed the sisters using magic to extract a Phantasm, the Cleaners intervened and framed Darryl Morris for murder to cover it up. The sisters sought a way to save their friend and went to the Tribunal with Gideon. When the sisters got a trial, Barbas appeared as the opposing counsel. When Phoebe asked what he was doing there, the Tribunal replied that they liked his "pitch".

Phoebe reasoned that his presence was a conflict of interest, though the Tribunal disagreed. The sisters then began to suspect it was a setup and sent Leo and Chris to investigate. After reviewing several past events, Barbas made his case about the sisters having caused exposure too often and that they should be stripped of their magic.

Just as the Tribunal was about to reach their verdict, Leo and Chris arrived with Inspector Sheridan, revealing she was possessed by a Phantasm and that everything had been set in motion by Barbas. However, Barbas reasoned that the sisters, in particular Phoebe, were still irresponsible with their powers. This resulted in the Tribunal stripping Phoebe's active powers. Due to technically winning his case, Barbas was granted his deal and was resurrected. He then read Gideon's fear, which was that the Charmed Ones would discover he was the one after Wyatt.[4]

Working with Gideon

When Gideon sent Leo and Chris to a Parallel World, they met a good version of Barbas, who revealed that Gideon was the one after Wyatt. With his secret exposed, Gideon fled to the Underworld and proposed an alliance to Barbas. He revealed that his interference had switched the balance between Good and Evil, and that a great evil was needed to restore it.

Gideon sent Barbas to distract the sisters. When Barbas learned that only Piper was affected by the shift in moralities, he manipulated her into casting a spell on her sisters. Gideon then sent Barbas after Leo, whom he confronted with his worst fear, Wyatt growing up to become evil and failing as a father. During this time, Gideon kidnapped Wyatt and fatally wounded Chris.

While in the Underworld, Barbas grew impatient and tried to kill Wyatt, causing him to orb away. As Barbas chased the boy through the Underworld by tracking his fear, Leo glamoured into Barbas and confronted Gideon. He then vanquished him, performing an act of evil and restoring the balance between moralities, while Barbas fled.[5]

Being Hunted by Leo

Due to Gideon's betrayal, Leo became obsessed and started hunting down Barbas. However, Barbas manipulated him into attacking an Elder named Zola by comparing him to Gideon. As Barbas got healing from a demonic healer, he was visited by a floating head that told him to go after the baby.

Barbas and a small army of demons attacked Piper and the baby, though she was able to defeat them due to being transformed into the goddess Shakti. Blinded by rage, Leo went after him again and Barbas led him to Zola. This time, Barbas was able to manipulate Leo into killing the Elder.

Barbas returned to his lair and wanted to go after the sisters next, though Paige and Phoebe confronted him instead. Barbas read their fear thinking it would paralyze them, though the sisters replied that their desire to protect their nephews was stronger and vanquished him with a potion.[6]

Momentary Return

Five years after his vanquish, Barbas's essence observed the Charmed Ones while waiting for the opportunity to return. While Paige was training three kids to defend themselves, Barbas possessed one of them: Tyler Michaels, who was under the influence of Heremus which allowed vanquished evils to return through him. Barbas conjured up giant spiders to kill her charges, but Paige managed to send him through a portal conjured up by Tyler's power and he disappeared into it. Tyler returned moments later.

Book of Shadows

Season 1 entry

The entry on Barbas, written by Patty Halliwell.

Patty Halliwell's message to her daughter, Prue Halliwell.

The Demon of Fear, also known as Barbas,
appears on earth once every 1300 years on a Friday
the 13th for twenty four hours. His appearance is
attributed to the universal convergence of negative
energies as derived from astrological charts. He
derives his life force by feeding off the fears of
witches. If he can kill 13 unmarried female
witches before the stroke of midnight on the 13th
he will be able to break free from his eternal
bonds and walk the earth for eternity.
A witch's only defense is to identify and then
release her greatest fears. Do not rely on your
wicca powers for defence, for in the face of your
greatest fear, those powers are paralyzed.
To let go of your fear, trust in the greatest
of all powers.
Thanks for letting them into your heart.

Season 8 entry


The Demon of Fear
Also known as Barbas, appears on earth once every 1300 years on a Friday
the 13th for twenty four hours. His appearance is attributed to the universal
convergence of negative energies as derived from astrological charts. He derives
his life force by feeding off the fears of witches. If he can kill 13 unmarried
female witches before the stroke of midnight on the 13th he will be able to
break free from his eternal bonds and walk the earth for eternity.
A witch's only defense is to identify and then release her greatest fears.
Do not rely on your wicca powers for defense, for in the face of your
greatest fear, those powers are paralyzed.

Powers and Abilities

Original Powers

Active Powers
  • Smoking: The ability to teleport by turning into a puff of smoke and then reappearing elsewhere.
  • Fear Projection: The ability to sense the greatest fear of someone and make them think that their fears are coming true. Barbas used this power to try and kill thirteen witches to be free from purgatory.
    • Sensing: The ability to sense the location of others. Barbas could track Wyatt with his fears. He was also able to sense that the Halliwell sisters and Marcy Steadwell were still alive.
  • Voice Manipulation: The ability to alter one's voice to match that of another person.
  • Intangibility: The ability to be able to pass through solid matter.
  • Literary Manipulation: The ability to control literary, ink, and words. Barbas used this ability to collect names of witches for him to target.
Other Powers
  • Immunity: The ability to be immune to certain powers, spells or potion. Barbas stated that he was immune to the powers of witches as well as talismans. However, if witches overcome their fears, they can affect him with their powers. 
  • Immortality: The ability to possess a possibly infinite lifespan.
  • High Resistance: The ability to withstand and survive attacks that would be otherwise lethal. Barbas withstood a blast from Shakti's lightning bolts which only wounded him.

Additional Powers

  • Astral Projection: The ability to project one's consciousness elsewhere in astral form. Barbas learned to use this ability from Stimple.
  • Suggestion: The ability to project oneself as an inner voice to others. Combined with his ability to read fears and astral projection, Barbas used this to manipulate his victims.
  • Flaming: The ability to teleport through flames. After being resurrected by the Tribunal, this ability replaced his original Smoking.
  • Energy Ball: The ability to throw spheres of magical energy. Barbas gained this ability after his resurrection by the Tribunal.

Temporary Powers

Barbas, the Demon of Hope

The Demon of Hope.

An alternate version of Barbas appeared in the Parallel World where moralities are reversed. In this world, demons are good and Barbas was known as the Demon of Hope. He possessed the power to read the hopes of others. When Leo Wyatt and Chris Halliwell were transported to this world, they sought out Barbas after realizing that good and evil were reversed. This version of Barbas told them Gideon was the one who was after Wyatt.

Notes and Trivia

Small triquetra.png The Barbas article has a Photo Gallery.
  • Barbas is the name of a demon from the Ars Goetia, the first section of the demonology book The Lesser Key of Solomon. Here, he is described as the Great President of Hell governing thirty-six legions of demons. Other names taken from this are Andras, Asmodeus and Shax.
  • A list of fears Barbas brought to life can be found here.
  • In "A Call to Arms", Barbas' hands glow white when reading fears. This is the only episode in which this occurs.
  • Although his name was never mentioned in "From Fear to Eternity", the Book of Shadows entry reveals it to be Barbas.
  • Phoebe is the only Charmed One to witness all of Barbas' vanquishes and defeats.
  • Barbas' powers were seemingly altered when he was resurrected due to his deal with the Tribunal. For example, his method of teleportion changed to Flaming. He returned to Smoking in the comics.
  • While Barbas' hair is different is each appearance, his clothes always remain mostly the same.
  • In The Monsters of Charmed Documentary on the Limited Edition Book of Shadows DVD Set, Billy Drago stated what made Barbas so unique from the other demons was his normal appearance - even though several demons do have human appearance - and how he would allow the Charmed Ones' existing fears do their own thing whereas the others would try to create a new fear in the girls with a frightening physical appearance, such as with Belthazor and the Source.[7]
  • Barbas is the first demon the Charmed Ones face who doesn't have any monstrous features other than his powers. This trend of demons with human appearances would become more common the mid to late seasons
  • Phoebe herself referred to Barbas as "the worst demon we've ever faced"[3] and "our worst enemy".[4]
  • The original season 1 Barbas page was for sale at ScreenUsed.com.
  • Despite the Book of Shadows stating that he only targeted unmarried witches, he went after Piper after she was married, presumably out of his drive for vengeance.


Barbas has appeared in a total of 7 episodes and 1 comic issue over the course of the series.


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