DJ: "Who are you?"
Barbas: "A demon. A demon who has the power to turn the innermost fears of a mortal into reality and there's nothing you can do about it. Want to see?"
Barbas shows his power to DJ.[src]

Fear Projection is the ability to sense and read the fears of other beings and use it against them. This power is unique to the demon Barbas, and is known as the demon of fear because of it.


The first and most basic application of this power is sensing or reading the fears of other beings. An example of this happened in 2004, when Barbas read Gideon's worst fear and then promised to tell no one.[1]

Projecting fear into reality

Paige: "What does this Barbas do? What's his thing?"
Piper: "He brings really bad things to life."
Leo: " Your worst fears to be exact"
— Discussing how Barbas' power work.[src]

Barbas can read the fears of other beings and then projecting it into reality. Doing so will send their fear into overdrive, as they are forced to experience their greatest fear, paralysing them until they die of a heart attack.

The change in reality can sometime cause injury to the victim, as in the case of Tanjella. However, in Zoe's case, she suffered no other injuries other than a heart attack when he trapped her in a circle of fire.

In 1998, Barbas tried to kill Prue by using her fear of drowning against her. However, Patty's ghost came to her rescue and helped her to overcome her fears. This act neutralized Barbas's power and sent him to purgatory.


Barbas: "The demons are after them. Even as we speak. They have assumed your sisters' identities in order to kill them. But you must kill the impostors first, by midnight."
Prue: " Kill the impostors."
Barbas: "Yes."
— Barbas succeeds in brainwashing Prue.[src]

On Friday the 13th in 2000, Barbas returned and attacked Prue again. However, this time he used his powers to brainwash her based on her fears; which was "losing a sister", since she had already conquered her fear of drowning. Barbas tells Prue that demons are masquerading as her sisters and she must kill them before they kill her real sisters. Fortunately, Phoebe and Piper were able to break the brainwashing by talking to Prue and getting her to believe that they were in fact her sisters.

Creating illusions based on fear

Anigif barbasfearprojection.gif

Paige: "Don't you see it? (Paige sees the walls moving inwards.) The walls are moving in on me. (She tries to leave the nursery but the door slams shut.) Help, get me outta here!"
Piper: " Paige, it's just a hallucination."
— The Charmed Ones in the midst of Barbas latest attack.[src]

Barbas can also create realistic illusions base on a person's fears. His illusions may be limited to visible manifestations that affect only sight, or affect all the five senses so that they cannot be distinguished from reality.

Barbas usually employ this method when he's attacking people within a group, presumably because he has to attack them individually because each persons fear is different.[2] However, it is just as effective as projecting someone's fear it into reality, because the victim will think the illusions are real.

In 2000, Barbas uses this aspect of his power to scare D.J by forcing him to witness an illusion of his greatest fear, which was Bane Jessup shooting him. Afterwards, illusion-Bane disappeared as well as D.J's illusionary wounds.

Subliminal Messaging

"You fear hurting Phoebe for more than your fear remaining forever evil. Protect Phoebe. Strip your powers."
—Barbas using subliminal messaging on Cole.[src]

After learning how to astral project onto the astral plane as an invisible spirit in 2002, Barbas began to use subliminal messaging as a form of attack. First, he reads his victims fears, and then project as an inner voice to them, preying on their fears and doubts, and then reinforce that by creating illusions within their mind.

Barbas could also use this form of attack to manipulate his victims into fulfilling his aims. For example, he used subliminal messaging to trick Paige into stripping Cole of his powers so that he could steal them.

This form of attack allowed Barbas to attack and manipulate his victims without them ever being aware of his presence, as well as attack them from a distance.

Tracking with fear

"Well, then, you track him with his orbs. I'm going to, uh…Track him with his fears."
—Barbas to Gideon.[src]

In 2004, Barbas revealed to Gideon that he could track people with their fears when suggesting ways of how to track down Wyatt.


  • When this power is used on witches, the fear will paralyze their powers, making them unable to defend themselves due to their powers being tied to their emotions. However, if one overcomes their fears and regain control over their emotions, they will be able to use their powers freely.
  • Those affected by this power may find their hair turn white in the process, as seen in From Fear to Eternity.
  • As shown in "Sympathy for the Demon", Barbas cannot read the fear of a being's astral projection.


See also