Based On A True Story: The Reality of SINISTER

Witchcraft and satanic rituals have been performed for thousands of years, leading to horrifying murders, human sacrifices, and widespread terror.  Many religions have deities titled “false gods” that people once worshipped, or even still worship today in some cultures. These deities present themselves as something more innocent than they actually are. Upon gaining strength within followers, the deities cause them to do devious and horrible things to others. Sinister is a movie based on a pagan god named Baghuul, known for making young children kill their entire families before he devoured the children’s souls. If Sinister scares you a little extra because of how realistic the pagan god appears, you may be even more terrified by the fact that this deity is absolutely as real as they make him out to be in the film. Baghuul’s origin is actually based on an ancient deity mentioned in many religious texts, named Moloch or Molech. Moloch’s history dates back to Babylonian times, and it’s even believed that the Canaanites, a believed ancestor of the human race, were worshipping him 4,000 years ago.

Moloch was a false god worshipped by followers who were twisted enough to perform his barbaric ritual - burning a sacrificial child alive so that Moloch could obtain the power of the child’s soul. Moloch later on became known as the god of child sacrifice, and he is represented in many religions as a demonic deity who would demand the sacrifice of children, normally infants.  The demon Moloch is known in almost all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Paganism, and Catholicism, and is mentioned in many religious texts. In the chapter Leviticus of the Old Testament of the Christian bible, Moloch is mentioned several times, one for example: “Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 20:2).” Followers of Christ were warned many times throughout the Old Testament to stay away from worshipping Molech the false god, and the punishment for worshipping this demon was said to be death, usually by stoning. Every religion that Moloch is mentioned in has a slightly different message, but generally, his name, image, and sacrificial ritual all remain eerily the same.

People began worshipping Moloch for the same reasons people call upon demons and evil spirits to do their bidding in this day and age: to create pain and suffering for others, and because of a false promise of wealth or prosperity the demon promises if the person is willing to sacrifice everything for it. Although it’s not documented fully as to why people originally began worshipping Moloch, it’s believed that sacrificing your first born in the dark world of witchcraft and satanic rituals could potentially give you wealth beyond your wildest dreams and prosperity throughout life.

The movie Sinister takes an interesting approach to this idea by representing Moloch in a new form and naming him Baghuul. He manipulates children into killing their families and documenting the brutal murders for him, a twist on the original belief that the parents would sacrifice their children. The actual child sacrificing ritual meant gathering together a group of the deity’s followers, starting a bonfire in what's believed to be the hollow belly of a metal statue of Moloch himself, and making a sacrifice by burning a child alive over the flames.  Sinister switches up this belief by featuring the child doing the sacrificing. Baghuul controls the child’s mind and demands that the child kill his or her family in a brutal way while recording it with an old videotape recorder. Although the ritual is different from actual religious beliefs, after the sacrifice, Baghuul does get to keep the child’s soul, as did Moloch.

Although most people, especially horror fans, are aware that witchcraft and demon worship exist in the real world, there is seldom any proof or any documentation of the practices. This is not surprising, since such worship is usually either illegal, gruesome, or shamed, but it is interesting that in this modern day when the horror genre is so popular and the population is so numbed to this kind of idea, that most knowledge of demonic entities, rituals, and worship is based mostly on hearsay and legends. However, the story of Moloch, or as named in the movie Sinister as Baghuul, is a particularly interesting one, since it comes straight out of not just one religious text, but several, making Moloch one of the most horrifyingly real demonic tales of all time.