|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2007)|
In demonology, a diabolical signature (from diabolus, the Latin for devil which comes from the Greek diabolos for supernatural being) is the signature of a devil, demon or similar spirit, usually in order to sign a soul away. The most famous of these is in the story of Faust.
Demons' signatures are designed to disguise their actual names. They are usually signed in blood. If there is a mass of signatures, they are usually signed in a circle.
Some books on demonology, like Arbatel de Magia Verum and The Lesser Key of Solomon (or Lemegeton), assert that all demons have their own signature, collectively called seal of the demons, and sign the acts of diabolical pacts with them. These 'seals' (not seals in the usual sense, as they are handwritten) are lineal drawings, often complicated.
According to The Lesser Key of Solomon and the acts of some witch trials, there are demons that have more than one seal or signature.
It is notable that many of these signatures seem to include the sign of the cross, which is usually believed to scare demons.
There are many instances of supposed demonic signatures. These signs appeared mostly during the Renaissance, in a time in which demonology was a subject of study for many theologians, priests, alchemists, cabalists and other scientists and pseudo-scientists. One of the accusations by which the Inquisition sentenced Urbain Grandier to death was based on several of these signatures.