Female Cenobite

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The Female
Hellraiser character
From left to right: Butterball, Pinhead, The Female, and Chatterer
First appearance Hellraiser
Created by Clive Barker
Portrayed by Grace Kirby
Barbie Wilde
(Hellbound: Hellraiser II)
Aliases Female Cenobite
Species Cenobite
Gender Female
Significant other(s) Pinhead (Hellraiser)
Pseudo Pinhead
Primary location "The Labyrinth"/Hell

The Female Cenobite is a Cenobite appearing in the movies Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and in Clive Barker's comic book sequel to Hellbound published by BOOM! comics in 2011. The role was played by Grace Kirby in the first film and Barbie Wilde in the sequel.


Like the other Cenobites, she is clad in black leather and is mutilated. In the original film, several wires peel back the skin around her neck, causing her to have a raspy, whispery voice. She is given deeply sunken facial features with bluish skin and a few hairs left on her head. In the sequel four of the wires holding her throat open have been removed, leaving just one frame, and her skin tone is made white with no hairs on her head. When she is killed at the end of the second Hellraiser film (after Channard throws a knife into her open neck wound), she reverts to her original human form, revealing that she had once been a pretty woman.


Clive Barker recruited his cousin, Grace Kirby, for the role.[1]:22 The Female Cenobite was inspired by scarification and body piercing in National Geographic articles. The make-up took three hours to apply, caused her discomfort, and prevented Kirby from sitting.[2] When Kirby declined to return, Wilde took over the role.[1]:59 Wilde speculated that the producers were interested in her because of her background in mime, which was commonly believed in the industry to help with performing under prosthetic make-up. Wilde's different facial features contributed to the change in appearance for the character.[3]


According to the NECA packaging for the Female Cenobite action figure, she was once a decadent nun named Sister Nikoletta, and while this does not specifically occur in the Hellraiser films, Barbie Wilde did write an origin story for the character in the Hellbound Hearts short story collection. The NECA history was the idea of Gary J. Tunnicliffe, responsible for make-up effects in the later films, and not the creators of the character.


In a Q&A session with Doug Bradley and Simon Bamford, it was revealed that the Female Cenobite had been dubbed "DeepThroat" by the film crew, which could not have been shown in the credits for reasons of decency.


Dread Central named the Female Cenobite as one of their Favorite Sexy Badass Female Horror Characters.[4] In ranking the character fourth in their list of ten best Cenobites, Shock Till You Drop praised both actresses' acting and said that she brings "a charming nastiness" to the films.[5]


  1. ^ a b Kane, Paul (2013). The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy. McFarland & Company. ISBN 9781476600697. 
  2. ^ Timpone, Anthony (1996). Men, Makeup & Monsters: Hollywood's Masters of Illustion and FX. Macmillan Publishers. p. 170. ISBN 9780312146788. 
  3. ^ "Talking With the Dead: 13 Questions with Barbie Wilde, "Female" Cenobite and The Venus Complex Author". Horror Society. 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  4. ^ Stokoe, Claire (2016-02-11). "10 of Our Favorite Sexy Badass Female Horror Characters". Dread Central. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  5. ^ Nicol, John (2016-01-15). "10 HELLRAISER Cenobites Ranked From Worst to Best!". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 

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