This Present Darkness

by Frank Peretti

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Frank Peretti's horror novel This Present Darkness is the first in a series and also a film. It depicts the final battle between good and evil as Peretti interprets it. It is controversial even within evangelical and conservative Christian circles for its view of other faiths as part of a Satanic conspiracy, with some arguing the novel itself has Zoroastrian views. The characters include demons, angels, and people struggling with their faith.


Lucius is the ruling demon, leading smaller demons representing human vices.

Juleen Langstrat

Juleen Langstrat is a new psychology professor at Whitmore College. She teaches about Eastern religions and philosophies and paganism but is secretly part of a Satanic conspiracy. She is a member of the Universal Consciousness Society, a worldwide front for Satan. In teaching meditation (according to the novel), she is actually teaching people to speak with demons.

Alf Brummel

Alf Brummel is the chief of police in Ashton.

Oliver Young

Oliver Young is the pastor of the Ashton United Christian Church, representing Peretti's view of mainline Protestant churches.


Tal is the captain of the host or band of angels and the Christian faithful. The Holy Spirit and Tal reveal themselves, becoming helpful figures or whispering suggestions.

The Remnant

The Remnant is the collective term for the faithful in the community, especially the recently born again or those "led by the spirit."

Hank and Mary Busche

Hank Busche and Mary Busche are pastors at the Ashton Community Church, representing Peretti's view of evangelical and fundamentalist churches.

Bernice Krueger

Bernice Krueger is a reporter for the Ashton Clarion and begins investigating the conspiracy after an angel whispers to her.

Marshall Hogan

Marshall Hogan is the owner and editor of the Clarion. Peretti depicts him as vulnerable to demons because his faith is not strong, he works too much, and he has a poor relationship with his family.

Sandy Hogan

Sandy Hogan is Marshall's daughter and is depicted as an easy target for Satanic recruitment through the practice of Eastern religions and paganism.

Ba-al Rafar

Ba-al Rafar is the Prince of Babylon. He is a ruling demon fighting Lucius to become the Prince of Ashton in the final battle between good and evil.

Susan Jacobson

Susan Jacobson is the "Maidservant," called by the Holy Spirit. She is gathering evidence at the Clarion to prove the conspiracy.

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