CROSSROAD DEMON LORE
The crossroads—and the decisions made and entities met there—are a common theme in literature, pushing readers to examine the choices and encounters that shape life experience. The theme has also been explored in blues music, most famously by Robert Johnson, who, according to bluesman Son House, must have "sold his soul to play like that." This lesson uses Johnson and his music as an entry point into the study of crossroads literature.
The legend regarding Robert Johnson says that Robert, as a young boy, would try to play the instruments of older musicians but didn't seem to have a great deal of talent. He went to a crossroads, summoned the devil and sold his soul in exchange for the ability to play the guitar like no other musician.
There are at least three versions explaining how and why Robert Johnson was killed. Robert became too close or too friendly with the companion of the man who hired him to play, and the man poisoned Johnson with whiskey. August of 1938, Robert Johnson and Honeyboy Edward were playing at a house party in Three Forks, Mississippi . One version says Johnson was "stabbed to death by a jealous husband. " Another version says he was "stabbed by a women or poisoned by parties unknown." Whatever the case, Johnson died three days later at the age of twenty-seven. According to Johnny Shine, "I heard that it was something to do with the Black Arts. Before he died, Robert was crawling along the ground on all fours; barking and snapping like a mad beast. That's what the poison done to him". Johnson was buried in a small cemetery on the edge of town. The "King of the Delta Blues" was gone, but today his music remains popular. Love in Vain: : A vision of Robert Johnson by Alan Greenberg is a screenplay, for an as yet unmade movie about him, that dramatizes his life, music and legend. The movie Crossroads is about Robert Johnson and Willie Brown (Johnson sings about his 'friend-boy, Willie Brown in his Cross Roads Blues) and stars Joe Seneca and Ralph Machio Robert Johnson is considered one of the greatest of the Mississippi Delta blues musicians.
"SUPERNATURAL" CROSSROAD DEMON
The Crossroad Demon is a fictional character created by Eric Kripke for the CW's Supernatural.
This particular demon is given immense strength, physically and supernaturally, and dark red eyes. Purely evil, the demon also is very sarcastic and loves to play on people's emotions, making them feel extreme guilt and/or fear. Its main purpose of existence is to make bargains with desperate people in exchange for their souls. In order to summon a Crossroad Demon, one must find a crossroads and dig a hole in the dead center, putting in a box with their picture an assortment of other items which help to bring it into this world. The demon prefers to inhabit the bodies of strikingly attractive women who appeal to the men making the deals. However, it is presumed that if a woman was to ever make a deal with the Crossroad Demon, it would appear as a handsome man which would cater to the woman's desires.
First met in “Crossroad Blues”, the Crossroad Demon appears to Dean when he tries to save a condemned man's life. It appears as a beautiful young woman and tries to taunt him, pushing him to the limits with remarks of his father's last moments, and how he too made a deal with a demon. At first, Dean wants the demon to release a man named Evan Hudson from a deal, trying to trap it in a Devil's Trap. However, the demon is too cunning for Dean and discovers the Devil's Trap under the Impala, furiously threatening to tear Dean apart. Though the demon is tempted, it remarks that it would rather see Dean suffer emotionally and slowly, like he already was at that point after losing his father. The demon then remarks that it could have given Dean his father back, leading him to reconsider what exactly he is bargaining for. However, Dean tricks the demon into another Devil's Trap where he tells the demon to call off its hell hounds and let Evan go. When the demon hesitates, Dean begins an exorcism ritual, previously demonstrated with Meg. The demon then begins to violently start convulsing, obviously afraid of being sent back to hell.
Finally, the demon yields to Dean and breaks the contract on Evan's life. It kisses Dean to seal the contract. After sealing the contract, the demon demands freedom but Dean restarts the exorcism. The demon then eggs on Dean to keep going, as if it is sent to hell it will break loose either way and "skin" Evan. Dean then lets the demon go. As it is about to leave, the demon then mocks Dean about his father being tortured in hell. Dean begins to approach the demon and threatens to send it back to hell, but it forcefully extracts itself from its host's body through a black cloud, leaving behind a very confused woman.
The Crossroad Demon returns again in "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2" using a different woman for a host. However, this time Dean summons the demon to make a bargain for Sam, killed in the previous episode. This time, the demon is extremely happy to see Dean as it knows that it will be the one to claim his life. It already knows that Dean wants Sam back in pure form, but is not going to give him the same treatment offered to every other person. Dean bargains 10 years and keeps counting down, but is unsuccessful. The demon begins to leave, but Dean calls it back and tries to keep bargaining. It informs Dean that bringing Sam back is breaking the rules, but will do it anyways, giving Dean only one year to live. This time, the demon informs him that if he tries to do anything to get out of the deal, Sam will die instantly. Remarking finally that it was a better deal than his father ever got, Dean kisses the demon and seals the contract. When he arrives back at the abandoned town, he sees Sam well and alive.