The warlock Anton being vanquished.

Vanquishing is a term describing the destruction of a magical being, most commonly the forces of evil such as demons and warlocks. The death of a mortal or a force of good such as witches is generally referred to as killing instead.

During a vanquish, beings are often destroyed in a violent manner (bursting into flame, exploding, or even being obliterated). Most vanquishes leave no trace behind and do not damage the surroundings or objects near the destroyed being. This to cover up any existence of magic from the mortal world[1] However, big explosions can cause windows to shatter[2] and energy balls are known to leave scorch marks behind (some beings can even be identified by these scorch marks).

Ways to Vanquish

Vanquishing can be achieved in several ways;

Some evil beings require a specific spell or potion, sometimes needing to be blessed by the Power of Three, or a piece of their own flesh (required to vanquish Upper-Level demons). A weapon can be pretty much anything from a knife to a high heel.[3]


Similar to vanquishing, banishing is the act of casting a being out a certain location or to another plane, preventing them from returning. This can only be achieved through spells and potions.

Beings that can not be vanquished like Barbas, the Demon of Fear, can only be banished back to the Underworld or more likely Purgatory. These beings can then make pacts or agreements with other demons to break free from their banishment.

Notes and Trivia

  • When vanquished, evil beings are send to the Demonic Wasteland, where their body and powers are separated upon arrival, the body being destroyed in flames and their powers absorbed by a monstrous thing called the Beast.[4]
  • Although being utterly destroyed, demons can be brought back through various dark rituals.[5]
  • Soul Killing is the method to destroy another being's soul or essence.


  1. As explained by Leo Wyatt in the season 2 episode "Ex Libris".
  2. Such as when Cole Turner, as the Source of All Evil, was vanquished in the season 4 episode "Long Live the Queen".
  3. Phoebe Halliwell killed the Familiar Warlock Shadow with a high heel in the season 3 episode "Pre-Witched".
  4. As seen in the season 4 episode "Witch Way Now?".
  5. A good example being the Source of All Evil in the season 8 episode "Desperate Housewitches".