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Angel's contained soul.

Souls were the life essences that constituted part of the definition of an individual; they contained a being's conscience – that is to say, their instinctual capacity to be governed by the traditional human philosophies of "right" and "wrong."[citation needed]


The son of two vampires, Connor was presented with a soul some time before birth, to the point of influencing his pregnant mother. On the other hand, there was at least one recorded case of a human — Ryan Anderson — born without a soul.[citation needed]

Considering that a large number of demons owed Jenoff, a demon that made deals which granted people's desires in exchange for their soul, suggested that there are at least several species of demon that possessed souls.[1] D'Hoffryn had stated that vengeance demons had souls, which, along with their lives, were claimed by the Fates should any vengeance demon wish to reverse her work that resulted to several human lives.[2]

According to Primals, wild animals did not possess souls on the same level as humans, but instead possessed their own separate form of spirits which they deemed holy.[3]

Good and evil

When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it doesn't get your soul. That's gone. No conscience, no remorse... It's an easy way to live. You have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've done... and to care.

Souled beings were defined by possessing the moral capacity to be governed by the moral values of "right" and "wrong"; and, in that capacity, typically choose the former over the latter if given the choice. As such, souls were commonly associated with goodness, while lacking one was associated with evilness or at least with borderline amorality; however, this was a rather fallacious statement, as ensouled creatures were still capable of acts of great evil, and traditionally soulless beings possessed the capacity for ethicality and even virtuousness under the right set of circumstances. It was therefore more accurate to affirm that while souls did grant a creature that ability to accept morality, they did not govern that creature's decision to abide by it.[citation needed]

In general, soulless beings identified as immoral and were able to kill, maim, and torture without the restriction of remorse. Still, they were shown to understand the nature of evil. Once ensouled, vampires became haunted by their past sins; the returning of a soul could therefore be a very traumatic event for demons, as was witnessed in the cases of all four former members of the Whirlwind.[citation needed]



Angelus is cursed with the restoration of his soul.

Angel's soul was cursed upon him by the Kalderash people as a punishment for brutally murdering one of their clanswoman. He was forced by his restored conscience to reconcile with his sinful past; however, the curse came with an additional danger: Angel could never experience true happiness, as it would result in the removal of his soul. Angel lost his soul twice: first, when he slept with Buffy Summers, and again, due to a spell. On both occasions, he reverted to his identity as the murderous and twisted Angelus, and sought to sadistically punish the people around him until his soul was restored again.[citation needed]

Unlike Spike or Darla, Angel seemed to possess two distinct personalities that surfaced depending on the state of his ensoulment; Angelus was distinctly evil and took pleasure in his victims' suffering, while Angel remained constantly driven by his conscience to help people in need. The two typically shared memories and experiences, but his confrontation with the the Beast — during which only Angelus could recall information related to the demon — suggested that Angelus did not exist to some extent when Angel was in control of his body.[citation needed]

Still, Angelus has stated on numerous occasions that he was always within Angel, trapped by the presence of Angel's soul. Most other evidence lead to this conclusion, as Angelus was briefly able to take control of Angel's form without having his soul removed while he was being driven to derangement by the addition of Rupert Giles' soul in his body and when Rebecca Lowell gave Angel a drug that made him perfectly happy, suppressing his soul for awhile. The two times Angel lost his soul, Willow Rosenberg managed to restore it with the spell being her first and starting her on a path to witchcraft.[citation needed]


When the vampire Darla was resurrected as a human by Wolfram & Hart, she returned with her soul intact. Although it took her time to fully acknowledge the presence of her soul, she became increasingly guilt-ridden as a result of her vampiric history. Just as she had managed to accept her human fate and embrace her soul, Lindsey McDonald had Drusilla sire Darla once more.[citation needed]

Sometime later, Darla returned to Angel and his friends pregnant with Connor, the son she and Angel had somehow managed to conceive. She became increasingly influenced by the soul of her unborn child, and developed the ability to express genuine emotion once more. Afraid she would be incapable of loving her son after his birth and unable to naturally deliver him, she staked herself in one final act of redemption, and placed him in Angel's care.[citation needed]


Spike wins back his soul.

As opposed to Angel or Darla, Spike proved capable of doing good even without his soul. However, characteristic of a soulless demon, he only did 'good' when it benefited him or those he cared for (Buffy, Dawn). Immediately after he was turned, he retained affection for his mother, and formed a strong connection with Drusilla, whom he viewed as his savior. Much later, he purposely regained his soul to prove his worth to Buffy, and while it tested his sanity at first, he was able to recover and become a Champion in his own right. While Spike's possession of his soul did not significantly alter his core persona, he did begin to doubt himself more often, and lost much of the confidence he had maintained during his years as a soulless vampire, becoming somewhat insecure.[citation needed]

Still, Spike showed to be a capable hero both with and without his soul; one could even say that he did not achieve redemption because he won back his soul, but rather, he earned redemption on his own and was prompted to regain his soul to reassure both himself and others of his integrity. If Spike lost his soul (as briefly occurred when he was in Las Vegas), he did not become purely evil and sadistic, as he had overcome his demonic nature to a certain extent without it; however, he did prove more willing to make questionable decisions.[4] Despite the general balance between his soulless and soulled selves, Spike appeared to fear losing his soul again.[5]


Drusilla receives Spike's soul.

Drusilla became ensouled by Willow Rosenberg in Las Vegas per Spike's request when his own soul was briefly extracted; however, the restoration of her conscience proved to be too traumatic for her damaged mind. Drusilla was so tormented by the guilt of her victims that Spike decided to take his soul back from her, as she was more stable without it.[citation needed]


Dracula once stated that he "risked his very soul" to attain his unique shapeshifting abilities.[6] However, both Giles and Xander later referred to him as soulless.[7][8]

Ryan Anderson

Ryan was a human boy born without a soul. Replicating many of the tendencies found medically in sociopathy he was incapable of remorse or sadness, and was quick to anger, attempting to kill his sister Stephanie merely because she received more marshmallows in her hot chocolate than he did. He was possessed by an Ethros demon, an evil demon in his own right, the evil demon himself became horrified of the boy's soulless nature, which he described as a literal "void" and it terrified him enough to be deemed as the one thing he ever feared. The demon sent messages for help simply so that he could be exorcised and killed.[citation needed]

Buffy, after having a portion of her soul removed

Buffy Summers

Buffy's soul was partially extracted after the Mok'tagar demon Kathy Newman repeatedly performed the Ritual of Mok'tagar on her. This caused Buffy to become increasingly unstable and attentive in her belief that Kathy was a demon out to get her. While correct, Buffy's strong desire to kill Kathy caused her friends to believe she was possessed due to her violent behavior.[9]

Dawn Summers

Due to her status as the Key, Dawn Summers had a particularly powerful soul; when the Soul Glutton attempted to consume her soul, just coming in contact with Dawn drained him of most of his accumulated energy as her status as the Key made her soul too powerful for him to absorb.[citation needed]



[We saw] her body, yeah. But her soul... her essence... I mean, that could be somewhere else.
Willow Rosenberg[src]

Buffy's body and soul are magically restored.

When an ensouled being died, or when a human became a vampire, their soul left their body and was transported to another plane, originally referred to as the "ether" by Jenny.[citation needed]

Buffy went to a heavenly dimension at the time of her death.[citation needed]

Cordelia completed her metamorphosis into a higher being in another dimension when she passed away.[citation needed]

Matthias Pavayne and those who knew of him appeared certain that he would go to hell for his various murders in life if he hadn't taken precautions to send others to Hell in his place.[citation needed]

When Giles died, his soul was dispersed between nine separate locations important to his past as a result of his connection to Ehygon the Sleepwalker preventing him from simply passing on to an afterlife.[citation needed]


Apart from the rituals of resurrection that involved a soul being returned to a deceased body, there were numerous other spells and rituals that also involved the manipulation of souls. The Algurian body-switching spell caused two souls to switch bodies, though the body of the individual who did not cast the spell would collapse after an extended period of time; the Ritual of Mok'tagar allowed a Mok'tagar demon to steal and use a human's soul,[citation needed] and the Ritual of Restoration allowed a vampire's soul to re-enter his or her body.[10][11]

Kathy Newman, a Mok'tagar demon, attempts to extract Buffy's soul as she sleeps.

After murdering Giles, Angel was able to use an item known as the Tooth of Ammuk to absorb the fragments of his soul; he visited different locations significant to Giles in order to assemble his soul in the hopes of returning him to life again.[12] The pieces rejoined within Angel's body, causing him to take on Giles' habits (drinking tea, speaking in a British accent and wearing glasses). Giles' soul eventually began to cause conflict with Angel's other inner-beings, and his friends were forced to store it within an object called the Essuary instead.[citation needed]

The demon Jenoff was known for making deals with others where he would acquire them particular merchandise in exchange for their souls at some future date, but it was never specified whether he used any particular ritual for this; the only shown example of this deal being made was with Charles Gunn and the only part of the ritual shown was the initial handshake to seal the deal, Gunn managing to escape the contract when the rest of Angel Investigations helped him defeat Jenoff when Jenoff sought to collect.[citation needed]


There's nothing left to bring back. Miss Burkle's soul was consumed by the fires of resurrection. Everything she was... is gone forever.

The permanent destruction of a soul was possible. According to Alasdair Coames, Enders obliterate souls upon consuming them.[5]

An Ender prepares to devour a human's soul.

Wo-Pang claimed after extracting and temporarily housing Angel's soul in a glass jar that it would be possible for the soul to be destroyed.[13]

According to Dr. Sparrow, when Winifred Burkle was used as a host to restore the Old One Illyria, her soul was consumed by the strain of resurrecting Illyria in her body, rendering it impossible for her to be resurrected or go on to an afterlife. Illyria possessed Fred's memories,[14] and even reverted to Fred's appearance and personality on more than one occasion,[15] but these were mere remnants of Fred unrelated to her soul. With the return of magic to the world, Fred was spontaneously restored to life along Illyria, an event speculated to be the result of the new rules of magic causing past spells to be "reset" as new rules were established.[citation needed]

Soul eaters were demons known for consuming souls.[16]

The Old One Lohesh was also described as a "four-winged soul-killer."[17]