The Old Tongue
Old Tongue during Exorcism
General Information

Various paranormal phenomena depending on the circumstances

I haven't heard the Old Tongue in eons.
— The Dark Lord to the Sentinel.

The Old Tongue, alternately called Enochian, is the archaic language spoken by Fallen Angels. It was first spoken by John Sibley during a crisis, caused by the attempt of Cotton Mather to exorcise him.


An ancient and mysterious language, loosely based on the Aramaic language, that can be interpreted as the language of some divine creatures, particularly of the spirit that presented himself under the name of "Legion." This Old Tongue is the primary language of angels, as can be seen from the first encounter between The Sentinel and the Dark Lord, although they are able to speak and understand any language profusely. In some particular circumstance, this language proved to be a catalyst to create disturbances on a sensory, or even metaphysical level in both human beings and the surrounding natural area, causing terrible ultrasounds. Enochian inscriptions are also found on the surface of the so-called "Angelic Box of Anguish," a peculiar torture device used by the Sentinel on Mary Sibley.

Throughout the Salem series

Season Two

In order to exorcise Mary Sibley's son, young Reverend Mather surrounded the child within a magical circle, marked by unidentified cabalistic symbols.While the exorcism was underway, disturbing paranormal phenomena began to manifest. John Sibley began to be subjected to violent seizures, shaking his body in inhumane positions and vomiting swarms of insects. As Cotton Mather kept chanting exorcising prayers, "little John" became more and more prey to supernatural phenomena, causing storms and metaphysical distortions that repercussed on the surrounding area, exclaiming loudly "Mene Mene Tekel Persis. Shaytani, Shaytani lama sabachthani," probably a request addressed to the Devil himself while his vessel was being tortured by sacred prayers in the name of God, given the translation in English of said words. (On Earth as in Hell)

Season Three

When the Sentinel, a mysterious demonic individual, discreetly entered the House of the Seven Gables to reunite with long-lost brother and friend, the Dark Lord, he started talking to the latter in the Old Tongue, but the Devil ordered him to speak English as hearing the Old Language awakened in him too many memories, a clear hint to the Fall from Heaven. (After the Fall)

Memorable Quotes

Little John: "Don't make me! Oh! Father! He's hurting me!"
John Alden: "All right, stop it! You're hurting him!"
Cotton Mather: "Why can't he say them? Go on, boy! Say the words! "Our father, which art in Heaven, hallowed... Say the words, child, if a child you be!"
Little John: "Stop! Make him stop!"
Cotton Mather: "Our father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name!"
Little John: "Mene mene tekel Persis. Shaytani, Shaytani lama sabachthani!"
-- On Earth as in Hell
The Devil: "Finally, brother, you are here."
The Setinel: "Nostoah nanaeel olani noasmi..."
The Devil: "Stop. I haven't heard the Old Tongue in eons. I can't say that I like it. Too many memories. But I quite like this one... English."
-- After the Fall


  • The Language of the Devil is a recurring theme in literature and religious beliefs, especially the Abrahamic religions such as Hebraism and most ancient Gnostic traditions. It is widely believed that the Devil and his followers speak a hybrid language between the Language of God spoken by angels and the language of the more ungodly beasts.
  • In Writer's Wrap 301- After the Fall, Adam Simon confirmed that the Old Tongue is Enochian.
    • The Enochian language is also known as the language of the angels. It takes its name from Enoch, biblical character who is credited with the ability to speak with the angels. The inventor of the Enochian, however, was John Dee, an eclectic scientist with a keen interest in the occult, who lived in England between 1527 and 1608. Enochian is, therefore, a constructed language, or "conlang" that mixes English and Aramaic grammar and syntax.
    • In Salem, the Old Tongue also includes other real-life languages different than Dee's Enochian, such as the Biblical references in the second season.
  • The sentence used in "On Earth as in Hell" is based on two famous sentences mentioned in the Bible.
    • The first part is the literal "Writing on the Wall" contained in the Book of Daniel (5, 25-28) which is part of the Old Testament. " MENE MENE TEKEL PARSIN " means "God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting". [1]
    • The final part is a demonization of the last words of Christ on the cross, according to the Gospel of Mark (15:34): “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani" which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”. In place of Eloi, which means God (literally, "my Lord"), we find "Shaytani," which in Hebrew means "opponent, denier", and is the term that has been the basis of today's conception of Satan. Lama (למה) meaning why, is an extremely common word and is used least 145 times in the Hebrew OT in almost every book. Shabachtani ( שׁבקתני) appears to be a word of Aramaic origin. It means to leave, leave alone, entrust, bequeath, divorce, permit, forgive, abandon and forsake. [2] [3]
  • Different task is trying to give a precise meaning to the Sentinel's speech in "After the Fall" because the various dictionaries of Enochian have numerous variables and the following is the summary of some of them available online. A possible translation can be: "Has the power become twofold," given that NOSTOAH means "was/has", NANAEEL means "power", OLANI means "two times, twice" and, NOAS means"become". A literal translation can be "has power become twice".


  1. Bible Gateway, Daniel 5, New International Version (NIV), The Writing on the Wall
  2. Bible Gateway, Mark 15:34, New International Version (NIV), The Death of Jesus
  3. Shaytan, (Arabic شيطان) shows at once the name of the Devil par excellence, that is the "Denier" in the Abrahamic religions, but also a "devil" in general, whose plural is so Shayāṭīn (Arabic شياطين).