Hellraiser Wiki
Name Pinhead
Aliases Hell Priest
Lead Cenobite
The Pope of Hell
Dr. Paul Gregory
The Engineer
Cold Man
Past Name Elliott Spencer
Age Over 100
Gender Male
Eyes Black (Currently)
Brown (Previously)
Hair Bald (Currently)
Dark Brown (Previously)
Professional Status
Affiliation Hell
Previous Affiliation British Army
Occupation Hell Priest, Cenobite in Hell's Army
Previous Occupation Captain
Gashes His own
Personal Status
Status Dead
Relatives Unknown
First Appearance
Debut Hellraiser
Portrayed By Doug Bradley

Pinhead, designated The Hell Priest, is the main antagonist of the Hellraiser series. He is the most famous cenobite and is Leviathan's favourite cenobite out of Hell's entire army, because of his understanding of Hell's laws and Leviathan's frame of mind.


Early Life[]

The Cenobite known as Pinhead was once a human known as Elliot Spencer who was born in 1887 in Victorian Era Britain. As a young adult, he would join the British Army and later serve in France during World War I.


Hellbound spenser

An old picture of Captain Elliott Spencer.

During World War I, Elliott Spencer served as a Captain in the British Expeditionary Force. He was a charismatic and eloquent man, who could feel great empathy and compassion for those around him, however after participating in one of the Battles of Flanders, he loses his faith in humanity after witnessing the inhumanity enacted upon one another. He also loses his faith in God, whom he believed failed mankind. Captain Spencer did not believe he had the right to live after watching many of his comrades perish in such horrific circumstance. Suffering from the severe effects of post traumatic stress disorder, the disillusioned and jaded Spencer wandered the Earth indulging in a hedonistic lifestyle, turning to the baser methods of gratification for satisfaction and pleasure, until finding the Lament Configuration in British India and finally understanding the true pleasures of pain and suffering.



Pinhead (middle) with his original gash.

The residents of a suburban area called Pension Veneur were all artists who had dabbled in the works of Hell. They all had a deal with the cenobites as these servants of Hell would inspire the artists through their dreams and the artist would give their most perverse work to the cenobites, sometimes the cenobites even required a sacrifice of flesh. When Pinhead, Female Cenobite, Butterball and Sloth all arrived for their latest sacrifice, MAS started to spew poetry and he successfully managed to convince Pinhead that an author and the director of the Pension Veneur named Barsac would be a much more worthy sacrifice to Hell. When Barsac was taken to Hell, MAS was made the new director of the Pension Veneur by the cenobites.


A man named George is given the Lament configuration and a man wagers he can't solve it. When George does solve it he is taken to Hell by Pinhead while George's wife Alma hides the box.


When a man named Davis Feldwebel finds and opens the box, Pinhead and The Female cenobite come to greet him. They help him in his quest to become a better artist by showing him the pleasures of deception. Together they sucessfully transform many people into pieces of art through manipulation of flesh. Feldwebel thanks Pinhead and the Female Cenobite only to be turned into a painting himself when the cenobites make their leave. He's cool

Pinhead Series[]

Main article: Clive Barker's Pinhead

Sometime before both the Devil's Brigade and Jihad series Pinhead attended a meeting in Hell organized by Doomsayer that struck doubt into the lives of numerous cenobites (Alastor's Gash) after noting Leviathan's lack of protection towards the cenobites, only afterwards Atkins killed Doomsdayer. Later Pinhead fell into his past incarnations' lives. The first one was named Scarred Hide finding himself leading a group of older cenobites, Fan Dancer, Dixie, Snake Oil and Hangman, in the Western Age of Colorado in 1879. Together they fought those who were against Hell's order, much like present day Hell's cenobites, until the very end. Snake Oil and Dixie died together after Snake Oil's chemicals fell on them. Hangman managed to die after getting dragged for miles under a wagon he was riding, and Scarred Hide was eliminated as well, all deaths were caused by a man known as Aggregate. After Scarred Hide was eliminated this sent Pinhead into another Past Incarnation. This left Fandancer as the only cenobite from the Sufferer's Guild to survive. After this Pinhead fell into four other past incarnations all of which were followed closely by close friends of the cenobite such as Face, Balberith, Gehenna and Atkins.


When the Puzzle Guardian Winehead threw a horse trainer named Cassidy into Hell he was greeted by Pinhead, the Female cenobite and Butterball. Pinhead was ordered by Leviathan to make Cassidy a cenobite, so Pinhead summoned a creation chamber and had Butterball throw in Cassidy. The three cenobites stood outside the creation chamber to listen to his screams.

Pinhead, alongside Butterball, Chatterer and the Female cenobite, all greeted one of the best actressess of our time, Janice Baur when she opened the gateway to Hell. She had dream't about Pinhead before hand while creating The Shape of Pain. Pinhead informed her that everything she was about to experience was real. The four cenobites tortured her and a director named Sigourney put the footage of her torture in his latest film. The torturing managed to motivate her and she became very successful. she was last seen wearing a Lament Configuration Necklace showing that she is still under the influence of Hell.

When the Time Configuration commenced, Pinhead was residing in the lowest pit of Hell. He was the fifth, and last, cenobite to be called to arms by Flagellum. He knew Leviathan's frame of mind and therefore was labeled "The Favoured One". Pinhead was assigned to a woman known as Dr. Casey Gideli, his main goal was to help her discover a cure for AIDS but also to make sure she didn't release a deadlier disease.

When a doctor in the same institute as Casey named Morris solved the Lament Configuration, Pinhead arrived in his office where he quickly removed Morris's skin and sent him to Hell. Pinhead then wore Morris's skin and agreed to have dinner with Casey, his subject from the Time Configuration.

Pinhead prioritised Casey's research, so that other doctors such as Bernard were marginalised. As Dilliard he had sadomasochistic sex with Casey. He revealed himself to Bernard after he quit his job and made a deal with him. Pinhead gave Bernard AIDS so that Bernard could show Casey the human side of the disease, what Bernard didn't know is that he already had AIDS and that he was cheated out of the deal.


Still posing as Morris he accompanied an associate of the World Health Organisation, named Lorri, to The World Health Organisation Conference. When Lorri removed Casey's paper Pinhead killed her by dropping weights on her, he then took her skin, leaving behind Morris which he had been wearing for about a year. Now wearing Lorri's skin he seduced Roger, another meddlesome doctor, and they had sex together. Afterward, Pinhead removed Lorri's skin and left it in Roger's suite, thereby framing Roger for Lorri's murder. Then as Morris once again, Pinhead encouraged Casey to continue with her work even without The World Health Organisation backing her. Still as Morris, Pinhead and Casey argue on whether or not to actually use the vaccine and when conflicted Casey uses Bernard as a test subject, when he heals rapidly, they replace another AIDS vaccine for hers which is then mass produced and shipped out. Bernard dies shortly afterward as a side effect of the vaccine and Pinhead arrives just in time to watch him scream.

When Atkins started diverting from his misson, Pinhead attacked him with chains and warned Atkins to keep to his mission and to not fail Leviathan. During a riot on Earth, Pinhead appeared and dragged Atkins back to Hell via chains for failing Leviathan. He indicated for Matthew, an Assistant D. A., to remain silent about what he had seen.

Pinhead was later brought to trial in Hell by Praetur Abatur, hell's judge. When Abatur attempted to start an uprising against Hell and showing a lack of confidence in both Leviathan and Pinhead, as well as killing Griot III for showing faith in Pinhead, Abatur was killed for numerous acts of treason.

Forty one years after Alma's husband George was taken to Hell, she finds the box she had hidden and solves it. she summoned cenobites Pinhead, Butterball and Wolf-Face. Pinhead was angered by Alma when she asked if she could use them as "instruments of revenge". When Alma tried to offer the Cenobites Thomas, a homicidal maniac living next door. Pinhead told her they did not care about his sins. After Alma begged for one more year of life, Pinhead gave her a month in which to give Thomas the Lemarchand Box. Pinhead told Alma he almost envied her seeing Hell's sights for the first time as he took her to Hell. The Three cenobites then took Thomas to Hell for trying to kill one of Alma's cats.

when pinhead cutting teenage robot mouth nose eyes

Hellraiser & Nightbreed[]

Even though the Nightbreed had been recently getting out of hand, Leviathan had ordered the cenobites to leave well enough alone, fearing a loss of order in Hell. Leviathan's lack of ruling sent a cenobite group into defiance. They hunted down and killed off as many of the Nightbreed as possible, against Leviathan's rule. Leviathan then ordered Pinhead and Chatterer to take control of the incident and stop the Gash from causing too much damage. Together Pinhead and Chatterer managed to contain the rebels and most were executed. It is thought that Pinhead was forced to kill his long time friend and fellow cenobite Gehenna.


Pinhead is reunited in Hell with his cenobite entourage (including Chatterer, the Female, and Butterball), where he comes to mourn the futility of his own existence. Bored by the mundanity of his existence, having solved the mysteries of the flesh, the iconic killer hatches a plan to claw his way free from Hell. Pinhead decides that he wants to permanently return to his human form and seek spiritual salvation. But first, he must find a suitable replacement and enact a damnable game of chess with the only victim who'd ever bested the Cenobites - Kirsty Cotton. With the help of his human minion, Samuel Hess, Pinhead makes the first move against Kirsty, who has, in the last three decades, commanded her own group of Hell's Harrowers. He begins sending anonymous clues to Kirsty Cotton as to the locations of artifacts that summon cenobites so she can destroy them. After Kirsty locates and opens the box, Pinhead and his fellow cenobites appear to her; but, rather than kill her, Pinhead instead betrays his fellow cenobites and he and Kirsty kill them together. Following this confrontation, Pinhead attempts to sway Kirsty with an offer she can't resist - to take his place as High Priest of Hell. Then she would be free to run Hell as she saw fit.

Hell's Priestess[]

Kirsty calls upon her friend Tiffany, a fellow patient of the Channard Institute to discuss the matter. She informs Tiffany of her intention to become a Cenobite, but explains that by accepting the position as High Priest, she'll be able to change things in Hell for the better. Kirsty then solves the Lament Configuration and willingly enters Hell, at which point, Tiffany destroyed the puzzle box, in effect, trapping Kirsty in Hell. After accepting Pinhead's offer and sealing herself inside the Labyrinth, Kirsty begins her quest to be reunited with her loved ones. Once she enters the Labyrinth, Kirsty makes her way towards it's center, where high above is a giant lozenge suspended in air, slowly rotating with radiant with beams of blackest light emanating from it. The God of Flesh and Desire - Leviathan. As she approaches the dark master of Hell, the giant diamond shaped god slowly lowers itself and a side panel opens, allowing Kirsty access within. As she walks up the ramp, the Hell Priest is waiting at the top of ramp. As he sees Kirsty, he says, "Let us begin."

Pinhead Transformation 1

Pinhead is stripped of his power by Kirsty, who painfully removes all his nails.

Elliot Spencer 1

Captain Elliot Spencer returns to the mortal realm.

Kirsty then begins the painful transformation to become the new Pontifex of Hell. Taking a seat in a chair, Pinhead begins by grabbing a curved, sickle-like blade and proceeds to scalp Kirsty. He then informs Kirsty that it is her turn. Kirsty then proceeds to take a pair of tongs and proceeds to slowly and painfully remove all of the Hell Priest's nails from his head - the source of his power. Once completed, Kirsty and the Hell Priest strip out of their clothing, at which point, a multitude of tentacles controlled by Leviathan, manifests, and begins to transform Pinhead into a human, while painfully hammering Pinhead's nails into Kirsty's skull, transforming her into the High Priest of Hell. The now-human Elliot Spencer tells Kirsty to savor the pain, for it will be the last thing that she ever feels while in Hell. Once the transformation is completed, the two exchange a few final words. Kirsty is then reunited with her fiance Edgar and three of her Harrowers friends that had been tortured and killed by Pinhead's mortal servant. But they no longer possesses their original forms, for they had been granted new forms, transformed by the malefic power of Leviathan into monstrous Cenobites unlike any ever seen. Before Kirsty began to serve the will of Leviathan, she performed one final act of revenge upon the one who had tormented her for so long. She ordered her friends to tear Spencer's soul apart. They gladly carried out their new master's orders. The soul of Elliot Spencer was then transported to the mortal realm.

Now, while Kirsty began her reign in Hell, Pinhead was once again Captain Elliot Spencer, scouring the globe for the key to unlocking the gates of Heaven. Not long after returning to Earth, he becomes a surprising ally of Tiffany and the remaining Harrowers, and helps them on their quest to destroy the LeMarchand Boxes. In return, they agree to help Elliot seek out the key to his salvation. Their journey eventually takes them to India, and to the sight of where Elliot was originally began his long dark path towards damnation. Unable to do it himself, Tiffany took a sledge hammer and destroyed the Lament Configuration - which inadvertently caused two different effects. Kirsty was in Hell, trying to harness the power of the puzzle box, in order to find her way back to the mortal realm. But with the destruction of the puzzle box, her soul is transported into a strange realm where she meets a strange entity that offers her cryptic advice. Meanwhile, Elliot's souls is transported into a strange realm, where he meets a malevolent entity that offer's him unlimited power. Both Kirsty and Captain Spencer return from their separate Shamanic journeys to discover there are no longer any barriers between Hell and the surface world.

Films' Time Line[]

Although it is unknown for sure when the Hellraiser Films took place, they would have had to have been after 1992 as Butterball appeared then.

Hellraiser (1987)[]

Frank Cotton solved the Lament Configuration after buying it at a flea market, he was then torn apart and taken to Hell's prison as he had caused too much disorder and was not worthy to become a cenobite.

Kirsty Cotton accidentally summoned the cenobites after trying to escape The Engineer. Pinhead appeared alongside the Female cenobite, Chatterer and Butterball to take Kirsty to Hell, though when Kirsty informed them that Frank Cotton was alive, she made a deal to trade his life for hers. When she got home, she found her father's dead body in the attic, with Frank posing as Larry when Pinhead, Chatterer and Butterball appeared and asked for the man who skinned the person before them, Kirsty refused to give up her "father".

When Kirsty learned that Frank had fooled her, she got him to admit his existence to the cenobites who again ripped him apart and threw him in Hell's prison. This time though the cenobites disobeyed their deal as they saw Kirsty's potential to become a cenobite. Unfortunately Kirsty had finally mastered the box and she sent Pinhead, The Female cenobite, Chatterer, Butterball and The Engineer back to Hell.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)[]

In the second installment of the Hellraiser movie franchise, we see the origin of Captain Elliot Spencer, when he was a former British Army officer in 1921. He uses a Lament Configuration, to doorway to the world of the Cenobites, and solves it. He is then transformed into the notorious Hell Priest - Pinhead - by Leviathan. The film then flashes forward to 1988. Kirsty Cotton has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, still haunted by visions of the unspeakable horror that destroyed her family. Interviewed by Doctor Channard, and his assistant, Kyle MacRae, she tells her account of the events depicted in the first film, and pleads with them to destroy the bloody mattress her murderous stepmother, Julia Cotton, died upon. Despite her frantic urging, MacRae is the only one who seems to believe her.

However, it is revealed that the obsessive Dr. Channard has been searching for the Lament Configuration for years, and has several similar boxes. Dr. Channard also has several patients locked in the maintenance level of the hospital. After hearing Kirsty's story, he has the mattress brought to his home, and has one of his more deranged patients (from maintenance) lie on the mattress and cut himself with a straight razor. The resulting bloodflow frees Julia from the Cenobite dimension, as it did with Frank in the first film, though Julia's physical form is immediately whole, only lacking skin due to the amount of blood. MacRae is a witness, having snuck inside Dr. Channard's house to investigate Kirsty's claims, and found multiple puzzle boxes and diagrams depicting various body parts, as well as a chalkboard with mysterious writing on it.

Meanwhile, Kirsty meets a young patient named Tiffany. Tiffany, who hasn't spoken for years, demonstrates an amazing aptitude for puzzles. Later that night Kirsty is awakened in her room to a vision of her skinless father, who tells her in writing that he's in Hell and to help him. Come morning, MacRae arrives back at the hospital and informs Kirsty he believes everything is true. The two decide to return to Dr. Channard's house so Kirsty can attempt to save her father who she believes is still trapped in Hell.

Meanwhile, Dr. Channard, seduced by Julia, has surreptitiously brought more mentally ill patients to his home for her to feed on. When Kirsty and the others arrive at Channard's home, MacRae heads to the attic, and discovers the grisly remains of their bodies. Julia, her skin almost completely regenerated, appears and kills him, consuming his essence and completing her regeneration. Kirsty hears the commotion and rushes up to the attic, and walks in on the scene. Enraged, she attacks Julia, but is knocked unconscious.

Channard kidnaps Tiffany and he and Julia use her as a proxy to unlock the Lament Configuration puzzle box and enter the world of Pinhead and the Cenobites. Here it is learned that the act of opening the Lament Configuration is not in and of itself reason to be targeted by the Cenobites. As Pinhead states, stopping his fellow Cenobites from attacking Tiffany, it is "not hands that calls [them], but desire." Thus, it was Channard´s desire who made him use Tiffany to open the box and he is the Cenobites´ target. When Kirsty enters Channard's office, she finds the box Tiffany had used and frantically tries to return it to its normal configuration. The Cenobites find her, Pinhead seizing the opportunity to change the box to a more complex configuration and lock open the doors to the labyrinth. Pinhead tells Kirsty she is free to explore the maze but they'll be waiting to capture and torture her.

Channard and Julia enter the Labyrinth of Hell which is run by the god Leviathan, who dwells in the shape of a gigantic, elongated diamond rotating in space above the labyrinth and emanating black beams which make Channard remember some of the atrocities he has committed. Julia calls Leviathan the "god of flesh, hunger, and desire...the Lord of the Labyrinth." Julia betrays Channard to the Labyrinth to be turned into a Cenobite; as Channard screams during the procedure, Julia reveals that she has a mission to bring souls to Leviathan, including Channard's.

Kirsty ventures into the Cenobites' domain and encounters Frank Cotton. He reveals that he is condemned to Hell, and that his punishment is to be teased and seduced by writhing female figures on beds that withdraw into the walls, depriving him of any pleasure. He also reveals that he tricked her by pretending to be her father to lure her into Hell so that he can use her for his own pleasures. At this point, Julia appears and destroys Frank in revenge for killing her.

Kirsty and Tiffany encounter Pinhead and the other Cenobites. Kirsty shows Pinhead a photograph of him that she took from Channard's study, and he gradually remembers that he was human, as the other Cenobites also remember they were human. Suddenly, Channard appears. In an attempt at seizing power, Channard kills Pinhead and his minions, as they stand between Channard and Kirsty and Tiffany. Before dying, Pinhead, who has been transformed by Channard's power back into Elliott Spencer, exchanges a poignant glance with Kirsty.

Kirsty later tricks Doctor Channard by donning the deceased Julia's skin, giving Tiffany the opportunity to finish the Lament Configuration puzzle, killing Doctor Channard, altering Leviathan into the box shape of a Lament Configuration, and allowing them to return home and close the gate between the two worlds. The movie ends with Kirsty and Tiffany leaving the now unoccupied hospital. Two men are removing what remains in the doctor's house and one of the movers comes across a blood-stained mattress on the floor. As he bends down to examine it, two arms reach out from the pool of blood, killing him as they withdraw, taking his upper half with them.

When the second mover finally enters and observes the scene, a large spinning pillar rises from the bloody floor, decorated with several Cenobite faces inset, including Pinhead's. Staring at the ghastly faces, one of them (the vagrant from the first film, who is really an Eremite puzzle guardian) speaks to the mover, asking his usual question: "What's your pleasure, sir?".

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)[]

In the third installment of the Hellraiser franchise, it is revealed that Pinhead has been split into two entities: his former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer, and his demonic manifestation, of Spencer's id, which takes the form of the demonic Pinhead. While Spencer's soul is trapped in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the Lament Configuration puzzle box, among the writhing tortured figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar - the Pillar of Souls.

J.P. Monroe, a womanizing owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room, purchases the pillar, as he had been searching for a form of art that "spoke to him". Meanwhile, an ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill, begins to investigate what happens to a young club goer, when she see him in a hospital emergency room, a bunch of small hooked chains embedded in the teenager's body. The chains come to life and tears the clubgoer to pieces. A young homeless woman, Terri, who came in with the clubgoer explains that the chains sprang from the puzzle box, which she pried from the pillar. Terri gives the puzzle box to Joey. While investigating the box's background with the help of her cameraman, "Doc", Joey invites Terri to stay with her. Joey uncovers a video tape from one of Pinhead's former victims, Kirsty Cotton, that explains the puzzle box is the only means of returning Pinhead to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until Monroe has sex with a clubgoer, Sandy. Hooked chains drag Sandy to the pillar, and Pinhead absorbs her body. Pinhead points out that they have both used Sandy for their own purposes. Although initially horrified, Monroe agrees to bring Pinhead more club members so he can feed on them and be freed. In return, Pinhead promises Monroe power and unnatural delights.

Joey has recurring nightmares about how she presumes her father died in Vietnam. During one such dream, Spencer contacts Joey. He explains that his experiences in WWI caused him to lose faith in humanity, and he sought out the forbidden pleasures promised by the puzzle box. Spencer tells her that without his humanity to act as a balancing influence, Pinhead is completely evil and will indiscriminately wreak havoc on Earth for his own pleasure, in violation of the Cenobite's laws. To defeat him, Joey must reunite Spencer's spirit with Pinhead and use the puzzle box to return him to Hell. A misunderstanding leads Terri to believe that Joey has abandoned her, and she returns to the arms of her ex-boyfriend, Monroe. Monroe attempts to feed her to Pinhead, but she overpowers him. Before she can flee, Pinhead talks her into feeding Monroe to him, promising to turn her into a demon in return. Now free, Pinhead masscres the club's patrons. Hearing the news reports, Joey goes to the club to investigate.

Pinhead orders Joey to give him the box, but she escapes him. Pinhead resurrects several of his victims as demonic Cenobites, including Terri, Monroe, the barman, the DJ, and "Doc", who also left to investigate the club. Joey flees through the quiet streets, pursued by the new Cenobites. The Cenobites kill local police as Joey enters a church and begs the priest to help her. Lacking in faith that demons could exist, the priest is appalled by the appearance of Pinhead. Pinhead defiles the church and kills the priest. The Cenobites trap Joey on a construction site and prepare to torture her. She solves the puzzle box, and they are sent to Hell. The box transports Joey iinto limbo, where she comes face to face with an apparition who appears to be her dead father. The apparition tells Joey to give him the puzzle box, only to be revealed as Pinhead in disguise.

Pinhead ensnares her in machinery and prepares to transform her into a Cenobite. Spencer's limbo-bound spirit confronts Pinhead and forcibly fuses himself into Pinhead. Joey breaks free and uses the puzzle box, which has transformed into a dagger, to stab Pinhead through the heart, sending him back to Hell. With Pinhead's humanity restored, the box returns Joey to Earth. She buries it in a pool of concrete at the construction site. Later, the finished product of the same site is revealed: a building whose interior design is identical to the box.

Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)[]

In the fourth installment, the timeline flashes forward to the year 2127, where Dr. Paul Merchant, an engineer, seals himself in a room aboard The Minos, a space station that he designed. As armed guards attempt to break through the door, Merchant manipulates a robot into solving the Lament Configuration, destroying the robot in the process. The guards break through the door and apprehend Merchant, who agrees to explain his motivations to their leader, Rimmer.

The film flashes back to Paris, France, 1796. Dr. Merchant's ancestor, Philip LeMarchand, a French toymaker, makes the Lament Configuration on commission from the libertine aristocrat Duc de L'Isle. Unbeknownst to LeMarchand, L'Isle's specifications for the box make it a portal to Hell. Upon delivering the box to L'Isle, LeMarchand watches as he and his assistant Jacques sacrifice a peasant girl and use her blood to summon a demon, Angelique, through the box. LeMarchand runs home in terror, where he begins working on blueprints for a second box which will neutralize the effects of the first. Returning to L'Isle's mansion to steal the box, LeMarchand discovers that Jacques has killed L'Isle and taken control over Angelique, who agrees to be his slave so long as he does not impede the wishes of Hell. The pair kill LeMarchand, and Jacques informs him that his bloodline is now cursed for helping to open a portal to Hell.

In 1996, LeMarchand's descendant, John Merchant, has built a skyscraper in Manhattan that resembles the Lament Configuration. Seeing an article on the building in a magazine, Angelique asks Jacques to take her to America so that she can confront him. When Jacques denies her request, Angelique kills him, as Merchant poses a threat to Hell. Angelique travels to America, where she fails to seduce Merchant. Discovering the Lament Configuration in the building's foundation, Angelique tricks a security guard into solving it, which summons Pinhead. The two immediately clash, as Pinhead represents a shift in the ideologies of Hell, which she left behind two hundred years earlier: while Angelique believes in corrupting people through temptation, Pinhead is fanatically devoted to pain and suffering. Despite their conflicting views, the pair forge an uneasy alliance to kill Merchant before he can complete The Elysium Configuration, an anti-Lament Configuration that creates perpetual light and would serve to permanently close all gateways to Hell.

Angelique and Pinhead initially collaborate to corrupt Merchant, but Pinhead grows tired of Angelique's seductive techniques and threatens to kill Merchant's wife and child. Having grown accustomed to a decadent life on Earth, Angelique wants no part of Hell's new fanatical austerity, and she intends to force Merchant to activate the Elysium Configuration and destroy Hell, thus freeing her from its imperatives. However, Merchant's flawed prototype fails. Pinhead kills Merchant, but his wife opens Angelique's Lament Configuration, sending Pinhead and Angelique back to Hell.

In 2127, Rimmer disbelieves Dr. Merchant's story and has him locked away. However, Pinhead and his followers—now including an enslaved Angelique—have already been freed after Merchant opened the box. Upon learning of Dr. Merchant's intentions, they kill the entire crew of the ship, save for Rimmer and Paul, who escape. Paul reveals that the Minos is, in fact, the final, perfected form of the Elysium Configuration, and that by activating it, he can kill Pinhead and permanently seal the gateway to Hell.

Paul distracts Pinhead with a hologram while he boards an escape pod with Rimmer. Once clear of the station, he activates the Elysium Configuration. A series of powerful lasers and mirrors create a field of perpetual light, while the station transforms and folds around the light to create a massive box. The light is trapped within the box, killing Pinhead and his followers, thus ending Pinhead's existence, this time, permanently.

Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)[]

Pinhead appears primarily under the guise of police psychiatrist Doctor Paul Gregory, assuming his true form near the end to inform protagonist Detective Joseph Thorne that he has been in Hell for the duration of the film, and is being punished for his corruption and various misdeeds in life.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)[]

Pinhead serves a role similar to the one he fulfilled in Inferno. Kirsty is now married to Trevor, a corrupt insurance agent who plots to have her killed in a murder-for-money scheme, using Lemarchand's box to "cleanly" kill Kirsty without the evidence pointing to himself, his mistress, or his conspirators. Pinhead appears at the end of the film to inform Trevor, who had amnesia throughout the film, that he has actually been dead and trapped by the Cenobites for some time; Pinhead had appeared to Kirsty, pleased at the prospect of a "reunion," but Kirsty ultimately struck a deal with him: she would be left alone in exchange for killing Trevor and his conspirators, thus giving the Cenobites the victims' souls.

Hellraiser: Deader (2005)[]

Pinhead appears several times to reporter Amy Klein after she tinkers with the box, a central relic of a cult she is investigating. After Amy is captured by the group's leader, Winter, she learns he is a descendant of puzzle creator Phillip Lemarchand, and believes that it is his birthright to control the box and, thereby, the Cenobites. However, neither he nor any of his followers have been able to open it. Amy successfully opens the box, but rather than submit to Winter, Pinhead instead kills him and his followers for attempting to control it. Subject to being taken to the Cenobite realm for having opened the box, Amy instead chooses to commit suicide

Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)[]

In this film the box and the Cenobites have become the basis for a successful MMORPG called Hellworld. Although the Pinhead seems to attack the guests at a Hellraiser-themed party, he is revealed to be the hallucination of five guests who have been drugged and buried alive by the party's host, who blames them for not preventing his Hellworld-addicted son's suicide. In the film's climax, the host discovers that the Hellraiser mythos is based on fact, and that his son had come into possession of a real Lemarchand box. Opening it causes the real Pinhead to appear, praising the boy's ingenuity before ordering a pair of Cenobites to kill the host.

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)[]

In this newer installment, Pinhead is now portrayed by actor Stephan Smith Collins, with Fred Tatasciore providing the voice. Steven Craven and Nico Bradley run away from home and travel to Mexico. They film themselves engaging in several days' worth of drunken partying. The boys later disappear. The Mexican authorities return their belongings to their parents, including a videotape made by Steven that documents their final moments.

A year later, the families of the two missing boys gather for dinner. Tensions rise when Emma, Steven's sister and Nico's girlfriend, expresses frustration with their lack of closure. She demands that her mother reveal the contents of Steven's videotape, which she has been obsessively watching in private. Later, Emma sneaks a look at the tape, which documents Steven and Nico picking up a girl in a bar. A flashback reveals that Nico murdered the girl while having sex in the bar's restroom, and later threatened to implicate Steven in the killing to force him to continue their "vacation" together.

A final flashback reveals that Nico solved the puzzle box, opening a portal to the realm of the Cenobites: extra-dimensional sadomasochists led by Pinhead who offer the ultimate sensual experience. Steven flees, but Nico is taken to the Cenobites' realm to be subjected to extreme torture and mutilation. The box is nearby, allowing Nico to communicate with Steven. Steven later kills several prostitutes so their blood can regenerate Nico, but Nico kills Steven when he refuses to continue.

The "Steven" holding the families hostage is really Nico in Stevens' skin, who taunts his victims with a shotgun. He demands that Emma solve the puzzle box for him, intending for the Cenobites to take her in his place, thus assuring his freedom.

Emma opens the portal and the Cenobites—including Steven—appear. Nico's mother ignores Pinhead's command to remain silent, exclaiming that Nico forced Emma to solve the box, and is killed.

Nico says he brought them so they would take Emma in his place, only for Pinhead to ensnare him with hooks. Pinhead recognizes in Emma a dark sexual desire and taunts her with innuendo.

When Emma's father shoots Nico, the Cenobites vanish with Emma's mother instead, saying they were owed a victim since Nico was dead. Her father apologizes, then dies in Emma's arms. The film ends with Emma reaching for the puzzle box.

Hellraiser: Judgement (2018)[]

In the newest installment of the Hellraiser film franchise, Pinhead is portrayed by actor Paul T. Taylor. In hell, the Cenobite Pinhead and the Auditor of the Stygian Inquisition are discussing how to adapt their methods of harvesting souls in the face of advancing human technology which is making the Configurations (gateways to hell) obsolete. On earth, three detectives – brothers Sean and David Carter and Christine Egerton – investigate a serial killer known as the Preceptor, whose murders are based on the Ten Commandments.

A connection with one of the victims leads the detectives to Karl Watkins, a local criminal who went missing near the abandoned house at 55 Ludovico Place. Sean goes to the house and loses consciousness, waking up in the Stygian Inquisition's domain in hell. As the Inquisition prepares to hand down a verdict on Sean for his sins, the angel Jophiel intervenes and tells them to release him. Sean escapes the realm with a stolen puzzle box, and the Auditor requests Pinhead's guidance on the matter. Sean and his brother return to search the house, finding no trace of hell or the Inquisition. That night he is haunted by visions of the Cenobites and hell's denizens, who promise "judgment and redemption" to anyone who opens the box.

Sean and Egerton go to the coroner's office and find that a cell phone of one of the Preceptor's victims was stored in her body, recording her final location with its GPS. They find the Preceptor's hideout, where Sean incapacitates Egerton and reveals himself as the killer. David deduces the Preceptor's identity and meets with the coroner to find the building. Sean disarms David and summons his wife, Alison, outraged that she had a secret affair. He forces the two of them to open the box at gunpoint, summoning the Cenobites and opening a gateway to their realm.

Aware that someone from hell would come to collect his soul after his initial escape, Sean attempts to offer Alison and David to Pinhead. Pinhead tells him that Alison and David will be dealt with for opening the box but, because a separate faction of hell wanted his soul, no deal will be made. The Auditor appears, telling Sean that the Inquisition has found him guilty of his sins. Jophiel intervenes again and tells Pinhead and the Auditor that Sean is part of heaven's plan to instill fear into sinners. Pinhead arranges for Sean to be killed by Egerton, and spitefully dispatches Jophiel, having her torn apart by a multitude of hooked chains. As punishment, God expels Pinhead from hell and forces him to walk the earth as a mortal man, crying out in anguish and longing for his revered state of eternal agony. In a post-credits scene, a group of Mormon missionaries approach a house and is captured by the Stygian Inquisition.

Powers & Abilities[]

Pinhead was an extremely powerful being and had several supernatural abilities. He was virtually unstoppable and invulnerable in the physical sense, but never engaged in physical combat, instead letting hooked chains do his bidding. His usual form of attack was summoning these hooks and chains to mutilate victims, often pulling in several directions to rip them apart. These chains were subject to his total mind control and he could direct them at will. The chains might even change shape after having attached to a victim. Pinhead was highly resistant to damage and direct assault, able to shrug off all but the most potent attacks.

His magic was also used for creating objects out of thin air, to teleport, creating explosions at distances and deceiving opponents with illusions. Pinhead was also familiar with the Occult and magic, with an ability to read people's minds. He was at once charismatic and terrifying, and could often persuade others to perform horrific acts to his favor.

In The Scarlet Gospels, Pinhead, or Hell Priest as he is called, kills hundreds of the world's most powerful magicians and steals their magic and knowledge. He gains enough magical knowledge that he is able to massacre not only his fellow Cenobites, but some of the most powerful beings in all of Hell. He becomes powerful enough to travel to Earth without being summoned by the Lament Configuration, at the cost of not being able to summon his chains, though gains a form of sanguimancy. Near the novel's climax, he dons Lucifer's armor and is powerful enough to destroy entire armies with his chains, with only Lucifer being powerful enough to stop him.


Pinhead Original Design

Clive Barker's original design for Pinhead.

Barker drew inspiration for the cenobite designs from punk fashion, Catholicism and by the visits he took to S&M clubs in New York and Amsterdam. For Pinhead specifically, Barker drew inspiration from African fetish sculptures. Initially, Barker intended Pinhead to have a navel piercing implying that the character had genital piercings. Barker's original "Hell Priest" sketches for Pinhead were eventually adapted into an officially licensed mask by Composite Effects, to be released in limited quantity to the public on 24 March 2017. This was done in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Hellraiser.

After securing funding in early 1986, Barker and his producer Chris Figg assembled a team to design the cenobites. Among the team was Bob Keen and Geoff Portass at Image Animation and Jane Wildgoose, a costume designer who was requested to make a series of costumes for 4–5 'super-butchers' while refining the scarification designs with Image Animation. In terms of lighting, Pinhead was designed so that shadows would swirl round his head. By July 1986, the shooting script positively identified the single pinheaded Cenobite from the earlier draft as clearly the leader.

In Hellraiser: Judgment they updated Pinhead's appearance from the previous films. As writer-director Gary J. Tunnicliffe explained, "This is a very no nonsense Pinhead. No glib one-liners, he's a little leaner and a little meaner. We especially tried to incorporate this into the make-up and costume; the cuts are deeper, the pins a little longer, his eyes are completely black and wardrobe is a little sleeker and more visceral. Someone on set described him as the 'bad ass' version of Pinhead." The flesh exposed on Pinhead's chest was redesigned as a rhombus in honour of Pinhead's master, the fictional character Leviathan.


In the first Hellraiser script drafts, Pinhead was credited as "Priest". In the film, the character was simply credited as the "Lead Cenobite".

The name "Pinhead" was coined by the makeup crew that applied the prosthetics on Bradley to distinguish the Cenobites. Clive Barker had no say in choosing "Pinhead" as a name and did not like it, as he thought it was undignified. In the films, the character was first referred to openly as "Pinhead" by protagonist Joey Summerskill in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth. The name is also used as a derogative term towards the Cenobite by Jophiel, God's advisor and Pinhead's superior, before he kills her in Hellraiser: Judgment, during the film's finale. The name also appears in the film Hellworld, referring to the fictional character portrayed in the Hellraiser game. Pinhead was given the designation Hell Priest in Clive Barker's novel The Scarlet Gospels, while his original concept art for Pinhead was adapted into a Hell Priest mask in 2017.




  • The Pleasures of Deception
  • The Blood of a Poet
  • To Prepare a Face
  • The Trainer
  • Losing Herslef in the Part
  • Of Love, Cats and Curiosity
  • The Devil's Brigade part I: Call to Arms
  • The Devil's Brigade part V: Passion
  • The Devil's Brigade part VII: Commitment
  • The Devil's Brigade part XV: The Cenobite Always Rings Twice
  • The Devil's Brigade part XVI: The Kold Red
  • The Devil's Brigade part XVII: Fury
  • The Devil's Brigade part XVIII: Reckoning
  • The Harrowing Part 1: Ressurrection
  • The Harrowing Part 2: Inressurrection
  • Clive Barker's Pinhead #1-6
  • As Above...
  • ... So Below