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Archive 81 and the cult of Kaelego: Is it a true story or fiction?

Melody (Dina Shihabi) opening a cupboard holding Kaelego sculpture.
Melody (Dina Shihabi) opening a cupboard holding Kaelego sculpture. Pic credit: Netflix

The series Archive 81 smashed its way to Netflix this week with an insanely unsettling atmosphere and a chilling story.

The show which was produced by such talents as Aquaman director James Wan brings a flavor of horror that this writer thoroughly enjoys which involves the main character unpacking the horrors of mystery footage. Films like The Ring and even the 2021 indie release Broadcast Signal Intrusion come to mind.

In Archive 81, Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie) is restoring old footage from a tenant named Melody (Dina Shihabi), who documented her stay at an apartment called The Visser. And what Dan discovers is Melody might be in danger of a cult who worships a demon named Kaelego.

Since Archive 81 was released, streamers want to know if Kaelego is based on a real mythological demon or a made-up idea for the series.

Here is what we know about Kaelego from Archive 81.

What is Kaelego from Archive 81?

In the series, Kaelego is explained to be both a demon and a god. As the series unfolds, we learn that this entity rules over an alternate dimension that its followers call “the otherworld” and in order to open the portal to Kaelego’s reality one has to sacrifice themselves in a ritual.

What can be clearly assumed from the series is that Kaelego is more demon than god, and has dark motives.

The cult of Baldung witches aims to merge Kaelego’s reality with their own, to build a new reality ruled by Kaelego but instead the members of the coven just become prisoners of Kaelego’s realm.

Long story short, never trust a demon.

Is Kaelego based on a real demon?

From all of our research, it appears the entity Kaelego is a fictional monster that is not based on anything known.

This is also true of space and time demons. Nothing is known of such a creature in the mythos. However, a fascinating piece from The New Yorker points out that demons used to be a way to explain physics before actual science like Newton’s Law made our world make sense.

So, readers who are spiritual believers can rest easy knowing that an interdimensional demon is not going to trap them in the vortex of time and space.

Until then, we will have to wait to see Kaelego’s spiritual kingdom on Netflix when Archive 81 returns for a second season

Archive 81 is streaming on Netflix right now.

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