- "They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting. But they do. They never... They never quit."
- ―Anya Jenkins[src]
The humans of Earth originated on the continent Africa and before recorded history they were terrorized by various demons. The first Slayer was created by three wizards called the Shadow Men during this time period to combat and overthrow the demons. After all the pure demons were killed or driven to other dimensions, the demon species remaining on Earth were all hybridized with humans in one way or other – the most notable being vampires, blood-drinking demons who inhabit dead human bodies.
Humans also existed in the dimension of Pylea where they lived as slaves, called "cows", to the dominant demon species until the ruling Covenant of Trombli was overthrown and the human and demon citizens of Pylea were declared equal.
Reception to the Supernatural
For much of recorded history, the majority of humans lived unaware or in denial of the existence of supernatural forces, with exceptions such as magic practitioners and professional demon hunters. The remaining demons on Earth lived in secret, many of them preying upon humans and human vices covertly.
The supernatural became public knowledge in the early 21st century, after vampires were unequivocally exposed to the media. The initial reception was overwhelmingly positive; vampires dominated the popular culture, and it was established the Reform Vampirism, in which vampires wouldn't harm humans in order to maintain civility between the species. This also created a wave of hate against Slayers, who defended humanity against vampires, also judged as non-humans and a threat to humanity itself. With the passing of time, the public ethics around the supernatural started to adapt to a more appropriately ambiguous approach.
A notable regressive event in supernatural relations was the American Supernatural Crisis Act, which responded to a national state of fear and violence against demons and magic practitioners, after a supernatural attack on San Francisco from unknown origins.
Humans were often described as physically and emotionally weak, with strong but contradictory morals. Non-humans had mostly referred to them with disgust, which reflects the overall hostile political positions of both parts. Emotions such as remorse and compassion were defining to the sense of humanity, also associated with the presence of a soul, which, in abnormal circumstances, humans were capable of lacking and vampires able to have.
Variations and Enhancements
Though standard humans were bound by natural limits such as mortality, vulnerability to sickness, and lack of innate supernatural powers, they were very capable of being physical empowered through magical or scientific influence, thus resulting in variations of many different beings with human origin.
Some of these conditions didn't alter their human status by themselves, while others are an entirely different species. With specific exceptions, these variations and enhancements also weren't limited to humans.
- "All the demons that walk the Earth are tainted, are human hybrids, like vampires."
- ―Anya Jenkins[src]
- Vampires originated when the last banished Old One, Maloker, killed and mixed his blood with a human. Then, through this process of siring, vampires had the ability to turn any human into these human/demon undead hybrids.
- Zombies, like vampires, were dead humans reanimated, though through magical means rather than blood exchange reproduction, becoming mindless foot soldiers that tended to retain their decomposed and deathly appearance.
- Mummies, similar to zombies, were magically reanimated human corpses, but with regenerative powers.
- Zompires were a by-product of the End of Magic. If a human was sired, they would rise with basic vampire characteristics, though as single-minded beasts like zombies.
- Werewolves suffered from an infection-like curse which transformed them into wolf-like beasts during the nights of the full moon.
- Vengeance Demons became demon hybrids after the recruitment by the demon lord D'Hoffryn. With the loss of their power, they were capable of becoming humans again.
- Witches and Warlocks were able to perform magical spells, either through practice or inheritance.
- Slayers were young girls imbued with the physical powers of most demons, such as superhuman strength, speed, endurance and skill.
- Ghosts and Poltergeists were the spiritual manifestations of deceased humans.
- Higher beings could have human origins, varying in abilities and circumstances.
- Half-demon could be born between humans and demons.
- Humans could also turn into demons, animals, and even objects, through spells, possessions, and ascensions, either temporally or permanently.
- "Disappointed by demon-kind, we turned to humans. Smart, adaptive, but emotional and weak. Blind. There's imperfection everywhere. Something must be done."
- Bio-mechanical demonoids were a combination of human intellect, demonic strength and the advance of technology, making them the perfect super soldiers. Their creation required the reanimation of human corpses through scientific procedures along with various demon and robot parts attached to them.
- There were also humans who gained paranormal abilities due non-supernatural circumstances. Examples include Marcie Ross who turned invisible due to being social ignored by peers and teachers while in proximity of the Hellmouth and Bethany Chaulk who developed telekinesis because of traumatic abuse.
- In the case of Drusilla and Cassie Newton who developed medium power, Agnes Bellefleur who developed empathetic power and Gwen Raiden who developed electric power, they were born with their powers.
- DNA experiments were able to turn humans into Gill Monsters, half-human/half-fish creatures.
- The blind assassin Vanessa Brewer obtained her sensitivity abilities due to training.
- Pete's formula, a potion of unknown origins, was able to mutate a human into a monster.
- "This body... it's just a rental, Dawnie. Being human? It's like a costume for girls like you and me. Being something else, that's what we are."
- The Key was turned into human by the Order of Dagon, to be protected by the Slayer as her sister, maintaining some Key abilities and considered also a higher being.
- The goddess Glorificus had a human counterpart, Ben Wilkinson, created for her banishing into the Earth. As one being, they frequently morphed into each other.
- The Old One Illyria possessed the human body of Fred Burkle. Eventually, they both shared the same vessel with their individual abilities.
- Some non-human creatures were able to manifest human disguises, either magically or artificially, not becoming actual humans; such as the She-Mantis, Hans and Gretta Strauss, Kathy Newman, the Wig Lady, and the First Evil. Demons like vampires and vengeance demons had their original human appearance as one of their faces.
- Some robots were built with human-like appearance, such as Ted Buchanan, April, Buffybot, and Warren.
- Demons with human origins could also be turned into humans again with the loss of their mystical powers. It was the case of a vengeance demon's power centre destruction or simply being fired; and vampires through Mohra demons' blood, through the Shanshu Prophecy, or having their mystic energy absorbed (resulting on their death).
It was formed various organizations in order to protect humans, studying and combating demonic entities, but often not limited to it. Some groups included non-human individuals, but still dedicated to human protection and the preservation of Earth dimension.
- Watchers Council
- Scooby Gang
- White Hats
- Angel Investigations / Team Angel
- Gunn's Crew
- Slayer Organization
- United States Government
- As protagonists or supporting cast, humans appeared in every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. They have also appeared in all novels, as well as comic titles with the exception of: