Here’s the meaning behind Paranormal Activity’s Thaumaturgic Triangle symbol. The original Paranormal Activity was a no-budget, independent found footage movie from director Oren Peli. The story followed Katie and Micah, a couple who set up cameras around their house once they suspect they’re being haunted. The truth turns out to be darker and the film milked a lot of suspense from this very simple idea. Paranormal Activity was the movie that made Blumhouse, but while the original plan was to remake it with a bigger budget, a successful test screening convinced producers to release the original version.

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That said, the movie was given a makeover in post-production and a new, jump scare ending was added, which Steven Spielberg suggested. Paranormal Activity became a word of mouth success and since it was made for practically nothing, this made a sequel inevitable. The sequels would open up the mythology behind the franchise’s central demon, which was dubbed “Toby,” and what it wanted with the Rey family. Prequel Paranormal Activity 3 and The Marked Ones are considered the best of the sequels, though “final” entry Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was largely met with disappointment.

There also exists a 2010 Japanese spinoff dubbed Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night, though the events of this film haven’t been acknowledged in the main series. Paranormal Activity’s sequels revealed Katie’s grandmother Lois made a deal for wealth and power with a coven of witches, but in exchange, she agreed to let a demon take the soul of her family’s first-born son. The demon “Toby” ended up waiting a long time, as a male wasn’t born into the family until 2006 in the franchise’s timeline. One recurring element that made its debut in Paranormal Activity 3 is the strange Thaumaturgic Triangle symbol, which is a circle with a triangle inside of it.

The Thaumaturgic Triangle is used by the coven to summon and control a demon – in this case, “Toby.” Since they’re seen in the third Paranormal Activity after granny Lois makes a visit, it’s assumed she drew these markers in the house herself. The symbol reappears again in later entries like Paranormal Activity 4 and The Marked Ones, and in the franchise’s official timeline (via Dread Central) it’s explained MCL comes from “Mi Cha El,” calling on the Archangel Michael to offer protection from a summoned demon.

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It was revealed in the final entry of Paranormal Activity that Toby’s goal was to take a physical form, which he succeeds in doing. A seventh movie is scheduled to arrive in 2021, which might explain what happened to the evil spirit now he has a body of his own.

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