The Lead Cenobite, often referred to by the derogatory nickname "Pinhead", is the main antagonist of the Hellraiser films. First appearing in Clive Barker's novella "The Hellbound Heart", he served Leviathan and was tasked with collecting those who solved the Lament Configuration box, taking their souls to the Labyrinth.



Pinhead was not always a Cenobite. He was once known as Elliott Spencer and was a Captain in the British army who served during World War One. After the war came to an end, many of its survivors became hopelessly depressed and withdrawn from society. Spencer would find himself drawn to unknown and forbidden pleasures and his final discovery in his exploration of the taboo would be the Lament Configuration, a mysterious puzzle box. Spencer solved the puzzle and found himself being dragged to Hell where his body and spirit were mutilated beyond recognition, transforming him into something beyond human: a devil to some, an angel to others.


In the first Hellraiser film, Pinhead and the Cenobites are summoned by Frank Cotton, a twisted individual who acquires the Lament Configuration box from a merchant in Morocco. Taking the box back to his family's old home in America, Frank solves the puzzle and is "rewarded" by being dragged down into Hell by the Cenobites. Some time after his death, however, Frank is brought back to life after his brother Larry and his family move into the old house. Larry accidentally cuts himself and bleeds in the spot where Frank had died, allowing Frank's spirit to be pulled out of Hell and partially restored to flesh.

Pinhead and the Cenobites would later be summoned inadvertantly after Kirsty Cotton - Frank's niece - found and solved the Lament Configuration. Having already encountered her half-restored uncle, Kirsty told Pinhead that Frank had escaped them and had returned to the mortal world. She made a deal with the Cenobites, offering them Frank in exchange for her own life. Frank later killed Kirsty's father Larry and took his skin, attempting to hide himself from the Cenobites' notice. However, Kirsty was able to trick Frank into revealing himself and the Cenobites came for him, tearing him apart once again and dragging him back to Hell.

Pinhead went back on his end of the bargain, however, and attempted to take Kirsty as well. Luckily, Kirsty was able to reverse the Lament Configuration box and send Pinhead and his followers back to the Labyrinth. But this would not be Kirsty's last encounter with the demons...

Powers and Abilities

Pinhead's powers are vast and far beyond any human's ability to withstand. While working for Leviathan he was invulnerable, ageless and immortal, capable of teleportation, magically disguising himself as other people and transforming humans into Cenobites. He could also summon other hellish forces and conjure hooked chains out of thin air to tear his victims apart. Perhaps Pinhead's greatest ability was his talent for deception and manipulation, as he often tempted others into doing his bidding with promises of fulfilling their darkest desires and fantasies.

He retained many of these abilities even after severing his links to both his mortal self and thus Leviathan.


Pinhead's only real weakness lies within the same object used to summon him: the Lament Configuration. The box can be used to banish him back to Hell.