Pinhead originated as Captain Elliott Spencer (c. 1893-1930), an explorer and a British Army veteran who served in World War I living in the far east. His transformation into Pinhead, a.k.a. "Lead Cenobite", "The Angel of Suffering" or "The Dark Prince of Pain", came about through his opening of the Demonic Lament Configuration. In the Hellraiser comic book series, he is depicted as being the latest incarnation of the Cenobite spirit Xipe Totec, an entity derived from Aztec mythology. Now, he is the leader of the Cenobites, he travels the world to taste your flesh! Pinhead does not kill quickly; he and the Cenobites are well-versed in torture. Death does not end the suffering of his victims, either, as the victims are brought to Hell/The Labyrinth, where, Pinhead says, "We have an eternity to know your flesh."
Pinhead was once a human who was born in Britain in the Victorian Era in 1887. He served as captain of the British Expeditionary Force in WWI. Spencer was a charismatic and eloquent man, who could feel great empathy and compassion for those around him, however after the Battle of Flanders he suffered a mental breakdown. He did not believe he had a right to live after watching many of his comrades perish in horrific circumstances. He had also lost faith in the human race after witnessing the inhumanity one individual could enact upon another.
Powers and Abilities
Pinhead is an extremely powerful being and has several supernatural abilities. He is virtually unstoppable and invulnerable in the physical sense, but never engages in physical combat, instead letting hooked chains do his bidding. His usual form of attack is summoning these hooks and chains to mutilate victims, often pulling in several directions to rip them apart. These chains are subject to his total mind control and he may direct them at will. The chains may even change shape after having attached to a victim. Pinhead is highly resistant to damage and direct assault, able to shrug off all but the most potent attacks.
His magic is also used for creating objects out of thin air, to teleport, creating explosions at distances and deceiving opponents with illusions. Pinhead is also familiar with the Occult and magic, with an ability to read people's minds. He is at once charismatic and terrifying, and can often persuade others to perform horrific acts to his favor.
In Other Media
The actor most famous for portraying Pinhead is Doug Bradley, who plays the character in every Hellraiser movie to date - with the exception of the most recent installment, Hellraiser: Revelations.