Virgil Macreeby is one of the primary human antagonists in the series. He uses other djinn to his advantage and for his own selfish desires. In the fifth book, he tricks Dybbuk Sachertorte and Zadie Eloko to bend to his ways. Although highly knowledgeable in the djinn ways, he is often paranoid and mistrusting of others. His goal in life is to obtain ultimate power.
In addition to his tactics, he carries a poisonous spider in his pocket. According to him, it has bitten him so many times that he has become immune to the venom. He uses it as a weapon against others. Macreeby is knowlegeable about the djinn ways and news including the djinn handshake and the news about Philippa when she was abducted by the blue djinn. It seems that Mr. Rakshasas has come into contact with Virgil Macreeby before as he says "It has been a long time since I have seen the Macreeby collection.
His fingernails grew long and sharpened like swords and he wore a tweed suit and a beard. His voice is affirmative and well-spoken, according to John like a Shakespearean actor.
When John, Mr. Rakshasas, and Nimrod approach him in The Blue Djinn of Babylon he helps them by giving them the Bellini Scrolls and the map of the Iravotum in return for three wishes. Having known his mistrustful ways, Nimrod only agreed with him under the condition that John grant the wishes and that he lists his reasons beforehand. His first two wishes were for a new roof and one million dollars, much to Finlay, his son's disappointment. About to wish for a new Rolls-Royce, Virgil got interrupted by Finlay, and, frustrated with him, wishes for him to turn into a bird. However, he is unwilling to undo the wishes with a fourth one, as stated in The Baghdad Rules.
Virgil Macreeby is the father of Finlay Macreeby whom he does not get along with. He considers him a disgrace and is disappointed in him for not mastering the dark arts. He lives with Mrs. Macreeby as well as with Finlay's grandmother.