The Hobgoblin came into being when Roderick Kingsley discovered an abandoned secret lair of the supervillain known as the Green Goblin. Using the Green Goblin's equipment, Kingsley adopted the identity of the Hobgoblin and set out to plague Spider-Man.
Later, another character took up the guise of the Hobgoblin, Jason Philip Macendale Jr. (a.k.a. Jack O'Lantern). This Hobgoblin was very intent upon finding the secret formula of super human strength of the original Green Goblin. Frustrated with his lack of results in reproducing the formula, Macendale would later attempt other avenues to this end.
During a demonic incursion on New York the Hobgoblin attempted to make a deal with demons from Limbo in exchange for the abilities of the original Green Goblin. He was tricked and transformed into a literal hobgoblin, with his equipment replaced by mystical equivalents. Macendale went insane as a result of this transformation.