Going back through the centuries and embedded within the folklore of a wide range of regions is the idea of a species of demon in female form, which appear to seduce men and steal their life energy. Most commonly called the succubus, which comes from the Latin word succuba, meaning “paramour,” these demons take on various appearances and are endowed with different powers depending on the tradition, but most generally follow the idea that they use sexual activity to target their prey, often in the realm of dreams, enticing and pulling their victims in to hold close and feed off of. Sex demons of this variety are represented in one form or another across geographical boundaries and religions including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as the legends of myriad far-flung cultures. Considering that it is men we are talking about here, many of the legends describe the experience as rather enjoyable in the heat of the moment, but the aftermath often is said to bring exhaustion, stupor, hallucinations, insanity, and even death, but this must surely be just myths, right? Surely there can’t be anything to the idea of sex-starved demons preying on men? Well, you might be surprised to know that there are numerous accounts throughout the centuries of supposed encounters with these demonic vixens.
Supposed encounters with real succubi go way back in time. An very early supposedly real account comes from the 11th century, when Gerbert of Aurillac, who became Pope Sylvester II (999-1003), one day met a mysterious woman as a young man. The woman called herself Meridiana, and offered him all of the sins of the flesh and lust-filled sex that he could ever want beyond his wildest dreams, as well as wealth, good fortune, and knowledge of the mystical arts, if he would only stay faithful to her and her alone. Gerbert would purportedly agree to these terms, and subsequently rose quickly up the ranks of the church, all while satisfying his every carnal desire with Meridiana, quite against his vows and all kept secret, of course. This went on until one day the woman predicted that Gerbert, who was by that time Pope, would die for his sins. He would repent and die just as predicted, and to this day it is said that his grave “sweats” just before the death of a Pope. Legend or not? Whatever it was, it is widely said that this mysterious woman was a succubus.
In the 17th century we have the tale of a man named Johannes Junius, who was the Burgomeister of Bamberg and convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake in 1628. Before his execution, he had confessed that in 1624 he had been seduced by a woman who revealed herself to be a succubus and demanded that he renounce God. The frightened man had then taken the name “Krix,” a warlock name, and had even been provided with his own familiar, and from then on he became further and further hopelessly involved with the world of witches and their sabbats, attending black masses and often reported as riding about on a horrific flying black dog. Through all of this he adamantly insisted that he had refused to sacrifice humans, despite being implored by his succubus lover to do so, but he paid for his ways nevertheless. It seems that the era was rife with accused witches blaming succubi for their actions, because this account is similar to a 16th century account recorded by author Nicholas Remy, who said that there had once been a sheep herder who had been accused of witchcraft and sentenced to die. Before he was burned he too claimed that he had been seduced and corrupted by a succubus disguised as a milkmaid, who had come to him in a dark time for him and twisted his mind and soul with her charms.
In later centuries there is an account from the 19th century, when a popular French author named J.K. Huysmans claimed that he had fallen under the spell of a succubus. At the time he had purportedly been on a pilgrimage to a monastery. One night during his retreat he apparently was visited in his dream by the foul demon, who pleasured him right to the point of intense climax before he woke up to see her fading away right before his eyes. Thinking it all to be a dream, he was soon convinced it was real when he discovered the form of the woman indented into his bed next to him and could smell her scent int the air. He believed at the time that the succubus had spirited away his semen in order to use to fertilize human women by the male form of the demon, the incubus. Reports like this have gone on all the way into much more modern times, such as one in 2007, with a commenter on Unexplained Mysteries, who says he was kept awake for 3 days straight by some seductive demonic force, after which things escalated quickly. He says:
I felt something touch my hand, not physically, but something deeper, down to my soul, and it warmed me while I was lying in bed wondering what was going to happen to me. I was completely awake, but another post could describe the world I saw. I remember most of what happened so vividly. Her touch was perfect, and her master in the art beyond my imagination. I couldn’t see her – I just felt sensations on my body and talked with her in my mind. She bid me to take her to a quiet place where my parents wouldn’t hear, so I went out to the car in the dark.
Things further progressed sexually, and my energies were absolutely phenomenal – she always did the perfect thing to keep me going. As things progressed, I could begin to see more of her. The one thing that caught my eyes the most were hers – when I looked into them, I saw the stars and the heavens and thought of the atoms and matter that make each one, but all of that was still not enough to justify the eyes. They pointed me to another world, and all of what I saw in them pointed to an innocent desire to make love. Her body was effervescent, it changed according to what would arouse me the most, and I could not see her breasts or private parts – they were numb to the eyes. It was her hair, body type, skin color, ethnicity that all changed. She would morph seamlessly, moment by moment.
Another prominent feature of the experience was her scent. It was incredibly intoxicating, like a sort of indescribable flower with intimate features. It reminded me of everything that is good and beautiful in the world, and it described what I saw in her eyes. All of her touch – it wasn’t so much physical as it was much, much deeper. The whole nature of the experience was so innocent. I felt no guilt, no darkness, no lust whatsoever. The focus was on pleasing her, and in turn she wished to please me. She would often giggle and I felt as though we were in the Garden of Eden, making love for the first time in all creation, and that God had given her such a magnificent gift of doing so – I didn’t believe that, but that’s the closest way my mind could describe it.
She brought me to a certain point where I felt I could go no further, never achieving climax yet during the experience. All of a sudden, she broke down crying, telling me that I would be going through a very hard time. Just then, I saw a vision and felt presences around me. I was reminded of Christ and his experiences leading up to his crucifixion with visual hallucinations, and I saw the spiritual side of what was happening to him. I asked her who she was, and she didn’t answer. I saw that she understood that she could not understand the pain that i had just witnessed. After 6 hours from her first touch, she worked me to an incredible climax.
In another report from 2010, a commenter on the same site says he was accosted by a succubus as he lay down to sleep one night. The witness says:
It was a night like any other. Before going to bed I usually meditate for 15-30 minutes, I do this to clear my mind so that I can get a good nights sleep. I had in the past tried to call a succubus, but always with questionable results. Nothing that would convince me that something really came. At this particular night in February 20010 I had made no special preparations. No spells or rituals. Just simple breath exercises and a blank mind.
It happened suddenly and without forewarning. My chest tightened. I felt as if I was jolted by electricity. A sensation that started in my chest and spread out to my abdomen. The sensation was so strong that at first I thought I was fiercely hugged. But I opened my eyes and saw nothing. I decided to lay down and relax. The next thing I felt was a gentle touch on both my legs which slid upwards. Not just a breeze but a real touch. I could feel fingers below my pajamas. My legs parted and felt as if they where floating on air.
The next thing I felt I can only describe as the most intense sexual feeling that I ever had. It was like a pulse vibrated throughout my own body. So strong that I actually moaned in ecstasy. And it did not stop. The feeling of hands over my body. The erotic spasms, and a pressure on my legs that felt as if someone was sitting on them. At the height of my pleasure I actually saw a very hazy shape over me. Although i could not see a distinct form, I could feel that it was female in nature.
I had often asked the question in the past “What is your name”. And I would get all kinds of names in my head. But I was always pretty sure that it was just my imagination. But when I asked that night, I got a clear name, so alien to the thoughts of my own mind that it was clear that it was not my own mind playing tricks. I remember going to bed at 10pm. The next thing I knew it was almost 2am. It felt like 10 minutes for me. This was my first real encounter with a “Succubus”, and I can say that my life forever changed after this first encounter.
Were these just some randy and very naughty dreams or something more? In around the same time period was another report relayed on Reddit, by a poster who says his mental and physical health had begun to take a turn for the worse. He was experiencing delusions of worthlessness and being driven to suicidal thoughts as a result, and one evening during this dark time he says he had a rather odd encounter. He says:
I was having a dream, semi-lucid or maybe just really vivid. a old friend was there, we or they were getting on a bus. For whatever reason I focus on this lady who was trying to get on the bus that’s when I wake up.
It’s gross even to think about but this entity, what i call the succubus, was trying to get back into my body, the dream triggered something or maybe the dream was a reflection of some subconscious action I took but the “reiki” weakened it’s grip on me and it was trying to get back in.
Purely by instinct I just concentrated on keeping this thing out and it was working and I just sat up in anger and this thing is cast away. I call it a succubus only because I feel like it was attached near my genitals, influenced/drove me sexually. It wasn’t much how it’s portrayed in popular media for me though in the dream I guess It was disguised as a women. Also it was a feminine entity whatever that means. I could draw a pic but it was about the size of a big cat, it’s silly but it’s lower body is how they portray ghost I guess like Casper but its upper half was more humanoid. So a ghost like tail and a humanoid head.
The humanoid part always creeps me out because this thing was sentient and fairly intelligent but still behaved like a parasite. And worse it was attached in me for a long time….a humanoid like being, ugh. So this is what I think. I was more promiscuous back then so I think I “caught it”. I’m one of those sensitive types so I think that’s why it was attracted to me. I think it was feeding on me for a long time and those leeches things were babies in a sort of way. It was all feed, reproduce, spread. I read online that these entities also “feed” on negative energies which is why it was driving me to kill myself like one of those parasites that affects ants and forces them to kill itself so it can feed, bloom and spread.
It does seem to feed into the lore of the succubus, with her feeding on negative energies and using sexual angle to do so. Is this a tall tale or what? In 2011 we have an account from a witness on the site Your Ghost Stories, who says this happened at his home in San Rafael, California. He had just broken up with his ex, and he had been left alone in that empty apartment they had once shared. One evening he says he was visited by something not wholly of this earth, of which he says:
I was just chilling in my room on Facebook when I felt a light tingling sensation on the back of my neck. I reached back and felt nothing there. I resumed what I was doing. About 5 minutes later, I felt a hand close gently on my shoulder. I felt secure. I closed my eyes. I heard a voice in my head saying that everything would get better. I asked it if it really meant it. As soon as the words had come out of my mouth, it kissed the back of my neck, and said that it would be there for me.
I closed my computer and turned to face whoever it was. What I saw next only cannot be described with mere words. It was like a goddess and a demon in one. I was speechless. It led me to my bed and had me lie down. I did as I was told. She then proceeded to lie down next to me and curl up in my arms. I kissed her head. She ran a hand down from my cheek to my chest and slowly lifted my shirt up and off. You can probably imagine what happened next. I then woke up and she was still there next to me. She whispered in my ear that she would come back and reveal who she was when the time came. Since then, I have not had any contact with her.
In 2012 there is also a witness named Ethan on ThoughtCo, who says this happened as he was living in Bakersfield, California. He says that this bizarre encounter happened one day after he had returned from school and tried to get ready for the homework that lie ahead. He lay down for a moment and ended up crashing out, but this was not meant to last. According to the report:
He fell asleep instantly but did not sleep soundly. He dreamt that an evil being was in his home and it was trying to get into his room. It finally broke in, and as soon as it did, Ethan jolted awake with a ringing sound in his ears. Ethan felt the demon; it was on the wall behind his head, holding Ethan’s limbs down. It had something in his ears, and his left ear began to vibrate violently. The strange sensation spread to his right ear, as well.
Ethan fought as best he could, but could not break free. He cursed at the being and tried to free his arms or legs. The demon only laughed at him, an eerie and horrific sound that was neither deep nor high-pitched. The demon cried out “soon!” and released Ethan. Ethan sat up rapidly, leaping out of the bed to turn on the lights. But when light flooded his bedroom, there was nothing out of the ordinary. However, Ethan’s dogs were acting abnormal, barking, leaping at the door and trying desperately to get to their owner.
He went to the bathroom and was startled to see his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were bloodshot, with the whites of the eyes completely red. Ethan realized he had been visited by a succubus demon. Ethan remains terrified of the demon returning but has not had another incident ever since.
There are many more such reports, and it leaves us asking a question. Are these just legends born of men being horny and having suggestive thoughts or dreams, or is there something more to the whole succubus phenomenon? The main rational explanation for all of this is that it is legends based around a phenomenon known as “sleep paralysis,” in which we wake in a domain between sleep and wakefulness, where dreams can continue on and be perceived as being very real. Since we are kept in our paralytic sleep state we can feel as if we cannot move, and the dream figure can take on many forms depending on what we expect to see. This explanation has been used to try to explain away everything from ghost sightings to alien abductions, to of course succubi. Is that what we are dealing with here? Our sleepy mind playing tricks on us and invoking these illusions and hallucinations, perhaps in this case flavored with sexual frustration? It is unknown, but the fact is that the phenomenon of the succubus has been with us across cultures for hundreds of years, and shows no signs of waning.