• Graveyard Shift

Mythology, Folklore, And Modern Tales Of The Succubus: A Demon Disguised As A Beautiful Woman

According to legend, the succubus is a demon that appears as a beautiful woman, and its history dates back thousands of years. Succubi mythology describes them as approaching men in a variety of ways, usually while they're sleeping, then seducing them in order to take their souls.

However, stories of the succubus are more than distant folklore. A famous haunting involving a succubus - as well as numerous tales documented on the internet - seems to indicate that succubi may still exist. Although succubi encounters can be attributed to overactive imaginations or even medical issues, their historical background and modern sightings remain a source of fascination and mystery.

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  • Photo: John Collier / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Lilith Is Said To Be The First Succubus

    Lilith appears in various incarnations throughout ancient history as both a fertility goddess and, in some versions of the Bible, Adam's first wife. After being cast out of the Garden of Eden, Lilith is said to have become a succubus who had the ability to kill men with a single kiss.

    The daughters of Lilith and Adam, known as "the Lilin" were also believed to be succubi. In ancient folklore, Jewish mothers feared that their children would be kidnapped or eaten by Lilith and the Lilin.

  • Succubi Were Blamed For Sleep Paralysis

    Some experts argue that what humans perceive as an experience with a succubus is actually part of sleep paralysis; the inability to move and the sensation of being touched often go hand in hand. Because there was no medical knowledge of sleep paralysis in the 15th century, many Europeans believed that the event was something paranormal.

    A bishop of the Catholic Church even wrote about the succubus and its male counterpart, incubus, as being a source of sleep paralysis and erotic dreams. He went so far as to claim that a succubus would have intercourse with a man, then transform into an incubus to impregnate a human woman.

  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In One Ancient Story, A Succubus Makes A Pope Prosperous 

    A medieval chronicler recorded a story about a young man who became involved with a succubus, and who later became Pope Sylvester II. According to the story, when this pope was a young student, he was called Gerbert of Aurillac. He fell in love with a beautiful woman, but she rejected him. Gerbert subsequently met a woman named Meridiana, who promised him intimacy, knowledge, and wealth as long as he stayed faithful to her.

    Some say that Gerbert's devotion to Meridiana eventually made him pope, but she subsequently predicted his passing. Afraid of dying without confessing his sins, Gerbert told the story of Meridiana before his impending death. The legend goes on to claim that the tomb of Pope Sylvester II becomes covered in sweat prior to the passing of a pope.

  • One Man Claimed A Succubus Broke Through His Bedroom Door

    According to an alleged story from a young man named Ethan, a succubus visited him while he slept. In 2012, Ethan arrived home late one night completely exhausted and collapsed into bed. However, he awoke suddenly as something broke through his bedroom door.

    The entity allegedly flew to the wall behind Ethan's bed and held his limbs down firmly. His ears began to vibrate, even to the point of pain. The young man cried out for help, but the entity only laughed at him in a frightening voice. Suddenly, the entity (which Ethan later determined may have been a succubus) cried out, "Soon!" and let go of the terrified young man.

    Heart pounding, Ethan dashed to turn on the lights, but nothing appeared amiss. Ethan said that only his dogs seemed to understand what had happened, as they barked and scratched at his door.