Exploring the World of Succubi and Incubi

September 8, 2023 (Last updated on: September 8, 2023)
Cryptid Succubi and Incubi

In various cultures worldwide, tales of succubi in female form and their male counterpart, the incubus, have both fascinated and terrorized people for centuries.

These beings, often linked with the night, are said to seduce men and women into sexual activity, with consequences ranging from bad dreams to even death. Let’s embark on a journey to explore their origins, characteristics, and the evolution in their narratives.

Origins and Early Beliefs

Historical Overview

Succubi and incubi have deep roots in history, appearing in texts and folklore as early as the ancient civilizations. From being considered fallen angels to spirits preying on humans at night, their descriptions and stories have varied, embodying the fears and desires prevalent in different eras.


The terms “succubus” and “incubus” have their origins in Latin, indicating their historic ties with European culture. Referencing the “online etymology dictionary”, we find that these words have evolved over centuries, intertwining with beliefs about sexuality and supernatural beings.

The Evolution: Early Modern Supernatural Beliefs

In the realm of early modern supernatural beliefs, succubi and incubi were not merely the products of imagination but were considered actual entities that had the power to influence individuals and societies. These creatures were believed to lie beneath the surface of reality, exerting a heavy weight on the human psyche, influencing dreams and even causing physical ailments.

The Role of Literature and Press

Research and documentation about these beings have been extensively covered in various publications such as the “Visible Ink Press” and “Chicago Press”. These sources have served as a field guide, offering readers a deep dive into the world that these creatures inhabit, shedding light on the intricacies that lie beneath their existence and providing a comprehensive review of their history and characteristics.

Succubus: The Female Form

Description and Characteristics

Traditionally depicted as a beautiful young girl or a demon in female form, the succubus is known for its ability to seduce men through sexual activity. In many narratives, they are portrayed as beings who manipulate men into repeated sexual activity, using their supernatural powers to control their victims.

Encounters and Consequences

Encounters with a succubus have been described in various ways throughout history. Often, they involve the succubus visiting men at night, engaging in sexual intercourse, and sometimes resulting in the birth of demon lovers or other beings, further complicating the narrative surrounding these entities.

Incubus: The Male Counterpart

Description and Characteristics

The incubus, the male counterpart of the succubus, shares many similar traits with its female counterpart. They are known to visit sleeping women at night, engaging in sexual activity which sometimes leads to the birth of deformed human offspring. These beings often appear in literature with frightening characteristics like bird-like claws, adding to their dark and ominous nature.

Encounters and Consequences

Much like the succubus, the incubus engages in repeated sexual activity with humans. These encounters, described in folklore as both frightening and seductive, have been associated with sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations, blurring the lines between the supernatural and the scientific explanations.

Comparative Analysis

Parallels Between Succubus and Incubus

Despite their differing forms, parallels exist between succubi and incubi. Both beings engage with humans in a complex interplay of fear and desire, showcasing the fluidity of their roles and narratives throughout history.

Influence on European Culture

The narratives surrounding these beings have had a significant influence on European culture, shaping beliefs and attitudes towards sexuality and moral conduct, often serving as cautionary tales to promote virtue and caution against the dangers of illicit sexual activity.

Encounters Behind Closed Doors

Historically, many encounters with these beings have occurred behind closed doors, leaving individuals with nothing but their word to describe their experiences. The fear and fascination surrounding these beings often led to secrecy, with tales of encounters only shared in hushed tones.

Auditory Hallucinations and Hypnagogic Hallucinations

During these encounters, individuals often reported experiencing auditory hallucinations, where whispers, or sometimes even screams, filled the silence of the night. Hypnagogic hallucinations also were common, where visions of these entities appeared, sometimes enveloped in a fiery light, adding to their ethereal and terrifying aura.

Tales and Legends: Beyond the Known Narratives

In the rich tapestry of folklore surrounding these beings, other subversive spirits also find a mention. Tales speak of the legendary magician who once controlled these demons, and narratives even mention Adam’s first wife, who left Adam to become a demon, leading the four succubi in their nocturnal ventures.

The Enigmatic Figures in Literature

Literature offers an array of narratives that present these beings in various lights. From the satanic lover who seduces a grown woman to a corresponding spirit that takes a male form to deceive and control. These narratives often delve into the dark side of human desires and fears, portraying these beings as manipulators who can control the human body and spirit to fulfill their objectives.

A Global Perspective: World Wide Religious News

In a rapidly evolving world, the lore of the succubus and incubus continues to permeate through different facets of society, notably influencing a global conversation in the field of religious narratives. As reported by various worldwide religious news outlets, these supernatural beings appear in diverse forms across different cultures, indicating a universal intrigue surrounding their existence.

The Modern Resurgence of the Word “Incubus”

Interestingly, the word “incubus” has witnessed a resurgence in modern lexicons, evolving beyond its historical connotations to embody a broader spectrum of supernatural experiences. Literature enthusiasts will note the influential works published by Henry Holt, which delve deep into the nuances of encounters with these beings, offering readers a thrilling experience that combines historical narratives with contemporary interpretations.

Personal Accounts: Encounters with the Supernatural Being

Personal accounts of encounters with a supernatural being often describe a mixed bag of emotions, where fear intertwines with a peculiar kind of allure. The grown man, often depicted as a rational entity, finds himself grappling with feelings that challenge the boundaries of the known world. These narratives, brought to life with vivid descriptions, transport readers into a realm where reality mingles with the eerie world of the hypnagogic hallucination, illustrating the complex and multi-faceted nature of human experiences with the supernatural.

Cultural Depictions and Beliefs

Throughout different cultures, these beings have been called by various names and have appeared in several forms. In some cultures, they were believed to be shape-shifters who could take the form of a featherless chicken, causing mischief and bringing bad luck to those who encountered them.

Santa Barbara’s Role in Popular Culture

In modern times, these beings have also found a place in popular culture, with events like the Santa Barbara festival incorporating themes surrounding these beings, offering a space where literature, art, and folklore come together to celebrate and explore the complex narratives surrounding these entities.


The exploration of the world of succubi and incubi offers a glimpse into the complex relationship between humans and the supernatural realm. These beings, once considered harbingers of doom, have evolved in narratives, sometimes even taking on a more benign form, showcasing the changing perspectives on sexuality and morality over centuries.

The journey through their world is a testament to the human fascination with the mysterious and the unknown, a journey that continues to shape narratives and beliefs, standing as vivid reminders of the intricate and ever-evolving nature of human culture and imagination.