Vampires and Succubi
By: Mary Claire Leonard
History of Vampires
Vampire myths occur in almost every culture around the world
-Large variety of vampires in European countries
 Split between Roman and Orthodox churches in 1054 AD caused a big
difference in the development of vampire lore
 Origin of Slavic vampire myths developed during 9th C
 There were some traits that were believed to be signs of vampirism
 Certain occurrences were seen as evidence that a vampire was at work
 Several methods were believed to successfully destroy vampires
Female Vampires
It is possible that the earliest
vampires were female.
Pam Keesey- Daughters of
Darkness: Lesbian Vampire
“Female vampires were
imaginative constructs
developed out of a
destructive side-blood,
death, and dangerous
sexuality-of the great mother
goddess of prehistory”.
Origins of vampirism point to
the ancient Indian goddess
of death, Kali
Another possible source of
the creation of the female
vampire is the life of
Elizabeth Bathory.
“The goddess is not only the
mysterious source of life,
she is the very soil, allcreating and all consuming”.
Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614)
Hungarian countess brought to trial
in 1611 for the torture and murder of
between 150 and 650 young women
Member of powerful aristocratic
family and wife of Count Ferenz
Bathory castle in Transylvania raided
late December 1610
-3 victims found dead
During her two trials, evidence was
presented that she and two
accomplices tortured and killed
many young women from the
surrounding countryside
It was reported that Bathory’s acts
gave her erotic pleasure
-drank and bathed in blood
She was spared execution but was
imprisoned in her castle for life
Hungarian authorities sealed her
records when she died in 1614
-Lazlo Turoczy found and published
Dracula:The novel vs. the movie
1897 novel by Irish Bram
Critics analyze the role of
women in Victorian
Novel gives reference to
changes in gender roles
•1931 film by Tod Browning
•Critics analyze the bad
acting in the film
•There is some sexual
tension, but scenes go much
faster on screen than in the
Vampires in Film Today…
Clip from History Channel Special
on Vampires
Background of Succubi
Succubi is from Latin “succubare”
meaning “to lie under”
 In medieval legend, succubi were
female demons that would sustain
themselves by seducing men and
taking their energy/soul by appearing
in dreams or having actual intercourse.
 Legend was used as an explanation for
wet dreams and sleep paralysis.
-Succubi left their victims exhausted,
sometimes to the point of death
 The most well known succubi are Lillith
(Jewish), Belili (Sumerian) and Rusalka
Features of Succubi
Beautiful, alluring women
-demonic bat-like wings
-large breasts
Other demonic features:
-cloven feet
 Occasionally appear as an attractive
woman in dreams that the victim
cannot get off of his mind
 Lure males in, and they seem to “fall
in love”
 Even after a dream, the succubus
will remain in her victims mind,
slowly draining energy from him until
death by exhaustion
 In some cases, the demon will steal
her victim’s soul through intercourse.
•Mythological female Mesopotamian storm demon associated
with wind and thought to be a bearer of disease, illness and
•Figure of Lilith first appeared in 3000 BC
•Scholars believe that the name “Lilith” originated around 700
-Hebrew “Lilit” and Akkadian “Lilitu” are adjectives from the
Proto-Semitic root LYL "night", literally translating to nocturnal
"female night being/demon“.
•Often portrayed as a child killer and a temptress
•Myth that she was the first wife of Adam
Lilith in the Bible
Myth is that she was the first wife of Adam
The Book of Isaiah 34:14, describing the desolation
of Edom
– KJV: "The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet
with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall
cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there,
and find for herself a place of rest."
~Also recognized as:
night-owl (Young, 1898)
night monster (ASV, 1901; NASB, 1995)
vampires (Moffatt Translation, 1922)
night hag (RSV, 1947)
Lilith (Jerusalem Bible, 1966)
lilith (New American Bible, 1970)
night creature (NIV, 1978; NKJV, 1982; NLT, 1996)
nightjar (New World Translation, 1984).
Notes on the Incubus…
•The Incubus is a demon in male
form that "lies upon" sleeping
The Nightmare is a 1781
oil painting by British artist
Henry Fuseli (1741–1825).
•Nocturnal arousal or orgasm could
be explained by the idea of
creatures causing an otherwise
guilt-producing and self-conscious
•Women said to be victims of incubi
could have been the victims of
sexual assault by a real person.
•A succubus would be able to sleep
with a man and collect his sperm,
and then transform into an incubus
and use that seed on women.
Incubus, 1870
-offspring were thought to be
Works Cited
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