The 13th Floor

Is That A Soul Stealing Demon Hottie Or Are You Just Glad To Kill Me? The Fatal Allure Of THE SUCCUBUS

It’s a Tinder nightmare! The most beautiful girl of your dreams is now sitting beside you and is ready to romp and roll. In an ecstatic hallucinogenic haze, you succumb and as your precious bodily fluid drains away in a sea of orgiastic bliss, you suddenly realize your very soul has been stripped away forever by a hideous predator. That was no lady – that was a succubus!

Throughout legend and Biblical lore, the succubus is described as a female whose carnal desire could overwhelm even an ecumenical of the highest order. No less an eminence than Pope Sylvester II confessed his trysts with a succubus who helped him rise to power within the Catholic Church. Shortly before his death he repented and confessed his more than cardinal sins before dying suddenly. Meridinia, the alleged succubus, was nowhere to be found.

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Who or what are these alluring creatures that offer up sexual gratification and then devour the souls of their prey?

Some scholars date the predatory sexual horrors all the back to the Garden of Eden. According to religious times, Adam had a wife before Eve named Lilith who turned succubus.  She ditched Adam and copulated with archangel Samael. She was not alone. According to the tenets of the Kabbalah, Samael mated with three other women turned demon Mahalath, Agrat Bat Mahlkat and Naamah. The soul-stealing honeys often took the form of a winsome and more than willing young girl but were said to exhibit unusual deformities upon closer inspection – claws instead of fingers and of the a serpent’s tale as befitting their unholy origins.

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For every female, there must be a male and the succubi’s party pals were the hunky male demons known as the incubi. According to the Malleus Maleficarum – a 1486 treatise on witchcraft, succubi collect semen from the men they seduce and pass on the life bearing seed to their male counterparts in order to impregnate human women.

Malleus

Yet the legend of the succubi can be found in other cultures as well.

In India, the succubus is known as a Yakshini – mythical she devils who resemble fairies and protect the treasures of the Earth by any means necessary, In Arabian lore, the  qarînah copulates with the person in their dreams, Upon awakening from this nocturnal sexual encounter, the victim awakes exhausted, drained of life force. The legend may have its origins dating back to the Egyptians and their animistic beliefs – endowing creatures like the cat or eagle god-like powers.

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King James VI of Scotland wrote in his treatise DAEMONOLOGIE that the demons are nota separate sex but the same malevolent entity that takes the appearance of the opposite sex in order to more easily seduce the victim.

As the Age of Enlightenment dawned, and Science began to rear its rational head, many believed the succubi attack to be a form of sleep paralysis or night terrors. The evidence of the unholy sexual union was nothing more than a normal nocturnal emission. Of course, when religion was the order of the day any sex that did not result in procreation was considered sinful especially so-called “wet dreams”.

In the 1960s Anton LaVey and his Church of Satan began referring to such creatures as “psychic vampires” that would steal a person’s psychic energy as opposed to simply semen.

Regardless, the legend persisted wending its way into popular fiction.

Some of the best known “Tales of the Succubi” include Richard Matheson’s “Julie” whose teen age demoness was filmed in the Karen Black fear fest TRILOGY OF TERROR, French lit mainstay Balzac’s short story “The Succubus” and stories and novels by luminaries such as Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card and yes – even – prolific TWILIGHT typist Stephanie Meyer.

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Cinematic succubi include Jess Franco’s NECRONOMICON, STAR TREK guru Gene Roddenberry’s SPECTRE,JENNIFER’s BODY which starred Megan Fox’s body and the tele-series THE NIGHT STALKER, SOUTH PARK, SUPERNATURAL and LOST GIRL among many, many others.

Like vampires whose tales of bloody deduction can be filmed rather inexpensively succubi remain a mainstay of cheap “nudie cutie” direct-to-video flicks.   These no-budgeters lensed in someone’s backward often feature silicon enhanced beauties engaging in unrated soft core grinding before the Kayro syrup is spilled.

One of the better of these was FLESH FOR THE BEAST (2003) which unabashedly ripped the plot from Richard Matheson’s THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE but went for a classic, 1970s Euro-gore look with some nifty effects. Sadly, the director who’d lensed several Blockbuster approved horror/sex/ comedies (?) rarely strayed from the formula – copious amounts of female nudity, phony looking unsafe sex, climaxing in a blood drenched, vomitus Fulchi-esque pay off. Not the money shot we had in mind.

The trailer is awesome though.

And for those playing the online dating game – a game not unlike Russian Roulette – if some THING appears too good to be true – no doubt it is.  You may have one helluva time doing the horizontal mambo BUT when you wake up screaming, you may have lost more than a good night’s sleep.

You may be bereft of a soul.

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