- The term succubus comes from the Latin verb succubare, which means to lie beneath. It refers to a hag or demon who collects semen by causing nocturnal ejaculations. In demonology the term succubus is used to denote an angel that has fallen and in the guise of a woman seeks sexual intercourse with mortal men while they are asleep. The succubus is the conceptual opposite of the * incubus, a fallen angel in the guise of a man who seeks sexual intercourse with mortal women. In the past, * nightmares and sometimes even * daymares experienced by men were attributed to the interference ofsuccubi, although strictly speaking it is more likely that the nocturnal experiences attributed to succubi were night terrors rather than nightmares. As noted by the German classical scholar Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (1845-1923), a certain analogy would seem to exist between the succubus of classical and medieval times on the one hand and the * mare of Germanic superstition on the other.The belief in succubi and incubi has its roots in ancient times. It has been suggested that the concept itself developed out of pagan speculations about the commerce of gods with people. In old Rabinnical writings, even Adam is described as being visited during a 130-year period by female demons and as having sexual intercourse with them.ReferencesMelton, J.G., ed. (1996). Encyclopedia of occultism and parapsychology. Volume 1. Fourth edition. Detroit, MI: Gale.Roscher, W.H. (1972). Ephialtes. A pathological-mythological treatise on the nightmare in classical Antiquity. In: Pan and the nightmare.Trans-lated by O'Brien, A.V. Edited by Hillman, J. Dallas, TX: Springfield Publications.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.