It doesn’t take a genius to know that the devil (or ghosts, aliens, even Bigfoot) makes a great foil for human perfidy. What better justification is there for a full-tilt trip into Bat Country? Take the wheel, Mothman!
Get thee behind me, “Exhaustion”.
For the most part, modern materialist philosophy has banished our bogeys and exorcised our evil spirits, pushing them into the liminal spaces. For the most part, modern monsters have occupied the gaps, more than willing to take the fall for our acts of indiscretion. “Exhaustion” seems to be a most powerful demon among the celebrity set; “Shopping addictions” and other personifications of pleasure-seeking are also among the unholy horde. These aren’t “demons” in any theological sense, unless you consider modernity a religion. Some of you may be disappointed: You want that Old Time Religion. Take heart, artful dodgers of culpability: occasionally one of these Elder Entities of the Id do break through the safety nets – such as the Incubus.
My right hand is possessed! And it loves lotion!
The Incubus is a sexual demon purported to visit women in the night and subject them to their forbidden sexual depravity. It’s the female-focused partner of Succubus, which does dirty, dirty deeds with boys in their sleep. (As a pre-teen D&D nerd I was particularly interested in the “Suck” in Succubus, but I’ll spare you the details of my typically Portnoy-esque youth.) Clearly, both “spirits” are convenient masturbatory enablers, as well as convenient explanations for the nocturnal emission of unholy “ectoplasm”. You would think that in this relatively enlightened age that such things wouldn’t be needed at all, but in dark corners (and darkened bedrooms) around the world, the Incubus (and Succubus) still stalk.
Thrusting, Throbbing Terror:
One of my favorite sites, Mysterious Universe, has published a collection of purported Incubus attacks around the world. Some of the quotes from the “victims” are particularly telling. Here’s one from Lana in Croatia:
“I saw more demons in my life that you can imagine,” she said. “No wonder demons spotted me and so I early became a victim of an incubus spirit.”
As an adult Lana sat in her room undressing for bed, not thinking of anything in particular, when vulgar images began to seep into her mind. The images quickly became sexual. “I felt like somebody was watching me,” Lana said. “I felt the strange urge not to put my clothes on so I sat like that on my bed hoping those feeling (sic) would go away.”
But they never do, Lana, do they? Meanwhile, in Sweden…
While living at a youth hostel on the Swedish east coast in the late summer of 2011, Erica felt a weight on top of her and waves of sexual pleasure. Had she attracted the attention of a spirit entity? This wouldn’t cross her mind until January. “Since January 4 I’ve felt a weight on my body, an energy, like the body of a being thrusting into me and moving back and forth above me. First I felt pretty good as I thought my body somehow made itself feel it, but that spooky night really turned things around.”
We’ve all had “spooky nights” that “really turned things around”, Erica.
Bonobo what you’re talking about.
Wherever people choose to distance themselves from their natural sexual urges, there will be an Incubus or Succubus waiting to tag in and take the blame. However, it’s not just sexual urges that need the demons of convenience: Violence, greed and other venal sins are all up for grabs. (“Satan, your baggage has arrived. Claim it at the rear gate.”) Is it a consequence of the sometimes unhappy mix of self-awareness and ape ancestry? Could be. Would bonobos have religions and psychoanalysis if we were able to toss a few more IQ points their way? What about us?