While every culture around the world seems to have a legend or two about their very own soul sucking she-demon, the most famous succubus of the Western world would have to be Lilith. In extra-biblical Jewish legends Lilith was said to have been the original wife of Adam, made not only at the same time as him but also completely equal to him.

According to the Alphabet of Ben Sira, Adam wanted  a wife that was sexually subservient but Lilith refused, wanting a turn in the dominant sexual position. When they couldn’t find a way to agree Lilith decided to pack her bags and go, invoking God’s name and flying away. God then sent three angels after her demanding that they bring her back to her husband by force if necessary, but when they found her by the Red Sea she dug in her heels and they were unable to get her to bend to their wishes even when they threatened to drown her in the sea and murder her children if she refused.

Of course she wouldn’t want to go back. Why would she when apperantly she had been having a grand time at the beach having crazy sex with demons and giving birth day after day to hundreds of demonic babies? She had no plans to give up her new carefree lifestyle and told the angels that it was her new mission in life to harm newborn children. Then quite randomly the legend says that Lilith promised to not harm any babies if they are protected by an amulet bearing the names of the three angels. This seems to be Ben Sira’s way of tieing the creation story of the “first Eve” in Genisis into the Sumerian myths about female vampires named “Lillu” or Mesopotamian myths about female nights demons called “lilin”, which is also the name given to Lilith’s demon offspring.  Even though Lilith is mentioned four times in the Babylonian Talmud it is not until Ben Sira’s Alphabet that Lilith is associated with the first creation story sometime around 800-900 CE.

So now what we have is a story about an assertive wife that refuses to bow down to the whims of men and for her actions is replaced by another more pliable woman and is demonized as a savage baby killer in Jewish folklore.

I feel like I watched a movie with this premis a little while ago, now what was it called… The First Wives’ Club?

Everyone loves a vampire, but what the heck is a succubus?

In medieval lore a succubus was a female demon that came to men in their dreams in the shape of a human woman desiring to have sex with them, drawing on the man’s energy in order to sustain themselves. From the Latin word ‘succubare’ meaning “to lie under”, these creatures were often the scapegoats for monks needing a reason to explain away the phenomenon of wet dreams and sleep paralysis.

In some legends the succubus was a shape shifter, able to transform into her male counterpart the incubus so as to transfer the stolen male seed into an unknowing human woman. Children born with deformities and defects were said to be the result of these unnatural pairings as an explanation for their abnormalities.

Over time the legend of the succubus evolved to include powers such as hypnotism and mind control, as well as allowing them to take physical human form to seduce men while they were awake. They were able to convince men to commit unholy and unnatural acts, leaving them with cravings for what were seen as all kinds of deviant sexual behaviors.

“It’s not me, the succubus made me do it!”

Because of her need for sexual energy in order to survive the succubus can be likened to a sexual vampire, which is why I have made the succubus trait in the Vanessa Kensley books to be a type of lesser known cousin to the more common sanguineous (blood drinking) vampire, upposed to a dream walking demon.