Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Incubus #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 112: Dark Fae: Incubus

The folklore of incubus in a nutshell, how I reimagined it for my writing and this faery translated to Afrikaans.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2024 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about incubus in folklore here.

Get the transcript here.

Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com


You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.

I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With over a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.

This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.

Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.

This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Dark Fae.

Today’s Faery: Incubus

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel

The earliest written accounts of the incubus states that it is a nightmare that grabs a person asleep on their backs, making them thrash, sigh, groan and make all sorts of sounds. The Greeks had a name for it and the Romans called it incubus. The name describes the feeling of a weight upon the sleeper, inspiring terror and involuntary motion.

There are various named creatures in folklore that press down on a sleeper’s chest, inducing nightmares. Mara is such a creature from English folklore.

By the Middle Ages, the clergy had decided that nightly emissions – what we call a wet dream today – was caused by a succubus seducing them at night and not a natural occurrence as it flew in the face of their vows of celibacy.

Since then the incubus and its female counterpart, the succubus, went from inducing nightmares to seducing or even violating humans in their sleep. The offspring from a human and incubus is called a cambion. According to legend, Merlin, who was said to have no father because his mother refused to say who her lover was, was a cambion.

This led to the obvious conclusion that the incubus or succubus isn’t limited to stalking sleeping humans, but seducing them while awake. The Boabhan Sith from Scottish folklore is a beautiful faery who seduces her prey and drinks their blood.

Some legends speak of the incubus or succubus feeding of sexual energy, which is why they seduce or violate humans in their sleep. Other legends take it even farther: the incubus or succubus doesn’t just feed of sexual energy, but also breath, blood and life-energy nearly to the point of death of the victim. And some legends state that once a succubus has seduced a man, she doesn’t need to be physically with him to drain him: she can visit him in his dreams to the same effect.

Clearly one needs to hang a druid stone and some garlic around one’s bed if one is to have any undisturbed sleep.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Incubus

Though the term can be applied to any fae who seduce mortals, this is a specific type of faery who feeds solely on sexual energy. They are sexually attractive to their prey – humans – and haunt traditional hunting grounds: clubs, bars and parties.

Once a human gets a taste of the pheromones secreted by this fae, they are hooked. They become obsessed to the point of wanting nothing more than to be with their fae lover. It only ends in one way: madness, despair, and eventually, death.

Much the way that humans shouldn’t eat faery food as mortal food would taste like ashes and they’ll pine away, the sexual intimacy shared with an incubus or succubus will dull every other experience until the human has no interest in life without their lover. There is no cure.

As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Inkubus

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.

Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!

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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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