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Incubus: A Brief Introduction

Incubus is an American rock band that was formed in 1991 in Calabasas, California. The band consists of Brandon Boyd (vocals), Mike Einziger (guitar), Jose Pasillas (drums), Ben Kenney (bass), and DJ Chris Kilmore. They are known for their unique sound that blends rock, alternative, and funk music.

Incubus has released eight studio albums and sold over 23 million records worldwide. Some of their most popular songs include “Drive,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Megalomaniac.” They have won numerous awards throughout their career, including a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2005.

Despite their success, Incubus has faced some challenges over the years, including a hiatus in 2008 and the departure of their original bassist, Dirk Lance. However, they have continued to create music and tour, and their dedicated fan base remains strong.

Mythological Origins

Ancient Texts

Incubi have been a part of folklore and mythology since ancient times. In fact, the earliest known reference to an incubus can be found in the ancient Sumerian epic, Gilgamesh. In this epic, the goddess Ishtar sends an incubus to seduce the hero Gilgamesh, but he ultimately rejects her advances. Incubi are also mentioned in other ancient texts, such as the Talmud and the Malleus Maleficarum, a medieval treatise on witchcraft.

Cultural Significance

Throughout history, incubi have been associated with various cultural beliefs and practices. In some cultures, they are believed to be demons or evil spirits that prey on sleeping women. In others, they are seen as mischievous or playful spirits that can bring good luck or fertility. The belief in incubi was particularly strong during the Middle Ages, when they were often blamed for cases of sleep paralysis or nocturnal emissions.

Overall, the mythological origins of incubi are complex and varied, reflecting the diverse beliefs and traditions of different cultures throughout history. While their exact origins may never be fully understood, the enduring popularity of these supernatural beings is a testament to their enduring appeal and enduring place in our collective imagination.

Characteristics of Incubi

Physical Appearance

Incubi are male demons that are often described as handsome, muscular, and tall. They have sharp claws, fangs, and pointed ears. They are usually depicted wearing armor and carrying weapons such as swords or spears. Some legends describe them as having wings or horns, but this is not always the case.

Powers and Abilities

Incubi are known for their ability to enter the dreams of women and engage in sexual activity with them. They are said to be able to cause intense pleasure and orgasmic feelings in their victims. They can also manipulate emotions and cause fear or euphoria. Some legends suggest that incubi can shape shift into different forms, such as animals or other humans.

In addition to their sexual powers, incubi are also skilled warriors. They are known for their speed, strength, and agility. They are often hired as bodyguards or mercenaries, and are feared for their deadly fighting skills.

Overall, incubi are powerful and dangerous beings with a range of abilities. While they are often depicted as seductive and alluring, they should be approached with caution and respect.

Incubus in Modern Media


Incubi have been a popular subject in literature for centuries. One of the most famous examples is the novel “Incubus Dreams” by Laurell K. Hamilton, which features a character named Anita Blake who is a vampire hunter and necromancer. The book explores the relationship between Anita and an incubus named Jean-Claude, who she is both attracted to and repulsed by.

Film and Television

Incubi have also made appearances in various films and television shows. One of the most well-known examples is the 1982 horror film “Incubus”, which stars William Shatner as a man who is seduced by a succubus. The film was controversial at the time of its release due to its graphic sexual content.


Incubi have also been referenced in various songs throughout history. One of the most famous examples is the song “Incubus” by the band Tool, which features lyrics about being visited by a demon in the night. The song is known for its haunting melody and dark lyrics.

Overall, incubi continue to be a popular subject in modern media, with new books, films, and songs being released all the time. Whether they are portrayed as seductive and alluring or terrifying and dangerous, incubi remain a fascinating and intriguing part of our cultural imagination.

Psychological Interpretation

Dream Analysis

In dream analysis, the incubus is often associated with feelings of being trapped or suffocated. The sensation of pressure on the chest can represent a feeling of being overwhelmed or burdened by responsibilities or emotions. The incubus may also represent repressed sexual desires or fears of intimacy.

Symbolism in Psychotherapy

In psychotherapy, the incubus can be viewed as a symbol of the patient’s inner conflicts. The feeling of being held down or restrained can represent the patient’s struggle with their own thoughts and emotions. The therapist may use the incubus as a tool to help the patient explore their unconscious desires and fears.

It is important to note that the incubus is not a universal symbol and its meaning can vary depending on the individual’s cultural background and personal experiences. Therefore, it is crucial for therapists to approach the interpretation of the incubus with caution and sensitivity.

Historical Accounts

Medieval Europe

During the Middle Ages, the belief in demons and supernatural entities was prevalent. One such entity was the incubus, a demon in male form that was believed to visit sleeping women and engage in sexual intercourse with them. The corresponding female demon was called a succubus. The incubus was believed to be responsible for the birth of witches, demons, and deformed human offspring.

The belief in incubi was so widespread that it was considered a medical condition. People who reported being visited by an incubus were said to have been afflicted with incubus syndrome, also known as succubus syndrome. Symptoms included nightmares, sleep paralysis, and sexual dreams.

Witch Trials

During the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries, the belief in incubi was used as evidence against accused witches. Women who were accused of witchcraft were often said to have had sexual relations with demons, including incubi. In some cases, women were even accused of giving birth to the offspring of demons.

The belief in incubi played a significant role in the persecution of women during the witch trials. Many innocent women were accused of having sexual relations with demons and were subsequently tortured and executed. The belief in incubi eventually faded as the witch trials came to an end, but the legacy of this belief continues to haunt our understanding of the past.

Folklore and Superstition

Protection and Amulets

In many cultures, people have believed that wearing certain amulets or charms can protect them from the malevolent influence of incubi. For example, in some parts of Europe, people would wear a piece of iron around their necks to ward off evil spirits. Others would place a piece of bread, salt, or garlic under their pillows to prevent incubi from entering their dreams. Similarly, in some African cultures, people would wear amulets made from animal bones or other natural materials to protect themselves from evil spirits.

Global Variations

The belief in incubi and succubi is not limited to any particular culture or region. Stories of demonic entities that prey on human beings during the night can be found in many different parts of the world. For example, in Japan, there is a legend of a demon called the “kanashibari” that pins people down in their sleep and sucks their life force out of them. In South America, there is a similar creature called the “pishtaco” that is said to attack people in their sleep and drain their blood. In many cases, these creatures are said to take on different forms depending on the culture in which they are found. For example, in some African cultures, incubi are said to take the form of hyenas or other animals, while in European cultures, they are often depicted as handsome men.

Overall, the belief in incubi and succubi has been a part of human culture for centuries. While many people today dismiss these stories as mere superstition, there are still those who believe in the existence of these demonic entities and take steps to protect themselves from their influence.

Scientific Explanations

Sleep Paralysis

One scientific explanation for the incubus phenomenon is sleep paralysis, a condition where the body is unable to move during sleep, often accompanied by hallucinations. During sleep paralysis, the brain is in a state between sleep and wakefulness, and it is common to experience auditory and visual hallucinations. These hallucinations can take on a variety of forms, including the sensation of pressure on one’s chest, which could be interpreted as an incubus attack.

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions may also contribute to the incubus phenomenon. For example, narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, can cause sleep paralysis and hallucinations. Additionally, some psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression, can also cause sleep disturbances and increase the likelihood of experiencing the incubus phenomenon.

While these scientific explanations provide some insight into the incubus phenomenon, they do not account for all reported experiences. Many people continue to believe in the existence of supernatural entities such as demons and spirits, and these beliefs may contribute to the incubus phenomenon for some individuals.

Incubus in Popular Culture

Urban Legends

Incubi have been a part of human folklore for centuries, and their stories have been passed down through generations. These legends often depict incubi as seductive demons who prey on unsuspecting humans, particularly women. In some cultures, incubi are believed to be responsible for nightmares, sleep paralysis, and even sudden death. These tales have been adapted and reimagined in various forms of media, including literature, film, and television.

Internet and Social Media

In recent years, incubi have gained a new following on the internet and social media. Online forums and chat rooms dedicated to discussing supernatural phenomena often feature threads about incubi and their alleged encounters with humans. Some claim to have experienced sexual encounters with incubi, while others report feeling a presence in their room or experiencing sleep paralysis. These stories have sparked debate and controversy, with some dismissing them as hoaxes or hallucinations and others believing them to be genuine experiences.

Overall, incubi continue to fascinate and intrigue people, and their presence in popular culture shows no signs of fading away. Whether viewed as a threat or a source of pleasure, incubi remain a captivating subject of human imagination.