I met a young lady who was desperate. In fact she says she is under the control of a demons who make love to her in her dream (incubus and succubus). It must be said that this teaching on a spirit that makes love to people in their sleep is very widely spread in charismatic circles. My concern is this:    1 – what is an incubus or succubus?   2 – how to help someone who claims to be a victim?


First of all, the idea of “making love in her dream” makes no sense whatsoever.  “Making love” is a physical act which is literally impossible while one is asleep.  I am afraid that your friend is confused in her thinking.  All humans, as far as I know, have dreams of a sexual nature at times.  This superstition may play on the emotions surrounding the fact that all of us have sexual dreams, which are natural things. This is not subject to our conscious mind and therefore worrying about what one dreams is not a productive thing to do.  You cannot sin while you are dreaming!!!    Your friend should not give any of her emotional energy toward worrying about the nature of her dreams.  These are random things that happen in our minds when we are not conscious.  To feel guilty about a dream is to focus in the wrong place.

Succubi and an incubi are not real. [Editor’s note: The myth is that incubi are male demons who have sex with women while sleeping and succubi are female demons who have sex with men while sleeping] This is the invention of the minds of superstitious people.  Biblically, demons cannot make love even to a waking person, never mind to a sleeping person.  This comes from the local superstitious religions and is not supported by reality or by the Bible.  It may well be that charismatic believers in Africa have these kinds of beliefs, but I tell you they come from the local animist religions, not from the Bible.  It is true that some Christians during the Middle Ages gave credence to the superstition of incubi and succubi, but these were highly superstitious times, and Christians should never have supported such beliefs.

If you have a friend who has these kinds of irrational fears, you should not necessarily tell her that her fears are wrong and misplaced (even though they probably are).  These fears are real to her.  Instead you should suggest the likelihood that these things are not real, but not absolutely insist about this, because this is not the main issue.  The main issue is that she needs a relationship with God.  She needs to study the Bible.  Maybe you could show her Matthew 11:28-30 and suggest that she study the Bible so that she can find rest from her fears by coming to know Jesus.  One thing I know absolutely for sure, which is that a Christian cannot be possessed by a demon.

 I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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