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Encyclopedia > Necrophillia
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Necrophilia, also called thanatophilia and necrolagnia, is a paraphilia characterized by a sexual attraction to corpses. The word is artificially derived from Ancient Greek: νεκρός (nekros; "corpse," or "dead") and φιλία (philia; "love"). The term appears[1] to have originated from Krafft-Ebing's 1886 work Psychopathia Sexualis.[2] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the issues and phenomena pertaining to human sexual function and behavior. ... With regard to living things, a body is the integral physical material of an individual, and contrasts with soul, personality and behavior. ... Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing with his wife Marie Luise Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing[1] (August 14, 1840 – December 22, 1902) was an Austro-German psychiatrist who wrote Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), a famous study of sexual perversity, and remains well-known for his coinage of the term sadism (after... Psychopathia Sexualis Also refers to: Psychopathia Sexualis is also the 2nd track off Deliverers of Faith by [Northern Heritage Records]http://www. ...

Figuratively, the term "necrophilia" describes an inordinate desire to control another person, usually in the context of a romantic or interpersonal relationship; the accusation is that the person is so interpersonally controlling as to be better-suited to relationships with nonresponsive people.[citation needed] Romantic love is a form of love that is often regarded as different from mere needs driven by sexual desire, or lust. ...


Social, legal and psychological views on necrophilia

Cause and prevalance

Virtually no research has been conducted regarding the prevalance of necrophilic attraction among humans. Klaf and Brown[3] (1958) commented that, although rarely described, necrophilic fantasies may occur more often than is generally supposed.

Rosman and Resnick[4] (1989) theorized that either of the following situations could be antecedents to necrophilia (pp. 161):

  1. The necrophile develops poor self-esteem, perhaps due in part to a significant loss;
    (a) He (usually male) is very fearful of rejection by women and he desires a sexual object who is incapable of rejecting him; and/or
    (b) He is fearful of the dead, and transforms his fear of the dead—by means of reaction formation—into a desire for the dead.
  2. He develops an exciting fantasy of sex with a corpse, sometimes after exposure to a corpse.

The authors also reported that, of their sample of 'necrophiliacs,' 68% were motivated by a desire for an unresisting and unrejecting partner; 21% by a want for reunion with a lost partner; 15% by sexual attraction to corpses; 15% by a desire for comfort or to overcome feelings of isolation; and 12% by a desire to remedy low self-esteem by expressing power over a corpse (pp. 159).

Minor modern researches conducted in England have shown that some necrophiles tend to choose a dead partner after failing to create romantic attachments with the living. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Consensuality issue

Although obtaining consent is not usually considered a prerequisite for activity with non-living material, sexual activity with a human corpse is taboo[1] and frequently labelled 'abuse,' based on the presumption that the person would not have consented to the act while alive, and that it would thus constitute a profound and disturbing disrespect for their remains to be treated in a way other than their wishes. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Although virtually all human societies condemn sexual activity with the dead as a form of symbolic disrespect, several groups, individuals, and publications have pushed for the legalization of necrophilic acts. "The NecroErotic," for example, argues that "necrophiliacs have as much right to engage in their orgasmic release of choice as do 'normal' couples," and that "all 'rights' cease the moment a person draws their last breath."[5] Human relationships within an ethnically diverse society. ... It has been suggested that Dry orgasm be merged into this article or section. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ...

Necrophilia in psychoanalysis-Erich Fromm

For psychologist/philosopher Erich Fromm, necrophilia is a character orientation which is not necessarily sexual. It is expressed in an attraction to that which is dead or totally controlled. At the extreme, it results in hatred of life and destructiveness. Erich Fromm Erich Pinchas Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was an internationally renowned German-American psychologist and humanistic philosopher. ...

For Fromm, necrophilia is the opposite of biophilia. Unlike Freud's death instinct, it is not biologically determined but results from upbringing. Fromm believed that the lack of love in the western society and the attraction to mechanistic control leads to necrophilia. Expressions of necrophilia are modern weapon systems, idolotry of technology, and the treatment of people as things in bureaucracy.

For further information, see Fromm's, The Heart of Man (Harper and Row, 1964) and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970)

Necrophilia in history

Herodotus writes[6] in The Histories that, to discourage intercourse with a corpse, Ancient Egyptians left deceased beautiful women to decay for "three or four days" before giving them to the embalmers.[7][3] The Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus is considered the first work of history in Western literature. ... Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains to forestall decomposition and make it suitable for display at a funeral. ...

Since Herodotus there are many variants of his tale, commonly one in which a lecherous monk has intercourse with the body of a young woman to whom it has been entrusted for a prayer vigil. Such tales often end with the deceased coming to life (or not being actually dead) and a marriage is then arranged. This still exists in modern times in the form of urban legends. Urban Legend is also the name of a 1998 movie. ...

Notable necrophiles

Carl Tanzler

Main article: Carl Tanzler

Carl Tanzler was a radiologist in Key West, Florida who developed a morbid obsession for Elena Milagro Hoyos (1910-1931). She was one of his patients, and she died from tuberculosis in 1931. With her parents' permission, Tanzler had an above ground mausoleum built for her, so she wouldn't decompose underground. He visited the tomb almost every night, but in 1933, his obsession apparently overcame him, as he took Hoyos' corpse home with him and kept it in his bed. He restored her body as best he could and kept a full wardrobe to dress her. As her body decomposed, he replaced the skin with wax and plaster of paris, and bought copious amounts of perfume, often several times a month. Tanzler also allegedly inserted a vaginal tube into Hoyos' corpse for intercourse. In 1940, one of Hoyos's surviving sisters became suspicious due to omnipresent rumors of Tanzler's necrophilia, and eventually confronted Tanzler at his home. She entered Tanzler's house and found Elena's corpse lying in his bed in an elegant dress, almost fully decomposed. Tanzler was later arrested and charged with "wantonly and maliciously destroying a grave and removing a body without authorization," but he was ultimately released, as the statute of limitations on the crime had expired. Carl Tanzler (1877–1952) aka Carl von Cosel, circa 1940. ... Carl Tanzler (1877–1952) aka Carl von Cosel, circa 1940. ... Radiology is the branch of medical science dealing with the medical use of x-ray machines or other such radiation devices. ... Aerial photo of Key West, looking north. ... Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for Tubercle Bacillus) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... St. ... A statute of limitations is a statute in a common law legal system that sets forth the maximum period of time, after certain events, that legal proceedings based on those events may be initiated. ...

Karen Greenlee

Karen Greenlee made national headlines in the mid-80's when she drove off in a hearse and wasn't heard from for two days. She was interviewed in the book Apocalypse Culture. The excerpt "The Unrepentant Necrophile: An Interview with Karen Greenlee" is available online. Apocalypse Culture is a book edited by Adam Parfrey (1). ...

Serial killers

Necrophilia has also been a motive for some serial killers, including Richard Chase, Winston Moseley, John Reginald Halliday Christie, Bruno Lüdke, Jerry Brudos, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer, who ate his victims after killing them; the technical term for this particular variant activity is necrophagia. Several other murderers have described drawing sexual excitement from killing, as well, such as Karla Faye Tucker, who claimed to have an orgasm with each swing of the axe she used to kill Jerry Lynn Dean. The guilty-plea testimony provided by the recently captured (2005) serial killer Dennis Rader provided a rare public glimpse into the workings of such a controlling mind. Serial killers are individuals who have a history of multiple slayings of victims who were usually unknown to them beforehand. ... Warning, the descriptions of the crimes in this article are extremely graphic Richard Trenton Chases mugshot after being apprehended for the murder of six people, 1978 Richard Trenton Chase (May 23, 1950 – December 26, 1980) was an American serial killer who killed six people in the span of a... Kitty Genovese Catherine Genovese (1935 - March 13, 1964), commonly known as Kitty Genovese, was a New York City woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. ... John Reginald Halliday Christie (Halifax, West Yorkshire, April 8, 1898 - London, July 15, 1953) was a British serial killer active in the 1940s and 50s. ... Bruno Lüdke (1909-1944) was an alleged German serial killer. ... Jerry Brudos, (January 1939 - 28 March 2006) born in South Dakota in January 1939, was a serial killer and a necrophiliac also known as The Lust Killer and Shoe Fetish Slayer. Brudos died of natural causes in March 2006 at Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, while serving three life... Theodore Robert Ted Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was one of the most notorious murderers in U.S. history, an American serial killer and rapist who murdered numerous young women across the United States between 1974 and 1978. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Necrophagia - Prefix: Necro= dead or pertaining to [the] dead, Suffix: Phagia= eat or the eating of Thus, necrophagia is the eating of a dead body or carcass. ... Karla Faye Tucker (1959-1998). ... It has been suggested that Dry orgasm be merged into this article or section. ... The axe or ax is an ancient and ubiquitous tool that has been used for millennia to shape, split and cut wood, harvest timber, as a weapon and a ceremonial or heraldic symbol. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pool video released March 1, 2005 of Raders first appearance Dennis Lynn Rader (born March 9, 1945) is a serial killer who murdered at least ten people in Sedgwick County (in and around Wichita), Kansas, between 1974 and 1991. ...

Attempted Necrophilia

On September 15, 2006 a judge dismissed charges of attempted sexual assault against three men accused of trying to dig up a woman's body to have sex with the corpse, noting that Wisconsin has no law against necrophilia. Twins Nicholas and Alexander Grunke, 20, and Dustin Radke, 20, were arrested after an alleged attempt to dig up the body of 20-year-old Laura Tennessen who was killed Aug. 27 in a motorcycle crash. Officials said a caller reported suspicious activity in the cemetery Sept. 2, and deputies found someone had dug down to her vault. Radke told police that the three had stopped at a Wal-Mart on the way to the cemetery to buy condoms. Authorities said the three were not acquainted with Tennessen but had seen an obituary with her photo.

Among animals

A photoshopped picture showing a mouse engaging in necrophilic activity.
A photoshopped picture showing a mouse engaging in necrophilic activity.

Necrophilia is not unknown in animals, with a number of confirmed observations. Kees Moeliker allegedly made one of these observations while he was sitting in his office at the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, when he heard the distinctive thud of a bird hitting the glass facade of the building. Upon inspection, he discovered a drake mallard lying dead about two meters from the building. Next to the downed bird there was a second drake mallard standing close by. As he observed the odd couple, the living drake picked at the corpse of the dead one for a few minutes and then mounted the corpse and began copulating with it. The act of necrophilia lasted for about 75 minutes, in which time, according to Moeliker, the living drake took two short breaks before resuming with copulating behavior. Moeliker surmised that at the time of the collision with the window the two mallards were engaged in a common motif in duck behavior which is called rape flight. "When one died the other one just went for it and didn't get any negative feedback -- well, didn't get any feedback," according to Moeliker. This is the first recorded case of necrophilia in the mallard duck. Image File history File links Necromouse. ... Image File history File links Necromouse. ... A pair of lions copulating in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. ... // Subfamilies Dendrocygninae Oxyurinae Anatinae Merginae Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Animal sexual behavior takes many different forms, even within the same species. ...

In the case of a praying mantis, necrophilia may also take place as a form of reproduction. The larger female will often decapitate or otherwise kill her mate, before mounting its corpse with the result of impregnation. A praying mantis, or praying mantid, is the common colloquial name for an insect of the order Mantodea. ... Categories: Biological reproduction | Biology stubs ...

Legal status

Legality in the United States

As of May, 2006, there is no federal legislation specifically barring sex with a corpse. [1] Multiple states have their own laws:

  • Alabama - Class C felony under 13A-11-13
  • Alaska - Class A misdemeanour under 11-61-130
  • Arkansas - Class D felony under 5-60-101
  • California - Illegal, up to 8 years in prison
  • Colorado - Class 2 misdemeanour under 18-13-101
  • Delaware - Class A misdemeanour under 11-5-1332
  • Florida-- Second degree felony under chapter 872.06
  • Georgia - Felony, up to 10 years in prison under 16-6-7
  • Hawaii - Misdemeanour under 7


  1. ^ a b (Russian) "НЕКРОФИЛИЯ КАК СТРУКТУРА СОЗНАНИЯ", 2002.
  2. ^ Krafft-Ebing, Richard von (1886). Psychopathia Sexualis. English translation: ISBN 1-55970-425-X.
  3. ^ a b Klaf, Franklin S., and Brown, William (1958). "Necrophilia: Brief Review and Case Report," the Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29(143), 645-652. "Inhibited forms of necrophilia and necrophilic fantasies may occur more commonly then is generally realized."
  4. ^ Rosman, Jonathan P., and Resnick, Phillip J. (1989). "Sexual attraction to corpses: a psychiatric review of necrophilia," Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 17, 153-163.
  5. ^ Pirog, John. "Necrophilic Principles," The NecroErotic. Accessed May, 2006.
  6. ^ Herodotus (c. 440 BC). The Histories, Book II, 89:
    "The wives of men of rank when they die are not given at once to be embalmed, nor such women as are very beautiful or of greater regard than others, but on the third or fourth day after their death (and not before) they are delivered to the embalmers. They do so about this matter in order that the embalmers may not abuse their women, for they say that one of them was taken once doing so to the corpse of a woman lately dead, and his fellow-craftsman gave information."
  7. ^ Brill, Abraham A. (1941). "Necrophilia," Journal of Criminal Psychopathology, 2(4), 433-443.

Look up Circa on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The Latin word circa, literally meaning about, is often used to describe various dates (often birth and death dates) that are uncertain. ...

See also

Necrophilia has been a frequent topic in popular culture. ... Somnophilia (from Latin, somnus, sleep + -philia), or sleeping princess syndrome, is a paraphilia in which sexual arousal and/or orgasm are stimulated by intruding on and awakening a sleeping stranger with erotic caresses. ...

External links

  • RNF: Table of Contents



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