This article originally appeared on Broadly.
As the winter solstice draws near, and the curtain between the mortal realm and the spirit world grows thin, we should not be surprised to see a sudden influx of reports of women having sex with ghosts.
Earlier this week, a woman named Sian Jameson told the Sun that she had a sexual encounter with a handsome ghost in a remote Welsh cottage, following a traumatic break-up with her boyfriend. At first he visited her in a series of erotic dreams, then materialized beside her. “During the lovemaking, I sensed all kinds of things about him – his name was Robert and he lived over 100 years ago,” she recounted to the tabloid. “His body was soft and light. Even when he moved on top of me, pressing down, he felt almost weightless. It was very strange, but the sex was amazing!”
Shortly after, a woman named Amethyst Realm appeared on the British daytime television show This Morning, claiming that she began having sex with ghosts in her home and has not had since with a human being since. Her first erotic encounter with a ghost occurred 10 years ago, while she was still in a relationship with her mortal fiancé. As can occur with affairs, Realm was caught mid-coitus when her husband-to-be returned early one day from a trip away. “He saw the shape of a man through the spare room window,” she explained.
Betrayed, Realm's fiancé broke up with her, and she and the ghost then decided to fuck everywhere in the house: “Once my fiancé had left, [we had sex] everywhere, [but] always within the building,” she said. That particular ghost romance lasted for a time, until the entity “started to appear less,” and Realm ended the inter-dimensional affair.
After that, Realm began to have regular sex with a variety of ghosts, each as distinct in style and feel than any human mate might be. “I’ve got not interest in men now,” she proclaimed.
"The living have more power psychically than the dead would ever have."
Paranormal sex has been a subject of fascination for centuries across culture, from the Japanese vampire Yuki-Onna, who is said to sleep with men and kill them, to Lamia, a Grecian shapeshifter who lures and murders men. Merlin himself had a demonic father. And myths abound of sexual spiritual beings such as the half-fairy Melusina and the iconic Lilith, who fucks men in order to birth demons.
This fascination, clearly, has persisted in the modern age. Beyond Sian’s and Realm’s accounts, countless people (including the pop star Kesha) have reported such experiences. “Through history, there have been people who claimed to have consensual sexual intercourse with human spirits, as well as many that claim to have been forced into sexual intercourse by an entity. This is usually called spectrophilia,” says Jason Hawes, founder of the Atlantic Paranormal Society and cast member of SyFy’s series Ghost Hunters.
People who have sex with ghosts experience “both positive and negative” encounters, explains Lloyd Auerbach, the director of the Office of Paranormal Investigationsand president of the Forever Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to understanding the afterlife. In his experience, most of these reports tend to be bad—though he concedes that this may be because people are less likely to call paranormal authorities after a pleasant encounter. “The reason we hear about the negative ones mainly is because people are calling for help,” Auerbach says. (He tends to hear of joyous spirit-fucking in casual circumstances, like parties.)
If one is experiencing harmful or unwanted sexual advances from ghosts, the solution is encouragingly simple. “The living have more power psychically than the dead would ever have,” Auerbach says. In order to deflect such unwanted advances, one need only visualize a force field surrounding them to energetically deflect the predatory phantom.
The experience of spirit contact is nuanced. According to Auerbach, those who think they’ve had sex with ghosts are often going through break-ups or mourning the death of a lover, and tend to experience the sexual encounters in their dreams. In many of these cases, he says, the ghost in question is just be a creation of the unconscious mind. “Most of time, they’re in bed already and get woken up by something, and it's hard to say if that’s real or not,” Auerbach explains.
According to Hawe, “more than 99 percent of these claims can usually be disproved,” with the majority being some form of “vivid dreaming, sleep paralysis and/or hallucinations.” But the remaining less-than-one percent of encounters, he insists, are real as hell.
The phenomenon of ghost sex is easy to dismiss and hard to prove, both experts agree, but Auerbach notes that it does have one obvious benefit. “If there are a bunch of ghosts that are trying to have sex with living people,” he says, “at least it’s safe sex.”