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Psychic Vampires - And How To Deal With Them

By Dr van Neümig
Published at Imbolc 2001

Throughout recorded history and probably back beyond that, the idea of the psychic vampire has haunted mankind’s dreams. Strange mystical, mythical creatures who lurked in the darker recesses of the human mind, these beings were thought to sap the energy of living mortals, reducing them, unless stopped, to shadows of their former selves. People who, for no apparent reason, became continuously tired, listless and lethargic were often thought to have been visited by vampires or evil spirits.

The medieval Christian Church, always eager to give shape and form to such things as a means of keeping their congregations in line, called them incubi and sucubi, male and female forms of the evil demons (medieval psychic vampires) to which they added a sexual context. Anyone having dreams of a sexual nature were said to have been visited by either an incubus or a sucubus who planted the sinful ideas in the minds of weak mortals as a means of ensnaring them.

The psychic vampire is, of course, a very close relation to the more widespread and “popular” blood vampire that appears in literature, film and popular drama, the epitome of which is Count Dracula. The principle remains the same from physical blood-lusting vampire to psychic energy-grabbing vampires in that the Count drains the life force through the actual physical blood whereas the psychic vampire is more subtle, draining the life force by destroying the “will” of its victim.

In many ways, the typical vampire scenario such as Count Dracula, casts the vampire in the role of ultimate incubus. It is a creature of the night (darkness), evil in “human” form. Its victims are invariably young, attractive women, although it is not averse to the odd male now and again should the need arise or should there be no other available source. Like its cousin, the Psychic Vampire, (who is not so fussy as to the gender of its victims) Dracula and his ilk are after your immortal soul. By “killing” its victims either actually or metaphorically, it makes you its slave, doomed and dammed spiritually, morally and physically to spend eternity feeding off others to perpetuate the species. Each new “convert” becomes a soldier in the legions of the damned, another “servant” for the “master”.

The history of vampirism is a long one and no one can say, with any degree of certainty, where the idea originates. Bram Stoker penned one of the first in a long line of descriptions of this beast as “a tall, thin man, all in black…[with a] waxen face, high aquiline nose…parted red lips, with sharp white teeth showing between…”. In this modern day and age, it would be easy to dismiss such ideas as stemming from illnesses and diseases which we may now understand but which our ancestors would have had no concept of.

The person who, today, is always tired and lethargic, lacking in energy and enthusiasm is likely to be diagnosed as suffering from ME (Yuppie Flu), iron deficiency or leukaemia and treated for such. But to our ancestors, these illnesses, which have no outward physical symptoms, no rashes, boils and pustules, and which can seems to suddenly strike their victims out of nowhere but could not be treated through “normal” medical methods, would be attributed to another source - The Devil, evil spirits, the evil eye or a witch’s curse.

As a result, these “illnesses” assumed a spiritual aspect. Anything that could not be otherwise explained away was attributed to Satan and his legions of demons all of whom were hell bent (no pun intended) on doing their Master’s bidding and trapping the unsuspecting victim by sapping their will to resist. And so, the whole mythology of vampirism began to grow.

But to dismiss the whole idea of vampirism, psychic or otherwise, as being nothing more than an uneducated explanation for things which could not otherwise be explained is perhaps being over simplistic. Could vampires, especially psychic vampires, actually exist today, in this modern, scientific age?

The answer surely has to be yes.

Think about it. We probably all know someone whose company we find difficult. Not because they are necessarily unpleasant or because we simply can’t get on with them but because they leave us feeling tired and drained for no apparent reason. Often you may really like this person and are unable to understand why he or she leaves you feeling so tired and out of sorts. They sap your energy, asking continual questions, seeking opinions and ideas from others which they soak up, re-arrange and present as their own while never really contributing anything new, different or original to whatever they are involved in. Then, once they have assimilated all the information they can leech, they move on.

Invariably, this sort of vampire is unaware of the effect they have on others. They are unconscious vampires and, as such, they are basically harmless. While they may be extremely draining while they are around, once they move on or even leave the room, their “target” or “mark” will gradually begin to get their “strength” back.

Dealing with this sort of vampire is fairly easy once you have realised what they are because all you have to do is simply refuse to deal with them. You can avoid them or, if cornered, you can avoid their questions. This tactic will see them off fairly rapidly as they are invariably only interested in you as a source of energy, knowledge or experience. If they don’t or can’t get it from you, they will quickly move on to someone else.

The danger from this sort of vampire arises when it gathers enough information together to enable it to present itself as some sort of leader, figurehead or expert. Then they will begin to feed off those who (ostensibly) know less than them including newcomers to the group and those who, in the normal course of events, tend to look to others to make decisions. If the vampire manages to establish itself in any sort of position of authority, power or control, it can be very difficult to dislodge and it is only if it gives itself away or comes up against someone who recognises it for what it is and confronts it, that it can be got rid off although the damage it can do in the meantime can be considerable.

Far more difficult to deal with and far more dangerous is the psychic vampire who knows exactly what it is doing and why it is doing it because, by the time any-one realises what’s going on, it can be too late!

The intentional psychic vampire is clever, devious and manipulative. Its main objective is often to ingratiate itself into a group of people through one member of the group. Having achieved that objective, it will then set about controlling the individual and/or group for its own ends, bending the group or individual to its will and using them to promote itself as some sort of powerful authority figure or “leader”.

The intentional psychic vampire will select a member of a group who it identifies as being both significant to the group (well liked, popular) yet is also vulnerable in some way (perhaps having just had a serious illness, an upsetting career change, house move, nasty divorce or death in the family). Having done this, it will set about making itself invaluable to that person who it defends and supports in all situations. It will take the individuals problems, fears and insecurities on board and offer advice, help and guidance, which often appears to be good and sensible. But more significantly, it will gradually isolate the individual from the group socially and emotionally by making their “mark” or target dependent on it and it alone.

The psychic vampire will also court the leader of a group and do everything it can to appear to be a positive influence upon the group until the leader seems to rely on the psychic vampire so much so that he or she cannot make any decisions without consulting it first. At the same time, it will carefully create the impression that it is “powerful” in some way. Within the context of an occult or pagan group, it may well promote itself as being some sort of expert in an obscure aspect of the main interests of the group and/or individual it is targeting thereby appearing to make itself of value to the group. But it will also maintain an aura of mystery about itself and its ideas and opinions, never giving too much away about itself.

In this way, it will gradually and carefully establish itself as an authority within the group taking the knowledge that it gains from the group and using it for its own ends, which are almost always to extend its field of influence and list of contacts that can then be used to increase its influence even further. The intentional psychic vampire can be a hopeless name-dropper. Often the psychic vampire in an occult group hints and alludes to its seemingly unending magical powers or psychic talents but rarely gives any concrete evidence of these psychic abilities or manifestations of the magical feats.

The really clever vampire will seldom try for all out power within a group. They will establish themselves as the main authority figure whilst at the same time giving the impression that they are not actually “in charge”. In fact, they will often defer to the nominal leader of the group but only on unimportant issues such as when and where meetings are to be held and who will bring the wine. All other decisions affecting the actual running and working of the group will be offered up for discussion in a manner that effectively leaves the real control firmly in their own hands.

And woe betide any one who shows signs of rebellion or resistance.

Immediately the vampire detects any sort of resistance to what it is doing it becomes angry to an extent that is hard for them to hide or keep under control. It will also become violently angry if you surprise the psychic vampire with a piece of information that it didn’t reckon on---there is nothing it hates more than being left in the dark on important issues. It may well start voicing doubts and concerns as to the ability or knowledge of the individual(s) concerned and will probably start spreading rumours intended to cast doubt in the minds of others as to the integrity, or even the sanity of the “rebel”.

It will also increase the isolation of its chosen “mark” or target by telling them that their friends are not to be trusted. Having carefully created the idea that it is magically powerful, it will drop comments into conversations to the effect that anyone who opposes it will be “dealt with” magically. It may well leave things lying around which will add to the idea that magical “revenge” will, or is being taken; such as locks of hair, bits of paper with odd sigils on or even photographs of itself or those who are the victims of their control or anger.

Clever or not, the intentional psychic vampire is usually arrogant. Extremely arrogant. It regards itself as being outside the constraints of normal society and sees nothing wrong in using others to achieve its goals because all that matters is its goals and the furtherance of itself and its sphere of influence.

And it is usually this high level of arrogance that can bring about the downfall of the less clever psychic vampire.

As is the case in many magical situations, the psychic vampire operates on the basis that their targets will believe that it is capable of exacting revenge and assuming that it has managed to create this impression, it relies on the imagination of its targets to do the rest. Whether or not it is actually capable of exacting magical revenge for what it perceives as a slight or an attack is neither here nor there. Often the psychic vampire has little or no real magical ability, but is a clever psychologist and knows that human nature is such that if the target believes in something then it can happen as far as that target is concerned.

How to recognise Psychic Vampires

Psychic vampires will probably exhibit several of the following characteristics, the more of these behaviours, opinions, obsessions or characteristics they display the more likely it is that they are psychic vampires. If any of these traits feel uncomfortably close to home you may yourself be a psychic vampire without realising it. Having one or two of the traits that you do recognise does not make you a psychic vampire per se, but may indicate that you should look carefully at changing this particular unconscious behaviour if it is afflicted upon or affects another human being. Unfortunately psychic vampires generally do not or are not able to recognise or realise these traits within themselves. Remember, the psychic vampire does not have to have any occult connection whatsoever, it can be a person you meet in your mundane life, but as this article is specifically geared toward a Pagan audience, the traits are given from a more occult perspective. These main traits are:

1. An uncontrollable urge to dominate nature, it may speak boastfully about controlling the weather or that it has powerful elemental spirits under its control.

2. A self-righteous compulsion to help others offering healing and advice to the point that their victim will become hooked on the consultations or sessions. In a lot of cases the psychic vampire offers no real help at all, causing the victim to be entirely dependent upon the psychic vampire’s aid. If the victim decides to seek help elsewhere the psychic vampire will be quick to point out “all they have done” for the victim in the past.

3. Creating living and working environments that are fast-paced, somewhat secretive and chaotic in an attempt to throw other people off guard. Their lack of true communication allows the psychic vampire to manipulate all situations so that others are overtly overwhelmed and anxious when trying to live or work in these environments whilst the psychic vampire will appear to be particularly well organised and calm externally.

4. An obsession to achieve all of their personal desires (gain of money, powerful careers or social lives, sexual fulfilment, etc.) without considering the cost to anyone else---and in this oftentimes creates its own self-undoing. Often the psychic vampire forgets to consider all the consequences of its actions even on its own life, focusing only upon the quenching of its all-consuming desires. This inability to consider the consequences of its actions often lands the psychic vampire in places and situations that it had no idea would occur and when this happens, watch out, for its anger can be violent when finding itself in negative situations of their own making because it will take no responsibility for its actions and blame all responsibility on others. Often psychic vampires will take out their own misery, responsibility and blame on the weak, ill, or someone much younger (like children or young adults), unable to transfer these feelings of inadequacy onto anyone it deems to be as experienced or powerful as itself in any way.

5. An innate desire to control its personal and intimate relationships down to the last detail. There can be sexual dynamics in all its relationships (even relationships that are not sexual ones) that border on the sado-masochistic. “[S&M] provides sexual pleasure to dominate the partner completely, to play with him [or her] like a cat with a mouse”---Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig. This is not to say that people that enjoy sexual play like S&M are psychic vampires, but this trait may be apparent in a psychic vampire if it is found in combination with several of the other traits.

6. Severe outbursts of anger or rage or violence in the face of insignificant or mundane annoyances. When the psychic vampire needs to feed it will explode all small or petty problems into traumas of major proportion. This instantly transforms the psychic vampire from the nice, serene person you thought you knew into an angry, venomous volcano that you’ve never met before.

7. A fear of change (death) or rather an undeniably overwhelming fear of being unable to manipulate and control all the details of any change in their lives, either major or mundane. Because the actual fear is the inability to control the “deaths” in its life, they may embrace a romantic preoccupation with art, literature and popular entertainments that involve death as the major theme and may even dress or costume itself in this romantically dark style, sometimes termed as Gothic. (This is not to say that all psychic vampires dress as Goths or that all Goths are psychic vampires and should not be taken as such.) Many psychic vampires may even occasionally, subtly allude to failed suicide attempts or close brushes with death. The preoccupation with death can be what has led it to a resistance to life. “Life is a dynamic, pulsating force; it is energy and consciousness manifested in many ways; and there is no evil as such unless there is a resistance to life. The resistance is the manifestation of what is called evil”---John C. Pierrakos.

8. A lack of a sense of humour or the inability to tell jokes. The psychic vampire may be able to make jokes at others’ expense but will either not acknowledge a joke at itself or will become quite angry if one is made of it.

9. Projecting its feelings of being bad, ashamed, or even actually evil upon another person or group of individuals. They may appear to be “perfect” or meticulous in their actions, manners, and physical appearance and above reproach in all of their activities whilst subconsciously suspecting that they have an evil nature. This causes the psychic vampire to project its fear-driven subconscious wrath onto another. If this is the case you may hear the psychic vampire say things like:

o “I am totally innocent and justified in my actions whilst THEY are guilty and bad and wrong in everything that THEY do.”

o “I simply inform others of the truth and THEY lie and use propaganda.”

o “I am only defending myself, THEY are making my life continually a misery.”

There is no conclusive physical description of the psychic vampire because anyone can be one (whether they know they are or not). If you found yourself thinking that some of these above traits seem very familiar to you, then turn around and look for the psychic vampire among your circle of associates for they may be close by…or if these traits hit even closer to home, then perhaps you should go and look into a mirror to see if you can find the reflection of the psychic vampire looking back at you. For unlike the fictional blood vampire, the psychic vampire can see their reflection in a mirror, if only they’d look hard enough.

I recently came across a case where precisely this had happened. The psychic vampire locked on to a member of a (largely social) group who could offer them an “in” to what it thought might be an influential occult group. Other members of the group came to question what was going on and confronted the psychic vampire, whose reaction was to do exactly what has been outlined above. It persuaded its victim that his friends were not to be trusted, made unspecific dark threats against other members of the group and left apparently magical “calling cards” in rooms where they had been staying. Understandably, the victims of this unpleasant attack were concerned and mentioned the matter to me.

So, how does one deal with a situation of this nature?

How to Deal with Psychic Vampires

In the main, the intentional vampire depends on the belief that their targets or victims will believe that it is capable of exacting magical revenge. Remove or reduce that belief and its “power” (such as it is) can be greatly reduced if not destroyed altogether. “Thought of others cannot penetrate our consciousness and compel us to act contrary to what we conceive of as good actions if our own motives oppose them…”---Ralph M. Lewis. If you have little self-confidence in facing a psychic vampire and think you might be especially vulnerable then you can actually help the psychic vampire to influence or control you in some way. This type of thinking can be very dangerous. Belief is the dangerous factor---if you believe that the psychic vampire can manipulate you magically or infest your dream state then you will open the door to them just as readily as Mina invited Count Dracula into her home.

All thought is vibratory, regardless of its content (positive as in healing energy or negative as in cursing or abusive energies). Adverse thoughts can be extended from a psychic vampire or a mean-spirited individual onto you. Yes, it can and does happen. To ignore the fact that it occurs is nearly as dangerous as believing in the psychic vampire’s abilities to control your thoughts and actions. Depending on the talents and abilities of the psychic vampire, their thoughts can reach out to others. Just keep firmly in mind that your own thoughts are far more important and strong within you than any thoughts that others place upon you. You must not allow psychic vampires to have any kind of control over you by handing it to them on a silver platter, just refuse to let them in.

If you simply refuse to accept that the vampire can harm you and actually believe this to be true then little or no harm can come to you and the psychic vampire’s efforts will either dissipate into the ether or, having nowhere else to go, will return to the sender - the psychic vampire.

This may seem simplistic, but it works and the rebound can cause considerable problems for the psychic vampires who will find themselves beset by the troubles they have tried to cause for others. However, it takes a strong mind to adopt this sort of attitude and, in cases where the powers of the vampire are genuine, more practical defence mechanisms may be needed. If you feel you are particularly vulnerable to the thoughts or actions of another then it is very important for you to act in your own defense, others can help you but you must make an effort as well.

This is something the psychic vampire rarely considers (that you will be able to defend yourself) and so your actions in reversing their influence over you will be even that more strongly and rapidly manifested.

Most people will have heard of the Law of Threefold Return, a basically Wiccan concept that says that whatever the sender sends out, whether it be good or bad, will return to them, threefold. There are various formula for using this but one of the most effective I have ever come across was told to me by a close friend. It’s simplicity is really rather good.

If you think that you are the target of malicious magic, whether or not you know who is sending it, simply say three times:

“Whatever it is you sent to me

I send it back, three times three.

Don’t mess with me.

Don’t mess with me.

Don’t mess with me.”

(The word “mess” replaces the four-letter word used in the original version as told to me, which was far more emphatic and began with the letter “f***” but the principle remains exactly the same.)

It helps considerably if the person reciting this spell has worked himself or herself up to feel angry about what is being done to them before reciting it. If, at the same time as the spell is recited, the user holds a mirror up in front of them with the mirror side facing away from them it can aid the success of the action but this is not essential. Alternatively (if you are particularly good at visualisation) you can instead, picture in your mind’s eye, mirrors all around you, covering you, reflecting outwards from you in all directions whilst repeating the above charm. It goes without saying that if the victim knows whom the vampire is, then he or she should visualise the face of the psychic vampire as strongly as possible onto the reflective part of their protective “mirrors” while reciting the spell.

It can also help if the psychic vampire is made aware of the fact that you are on to them even if you do it anonymously, if you know for a fact who the psychic vampire is. But do not specifically aim the work on any individual that you do not know for sure is the psychic vampire for the spell can rebound back on you if the individual you are focusing upon is innocent.

You may learn a trick from Hoodoo and Voodoo practitioners who believe that a spell will not work unless the person it’s aimed at knows that the spell has been done. You may send the known psychic vampire their “magical calling card” back encased in a box of sea salt. You might send them the ashes from a hand-written charm in a plain envelope. Possibly, in a more humorous vein, you could send something directly related to blood vampires, such as a crucifix, a clove of garlic or a wooden stake, the stereotypical popular-culture defensive weapons of the vampire hunter. It’s symbolic of course, but the effect can be worthwhile. This kind of action tells the psychic vampire that you are on to it and warns it to be careful, that you may not be the soft target that it had assumed you were. Either that or that you’ve got help from someone who is more adept than it is.

Other actions that can be utilised include a traditional folklore one. Based on Romany legends surrounding blood vampires, there were two things that vampires could not do. “The area in which a vampire could operate was limited by two factors; it was unable to cross running water and it had to be back in its grave by cockcrow”---Dennis Wheatley. This could indicate that using running water for creating a spell against the influence of the psychic vampire, may include a magical shower (standing bath) whilst reciting an appropriate charm. It might also suggest that spells against psychic vampires ought to be performed in darkness (the night-time) for them to be more successful.

The Romany people believed that if you spread poppy seeds from the coffin of the vampire to the gates of the village, you'd avoid being a victim of the vampire that night. You might do this today by scattering poppy seeds from its front door to your front door. It was thought then that because vampires were known to be so fastidious and obsessively control-seeking that the vampire would be impelled to pick up every single poppy seed, thus keeping the vampire so busy all night that it would be unable to bother the community that night.

You could (if you have one) send it a photo of itself with some magical marks, symbols or sigils on it. If this can be one of your own construction that it won't recognise or understand, then so much the better, because it will worry about what the symbols mean and this will distract its attention away from you.

And if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from bad dreams as a result of the psychic vampire’s attentions and suspect that it may be responsible (bearing in mind the psychology involved) then simply put some sea salt crystals under your mattress and inside your pillowslip keeping your intent firmly in mind when you do so.

There are of course any number of other, fairly standard, protective mechanisms you can use including constructing a doll or poppet of the vampire concerned and driving a wooden spike into it, the intention here is to stop them from affecting you rather than inflicting actual physical death. Again, the Hollywood symbology is obvious, but it can be effective. But in my personal experience, the fairly simple methods outlined above can be pretty effective in most cases in both getting rid of the psychic vampire and also increasing the self-confidence of the victim, this latter being an important aspect of the whole.

Help for Psychic Vampires

”…The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”---Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Nature is uncontrollable, life is organic and mostly unpredictable. By trying to minutely manipulate its own life and the lives of its close associates (or victims), the psychic vampire acts against the natural flow of life.

“A negative path is any action followed or adopted that opposes or arrests a constructive cause, the question of motive is involved. If the thought [motive] is prompted by jealousy, avarice or revenge with the intent to hurt, enslave or suppress truth, then it can be called negative”---Ralph M. Lewis. The psychic vampire can then be involved in going against the flow of life without actually dying, this then causes the state of being the “undead”.

The blood vampire of literature exists in the world of the undead---unable to die and unable to actually live. Is this such a different state for the psychic vampire? The psychic vampire may long for “death” (change) in a very dreamy and romantic way---yet are terrified to live with the flow of life, afraid to live without absolute control in their lives so they too exist in the world of the undead as well. Are they not then, above all to be pitied?

Don’t psychic vampires need some kind of understanding and concrete aid? Don’t the hidden motivations and secret desires of the psychic vampire need to be evaluated and understood for what they are? Don’t the psychic vampires need help to accept their need for parasitic fulfilment from others so that they can learn to feel full within themselves?

Unfortunately most psychic vampires will not be able to ever ask for help. A noted psychologist, M. Scott Peck made these notes involving hundreds of case studies of people exhibiting evil behaviours, similar to those of the psychic vampires. He noted that they are “utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, they are unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity. Their ‘goodness’ is on a level of pretence, it is, a lie. This is why they are the ‘people of the lie’…they will do almost anything to avoid the pain that comes from self-examination, under ordinary circumstances the evil are the last people who would come to psychotherapy.”

Isn’t the most pitiable point of all, that those who need the most help to confront their own darker natures and even more aid in positively incorporating these valid parts of their personalities will not be able to ask for this help? They fear that their evil side will get out of control and land them in an institution or that they will be pursued or imprisoned by those demonically evil spirits they thought they could control when they initially created them. The ONLY way that a psychic vampire can be helped is to make full and complete self-evaluations. This is nothing new to anyone following a magical or mystical for “’know thyself’ applies broadly to the task. Know all of yourself, the priest of the god of light advised, which could be translated as, know especially the dark side.”

“Darkness call me brother!

That I may not fear

Which I seek”---anonymous

To know and accept the dark side of one’s nature is the antidote to the influence of the psychic vampire. Some say that it takes one to know one, and so don’t we all demonstrate some psychic vampire traits at certain points in our lives? If this is the case then a continual self-analysis of our own actions (magical or mundane) will help to cause us all to be far more self-sufficient and healthier magically, emotionally and spiritually. Know thyself and seek the balance of the light and the dark and you’ll have no need of a room full of cloves of garlic.


Lewis, H. Spencer, “Mental Poisoning, thoughts that enslave minds”, Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, San Jose California, USA, 1951.

Lewis, Ralph M., “Mental Alchemy”, Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, San Jose California, USA, 1979.

Stoker, Bram, “Dracula”, Book Club Associates by arrangement with Doubleday & Co. Inc., Trowbridge, Wiltshire, 1971, originally published in 1897.

Wheatley, Dennis, “The Devil and all His Works”, Book Club Associates, George Rainbird Ltd, London, 1977, originally published 1971.

Zweig, Connie and Jeremiah Abrams, “Meeting the Shadow: the hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature”, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee Books by Putnam Publishing group, New York, USA, 1991. Within this text, the following essays have been used in this article:

Eichman, William Carl, "Meeting the Dark Side in Spiritual Practice"

Green, Liz, "The Shadow in Astrology"

Guggenbühl-Craig, Adolf, "The Demonic Side of Sexuality"

Keen, Sam, “The Enemy Maker”

Kopp, Sheldon B., “A Tale of Descent into Hell”

Miller, William A., “Finding the Shadow in Daily Life”

Peck, M. Scott, “Healing Human Evil”

Pierrakos, John C., “Anatomy of Evil”

Stevens, Anthony, “The Shadow in History and Literature.”

(Any resemblance between the personalities described in this article and persons known or unknown, alive or dead is purely coincidental)

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