We know the supernatural should not exist, but it does, and nothing in the rational world can explain why. But then again, we can fairly ask ourselves do we truly exist, and if so, why? Perhaps it’s all chimera, smoke and mirrors. But, while philosophers and theologians ponder the transcendental, some among us may have other things on our mind, seductively frightening things. According to paranormal researchers and eyewitness accounts, desire does not end at the grave.
Those who are forever changed by a shapeless something that went hump in the night will tell you the phenomenon is quite real, usually uninvited, most often experienced by women, and not necessarily unpleasant. Parapsychologists suggest sexual connections with spirits can frequently—but not always—be a way of the subconscious acting out sexual abuse or emotional upheaval between living lovers. Sexual sensations are distinctly felt, including foreplay and penetration. Spirited orgasms can occur, and beds will even shake, although the object of the spectral admirer seems to have the sheets all to themselves.
Our perceptions of reality are, at best, limited to what we expect to see, and seldom all that’s present, which is why eyewitness accounts are the weakest form of evidence. Quickly connecting the dots is a human survival mechanism, almost instantly telling us to relax and take a closer look—or run like hell. According to psychologists, images are formed largely based on already learned information and associations, which can often be misinterpreted. Making quick sense of shapes has kept us alive, but it also has led to seeing things that aren’t there.
Science can explain what we know, but not what we cannot understand, putting paranormal research at the crossroads of known reality and what’s beyond. But is hot sex with an ectoplasm stud or siren more spine-tingling fantasy than cold fact; the ultimate safe-sex with a stranger scenario?
Tales of the sexually haunted abound, crossing cultures and centuries. Are they simply imprints of the living, sultry embraces left forever behind, a kind of resonance from the hotter side of the afterlife by lovers so impassioned they leave an eternal echo?
Or is it someone, or something, actually in bed with you, lying there right now, waiting for you to close your eyes and fall asleep, leaving your will to their desire? Could these be lost souls searching for a warm body—your body? Is it at all possible that true love can truly last forever?
Virtually every old, creaky house and each historic and worn hotel, inn and restaurant have reported phenomena that defy science and sense. Researchers have long documented the paranormal series of peculiar events at countless places across the globe, and although many phenomena have a reasonable and natural explanation, some simply do not.
Haunted by Desire
Breaching the sexual boundary between life and death takes the concept of an ordinary haunting to another level. "The existence of sex between ghosts and the living depends on how you define it,” says Loyd Auerbach, noted author and Director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations, a group of paranormal investigators and consultants. “It’s probably not what you think."
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) or if you will, voices from the grave, have been recorded for more than 60 years. Scores of ethereal, cadaverous shapes have been photographed and cataloged as "evidence" of the spirits who somehow dwell intimately with us, but while some "investigators" claim they may not be able to understand ghosts, but can record them, Auerbach (who holds a graduate degree in parapsychology and a B.A. in cultural anthropology) says the opposite is more likely true. “Psychics and witnesses can apparently communicate, and we have models of understanding of what they likely are. With EVP, some of what folks have gotten seems to relate directly to the case or apparition. Technology does not facilitate communication any more than psychics or witnesses do—and usually lots less.”
In the Mind or the Ether?
According to the veteran researcher, most sexual hauntings come from a very negative place. “We’ve found many of these experiences are psychosomatic and rooted in sexual abuse or emotional upheaval between couples. While he or she may fully believe they are receiving nocturnal visits from beyond, the individual is really acting out.”
Suppressed guilt and anger can be powerful forces that may be manifested physically, and misinterpreted. “Often, people will lay religious beliefs over their experience and believe they’re having sex with malevolent entities or are possessed by demons, for example,” Auerbach explains. “Demons don’t exist, and neither does evil, which just leaves us with apparitions, and we have never found any evidence that ghosts are up to no good or have directly harmed anyone. After closer examination, we find the ‘entity’ is most often in their subconscious, and not from any external source.”
Auerbach reports that most people who experience “ghost sex” believe that it is truly happening. “It’s not that the sex does not feel real,” he says. “It very much does. People have reported feeling foreplay, penetration and orgasm. Hips thrust, beds shake, but it’s coming from the living person, not the dead. The phenomenon can be traced to something deeply emotional, such as abuse or the profound longing for a lover who has passed on, but sometimes not.”
When a ghost makes a booty call, it doesn’t make a Hollywood entrance. “If you think about it, ghosts have no eyes to see, no flesh to feel, no physical senses at all, but they somehow have learned to communicate mentally,” Auerbach says. In other words, if you’re actually having sex with a ghost, it’s not some fictional construct of a stunning, if transparent, man or woman hovering above you in adornment, then diving under the sheets to deliver wild, unearthly pleasures, as much as we might wish that were so.
Love after death, movie style, with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost
“Sensation is in our mind,” Auerbach says, “and so is the ghost. You feel him, and he presumably feels you, telepathically. They have somehow put sensual sensations into your head.”
Ghostly sexual encounters, however, are not always nice. “I did have a case in the 1980s where there was a ‘Peeping Tom’ ghost. It involved a 36-year-old mother and her 16-year-old daughter, both of whom, frankly, were gorgeous. The ghost of a young man would pop up as they showered, reacting to what they did. We were able to successfully intercede.”
A Kindred Spirit
Auerbach is not unfamiliar with the sex after death phenomenon. He’s experienced it on a personal level as he was taking measurements and conducting tests at a well-haunted restaurant. “We were doing a two-night investigation at the Moss Beach Distillery (in Moss Beach, Ca.),” he recalls. The restaurant was said to be haunted by The Blue Lady, a married woman who was often seen wearing clothes of the color. She visited the property regularly, carrying on an affair with the establishment’s piano player until she met her violent death (she was murdered on the beach below the restaurant). She returns again and again, the story goes, searching in vain for her lover.
“We were doing a séance type of communication with the ghost. I was behind the bar, recording measurements of the magnetic field, which we think may respond to paranormal activity,” Auerbach reports. Several hours after the communication session, Auerbach returned to the bar area—alone… “I began to feel a light tingling sensation that was going up and down my body, then back and forth through my body. It was a pleasant feeling, one I would describe as lightly sexual. A very pretty woman appeared in my mind’s eye. Minutes later, the three psychics we had brought with us on the investigation saw her as well—and all later gave the same description when asked separately.”
On a subsequent visit to the distillery, Auerbach was recording an interview with a psychic who had been in contact with The Blue Lady earlier in the day. The psychic reported that when she'd asked the apparition what she most missed about life, she'd answered, as many of us naturally might, “that she missed food and sex the most.” At that point, they both heard a female voice. "She called my name,” says Auerbach, "but the recorder picked up nothing."
While it’s doubtful that the happily married Auerbach made any attempt to accommodate the saucy spirit in the pursuit of satisfying her post-life appetites, it does perhaps give “’Til death do us part” that much more meaning.