The mythical demon known as a succubus has appeared in Hebrew, Arabic and Indian texts since the 13th century. The succubus is commonly depicted as a female demon who assumes the form of a woman in order to seduce men during their sleep. Once her victim has been seduced, a succubus preys upon his health and spirits until she is satisfied or the victim dies.
The succubus garners explicit attention in "Malleus Maleficarum," a book written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. "Malleus Malicarum" is a manifesto on the identification and prosecution of witches. The book offers a unique perspective on succubi and other supernatural forces in Medieval Europe. The medieval text claims that succubi were responsible for stealing the semen of men who fell victim to their seduction. A succubus then used the collected semen to impregnate a human female, creating a human baby that was either deformed upon birth or more attuned with the supernatural world.
Men seduced by a succubus, as well as children born of witchcraft, were considered to be under a spell of bewitchment and thus deserving of prosecution. Women were also considered susceptible to seduction by supernatural forces, with the incubus being the male counterpart to the succubus.