Sadism and Masochism: The Psychology of Hatred and Cruelty - Vol. 2

By Wilhelm Stekel; Louise Brink | Go to book overview

XVII
CANNIBALISM, NECROPHILISM, AND VAMPIRISM

Help me, comrade, see them coming!
Hark the hideous, horrid humming!
See the bodies flaming, glowing,
Werewolves, dragons -- hell prevailing,
All its cursed stream is flowing,
Male and female. Naught prevailing
Let us flee this evil swarming,
Noise and din our ears assailing;
In the deeps a stench is forming;
Hell's noxious brew,
Invades our nostrils here anew!

GOETHE ( Walpurgis Night).

Any one who reads attentively the preceding volumes of this work and the clinical histories which have been given will be astonished how frequently we come upon traces of the crassest sadistic acts; that is, cannibalism, necrophilism, and vampirism. We have to assume a phase in the development of mankind in which these impulses were permitted to appear openly. If they show themselves now in the light of civilization, we are to consider them as atavistic petrifactions. We find them often enough in the parapathic reversion. It is very interesting to confirm how undisguised these impulses appear in the fantasies of paralogics. We shall be able to observe them quite as often in the fantasies which accompany an epileptic attack or in the twilight states after the attack. But the parapathic without epileptic seizures has frequently, also, to fight against these impulses and expresses them then through fear and disgust. Very many people become vegetarians who can eat no meat because it reminds them of "corpses." Others are unable to visit a cemetery without being overtaken with nausea. We might mention in contrast those persons who are sexually excited in graveyards. I have spoken in The Language of the Dream of the patient who became extraordinarily excited sexually after a funeral and very potent. Another liked

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