The Necronomian Vampire: A Cautionary Tale
Written by: Michelle Belanger
What is the power of belief? This is a question often asked in reference to teh dreaded Necronomicon, a magickal book created by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft that has nevertheless inspired real magickal texts for many years. Can a magickal system that is based on fantasy still have power if those using it invest it with enough belief? For one young man in Kent, Ohio, the answer was a definite "yes."
Around May of 1996, a classified ad in the back of Fate Magazine caught my eye. I can’t remember the exact wording, but the advertiser, whose address was in Kent, Ohio, was seeking any information on vampires. At the time, I published a journal on psychic vampirism entitled The Midnight Sun. I also was a frequent visitor to Kent, Ohio, which is home to the artsy, liberal Kent State University (my mother’s alma mater). Curious about someone so close by with a possible shared interest, I wrote a cautious letter to the person whom I will call Travis.
After the second or third letter, mostly exchanging basic information on interests, Travis confided in me his reason for putting the ad out. From the little he told me in the letter, I arranged to meet with him in person. If he was bullshitting me, it would be easier to verify this face to face, and if he wasn’t, then he needed the help of someone who knew how to deal with spirits and malignant attachments.
The story went like this: he and a friend were both beginning to dabble in the occult. The friend had bought the Simon version of the Necronomicon. The two of them had attempted one of the gate rituals in the book, but nothing much happened. They were somewhat disappointed and left off their experiments for a while.
Not long after, however, Travis started to have dreams wherein a voice was calling to him. He got the sense that it was something without a body, just a spirit, and it seemed as if it were communicating from a long way away. Sometimes Travis wasn’t even sure these were dreams, as he usually was awake in his own room during the dream and it had seemed as if the voice had woken him from his slumbers.
The voice, which was sometimes accompanied by an eerie glow, persistently asked Travis to help it and to bring it across. Travis also became, as he described it, obsessed with the Simon Necronomicon at that time. He would sometimes see sigils during these dreams, as if they were traced in that slight glow on the insides of his eyes. He couldn’t make them out clearly, just got impressions of lines and circles and patterns.
This lasted a few weeks. Travis couldn’t clearly remember how many. But it drove Travis to sneak into his friend’s dorm room one night while the other young man was away and to attempt to recreate the ritual alone using the copy of the Necronomicon stored there.
This ritual went very differently from the last one. Travis was a little frightened by himself during it; he said he started saying and doing things that weren’t quite in the book, but that seemed right. He also said that he spontaneously started calling out in a language he didn’t know. But this also just seemed to come to him and since it seemed right, he went with it.
I’m relying on the truth of his reporting here, so bear with me on what followed. I did interview Travis in person for this part, and the young man (who turned out to be 17 with a college student friend who was never named and who I never met) was visibly disturbed by his experiences. Judging from his mannerisms, body language, and the emotions he was giving off, if nothing else, he believed the rest of what he told me.
The candles he had lit for the rite started acting strangely, their flames extending, then taking on a strange greenish-blue glow that reminded him of the dreams. Travis felt something building in the room. It had started as a kind of prickly feeling that ran up and down his skin, and as the rite reach its culmination, it grew in intensity. Travis also said the room started to feel close, or crowded. Then the candles went out.
Shortly after, a strong and sudden wind then gusted through the window (which I’m assuming was already open and could explain the candles going out). Travis was then thrown back by some unseen force. He hit the wall behind him, then slid to the floor, his knees weak. He was, by his own account, scared out of his wits at that point. He dropped the book and turned for the door. He had trouble opening the door at first, as it seemed like a great weight was pushing upon it from the inside. When he did get it open, it was like the room had been vacuum-sealed. There was a sucking sensation, and it seemed like cooler, less “heavy” air rushed into the room through the open door. Travis bolted for the hall and the door slammed shut behind him, apparently of its own accord.
Travis thought that was the end of it. But as anyone with experience in these things knows, it never is. Over the next few weeks, he started to feel like he was “changing”, as he put it. This is where the vampire part came in. He started to be sensitive to bright lights, and he felt that his nightvision improved drastically. He also had trouble eating, but felt hungry all the time. At some point, he became very aware of the life force of the people around him. He felt that he could feel their energy, and something in him wanted this very much.
Predatory thoughts that he described as not being like him started to cross his mind. He felt like there was another consciousness in his mind. He would experience thoughts and emotions as if they were his own, but there was a sense that they were coming from a secondary source. His mood started to change and a number of his friends became afraid of him. Some of them drifted away without explaining why they were afraid. A few commented that he wasn’t himself anymore. His eyes had changed, they said. They saw his face change sometimes, and they would see a face they didn’t really recognize, or at least an expression that was very alien to them and very disturbing.
A part of Travis greatly enjoyed these changes. They made him feel powerful. Although he was just beginning to study magick, he was now able to spontaneously do things. The example he gave involved summoning wind, and a storm. He hadn’t learned how to do this before, but after the experience in the dorm room, he now “just knew”. A part of Travis was rather frightened by all of these developments, and instinctively he connected the changes to his experience in the dorm room. He was afraid that whatever was going on would cause him to lose himself, become another person entirely.
It was from the owner of the Necronomicon that Travis first learned of his nightly excursions. This other young man confronted Travis about draining his energy. Travis had by this point learned he could do that to people from a distance, but had no idea that he was doing it on an astral level. Apparently, he had been visiting the other young man in his sleep. This young man perceived Travis hovering above him in the bed, at which point he could not move, and he would feel the life being sucked out of him. This, of course, is a pretty classic description of an astral vampire attack, and even though I was receiving it second-hand through Travis, it rang true.
Travis pretty much pleaded with me to get rid of “it”, whatever “it” was. He felt like he was losing himself to it, and he was afraid that it would gain complete control over him. At this point I took a look at Travis’ energy to see whether or not I could detect evidence of an attachment.
What I saw was this: two thick cords extending into Travis’ energy body. One was attached at the base of the skull, the other was attached at about the middle of his back, snaking into the solar plexus chakra (I have since seen this arrangement in a number of cases of “riders” that are attempting to influence or outright possess their hosts). These cords stretched out behind Travis for quite a ways, and by connecting briefly to the both of them, I perceived a sentience, rather malevolent, and exceptionally self-absorbed, hovering at a distance. Even with this brief contact, it seemed to sense my probing, so I withdrew for the moment.
Notably, Travis’ demeanor changed shortly after I made energetic contact to check him out. I found this interesting, as I had not told him that I was doing it. He became furtive and fidgety, and he started to make excuses to cut our interaction short. I asked him if he still wanted me to do something, and he said that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. He was probably being paranoid & there really wasn’t anything wrong, and so forth. For the time, we parted ways. I gave him my home number and told him to call me if anything further occurred.
I understood that some of Travis’ story could be teenage attention-getting. Gods know, I’d seen enough of that among young would-be magicians and occultists. Some of it could easily have been exaggerated (also hardly uncommon among the young), and the rest may have been fabricated based on occult material he had read about to impress or to just feel important about himself.
Still, it seemed to me that Travis was quite the novice in these matters. I considered it highly unlikely that he would have enough knowledge of the subject to conjecture or outright fabricate some of the more accurate descriptions he had offered, such as the sensations, both physical and energetic, produced by his experimental summoning in his friend’s dorm room. His descriptions of how he vampirized energy also were very accurate. This was shortly before Konstantinos published his book, Vampires: the Occult Truth, and so this information was exceptionally hard to find. As a psychic vampire myself, however, I knew first-hand the techniques Travis was suddenly instinctively using.
Finally, his sudden change of heart regarding the whole matter after I’d done a preliminary scan of his energy body cinched it for me: the boy had called something that had decided to attached itself to him. At the very least, it was feeding through him in order to strengthen itself, and at worst, it was slowly wearing away the boy’s will in preparation for a full possession.
In my work with spirits and the Otherside, I’ve encountered quite a number of otherworldly beings that are not human and never have been. Many of these entities seem wholly spiritual. That is to say, it seems that they have never physically incarnated but exist wholly on the astral, the near astral (what I typically refer to as the “subtle reality”) or in points even further removed from our reality. Furthermore, a large number of them seem to really want to incarnate, but for some reason, they cannot.
I personally think their energetic structure is so alien, especially to a human body, that they simply cannot make the incarnation work. However, a number of them seem capable of taking over a body once another spirit has successfully incarnated in it. The naïve inadvertently allow these beings to get a foothold on them; the power-hungry occasionally intentionally invite them in, erroneously assuming that a partnership with such an entity is possible and will enable them to harness that entity’s powers. The Temple of the Vampire, one group I’m not too thrilled with, is pretty famous for this.
Anyway, to continue on: I felt I was dealing with a vampiric / parasitic entity with Travis. When I asked him what entity he had attempted to call up, he said “Akharu,” a name which is given in the glossary of the Simon Necronomicon as meaning “vampire”.
Having skimmed through the Simon text, I knew that it drew heavily upon Sumerian or Babylonian sources, so I tried finding the real meaning of the word “Akharu” (call me crazy, but I didn’t quite trust the scholarship or legitimacy of the Simon Necronomicon). I quickly learned that there were precious few Sumerian, Akkadian, or Babylonian dictionaries to be had much of anywhere, and the few texts I did track down that had something of a glossary (Poems of Heaven and Hell, for example), did not have “Akharu” in them.
Through the coincidental interaction of some research, I did find an ancient Egyptian word “Akhekhu” that I felt was too similar to “Akharu” to just ignore. A few Egyptian scholars I’ve read conjecture that Egypt inherited its language from Sumeria (a point I’m don’t precisely agree with – but I will admit that there was cultural and linguistic exchange between the two cultures). This added some weight to the notion that “Akharu” and “Akhekhu” might have the same root, or at least share some basic meaning in common. In the Budge translations (hardly the most reliable, but certainly the most widely accessible source on ancient Egyptian language), this is given as meaning “darkness” or an eponymously demonic being which stalks the darkness. It was also listed as a word for night.
At this point, I took time to further study the Simon Necronomicon. Knowing the real origin of the Necronomicon as a creation of spuernatural fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, I’d always looked upon this text with a certain amount of disdain. It could only be a spurious text, created expressly to cash in on the mystique that surrounded Lovecraft’s invented tome. But as I flipped through Simon’s work, I saw that whoever had patched it together had drawn upon legitimate Babylonian sources. I recognized Inanna’s descent into the underworld and the invocation of the fifty names of Marduk. Obviously some things had been tweaked in order to better fit with the Cthulhu mythos, but I began to realize that someone who believed in the validity of the text could probably harness the rituals for an actual working.
Who or what “Akharu” really was became irrelevant. I decided that the Simon Necronomicon, in the hands of a naïve, aspiring occultist, worked the same as a Ouija board. Performing any of the rites amounted to lighting up a great big neon sign that flashed “Come mess with me!” Any number of otherworldly entities would have answered that call, happily assuming the guise of Akharu, Hastur, or even Nyarlohotep if that was what the would-be occultist was expecting. Some would do this for energy, others for the attention (which basically equals the same thing), and a few would do it just for shits & grins.
Since Travis was reluctant to arrange a second meeting after his “change of heart”, I tried doing the work of removal from a distance. I didn’t feel this was successful. While I felt I got a good hold on the entity, it seemed like it reconnected almost as soon as I left off wrestling with it.
Certain that he was headed for a really bad experience, I continued to write to Travis with suggestions and cautions. After a while, I managed to get a second face-to-face meeting with Travis. He looked more haggard and haunted than before, and once more he was pleading with me to rid him of the thing. We sat down in a quiet, wooded area of Kent State’s campus, and I got to work. I don’t use a whole lot of tools in my work; I work with energy on the subtle (near astral) level, and so my energy and my Will are normally all the tools I really need (though I do sometimes go in for something a bit more ceremonial).
I got to work severing the attachments, first at the base of the skull, then at the solar plexus. These practically had a life of their own and kept on trying to reattach themselves as soon as I’d cut them. Ultimately, I took to cauterizing the points of contact that had been made on Travis’ energy body, then grabbing the attachments and cauterizing their ends. I did a minor banishing, but the entity would just not go away, so I grabbed the tendrils it kept sending Travis’ way and went toe-to-toe with it. I used its own tendrils to connect to its energy and beat the hell out of it energetically, alternately draining its energy and sending nasty spikes down the line. When I was satisfied that I’d beat it into submission, I then flung as far elsewhere as I could, put some (more) shields up on Travis, and gave him a crash course in shielding and psychic self defense.
The end of the story is uncertain, and a little disappointing. Travis did good for a while and seemed to get back to normal, but he retained a fascination for working with the Simon book. In spite of my warnings, he was sure there was a “right” way to perform a summoning and had some vague sense that this would do something useful for him. The first attachment seemed to have been dealt with, but I’m almost positive that he ran headlong into work that ultimately earned him another one. Eventually we lost contact with one another.
It’s occurred to me to look him up now and again, but since that time, I’ve run across a number of aspiring occultists like Travis, and have learned that they cannot all be saved from themselves. For the amount of work it took to sever the attachment and kick the nasty little astral vamp back to whatever plane of existence it had come from, it was a waste of my time when all Travis did was try valiantly to just attract another with the mistaken assumption that he could ultimately control it.