If you are left gaping with "What? Really!", that's exactly how I felt when I started researching this topic a few days ago. My findings were bizarre to begin with and took time to sink.
Necrophilia is a paraphilia characterized by sexual attraction to corpses; the broad definition envelops all amorous propensities towards things that are dead -- corpses and carcasses alike. Some necrophiles like fresh corpses, some like it decayed, while there are some who like to make love to carcasses. Things get gory when necrophiles get to hunting for their dead, by digging up corpses, stealing them, or even by killing. Thankfully, most necrophiles don't. There are numerous instances of misdemeanor with corpses in mortuaries and morticians are a common suspect.
Now get ready for another eye-opener. Necrophilia is not unusual. There are books, papers and poems on the topic. Evidences of necrophilic activities appear in several forms, although the intensities vary. Examples:
- The recent Nithari findings where dozens of skeletons were recovered. This is what sparked my curiosity in the first place.
- Heard of vampires, demons and ghosts in the context of Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology? Well, that's necrophilia.
- One Dr Carl Von Cosel, scientist, inventor organist and necrophile, found the woman of his dreams in Elena, a patient dying of tuborculosis. Heartbroken at the death of his beloved at 22, the doctor paid for a lavish funeral and she was buried. In a few years, he stole her body to his airship. For the next seven years, he held her body together with piano wire, put glass eyes where her real ones used to be, made a wig of her own hair and, piece by piece, strenthened her skin with wax and silk. He treated her with lotions and potions and electrotherapy. Amongst his resurrection tools was a million volt tesla coil. He serenaded her with his home-made organ and slept beside her.
- Ed Gein was so fond of having the dead around him in his house that he hunted over 15 women to add them to his collection. When discovered, they found numerous body parts: four noses, several bone fragments, nine death masks, a heart in a pan on the stove, a bowl made from a skull, ten female heads with the tops sawn off, human skin covering several chair seats, pieces of salted genitalia in a box, skulls on his bedposts, organs in the refrigerator, a pair of lips on a string, and much more.
- more, more, more, more, more, ...
Also intimidating is that most of these necrophiles don't believe they have done any wrong, that their acts are governed by their natural instincts much like the regular attraction of a live man and live woman.
As if life doesn't already exist in so varied forms, death too wants its share. I cannot figure out for sure whether I'm curious, frightened, enlightened or plain awe-struck.