Spectrophilia is a type of fetish characterized by sexual attraction to ghosts or spirits. It is also known as ghost sexuality, spectrophilic fantasies and phantom sexuality.
Common manifestations of spectrophilia include sexual fantasies about ghosts, watching paranormal shows on television, and having strong feelings about an invisible presence in one's bedroom or house. Those who identify as having this fetish may feel compelled to have sex with a ghost or spirit being. This can take the form of waking up with a physical feeling in bed as if another person is there with them, even though they cannot be seen – and then engaging in sexual activity as if the other person were physically present.
Spectrophilia can also manifest in dreams involving ghosts or spirits. Some people who experience this fetish may dream of a spirit coming to them at night and offering pleasurable contact – either through out-of-body experiences or simply while they sleep.
Although the exact origins of spectrophilia are unknown, some believe it may be linked to cultural beliefs about the supernatural, rituals involving honoring ancestors and deceased relatives, or a person's desire for closeness with a person who has passed away . Research suggests that people with spectrophilic tendencies may have an underlying belief system that involves acceptance of death and embracing what lies beyond.
The phenomenon has been documented throughout history; some of the earliest mentions are found in 19th century accounts in Europe. While some cultures view spectrophilia positively, in other cultures it is taboo or even sinister due to its association with supernatural beings (who often have evil intentions).