Possession is the invasion of a body, whether living or dead, by a foreign soul. This can happen in one of two instances against the vessel's will - when the body in question is left empty do to its soul's (temporary or permanent) departure, or when the vessel creature has a moment of particular weakness (usually grief or fear).

Specific Details

In the first case, the invading soul takes the place of the original soul as the animating force of the body, usually while the original soul is being astrally projected (for this reason, most practitioners of astral projection first guard their bodies with charms to keep other spirits out). There are no physical signs of this occurrence (aside from a change in aura), but the invading soul has no access to the knowledge or memories of the body's true inhabitant. The original soul, meanwhile, is trapped outside the body on the incorporeal realm. This sort of possession is the most tenuous - there are many rituals to lure a spirit out of a body, allowing the original soul to reenter.

In the second case, the invading soul does not supplant the original soul, but instead must struggle for control. Some mediums will enter into such a relationship willingly as a part of their communication with the dead, but most take precautions to ensure that they remain the dominant spirit in the possession. The body takes on some characteristics of the dominant soul, usually the eyes but sometimes fingernails or other details. This is the preferred method of demons, who can usually overpower a human soul. In this method of possession, both souls have access to the memories and knowledge of the other. The dominant soul controls the body's speech and actions, but the subdued soul may fight to prevent such actions. Depending on the difference in strength between the two souls, this struggle might prevent or delay certain actions, but if the strength gap is large enough the dominant soul can basically ignore the struggle except for a minor hesitation perhaps. For this reason, invading souls usually try to stick to ordinary humans - any magical power ups the strength of the soul, and increases the chance that the original soul will be able to best the invader and banish it. This type of possession can be very straining on the original soul and body. If the souls work in tandem, the relationship can be prolonged indefinitely, but any struggling wears on the body. For a non-exorcised demonic possession, the vessel usually dies within three or four years.

Used By


Demons are capable of possessing human bodies… whether they're already occupied or not. Corpses don't have an opposing soul to deal with, but most demons prefer possessing living bodies (because living bodies aren't decomposed) - they effectively move into the body with its native soul, and overpower that soul, rendering the body's owner incapable of speaking, moving, or in any way controlling the body. While in this state, the demon can rifle through the body's thoughts and memories with some ease, making it very easy for them to impersonate the person whose body they're in, and therefore pass undetected. However, the native soul can resist this invasion. Possession can be prevented by certain symbols (usually in tattoo form), and can be reversed via an exorcism. However, exorcisms can be dangerous - demons are often not careful with their 'meat suits'. The human body can be damaged beyond its ability to heal while the demon is inside without affecting the demon - they still waltz around in their puppet just fine (in effect, possession keeps the body in stasis - it can't heal, but it also can't die). Once the demon is forced out (or leaves) however, the body is back to being plain ol' human, and all those injuries hit it at once. Depending on the level of injury, if the shock alone doesn't kill the victim, the wounds often will.


Ghosts can possess a body IF that body's soul is elsewhere (i.e. astrally projected) - which is why most astral projectors take precautions to prevent this from happening. The only other method for a ghost to enter a body is if they are allowed in by the host soul for some reason (for example, to allow them to communicate more easily with their loved ones). Even when a ghost's true form is not visible to the naked eye, it will appear in a mirror; if they are possessing someone, this image will appear as an overlay of the body's reflection.


Kitsune can also possess a body IF that body's soul is elsewhere (i.e. astrally projected) - which is why most astral projectors take precautions to prevent this from happening. They can of course be exorcised, and also have been known to leave if their host is beaten. Also, a reflection will show them for what they really are.


Technically, any soul that is without a body - for instance, an astrally projected soul - can attempt to possess a body. However, this process feels unnatural to most beings with a body of their own, and this means they leave their own body unguarded.