Difference between Necromancy and Necrophilia | 5 Basic Facts

difference between necromancy and necrophilia

The difference between necromancy and necrophilia is in their core concepts, parameters, and practices. Just because these words sound similar, it’s not unlikely to confuse them. 

Having that in mind, we will elaborate on the two terms that start with the prefix necro. Necro derived from the Greek word Nekros, meaning death. However, because the prefix of Necromancy and necrophilia are the same, it can be assumed that there might be a connection to death. You are not wrong at all.

The practice of conjuring the spirits of the dead is Necromancy. It is a practice of communicating spirits for prophecy or raising the dead for any purpose. On the other hand, Necrophilia means having sex or feeling a sexual desire for a dead body.

Comparison chart

MeaningThe practice of conjuring the spirits of the dead is Necromancy.Necrophilia means sexual attraction towards or sexual activities with corpses.
WitchcraftNecromancy is black magic and a part of witchcraft.Necrophilia is not a part of witchcraft. But some witchery consists of necrophilia.
Sexual orientationNecromancy is not a sexual orientation.Necrophilia is a sexual orientation.
Disease or SymptomNecromancy is not a Disease or Symptom.Necrophilia is classified as a sexual disorder(or paraphilia) and a neuropsychological disorder.

What is necromancy?

Necromancy is a cult practice, a kind of black magic, and a part of witchcraft. The word Necromancy comes from two Classical Greek words Necros (Νεκρος), means dead, and Manteia (Μαντεια), divination. 

Necromancy is a practice of communicating spirits for prophecy or raising the dead for any purpose and conjuring the dead’s spirits. The person who summons the soul of the dead or raises the spirits bodily to practice necromancy is called a necromancer. However, Necromancy is also sometimes mentioned as a dark art. 

Early necromancy derived from shamanism. Shaman necromancy calls upon the spirits of ancestors. The animistic practices of the ancient necromancers contributed to the polytheistic rituals of classical necromancers. 

Medieval necromancy was a synthesis of Arabian-derived astral magic and Judeo-Christian exorcism.

Modern necromancy is an occult ceremony and ritual magic manipulating with dead bodies and dead spirits. Necromancy is also found in the literature. The practice of necromancy can be found in Odyssey and Arabian Nights.

Types of necromancy rituals

There are various types of necromancy rituals around the world. The types of rituals depend on regional and traditional practices. Traditionally a necromancer is not allowed to learn or perform necromancy outside of his/her tradition.

African rituals: African necromancy is commonly known as voudoun necromancy. Some popular necromancy rituals are Knowing stone, Two centimes, Part of Veil, Blood Dance, Nightmare Drums, Eyes of the Dead, Baleful Doll, Point of the Needle, Dead Man’s Hand, etc.

Aztec Necromancy: Some popular Aztec necromancy rituals are Ritual of the Smoking Mirror, Ritual of Pochtli, Divine Sign, Ritual of Xipe Totec, Ritual of Teyolia, etc.

Eastern Necromancy: A number of necromantic rituals are performed in the eastern regions, Such as Preserve Corpse, Haunting Breeze, Death’s Head, Impregnable Soul, Enochian Passage, etc.

Western Necromancy: Call the Hungry Dead, Eldritch Beacon, Words of Insight, Minestra di Morte, Death’s Communion, Rape of Persephone, Eyes of the Grave, Puppet, Hand of glory and many more rituals can be found under Western Necromancy.

What is Necrophilia?

The term necrophilia derived from two Greek words Nekros, meaning corpse, and philia meaning love. As per word origin, it can easily be assumed that the love or attraction for a corpse is considered Necrophilia. Moreover, the act of having sex with a dead body is also necrophilism.

So, we may define necrophilia as an act of sexual intercourse or having the desire to have sex with a corpse. Necrophilia is a paraphilia, a sexual disorder. The term necrophilia is also known as Necrophilism, Necrocoitus, or Necrolagnia.

Types of necrophilia

A number of paraphilias can be classified as types of necrophilia. Having a sexual desire towards a child’s corpse is known as Necropedophilia, and having the desire to have sex with a dead animal is known as Necrobestiality. However, genuine Necrophilia can be divided into three categories.

Necrophilic homicide: is an act of killing someone to have sexual activity with the corpse.

Regular necrophilia: A regular necrophiliac prefers to have sexual intercourse with the dead body. The necrophiliac is not involved in the cause of death of the corpse.

Necrophilic fantasy: Fantasizing about having Necrophilic act.

Although the difference between necrophilia and cannibalism is not so subtle, yet, there are terms like Necrophilic cannibalism. Necrophilia cannibalism is cannibalism with a necrophilic desire.

The key differences between Necromancy and Necrophilia

  1. The practice of conjuring the spirits of the dead is necromancy. On the other hand, Necrophilia means sexual attraction towards or sexual activities with corpses. 
  2. Necromancy is not a sexual act. It is either a cult or a part of witchcraft. On the other hand,  Necrophilia is a paraphilia. 
  3. Necromancy is performed via several types of rituals. Conversely, Necrophilia is not a ritualistic practice. 
  4. Necromancy is not a mental disorder or disease. Necrophilia is a neuropsychological disorder. 
  5. Necromancy can only be practiced by humans. On the other hand, the practice of necrophilia can be found among several other species. 
  6. The types of necromancy vary based on regions and traditions. Necrophilia is a neuropsychological disorder to beings; it doesn’t depend upon regions or traditions.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

What do you call someone who has necrophilia?

Who has necrophilia is known as a necrophiliac, or a necrophile, or a necrophilist.

In what states is necrophilia legal?

In the law of various countries, including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Federal Law, the term Necrophilia is not mentioned. Different states in the United States have their law against sex with a corpse, but no federal legislation against it. In the U.K., sexual penetration of a corpse is illegal. In Australia, misconduct to a corpse is an offense. In New Zealand, misconduct to the “human remains” is an offense.

Why is it called necrophilia?

The word Necrophilia comes from two Classical Greek words, Necros (Νεκρoς) means dead, and Philia (Φιλια) means love. It means love for the dead. It is called this because necrophilia means sex with a dead body.

What is Necrophobia?

Necrophobia means fear of the dead body. Classical Greek words Necros (Νεκρoς) means dead, and Phobos (Φοβος) means fear.

What does the charge abuse of a corpse mean?

A person is guilty of abuse of a corpse if he intentionally and unlawfully digs up, or removes, or conceals, or mutilates or destroys a corpse, or any part, or the ashes of the corpse.

Why do bodies go black after death?

Nine to twelve-hour after death, by gravity, blood begins to settle, and the dead body becomes black.

What is the meaning of the word corpse?

A corpse or cadaver is a dead human body used by students, physicians, or scientists.

Is cannibalism legal in the U.S.?

There is no law against cannibalism in the United States. But homicide is not legal.

Is cannibalism legal in the U.K.?

There is no law against cannibalism in the U.K. But homicide is not legal.


The difference between necromancy and necrophilia is pretty straightforward. Necromancy is several types of ritualistic practices performed to summon spirits of the dead bodies. On the other hand, necrophilia is a sexual attraction toward dead bodies and is considered a neuro-psychological disorder.

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