Necrophilia is a paraphilia, that leads someone to have a strong sexual desire to perform coitus with a corpse.
It is a dangerous urge, as decaying bodies are a haven for bacteria and diseases, not to mention the moral flaw of having sex with the earthly remains of someone.
Beyond its paraphilic meaning, “necrophilia” or thanatophilia may also refer to an obsessive amazement with cadavers and corpses.
Origin of the term
The term is a composite of the Greek words necros, meaning corpse or dead and –philia meaning liking or loving.
Cases of “necrophilia” were already documented in ancient history, from Egypt to Greece to China and Peru.
Medieval accounts also appear on the subject, especially in the disease ridden Europe, following the Plague.
It was first used for defining people with a sickly affection toward the dead around 1850, in relation to the notorious French “necrophile” Francois Bertrand, by Joseph Guislain.
Spread of the term
“Necrophilia” is one of the most “popular” or rather well-known paraphilias in the world today, known by many, for the extremity and outrageousness of the practice.
Several notorious serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen have been documented to be “necrophiles”.
The term has been present in on Urban Dictionary since 2003, with a lot of various definitions and opinionated entries being written on the subject since then.