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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_rasputinjar_4859.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:There is no such thing as a RasputinianDeath.]]

->'''Frodo:''' But he was destroyed. Sauron was destroyed.\\
'''Gandalf:''' No, Frodo. The spirit of Sauron endured. His life force is bound to the Ring, and the Ring survived. Sauron has returned.
-->-- ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]''
%% One quote is enough, please place any new one in the Quotes tab.

A container or object which holds all or part of a person's [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]] (or life, or heart) outside of their body; this makes that person [[{{Immortality}} immortal]] and/or [[NighInvulnerability invulnerable]]. The only flaw is that the Soul Jar is now their AchillesHeel. Usually, they make sure it is ''very'' well protected (the word ''phylactery'', the common name for this kind of container from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' fame, actually comes from Ancient Greek ''phylacterion'', form of ''phylássein'', [φυλάσσειν] meaning "to guard, protect").

Typically, Soul Jars work in one of two ways:\\

* 1) The person whose soul is jarred cannot be physically killed (or in some cases even injured) as long as the jar is intact. This one has two sub-categories:
** 1a) Destroying the jar kills the entity whose soul was jarred. (See the Yura of the Hair example below)
** 1b) Destroying the jar makes it ''possible'' to kill the entity whose soul was jarred. (''Literature/TheGiantWhoHadNoHeartInHisBody'', and similar fairy tales.)
* 2) The person ''can'' be physically killed while the jar is intact, but they don't stay dead, in which case it doubles as a form of ResurrectiveImmortality. They can only be completely killed by destroying both the jar and the current body. ([[Literature/HarryPotter Voldemort's horcruxes]] are of this type.) This likewise comes in two flavors:
** 2a) The jar grows a replacement body for the one that was killed.
** 2b) The jarred soul can reach out from the jar to hijack ''someone else's'' body. Over time, the possessed person may change to resemble the soul's original body.

The TropeNamer is ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'', where necromancers and evil wizards transfer their souls into literal jars during the spell to transform themselves into liches.

Of course despite the name it's not necessarily a jar; common examples are [[PhantomZonePicture paintings]], [[MineralMacGuffin gems]] and [[BeatStillMyHeart still beating hearts]]; and in mythology and fairy tales, eggs or trees. It does not necessarily host a soul, either; sometimes an object is tied to a character's immortality, but does not actually contain the character's soul. The device is usually used by [[OurLichesAreDifferent liches]], and is invariably associated with them in folklore.

A subtrope of GhostInTheMachine and ImmortalityInducer. If the owner's body is destroyed, the Soul Jar may become [[SealedEvilInACan Sealed Evil]] (or [[SealedGoodInACan Good]], or [[SealedBadassInACan Badass]]) [[SealedEvilInACan In A Can]]. If the owner of the Soul Jar is evil, then there's a good chance the Soul Jar is an ArtifactOfDoom. If the Soul Jar gives a special power but using it can be hazardous, it may also be an AmuletOfDependency. If the Soul Jar has to be inside the body for the character to "live", it's a HeartDrive.

Compare FightingAShadow. See also FantasticFragility. Not to be confused with CrystalPrison, where a person is trapped in a gem.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'': Although Celty lives separately from her head, she worries that if it's destroyed, it might also kill her. Whether or not that's actually true has yet to be seen, but trying to kill her the normal way definitely [[HealingFactor doesn't work]].
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** Naraku, BigBad in the series, treats [=InuYasha=] as little more than an annoyance early in the series. However, as [=InuYasha=] gains power and becomes a real threat, Naraku -- who is an amalgamation of hundreds of demons -- splits off his heart in the form of an infant, which he hides away under the protection of another of his incarnations, making him effectively immortal. The Soul Jar actually decides to take advantage of this and tries to kill him with a super-powerful demon he made. This backfires, as Naraku reabsorbs him and his henchmen so he is no longer immortal, he'll just have to be satisfied with having a body made of diamond and harder-then-diamond plates.
** Likewise, Yura of the Hair, the first enemy that Manga/InuYasha and Kagome fight after their quest begins, has hidden her soul in a comb. None of the horrible wounds [=InuYasha=] inflicts on her are more than a mild inconvenience -- until Kagome destroys the comb (which Yura inexplicably led her to), at which point she dissolves.
* In ''Manga/SazanEyes'', a "Wu" is the formerly-human servant of a member of the mystical, three-eyed Sanjiyan race. The Sanjiyan holds onto the Wu's soul, meaning that, as long as the Sanjiyan survives, the Wu will just regenerate from all damage. The main character Yakumo Fujii is a newly created Wu, bonded to the Sanjiyan Pai, and he learns just how immortal he is the hard way -- ''many, many times''. To the point where the series could be summarized as "Yakumo is coughing up blood AGAIN."
* The alchemic circle written in blood that binds Alphonse's soul to his armor in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. Similar circles bind the Slicer brothers and Barry to their armors. Their physical bodies are still alive but lack a mind to guide them. [[spoiler:Because their souls naturally reject such an unnatural state, the connection will gradually deteriorate]].
* The requisite [[WhamEpisode Wham]] for ''Anime/CodeGeass R2'' episode 20 reveals that one character ([[spoiler:Empress Marianne]]) had cheated death by turning another one ([[spoiler:Anya Alstreim]]) into a living, breathing Soul Jar.
* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}} Next'' has the Pledge Stone, a contract between a human and a Mazoku. As long as the Pledge Stone is intact the human is immortal.
** ''Try'' has a more literal interpretation of this trope; one episode revolves around Lina and Filia being stuck on a haunted ship created to torment a man named [[MeaningfulName Jarlov]], whose soul is trapped in an actual jar.
** ''Revolution'' and ''Evolution-R'' have Rezo the Red Priest return via a soul jar, as well as Naga the Serpent, whose soul has somehow been removed from her body by a malfunctioning soul jar and then given form in a suit of animate armour. This time the {{Soul Jar}}s are, again, really jars.
* One character [[spoiler:Julian]] is a god's Soul Jar ([[spoiler:Poseidon]]) in ''Manga/SaintSeiya''.
** In the OAV, it happens again. Same two characters.
** Similarly, and to everyone's dismay, a main character ([[spoiler:Shun]]) was used as a Soul Jar for a different god ([[spoiler:Hades]]) by Pandora since infancy.
* Yugi Mutou in ''Manga/YuGiOh'' is the wielder of the Millennium Puzzle and is the living Soul Jar for his other personality ("Dark Yugi", "King of Games" Pharoah [[spoiler:Atem]]'s spirit). Likewise, Ryou Bakura is a living Soul Jar for his own alternate personality from the Millennium Ring (Dark Bakura, spirit of [[spoiler:Thief King Bakura]]). Dark Bakura himself specializes in producing Soul Jars with his Millennium Ring in order to spread his power as needed, and is ultimately revealed to be a Soul Jar himself ([[spoiler:for Zorc]]).
** In the Duelist Kingdom arc, Pegasus J. Crawford uses a version of this as a Penalty Game by transferring Sugoroku Mutou's, Mokuba's and Kaiba's souls into inanimate objects. Sugoroku's Soul Jar was a video tape and the Kaiba brothers' Soul Jars were blank playing cards known as 'Soul Prisons' (in the [[Anime/YugiOh anime]], all three were put into Soul Prison cards because CardGames). By doing so, the trapped characters lose all personality and appear to be within a catatonic state. It is unknown completely what happens if the inanimate objects are destroyed or damaged in some way, but it is generally acknowledged that it can't be good.
** In the sixth volume of the original manga, there is a one-shot villain who finds a cursed card game called Dragon Cards that seals the loser's soul in a jar. He steals the Millennium Puzzle from Yugi and forces him into a battle. Yugi loses, but manages to get his hands on the puzzle before losing his soul, and Dark Yugi is able to come out and win a rematch.
* In ''[[Anime/HellGirl Hell Girl: The Cauldron of Three]]'', [[spoiler:Yuzuki Mikage becomes Enma Ai's Soul Jar through DemonicPossession]]
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}} Alucard's'' coffin is implied to act as this for him. He appears to require a certain proximity to it in order to access his higher powers (as evidenced by his needing to take it with him on missions where he is expected to use his greater powers), and it appears to be an extension of himself in some manner (such as when it sprouted limbs and eyes during [[{{Prequel}} Hellsing: The Dawn]] and carried him away from battle when he came under threat). He is also highly protective of it. [[spoiler:Plus, it contains his army of familiars, which are the basis of his NighInvulnerability; as long as they are in the coffin, he possesses their collective life force making him extremely difficult to kill, and even when they are out of it he can defer his own injuries to them (at the cost of gradually destroying them)]]. Whether this is the case for all higher level vampires or was a part of the measures Hellsing initiated [[RestrainingBolt in order to keep him under control]] is unclear.
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', [[CreepyChild Maria's]] {{Diary}} serves as a type of Soul Jar (at least [[UnreliableNarrator in theory]]). Although she died twelve years ago, Ange is able to [[DeadPersonConversation communicate with her]] by opening the diary.
* The titular mecha from the ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' verse are similar to a Soul Jar. It is directly confirmed that [[spoiler:at least two hold the mothers of their respective pilots. These souls differ somewhat: Yui got stuck in Unit 01 due to a contact experiment where she reached a 400% sync ratio; due to that, she's in complete control and can interact with the outside world to some extent. Kyoko had gone through a glitched version: Unit 02 took the part of her which recognizes Asuka as her daughter, leaving the rest suicidally insane. Unit 00 is a source of argument among fans. The most common theory being that Rei I is inside.]] To some extent, [[spoiler:the Reiquarium might apply as well. In the event that Rei dies, her soul will go to the chamber and possess one of her clones]].
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Kakuzu collects people's hearts and incorporates them into his body. He can also use them to animate minions for him. Whether they are inside or outside his body, he can't die unless they are all destroyed.
** The Curse Marks that Orochimaru bestows on certain people actually carry his will, meaning that he can be potentially reborn from the seal of anyone he has given one to.
* A [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Deoxys's]] chest-located crystalline core is a possible example. This is especially prominent when a Deoxys rebuilds itself from the core being the only part left over after being vaporized into white sparks [[spoiler:by a Rayquaza's point blank Hyper Beam in one of the movies.]] The core was not vaporized along the body, and how durable it is is a mystery.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''
** Witches hatch from their Grief Seed, and they leave it behind when they are killed. Magical girls use the Grief Seeds from defeated witches to recharge their powers, although it's stated that too much use of a Grief Seed can revive the witch. [[spoiler:Which is why Kyubey eats "used-up" Grief Seeds.]]
** Later, we find that [[spoiler:a magical girl's '[[TransformationTrinket Soul Gem]]' is an entirely literal name--upon making the contract with Kyubey, a magical girl's soul is placed inside the gem, which becomes her new "body" which controls her original one, which essentially turns her into a lich. It can be used to affect her original body by means of stimulating it (a fact that the fandom has [[FantasticArousal run away with]]). It cannot be more than 100 meters from its owner or else the original body will lose consciousness and enter an EmptyShell state until the Soul Gem is brought back--and if the body goes too long without the gem, it starts to decompose just like a corpse. Finally, as long as the gem is intact, the magical girl will eventually recover from any wounds her original body takes, but if the gem is ever destroyed, as happens several times in the series, the magical girl will immediately--and irrevocably--die]]. Much later, we find out that [[spoiler:Soul Gems will eventually become Grief Seeds, and Magical Girls will eventually become Witches]].
* Karla, the Grey Witch in ''Roleplay/RecordOfLodossWar''. Her soul is actually housed in a circlet with two red eyes embedded in it. The exact circumstances by which she ended up in this state are unclear, but she can possess anyone wearing the circlet, and she does seem able to move alone to some limited degree so as to possess someone else, such as when she was forced off Leylia and had to switch over to Woodchuck. In the manga, Karla's circlet is apparently unable to move at all. Woodchuck takes up the circlet willingly out of self-loathing.
* ''[[Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} Type Moon]]'' example: [[spoiler:Zouken Matou]] is a worm-user whose body is made completely of (you guessed it) worms. [[spoiler:So long as he keeps his worms fed and the master worm containing his soul is safe, killing his apparent body does nothing, as it can be replaced with more worms, though by this time in [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Fate/stay night]] his magic is reaching its limit, and he will eventually be unable to sustain the amount of humans he needs to consume to stay alive.]] His mind and soul have also decayed to the point where he doesn't even remember ''why'' he wants to be immortal.
* ''Manga/OmamoriHimari'': Lizlet's [[spoiler:teacup]] is her true body. The "human" one is effectively indestructible, as well as incredibly strong.
* In ''Manga/MagicalGirlApocalypse'', the magical girls can regenerate from any damage, even losing their heads, but if their magic wands are destroyed, they crumble to dust.
* In ''Anime/SevenMortalSins'', Lucifer extracts Maria Totsuka's heart and stores it in a jar. As long as nothing happens to the heart, Maria can't die and won't age. This doesn't please Maria at all, [[WhoWantsToLiveForever since she didn't want to be immortal]] and she has no choice but to obey Lucifer. To demonstrate what happens if she defies her, Lucifer squeezes the heart, crippling Maria with pain.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/LostAtSea'', Raleigh believes that her mother [[DealWithTheDevil sold Raleigh's soul]] to TheDevil in exchange for career success and that TheDevil placed her soul inside a cat.
* In ''Comicbook/BlackestNight'', Nekron embodies the cosmic void that predates life. As an incarnation of nothingness, his mere existence is an impossibility. And indeed it is impossible without an anchor of sorts tying him to the physical plane. That anchor happens to be the first Black Lantern, Black Hand. [[spoiler:Reviving Black Hand with the White Light of Life sends Nekron back to the void.]]
* In ''Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'' [[spoiler:Verity Willis]]' soul (well, technically story) got [[YourSoulIsMine forcibly transferred]] into a gem on Loki's bracelet. Her body died in the process but she gained an intangible/indestructible ghostly form. This happened because [[ComicBook/SecretWars2015 the universe was ending]], she was more portable that way and Loki had strange thought processes and consent issues.
* ''ComicBook/{{Arawn}}'': The Cauldron of Blood serves as one for the demon residing inside it. He can regenerate from any other attack, but the cauldron is his weak point. Sure enough, once Owen figures this out, he destroys the Cauldron with Math's Sun Axe to ensure that the demon will be vanquished for good.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In ''Literature/TsarevichPetrAndTheWizard'', Koschei the Immortal (resp. [[BlindIdiotTranslation Koschei the Deathless]]) hid his death in the eye of a needle, hid the needle inside an egg, hid the egg inside a duck, hid the duck inside a hare, then locked the hare in an iron box and buried the box under a tree on the vanishing island of Buyan. The tree, hare and duck are destroyed with the help of a few {{Androcles Lion}}s. Other variants of this include "Literature/TheGiantWhoHadNoHeartInHisBody", [[http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/pt1/pt105.htm "The Young King Of Easaidh Ruadh,"]] and [[http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/213.htm "What Came Of Picking Flowers."]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The [[MacGuffinTitle titular violin]] in the ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland Total Drama]]'' story, ''Fanfic/CourtneyAndTheViolinOfDespair'' houses the embittered spirit of a former owner. Although that former owner’s body is long since dust, the spirit remains and enforces the curse on the violin. Destroying the violin [[spoiler:enables the spirit to rest in peace]].
* The ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' has the Chaos Six have this in [[BadFuture Dark World]] thanks to the Elements of Chaos that Discord replaced their hearts with. So long as the Elements aren't destroyed (not an easy task) or removed while they're still whole, they have CompleteImmortality and will heal from any wound they receive, including [[FromASingleCell being reduced to their Element]]. Thankfully, those that pull a HeelFaceTurn retain it, though it's not a GameBreaker since their enemies include the remaining three Chaos Six, the Valeyard [[spoiler:(who has since upgraded his Regenerations into full ResurrectiveImmortality via a SoulJar of his own in the form of a regeneration template)]], and [[PhysicalGod Discord and his little sister Rancor]].
* In ''Fanfic/TheCommanderOfShepherds'', Celestia and Luna will regenerate from the Sun or the Moon respectively, as these are the sources of their power. The same is true for Twilight and the Element of Magic--WordOfGod goes as far as calling her a lich.
* ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'':
** The mane 6 statuettes, [[spoiler:although all 42 of those figurines are actually all made from Rarity's soul alone.]]
** [[spoiler:The black book turns out to be a soul jar for the zebra who wrote it.]]
* ''Fanfic/DeathNoteEquestria'' eventually reveals that [[spoiler:Pinkie Pie]] managed to do this prior to her death... with a bag of potato chips.
* ''[[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} RWBY: ]][[FanFic/RWBYReckoning Reckoning]]'' has a bit of a puzzling case: the MacGuffin of the story, the Fragment of Arcadia, is stated to contain ''[[UpToEleven an entire race]]'' of souls. But if they just so happened to be freed, the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Creatures of Grimm]] are liable to provide their bodies. [[ApocalypseHow And they're dangerous enough already…]]
* In ''FanFic/BeingDeadAintEasy'', Joey can potentially escape ceasing to exist by having his soul fused to an object. [[spoiler:They end up using the Red-Eyes Black Dragon card]].
* ''Fanfic/TheBridge'': Enjin has a core, resembling a large bead, in his chest. As long as it remains intact, he can regenerate from any damage, even if every part of him but the core is incinerated. The core is very durable, but once it is destroyed, Enjin's body evaporates like smoke.
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': Shinji keeps four canopic jars that store the souls of four [[SpaceMarine Rubric Marines]] and [[spoiler:fragments of the spirits of the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' gods.]]
-->Atop a small wooden table he laid out a blue cloth embroidered with the Star of Chaos and the Eye of Tzeentch, and then set down the canopic jars that held the dust of his undying guardians.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': When she arrives in Tokyo-3 Asuka hears rumors that Unit 01 is “haunted”. Asuka dismisses them as silly superstitions, but later she learns that there’re human souls locked inside the Evas.
* In ''[[http://fanfics.me/read2.php?id=127043 A RWBY Zanpakuto,]]'' Aizen claims he was created by the Hogyoku and remains immortal as long as it exists. When Ichigo and Blake figure out how to destroy it, he disintegrates.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/AladdinTheReturnOfJafar'', Iago destroys Jafar by kicking his lamp in lava. While it doesn't contain a genie's soul per se, a lamp is bound to a genie's life.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'': Rasputin sells his soul to the [[BiggerBad underworld]] in return for the demonic powers to enact his curse on the Romanov family. His body can still die, but he just ends up undead in limbo. He can only move into the afterlife if his curse is complete. What's bizarre about this, is he literally sold his soul ''for the MacGuffin''. If his reliquary is destroyed, [[CessationOfExistence he ceases to exist]]. Trying to analyze this, or explain how a person's soul can be both simultaneously transplanted and substituted, for something that's not a soul, causes an ''[[NoOntologicalInertia ontological nightmare]]''.
* ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'' has the titular ArtifactOfDoom, which gained its power because the soul of the most evil man who ever lived, EvilSorcerer Arawn, [[AndIMustScream was imprisoned in the lead it's made of]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'', a person's life is measured by a timepiece. Charlie steals his after death and winds it back up again, returning to life. This has the downside of meaning he'll go to Hell when he finally kicks it again, but he's not too concerned, since as long as the watch keeps ticking he's effectively immortal. [[spoiler:It eventually stops working due to extensive water damage, condemning Charlie to Hell. But he gets saved later because he [[HeroicSacrifice risked his own life]] to save Ann Marie]] .
* The [[PunkPunk Stitch]][[{{Steampunk}} punks]] in ''WesternAnimation/{{Nine}}'' are animate and almost literal example.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Dragonslayer}}'', the hero's mentor places his spirit (and, apparently, also his body) in a magic amulet that enables the holder to make use of magic to a degree. He does this so that his young apprentice can do the travelling for him.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'':
** In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest'', the titular "Dead Man's Chest" holds the heart of Davy Jones. After being scorned by his love, Jones ripped his heart out and sealed it away, which apparently granted him his [[CursedWithAwesome incredible powers and immortality]].
** In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', it's revealed that putting your heart in the chest is actually a requirement for being captain of the Flying Dutchman. The captain certainly needs the immortality to be able to seek out and ferry the souls of the dead to the afterlife.
** Jones probably started the tradition -- the real reason he tore out his heart and put it in the chest was that so he wouldn't have to feel anymore, because he was supposed to ferry the souls of the dead for ten years and then be released when he returned to his lover; when his lover wasn't there, dooming him to at least ten more years and possibly eternity until his own death, he was so heartbroken he did the heart thing. The immortality was probably an unforeseen side effect, although now any poor schlub who takes the job has to do it.
** And for a while it actually was in a jar. A jar of dirt, to be exact.
* In the 1974 film ''Film/PhantomOfTheParadise'' (which is a fusion pastiche of ''Dorian Gray'', ''The Phantom of the Opera'', ''Faust'' and several other stories), evil record producer/promoter Swan (played by Creator/PaulWilliams) keeps a videotape of himself making a DealWithTheDevil; his image on the tape ages, but he does not. The tape also represents the physical contract of that deal; both he and the titular Phantom (whom he tricks into making a deal of his own) are immortal while their contracts are intact. [[spoiler:At the climax, the Phantom finds the tape as well as the contracts Swan forced him and the other musicians to sign. He burns the lot of them, killing Swan - but unfortunately killing himself in the process.]]
* This is pretty much the whole point of the film ''Cold Souls''. Paul Giamatti (played by himself) stores his soul in a literal jar in order to play Uncle Vanya. HilarityEnsues.
* Putting the souls of their dead in a jar is apparently SOP for [[Franchise/StarTrek Vulcans]].
* From ''Film/JoeVersusTheVolcano'': "What is that, a teddy bear?" "No. It is my soul."
* In ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'' Draco serves as Einon's soul jar. By Draco giving him part of his heart, Einon regenerates all wounds he suffers unless Draco himself is killed.
* Horcruxes in the ''Film/HarryPotter'' series serve as this; pieces of the user's soul stored in objects of some kind.
* Charles Lee Ray in ''Film/ChildsPlay'' uses HollywoodVoodoo to transfer his soul into a doll after he is fatally shot by the police.
* The title birds of ''Film/TheCrow'' series act as these for Eric Draven, Ashe Corven and everyone else brought back by them. As long as they remain alive, these revenants can regenerate any wound dealt to them, but if they should die, the people they were bound to become mortal again.
* in ''Film/CaptainSindbad'', EvilOverlord El Kerim is functionally immortal (or at least unkillable) because his heart has been removed and entombed in a block of ice, which he keeps in an EvilTowerOfOminousness in the jungle, guarded by a [[GiantHandsOfDoom Giant Hand of Doom]]. In order to kill Kerim and avert the execution of Princess Jana, Sindbad must climb the tower and stab the heart to kill the villain. [[spoiler:In a subversion, it's actually the comedic wizard Galgo who ends up disposing of the heart by chucking it out of the tower.]]
* Both sequels to ''Film/{{Candyman}}'' features at least one of these that's keeping the spirit of the eponymous villain alive:
** Annie in ''Film/CandymanFarewellToTheFlesh'' comes to learn that before Daniel Robitaille died and became the urban legend Candyman, his soul transferred into a mirror that was being held by his lover Caroline. That mirror must be destroyed in order to defeat him.
** In ''Film/CandymanDayOfTheDead'', it turns out that only Candyman's evil side has been vanquished, and his good side is held within a set of paintings, notably his own, and as everybody knows evil can't exist without good, so the paintings have to be destroyed to permanently kill him.

* J R Ward's ''Literature/BlackDaggerBrotherhood'' is a good example: when the [[BigBad Omega]] creates a lesser, the heart is removed and placed in a ceramic jar. For some reason, the brotherhood attempts to find and store these each time a lesser is killed.
* In Creator/OscarWilde's ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray'', Dorian Gray's wish for eternal youth is granted. His portrait, which has just been painted, starts to age instead. Has a twist, in that rather than being defeated by a hero who discovers the source of his immortality, Dorian fends off all threats but is eventually destroyed by his own self-loathing. The twist was discarded for the oft-maligned movie version of ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''; in the film, Dorian Gray is forbidden to ever look at the painting as part of his end of the deal... and of course, in the end it's used to kill him.
* In PC Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', some members of the not-quite-human Kencyr have the ability to hold onto another's soul for a time. The one without a soul is nearly immortal, but lacks a conscience and casts no shadow. The one carrying an extra soul casts two shadows.
* In ''Taran Wanderer'', the second to last of Creator/LloydAlexander's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'', Taran fights a mage who put his life into the bone of his little finger, and put that in a box in a tree in the middle of nowhere. Taran [[ContrivedCoincidence just happened across it before he coincidentally happened across the mage.]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** The most notable example in the franchise are Voldemort's six Horcruxes, although these only hold [[ArcNumber one-seventh each]] of his soul (six Horcruxes plus one Voldemort) -- essentially, murder is considered an act so foul it literally tears your soul, at which point black magic can be used to put that torn-off piece in an object to keep yourself tied to the mortal world should you die. Things started to go wrong when [[spoiler:Voldemort accidentally made Harry into the sixth Horcrux. Voldemort had made five by then, and he would make a seventh about thirteen years later.]] As a result of all this soul-splitting, toward the end of the series he becomes [[VillainousBreakdown noticeably unhinged]]. Another complication is that the Horcruxes only protect Voldemort's spiritual existence. He ''can'' still be killed physically, which would require him to be revived by someone else. Lastly, to an extent the Horcruxes are able to act independently, though all of them look for the same as their original vessel. This incidentally is one of the reasons [[spoiler:Harry is able to return from the border between life and death after Voldemort hits him with the Killing Curse again. Voldemort's own soul fragment happens to be in the way, sparing Harry the full brunt of the curse.]]
** ''Literature/TheTalesOfBeedleTheBard'' gives us "The Warlock's Hairy Heart". A young warlock cuts out his own heart and stores it in a case so he might not ever feel such pesky things as emotion, rather than immortality.
* In Robin Jarvis' ''Literature/{{Hagwood}}'' trilogy, the evil High Lady of Hollow Hill, Rhiannon, has removed her heart from her body and placed it in an enchanted casket. The only way to kill her is to unlock the casket with the key specially made for it and then stab the heart.
* In the book and [[Series/{{Neverwhere}} series]] ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'', the Marquis de Carabas keeps "a piece of his life" in a box in case he is ever killed. He is.
* Subverted in that it's used as a ''punishment'' in the ''[[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Wheel of Time]]'' series. Moridin currently holds two of these from members of the Forsaken that ''really'' screwed up.
* Fritz Leiber's ''Literature/FafhrdAndTheGrayMouser'' series featured one villainous sorcerer who took his soul and hid it in an egg in a magical castle.
* Lifetimers in the Literature/{{Discworld}}. In ''Soul Music'', Albert carries his around with him while searching around in the world for the missing Death--a mistake, as he gets mugged and the hourglass shatters. Fortunately for Albert, Death manages to save thirty-eight seconds' worth of time and pour it into a bottle to prevent him from dying (again).
** And there's a reverse example in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'', where the Hogfather's lifetimer shatters ''in response to'' Teatime's plan to stop children believing in him, thus "killing" him.[[note]]Or else it was the stray cats who found their way to Death's Domain, knowing they were sure of a cat-lover who'd feed them. It is noted that [[PricelessMingVase several of them had got into the room where Death stores the ''special'' lifetimers]]...[[/note]]
** Also, in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'' the heart in a hidden jar variation is mentioned to be used by magicians in Howondaland so they can't be killed.
** There is a literal example of the Soul Jar in ''Discworld/GoingPostal''. Apparently wizards can take a sabbatical year and be temporarily Dead. A pantry just off the kitchen has been adapted into a repository for ''literal'' Soul Jars. These are apparently old jam-jars scrounged from the nearby kitchen, each labelled with the name of the temporarily dead Wizard and storing his essence. Mrs. Whitlow, the housekeeper, has insisted each jar now carries a small fetish doll of a wizard to prevent misunderstandings, as apparently a cook in a hurry scrounged what he thought was an empty jar to decant peanut butter into. The fate of that Wizard is un-known but may have included toast.
** A non-Lifetimer, non-soul example in ''Literature/MakingMoney'', when Igor moves Owlswick Jenkins's bad memories and anxieties into a turnip, which becomes rotten and partly alive, rolling around its glass enclosure.
* The One Ring in Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. It wasn't actually created for this purpose -- the Dark Lord Sauron was already an immortal spirit able to take any form he wished, and created it as an AmplifierArtifact that would make his already formidable MindControl powers strong enough to take over the other Rings (and through them, their wearers). But upon creating it he put part of his LifeForce into the Ring, which kept him from dying completely when he was killed as long as the Ring survives. Morgoth did the same thing with ''the entire physical universe''. Every last atom contains a minuscule fragment of his spirit. Hence why evil endures even though Morgoth was thrust out into the Outer Dark by the Valar: "the whole world is Morgoth's Ring."
* In the ''Literature/ApprenticeAdept'' series, the harmonica Stile first summons to use for his magic turns out to be the one created by his doppelganger, Adept Blue. We find out later, it stores Blue's soul (Blue arranged to put his soul there after allowing Red's booby trapped amulet to strangle him). Later still, Adept Brown builds a flesh golem for Blue's soul to inhabit... which Stile ends up in at the end of the [[SaveBothWorlds Phaze/Photon-saving]] scheme (Don't worry, this is actually a good thing).
* In Barry Hughart's Chinese fantasy novel ''Literature/BridgeOfBirds'', the Duke of Ch'in (a pastiche of the historical Qin Shihuangdi) is revealed to have had his heart removed by the wisest man in the world, who implies that he was the one who did the same to Koschei the Deathless.
* In ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'', [[spoiler:Leso Varen]] has one. In a moment of LampshadeHanging, Pug remarks that it could be any object, not just a jar; it turns out to be a jar. In subsequent books, it is revealed that [[spoiler:Varen]] has multiple Soul Jars in a number of locations across Midkemia and Kelewan.
* In John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'', they deduce that Waldo must have done this by the magical powers he gains from it; with the aid of the Riddling Beast, they track it down and destroy it.
* In the "Boy Who Couldn't Die", an evil monster puts its own soul into a "jar" and becomes effectively immortal. The main character seeks to duplicate this.
* In ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', [[spoiler:the Lord Ruler's bracers hold his youth and vitality, making him into an immortal ImplacableMan]]. These are an interesting example, though, as they must be in physical contact with him at all times for him to benefit from the stored energy. [[spoiler:When Vin yanks them off during the final battle, the Lord Ruler instantly collapses and begins to age into a withered old man. He's dead in minutes]].
* The ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' pulls this out near the end of the third book, where it's revealed that dragons can live forever if they cough up an internal gemstone for someone else to hold. Their soul is transferred to the gemstone as they spit it up, but it remains linked to their body, allowing them to control it remotely while staying in contact with whoever they'd entrusted the gem to. Unfortunately, those gemstones are a source of great magical power and a favorite collectible for bad guys to hoard (the older the dragon was when the gem was spat up, the bigger and more powerful it is). They also don't actually increase the lifespan of the dragon, since they're already immortal; the gem simply acts as a backup. Not a very desirable one either; upon death the dragon seems to be put in a state of [[AndIMustScream virtually absolute isolation and impotence]], retaining only the ability to communicate via telepathy.
* In ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', Haplo manages to expel his soul from his body and turn it into a dog--entirely by accident. There's probably some deep philosophical implication to the fact that whenever Haplo neglected his soul for too long, it would sneak off and pilfer sausages, but it was never investigated within the story.
* Demons in Fred Saberhagen's ''Empire of the East'' and ''Literature/BooksOfSwords'' universe suffer from this. That is, their "lives" are bound to an inanimate object. While there are other ways of killing them, destroying their lives requires no special skill and is by far the easiest.
* In the ''Literature/SecretHistories'' series by Simon R. Green, it is customary for witches to magically separate their hearts from their bodies and hide them in order to make themselves very hard to kill. The spell can also be applied to someone else [[AndIMustScream without their knowledge]].
* In ''Literature/HowlsMovingCastle'' (the original book), two characters have made [[DealWithTheDevil deals]] with fire demons wherein [[spoiler:the fire demon gets the mortal's heart, letting the fire demon live, and greatly extending the mortal's life and giving them access to the fire demon's power. This ties the two together (one dies, both die)]], so it's not as useful as a normal Soul Jar, ''but'' the [[spoiler:heart]] does act as a Soul Jar, in that you destroy it, you destroy them.
* The painting of Queen Etheldredda in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', while not being a literal Soul Jar, serves this purpose for her and its destruction in the [=BoneFyre=] causes her ghost to disappear.
* ''Literature/TheBookOfLostThings'' has a literal example; the Crooked Man's life is sustained via the soul of a child that he keeps in a jar.
* ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'' has the Demonlord [[spoiler:survive via the spell of the Distant Heart. His heart was removed, turned to stone, and hidden under a mountain by demons. His soul went to the demons. As long as heart, body, and soul were not all in one he couldn't really be killed, and even then only by something that had dragon and human blood both.]]
** There's also the soulgems of dragons. They each have a gem in their forehead; after death it's collected and a Kin-Summoner can make them glow steadily and call the deceased back to speak through them for a time, but otherwise the dragons are truly dead and believed to have some kind of afterlife. Soulgems of the Lost, those struck down by the Demonlord, can't be used to summon and flicker with a faint and constant light. When they're restored in ''Redeeming the Lost'' we see that [[spoiler:some of them were asleep, some came in and out of consciousness, some were [[AndIMustScream awake the whole time]].]]
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Kthonia's soul exists in a crystal and searching for it is the first step in her knights' EvilPlan.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': It's implied several times that the [[MacGuffin gem of Zosia]] may be one of these.
* There's a somewhat unusual example in ''Sabriel'', first book of the Literature/OldKingdom series. [[OurLichesAreDifferent Kerrigor]] uses [[spoiler:his original mortal body]] as his anchor in the world of the living (he usually exists either as pure spirit or uses a magically created vessel), and so long as it exists he can never fully be banished from the world. [[spoiler:Subverting expectations, it's also never destroyed; Kerrigor retakes his body at the climax in order to keep Sabriel from destroying it, and is shortly after bound to eternal slumber while still inside it]].
* A particularly twisted example in ''Literature/{{Kraken}}'', with ThoseTwoBadGuys Goss and his "son" Subby. [[spoiler:Subby is actually a mindless ArtificialHuman and Goss's Soul Jar.]]
* Doehring Cowert, in ''Literature/CoilingDragon'', was killed 5000 years before the story began but managed to store his spirit in the eponymous [[RingOfPower ring]] right at the end. After [[TheHero Linley]] bonded the ring to himself, Doehring could appear to the boy and started [[SpiritAdvisor teaching him magic]].
* The BigBad of the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series builds himself a pocket dimension in the VoidBetweenTheWorlds, to which his soul returns every time his body dies. Then he waits until a descendant of his develops a magical gift and [[BodySurf takes over their body]].
* ''Literature/TalesOfElethiya'' has a type of demon, or dark angel, called the roahn-ami who has on its body silver skull canisters which they use to hold the souls they steal. In the first book of the series, [[TheLancer Rigo]] is able to grab a set of skulls off a roahn-ami while he's in battle with it. The heroes are then faced with the question of what to do with the souls inside.
* In the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', a so-called Finnest is an object used as a repository of power (and occasionally actual souls) by the [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Jaghut]], although some non-Jaghut have taken up the practise as well. The most often seen use for this in the series has been to store the power/soul of someone dangerously powerful and vicious in a Finnest in order to be able to imprison them, as such beings tend to be nigh unkillable if not outright immortal, and the Jaghut prefer to take care of their own homegrown problems. Objects used for the purpose can be as varied as an acorn or a dagger.
* In ''Literature/VoidCity'', every Emperor Vampire has a ''memento mori'', an artifact which contains some of their magical essence. Until it is destroyed, they can resurrect from any form of death, even if nothing remains of their body.
* The FairyTale example above is deconstructed in ''Literature/TsarGorokhsDetectiveAgency''. When Nikita needs a way to defeat Koschei, he decides to give the old fairy tale a go. He travels to where the oak is supposed to be located... only to find a whole forest of similar-looking oaks. Each oak has an identical chest hanging on it. Koschei isn't a moron. He also originally used to constantly monitor the correct tree with his MagicMirror, but has since given up out of boredom, as no hero has managed to do it successfully. Plus, all broken fakes are periodically replaced, so a process of elimination won't work. It's also damn difficult to catch all those animals. And, as Koschei indicates, even if one has managed to get one's hands on the needle with his death... the requirement to kill him is to break off the ''tip''. Breaking the needle in half won't do. Good luck trying to break off just the tip without any tools.
* ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity'': The heart stone acts as a variant of this. It's also a subversion [[spoiler: as Sam is a hell of a lot ''more'' vulnerable having his gift locked away in the thing]].
* In ''Literature/TsarGorokhsDetectiveAgency'', Koschei's death (see Mythology) is hidden in a chest on an oak (plus the usual animals). When Nikita goes there in order to find something to threaten the villain with, he is disheartened when he sees an ''entire forest'' of oaks with identical chests. Koschei's messenger laughs and points out that Koschei isn't an idiot and has taken measures to ensure that no plucky hero can get the drop on him. In addition, as Koschei explains later, the only way to kill him is to break off the tip of the needle, where his death is located. Here's the problem: it's ''very'' hard to break off the tip of a needle without special tools (i.e. breaking the needle in half doesn't count).

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' had Soul Hunters, beings who sought to preserve knowledge and wisdom by capturing and maintaining the souls of the dying. This causes serious issues with the Minbari, who believe that their souls are [[{{Reincarnation}} reincarnated]] in the bodies of later generations of Minbari (and there is some evidence--although not perfect evidence--to believe that this is literally true), and that the Soul Hunters' preservation process prevents that reincarnation.
* In the TV show based on Jim Butcher's ''Series/TheDresdenFiles'' series, a condemned wizard known as Bob is imprisoned in his own skull after performing magic to raise the dead. In the original books, he's an air spirit bound to a skull.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'', a vampire has his heart surgically removed so that Angel can't stake him. Unusually for this trope, he is eventually defeated not by locating and destroying his heart, but by waiting until the time limit was up.
** There's also the literal jar where Angel's soul was sealed to bring Angelus out temporarily.
** In ''Angel & Faith'': [[spoiler:Angel is using himself as a Soul Jar for pieces of Giles' soul, as a prelude to resurrecting him]].
* In ''Series/TinMan'', Azkedellia attempts to pass off an artifact to DG as one of these, complete with [[spoiler:their mother]]'s voice calling out for DG. Subverted in that DG doesn't buy it for a second and smashes it to bits, using the resulting distraction to try and escape.
* The Resurrection Ships in the re-imagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''.
* The MonsterOfTheWeek in an episode of ''Series/LostGirl'' is a HatePlague-inducing spider whose indestructibility stems from having implanted its heart into its owner.
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Return to Tomorrow" had some of these in which the alien survivors of an apocalyptic war remained, and then swapped consciousnesses with members of the ''Enterprise'' crew, trapping Kirk and Spock in the jars.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' has an interesting case with The Doctor and his mobile emitter. As a hologram, he is physically invulnerable, so villains must therefore target the mobile emitter he wears on his arm in order to exist outside of sickbay/holodeck. Stealing or deactivating it is a common way to incapacitate him.
* Some of the artifacts in ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' contain more of their original owner's personality than others, most notably Lucrezcia Borgia's hair comb, which channels Lucrezcia's personality, desires, and her gifts of influence into its wearer.
** The warehouse has the actual looking glass of ''Literature/ThroughTheLookingGlass''. The murderous spirit of Alice Liddel is contained within.
** H.G. Wells also gets this treatment. Her mind is trapped in a coin while her body keeps going with a false personality running it.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATime'':
** Several sorcerers are able to [[AndShowItToYou remove people's hearts]] and [[BeatStillMyHeart keep them]]. They can use the hearts to control their owners or crush them to kill them instantly. Also, one of the {{Arc Villain}}s has removed her own heart and keeps it in a concealed box. Doing so is actually the reason she was so relentlessly evil.
** Regina nearly does this in the second half of season 3, believing it will be easier to live without a heart than with her broken one, but is convinced otherwise. [[spoiler:She ends up going through with it anyways, but only to prevent the current ArcVillain from obtaining it in the aforementioned method.]]
* For most ghosts in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', this is just their bones or remains, but some ghosts are attached to an item like a hook, a penny, or a flask. This also applies to demons: As Bobby put it, they're just ghosts with an ego and more powers. So far, all but Knights of Hell seem to be able to be killed this way, including Crowley, the King of Hell, who unlike other demons, has become so different from them that he has a unique smoke cloud, as opposed to the normal black (his is red).
* ''Series/KamenRiderGhost'' has {{Transformation Trinket}}s called Eyecons, which contain the souls of legendary heroes that the Riders can channel. One of these Eyecons belongs to and hosts the soul of the main character himself, who had the unfortunate case of [[FirstEpisodeResurrection dying in the first episode]]; if it's destroyed, he becomes DeaderThanDead. Ganma Eyecons also work as Soul Jars with a twist: the Eyecon can manifest the person a new body and as long as their original body is fine, destroying the Eyecon will just send the soul back to the person, and thus they can put the soul into another Eyecon. However, if the person's real body is destroyed, they will either die or be stuck in the Eyecon.

* The song [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfw6KIFeGSc "Soul in a Jar"]] from the alternative soul band The Veldt appears to be about a person [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin that was subjected to this]].

* A Mi'kmaq [[Myth/NativeAmericanMythology Native American myth]] about a dispute between the god Glooskap and a giant who had hidden his soul in a pinecone, and hidden that on the top of an unclimbable mountain.
* The example given in Literature, from Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, is taken from an Indian myth. This story (and others like it) arguably form the ur-examples of the concept of the Lich in popular culture (see the D&D examples and others, below).
* Myth/RussianMythologyAndTales gave us Koshchei the Immortal (see above), the UrExample of a lich, whose death/mortality was hidden in a needle on a remote magical island.
* In the [[Myth/EgyptianMythology ancient Egyptian]] ''Tale of Two Brothers'', Bata puts his heart in a pinecone atop the tallest tree in the Valley of the Cedars. Type 1a in that chopping it down kills him, but he can be revived if his heart is returned.

* ''No Greater Dream'' has Mary, a scientist who is [[TheTopicOfCancer terminally ill with leukemia]]. Together with her fellow scientist John, they attempt to preserve her soul in a vial placed next to her coffin.

* Pops up in Literature/TheBible, specifically the first chapter of Ezekiel. As part of a long description of [[EldritchAbomination what angels REALLY look like]], it's mentioned that the angels contain their "spirits" in wheel machines made of AlienGeometries and ExtraEyes.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** This can be done in limited fashion as early as 1st Edition using the ''magic jar'' spell. The caster enters a gem or whatever, then swaps with (possesses) someone in range.
** AD&D 2nd Edition ''Al-Qadim''
*** ''Arabian Adventures'' sourcebook. The Lifeproof spell allows the caster to remove part of his life force (called the "Shadow of the Heart") and put it in a glass container or crystal. While it's stored there, the caster cannot die from taking HitPoints of damage. If they drop below zero HitPoints while under the spell's effect they become progressively more ugly (lose Charisma).
*** The "City of Delights" boxed set has the "Hide Heart" spell, which allowed the hide-your-heart-in-a-jar stunt for partial immortality... and if cast on someone else, ensures they not only are more likely to survive the mission, but will want to return.
** 1E adventure C1 ''The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan''. In one room there was a werejaguar who could turn into a statue at will. His heart had been removed and stored in the head of a stuffed tiger nearby. He will apparently die if he takes enough damage, but will be reborn in one day's time unless his heart is destroyed.
** The 1E adventure I3 ''Pharaoh'' had an Evil high priest named Munafik who magically removed his heart and stored it in a glass jar. The only way to kill him was to destroy the heart.
** "Heart of Stone" from Player's Options, where the heart is replaced with a stone duplicate, turning the caster for a year into a not-quite-living being, resistant to any weapons but having problems with healing. Codifies what was done years earlier by the BigBad in an Expert D&D module ''The Curse Of Xanathon''.
** 3rd Edition includes the "Hide Life" spell, which has much the same effects, but is written to duplicate the Prydain variant.
** [[ProtectiveCharm Amulet of Life Protection]]--stored the user's soul for a week after death to ease the [[BackFromTheDead resurrection]], protected from ''magic jar'' and suchlike. The Locket of the Great Kingdom from TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} did much the same, but the dead user could use ''magic jar'' and raise a basic, mindless undead creature that would be easy to possess.
** Powerful spellcasters can undergo a dark ritual to become mighty undead known as [[OurLichesAreDifferent Liches]] by storing their soul in a phylactery. If their body is destroyed but the phylactery isn't, they eventually reanimate. Well-illustrated in the ''D&D'' parody webcomic ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', where the BigBad, Xykon, is a pretty standard lich who does indeed regenerate from a phylactery--body part by body part over quite a few strips. A more advanced and ancient form of liches exist known as demiliches, whose bodies have disintegrated away to a single part of the skeleton (usually a hand or skull) embedded with "soul gems" that give them [[YourSoulIsMine additional powers]]. Both the phylactery and the soul gems must be destroyed to keep the lich dead, though the latter is fairly trivial. In some sources the Demilich itself is said to be a Soul Jar, the actual lich having evolved into a spirit that spends most of its time on the Astral Plane; it's just a Soul Jar that wakes up and ''kills you'' if you mess with it.
** Among TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} darklords, Soul Jars are possessed not only by Azalin the lich, but also Stezen D'Polarno, whose soul is [[PhantomZonePicture bound to a painting]], and Hazlik, whose Soul Jar works like a Horcrux. They're not the ''only'' darklords who won't stay dead easily, mind: they're just ones who happen to use Jars to come back. In some cases, a TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}} domain is, itself, a Soul Jar for its darklord.
** ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' {{sourcebooks}} and novels featured a few spellcasting or magic-manipulating items powered by the trapped spirits of wizards. So a Wizard Wand doesn't just release pre-set charges on a command until it's dry, it can memorize (after a rest) spells from a spellbook or a scroll to cast when requested, at the trapped wizard's level. Magisters upon death or retirement ([[YouKillItYouBoughtIt usually it's the same]]) may choose to have their spirits placed into magic items, turning these into borderline artefacts.
** ''Magazine/{{Dungeon}}'' magazine #50 adventure "The Object of Desire". In the BackStory, the evil wizard Nazir Al-Azrad [[TakenForGranite turned his daughter to stone]] and put his heart inside her statue. This makes him invulnerable to damage unless his heart is returned to his body or the statue is destroyed.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' 4th Edition has three variants of this: Soul Stones, which make the wizard immortal so long as the stone is intact; Soul Jars, which allow the wizard to move their consciousness to the jar if their body dies, and Soul ''Golem'', which allows the wizard to put their soul into the body of a magical HumongousMecha. Note that these Soul Jars consist a "2b" version of the trope: killing the jarred character ''does'' destroy their body, and they ''can't'' automatically come back. However, the Soul Jar does house their spirit, leaving open the possibility that they or someone else can use another power to bring them back.
* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' allows a character with five dots in Serpentis to perform a ritual to remove and conceal their heart, preventing it from getting staked. With eight dots and ''Clanbook Followers of Set,'' you can do this to ''someone else'' and hold their heart for ransom.
* The ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' has the Eternals, immortals who have bound their lives into an object.
* Dragons from ''TabletopGame/DragonTheEmbers'' have the ability to remove their Heart. In their case, it makes them immortal, as whatever happens to their physical form, they will be able to reform from wherever the Heart is. The downside is that they will die instantly if something happens to it, and more importantly, eating a Dragon's Heart is how a mortal can become a dragon of his own. [[{{Deconstruction}} This causes Dragons to frequently sink into paranoia, knowing that all it would take for their immortal life to end is a mortal finding and eating their Heart.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'', the [[BloodMagic Bloodspeaker]] Iuchiban achieved immortality by cutting out his own heart and hiding it away in a box, [[spoiler:but is eventually defeated when Isawa Sezaru destroys the heart]]. Later, a servant of BigBad Daigotsu was forced to undergo the same procedure. This "Ceremony of the Hidden Heart" was originally developed by foreign sorcerers of the Burning Sands. The big drawback is, of course, that if someone gets a hold of your heart-box they can kill you as easily as they would cut up a steak. A great deal of the intrigue in the city of Medinat al-Salaam involved finding, stealing, or destroying these hidden hearts.
* ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'' has the Crown, Hand and Black Pyramid of Nagash. Interestingly the Crown and Hand were never intended to act as soul jars, but were taken from Nagash during his defeat by Alcadizzar and remained intact while the rest of his body was burned. Nagash reformed in the Black Pyramid over 1,000 years, but was considerably weakened without the other two items, which had been busy corrupting mortals during his absence.
** It's also debatable, and changes from edition to edition, as to whether Nagash resurrects "naturally" or whether he actually needs his jars to do so. During the End Times series it was revealed that Nagash's earlier resurrections had been mere shadows of the original in thought and power. [[spoiler:Nagash's servants manage to complete a full resurrection, using every item in the lore ever associated with Nagash, and raise the Great Necromancer as an undead god.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' the Eldar race carry Soul Stones on their persons, to avoid their Souls being consumed by Slannesh, the Great Devourer, upon their deaths. These Soul Stones are then transferred to the Infinity Circuit upon the death of the eldar carrying it where their soul is released. To help, among other things, guide the younger eldar, and power their Craftworld. In times of great need these Souls can be called back from the Infinity Circuit and places into man-sized or huge constructs known as Wraith Guard and Wraith Lords respectively. The construct bodies can be destroyed but as long as the Soul Stone is intact, so is the soul. The Necron consist of an entire army of soul jars, each Necron unit containing the soul of a Necron. Unfortunately, that means every time a Necron is damaged and repaired it loses a fragment of its soul.
* In ''[[TabletopGame/IronKingdoms Warmachine]]'', the Cryx Empire is able to make Soul Cages. The Iron Liche, Asyphyxious actually cages his own soul, and replaces all but his Skull with a steam and magic powered body. As long as his Soul Cage is intact, he is not really dead.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The [[http://magiccards.info/m11/en/110.html Phylactery Lich]] turns one of your artifacts into a Soul Jar, and dies if the artifact is destroyed.
** [[http://magiccards.info/un/en/22.html Lich]] and [[http://magiccards.info/ds/en/128.html Lich's Tomb]] are ''your'' Soul Jars, while [[http://magiccards.info/od/en/153.html Nefarious Lich]] and [[http://magiccards.info/ala/en/79.html Immortal Coil]] stash your life in your graveyard.
** [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=Platinum+Angel&v=card&s=cname Platinum Angel]] is a Type 1b Soul Jar, albeit a very vulnerable one (she is both an artifact and a creature, and every single color in the game has a method of destroying one or the other fairly easily). [[http://magiccards.info/wwk/en/47.html Abyssal Persecutor]] is the inverse of Platinum Angel, in that it's effectively a Soul Jar ''for your opponent'' as a way to counter the card's otherwise excessive strengths. Since Persecutor is so powerful, it will likely become a Type 1a Soul Jar very quickly, forcing your opponent to protect ''your card'' just to ensure his survival. Playing both cards means the game is effectively halted until one of them dies.
* In the ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' RPG, one of the abilities available to the Sorcerer class is the Picture of Corruption, and it's basically one great big ShoutOut to ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray''. The picture takes damage and "Corruption" for the sorcerer, but the sorcerer constantly has to check the picture. If it's destroyed, they immediately age to however old they ought to be, and take all the damage stored in the painting.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'':
** The Monstrance of Celestial Portion is a variant on the concept. If a deathknight is killed, his Exaltation -- the part that makes him an Exalt -- returns to the Monstrance, from which it can be transferred to a new mortal host chosen by the deathknight's master. Without the Monstrance, the shard would wander freely and choose its new host itself. Destroying the Monstrance won't kill the deathknight, but instead free him from his master's control; the trick is that not all of them ''know'' this, and may believe it would kill them.
** The fetich souls of Primordials also serve as a form of this. The fetich embodies the identity of the Primordial; should it be killed, the Primordial will undergo a major redefinition, which ''may'' wind up creating an entity who is entirely different (for all intents and purposes killing the original). Fetich death was feared by the Primordials as the only way of "killing" them (even though another being with certain of their traits will result) until the Solars came along and developed powers that could ''actually'' kill them (which, incidentally, had nothing to do with their fetiches).
** In the first edition of Exalted, there is also a Solar circle spell which uses a complicated ritual to allow a powerful Exalted sorcerer to store his soul in an artifact.
** The Heart Grace of a [[FairFolk Shaped Raksh]] is somewhere between this and a HeartDrive. Like many things about them, [[MindScrew it's a bit hard to tell the difference]].
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' campaign ''Shadows of Yog-Sothoth'', adventure "Devil's Canyon". The spectral hunters cannot move than 1 mile away from their kachina dolls, which hold their souls. If a specific chant is conducted over a spectral hunter's doll, it is destroyed.
* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' supplement ''Lion of the North''.
** One of the gruagach Virtues is External Soul, which allows the user to extract his soul from his body and place it in an object, which is then placed in a safe place. While this is in effect they cannot be killed unless the object is destroyed first.
** The giants known as famhairan a'falach are the original source of gruagachan magic. They can remove their hearts (which contain their souls) from their chests and hide them in a safe place, with the same benefit as above (can't be killed unless the heart is destroyed).
* ''TabletopGame/{{Everway}}'' supplement ''Spherewalker Sourcebook''. The Red Merchants have their souls removed by their ruler, Queen Sunset the Undying, and placed in a receptacle. This basically causes them to become [[OurVampiresAreDifferent/TabletopGames a form of vampire]]: immune to aging and vulnerable to only certain types of harm.
* ''Witch Hunter: The Invisible World''.
** The Bennu Sacrament rite allows a sorcerer to have his heart removed and stored in a canopic jar. This makes the sorcerer immune to poison, fatigue, blood loss and most diseases, and grants high resistance to weapons and other physical traumas. If his body is destroyed by fire or chopped into bits it will eventually regenerate. If the heart is taken from the jar or damaged in any way the sorcerer dies.
** The Mystical Price called Soul Outside causes a creature to have a vital part of its soul stored in another location. The soul part must be kept in a container. If it is ever destroyed, the creature is completely vanquished and may not return.
* ''TabletopGame/RuneQuest'', Creator/AvalonHill's ''Heroes'' magazine article "New Spells for TabletopGame/RuneQuest 3". The Invulnerability spell allows the caster to remove his own heart without dying and hide it away somewhere. As long as the heart is undamaged the rest of the caster's body is immune to physical damage. If the heart is destroyed the caster will turn to dust.
* The ''{{TabletopGames/Rifts}}'' book ''Mystic Russia'' has a demon race called Koschei, based on the legend mentioned in Mythology above. A Koschei can be physcially destroyed, but it will always come back unless you destroy its soul, which is contained inside a chicken egg (an abbreviated version of the actual legend).
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''
** Supplement ''The Grimoire''. Free Spirits can have the power called Hidden Life. It allows the spirit to hide its LifeEnergy in a place or thing. As long as this is the case, the spirit cannot be permanently banished or destroyed (even if an opponent knows its TrueName) and its physical form gains the power of Regeneration.
** Supplement ''Mob War!". The sorcerer Su Cheng is a vampire who has used his Hidden Life power to hide his soul in an ancient Chinese vase. The {{PC}}'s task is to steal the vase from the Triads and return it to Su Cheng so he can be free of their control.
* ''TabletopGame/StarsWithoutNumber'': Revised Edition:
** True AI is housed in a super advanced computer core known as a phylactery. The phylactery could split off a backup piece the True AI's consciousness would shift to after being destroyed. The phylactery would then regrow and be able to be split again.
** Transhuman characters can also have a soulstone that downloads their consciousness after they die so they can be put back into a fresh body afterwards.

* The Kanohi Ignika, Mask of Life in ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', when PhysicalGod Mata Nui's spirit was forced into it, and again later, when Mata Nui willingly put his own spirit into the mask for safekeeping and, well, because he wanted to keep himself out of the world's happenings.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Dark Elf in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' was doing this with the Crystal of Earth. As long as the Crystal is on his pedestal and not the usual one, he could regenerate. (He comes back again in VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears.)
* Played perfectly straight and possibly the TropeNamer in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic 7'', ''8'', and ''9'', where necromancers and evil wizards actually need an item called a Soul Jar to contain their souls and transform into Liches. Notably, in 8 the Soul Jar is implied to be temporary. You put the soul back into the person after the transformation. Corak's Soul in Might and Magic 2 qualifies as well.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} Diablo II]]'', the only way to ensure that the three Prime Evils never return to the mortal world is to destroy their Soulstones. Of course, the only reason the Soulstones exist to begin with is because [[BatmanGambit the Evils somehow convinced the world]] that ''using'' them would do this. Bad Evils! Or, if Izual is to be believed, it's actually a gambit on the part of good manipulating evil, not evil manipulating good. The original plan was to imprison the Evils in the Soulstones so that they would not return to Hell upon death. But Izual betrayed Heaven by filling in the Evils on how to corrupt the Soulstones and [[spoiler:helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile into Sanctuary, setting up the events of the series proper]].
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', the Black Soulstone becomes the Soul Jar of all seven Great Evils [[spoiler:thus making it the Soul Jar of the original Prime Evil Tathamet]], and is used to [[spoiler:resurrect Diablo as the new Prime Evil]].
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMario'', the boss Tubba Blubba was made invincible by removing his heart and hiding it. Mario finds the heart and tries to destroy it, only to prompt Tubba to reunite with his heart... which costs him his invincibility, and allows Mario to (very easily) defeat him.
* In the ''VideoGame/BaldursGate2'''s expansion Throne of Bhaal, one of the main antagonist, the Fire Giant Yaga-Shura, is made [[NighInvulnerability invincible]] by a ritual removing his heart and protecting it.
* The Warlock class from ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' can create "Soul Stones" that store the target's soul, granting them an instantaneous resurrection should they be killed while the buff is in place. They can only be made if you have "Soul Shards," which is basically the extracted soul of an enemy after it's death.
** Liches also sometimes have these, held in some hidden or well-guarded locations. Except for Kel'Thuzad, who carries his with him, possibly because it would be difficult to find a better guard for it than he himself. Or they could just give them all to [[PhysicalGod Arthas]], meaning that their enemies would have to win the whole war to kill any of his liches. But Arthas seems to have some [[VillainBall strange compulsion]] to get all his servants killed. This later turns out to be an odd compulsion of human Arthas's pride, trying to train new champions to corrupt.
** Arthas' sword, Frostmourne, is a soul jar plus. When Tirion Fordring shatters Frostmourne, it releases the souls of every being it's absorbed, including Arthas' father. Its destruction also leaves Arthas vulnerable to a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown by the raid attacking him as Arthas' soul was bound to the blade from the moment he first picked it up.
* Subverted by ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'': Badass Freaking Overlord Zetta is forced to use a book for an impromptu soul jar to save both himself and it when everything else in his Netherworld, including his original body, is [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroyed]]. This essentially leaves him a sentient tome whose lack of arms, legs and a Netherworld is a [[ATasteOfPower significant step-down]] from his previous situation--and to make matters worse, he has no way of returning things to normal on his own. He still has all the Mana he did when he had his body though.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
%% Standard Soul Gems from the series do not qualify for the trope as they lack the "immortal" or "invulnerable" parts. They should go under YourSoulIsMine. Please do not add examples of them here.
** While the series' has [[OurLichesAreDifferent liches]] throughout, they differ from most fantasy depictions by not requiring soul jars. The most popular way of becoming a lich is to consume a magical potion made of extremely rare ingredients. The background lore (and one instance in ''Oblivion'', see below) does mention liches having "phylacteries" which act as soul jars, but they do not seem to serve the typical "bound to them" purpose.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', the Underking's soul is bound to the Mantella, a soul gem used to control the [[RealityWarper reality warping]] HumongousMecha, the Numidium. As long as the Mantella exists, so will the Underking. Subverted in that The Underking is looking for the Mantella to ''destroy it'' -- he wants to die, and does not care about the Numidium, which the other powers in the game seek to awaken for their own purposes. [[spoiler:(He was the one who tried to destroy it in the first place.)]]
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', The [[CosmicKeystone Heart of Lorkhan]] acts as a Soul Jar for the [[PhysicalGod Tribunal]] and [[BigBad Dagoth Ur]]. Unbinding it renders them all mortal, as the heart is what gave them their divinity in the first place, and it also means they will eventually die naturally, but they are already mortal and can be killed. In fact, the expansion ''Tribunal'' reveals that [[spoiler:one of them is already dead and culminates with you killing another]]. (You can also kill the third one in the vanilla game if you choose, though this he was left alive canonically in series' lore, disappearing several years after the events of the game.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' offers an exception to the "liches not needing soul jars" that is present in the rest of the series and in background lore. One quest has you attempting to kill a {{necromancer}} who is (slowly) transforming into a lich. You can do so by destroying his soul jar, though it is made clear that the soul jar is only necessary for his particular form of transformation, and after the transformation, it will no longer be needed.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', the insane necromancer Malyn Varen successfully managed to pervert Azura's Star into housing his soul, in his quest to live forever. Cleansing the star of his soul is a part of Azura's Daedric quest.
* The souls of Homunculi in ''VideoGame/GrimGrimoire'' are contained in flasks. [[spoiler:Amoretta has an elf [[HeroicSacrifice break hers]] to save Lillet from one of the {{Big Bad}}s. Twice.]]
* One can fight many [[strike:liche]] lihc in ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' but you can only find one phylactery for a MidBoss version. You could "kill" it without the item, but destroying the phylactery results in an instant kill.
* In the freeware platformer Hurrican, the BigBad is reduced to a floating robot skull after the penultimate boss fight, which soon attaches itself to a giant killing machine for the real final battle. To win, you have to reveal his organic heart, kept behind a reinforced steel wall, and smash it.
* In Creator/NipponIchi's ''VideoGame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'', ex-BigBad Gig has his soul trapped in a sword, and is later trapped in the body of the Hero after the sword is given to him/her by Layna.
* Ebenezer Von Clutch's Black Heart Power Gem in ''VideoGame/CrashTagTeamRacing''.
* In the very first ''[[VideoGame/UltimaI Ultima]]'' game, Mondain the Evil Wizard has done this with his Black Gem. When you finally fight him, you see him in the process of making it. You can continually "kill" him, but it won't count and he keeps getting back until you've done so after destroying the Gem. Similarly, in ''VideoGame/UltimaV'', the Shadowlords who were born from the shards of that Gem cannot be permanently killed unless their individual shard is destroyed at the same time they're immersed in the Flame of the opposite Principle of Virtue.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In some games, you can capture a Poe's soul in an empty bottle.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'', Ganondorf and Zant are each other's soul jars. After Ganondorf "houses [his] power" in Zant, you can't kill one without killing the other. Zant's neck snaps by itself as soon as Ganondorf dies.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', Ganondorf cannot die as long as he has the [[ArtifactOfDoom Triforce of Power]], and after Link defeats him for the first time he resurrects himself and [[OneWingedAngel turns into]] [[TrueFinalBoss Ganon]]. Even after he's SealedEvilInACan he promises to return someday.
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'', Link has three masks that contain the souls of a deceased Deku, Goron, and Zora. [[FridgeHorror You get the Goron and Zora masks by sealing their souls away by playing a song to "ease their pain".]]. In doing that, you don't just seal them, you TURN THEIR VERY SOULS into masks.
** Jalhalla in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'' [[InvertedTrope is a ghost who houses fifteen smaller ghosts within]], making him both this trope and an AsteroidsMonster.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
** The Soul Dew is a unique item that is stated to contain the soul of a deceased Latios.
** Spiritomb is made up of [[OneHundredAndEight 108]] malevolent spirits bound to a stone. Also, being Ghost/Dark type, it only has [[ElementalRockPaperScissors one elemental weaknesses]] in the form of [[OurFairiesAreDifferent Fairy-type moves]].
* In ''VideoGame/SystemShock2'' you face Psi Reavers--huge flying jellyfish who are a perfect blend of flesh and psi energy and as such will keep resurrecting until you destroy their brain which is hidden somewhere nearby in a secluded corner.
* In the finale of ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'' [[spoiler:JC Denton]] is backed up by a Universal Constructar that will continiusly reassemble his body when you kill him.
* In ''VideoGame/FallFromHeaven'' the wizard Tebryn Arbandi created one out of Abashi the Black Dragon: the 3rd most powerful being in existance. One of those is a god.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline: [[BigBad Dark Falz]]'' can use the player characters as soul jars. While bound to a character, any damage dealt to Falz will be inflicted to the character instead (even if said character is under the status of "invincible"). The players can either wait for the binding to wear off before continuing their attack, or just let the bound character die to break the link and make Falz vulnerable to damage immediately.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'':
** The Susano'o Unit serves as this for multiple people. The unit is a mechanical suit of armor that requires whoever enters into it have their soul installed into it, not their body. [[spoiler:[[MagnificentBastard Terumi]]]] was the original vessel within the unit, but after the Dark War he ejected from it, becoming a literal ghost. Later on, the time-looped storyline shows that a dying [[spoiler:[[JerkAss Jin]]]] was transferred into the unit by Rachel. Now that he understands everything, he pulls a HeelFaceTurn and becomes [[spoiler:[[HeroAntagonist Hakumen]]]]. Technically this means that [[spoiler:Terumi is the original Hakumen, and then afterward in all other loops, Jin is Hakumen, but then this implies that [[EpilepticTrees there were only 5 Heroes at the time]]. Another reason Terumi chose not to stay within the Susano'o unit was that he was trying to destroy Amaterasu, and remaining within it would bind him to the very Master Unit he was antagonizing.]]
** The soul of one of the other Six Heroes, Trinity, is contained in her Nox Nyctores.
** As a ghost, Terumi's existence is not stable by itself and he has to rely on a series of living vessels to inhabit. His current vessel at the time the plot starts is named [[spoiler: Hazama]], although other media in the franchise has shown other vessels such as Kazuma during the Dark War. Separated from his vessels, Terumi would not live very long - long enough, though.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' has examples, such as the Life Gem with the trapped Arcane Warrior's soul and the Black Vials holding the souls of the six Revenants scattered across Ferelden. Also, as revealed in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', this is how [[spoiler:Flemeth]] survives her (optional) death at the Warden's hands: [[spoiler:during the destruction of Lothering, she rescues the Hawke family from Darkspawn and gives them an amulet to deliver to Sundermount. If the Warden kills her afterwards, she is reborn from the amulet a year later thanks to Hawke. If the Warden doesn't, she simply uses the amulet as a teleportation beacon to travel to Sundermount undetected.]]
* The "shards" used to power the terracotta army in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''.
* In a variation, Charles Dalimar in the ''[[VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles Return to Ravenhearst]]'' casual game uses a Soul Jar consisting of ''other people's'' souls, plus [[spoiler:his own disembodied heart]]. This has evidently allowed him to remain in the world for generations, long after he should have died of old age. Charles apparently learned this trick from his father Alister; in ''Fate's Carnival'' we learn that Alister can only be killed by destroying a specific book.
* In ''VideoGame/GuildWars'', Kurzic Juggernauts are linked to Forever Trees and can be reborn from them if the trees are intact.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Shivers}}'', each Ixupi is bound to a jar closed with a talisman. When one is reassembled, it will [[SealedEvilInACan seal it away]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Majesty}}'': Skeleton warlords Styx and Stones provide a unique twist on this old chestnut. It is said that "as long as one lives the other cannot truly die." Meaning that to be permanently defeated they must both be killed simultaneously.
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' has an inversion with the Demon Crown--the Demon Crown contains part of Ballos's soul, but rather than having to destroy the Crown to defeat Ballos, you have to defeat Ballos to prevent the Crown from reforming.
* One of the tasks in ''VideoGame/TakAndThePowerOfJuju'' is collecting Lok's Soul Balloon so he can be resurrected. He's all squeezed up in there; tough balloon.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}'', Jack of Blades essence is held in his mask. If you destroy the mask, you defeat Jack for good. If you wear it, you become Jack of Blades.
* The first encounter with Seath the Scaleless in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' is a HopelessBossFight thanks to the Primordial Crystal which grants him immortality as a true Undead. Shattering the Crystal renders Seath vulnerable. Tricking Seath into shattering it ''himself'' [[OhCrap leaves him stunned by his own stupidity.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheSimsMedieval'' has the spell "Soul Theft," which allows you to steal a person's soul fragment.
* In ''VideoGame/DuelSaviorDestiny'' [[spoiler:Nanashi]] is the soul jar of the legendary hero Rubinas, who died a thousand years ago. Perhaps somewhat unusually for this trope [[spoiler:Nanashi is actually Rubinas' soul itself]] while what is called Rubinas is more akin to her will or memories, though still certainly alive.
* In ''{{Videogame/Destiny}}'':
** Oryx, the Taken King of the Hive, is already a [[OurLichesAreDifferent form of lich]] who cannot be killed in the real world. In order to defeat him you have to first rebuke him and drive him back to his "throne world," which is the reality where his actual soul is held, and then fight through that to kill him for good. Even then, Oryx [[CrazyPrepared prepared for this eventuality,]] laying plans to create a weapon known as the Touch of Malice, a rifle that contains a portion of Oryx's soul, and offers whoever slays Oryx great power... but will eventually merge Oryx's soul with that of his killer so that they become one being.
** Oryx's son Crota devised an "oversoul" - a manifestation separate of his body that stored his soul and prevented him from being killed directly. He stores it safely in his throne world, and his disciples are able to summon a physical manifestation of him from his throne world to wreak havoc on the real world. The Guardians prevent his soul from being brought back tot he real world, and then journeyed into his throne world to slay him face-to-face.
** Two of Oryx's daughters, Ir Halak and Ir Anuk, turned ''each other'' into their {{Soul Jar}}s, hiding their "deaths" in each other's body. Killing one but not the other will result in the dead twin resurrecting in a few seconds.
** Ghosts serve as this role for Guardians, who are virtually liches themselves in the sense that they are resurrected bodies refilled with the Ghost's own Light. As long as the Ghost remains intact and neither the Guardian nor the Ghost's reserves of Light are drained, the Ghost can keep resurrecting the Guardian indefinitely.
* In the old 8-bit action-adventure game "The Valley", you could create one of these (of type 2) for yourself by finding the six stones of the Amulet Of Alarian. The drawback was that this was single-use only; if you got killed, you were resurrected but the Stones were scattered, so if you wanted to be immortal once more you had to find them ''again''.
* Zig-Zagged in ''VideoGame/TheDarknessII'': According to Johnny Powell, there is no known working phylactery for regular mortals to be found in the secret histories. Doesn't stop people from trying, and ONE phylactery made for an EldtritchAbomination succeeded, but the Darkness is already immortal and the Siphon failed to seal it long-term. Foreshadowing appears when it turns out that the phylactery meant for the Angelus actually failed...
* In ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'', the player character carries a crystal that collects the souls of recently fallen nearby corpses (enemies that the player has killed). [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]], in that this is anything other than safe for the soul inside; it's just stored in it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ib}}'': The roses carried by the main characters, which also act as a LifeMeter in the top corner of the screen; whenever a petal is plucked, [[BodyHorror wounds open up on the owner's body]]. This example is also an interesting inversion, as when the human characters are damaged, the ''rose'' wilts too. [[spoiler:Mary is a straighter example; also has a rose, but it's fake. Her painting is her true SoulJar; as a painting, she's immortal, but [[KillItWithFire she's reduced to ashes when you burn it]]]].
* [[spoiler:The Monado]] in ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}''. It contains [[spoiler:Zanza]], who [[spoiler:gives Shulk "visions" to push him in his desired direction, all while whispering advice to [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope take out his vengeance on Egil and the Mechon]]]].
* In ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'', [[spoiler:the judges]] believe prized possessions to be this if the attachment is great enough, which is why [[spoiler:they kill members]]. There's no indication that this is anything more than a delusion, however.
* In ''Videogame/WhiteKnightChronicles'', [[spoiler:the five Knights]] each contain pieces of Emperor Madoras' soul, the biggest fragment residing within [[spoiler:Wizel the White Knight.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Lich in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' has the inspiration of hiding his soul within the Earth Orb--[[CosmicKeystone which can't be destroyed without ending the world]]. [[spoiler:Thief counters this by managing to [[ImpossibleThief steal his soul from the orb]].]]).
* ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'': Richard's gem (possibly)
* [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0117.html Xykon]] in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', is [[OurLichesAreDifferent a lich]], and naturally has a phylactery; his [[TheDragon Dragon]] Redcloak's holy symbol. The phylactery is protected by so many spells he [[CrazyPrepared doesn't "even remember what half of them do"]]. Another notable thing: Xykon's soul isn't in the phylactery except when his undead body is destroyed as noted in the prequel book ''StartOfDarkness''; Redcloak tries to ransom the lich by threatening to break it, and Xykon scoffs it off by saying he can make a new one to house his soul in any case. (By the letter of the rules in D&D this is true. For a lich to be killed you must destroy both the phylactery ''and'' the body.)
* Cardinal in ''Webcomic/FindersKeepers'' has his kept in a compass.
* In ''Webcomic/BreakfastOfTheGods'', Cookie Jarvis uses a most unexpected item as his soul jar.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' fans should hope that Aranea's account of Cronus' ''Potter''-style encounter with Lord English is true in explaining that the Jujus are essentially LE's horcruxes. One of which is [[DemonicDummy Lil' Cal]], which explains a ''[[UncannyValley lot]]''.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Guttersnipe}}'', Lil' Ragamuffin survives being shot in the head and tossed in an incinerator, claiming that urchins don't need brains or bodies 'cause they're all heart, then shrugs off a shot in the chest because she keeps her heart in a bowl in a shack on top of an unclimbable trash heap.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Phylacteries in ''Literature/AngelOfDeath''. Every lich keeps their soul in a Phylactery, which can be anything from a Rubick's Cube to a book to a piece of jewelry.
* Kamimura does this to his former pupil Goku in the first chapter of ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'', with the fragment of Goku resting in Kami's own mind. This is how he receives the message that starts him on his quest. Goku is in a coma until [[spoiler:Kamimura's mind is cleansed in the GrandFinale.]]
* In the ''Literature/HitherbyDragons'' story "Unclean Legacy", Francescu magically transfers all his life into one of his fingers, and then cuts it off to keep it safe. When his brother Tomas snaps the finger [[spoiler:he realises that a finger contains several bones.]] In [[http://imago.hitherby.com/?p=398 The Fable Of The Lamb]] Sebastien the Hero mentions that he can survive a shotgun blast because he keeps his heart in a box
* In the ''Fanfic/AntiClicheAndMarySueEliminationSociety'', [[spoiler:Tash, Valerie, Michael, Aster, and Zero for Adrian]].
* Phylacteries serve as these for liches in ''Literature/VoidDomain''.
* ''WebAnimation/{{Dreamscape}}'': Vladmare is the sword. The demon wielding it is simply a vessel used to transport and utilize it.
** The Master of the Dammed's own scythe is his. Break it, and he dies in an instant.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'', the baboons use "backwoods magic" to steal King Julien's "groove" and seal it in a jar until he gives them an apology for throwing a skunk into their pen. Julien, of course, refuses, and a fight for the jar ensues. It falls and breaks at Skipper's feet, who has remained skeptical about the whole "groove in a jar" thing until he starts dancing uncontrollably.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' has a villainous example with the Psychocrystals. The Queen sucks the life from her victims through an alchemical machine, puts that LifeEnergy into little red crystals, and uses them to power her highest-end {{Mook}}s.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko''
** Main villain [[AIIsACrapshoot XANA]] is an informatic version of this: since he is an A.I., he requires a computer storing his data to survive, meaning he will disappear if the computer is shut down. He solves the problem in season 4 by infecting ''hundreds'' of supercomputers all over the world to store his data.
** Later extends this to [[spoiler:the Lyoko Warriors themselves]] in ''Series/CodeLyokoEvolution''.
* The Fight King in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has an enormous golden sword as his. Finn tricks him into thinking he's under his control and just wants the sword to kill Jake, then smashes it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall,'' [[BigBad the Beast]] put [[TragicHero the Woodsman]]'s daughter's soul in the Dark Lantern, and it will be lost if the Woodsman doesn't continually keep it lit with Edelwood oil. Since Edelwood trees are made from [[BalefulPolymorph lost children]] whom the Beast either kills or pushes past the DespairEventHorizon, the Woodsman is understandably torn between obsessively keeping the Lantern lit and trying to help the Beast's chosen victims. [[spoiler:The Lantern actually holds the Beast's own soul, and once the Woodsman realizes this, he snuffs it out and destroys him]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', Demona and Macbeth act as Soul Jars to each other thanks to the Weird Sisters' spell. As long as one lives, so too does the other. [[MutualKill The only way they can die is if they kill each other.]]