[[quoteright:254:[[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RemoveSoul_8618.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:254:Don't worry, having a soul is [[TheSoulless overrated]].]]

->''"I need you to let me touch it. The human soul -- it's pure... energy. If I can siphon some of that off, I might be able to bring Sam and Dean back."''
-->-- '''Castiel the angel''' (to '''Bobby'''), ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', "[[Recap/SupernaturalS06E18Frontierland Frontierland]]"

A subtrope of ElementalPowers. This is the power over spirits, or spiritual energy. People using this power are likely to be able to manipulate this energy, which may or may not equate to magic, depending on the setting. Expect them to be [[ISeeDeadPeople able to speak to the spirits of the dead]], as well as have [[{{Shinigami}} some authority or control]] [[{{Necromancer}} over them]]. [[GrandTheftMe Possession]] and MindControl may also be within their powers.

This can be either a villainous or heroic power, depending on how it's portrayed and used. (If portrayed negatively, this may overlap with [[CastingAShadow power over darkness]]) If it is used by a villain, be very careful — it's likely they have some very nasty powers, like being able to [[YourSoulIsMine remove people's souls]] from their bodies or [[LiquidAssets draining their life force]]. This [[OurSoulsAreDifferent may or may not]] instantly kill them. People using this power [[PersonalityPowers are also likely to be]] [[TheQuietOne quiet]], creepy, and [[TheStoic stoic]]. Can be ElementNumberFive.

Unlike some of the other Elemental Powers, this power is more closely associated with subtlety, subterfuge and deceit rather than blasting stuff, though there are exceptions, such as spirit blasts and FauxFlame. Oh, and be careful [[ThanatosGambit if you try to kill these people]] — it's very likely that they'll come back as [[OurGhostsAreDifferent ghosts]], possibly [[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning even stronger]] than they were in life. At extremes they may become a {{Psychopomp}} with complete control over the forces of life and death. Keep a [[SealedEvilInACan can]] handy to cram them into, and look out for [[SoulJar external containers]] they might use to sustain their life or powers.

SuperTrope to SoulPoweredEngine. Compare YourSoulIsMine, which involves actually acquiring or stealing souls (and its subtrope SoulEating), and PsychicPowers. It may be the [[JustifiedTrope justification]] for why TheDevil wants to [[DealWithTheDevil make deals]] to [[YourSoulIsMine claim a human soul for his own.]] Depending on the setting, this may or may not overlap with KiAttacks. Some of the ways to use this power overlap with PowerOfTheVoid, though conceptually they're not that similar. Contrast [[{{Necromancer}} Necromancy]], which is a power over death and manipulation of TheUndead, although both can overlap. See also OurSoulsAreDifferent.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] the concert documentary ''Soul Power''. Also has nothing to do with [[Music/RageAgainstTheMachine Tom Morello's]] guitar.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Cancer saints in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' have a [[SupernaturalMartialArts cosmo affinity]] and an [[KiAttacks attack spread]] based around summoning or banishing the dead. This means they routinely travel to the underworld, attack with the ghosts of the dead, and are pretty hard to kill. Even Thanatos, the [[TheGrimReaper god of Death]], had a handful and [[spoiler:got [[SealedEvilInACan shoved into a box]].]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': The powers of incorporeal beings are based on their "spiritual power", otherwise known as Reiryoku, and their ability to control it. The energy that is actually used manifests as "spiritual pressure", Reiatsu, which determines the strength and durability of a spirit. This includes Soul Reapers (kido spells, shikai/bankai, resistance to injury) as well as Hollows. Some humans are able to use spiritual pressure/powers as well (Orihime, Chad, Quincies like Uryu, Bounts, etc.). Soul Reapers and Hollows are effectively spirits or ghosts. Humans who possess spiritual power, even if they don't have extra abilities from it, can see ghosts and therefore can interact with both Soul Reapers and Hollows as well as normal ghosts.
* Several characters in Manga/YuYuHakusho have variants of soul power. Yusuke, Genkai, Kuwabara [[spoiler: , and Sensui ]]all have attacks based on "reiki" or spirit energy. Kuwabara also has a [[SpiderSense heightened spirit awareness]]. Kaito [[spoiler: is able to remove souls from bodies by the application of his taboo power.]]
* ''Manga/SoulEater'' characters have Soul wavelength which they can use to resonate with others usually between Meister and Weapon.
** Black*Star and Stein can attack using their soul wavelengh without a weapon.
* ''Manga/ShamanKing'' obviously
* The [[BeehiveBarrier AT Fields]] of both the Angels and Evangelions from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. TheMovie eventually reveals that every living being has one, and that is all that keeps them as separate entities. [[spoiler: When [[FanNickname GNR]] neutralises the AT Fields of everything on earth...]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** It turns out this is the true power of [[DemBones Brook's]] Revive-Revive Fruit. He can seperate his soul from his body and channel {{Ghostly Chill}}s through his sword.
** The Pirate Emperor Big Mom has eaten the Soul Soul Fruit, which gives the ability to take souls and lifespans from people and can store them inside inanimate objects, trees, and animals giving them life as creatures called "Homies". It is said that she cannot put souls inside corpses. Hers and Brook's powers are diametrically opposed as Brook is able to fight, injure, and intimidate the Homies like no one else can.
* Natsume of ''Manga/NatsumesBookOfFriends'' has it, which [[ISeeDeadPeople lets him see youkai]], [[MagneticMedium draws youkai to him]] and [[SupernaturallyDeliciousAndNutritious makes him taste good to them]], and [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu lets him punch youkai clear across a room]] even though he only has average strength.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', the [[ElementNumberFive fifth branch]] of [[ElementalPowers Shamanism]] is Astral/Spirit Shamanism, which focuses on spells dealing directly with souls and the astral plane. Example spells include blasts of pure astral energy that can actually harm [[TheLegionsOfHell Mazoku]] (which are pretty much immune to other forms of shamanistic offense) and dispelling effects. The form of WhiteMagic has been hinted at by the author as being a specialist form of Astral Shamanism focusing on healing and exorcising.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Thanos from ''ComicBook/UltimateFantasticFour'' has power over souls, and may transfer the soul of someone into another body as a way to reward or punish. He has also shown the ability to project his own presence into the bodies of others, quickly burning them out in the process.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' story ''Comicbook/DemonSpawn'', villain Nightflame can remove souls from their bodies. She pulls Supergirl's soul out from her body and makes off with it back to her home dimension.
* In Franchise/{{Superman}} story ''Comicbook/KryptoniteNevermore'', the titular hero loses most of his power and Franchise/WonderWoman's mentor I-Ching helps him get his powers back. Ching can use his mystical knowledge to pull souls from bodies and cure them.

* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Avalon’s Royal Family has soul manipulation powers: they can remove them from a body, talk to them, heal them, mend them, split them…
** Shinji and Asuka witness this first-hand when [[spoiler:Rayana pulls Yui's soul from Unit 01 and Daniel mends Kyoko's soul.]]
* [[Fanfic/ScarsSamsara Scar's Samsara]] has magic based on African shamanism, where characters can commune with spirits and harness their power.
* It turns out the Element of Desire that Dark World!Rarity ends up with in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' has this. Rarity can allow ghosts to inhabit her body with her, which gives her the ability to project them as golems to help her fight. She also [[spoiler:nearly takes Fluttercruel's OneWingedAngel form Odyne's soul to [[SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan seal it inside herself]], but Odyne fends her off.]]
* This applies to every man, woman, faunus, and animal in Fanfic/RWBYSecondGeneration. Just like in the main series, everyone has an aura that is a manifestation of their soul. The kicker? The manifestation is different for every individual.

* The Lord Marshal of the Necromongers in ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' was transformed into a "Holy Half-Dead" because he visited and returned from the Underverse, the Necromongers' promised land. He shows particular mastery of souls, as he can move his own soul seperate from his physical body, giving the illusion of SuperSpeed. He can also directly take hold of anyone else's soul, with the victim dying as soon as he releases it.
* Gul'dan's powers in ''Film/WarCraft2016'' center around manipulation of souls - he can remove souls, take a soul of one thing and put it in other, giving the latter life, or use souls as pure fuel to power his spells.

* Necromancy in the ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy works like this, since necromancers have to literally cross over into the realm of death and bind spirits to their will in order to summon them as undead.
* This is Shroud's and Graffiacane's main power in ''Literature/DisAcedia''. The former uses it to create familiars, the latter for necromancy.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Soulfire. Generally a power of angels, Soulfire draws on the soul of the user to form a foundation that strengthens his magic, especially constructive magic. Fallen Angels can grant Hellfire, which also turbocharges magic, but is especially good with the destructive spells.
** Souls also seem to be an aspect of magic due to the similarities of its various (intricate but internally consistent) rules to those of "normal" magic.
*** A wizard can put Soul/Hellfire to both Good and Bad uses, depending on the wizard and his/her intent and purpose. Harry spent a while fueling both his shields and attacks with Hellfire, and was able to make both constructs and attacks with his Soulfire. He even charged a Theugy ritual with some Soulfire!
*** Using too much Soul/Hellfire will drain your soul and thereby kill you, just like how using too much magic will kill you by draining you of all of your energy. Need that ATP to do bodily functions? Not anymore you don't!
** General interactions seem to affect changes in one's soul - something as simple as a hug can be seen hours later by Bob.
*** This is apparently the mechanism of how true love protects someone from a White Court Vampire, for example - in consumating that love, some of the couple's soul is shared, and that soul defends their love.
* The Idrians in ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' believe Awakening works this way; it draws upon Breath, which their religion holds is a person's soul. The people of Hallandren are not so sure, and don't see losing one's Breath as a particularly terrible thing, especially if they get paid well for it.
** WordOfGod is that Breath isn't a person's whole soul, but it is a part of it, and not having it does have some detrimental effects (it makes a person inclined to be irritable and depressed, and also more susceptible to disease).
* Mina in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' is a villainous example of this trope, as a DarkMessiah necromancer.
* Lissa and Adrian's brand of magic in ''Literature/VampireAcademy''. They use spiritual energy for a variety of effects.
* Soul Power in the "Literature/TheZombieKnight" manifests in the ability for [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Servants]] to make something [[SuperToughness tougher]] or to make an attack more potent. It is the only way to harm a reaper, the source of a servant's life and strength, and Aberrations. Soul power can also be used to prevent a weaker servant from using their unique ability. It can be a major deciding factor in fights because of this and as soul power can only increase with [[StrongerWithAge age]] older servants can completely stomp scores of younger ones.
* Hraesvelgr in ''LightNovel/UnlimitedFafnir'' can manifest its soul outside its body, giving it complete immunity to physical attacks. It can also do this to humans, which paralyses them and allows it to consume their souls.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* There are several soul manipulators in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Over the course of Season 6, it is revealed that [[spoiler:angels]] can use souls to gain extra power. In the season finale, [[spoiler:the angel Castiel]] absorbs all the souls in Purgatory and declares himself the new God. [[spoiler:This backfires badly since souls aren't the only residents in Purgatory.]]
** Demons are also able to use Soul Power, as Crowley considers dealing and soul-numbers the most important aspect of Hell, and in season six, [[spoiler:he wanted half of the Purgatory souls.]] Also, when he is [[spoiler:King of Hell]], he seems to have more personal power, which is implied to be because he personally owns more souls.
** The Men of Letters can use the power of their own souls to perform particular feats of magic, such as TimeTravel.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The slightly obscure Spirit Shaman class from 3.5 is an unusual good-to-neutral take on this trope. The class learns to banish and manipulate spiritual entities such as ghosts and elementals, perform spell-like KiManipulation, and eventually even to [[HowDareYouDieOnMe shove souls back into their bodies]] to revive people.
** 3.5's ''slightly'' less obscure Incarnum concept is this in a general sort of sense -- incarnum is soul energy, and the incarnum-using classes get to shape it in various ways, but as their methods essentially just borrow free-flowing soul energy from the immensity around in reality, they can't actually do anything special with ''specific'' souls.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' splits the field between White and Black magic. The White variant tends to be benevolent, summoning phantom guardians and offering protection, while Black favors malevolent spirits and corrupting, enslaving, or even consuming souls. Naturally, characters and factions that [[YinYangBomb use both]] tend to emphasize this power. The page image comes from a Blue spell, however, one of the few instances (Blue usually prefers to deal with the mind over the soul, since it prioritizes intellect and logic over spiritual concepts... which is ironic, since its ally colours are White and Black).

[[folder:Play-By-Post Games]]
* Kinou Kuruboshi from ''Roleplay/FateNuovoGuerra'' uses ''ghosts'' as ammunition for her MagiTek revolver.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', half of the setting is this, since Nox Nyxtoires are powered by human souls. Also, the titular [[ArtifactOfDoom BlazBlue/Azure Grimoire]] is this in a nutshell.
* All ether-elemental characters in ''Videogame/{{MARDEK}}'', particularly Qualna. (Qualna has the opposite personality from the one described here, however.)
** All annunaki have this to a certain extent, since they can perform "soul transfers" upon dying that will allow their souls to inhabit another body.
* The Sorrow in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3''.
* The Feys in ''Franchise/AceAttorney'': Mostly this is used for channeling the dead, but spiritual power can also be used as a sort of lie detector. (One, likely non-canon, manga shows that there's even a hidden technique to "channel" people who are still alive, just to get them someplace they can't go at the moment.)
* The Ghost type in ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''.
** There has been a Ghost user in every generation except for Generation VI: Agatha, Morty, Phoebe, Fantina, Shauntal, and Acerola.
* Kulkumatz in ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction''.
* ''Creator/FromSoftware'':
** ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Pretty much every game mechanic — leveling up stats, upgrading equipment, learning new spells and miracles, etc. — requires souls of some kind. The game specifically refers to this as "Soul Arts", and unfortunately, overuse of this kind of power also [[AndManGrewProud caused the whole mess]] that you're trying to fix in the first place.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' uses souls as currency, much like ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls''. The souls that are really important to the plot are the Lord Souls. These Souls manifested themselves as flames that appeared before a select few -- Gwyn the Lord of Sunlight, Gravelord Nito the First of the Dead, the Witch of Izalith and her seven Daughters of Chaos, and the oft-forgotten Furtive Pygmy -- and granted them the power to slay the immortal Ancient Dragons and shape the world to their liking. The Pygmy's Lord Soul, the Dark Soul, [[spoiler:was inherited by the player character whose true destiny is to bring an end to Gwyn's Age of Fire and begin the Age of Darkness.]]
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'' even has spells that [[CastFromMoney cost souls to use]] (they're pathetically weak if you don't have any) and an InfinityPlusOneSword that does more damage the more souls you are holding (it needs ''one million'' to do full damage).
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' has Ludleth of Courland, whose specialty involves using an artifact known as a Transposing Kiln and boss souls to create spells and equipment.
* ''VideoGame/GranblueFantasy'' has a primal beast named Deus Ex Machina. It can move souls around, however, it can't destroy or create new souls.
* [[CatGirl Rin Kaenbyou]] from ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' spends her days carting corpses to a furnace in hell. She can also command their "[[OurZombiesAreDifferent Spirits]]" to attack you.
** [[TheJudge Eiki Shiki, Yamaxanadu]] and [[TheGrimReaper Komachi Onozuka]] spend a fair share of time talking with spirits.
** [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Miyako]] [[ChineseVampire Yoshika]] from ''Ten desires'' seems to have the ability to eat spirits to restore health.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath''s Deities gain the power for their weapons this way, either through prayer or [[spoiler: harvesting human souls by killing them. The Karma Fortress has [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale 7 TRILLION Souls]] powering it up.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ShiningForce'', the Desoul spell literally rips someone's soul out of their body and [[OneHitKO blasts them to the afterlife]]. It's not seen as evil, though; the heroic wizard Kazin from ''Shining Force II'' can learn it (assuming he doesn't choose to become a [[SummonMagic Sorcerer]] instead).
* In ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' The ghost of [[spoiler: Lady Comstock]] has the ability to raise the dead, leading to battles where your enemies are repeatedly resurrected until you destroy the ghost itself.
* [[Videogame/StreetFighter M. Bison]] literally uses his soul as a weapon with his infamous "Psycho Power".
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateSiegeOfDragonspear'' has a character class called Shaman (which was [[http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Shaman part]] of the wider ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' lore, but not available in other games of the ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' series). The class is based on being able to see and manipulate spirits.

[[folder:Visual Novel]]
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and its [[{{Prequel}} prequel]], ''LightNovel/FateZero'', the Holy Grail [[spoiler:and the true artifact powering it, Greater Grail]] is actually this. It recreates the souls of dead heroes throughout the ages [[spoiler:including from the future,]] and summons them as familiars called Servants. Even the way it grants wish, it materializes the desire inside the Holy Grail War winner's soul and turn it into reality. Makes sense, since the Holy Grail [[spoiler:is actually an attempt to recreate the [[RealityWarper Third True Magic]], whose domain is to materialize and manipulate soul.]]

* Pai in ''Webcomic/WhatsShakin'' uses spirit magic, which draws from the powers of creatures in the spirit world.
* Aradia in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' is able to hear the voices of the dead and send them to haunt people, and has the ability to [[spoiler:remain in the physical world as a ghost]]. She also has very potent PsychicPowers, and fits the PersonalityPowers bill after [[spoiler:she dies]]. She has the opposite personality before then, however.
** Sburb players with the Heart aspect turn out to have this powerset. Special mention to [[spoiler: Dirk]], who as the [[spoiler: Prince]] of Heart, which basically equates to "[[spoiler: Destroyer of Soul]]", has the power to [[spoiler: ''tear out people's souls'']], which is first shown failing against [[spoiler: Aranea]], and later seen used successfully against [[spoiler: Caliborn, Arquiusprite, and half of Gamzee to seal their souls inside of Lil Cal during Caliborn's Masterpiece]]. It's said [[spoiler: he]] possesses the ability to destroy them outright, but only the removal is shown.
* In ''Webcomic/TheStoryOfAnima'', [[http://tapastic.com/episode/64773 this is one of the many theories as to what exactly the titular Anima power really is]].

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* Binder of the Canadian Shield superhero team, from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', is a mystic sorceress specializing in this sort of power. Her full name is "Binder of Spirits". Her teammate Ghostkeeper gains his powers from the spirits of his ancestors.
** Indian sorcerer Tauji also specialized in spirit magic.
** Maahes and Menhit are two Egyptian supervillains who gained there powers when they were possessed by the lion-spirits of bloodshed.
** Deadworks is a ghostly villain who possesses corpses and uses them for his own purposes.
** The Gentleman Ghost is a Disney-sponsored hero with ghostly powers.
* Stygian of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse can summon ghosts of the dead, even the long-dead. In a bizarre twist, they look out for him. He's suicidally depressed, and several ghosts routinely keep him going to classes and eating meals.
* The Entire League of Patrons from the ''Literature/SporewikiFictionUniverse'' does this, but The Cleanser in particular seems heavily pre-occupied with this.
* Aura in ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' is a quality found in humans, [[LittleBitBeastly faunus]], and animals (basically,anything with a soul) that can be activated to behave as, as [[ButtMonkey Jaune]] says, a "force field".
** "Aura is the manifestation of our soul. It bears our burdens and shields our hearts.", as [[TheAce Pyrrha Nikos]] says.
** Aura can also manifest as "semblances", essentially special effects that are unique to a person that range from superpowers like Ruby's SuperSpeed and Pyrrha's MagnetismManipulation to buffs like Yang's CriticalStatusBuff that use aura.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[spoiler:Aang]] in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' learns to do this as a form of bending. It is implied that this is the purest form of bending, or the original form of it. It's likely that [[spoiler:entering the Spirit World]] and [[spoiler:entering the Avatar State(merging all the Avatar's souls into one body)]] were subconscious uses of this power.
** [[spoiler:Amon]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' can do more or less the same, though whereas it's authentic is somewhat questionable. In the finale "Endgame" it's revealed [[spoiler:to be fake -- he's really using Bloodbending.]]
** [[spoiler:After being restored by Aang and the rest of her past lives, Korra can also Energybend.]]
* In Creator/{{Filmation}}'s ''WesternAnimation/{{Blackstar}}'' episode "The Zombie Masters", the villain Shaldemar uses this in conjunction with a SoulJar to turn people into zombies.