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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/life-drain_soul-stealer-by-sarahfinnigan_3173.jpg]]

->''"[[TropeNamer Your soul is mine]]."''
-->-- '''Shang Tsung,''' ''Film/MortalKombat''

People just can't seem to get enough of them [[OurSoulsAreDifferent souls]]! "[[DealWithTheDevil Purchasing one legally]]" is only one method of obtaining them. Outright theft works just as well, with much less hassle.

'''There's a few ways it can go:'''
* '''Just The Soul''' -- The soul is "merely" eaten or taken, but the person's body is still alive. Often, the monster will gain power from this, while the victim turns into an EmptyShell. Recovery is sometimes possible, sometimes not.
* '''Killed Too''' -- The soul is stolen or eaten, ''and'' the person is killed in the process. If [[BackFromTheDead resurrection]] is possible, they nearly always [[CameBackWrong Come Back Wrong]] thanks to this, since the soul is most definitely not where it belongs. Often, this is exactly what the villain wants -- "Steal peoples' souls and kill them, then resurrect them as an immortal army." If [[BackFromTheDead resurrection]] is [[AllDeathsFinal impossible]], then the person is probably DeaderThanDead. In a NobodyCanDie setting, this may be reduced to "loses consciousness, and is slowly dying unless the soul can be recovered." Recovery here is possible, but with a definite sense of urgency.
* '''Drained After Death''' -- The soul is stolen or eaten after the victim is killed by other means. Though it tends to play out similarly to '''Killed Too''' from here, this is commonly used by Amalgams Of Souls to increase their power.

The TropeNamer is Film/MortalKombat, which had Shang Tsung saying this just before he proceeds to steal the souls of defeated fighters.

Compare SoulPower, which is about mastery of souls in a more general sense, and doesn't have to involve soul theft. See also OurSoulsAreDifferent. See AnatomyOfTheSoul for a parts list.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

!!'''Just The Soul''':

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/MapleStory'' has a severely weaked-down version of this. Soulless people are still able to talk and react to things, but behave [[EmptyShell as they would without any personality]] (Al, for instance, calls Nina cute, and Nina acts much less Tsundere when her soul is gone).
* Yuji in ''ShakuganNoShana'' is technically a victim of soul theft -- the only thing keeping him alive is the Reiji Maigo.
* During the Three Treasures arc of ''YuYuHakusho'', Yusuke battles a demon who steals and eats children's souls. The souls are unharmed in his stomach until he digests them; when he gets taken out, they escape and return to their owners.
* In ''Manga/{{One Piece}}'', the villain Geck Moria pulls off something which closely resembles this when he steals his enemies' shadows, then uses them to give life to dead bodies and create his own zombie immortal army. The person who had his shadow stolen, though, doesn't become an empty shell; it is just condemned not to be able to stand sunlight again, or he'll be rendered into ashes. By gaining back his shadow he can remove the curse.
* This is used in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' a few times, usually by those with millennium items. It is this that allows us to learn that Yami Yugi has a different soul from normal Yugi.
** Kaito in ''Anime/YuGiOhZexal'' is an strange case. In season one, he does do this to the Numbers holders he defeats, but only because he cannot take a Number from someone without doing so. He doesn't truly like doing this, considering it NecessaryEvil in order to meet his goal of healing his brother Haruto. (And he is even willing to return Shark's soul to him after taking it, seeing as Shark didn't have a Number and keeping it would have been pointless.) [[spoiler: As it turned out, Kaito's efforts were not helping Haruto at all; he was being told BlatantLies by [[BigBad Dr. Faker]], who was himself being lied to by [[BiggerBad Barian]] as part of a plot to destroy Astral World.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/WhatsNewWithPhilAndDixie'' features a dyslexic demon that steals peoples' ''soles''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The BigBad Haitian dictator in ''Film/TheSerpentAndTheRainbow'' keeps a collection of human souls.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathon Hoag'', the Sons of the Bird drain out the soul of one of the protagonists and place it in a bottle, leaving her in a coma.
* In Charles de Lint's ''Literature/TheBlueGirl'', done by annatheims. The person becoming an EmptyShell is irreversible.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', the dementors, the act of which is called the "dementor's kiss."
* In the ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' series, [[spoiler:Spectres feed on souls (which in this series are often seen as living animals, or Daemons).]]
** A more mild example from the same series: [[spoiler: severing. The soul is still there, but it's no longer connected to the person, and anyone who sees a severed individual will know immediately that something is wrong, even if it isn't obvious what.]]
* Grey Men in the ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series have had their souls taken by the Dark One, which makes them effectively invisible. Oddly, they do seem to still have their intelligence and free will, though we've never seen the point of view of such a being. Draghkar and the Black Wind, however, play it straight, leaving an EmptyShell. (They would usually kill the EmptyShell anyway.)
** WordOfGod indicates that Grey Men are still able to function because they give their souls up ''willingly'', which destroys most of their individual identity but not brain function; if the soul is removed against the person's will, that will cause an EmptyShell at best and death at worst.
* [[FunctionalMagic Awakening]] in ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' runs on a comparatively benign version of this. Breath is a supernatural force that everyone has, and it's not quite a soul but is considered an aspect of the soul. It can be voluntarily given away (which does not kill or cripple the donor, but does dampen their senses and make them more prone to illness), and is neccessary to provide power to Awaken inanimate objects- powerful Awakeners need hundreds of Breaths stockpiled, and having so many at a time provides a number of more subtle magical abilities. In the kingdom of Hallandren, the "Breath trade" is common practice; in the neighboring kingdom of Idris, losing one's Breath is considered AFateWorseThanDeath and Awakening is strictly illegal.
** In a slightly more normal version of this, Hallendren's gods, the Returned, must consume one Breath a week or die. Since Hallendren is a large city-state with many devoted worshippers (and since the priests pay the donors very well), there is never a shortage of volunteers willing to give up their Breath.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Phoebe and Paige in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' ''borrowed'' Darryl's soul against his will to pass as Valkyries and left his body in an alley. Darryl was revived when his soul walked back into his body.
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'' the Smile Time show had demonic puppets who'd wait until parents were out the room and steal the souls of the children watching, leaving them comatose with big grins.
* In ''PowerRangers,'' soul theft typically leaves the victim an EmptyShell, and is [[NoOntologicalInertia undone with the death of]] the MonsterOfTheWeek (or the breaking of whatever item was used for soul theft or storage.)
* ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia''. Charlie's ''Nightman Cometh'' musical, the Nightman wants to "[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything enter]]" the Boy's soul. It's supposed to be taken seriously, but ends up getting PlayedForLaughs because, among other things, Frank keeps pronouncing it "Boy's hole" instead of "Boy's soul."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is the effect of the SoulJar spell in ''{{GURPS}}''. Destroying the jar will utterly destroy the soul inside, but the soul is still conscious within the jar and a mage with the proper spells can use magic to defend itself or steal a new body.
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'', powerful magic can rip your soul from your body. Tremere liches use them to maintain their bodies, but other mages may have other reasons. You'll be an EmptyShell in the meantime. Funnily enough, ''any'' soul can replace a missing soul... Indeed, this is actually how a mage becomes a Tremere Lich. An existing Lich severs the mage's soul and replaces it with another. If the mage can get it back in time, WITHOUT using Lich magic OR consuming another soul, he goes back to normal. [[YouAreTheDemons Otherwise, he's stuck as a Lich.]]
* A victim of this is the default (and titular) player character type of ''TabletopGame/DeadInside''. True, they lose the WeirdnessCensor that prevents humans from using FunctionalMagic, but the thing is that Censor is an evolved defense against supernatural beasties and harmful phenomenon, and up until they grow (or steal) a new one, a Dead Inside suffers from depression, relatively weak powers, and the inability to live happily outside the SpiritWorld.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* in ''NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer'', Headmistress Nefris of the Academy of Shapers and Binders has been performing various experiments on souls, sometimes by using this trope. Victims fall comatose, as in the case of [[spoiler:Ammon Jerro.]]
* in ''BaldursGate 2:Shadows of Amn'' the plot revolves around Irenicus stealing the soul of the main character and his sister Imoen. The souls in question are of godly heritage and are a means to overthrow a curse placed on Irenicus.
* Starting with ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance'', Shang Tsung's soul stealing has become a normal ability, which falls under this category. He still has the fatal variety as his Fatalities in that game and ''9'', but when used during the fight, these recover a fraction of his energy at the expense of his opponent's. Oh, and in ''9'', stealing your opponent's soul is the only way Tsung can morph into them.
* When Indy finally faces off against a demon near the end of ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheEmperorsTomb'' in order to rescue the demon's hostage, she'll taunt him: "Her soul is mine now!" But one really weird battle later and the demon is defeated, and her captive seems no worse for wear.
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls''
** Most of the [[TheHeartless 'human']] enemies are people who have had their souls devoured by demons.
** [[spoiler: King Allant has a soul-draining attack that makes a character hit with it lose a level.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', beings with the Lifedrain ability or weapon Dark Hand can steal Humanity without killing the subject. While it does deal damage and the attack ''can'' kill them, it doesn't necessarily.
* In the ''{{VideoGame/Fable}}'' universe, hobbes are children whose souls were devoured by dark nymphs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''SluggyFreelance'' there's a demon called "K'Z'K the Soul Collector." Guess what it does?
** There's also some spirit demons who steal away people's souls to sell to the highest bidder.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Psychocrypt in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers''. It's possible to join the SoulJar crystal to the half worn on the victim's body and revive them. It's just damn near impossible to wrest said SoulJar away from Her Majesty.
* Marceline's dad from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' wears a suit, is completely evil, and is going to swallow all of your souls.
* Erebus from the ''MyLittlePony'' episode Bright Lights steals souls (in the form of victims' shadows) to bolster his power. It's only a '''Just The Soul''' by dint of being reversible, and it's ''[[NightmareFuel/MyLittlePonyAndFriends freaking creepy]]''.
* Quantum lichens on ''{{Futurama}}'', although Prof. Farnsworth insists on calling it lifeforce [[OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions instead of the outmoded term "soul"]]. Sou... I mean, lifeforces can be returned by killing the lichen's fungus half, where they are stored.
* The Soultaker Sword in ''BewareTheBatman'' does this.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', separating a human's soul from their body leaves their body unconscious, but unharmed. In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' it turns out eventually (over the course of about a week) the soul will no longer be able to return to the body even if other people are taking care of it (presumably giving food and water) in the meantime.
[[/folder]]

!!'''Killed Too''':

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Hollows both kill living humans and consume dead souls (called "Wholes") or other Hollows. Since all but the newest Hollows contain multiple souls (any soul eaten is merged into the Hollow), they soon find that the best form of sustenance is to eat their own kind. Eventually, a strong Hollow will come to contain thousands or even ''hundreds of thousands'' of souls, which is how they [[EvolutionaryLevels evolve]] to more advanced forms.
* In ''{{Hellsing}}'', true vampires are able to do this by sucking someone dry -- it allows them to summon their souls later in battle. [[spoiler:When Alucard has his final PowerLimiter released, it is revealed that this is the source of the immense power that he has wielded throughout the series -- he has done this to MILLIONS of people, monsters and other beings alike through the five hundred years that he has been a vampire]].
* In ''{{Naruto}}'', there exists a DangerousForbiddenTechnique which steals the souls of both the caster and the victim, killing both and subjecting their souls to eternal torment. It's used by [[spoiler: The Third Hokage]] in an attempt to kill Orochimaru.
** One of Pain's body can read people's minds and pull their souls out (though apparently not sealing it or anything), which kills them. [[spoiler:Nagato could still bring them BackFromTheDead, but he could do that even to people killed in normal ways]].
* This is substantially the whole point in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. With alchemy, you can steal people souls', killing them, and make out of them a gem of pure condensed energy, which is the Philosopher's Stone. That is, an ultimate weapon for who wields it.
* The contracts in ''ChronoCrusade''. Chrono even flatly states in the first chapter "Her [Rosette's] soul belongs to '''me'''." However, unlike most examples, Chrono doesn't take the entire soul in one gulp, he just drains what he needs as he needs it. Also, both of the girls whose soul ended up being slowly devoured to fuel his powers/life offered their soul to him of their own free will. He also fell in love with the contractors, causing much angst as he was slowly killing the ones he loved just by ''existing''.
** Aion's contractors (which were crystallized by Fiore until he needed them) might be this, or '''Drained After Death'''.
* The nature of all of the demon's contracts in ''Manga/BlackButler''. The demons exchange fulfilling their Master's wish for their soul.
* ''YuYuHakusho'': Before obtaining the Orb of Baast, which lets him take '''Just the Soul'' as noted above, Gouki ate people's bodies alive to devour their souls. The three kings of Demon World eat in this manner also.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* In ''ComicBook/SinCity'', Kevin was a SerialKiller who [[ImAHumanitarian ate his victims]], all female prostitutes. Cardinal Roark, who supported him and joined in, claimed that he ate not only their bodies, but their souls as well, which would "fill him with light" and feel close to God. The story makes it clear that they're just delusional though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Nine}}'', this is what the Fabrication Machine does. It runs on oil, but it ''wants'' human souls.
* In ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'', the Lord Marshal, after visiting the Underverse, gained the ability to partially separate his soul from his body. In addition to inhuman speed, this also gave him the ability to literally rip the soul straight out of a person's body. The victim lives so long as the Lord Marshal is holding their soul, but drop dead as soon as he throws it to the floor.
* Freddy grows more powerful by absorbing the souls of his victims in the ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' sequels; he's been HoistByHisOwnPetard a few times when said souls managed to either break loose or turn against him long enough for him to be defeated.
* Whenever Pinhead or another Cenobite kills someone in ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' films, their soul ends up in the Labyrinth, in {{Hell}}. As is the case with [[spoiler: [[Film/HellraiserInferno Joseph]]]] and [[spoiler: [[Film/HellraiserHellseeker Trevor]]]], Pinhead often torments them there. Though [[spoiler: they are released after Leviathan's defeat in [[Film/HellboundHellraiserII the second movie]]]], and presumably the same thing happens when [[spoiler: Pinhead dies in [[Film/HellraiserBloodline the fourth movie]]]].
* In ''Film/{{Lifeforce}}'', the [[LifeEnergy lifeforce]] that the vampires consume is strongly implied to be the human victims' actual souls.
* Like modern depictions of demons, the Djinn in ''Film/{{Wishmaster}}'' collects souls so he can drag them to what is effectively Hell to torture them forever. He also needs them to power the jewel that he was trapped in, which acts as a doorway to the Djinn world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The fate of anyone killed with [[ArtifactOfDoom Stormbringer or Mournblade]] in ''Literature/TheElricSaga''. Elric sometimes dedicates the blood and souls of his kills to Lord Arioch of Chaos, but that may be more force of habit; in fact, [[spoiler:his own final fate]] appears to indicate that the stolen souls remain trapped and in torment inside the rune blades forever.
* In ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'', this is the effect of being killed with a Morganti weapon. A Great Weapon can ''choose'' whether or not to consume the soul of the victim, and even manipulate the souls in other ways (one once even being used as a SoulJar for the wielder to fake death.)
* A possible interpretation of what Tom Riddle tried to do to Ginny Weasley in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets''.
* In ''Literature/{{Paranormalcy}}'', Implied to be what Evie has been told the goal of the Faeries is. [[spoiler: Also what Vivian is born to do.]]
* In ''Literature/TheAlchemyOfStone'', the [[TheWoobie extremely sympathetic]] Soultaker's (a profession, though the impression is given that only one exists in a region at a given time) job is to execute and [[IAmLegion subsequently]] [[DeadPersonConversation interrogate]] prisoners. A Soultaker who has lasted long enough to take more than a few souls gains an increasingly strong and uncontrollable pull on living souls even when he isn't using the power. Unlike [[DeaderThanDead many uses of this trope]], once a Soultaker dies the captured souls all pass on with him to the "normal" death.
* Hemalurgy, one of the three systems of FunctionalMagic in ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' involves stealing part of someone's soul and trapping it in a metal spike; the soul's energy can be then transferred to someone else by piercing their body with the spike, with the precise effects determined by what metal the spike is made out of and where exactly it's placed in the body. In the series all known cases of this have been fatal to the "donor" though WordOfGod is it's theoretically possible for the donor to survive, though it would do unspecified very bad things to them regardless.
* Certain [[HumanSacrifice sacrificial]] rituals to the Dark Gods is DavidWeber's TheWarGods series involve the victim dying and the soul being consumed by the demon and/or god the ritual was done for.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'' Illyria consumes Fred's soul in the process of converting her body into a vessel for herself. This conversion also involves physical changes that are not survivable for anything human. Fragments of Fred's soul and memories remain in Illyria as a result, meaning that she can basically turn into Fred if she wants to.
** An earlier episode has a [[DealWithTheDevil demon who gives people what they want in exchange for consuming their souls later on]].
* In ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'', members of monster races steal LifeEnergy, but the way the Wolfen race does it looks a lot more like this. When the victim is struck down by the Wolfen's claws, the body falls and a translucent image of the victim is still standing, rightfully scared and confused... until it's devoured. [[spoiler: Jiro]], you're officially scarier than the [[BigBad Big Bads]]. ''They'' only kill you.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology, Religion and Legend]]
* In a [[http://books.google.ca/books?id=6yxs214hdhcC&pg=PA37=PA37&dq=%22snuffing+out+the+precious+ruwai%22&source=bl&ots=9GwS2NrdrA&sig=1IKC7XwsOExOCAqglavE-OpCmtY&hl=en&ei=NnrKS5uaO8Sblge_oq37BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22snuffing%20out%20the%20precious%20ruwai%22&f=false terrifying passage]], David Suzuki recounts the fate of two young villagers in a Chewong legend:
-->Taloden asal, the all-knowing Original Snake, was fully aware of their flagrant breach of ''talaiden'' the very instant it occured. She awakened with a start from her eternal subterranean slumber [...] Twisting her long, multihued body into a silent, simmering coil of rage, she unleashed a terrible storm, like a spear, into the Chewong village above her. Relentless winds, torrential downpours, and a rising tide of groundwater converged on the young couple's hut, sweeping it from the face of the earth as if it was nothing more than a speck of dust. In a final act of horror, the fearsome head of the great serpent reared up from the cavernous underworld, gripped the two offending Chewong viciously in her gaping jaws, and gobbled them up in a single predatory gulp.\\
But Taloden asal did not simply devour their flesh and bones, as she might some ordinary prey. She obliterated their existence for all time. As she swallowed them, she deliberately extiguished the fragile flame of vitality that flickers in and animates every human being and, equally, all life-forms on Earth Seven, as it has done since the primordial times of creation, when all creation possessed the power of speech. By so righteously snuffing out the precious ''ruwai'', or souls, of the young Chewong, she ensured that they would not glow on in realms beyond Earth Seven after death--as they would have in the absence of so grave an offense against nature.
** A dreadful punishment? Perhaps. But such is the fate of all who would dare [[spoiler:[[{{ValuesDissonance}} keep a squirrel as a pet]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** A demilich can perform one of these -- if it's not killed before it finishes sucking out your soul, you are DeaderThanDead. Perhaps the most dreaded of them all is Acererak from the TombOfHorrors.
** Original D&D Supplement IV ''Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes''. In the Hyborian mythos from Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Literature/ConanTheBarbarian'' stories, the Kraken feeds on human souls and LifeEnergy.
** A lesser known case is a Devourer who use their Trap Essence ability to steal souls and use them as fuel for their supernatural abilites.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rolemaster}}'' campaign setting ''Shadow World''. The Soulslayers of Murlis can drain and eat their victims' souls by holding onto them.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'', the Vampire Counts have a magic weapopn called the Tomb Blade, which simultaniously steals the soul of whomever it kills, and animates their skeleton. There is also a Necromancy spell that tears their soul free and binds it to the vampire's will, granting him a new unit of Spirit Hosts. The Tomb Kings army has the Casket of Screaming Souls, which is basically a shotgun [[AbnormalAmmo that shoots ghosts.]]
* The act of Diablerie in ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' and ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'' involves devouring the blood and soul of another vampire. Eating the soul requires Willpower checks; if you drink the blood but don't manage to eat the soul, the victim is merely dead and you're not more powerful than before; if you succeed in completing the process the victim is DeaderThanDead. It is rightly feared among vampires, which is why one of the Traditions in ''Requiem'' expressly forbids it, though unlike ''Masquerade'', there's nothing that says you can't just ''kill'' another vampire without diablerizing him.
* Several types of Oni as well as powerful Lost Samurai from ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' have the ability to consume the souls of those that they've killed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', Megatron removes the sparks -- Transformer souls -- of every inhabitant on Cybertron and stores them in containers. He eventually consumes them all in order to make a bid at godhood.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Jake boils a lobster and uses its soul as a garnish for his SatiatingSandwich.


[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* In ''WorldOfWarcraft'', Warlocks have the spell "Drain Soul," which, if an enemy dies while under it's effect, grants the warlock a [[SoulJar soul shard]], to be used for various purposes.
** Also: "Frostmourne hungers." And not for delicious cake.
** And speaking of Frostmourne, when fighting the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel, at one point he one-shots the entire party. You get the usual "You have died. Release to the nearest graveyard?" message box, but if you actually try to press the "Release Spirit" button, you get a red popup message: "Your soul belongs to the Lich King". ([[spoiler:It's a scripted event, so you get better.]])
* Anyone killed using the ''SoulSeries'''s Soul Edge has their soul eaten by the sword.
* In Franchise/TheElderScrolls series you can steal the souls of monsters with the "Soul Trap" spell upon their deaths and trap them in Soul Gems, a key element of enchantment. ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' introduces the Black Soul Gems, which allow you to steal NPC souls (which have the same value as "Grand" Souls). A dark ritual that takes place at a certain place at a certain time of night when the stars are just right can transform normal Grand Soul Gems into Black ones. Naturally, the people who use ''these'' are an evil order of Necromancers led by an OmnicidalManiac.
** In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', the dragons attacking the land are a type of Aedra, and therefore functionally immortal, as killing them normally just returns them to their home realm. But whenever the player character, known as Dovahkiin/Dragonborn, kills a dragon, he or she prevents their souls from escaping by absorbing them in order to gain more power.
** Also in Skyrim, you find out that souls inside Black Soul Gems are still aware. Congratulations, master Enchanter, you just damned several villages-worth of people to afterlife as a trinket.
** ''Dawnguard'', the first {{DLC}} in Skyrim, reveals that when used up, the Souls in Black Soul Gems get sent to a plane of [[{{Hell}} Oblivion]] called the Soul Cairn, where they wander endlessly.
*** One of the new Shouts in ''Dawnguard'', Soul Tear, [[spoiler:taught by a dragon that was trapped in the Soul Cairn and became imbued with some of the power of the place as a result]] deals ~300 damage, casts Soul Trap, and revives the target as a zombie if it was killed by the Shout.
* In ''SamuraiShodown'', Yunfei's Fatality Move involves ''punching his opponent's soul out of their body, then cutting it in half'', just to ensure that they ''stay'' dead.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'' has this with the aptly named Soul Eater. It drains you of your vitality/health/soul, and you die. Very simple. In the same game, a malfunctioning power sphere drains your soul slowly, but at the same time it provides immense power; in game terms, Dante loses health while he carries it, but is in permanent [[SuperMode Devil Trigger]] (and every enemy coughs up health orbs).
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar III'' has Hades saying this to Kratos in the pre-battle cutscene, and tries to do this to him in an early part of the battle with the Claws of Hades. [[spoiler:During the battle, Kratos takes the Claws of Hades away from him. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard And then uses them to take]] ''[[HoistByHisOwnPetard his]]'' [[HoistByHisOwnPetard soul in the fight's finale]]]].
* In ''HeroesOfNewerth'', whenever a hero is finished off by the hero named Soul Reaper, the Soul Reaper will utter "Your soul is mine!" in what could also be classified as a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* This is the basis of the "Devour Spirit" and "Devour Soul" attacks in ''NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer''.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' has quite a few [[SoulPower Ghost-type]] {{Mons}} who are implied to do this. For example, Shedinja steals the soul of anyone who looks into the hole on its back ([[OhCrap and guess what the player looks at when they send it out]]?).
* The heroes can actually invoke this trope in ''VideoGame/{{Super Paper Mario}}''. You can use a blank catch card on an enemy (but not a boss or miniboss) and it will capture the enemy's soul inside a card.
* ''LegacyOfKain'' has two versions of the Soul Reaver thanks to TimeTravel: the past version (wielded by Kain) consumes blood, while the future version (both wielded and empowered by Raziel) consumes souls. Raziel himself also consumes souls to nourish himself, being a wraith. The series further establishes limits and rules on this -- humans are mortal and their souls can be sucked out easily, while stronger beings including vampires must be physically weakened to be drained. Particularly powerful souls can confer the owner's power to the person absorbing it, which is how Raziel copies the abilities of his brothers.
* ''MagicalDiary'', near the end of [[spoiler:Damien's]] path. The player character is given the option to give him her soul, believing it will keep him from dying [[spoiler:(it won't - he isn't dying)]]. At least one set of choices (possibly more) causes this to end in a near-miss because [[spoiler: Damien]] is unable to go through with it. '''Killed Too''', because it would have killed you if he had finished the ritual in question - and did badly, ''badly'' injure you in ways that will take the rest of the semester to undo, if you manage to undo them at all.
* Malthael does this to the Horadrim at the start of ''VideoGame/DiabloIII: Reaper of Souls'', and to a countless helpless soldiers throughout the campaign, turning their bodies into undead to serve him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''SluggyFreelance'' the Dimension of Pain demons actually set up grocery stores stocked with souls, so demons can always get [[IncrediblyLamePun plenty of soul food]].
* In ''DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' a number of Creatures can do this, [[HornyDevils Cubi]] are particularly notorious for this. Soul eating greatly increases a Creature's power and extends it's already lengthy lifespan, but is not necessary and many Cubi are content living just 3000 years and passively [[EmotionEater feeding off emotions.]]
* ''{{Tamuran}}'' [[http://www.tamurancomic.com/?p=470 Apparently. It's legend, so hard to tell.]]
* The traditional summoning in ''{{Drowtales}}'' works like this: the summoner traps the aura of the victim in a gemstone. This aura can be summoned later and does what the summoner wants. Auras are the same as souls for drows.
* According to the character pages and story material in ''[[http://www.daemonslayers.net/characters.htm The Daemonslayers]]'', Soul (AKA Mecha) an immortal [[MixAndMatchCritters lycan-fae]], joined the other Daemonslayers when demon prince Lord Saragon (whom Blackjack had dissed earlier by killing his lover and torturer, Aster) tore out part of her soul to return to his lost demon lover. Still alive, she was saved by Blackjack and Shade before the prince could kill her, and now looks forward to the day she can kill Aster and reclaim what was hers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* All liches in ''Literature/AngelOfDeath'' must do this to sustain themselves. It is made clear early on that when they devour a soul, it is not destroyed, rather, it is conscious throughout the entire process of being devoured, digested and pooped out and [[FateWorseThanDeath will then be forced to linger with the lich who devoured it as long as it lives, unable to disobey any of their commands]] even if that means betraying friends and family to meet the same fate.
[[/folder]]

!!'''Drained After Death''':

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', when someone dies it becomes possible to eat their soul. The rules of how this work are different in the manga and the anime:
** Manga: Only weapons (and Asura, who ''[[CannibalismSuperpower ate]]'' his weapon) can eat souls to become stronger, although consumed souls can be removed later without killing the one who ate them. Specifically eating 99 human souls (or one very strong soul) plus 1 witch soul makes a weapon a Death Scythe. While the only difference between good and bad souls themselves is that good souls have more power, weapons serving TheGrimReaper are only ''allowed'' to eat the souls of people he deemed evil enough to be executed.
** Anime: Anyone can eat souls, and doing so will make them become more powerful but start going insane and turning into Kishin (which turns their soul red, making it a "kishin egg") unless those souls were themselves starting to become Kishin. Weapons still eat human and witch souls to become Death Scythes, but it's not clear what would happen if a human ate a kishin eggs. All the good souls a potential Kishin eats are released upon their death.
** In the English dub, Maka frequently says the name of this trope word-for-word as a {{Catch Phrase}}, usually preceded by the name of whomever she's about to fight.
* In ''DigimonTamers'', this is implied to be the most effective way for Digimon to increase their power. Most of the heroes don't like doing it because it's, well, not very heroic. In addition to increasing their power, it also seems to give the Digimon [[PowerCopying access to their fallen opponent's attacks]], though that might be because Beelzemon was powerful, Leomon was powerful, or just [[AWizardDidIt a side effect of shiny new superpowers]].
** Although really only the word "data" is mentioned, which is what they were created from, and it's likely that the data they absorb from their defeated opponents is just what remains of their body and power, and may not even involve the soul.
* Dead Master in ''[[Manga/BlackRockShooter Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul]]'' apparently loves to eat the trapped souls inhabiting Hazama. And other things, [[ExtremeOmnivore as she ate her teddy bear and chewed Rock's hair in her sleep]], but mostly souls.
* ''YuYuHakusho'': Younger Toguro ate the souls of the dead to maintain 100% strength.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''FanFic/TwistedFates'', [[spoiler: the SerialKiller 'The Twister' is able to devour the souls of his recently-slaughtered victims.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The villain's entire mission in ''Film/GhostShip'' revolves around collecting enough souls so that he can send the entire boatload "[[{{Hell}} home]]", acquiring several hundred souls by the end [[spoiler:before they're all freed.]]
* Shang Tsung does this to Art Lean in a nasty KickTheDog moment from ''Film/MortalKombat'' after he is killed by Goro.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters'' and apparently ''Literature/{{Perelandra}}'', demons in hell consume the souls of humans who go there, as well as each other when times are hard. This seems to manifest as a disintegration of the personality, but victims seem to retain a minimal consciousness.
* In ''Literature/TheSagaOfTheNobleDead'', the necromancer [[EvilSorcerer Ubad]] is surrounded by a constantly shifting "halo" of souls, implied to be the souls of people he's killed. They [[DisabilitySuperpower allow him to see, despite his physical blindness]] and their presence assists him in his magic.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' the necromancer Kemmler learned to devour ghosts, which massively increased his power to the point that he held off the White Council for years. They killed him seven times before it stuck. In ''Dead Beat'' several of his disciples come to town in search of a book containing this secret. Technically speaking ghosts aren't actual souls but the impressions the person left behind, but the effect is similar.
** In ''Ghost Story'' [[spoiler: the ghost of one of these disciples, Capiocorpus, devours a number of other ghosts to give her the power to manifest in the real world and steal a living body.]]
** Earlier, in ''Grave Peril,'' Dresden himself [[spoiler: teams up with his own ghost (it's complicated) to devour the ghost of a sorcerer who'd previously eaten part of Harry's soul, regaining his stolen power and taking the sorcerer-ghost's.]]
** Kemmler's Darkhallow rite kills every living thing in the area (said area can be pretty big) and allows its caster to absorb their souls. Absorbing enough souls can turn a mortal wizard into a living god. [[spoiler:Harry knows the rite.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', after a Crocotta kills its victim, or causes the victim's death (ie: By convincing him or her to commit suicide), it sucks out the victim's soul through their mouth. [[spoiler: Clark Adams]] is the only Crocotta we've seen so far.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Barghests in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' can feed on humanoid corpses to gain strength, which damages or destroys the victim's soul in the process.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* In ''TwistedMetal 2'' and ''Head On'', Mr. Grimm is addicted to souls. By the time of ''Head On'', he's eating more souls than he ferries to the afterlife.
* In ''SuikodenI'', the aptly named 'Soul Eater' rune eats the souls of those close to the bearer to gain power.
* In ''{{Darksiders}}'', [[TheFourHorsemenOfTheApocalypse War]] pays Vulgrim in souls that he eats (shown in the first scene you meet him in).
** According to Vulgrim, they taste good.
--> ''Vulgrim'' : "Ooooh! There were a few young ones there."
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'''s Dharma Temple chapter, there was a sword which stole the souls of anyone it killed. The monsters who owned used it as payment in several [[DealWithTheDevil deals with the devil]] where a human would harvest souls for them in exchange for a promise, usually of freedom from imprisonment. They never really kept any of the promises, of course.
* During ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow'', Soma Cruz gains skills by domination of creature souls. [[spoiler:The only reason he can do this is because he's the reincarnation of Dracula]]. It's also revealed that when he no longer needs their powers the souls get released.
* Alduin in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' eats the souls of the dead [[spoiler:while they are trying to reach the Halls of Valor in Sovngarde, Franchise/TheElderScrolls equivalent of Valhalla. Alduin blankets the paths to the Halls of Valor with thick mist that keeps his prey good and lost so he can eat them at his leisure.]]
** [[spoiler: In ''Dragonborn'', this ends up being the fate of the undead Dragon-priest Miraak. Due to being a Dragonborn himself, when he is killed by Hermaeus Mora for [[TheStarscream his betrayal]], his Aedric soul gets immediately devoured by the Dovahkiin.]]
* The boss of Part 1 in ''AsurasWrath'' was said to have consumed millions of such souls to power up his body and increase his size to CosmicHorrorStory levels... and all this just to crush the protagonist.
** The whole objective of the Seven Deities is to harvest enough souls to power up a giant space laser to blow up Gohma Vlitra. Really.
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'' This is a huge part of the game's basic ''premise''. A crystal around the belt of the player absorbs the souls of the recently fallen and are then taken to the Maiden in Black, who then strengthens the player's own soul with them.
** The demons that are the driving conflict are doing this on a mass scale. They are collecting souls for [[BigBad Old One]] who if not stopped will annihilate everything.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' Like its predecessor, ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'', the entire level-up, currency, and magic systmes are based around absorbing the souls of enemies that the player has killed.
** When an Invader defeats another player as a Black Phantom or Darkwraith, they gain one Humanity, presumably from the fallen host player.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The Composite Soul, an amalgamation of three evil spirits that escaped from Hell, devours souls to increase its power in ''{{Spinnerette}}''.
* In ''DominicDeegan'' damned souls in hell can be eaten by demons, and demons can cannibalize one another. Also there have been a few cases of the damned becoming demons (or approximations of) by eating others.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* In ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'', [[spoiler:After completely wrecking [[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 Starscream's]] body, what does [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Rainbow Dash]] do when his Spark comes out of the remnants of his torso? She '''eats''' it.]]
** After [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe ripping him in half]] in their Death Battle, [[spoiler:[[MortalKombat Shao Kahn]] does this to [[StreetFighter M. Bison]].]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Glaistig Uaine can create a psychic imprint of a dead person's consciousness, which allows her to manifest a ghostly version of them that can use any of their [[PowerCopying parahuman powers]].
* In [[https://sites.google.com/site/terrenwiki/home Terren]] (primary art blog [[http://yumi-akiyama.tumblr.com/ here]]) the supreme grand goddesses Pura Velpormia and Hellmasin Miastrius take this a step further by eating entire afterlifes. They derive sustenance from the good or bad karma the souls accumulated and excrete them back into Terren with no memories for reincarnation.
[[/folder]]

!!Unknown:

[[folder:Literature]]
* Per WordOfGod, this was one of [[HumanoidAbomination Mordeth's]] abilities in the backstory of ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' and was one of the ways he became so powerful. Since he hasn't used this power explicitly in his new incarnation as Padan Fain, it's unclear exactly how the mechanics of it worked (though there are other ways to lose your soul/things that eat souls in the setting, as mentioned earlier on this page, they draw their power from [[GodOfEvil the Dark One]] while Mordeth/Fain's comes from... somewhere... else, so it's unclear just how much overlap there really is).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/AdamWarrock's first album, "The War For Infinity" Demonos makes a DealWithTheDevil for the Infinity Gauntlet with the condition that he "brings back as many souls as he can" before returning or dying. It's not made clear exactly how he is to collect said souls.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''{{Minecraft}}'' you can collect an item called Soul Sand, which is made up of screaming faces.
** Also popular {{Fanon}} holds that Enderpearls are the souls/life force of the Endermen. You can use them to teleport, expending the pearl in the process.
* In ''{{Terraria}}'' some hardmode bosses and enemies drop souls when defeated. Their souls are used as FunctionalMagic, for example, souls of Flight are used to power flying objects.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Demons in ''{{Webcomic/Goblins}}'' can steal souls from other beings if they grow powerful enough, or [[DealWithTheDevil barter them for goods and services]]. Since demons feed by inflicting suffering on other creatures, if they can claim ownership of a soul they can remove it from the cycle of existence, [[FateWorseThanDeath allowing them to constantly torture, kill and resurrect the soul's former owner and feed on their suffering for the rest of eternity.]]
* Lord King did this to [[TokenGoodTeammate James]] in the ''Such Stuff... arc'' of ''{{Webcomic/Roommates}}''. To be precise he tricked him with YourMindMakesItReal death and abused his own standing as [[{{Psychopomp}} death avatar]] (So James' dead status is questionable... even more that he was already dead in canon. Did we mention that this comic is kind of {{Mind Screw}}y?) all this to pull an [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Best Friend]] stunt on [[MonsterRoommate Jareth]]. It could be reversed when Jareth claimed the lost soul back, but James was awfully close to dying in a work where {{nobody can|Die}}.
* Dirk in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' displays the ability to rip a person's soul from their body, due to being the Prince of Heart (heart = soul). He's interrupted before he can finish, so we don't know what the end result of losing one's soul is, but it was apparently ''excrutiatingly'' painful for the victim.
[[/folder]]


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