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Your Soul Is Mine!

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After much soul searching, Shang Tsung found Baraka's.
Elder God: You are weak, you must feed.
Raziel: The old hunger has left me. I have no desire for blood.
Elder God: You are changed. Your blood-thirst is replaced by a deeper need — you have become a devourer of souls. To sustain your strength, you must hunt the lost spirits of the Underworld, and consume the souls of your enemies.

People just can't seem to get enough of them souls! "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 a Soulless Shell. Recovery is sometimes possible, sometimes not.
  • Killed Too — The soul is stolen or eaten, and the person is killed in the process. In some stories, this is the natural consequence of losing one's soul. If resurrection is possible, they nearly always 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 people's souls and kill them, then resurrect them as an immortal army." If resurrection is impossible, then the person is probably Deader than Dead. In a Nobody Can Die 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.

Super-Trope to Soul Eating, where souls are taken because they make tasty snacks. Compare Soul Power, which is about mastery of souls in a more general sense, and doesn't have to involve soul theft. See also Our Souls Are Different. See Anatomy of the Soul for a parts list.

As this can be a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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Just The Soul:

    Anime and Manga 
  • MapleStory has a severely weaked-down version of this. Soulless people are still able to talk and react to things, but behave as they would without any personality (Al, for instance, calls Nina cute, and Nina acts much less Tsundere when her soul is gone).
  • Shakugan no Shana: Yuji is technically a victim of soul theft — the only thing keeping him alive is the Reiji Maigo.
  • YuYu Hakusho: During the Three Treasures arc, Yusuke battles a demon who steals and eats children's souls. The souls are unharmed in his stomach until he digests them, which takes a while; Yusuke is able to kill the demon before that happens, and the souls escape and return to their comatose owners, who wake up, apparently unharmed.
  • One Piece:
    • The villain Gecko 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.
    • Charlotte "Big Mom" Linlin is a proper soul-ripper thanks to her Soul Soul Fruit. She can take chunks off it, measured in lifespan lost, or just rip the entire thing out at once with a touch (though anyone not afraid of her in the least is immune to this), and then manipulate it in various ways, usually imbuing objects with soulstuff to make them animate (she calls these creations Homies). Thanks to this power and a vicious tax imposed on all dwellers of her territory (one month's worth of soul every six months), she's managed to make a land where Everything Talks because everything is a homie that nominally obeys her. She's even torn off bits of her own soul to make her three special Homies that she keeps closest of all.
  • This is used in Yu-Gi-Oh! a few times, usually by those with Millennium Items who invoke Penalty Games. It is this that allows the heroes (and the audience) to learn that Dark Yugi has a different soul from normal Yugi.
    • Kaito in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL 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 Necessarily Evil 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.) As it turned out, Kaito's efforts were not helping Haruto at all; he was being told Blatant Lies by Dr. Faker, who was himself being lied to by the Barian Vector as part of his plot to destroy Astral World.
  • In Hakoiri Devil Princess...A devil can grant a person 3 wishes. However, as a consequences for the wishes that the person made, their soul will be officially owned by the devil themselves. It also has an interesting twists as once the devil reclaim the soul of the person who performed the wishes, they ended up fading into becoming an energy that could fuel hell itself.

    Comic Books 
  • Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker's main villain's plans to take over the Waking World involve taking people's souls and hijacking their bodies. Strong souls allow him to stay in the real world longer.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 5: Deimos and Phobos are able to steal human souls and leave the bodies an empty, faceless shell that is alive but non responsive to stimuli, up to the point that they cease aging. They require a container to keep the soul, and have no control over where the soul ends up if a more powerful magic user manages to breach or damage the crystal.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In Spectacular Seven, the Big Bad has an amulet that allows them to take souls from an unwilling victim, which they use to steal Sunset Shimmer's soul from her body. Sunset is eventually found by the heroes and still alive, but unable to wake up from a coma-like state because her soul is missing.
  • Halloween Unspectacular: At the end of the story "Come and See" from the eighth collection, the Devil claims Gaz's soul. And while she's shown being physically dragged to Hell, her body's later shown in a vegetative state in the hospital.
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, Heaven Ascension Dio does this to the remaining Joestars (sans Jotaro and Jonathan) in chapter 17.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Big Bad Haitian dictator in The Serpent and the Rainbow keeps a collection of human souls.
  • In Rebirth of Mothra 3, King Ghidorah absorbs the souls of children. When he is defeated, they return.
  • B-movie and Mystery Science Theater 3000 target Soultaker is a strange subversion of all three: The teens being chased by the Man are already dead, they just don't realize it; he's actually a Psychopomp come to take their disembodied souls to the afterlife. In the case of Type 1, the bodies themselves are technically still alive until their souls are claimed. The Hero and his Love Interest are restored to life when their souls return to their bodies. For the rest it's a blend of Type 2/3, as they're dead for real once their soul is taken.
  • In Angel Heart, it turns out that Johnny Favorite did this rather gruesomely to the completely innocent Harry Angel to try and get out of his Deal with the Devil.

  • In Charles de Lint's The Blue Girl, done by annatheims. The person becoming an Empty Shell is irreversible.
  • In the Coiling Dragon universe, souls are intertwined with the abilities and power that a person has, and destroying someone's soul is the only certain way to kill them. Some Saints and Deities know how to capture someone's soul (typically in death) and "refine" it. This process changes it into a form that the person can absorb and use to either heal their own soul or increase their own power. Due to the difficulty, the refining and absorption process can take years to perform. Unless, of course, you have a powerful artifact that automagically does it for you.
  • Downplayed in Fengshen Yanyi: several characters possess magical treasures or powers which are described as being able to "remove the soul" of their opponents but aren't described as lethal. Specifically, the term used is the chinese "Hun", which refers to the rational part of the soul, meaning that the effect isn't meant to kill people by soul-stealing but rather make them fall unconscious, the sole exception being the "Monster Banner" (which can absorb both Hun and Po parts of the soul with lethal results) and the Plummeting Souls Formation, which removes the soul of the victim and slowly suffocates them.
  • In Harry Potter, the Dementors, the act of which is called the "Dementor's kiss." While the person subjected to this does not die, this is specifically stated to be a Fate Worse than Death, as their soul is permanently destroyed with no hope of recovery, and the poor victim becomes an Empty Shell.
  • In the His Dark Materials series, Spectres feed on souls (which in this series are often seen as living animals, or Daemons).
    • A more mild example from the same series: 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.
  • Journey to Chaos: One application of Soulcraft is to force the soul of another from their body using one's own soul. Then it can be eaten for power or imprisoned in another vessel.
  • Pahua Moua: The bridge spirit steals the souls of children, including Pahua's brother, leaving him in a coma. Pahua goes on a quest to find his soul before it's lost forever.
  • In The Rogue King, the titular character has his soul stolen with relatively little effect. Although it does make being possessed impossible.
  • In Shaman Blues, wraiths can feed on spiritual energy of a person, but the effects are mostly restricted to exhaustion and sleepiness, or, in case of ghosts, reverting back into shades.
  • In "The Stones Are Hatching", the merrows do this to Uncle Murdo and Aunt Audrey. This is also what the devil attempted to do, first to Alexia's teacher and then to her, in the backstory.
  • In The Taking, the apparently alien invaders have supernatural abilities that include this trope due to actually being The Legions of Hell. It's physically manifested as face stealing, leaving behind a faceless body that the invaders can control at will. The drained after death variant is also heavily implied to happen to several people, though it's not described directly.
  • In the Towers Trilogy, Ieren eats ghosts. If none are handy, he can pull the soul out of a still-living person's body, resulting in the Empty Shell becoming a zombie-like creature called a night walker. This is irreversible if he eats the soul; however, if he is interrupted before the soul is completely detached from the body, then the victim can be saved.
  • Tree of Aeons: The natural role of a soul tree is to gather the souls of the dead, in preparation for them to be reincarnated, a process that normally takes only a few months. However, it is also possible to make a contract that will cause a soul to linger for a thousand years and be subservient to the tree. Matt gains several such contracts, some more intentional and planned than others, such as Alexis accidentally suffering a contract as the backlash of a failed attempt at soul meddling, or Eriz being sentenced to a soul contract as a punishment for getting him involved in a fight he didn't want.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein'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 the Vita Nuova, Lord Love has ruled over Dante's soul since the age of nine, when the poet saw Beatrice for the first time. Since that day, Dante has had no choice but to do whatever Love commands.
  • Awakening in 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 necessary 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 A Fate Worse Than Death 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.
  • Grey Men in the The Wheel of Time 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 Empty Shell. (They would usually kill the Empty Shell anyway.)
    • Word of God 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 Empty Shell at best and death at worst.
  • The Brotherhood of the Conch: In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, the jinn Ifrit eats the spirits of Kasim's hired workers who tell him their names, leaving them listless, withdrawn, and unable to recognize their families and friends. Once he's eaten enough souls, he'll have the power to open a new gateway to the past so Kasim can overthrow the nawab and rule Bengal and eventually the world. After Kasim and Ifrit are defeated, Abhaydatta whispers all the workers' true names into their ears, beginning the process of recovery.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Phoebe and Paige in 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 the Angel episode "Smile Time", 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 Power Rangers, soul theft typically leaves the victim an Empty Shell, and is undone with the death of the Monster of the Week (or the breaking of whatever item was used for soul theft or storage.)
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Charlie's Nightman Cometh musical, the Nightman wants to "enter" the Boy's soul. It's supposed to be taken seriously, but ends up getting Played for Laughs because, among other things, Frank keeps pronouncing it "Boy's hole" instead of "Boy's soul."
  • In Supernatural, The Darkness consumes souls to rapidly age its human incarnation (after eating one soul it goes from infant to young child). The victims are left alive as The Soulless. Crowley feeds her souls in an attempt to get on her good side, but it doesn't take long for him to be afraid of her sheer appetite for them.
  • In Once Upon a Time, most magic-users can do this with hearts, especially the Evil Queen and her mother. Once someone steals a heart, they can control their victim's actions with it, and if they ever destroy it, they die where they stand.
  • In The Killian Curse, whenever a student from Room 21 sees the number 21, they have a curse sent after them; if they fail to beat it, they lose their soul.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This is the effect of the Soul Jar 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 Mage: The Awakening, 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 Empty Shell 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. Otherwise, he's stuck as a Lich.
  • A victim of this is the default (and titular) player character type of Dead Inside. True, they lose the Weirdness Censor that prevents humans from using Functional Magic, 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 Spirit World.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: A high-level Amethyst magic spell transfers the target's soul into a vessel, leaving the body an Empty Shell that will die unless tended to. If the vessel is opened away from the body or by someone who doesn't know the rite to reverse the spell, the soul becomes a ghost and can never be restored.

    Video Games 
  • in Neverwinter Nights 2: 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 Ammon Jerro.
  • in Baldur's Gate II: 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.
  • Chest: Zong can send someone's soul to the Nether, where they will be held until his father deems them ready to leave.
  • Eastern Exorcist has it's first boss, the Great Ape, who carries a giant bronze incense burner as a weapon. Which can absorb and trap the souls of anyone caught in it. The Great Ape even name-drops the trope:
    Get into my furnace now and give me your soul!
  • Starting with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, 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 and 11, stealing your opponent's soul is the only way Tsung can morph into them.
  • In Mortal Kombat 11, Revenant Liu Kang learns this version of soul theft and uses it on his past self for a power boost; the original does have some life left afterwards, however, since desouling him completely would destroy the Revenant. In retrospect, he should have thought twice about going into battle against Raiden afterwards.
    • Kabal tempts fate in some of his pre-fight banter with Shang Tsung:
      Kabal: Stealing my soul won't make you faster.
      Shang Tsung: Actually, that is precisely how it works.
      Kabal: Eh, shit.
  • When Indy finally faces off against a demon near the end of Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb 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.
  • Demon's Souls:
    • Most of the "human" enemies are people who have had their souls devoured by demons.
    • King Allant has a soul-draining attack that makes a character hit with it lose a level.
  • In Dark Souls, 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 Fable universe, hobbes are children whose souls were devoured by dark nymphs.
  • Shown by name in Guitar Hero III during a cutscene. After the band tells off their manager, Lou, he holds up their contract to the camera, the words "(your soul is mine)" appear in the fine print, and things start glowing a rather unholy shade of red...
  • Undertale:
    • A rare willing variation of this occurs before the game begins; As the Barrier requires the SOULs of seven humans to break, but only one for a Monster to bypass it, the (still alive at this point) Fallen Child and Asriel made a plan; As 'Killed Too' is the only way for one to give up their SOUL, the Fallen Child ordered Asriel to get them some buttercups, a type of poisonous plant, for them to consume. Once they passed away, Asriel took their SOUL and left through the Barrier; however, the plan fell apart once Asriel encountered the villagers near Mount Ebbot, and unwilling to defend himself much less take six more SOULs, he only barely made it back Underground before perishing as well.
    • At the end of the True Pacifist route, Flowey absorbs almost every monster's soul to add to the power of the six human souls (which were gotten with the “Drained After Death” method), but if you go around during the Playable Epilogue, everyone's fine.
    • After you complete a Genocide run, the player makes a Deal with the Fallen Child to restore the game. Since they only said "you will give me your SOUL", it's ambiguous whether they took Frisk's soul, or the player's — and it doesn't seem to have any effect whatsoever, until you reach the very end of the True Pacifist route, at which point they take control of Frisk's body and let out an Evil Laugh.
  • As noted below, the The Elder Scrolls series traditionally has the "Killed Too" variety of soul-stealing. However, Daggerfall has a "Just the Soul" version in the Underking. While there are several conflicting stories regarding the origins of the Underking, it is believed that he was once (at least in part) the ancient Nordic hero Wulfharth Ash-King, a known Shezarrine (incarnations of the "dead" creator god Lorkhan, known to the Imperials as "Shezarr"). In an attempt to find a replacement power source for the Dwemer-constructed Numidium for Tiber Septim, the Underking put his own soul into the Mantella, an unimaginably powerful soul gem. Septim used the Mantella-powered Numidium to complete his conquest of Tamriel. However, come the events of Daggerfall, the Underking wants to die but cannot without retrieving the Mantella. Separetely, Redguard features a case with Iszara, who ended up bargaining her soul away, leading to her brother having to get it back from Clavicus Vile (as her body was still alive — the timeframes involved were pretty short — she's perfectly fine afterwards).
  • In Sunless Sea, while devils are at least willing to trade for your soul (or at least someone's; they're the best market for the crates of souls you pick up, although it's rare that you'll make much money off the soul trade), the Pentecost Apes of the Empire of Hands have been known to just rip it out of you and bolt it on, as a random outcome from going exploring at Port Stanton. You can then track down the monkey that nicked it and claim it back.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The archdemon Adramahlihk claims the soul of everyone with whom he makes a deal. This doesn't appear to have any effect on the people, but the souls are stored in the demon's personal Pocket Dimension to fuel his powers and are destroyed with his death, inflicting Cessation of Existence on them all.

  • In Sluggy Freelance 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.
  • At the beginning of Aurora (2019), the Collector steals the god Vash’s soul, leaving behind his body. His body, meanwhile, refuses to die, but rather than being an Empty Shell somehow procures an entirely new consciousness separate from Vash.
  • Parodied in this Jake Likes Onions strip.

    Web Animation 
  • The various forces of the galaxy seem to play hot potato with Magnus' soul in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device. It belonged to Tzeentch until the Emperor got it back by poking the indecisive mollusk with a stick until he gave it up. Tzeentch nearly got it back when Magnus left the Imperial Palace (and thus his father's protection), but Kitten of all people won it back in a card game (of Yu-Gi-Oh!), making him the current owner of Magnus' soul.
  • hololive
    • In the early days of Mori Calliope's career, every donation would be counted as the viewer personally sending their souls to be collected in advance by the reaper.
    • Played for laughs by Tsukumo Sana when she revealed her kimono outfit. She told her viewers to sign a contract that would allow them to see the outfit, at the cost of their soul, before then saying after seeing it, they could reclaim their soul at a lost and found bin.

    Western Animation 
  • The Psychocrypt in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. It's possible to join the Soul Jar crystal to the half worn on the victim's body and revive them. It's just damn near impossible to wrest said Soul Jar away from Her Majesty.
  • Marceline's dad from Adventure Time wears a suit, is completely evil, and is going to swallow all of your souls.
  • Erebus from the My Little Pony 'n Friends 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 freaking creepy.
  • Quantum lichens on Futurama, although Prof. Farnsworth insists on calling it lifeforce 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 Beware the Batman does this.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, separating a human's soul from their body leaves their body unconscious, but unharmed. In The Legend of Korra 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.
  • THE BLACK CUBE OF DARKNESS in Wander over Yonder apparently has the ability to suck out the souls of anyone who stares at it for too long. In "The Black Cube", it nearly sucks out Wander's soul while having a Freak Out.
  • In the second season of Beast Wars, there's an unusual variant on this theme: Megatron cuts out half of Rampage's spark and uses it to torture him into compliance.
  • The evil Fartholomew Fishflinger of The Adventures of Puss in Boots eats souls to increase his power. Those affected by this are Taken for Granite until their souls are returned.
  • In The Cuphead Show!, like in the video game, this is The Devil's M.O. Though, here he has a more direct approach, where instead of wanting contracts to peoples' souls, he will simply steal them outright. Also, it's a lot clearer here what happens when The Devil takes one's soul, as one always becomes a soulless husk. This is where the main conflict of the show comes from, as the titular Cuphead (through losing a game of skeeball) owes The Devil his soul.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom", the Flying Dutchman steals the souls of Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton as a last ditch move to scare SpongeBob.

Killed Too:

    Anime and 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 evolve to more advanced forms.
    • Aizen intended to forge a key that would allow him passage to the Soul King's Palace by sacrificing 100,000 souls and a landmark of concentrated spirit power. Turns out, Karakura Town's destruction could fulfill both conditions.
    • The Quincy King Yhwach specializes in taking souls for himself; first by giving a piece of his own soul to someone else, then having that piece take possession of whatever strength that host has to offer. The piece of Yhwach in Ichigo fulfilled this role by taking possession of its host's power Zangetsu and stealing that power's name. When the host dies, the piece returns to Yhwach with everything it can carry back, but Yhwach that force that process anytime he likes, draining his victims so much that only the truly mighty can survive it. As every Quincy carries his soul in their blood, Yhwach presently has the strength of countless generations of souls.
  • In Hellsing, true vampires are able to do this by sucking someone dry — it allows them to summon their souls later in battle. When Alucard has his final Power Limiter 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.
  • Naruto:
    • There exists a Dangerous Forbidden Technique which steals the souls of both the caster and the victim, killing both and subjecting their souls to eternal torment. It's used by 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. Nagato could still bring them Back from the Dead, but he could do that even to people killed in normal ways.
    • The Filler Villain Fuuka had a jutsu where she stole her victim's chakra and body via a Kiss of Death. Before she attempted to use it on Naruto, while she was pretending to flirt with him and saying they should share a kiss to make up after their fight, she darkly says that as "payment" for the kiss she'll take his soul.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: With alchemy, you can steal people souls, killing themnote , 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.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Daniel J. D'Arby's stand Osiris has the power to extract another person's soul from their bodies and turn them into a poker chip, with the soul-stealing occurring when a person he makes a bet against either loses or mentally concedes. When Polnareff falls victim to the stand, Avdol finds that he died as a result: he had no pulse. His brother Telence T. has a similar ability in his stand Atum. Like Daniel, Telence has to start a game with with his target and if they lose Telence gets their soul. Unlike Daniel, Telence has a creepier idea of keeping souls, putting them in dolls and giving them limited movement and ability to talk.
  • The contracts in Chrono Crusade. 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.
  • The nature of all of the demon's contracts in Black Butler. The demons exchange fulfilling their Master's wish for their soul.
  • YuYu Hakusho: 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.
  • Big Mom, one of the four Pirate Emperors in One Piece is able to drain people's souls, removing years from their lifespans. She can drain their entire lifespan with just a sweep of her arm, killing them instantly. However, this only works if the person in question is afraid of her. Which, considering that she's a giant, cannibalistic madwoman with one of the largest armies in the world, most people are.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: After slaughtering around 5,700 enemy soldiers of Falmuth in less than a minute using Megiddo, making sure to drag it out a little so that some of them had a few seconds to watch in horror as their fellow men are killed before dying themselves, Rimuru is granted the [Merciless] Unique Skill. Said skill makes it where, while active, all enemies within a large radius who have lost the will to fight will get their souls ripped from their bodies, killing them instantly. It can be controlled to intentionally leave specific broken-willed enemies alive if Rimuru wants. He uses this to finish off the rest of the horrified 20,000 Falmuth soldiers instantly, only leaving King Edmalis and Bishop Rayheim intentionally alive (while The Archmage Razen only survived because Rimuru thought he already killed him). Rimuru then uses those souls to fuel his True Demon Lord ascension, which results in [Merciless] merging with his Unique Skill [Gluttony] to become the Ultimate Skill [Beelzebub, King of Gluttony], which retains the former skill's effect under the name [Soul Consumption].

    Comic Books 
  • Ragman: The Suit of Souls is made of the corrupted souls of murderers who find themselves lending power and strength to the one who killed them in order to work off the crimes staining their souls and gain freedom from the suit.
  • In Sin City, Kevin was a Serial Killer who 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.
  • In Spider-Man, there are The Inheritors, a group of vampiric beings who hunt down totemistic beings (those who are connected to a certain animal spirit) to keep themselves alive. When they absorb their spirits, they leave the victim entirely drained and shriveled. Though they can hunt any being they want, it's Spiders that they mostly enjoy.
  • In Supergirl story Demon Spawn, sorceress Nightflame steals Supergirl's soul, killing her in the process. However, Supergirl's soul manages to beat Nightflame and return to her body in time.

    Fan Works 
  • The Pandoraverse: Eventually, the horn of King Sombra gives Moondancer the ability to literally suck the souls out of other ponies. He gains all of their magic power and adds it to his own, while his victims are left as inanimate crystal statues and their consciousness trapped and powerless inside his own mind.
  • The Flash Sentry Chronicles: Malafear, the Big Bad of Dragon's Awakening, is a Mystic Shadow Dragon with the ability to steal the elemental powers of other dragons by stealing their souls, resulting in their deaths.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Tsunade gains the use of one of Pain's Rinnegan eyes, along with all the abilities it grants. She uses the soul-sucking ability during the Fourth Ninja War to kill Orochimaru.

  • In 9, this is what the Fabrication Machine does. It runs on oil, but it wants human souls.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, 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 A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels; he's been Hoist by His Own Petard 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 Hellraiser films, their soul ends up in the Labyrinth, in Hell. As is the case with Joseph and Trevor, Pinhead often torments them there. Though they are released after Leviathan's defeat in the second movie, and presumably the same thing happens when Pinhead dies in the fourth movie.
  • In Lifeforce, the lifeforce that the vampires consume is strongly implied to be the human victims' actual souls.
  • Like modern depictions of demons, the Djinn in 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.
  • In Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the Ghost of Stonewall Jackson has the ability to kill people by sucking their souls from their bodies.
  • In Warcraft (2016), Gul'dan's main shtick involves taking a soul out of a creature and using it as fuel for his magic, killing it in the process. At one point, he takes it out bit by bit, toying with human he "feeds" on. This is also how he kills Durotan.
  • B-movie and Mystery Science Theater 3000 target Soultaker is a strange subversion of all three: The teens being chased by the Man are already dead, they just don't realize it; he's actually a Psychopomp come to take their disembodied souls to the afterlife. In the case of Type 1, the bodies themselves are technically still alive until their souls are claimed. The Hero and his Love Interest are restored to life when their souls return to their bodies. For the rest it's a blend of Type 2/3, as they're dead for real once their soul is taken.
  • Imhotep in The Mummy Trilogy prefers to kill his targets by sucking out their souls, leaving their bodies withered and mummified husks. Every soul he consumes further restores his decayed body until he eventually looks fully human.
  • The Frighteners has a rare heroic example, in which temporarily-dead Frank drags the evil Patricia's soul out of her body, causing her to drop dead before she can murder Lucy. He then uses Patricia's grappled spirit to bait her evil ghost boyfriend into a gateway to the afterlife, from which both villains are sucked into Hell.
  • In Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, Jared-Syn and his followers use power crystals to extract people's life force, leaving them dead. He stores the life forces in a giant white crystal, which emits the sounds of hundreds of people screaming when it's activated. Jared-Syn believes that once the crystal reaches full power, all the life forces will allow him to conquer Lemuria.

  • Dragon Bones has Oreg, whose fate is something in between — he was given a bowl of soup, ate it, and when he awoke he was the castle, Hurog, after which the series is named. He can materialize a body, but not leave the castle and/or his current owner. He has often expressed a desire to die, but is effectively immortal unless his owner decides to kill him. This, however, would also ruin the castle, which is why no one ever did it. In some sense of the word he is alive, although whether that is a life is debatable.
  • The fate of anyone killed with Stormbringer or Mournblade in The Elric Saga. 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, his own final fate appears to indicate that the stolen souls remain trapped and in torment inside the rune blades forever.
  • In Dragaera, this is the effect of being killed with a Morganti weapon. It's one way to make someone Deader than Dead in a world where sufficiently powered magic to revive the dead exists (though there are ways that do not involve the total destruction of a person's soul. Even some of the worst killers will refuse to touch the things.) 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 Soul Jar for the wielder to fake death.)
  • A possible interpretation of what Tom Riddle tried to do to Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • In Into the Heartless Wood, the Gwydden and her daughters harvest the souls of their victims to feed the heartless tree and expand their domain. This is also what Elynion intended to do to Awela, and later, Owen. Fortunately, Seren takes the former to safety, and Owen's mother magically shielded the latter's soul from being taken.
  • In Paranormalcy, Implied to be what Evie has been told the goal of the Faeries is. Also what Vivian is born to do.
  • In The Alchemy of Stone, the 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 subsequently 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 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 Functional Magic in 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 Word of God is it's theoretically possible for the donor to survive, though it would do unspecified very bad things to them regardless.
  • Certain sacrificial rituals to the Dark Gods is David Weber's The War Gods series involve the victim dying and the soul being consumed by the demon and/or god the ritual was done for.
  • Talion: Revenant: Talions have the power to suck a person's soul out of their body with the magical death's head tattoo which they get. In their case, this kills whoever they use it on. Usually they don't gain anything this way except an easy means of killing someone, and the souls are cleansed with a special ritual. A few though retain their vitality and can be used to reanimate corpses in an enhanced manner. An enhancement is also possible of the person holding them.
  • In the book Batman : Captured by the Engines, the killer traps the souls of his victims inside his altered form. Fortunately after Batman destroys him, their souls are set free.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 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.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, members of monster races steal Life Energy, 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. Jiro, you're officially scarier than the Big Bads. They only kill you.
  • Babylon 5: The Soul Hunters usually wait for death and then collect the souls right at the moment of transition, but at least one had gone as far to actually kill to retrieve souls, which was against the rules of his order, so they set out to stop him.
  • On Supernatural, the standard demon deal grants one some kind of wish (resurrection of a loved one, money, success, it varies) and leaves ten years of life remaining. When the time comes to pay up, the person is killed and their soul dragged to Hell by hellhounds.

    Mythology, Religion and Legend 
  • In a 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • A demilich can perform one of these — if it's not killed before it finishes digesting your soul, you are Deader than Dead. Perhaps the most dreaded of them all is Acererak from the Tomb of Horrors.
    • Original D&D Supplement IV Gods, Demi-Gods and Heroes. In the Hyborian mythos from Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories, the Kraken feeds on human souls and Life Energy.
    • A lesser known case is a Devourer, a powerful undead who uses trapped souls to fuel its supernatural abilities.
    • The Death Giant in 3rd and 4th edition can steal the souls of anyone who dies in it's vicinity (whether they killed the person or not), and even have a cloud of screaming ghostly souls around them. Killing the giant frees all the souls it has trapped, however.
  • In Pathfinder's Golarion setting, the country of Galt is trapped in a brutal, arbitrary revolution, where almost every real and imagined crime is punished by guillotines that trap their victims' souls. The revolutionary council claims that it is a kinder fate than risking the souls being poached by their devil-worshiping neighbour Cheliax, though that justification is pretty shaky.
  • Rolemaster campaign setting Shadow World. The Soulslayers of Murlis can drain and eat their victims' souls by holding onto them.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Warhammer, the Vampire Counts have a magic weapon called the Tomb Blade, which simultaneously 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 that shoots ghosts.
    • In Warhammer 40,000 the 7th Edition Chaos Artefact known as the Soulsnare Lash is an unsettling artefact of the Emperor’s Children, a fleshy whip that burns the soul from its victim’s body before sending it to the realm of Slaanesh, the Chaos God of Excesses, where it will suffer an eternity of torment and pleasure.
  • The act of Diablerie in Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem involves consuming the blood and the very 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; if you succeed in completing the process, the victim is Deader than Dead and you gain power from them (unless they were weaker to begin with). It is rightly feared among vampires, which is why one of the Traditions in Requiem expressly forbids it (mostly because the act of Diablerie is addictive, so any vampire who does it once may just keep doing it to feel that rush again, and because committing Diablerie makes vampires less human, eventually rendering them the kind of sociopathic monster that even vampires fear), though unlike Masquerade, there's nothing that says you can't just kill another vampire without diablerizing them.
  • Several types of Oni as well as powerful Lost Samurai from Legend of the Five Rings have the ability to consume the souls of those that they've killed.

    Theme Parks 
  • Imhotep in Revenge of the Mummy pursues the riders for their souls, even flat-out shouting, "Your souls are MIIIINNNE!!!"

    Video Games 
  • In World of Warcraft, Warlocks have the spell "Drain Soul," which, if an enemy dies while under its effect, grants the warlock a 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". (It's a scripted event, so you get better.)
  • Anyone killed using the Soul Series's Soul Edge has their soul eaten by the sword. Astaroth has the ability to absorb the soul of anyone he kills, as well.
  • BlazBlue: Ragna the Bloodedge's Azure Grimoire grants him the ability to drain and devour souls to rejuvenate himself. In a case of Gameplay and Story Integration, his drive's name is called "Soul Eater" and any time he strikes an opponent with his drive attacks, he drains their health and adds it to his own. His Astral, Black Onslaught, completely devours the soul of his victim and erases their existence. This is the fate he bestows on Terumi after he defeats him at the end of CF.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, there exists the "Soul Trap" spell. If it is cast upon an eligible target, then that target is killed while the spell is still in effect, the target's soul will be captured in a Soul Gem, a key element of enchanting. 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 Omnicidal Maniac.
    • In series' lore, the Sload, a race of "slugmen" native to the archipelago of Thras to the southwest of Tamriel, are well known for capturing and bartering in souls. The souls they've collected are treated as no different than "coins in a pouch."
    • The most famous artifact associated with the Daedric Prince Azura is Azura's Star, a reusable Grand Soul Gem. She is not otherwise associated with the taking of souls, however, making it somewhat unusual.
    • Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Bargains and Wishes is known to collect souls, though he doesn't seem to do anything with them. He simply likes having them for the sake of having them. He also commissioned the creation of Umbra, an Empathic Weapon blade which steals souls (including the soul of its wielder).
    • Mehrunes' Razor is an artifact weapon associated with Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Prince of Destruction. Once of its abilities is to sever the link between the body and the soul of its target, instantly killing them. Those killed in this fashion are said to have their souls sent to Dagon's realm of Oblivion.
    • Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Corruption and the closest thing the series has to a true God of Evil, loves corrupting people and claiming their souls. The Mace of Molag Bal in Skyrim has this as an ability. Molag Bal taking people's souls also serves to kick off the plot of Online. According to one obscure text, one of Molag Bal's positive (for a very, very loose definition of "positive") achievements was lending his power to the creation of the first soul gems. Knowing Bal, this act very likely had an extremely sinister motive behind it as well.
    • Dremora, an intelligent race of lesser Daedra who are most commonly found in the service of Mehrunes Dagon as his Legions of Hell, are known to capture mortal souls in this fashion. Most infamously, a Dremora captured the soul of St. Jiub the Eradicator during the Oblivion Crisis.
    • In Oblivion, the quest for Hermaeus Mora, Daedric Prince of Knowledge, requires capturing the soul of a member of each of the 10 Tamriellic races. Mora plans to have his followers use them in rituals to bend reality, time, and space.
    • Skyrim:
      • The dragons attacking the land are ageless with divine Aedric souls, making them akin to highly destructive angels. They are said to be the children of Akatosh, the draconic God of Time and chief deity of the Nine Divines Pantheon. While anyone of sufficient ability can slay the physical form of a dragon, they possess a form of Resurrective Immortality, and permanently killing one requires another being with a dragon soul to absorb its soul. As long as their soul still exists, their physical form can be resurrected by another dragon (which is exactly what Alduin is doing). The Player Character is a rare being known as a "Dovahkiin" or "Dragonborn", a mortal blessed with the Aedric soul of a dragon by Akatosh himself designed to be a natural predator to dragon-kind. When a Dragonborn absorbs a dragon's soul, it increases their knowledge and power of the Thu'um, which uses the draconic Language of Magic for small scale Reality Warping.
      • The Thieves' Guild questline reveals that this is the case for the Nightingales, servants of Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Darkness and the Night, who is also associated with Thieves and Luck. She grants them immense power and freedom to do with it as they wish, on the condition that they always protect the Ebonmere, the conduit between her realm of Oblivion and Mundus, the mortal plane. Even after they die, the Nightingales continue to serve her as "spectral guardians" of the Ebonmere and Twilight Sepulcher for a "term", then join the shadows.
      • The Dawnguard DLC reveals 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. When they get used during the enchanting process, the souls in Black Soul Gems get sent to a plane of Oblivion called the Soul Cairn, home of the malevolent Ideal Masters, where they wander for eternity.
      • One of the new Shouts in Dawnguard, Soul Tear, 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 instantly deals 300 damage, casts Soul Trap, and revives the target as a zombie if it was killed by the Shout. It's obviously amazingly useful to a Player Character who likes to enchant.
      • In the Dragonborn DLC, Miraak uses a unique Shout to restore his vitality by forcibly ripping the souls out of nearby dragons and absorbing them. The Words of Power for his Shout are "ZII LOS DII DU", which translate into "Spirit Is Mine Devour".
  • In Samurai Shodown, 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.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening 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 Devil Trigger (and every enemy coughs up health orbs).
  • God of War 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. During the battle, Kratos takes the Claws of Hades away from him. And then uses them to take his soul in the fight's finale.
  • In Heroes of Newerth, 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 Moment of Awesome.
  • This is the basis of the "Devour Spirit" and "Devour Soul" attacks in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer.
  • Pokémon has quite a few 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 (and guess what the player looks at when they send it out?).
  • The heroes can actually invoke this trope in 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.
  • Legacy of Kain has two versions of the Soul Reaver thanks to Time Travel: 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.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Big Bad Demise/The Imprisoned is trying to absorb Zelda's divine soul to revive his true form. In the Non Standard Game Over, he succeeds and she perishes. Also in the climax, Ghirahim begins the ritual to do so before his Boss Battle, resulting in Zelda's soul being taken to help revive Demise in time for the Final Boss fight. She gets better.
  • Magical Diary, near the end of Damien's path. The player character is given the option to give him her soul, believing it will keep him from dying (it won't - he isn't dying). At least one set of choices (possibly more) causes this to end in a near-miss because 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 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, and to countless helpless soldiers and civilians in Westmarch and the Pandemonium Fortress throughout Act V, turning them into undead Reapers to serve him.
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence introduced the Crimson Stone, an alchemical creation that allows its bearer to consume vampire souls for power and immortality.
  • After some early upgrades, Lester from Charlie Murder has an alternate finishing move on fallen enemies where he steals the souls of fallen enemies for an HP boost and reduce cooldown on his magic. Hand Waved as him studying dark arts.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker): Master Alice does the typical "make a deal with soul as payment". One victim, Mary, wound up giving her body as well. However, sometimes she will also challenge her victims to a card game with their soul on the line- and always cheats. Either way, her victims wind up as grey, bleeding faces that she sticks on the walls of her castle, forever aware but unable to move.

  • In Sluggy Freelance the Dimension of Pain demons actually set up grocery stores stocked with souls, so demons can always get plenty of soul food.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures a number of Creatures can do this, 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 feeding off emotions.
  • Tamuran Apparently. It's legend, so hard to tell.
  • The traditional summoning in Drowtales works like this: the summoner traps the aura (the soul of magic-using beings like drow, elves and dragons) of the victim in a physical object, usually a gemstone. This aura can be summoned later and does what the summoner wants.
  • According to the character pages and story material in The Daemonslayers, Soul (AKA Mecha) an immortal 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.
  • Schlock Mercenary, rather unusually for a sci-fi story. Late in the story, Kevyn manages to isolate the soul of a thinking creature as a manner of "aggregate waveform" independant from the "hardware" in use, meaning a computer simulation of the person, the living person, and the person as an AI would have separate souls, and all equally valid. Very briefly later, it's figured out that the soul can be teraported straight out of the hardware (if Teleport Interdiction isn't online), killing it in the process and putting the soul somewhere else. While it's perfectly valid to use as a weapon, it has seem most use as an emergency evacuation mechanism that Petey uses when large masses of people cannot be rescued physically in time; he just rips the souls and places them in a virtual world, where he can put them back into a clone later on.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Jake boils a lobster and uses its soul as a garnish for his Satiating Sandwich.
  • Beast Machines: 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.
  • Centaurworld: In "Fragile Things", as it tries to consume the herd, the taurnado sings about how it will add their souls to the thousands that already compose it.

Drained After Death:

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Soul Eater, 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 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 The Grim Reaper 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 Catchphrase, usually preceded by the name of whomever she's about to fight.
  • In Digimon Tamers, 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 access to their fallen opponent's attacks, though that might be because Beelzemon was powerful, Leomon was powerful, or just 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 Black Rock Shooter: Innocent Soul apparently loves to eat the trapped souls inhabiting Hazama. And other things, as she ate her teddy bear and chewed Rock's hair in her sleep, but mostly souls.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Younger Toguro ate the souls of the dead to maintain 100% strength.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero, Soul Eaters are monsters that will consume the souls of people they kill. Domesticated ones are used to prevent the souls of executed criminals from reincarnating.
  • A non-sinister version in Monster Musume. Lala the Dullahan is part of Kimihito's Unwanted Harem, but doesn't try to fight for his affections with the other girls. As a Psychopomp, she's content to let the others have him for the relatively brief span of his mortal life. Once he dies she can claim his soul and spend eternity with him in the afterlife.
  • Just like in the work it's based on, Hoshin Engi has the Houshindai (Apotheosis Altar) which is used to attract the souls of notable Sendo and mortals inside so that they can be sealed in a different dimension from which they can help but not meddle with humans. Ostensibly the main objective is to prevent Dakki's soul from escaping once she's slain. In truth, the hidden purpose is to have a Cavalry of the Dead come to Fukki's aid during his final battle against Jouka, the ultimate enemy.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Any monster who kills humans (or indeed, is just around when a bunch of humans get slaughtered) can take in their souls to increase their own power. Doing this is actually a requirement for a monster to fuel the growth of their Demon Lord Seed and undergo the transformation into a True Demon Lord. The amount of souls necessary to do this depends on the monster, and not every monster even has the ability to develop the Demon Lord Seed in the first place. Rimuru only needed at least 10,000 souls, but he ended up getting 20,000 souls from his slaughter of Falmuth's army. In contrast, his Twelve Guardian Lords used 100,000 souls each to ascend, the majority of which came from the million-strong Eastern Empire army that died in the Tempest Labyrinth (although technically, it was just the collected soul energy that was used up, while Rimuru managed to revive most of the slain humans in a reduced state to achieve this) while the remaining souls were given by Guy Crimson for Rimuru to ascend his two own subordinates Misery and Rain (while Raphael fudged the numbers necessary so Guy gave more than required).

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman (vol. 1) & (vol. 2): As a valkyrie Gundra can steal the souls of those she kills, making her an dangerous opponent even beyond death.


  • Dust Devil: This is the Dust Devil’s entire M.O. Apparently, the process of soul stealing entails shooting photographs of the victim, dismembering them, painting the walls with their blood and fat, and keeping their fingers.
  • The villain's entire mission in Ghost Ship revolves around collecting enough souls so that he can send the entire boatload "home", acquiring several hundred souls by the end before they're all freed.
  • Shang Tsung does this to Art Lean in a nasty Kick the Dog moment from Mortal Kombat: The Movie after the latter is killed by Goro.
  • B-movie and Mystery Science Theater 3000 target Soultaker is a strange subversion of all three: The teens being chased by the Man are already dead, they just don't realize it; he's actually a Psychopomp come to take their disembodied souls to the afterlife. In the case of Type 1, the bodies themselves are technically still alive until their souls are claimed. The Hero and his Love Interest are restored to life when their souls return to their bodies. For the rest it's a blend of Type 2/3, as they're dead for real once their soul is taken.
  • From Beyond the Grave: Evil occultist Sir Michael Sinclair, from The Door, found the secret of immortality; constructing his own personal room behind an ornate door, Sinclair lures those who come into possession of the door to the room to murder them and take their souls in order to extend his life.
  • Ghostquake: Headmaster Alger Danforth and the Female Acolyte take the souls of everyone they kill to empower themselves further. They're all freed when the Acolyte is banished and Danforth has his soul destroyed.

  • The Arts of Dark and Light: Spirits and souls can be captured and manipulated by powerful wizards. The Witchkings made themselves superhuman by infusing their own souls with ground-down demonic spirits; later on, the elves used special magical rituals to systematically destroy the souls of the dead Witchkings, so as to ensure that they would be Deader than Dead.
  • A Chorus of Dragons: If a mortal's soul is caught at the moment of death, or forcefully extracted from a living victim, it can be turned into a solid jewel known as a tsali stone, which can then be consumed by a mage to power spells or rituals. Likewise, demons can either bind the souls of their victims to themselves or consume them outright. In either case, a bound soul cannot enter the afterlife or be resurrected as long as it remains trapped (that is, until the stone is broken or the demon somehow tricked or destroyed). If it's consumed, it simply ceases to exist.
  • Contractor: The main character is given this (magical) power by an inter-dimensional alien. Basically the life force of anything or anyone he kills is added to his own. On earth however, the magicians consider this to be necromancy and one of the most evil forms of magic, even if he's using it to defend the planet from an inter-dimensional invasion, so this naturally causes a lot of the inter-character strife.
  • The Daevabad Trilogy: The ifrit create an enslaved Genie in a Bottle by binding a daeva with magic and ritually sacrificing it, which traps its soul in a vessel that acts as a Restraining Bolt. A sufficiently powerful healer can free an enslaved daeva by creating a new body to house their soul.
  • The Dresden Files: 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.
    • Grave Peril: Harry 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.
    • Ghost Story: The ghost of one of Kemmler's disciples, Capiocorpus, devours :a number of other ghosts to give herself the power to manifest in the physical world and steal a living body.
    • 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.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: since the secondary purpose of Jiang Ziya's mission to aid Zhou is to gather the souls of 365 notable people so that they'll become new deities, he orders the construction of the "Divinity-Bestowing Altar" in Fengmingzhen city which automatically attracts the souls of notable people, both immortals and mortals, so that they can be made into gods once the war against the Shang is over. The actual altar can still be visited to this very day.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering novel Time Streams, the fanatical angels of Serra’s Realm carry magical torches which suck up the souls of anyone who dies in their vicinity. Ramming the torch's flame into a living person will also rip out their soul, killing them instantly.
  • Mordew: Due to the magical power they've stolen from God, Masters distort the Background Magic Field so much that the people they kill are preserved as spirits in the immaterial realm. The Master can then call on their ghost or manifest them physically.
  • The Saga of the Noble Dead: The necromancer Ubad is surrounded by a constantly shifting "halo" of souls, implied to be the souls of people he's killed. They allow him to see, despite his physical blindness and their presence assists him in his magic.
  • The Screwtape Letters: 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.
  • Starlight and Shadows: Vestriss, a powerful illithid exile, traps the souls of her victims in a magic tapestry. This makes it impossible for clerics to contact her victims' ghosts, thus ensuring they truly do take their secrets to their graves, and also allows her to torture the trapped spirits for amusement.
  • Void City: Bullets fired from the magic gun El Alma Perdida steal the souls of any werewolves they kill. The souls can later be extracted and used by mages for powering spells.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 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. Clark Adams is the only Crocotta we've seen so far.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Barghests can feed on humanoid corpses to gain strength, which damages or destroys the victim's soul in the process.
    • The top-level Soul Bind spell does exactly that to a recently dead creature, blocking all resurrection magic and keeping the spirit from entering the afterlife until the gem containing the soul is broken.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Hungry Ghost Monks regain hit points whenever they land a killing blow. Higher levels also allow them to regain health whenever they score a critical hit and eventually whenever they hit at all.
    • At high level, the Medium Character Class can reflexively become a Willing Channeler to the soul of an ally who dies nearby, gaining access to the ally's non-physical special abilities. The ally also has a chance to assume control of the Medium's body if they disagree on a course of action.
    • Cacodaemons can devour the body of the dead and encase their soul in a gem, which they then regurgitate. Some evil characters keep them as familiars for this purpose alone.
    • Kineticists Cast from Stamina, and the dark elementalist's unique talent is to transfer this strain onto the soul of a recently dead person. The process is excruciatingly painful for the soul and as they grow more powerful first damages and then destroys the soul entirely.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 Slaanesh automatically claims all Eldar souls not kept safe within spirit stones or the Infinity Circuits upon death. If the Eldar indulge in the behaviors that spawned Slaanesh in the first place (i.e. most pleasurable activities since Slaaensh is the god of hedonistic excess), Slaanesh doesn't have to wait for death. The Dark Eldar found a way to safeguard their own souls without giving up their hedonism by offering up the souls of others in place of their own. The downside to their approach is that it takes more and more souls to keep Slaanesh at bay, so it's only a matter of time.
  • This is the standard price for a Deal with the Devil in Monte Cook's World of Darkness. Subverted in that the setting's demons gain Mana from the pact itself and don't actually get anything when the mortal dies — but they find that mortals get much more cooperative when they believe they've sold their souls.
  • Exalted:

    Video Games 
  • Absinthia: Freya reveals that Lilith's sword, Kinslayer, contains Typhus's soul, allowing her to revive him as an undead minion whenever she wants. Lilith didn't kill Typhus, but instead acquired his soul sometime after Ruth's party killed him in Knight Bewitched.
  • In Twisted Metal 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 Suikoden, the aptly named 'Soul Eater' rune eats the souls of those close to the bearer to gain power. Even if the bearer tries to avoid using its power, they tend to end up in tragic circumstances where those they care about will die anyway, just to feed the rune. And this is the rune that the player character ends up with.
  • In Darksiders, 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 Dragon Quest VII'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 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 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Soma Cruz gains skills by domination of creature souls. 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.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In the spin-off Action-Adventure game Redguard, the Sload Necromancer N'Gasta has set up a "soul snare" over the island of Stros M'Kai, which captures the souls of anyone who dies there. He uses the souls in his experiments and/or trades them to the Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile. As is the case for all Sload, he has an innate Lack of Empathy, which means he has no regard or pity for those he has captured, even comparing them to "coins in a pouch".
    • Skyrim:
      • Alduin eats the souls of the dead while they are trying to reach the Halls of Valor in Sovngarde. 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.
      • In the Dragonborn DLC, 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 his betrayal, his Aedric soul gets immediately devoured by the Player Character.
  • The boss of Part 1 in Asura's Wrath was said to have consumed millions of such souls to power up his body and increase his size to Cosmic Horror Story 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.
  • Demon's Souls: 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 Old One who if not stopped will annihilate everything.
  • Dark Souls: Like its predecessor, Demon's Souls, the entire level-up, currency, and magic systmes are based around absorbing the souls of enemies that the player has killed. Souls that aren't claimed can also form into crystalline white structures, which can be destroyed to gain the wealth of souls therein; these allow you to maintain a soul reserve that isn't dependent upon your skill (since being killed and failing to recover your lost collection of souls means they're gone for good).
    • When an Invader defeats another player as a Black Phantom or Darkwraith, they gain one Humanity, presumably from the fallen host player.
    • In addition to "regular" souls, some enemies have unique (or nearly-unique, anyway) souls. Generally, you face these enemies as bosses, and once you have the soul, you can either crush it to absorb it directly (adding it to your currency) or have it transposed into a weapon or other piece of equipment to give it unique properties (giving you unusual and powerful gear).
  • In Final Fantasy Type-0, Phantoma is the essence of a living thing's soul and can be gathered from dead organic enemies (including from soldiers, causing said corpses to explode (and deal damage to nearby enemies too). Phantoma comes in different colors, which is important as different colors upgrade spells in certain parameters such as casting speed or MP cost. It also uses the "Killed Too" depiction of the trope as the L'Cie Caetuna forcibly extracts the Phantoma of some cadets and Class-0's captain to summon the Great Eidolon Alexander, killing them in the process.
  • The Final Fantasy XIV expansion Endwalker introduced the Reaper Job, a melee fighter with a Sinister Scythe who forms a pact with a demonic voidsent. When the Reaper kills anything living, they and the voidsent absorb the aether of their victim's soul, growing stronger for it. The original Reapers were Garlean farmers from before the days of their industrialzation. Being incapable of manipulating aether naturally, the Garleans made covenants with voidsent out of desperation to gain the power to fight back against magically-empowered invaders.
  • Shadow Fiend from Dota 2 who collects souls as a child might collect candy for Halloween. He uses the stolen souls to increase his damage dealt (up to 72 additional damage) and can release them all in a huge burst of destruction. He also loses half of them (rounded down if odd) them upon death. In fact one his lines is even the trope's name.
  • This is a major plot point in Undertale. King Asgore Dreemurr planned to kill 7 humans in order to obtain their souls after death and use it to break the barrier that was keeping his people trapped underground. After collecting 6 souls, Asgore lost the will to keep going with his plan because he simply could not go through with killing all of humanity, even though humans had killed his son. The player character is the 7th soul Asgore needs and when you meet him, he absolutely does not look forward to fighting you, but he does so anyway in order to preserve the hope he had instilled in his people. In the neutral ending path, Flowey absorbs the 6 human souls to become the monstrous Omega/Photoshop Flowey.
  • Nehrim: At Fate's Edge, a total conversion mod for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, features a sword called the Soul Flayer; anyone cut by it will, upon their death, have their soul drawn and stored permanently inside the sword. This turns out to be true also for anyone who wields the sword. The Playable Epilogue quest chain suggests that the sword was created for some nefarious (though never fully explained) purpose; the player also has an option at the end of the chain to destroy the sword and free the souls within.
  • Reaper from Overwatch can absorb the souls of enemies who've died recently, regardless of the means or by who. Doing so heals him by a small amount and keeps him in the fight.
  • The Entity of Dead by Daylight will impale a dying survivor to death with its appendages personally, then drag their soul into its realm through a portal.
  • Onimusha: One of the more benevolent examples of this, as a central gameplay mechanic involves absorbing the souls of demons to power up your equipment.
  • In Brood Star, the Reaper Module lets the player collect the souls of dead enemies, which are represented as white fireballs. Every twenty souls collected this way makes the player invincible for a short time.

  • The Composite Soul, an amalgamation of three evil spirits that escaped from Hell, devours souls to increase its power in Spinnerette.
  • In Dominic Deegan 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.
  • The Greenhouse: One of the traditional prices for summoning a demon, in exchange for favors. The mage who originally summoned 'Red' promised her soul as her end of the contract, but bailed before finishing the ritual and bound Red into a nearby mirror with a blood curse, receiving no favors but paying no price. Unfortunately, that price is still part of Red's summoning contract, and Mica can't just properly summon Red without sacrificing her own soul once she dies.
    Mica: What does that even mean, to give up my soul?
    'Red': Summon me and you'll find out.
  • According to one bound elder god in The Order of the Black Dog the gods worshipped by the mainstream religion eat their followers souls instead of providing any sort of afterlife.
  • In The Settlers, the gates of Hell are closed, so the worst of Humanity are stuck in Purgatory. The poor people just want to go back to earth. For the reasonable price of your eternal soul, the main characters can make that happen!
  • The Order of the Stick: In the Start of Darkness prequel, the Big Bad Xykon binds the souls of enemies he really hates after killing them in combat, so as to deny them the happiness of the afterlife. Since he traps the lovers Dorukan and Lirian in the same gem, they're able to find happiness in each other's company, negating the intended And I Must Scream effect.
  • Our Little Adventure: The Big Bad Duumvirate member Angelo Souballo has an extensive collection of souls that he trapped in their owners' final moments, such as The Paladin Eva after she outlives her usefulness as a Mind Controlled pawn and his resident Archmage Janice after she becomes unacceptably powerful. He occasionally eats one to pacify the fiendish spirit inhabiting his body, but in one rare Pet the Dog moment, decides to defy the spirit and set Eva's soul free. He also intends to resurrect Janice with a slight De-power.
  • The Sluggy Freelance chapter "Anima" features a world in which everyone has an external "anima" that expresses their true emotions. They are powered by psionic energy. It turns out that it's possible to steal someone else's anima after the person is killed to gain more psionic power for yourself. That's about the time when the world stops being Utopian.

    Web Original 
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, After completely wrecking Starscream's body, what does Rainbow Dash do when his Spark comes out of the remnants of his torso? She eats it.
    • After ripping him in half in their Death Battle, Shao Kahn does this to M. Bison.
    • Shao Kahn attempts this in his second battle against Akuma. However, due to Akuma resisting Necalli's attempt to eat his soul, Akuma resists it long enough to turn into Oni. Not that it stops Kahn from killing him the old-fashioned way.
    • Both Sauron and the Lich King can absorb souls to make themselves stronger. Sauron does this to the Lich King and his many souls after shattering Frostmourne, killing him and becoming the new Lich King.
  • In 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 parahuman powers.
  • In Terren (primary art blog 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.
  • Your Soul is Death's in Void Domain. Once you die, your soul goes to His domain. Trying to anchor your soul to the world using some kind of Soul Jar is one of the few things that will anger Him.

    Western Animation 
  • While Marceline of Adventure Time is able to devour the souls of the living the same way as he father is, she's far too ethical for that. Vampires she just killed, however, are an entirely different story.


    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bleach, Yhwach is a combination of "Killed Too" and "Drained After Death" with a rather unique twist. The soul he reclaims is a piece of his own that he imparted onto someone else, which has been augmented by taking the knowledge, experience, talents, power and life-force of the individual into itself. When they die, the soul returns to Yhwach and makes him stronger and allows him to live longer.

    Comic Books 
  • De Cape et de Crocs: One musketeer is rumored to threaten to kill people if they don't renounce God... and when they do, he kills them anyway to take their life and their soul.

    Fan Works 
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: Hollows are capable of this, of course. And Sombra, just like Yhwach, can do this to those who he grants a Schrift to. Tirek mockingly calls him a Hypocrite on this, seeing as he's no less a soul-devouring monster than the Hollows he hates and leads the Quincy against.
    • More generally, any dead Quincy's soul ends up inside him before being reborn, essentially skipping the Soul Society step of the Reincarnation cycle before being reborn, usually in a family member.
    • Apparently Adagio made a Deal with the Devil with Charybidis that resulted in Adagio giving up a part of her soul to learn how to feed off negative emotions with her siren gem. Discord suggests that Aria and Sonata go after this piece to help their sister.

  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie: Evil Sorcerer Shang Tsung is the Trope Namer, who can take the souls of any fighters that he or others defeat in Kombat. He is first shown doing this to Liu Kang's first opponent after he is defeated, which has the effect of killing him (making this an example of Killed Too). He later does this to Art Lean after he is killed by Goro (see Drained After Death), which demonstrates that not even death can save your soul from Shang Tsung.

  • Per Word of God, this was one of Mordeth's abilities in the backstory of The Wheel of Time 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 the Dark One while Mordeth/Fain's comes from... somewhere... else, so it's unclear just how much overlap there really is).
  • The Stone Sky mentions in passing that a large number of souls of the dead have been imprisoned as "hostages" by Father Earth, who releases them after the moon is returned.

  • In Adam WarRock's first album, "The War For Infinity" Demonos makes a Deal with the Devil 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.
  • "Souldevourer" by Dismember. Maybe.

  • Critical Hit , a live play Dungeons & Dragons campaign, features a rare heroic example. The powers of one of the player characters, the warlock Ket, come from the souls he won in the magical tournament. He is able to utilize the abilties the previous owner of the soul had, to some extent. If he ever loses a game he stands to lose his own soul. It is not yet made explicitly clear what exactly happens to someone who lost a soul in this manner.

    Video Games 
  • In Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse, evil sorcerers are controlling various people and monsters throughout the country thanks to having stolen parts of their souls — their honor, for example, or their joy. These are hidden in bottles, which you can smash to free the soul contained therein.
  • Cuphead: The plot has the titular character and his pal Mugman being forced to do the Devil's bidding and collect the souls of others who owe debts to the Devil. Unusually for this trope, they don't collect the souls directly; instead beating up the debtors until they surrender the contracts to their souls.
  • Darkest Dungeon has the Collector, who collects the heads of victims and uses their souls to empower himself and attack with during combat.
  • In Dicey Dungeons, Lady Luck declares that anyone who fails to conquer the dungeon will have their soul taken by her. It's unknown what actually happens when your soul is stolen, however.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel Divinity: Original Sin II, Source is a kind of magical essence that permeates the world. Sourcerers are beings who can tap into Source. One particularly ghastly way to obtain Source is to drain it from others. Draining it from a living being is bad but it doesn't seem to have any permanent effect. Draining it from someone who is already dead on the other hand causes Cessation of Existence. Pretty much every spirit who faces this prospect, even the ones who are suffering eternal torment, react with dread and plead to be spared. The main reason the Mad Source King Braccus Rex became so powerful in the first place was because he drained the Source from countless victims. In the second game you play as a Sourcerer and you eventually gain the power to do this as well.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: You can drain soul power from your enemies to create soul arrows, which have a low carrying capacity due to how POWERFUL they are. It's unknown what exactly happens when an elven wraith (something impossible in the main series) drains an uruk's soul, but drain enough and the physical effects are VERY obvious.
    • The Wraith occasionally says the trope name when draining an uruk.
    • In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Sauron absorbs Celebrimbor's soul to prevent being dominated, leaving Celebrimbor's soul trapped but still resisting Sauron. This and Talion using his new ringwraith powers to command his own orc army against Sauron's is what kept Sauron busy until the War of the Ring. Following Sauron's defeat, Celebrimbor's soul is seen escaping out of him.
  • 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.
  • Mr. TomatoS: In the event Mr. Tomatos is fed enough food with his anger below 10, he will assume a more demonic form and demand that the player hand him their soul. To defeat him, the player must simultaneously feed him food and poison until the poison completely drains his health. If they successfully defeat him, he congratulates the player and explodes into a glitchy mess, but if they end up maxing out his anger meter, he will attack them, presumably taking their soul as he hoped, and thank them for their help.
  • In Terraria some hardmode bosses and enemies drop souls when defeated. Their souls are used as Functional Magic, for example, souls of Flight are used to power flying objects.

  • Demons in Goblins can steal souls from other beings if they grow powerful enough, or 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, 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 James in the Such Stuff... arc of Roommates. To be precise he tricked him with Your Mind Makes It Real death and abused his own standing as 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 Screwy?) all this to pull an I Have Your Best Friend stunt on 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.
  • Dirk in 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 excruciatingly painful for the victim.
    • Later on, when he stuffs a bunch of souls into Lil Cal, their bodies seem to go with them — but since this is depicted through Caliborn's shitty claymation it's impossible to say how accurate it is.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: The end result of corruption by a Kade is joining its Merger of Souls. Since the corruption includes the victim gradually shifting from a corporeal being to a spirit being, whether the person could be considered alive or dead by the end of the process is a little fuzzy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Demongo the Soul Collector", it's really not clear how the eponymous villain's powers work. He appears to consume the soul and body of the victim and transform them into "essence", as he calls it, but the victim seems to be Only Mostly Dead, because Demongo can reform them and command them as slaves. Eventually, Jack finds a way to sever the bond he has with them, and they seem to be restored to full life when released.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Meteroa gains this ability as Her monstrous qualities start to show. Victims of this go into a lifeless state with completely black eyes, similar to the High Commission after being attacked by Toffee, who were revived by a golden magic liquid, implying that "Souls" in the show is simply life energy and does not affect the victim's minds upon having that energy restored. They can also be restored if the one taking the souls is defeated.
  • In Hilda, Enchanted Tide Pool Mice take the soul of the person they're created for and give it to their creator after a 30-day trial period. Which category it falls under is unknown because Hilda stops the only two she created before the end of their 30-day trial periods.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Devourer Of Souls


Trope Namer: Shang-Tsung

Shang-Tsung doing what he does best... besides shapeshifting.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / YourSoulIsMine

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