The common experience of out-of-the-body travel or astral projection has sometimes been associated with visits to other individuals, as well as contacts with frightening elementals on the astral plane. Some occultists appear to have mastered techniques by which they can astrally project, and visit their victims while asleep and drain their vitality from them.

During the nineteenth century, the French Spiritualist Z. J. PiƩrart attempted to reconcile the theory of premature burial with astral projection by those who died after being buried alive. He wrote:

“Poor dead cataleptics, buried as if really dead in cold and dry spots where morbid causes are incapable of effecting the destruction of their bodies, the astral spirit enveloping itself with a fluidic ethereal body, is prompted to quit the precincts of its tomb and to exercise on living bodies acts peculiar to physical life, especially that of nutrition, the result of which, by a mysterious link between soul and body which spiritualistic science will some day explain, is forwarded to the material body lying still within the tomb, and the latter is thus helped to perpetuate its vital existence.”

Adolphe d’Assier, in his book Posthumous Humanity (1887), admitted that the body of the vampire may be dead but the spirit earthbound and obsessed with the idea that the physical body must be saved from dissolution. Consequently the dense astral body feeds on human victims and, by some mysterious process, conveys the blood into the tomb.