Necrophilia is the act of engaging in intercourse– I'm looking for something milder. Maybe even just someone who is attracted to those who have passed. Cobain or Monroe, for example.
closed as unclear what you're asking by user66974, anongoodnurse, ermanen, Drew, tchrist♦ Dec 19 '14 at 4:52
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It's a bit of a stretch, but necromaniac could be a possibility.
A pyromaniac is a lover of/has an obsession with fire.
A nymphomaniac is a lover of/has an obsession with sex.
A parsinomaniac is a lover of/has an obsession with puns and wordplay.
And so forth...
If you wish to eliminate the erotic connotations of necrophilia, which would technically suit the purpose of your general idea, then the alternate necromania would probably work sufficiently. If you are willing to coin a new word, necrolexi would suit perfectly. It's a close call; all three could work, but necromania would probably be the best combination of accuracy to your idea and connotation for a general audience.
Of course, the root necro ties all three words to death and corpses by its connection to the Greek nekros.
In the Greek, the basic meaning of philia is "fondness or affection", and there is no erotic connection, (The Greek word eros was used for that notion.) Necrophilia was introduced into the English language as a medical term to describe a psychological disturbance which included an erotic element, but non-erotic attraction is included too. The erotic connotation has been overly emphasized in popular culture.
The Greek mania, on the other hand, is a "frenzy", which has been generalized by its common usage into an "obsession". Technically, necromania is an obsession with death in general, so it is not limited to corpses, but it would be an acceptable use of that word.
The Greek elexi is the direct translation of "attraction", but there is no common current usage of "necrolexi" in modern English. If you are speaking to a group with a technical interest in the idea, it may be worth coining a new word.
If you are looking for the way people are obsessed with Cobain, Monroe, JFK, Elvis, I would be inclined toward "idolatry", "celebrity-worship" or "hagiomania" for a noun or "idolize" for a verb.
A milder term would be obsession with dead celebrities.