Skyrim Glitch Fix: Continuous Soul Drain in Soul Cairn

So I came across another glitch while playing Skyrim: Dawnguard last week.  This one is more of a graphical glitch, but it was very annoying & had I not found a way to fix it, I probably would’ve never picked the game up again.  I couldn’t easily find a solution on the internet, so I’m posting the way I found to fix this here to hopefully help out others who come across the same problem.

I suffered this glitch in the Soul Cairn.  You may notice that there are many structures that have a large, floating, purple crystal atop them.  These crystals are giant soul gems, & if you get too close they will slowly drain your health away.  You’ll know when this is happening because there’s a bright column of light going from the crystal to your character.  Normally you can briefly interrupt this by eating a soul husk, which stops the crystal (light & all) for ten seconds.

But at one point, the light continued to stream even after leaving the range of the crystal.

There was no health draining effect.  The light didn’t connect to the crystal, but instead went straight into the sky out of sight.  It was constantly visible behind my character when in third person view, making it impossible to see anything, & even in first person the sound was still there.

I tried to fix it by saving & reloading, but it didn’t work.  I quit the game completely, that didn’t work.  I even left the Soul Cairn, but the light was still there in Skyrim.  Googling the glitch also revealed no solutions on any game forums.  I was just about to load an autosave from before this glitch, which I wasn’t happy about because I’d made a lot of progress since then, when I finally came across a hint to the solution some ten pages into the search results.  The tip worked, so I’m going to share it here to help out anyone else with the same problem.

  1. Go back to a crystal & get close enough for it to drain your life.  This will cause an additional column of light to appear.
  2. Eat a soul husk.  This should stop both the second drain & the glitched lighting effect as well.

It’s a pretty simple fix, but you wouldn’t believe how long I had to search for it.  Hell, even when I Googled it just prior to writing this for an image of the glitch, I couldn’t find anything.

I hope this helps out anyone who comes across this graphical glitch.

– GamerDame



Filed under Tips

57 responses to “Skyrim Glitch Fix: Continuous Soul Drain in Soul Cairn

  1. Travis

    Oh my god… THANK YOU for this. I’m not getting the light beam but I am getting the VERY ANNOYING SOUND. If this doesn’t work I’m hulking out on my game snapping it in half for being so remarkably crummy and picking up crochet or something not so mind numbingly frustrating.

  2. SJCommander

    Thank you so much for this. It’s been quite annoying.

  3. Anon

    Thank you so much, I tried everything I could. Even ran around naked screaming in whiterun with a beam of light into the sky.

  4. Guinevere

    You really saved me with this one. That happened to me and I figured if I left the soul cairn it would go away but it didn’t. I had no previous saves for this game, so I couldn’t reload to before it happened. This helped me out a whole lot. I don’t really know what I would have done if I couldn’t fix that, but I know it would have been violent.

  5. DovaFawker

    At least there’s a way to get it to go away. If it was permanent, I might just have to get violent >_> I do /not/ want to be a sneaky assassin with a permanent fart rainbow going on. Thanks for posting the solution~

  6. What happens when you get the soul gem to supposedly stop the health drain and then it wont stop draining your health i’ve tried pretty much aeverything and nothing is working

  7. Ulithium_Dragon

    DEAR GOSH THANK YOU! I was about to void around 12 hours of play time… For the longest time i thought the sound was my lightning enchanted sword so I ignored it and continued to play. You’re a lifesaver!!! +9000 Dragon Souls! ^o^

  8. Thank you! I have been searching for a fix to this glitch for some time now. Good show!

  9. DrGlamm

    Friggin awesome stuff. Thanks very much for this solve!

  10. Freyja

    Your finding a fix – and such a simple one at that totally saved my
    game, as like you, I was going to call it quits as the effect pretty
    much made the game unplayable due to geometric annoyance
    factor! Grrr!!

    And! RockOn with your bad-ass gamer Grrl self! You are NOT
    alone – we are out there and we are legion!

    Love your blog and keep up the great stuffs!

    Luv & Hugs!


  11. Thanks, this was a big help.

  12. OMG I am so grateful for this fix, you are a legend 🙂 🙂

  13. Becca

    Thank you SO much for posting this. Had the same glitch and I was about ready to give up.

  14. sab


    Thank you for taking the time to post this. This has worked for the graphical glitch, but the annoying sound is still there. Has anyone any ideas? Please and thanks.

    • sab


      After creating a NEW save, quitting and reloading said save, the sound was gone. Hopefully this helps someone.

  15. jimmdy

    I had the same glitch but it quit after changing to vampire form and then reverting back.

  16. hunter

    the game will not even let me in to soul cairn. I got all the things i need to get into it but when Serana put her blood in it didn’t do anything it just has to soul cairn and that is it no portal

  17. Shield772

    Thank you very much

  18. Jessica

    Thank you so much! I was just about to remake my character when I found this on google. You’ve saved me hours of game time with this post thank you!

  19. THANK YOU! I was starting to wonder what to fiddle with in the command console to make it go away, and that way madness lies!

  20. mike winkelsas

    This worked for me thanks I was about to stop playing also if it weren’t for this fix.

  21. shadowmaster701

    thanks so much i was running around in circles trying to figure out how to get rid of it then i came here

  22. Would it be weird if I told you I loved you? Lol! I have been running around with this purple light shooting out of my ass for about a month now and I started to convince myself it wasn’t that annoying…but it was! You are my hero!

  23. Ven

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  24. Devin riou

    Thank you SOOO much for this. I was getting so frustrated with this glitch that I almost stopped playing too. You’re a lifesaver

  25. Denver

    Wow ty so much that was so annoying. I’ve been playing tgat way fir weeks!

  26. Trin

    Thank you! I thought I was going to have to give up on an 83rd level character. You are my hero.

  27. You kind sir are da bestest

  28. Alexus Korslin

    oh my god thank u sooooo much! it was really starting to piss me off 😦

  29. CJ

    If i could have my old lady blow you i would. Thank you so much

  30. Shannon

    Thank you!
    I am level 42 and I was so close to starting again!
    The only way I could get rid of it was to become a vampire and then cure it but it would come back every time I can back to play Skyrim.
    Great help!

  31. Justine

    Thank you, it worked for me but I still have the sound following me. That will probably go away next time I load.

  32. Jake

    THANK YOU!!!! This happened to me and that was this was the easiest fix I found!!!

  33. Fi

    Thank you sooooooo much!!

  34. dovahkiin511

    thank you !!! i’m so happy that i can play normal again it really worked

  35. Mary

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to read your fix. That light was driving me mad. Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  36. worked perfectly, you are a life saver!

  37. Zoulou

    January 2017 and your solution is still helping people. Thanks a lot.

  38. Maxwell Field

    Thank you so very much!

  39. Marisa

    Oh my goodness thank you sir you’re doing God’s work. I found this information nowhere else. I thought it’d follow me forever. Thank you so much!

  40. Mon

    Omg. Your a life saver. Just found this post in first try. Thank you thank you !!!!

  41. eric whitman

    5 years later and still getting thanks. very cool. well thank you as well.

  42. Matt

    You sir, are a life saver. Thank you so much

  43. Paul Clarke

    Thank u so much I have the same problem the tip worked but only for my graphics unfortunately I still have the noise if the energy drain constantly if anyone knows any way of getting rid of it I’d be very grateful. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s