Ever heard of it or have you ever had it happen to you? Unfortunately, I had my first (and hopefully last) experience with Sleep Paralysis (or whatever it was…) Wednesday night.
I know I probably sound crazy, but anyways this is my story. I was staying over at Nic & Tim’s place, and before going to bed, we were talking about some spooky and paranormal stuff and after they fell asleep, I kept getting goosebumps and was totally frightened for some reason (separate from the stories we were talking about)- like I was a 7 year old kid or something again. I just felt uneasy about something – almost like I was a kid and thought there was a “monster” in the house. Same feeling. Anyway, I fell asleep.
Probably at about 3:00am in the morning I woke up and I remember feeling extremely frightened and felt a terrible energy in the room, as if there was someone in the room that was going to harm me and then thinking or hearing myself saying “Is it Richard?” and a second later, as if it was a response to my question, I felt on of these nerve impulses go off in by brain, like something I’ve never felt before. It was completely black but felt like all these electrical shocks going off in my head. Then it stopped and my eyes were open. I don’t know why I asked if it was “Richard” (I don’t even know who I would be referring to), but I remember really feeling that I was indeed asking whatever I felt was the frightening person or entity in the room that question. Totally spooked, I was about to wake Nic up and tell him what happened…but I couldn’t. Something was wrong. I couldn’t move. Not only that, I couldn’t talk either….
I was completely paralyzed. WHAT! Also,I literally couldn’t mutter a word and I felt like screaming. To top it off, I felt like my chest was being crushed like someone was pushing down on it and I could barely breath. Then, suddenly it all stopped (minus the being totally scared part). I was so frightened by what just happened, that I then woke Nic up (now that I was able to) and frantically told him what happened. Afterward, I had SO much trouble falling back asleep, because I was afraid that if I fell asleep again, the same would happen. I can’t remember the last time I was afraid to fall asleep (Nightmare on Elm Street style). I was even contemplating just getting out of bed and turning all the lights on and pulling an all nighter. But, I was also too afraid to get up and go into the darkness of the living room. I’m almost embarrassed to be telling you this- like THAT’s how scared I was! Eventually, I DID fall asleep.
When I woke up, I immediately did some Googling and read about Sleep Paralysis. The image above is called The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781) and is thought to be one of the classic depictions of sleep paralysis perceived as a demonic visitation.
According to Wiki, Sleep paralysis is closely related to the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is known as REM atonia. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the body paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully conscious, but unable to move. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes “after which the individual may experience panic symptoms and the realization that the distorted perceptions were false”.
On the flipside, there are other things that can happen (like not being able to breath and feel a crushing on the chest, and feeling a bad presence in the room, or hearing things) and this video goes into that a bit more.
I’m not sure what to think about the whole thing. Call me crazy if you want. All I know is what I experienced, that I was completely awake when it was happening, and how extremely terrified it made me.