Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which an individual, either during falling asleep or awakening, during these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. It is closely related to REM atonia, the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Here are 10 common sleep paralysis encounters from most people:
1. The Old Hag
This specific sleep paralysis experience is so common that it became known as old hag syndrome. Victims report waking up and sensing an evil presence. This feeling increases until it transforms into the figure of a scary witch climbing up and sitting on the chest of the person in question. Those who have experienced this report they are totally powerless to move.
2. The Mysterious Creature
Imagine waking to find a dark, mysterious creature slithering around you while you lay helpless. One person experienced such a thing when they awoke to see a mysterious black from on their dresser. The entity proceeded to slither down and crawl up on the bed where it approached the paralysed victim. The sufferer reported that the creature pushed down on their chest and tried forcing its way into every orifice of their body before making a terrible screeching noise.
3. The Alien Encounter
Alien abductions and encounters became more common among sleep paralysis sufferers as the whole issue of UFO’s and aliens grew in popularity over the 20th century. More often than not, victims report “waking up” to strange lights and sounds and an alien figure approaching their bed. Able to move only their eyes, the victims report that their sense of fear grows until they are so scared they fully awaken and the alien is gone.
4. The Shadow Visitor
Most people are afraid of the idea of someone being in their house while they are asleep. In this instance the sufferer reported waking up paralysed and hearing footsteps coming towards their room. Facing the wall, the person was unable to see the intruder enter the room but could hear them enter and felt movement on the bed. Terrified and unable to do anything about it, the victim just had to lay there while the entity stood behind them, breathing heavily.
5. The Mother Encounter
When we’re sick, most of us look to our mom to take care of us and provide comfort. One person’s sleep paralysis experience might change this outlook. Waking up their bed, one person reported that they heard their mother come into the room and felt her sit on the bed. Then, suddenly, the paralyzed person reported feeling their mother’s hands around their throat, choking the life out of them. Unable to breath and getting light-headed, the victim awoke fully to find that their mother wasn’t even in the same house.
6. The Bug Encounter
One sufferer of sleep paralysis had a bug encounter fir for a sci-fi film. They reported waking to find a giant egyptian beetle standing over them. The beetle wanted to eat the person and began describing the various ways they were going to devour the flesh of the paralysed victim. Suddenly, one beetle transformed into thousands of smaller beetles which proceed to crawl all over the room and emit a loud buzzing sound.
7. The Loop Encounter
This story of sleep paralysis is especially terrifying as the sufferer woke in a strange house. Not only that, but they found themselves in a bathtub, facing a door which had a frosted glass window. Suddenly, on the other side of the door a shadowy figure appeared. Without opening the door, the faceless figure reached through, grabbed the victim and pushed them under the water. The victim ‘awakened’ only to endure the same terror over and over again. The experience only truly ended when the victim learned how to move their toes and feet, thus waking themselves from the looping nightmare.
8. The Little Child
One man who sufferred from sleep paralysis on a regular basis reported constantly waking to find a child in his room. The child would skip around the man’s bed singing nursery rhymes while he lay there helpless. Sometimes the child would come up on the bed, sit on a pillow and try to talk with him. One time, when the man refused, or was unable to answer one of he little child’s questions, the sweet little hallucination morphed into a horrendous demon.
9. The Demon Attacker
A common violent experience of sleep paralysis sufferers that they are being attacked by a demon, in one instance, a student who had fallen asleep after being up late writing an essay reported that they were woken up by a faceless demon sitting at the end of their bed. Unable to move or scream, the person just lay there before the demon pounced on their chest in an effort to suffocate them. Desperate to stop the attack, the victim focused on closing their eyes and trying to wake from the hallucination.
10. The Demon Whisperer
Demons, strangers coming into your room, someone getting into bed with you – this one has it all. Waking to find themselves laying on their side facing away from their bedroom door, one sleep paralysis sufferer felt someone get into bed behind them and begin cuddling. Feeling breath on their neck, the person felt as though they were being embraced by a skeleton which was clutching them with its claws. The mysterious entity then moved in closer and whispered int the helpless victim’s ear that they will come back for them at a later time when they are ready.
Inspired by TheRichest, and CTTO of the images used.