Adventures In Sleep Paralysis

therealficolley

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#1
First post...please be gentle

A few years back I was suffering from a bout of depression. My doctor decided to change the medication I was on for something “newer”. A few days later my next door neighbour (lovely but very religious in the speaking in tongues and falling down with the holy spirit variety) invited me to come along to a talk at her church. Although the talk was entertaining enough I personally found the whole collapsing with the holy spirit and glossolalia a tad “put on” (struck me more like group hysteria than anything really spiritual)

That night I had a sleep paralysis experience. I’ve suffered from SP for a number of years and don’t find it frightening. On this occasion my neighbour was stood beside my bed. “Is that you Dianne?” I asked and she replied “No”. I thought nothing about it really, just SP but I mentioned it to my neighbour next time I saw her. Well she didn’t take to it too well. “Demons!” she gasped. Apparently what I had seen was a demon pretending to be her (they’re not allowed to lie about their names apparently. Frankly I’d have though a little white lie par for the course with them, but no.)

The following day she came round to mine with one of her church chums and offered to bless the house. I figured it was easier to let her get on with it than offend her but actually I should have just stopped the whole malarkey there.

After the “blessing” the incidences of sleep paralysis became more frequent and intense and quite scary. On one occasion I “saw” the entity (like a human but elongated and slighty blurred) he even gave me a name. On another occasion the SP took the form of my neighbour and her daughter. By now I should have known better than to say anything but I did and next thing I know she’s speaking in tongues over the daughter trying to cast the demon out. All rather disturbing. According to my neighbour The Enemy (they don’t go calling him the devil apparently) was enraged that I was turning towards the light (I wasn’t) and was fighting for my soul. By this time I was so exhausted through lack of sleep I honestly no longer knew what to think. Was she right?

After about a week of this I honestly thought I’d lost the plot but as I stepped out of the shower one night I hear a clear voice in my head say, “Check your new meds.” I took the information slip out of my box of new anti-depressants and there it all was…sleep disturbances, audial and visual hallucinations, paranoia, the works. The following day I went back to my doctor who out me back on my old meds and just like that normality was resumed (or at least what passes for it round here)

For a week my whole perception of reality was altered. Were there such things as demons? Were they fighting for my eternal soul? Did they visit me every night? My rational mind says an emphatic no! It was down to sleep paralysis, psychotropic medication and the suggestions of my Pentacostalist, well meaning (I hope) neighbour. I still look back on that time though with a shudder as it was genuinely scary.

I still have bouts of SP now but I find that thinking, “Bugger off I can’t be bothered with you” sends the hag packing
 

Cultjunky

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#2
I think a lot of dreams are just distorted reruns of the days events, so it's not surprising that you would dream about your neighbour after spending time with them. Add to that mix the new meds and the extreme religious attitude your neighbour has and it would feel quite intense
 

maxley

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#3
I can't imagine ever getting used to Sleep Paralysis. I used to suffer from it as a child and nothing I've ever experienced was as frightening.

Funny - I remember the paralysis was always accompanied by the same dream/vision. It was very real and clear and I recall it with total accuracy to this day.

I was stuck, unable to move on a wide, flat area of large concrete slabs with grass growing between them. There were oil stains on the concrete, and a few small pieces of random metal.

Nearby was a small metal gantry and mounted on this was a rocket. I recall thinking it looked how a classic child's idea of a rocket should look. It was painted, slightly roughly, with big dark blue and white checks and with fins near the base.

Years later I saw pictures of the German V2 rockets of the Second World War. That's exactly what was in my sleep paralysis. Ugh. Just thinking about it now gives me the creeps.
 

thenumenorian

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#4
maxley said:
I can't imagine ever getting used to Sleep Paralysis. I used to suffer from it as a child and nothing I've ever experienced was as frightening.

Funny - I remember the paralysis was always accompanied by the same dream/vision. It was very real and clear and I recall it with total accuracy to this day.

I was stuck, unable to move on a wide, flat area of large concrete slabs with grass growing between them. There were oil stains on the concrete, and a few small pieces of random metal.

Nearby was a small metal gantry and mounted on this was a rocket. I recall thinking it looked how a classic child's idea of a rocket should look. It was painted, slightly roughly, with big dark blue and white checks and with fins near the base.

Years later I saw pictures of the German V2 rockets of the Second World War. That's exactly what was in my sleep paralysis. Ugh. Just thinking about it now gives me the creeps.
dear max, do you think this might be a memory from a past life?
 

OneWingedBird

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#5
I can't imagine ever getting used to Sleep Paralysis. I used to suffer from it as a child and nothing I've ever experienced was as frightening.
I know exactly what you mean, strangely i don;t seem to get it anymore but i went a good 15 years of my adult life never sleeping on my back because it would happen almost by default and i'd find it hideous every time.

If i slept on my back by accident, had rolled over, didn;t mean to knod off it was right in there :(
 

maxley

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#6
Hi numenorian

I didn't want to come right out with the past life thing but it has occurred to me since. It was the utterly convincing sense of really being there. Actually seeing the rocket. Even smelling it - I know this is bizarre but it smelt of metal, like a lorry, but with a strong acidy, almost sweet smell as well. If someone ever tells me that's how V2 rockets smell - the fuel or something, I'll collapse in a gibbering heap...

The odd thing is that the rocket wasn't the main part of this sleep paralysis. It was the close-up views of the newish concrete, the little pieces of scrap, discarded metal and the grass struggling to grow through the gaps.

The other thing to note is that the 'vision' or whatever it was, was totally inert. There were no people, nothing moved (including poor old sleep paralysed me) and there was no sound, wind etc.


BlackRiverFalls - I haven't had SP for over 25 years now so it did simply stop. I can't recall it being triggered by any specific sleeping position, though.
 

maxley

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#7
Right. After so much time spent not thinking about it, my interest in this has been piqued.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-2 "The painting of the operational V-2s was mostly a camouflage ragged pattern with several variations, but at the end of the war a plain olive green rocket also appeared. During tests, the rocket was painted in a characteristic black-and-white chessboard pattern, which aided in determining if the rocket was spinning around its longitudinal axis."

The rocket i 'saw' was definitely painted in deep blue and white checks, not black. It occurs to me that if, for the sake of argument, I'd seen a picture of one in a book or on TV, the image would most likely have been captured on black and white film. So my brain could have assigned to it the blue colour. This would then lead me to speculate that the 'vision' was a reworking of an image I'd encountered rather than a memory. However, all it'd take is to find out that some V2s WERE deep blue (French Navy is the closest fit) and white and that's me spooked once more.
 

TinFinger_

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#8
i had sp a few times but not in any way like described in this thread
for me i couldnt move at all,was like being in a white place removed compleatly from my body.it only ever happened in bed
i could feel my body but had no contact with it lol
each time it happened all i did was focus on moving my little toe,reasoning if i could move that it would free me :)

each time the wife was beside me and was unreachable as i could not speak/move and had my eyes shut but think i wouldnt have been able to see either but am unsure.

as a child i did have a bout of collapsing i would be walking along fine and my legs would give way,they simply wouldnt move,like they had been dissconnected.didnt like this one bit .had all sorts of test but i grew out of it thankfully
 

escargot

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#9
I often sense a man standing in the corner of the room watching me, if I awake in the night when alone with a gentleman.

He's always dressed the same way and he's never spoken or moved. I've got used to the feeling over the years and it doesn't frighten me - I accept him/it as a sort of brain-fart. :lol:

Never thought of him as a night-hag before!
 

therealficolley

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#10
Now that I've gotten used to SP (albeit it happens much more rarely now) I sort of go along for the ride. These days it tend to take the form of my boyfriend being in bed with me (he lives 200 miles away so on one level I'm immediately that it's an SP experience) and it can be quite....ahem...fun. Let's just say I can see where the whole incubus thing comes from.

There was only one occasion other than the ones I mentioned on the earlier posting that actually scared me. I was aware of something non human in bed beside me. I lashed out (in my head) and it grabbed my hand and sank sharp teeth into me. So far so scary. What actually freaked me out was that as soon as I started mentally reciting the Lord's Prayer, it stopped.

I read somewhere that SP experiences depend on your cultural background. Europeans experience the incubus/ subbucus thing and Americans experience alien abduction. Nto sure if that's true or not.
 

guestus

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#11
a bit of an unusual person your neighbour I'd say because from my understanding christians or priests and those types don't really believe in those whole demons possessing you thing anymore... :shock:
 

therealficolley

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#12
I think that’s pretty much the case with mainstream Christians but certain charismatic churches very much believe in demons and “the Enemy”* as real entities and hell as a real location** . I got chatting to a Catholic priest about it once and he personally didn’t believe in such things*** and was of the opinion that any church that encouraged such beliefs was downright dangerous.

She tells me she knows when demons are at large because they make a growling sound in her ear! At all times in her house there is acoustic music very quietly playing through her stereo. It’s called soaking music I believe and its purpose is to keep satan and his imps at bay. I’m not sure how typical this behaviour is of born agains as she’s the only one I know. I believe she subscribes to Benny Hinn and Joyce Meyer so it may be that her beliefs are particular to those ministries.



* Their name for the devil, personally I thought they were a band from Coventry
** Like Filey but hotter.
***Although Gabriele Amorth might say otherwise
 

colpepper1

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#13
therealficolley said:
Now that I've gotten used to SP (albeit it happens much more rarely now) I sort of go along for the ride.
A very sensible approach. I've suffered from sleep paralysis off and on for years, usually, though not exclusively, from lying on my back. There were never entities, just the absolute panic of being fully awake but not being able to move so much as an eyelid.

It's always disconcerting but after a number of times familiarity takes over the fear and I wonder how long it'll take for my conscious body to kick in. The weirdest sensation was a reversal of sleep paralysis I only suffered from for about a year in the eighties, where impossible sounds would begin in a relaxed but fully awake state in bed. A kind of low whispering in my ear that would grow into an enormous overlapping conversation. It's been suggested the brain interprets blood pulsing or tinnitus into words but mine was definitely speech, though in a language I couldn't recognise.
I found it bemusing rather than scary and it only happened a handful of times but next day a sense of 'what the hell was that all about?'
 

tonylovell

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#14
Maxley; maybe the black on the checks was faded? Or, as my son said, 'why are some things far away blue?' Maybe the sun was on them.
Yes, this is me, wanting your story to be true!
Also, don't people who remote view see things in slightly different colours? Maybe this is similiar.
 

HowardL

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#15
I have had several episodes of sleep paralysis, culminating in a period a few years ago when they were so common they ceased to be frightening and I just lay there thinking "ok so I can't move, but it will soon pass" which of course it did. I have never been on any medication so the only thing I can think of is that it was a period of intense stress, where I was worried sick about losing my job and my house (both of which happened).
I'm glad I'm not the only one.
 

Ghatanothoa

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#16
I've always been interested in other people's experiences of sleep paralysis. It is something that I've had happen to me a few times over the years. The last was during a recent trip to LA.

I was still somewhat jetlagged and rather than going out and drinking with some friends after a day at a (non-Fortean related)convention I stayed at my hotel room to get some sleep. My girlfriend opted to go with them so I was alone.

The bout of sleep paralysis was much more oppressive than normal and had the usual feeling of pressure and a hostile presence. It also felt like it lasted a lot longer than normal. Afterwards, I felt particularly drained and the sensation of a presence did not wane as normal, to the point where I had to put the light on and look around the room. By that point I felt a little better and then thought to check the time. I'd only been sleeping for about an hour!

I wasn't able to sleep and ended up staying awake the rest of the night(my girlfriend ended up crashing at a friend's place so I was alone). The presence left after an hour and apart from not sleeping everything was fine from then.

My theory is that the jet lag compounded an otherwise normal bout of sleep paralysis into something more nightmarish, and it didn't help I was in another country and it being my first time overseas.

Other times I've actually seen figures - both times when I was very young. One of them was in the light from the hallway and it appeared to be my mother dressed in her good 'going out' clothes, hands on her hips glaring at me. The other time was in a dark room with a figure standing next to the bed.

I haven't ever conversed with them though and find the idea of it rather chilling, but I suppose that comes from the fact that all of my SP episodes have been disturbing experiences for me.
 

Roger Nowell

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#18
Hello all.

It's my first post so - in the words of the original poster - please be kind. I only discovered these forums a couple of weeks back, thought they were disappearing so I'm pleased to find they still exist.

I have rarely had sleep paralysis but experienced it last month and it wasn't pleasant. Given the nature of the OP's experience I thought it might be a good one to share for my first post.

Firstly, I had better say that I am an evangelical Christian. Unlike the OP's neighbour however my first response to his experience would have been that it was caused by stress, fever, over-active mind, medication, alcohol etc. (even cheese). I love cheese dreams - I'll happily wolf the stuff down on a night and merrily leap in the phantasmagoria that awaits me. As a Christian it would be wrong of me to deny the existence of demons, but such direct encounters would be the exception rather than the rule. I aren't prone to dreams of demons, Satan and the rest of the guys in the band.

On this particular night (cheese and alcohol free) I dreamt of my father; which is in itself unusual as I haven't seen him for decades. I asked him if he wanted something (I can't recall what - food or drink perhaps).

He asked for something that I knew he didn't like so I said, "You're not my father."

A rather disembodied voice replied "Yes, I am Walter".

Now, Walter was my maternal grandfather's brother. A black sheep of the family who went away in the 1950's. Family legend suggests that he was unwholesome to have around children.

In the dream I knew that what was said was untrue. "No; who are you?" I asked.

The same disembodied voice answered "Lucifer".

I went absolutely rigid in the dream and felt cold. I knew that I was asleep and had to shake myself to wake up but I couldn't. How long it took to physically shake myself awake I don't know; only that it felt far too long.

Generally I forget dreams quickly, but that one made a real impact and I hope I never have a repeat. Well, thanks for reading.
 

Vardoger

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#19
Because these demons/devils seems to adapt to the person seeing or experiencing them, I wonder if they are some kind of Tulpas religious people are experiencing. They are real because you believe it to be real.
 

XEPER_

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#20
Because these demons/devils seems to adapt to the person seeing or experiencing them, I wonder if they are some kind of Tulpas religious people are experiencing. They are real because you believe it to be real.
I'd say they adapt to the person experiencing them because they're created by that person's mind.

I've come to realise I will have an episode of sleep paralysis if I go to sleep on my back. If I sleep on my side it never happens.
 

Scribbles

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#22
Because these demons/devils seems to adapt to the person seeing or experiencing them, I wonder if they are some kind of Tulpas religious people are experiencing. They are real because you believe it to be real.
I've only ever had sleep paralysis when going back to sleep when I've already woken up that morning, so having children put a stop to that!

But oddly, unlike all the other tales of SP I hear about, I sensed no one in the room. What I thought I heard though was gun shots and bombs going off in the street outside, and I'd be convinced that the revolution had started and that if I didn't get up out of bed and hide then the revolutionaries would break into my house and shoot me.

No prior history of experiencing a revolution, and really hope I never do because it's terrifying.
 

brownmane

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#23
My first experience of sleep paralysis happened when I was 17-18 years old, though I didn't know that that is what it was until many years later. I'd just had a cousin. who was my age, die in a car accident so I think that I was over identifying with his death. He was also the first family related death that I'd experienced.

I think now that most of this was a dream state, but did think at the time that I was hearing things and actually rolling over in my bed. I will try to describe it just as I thought it was really happening at the time.

I was awakened by someone quietly calling my name. It was pitch black I was lying on my side. I thought that it was my mom waking me for school. I rolled over and said "What?" and realized that she was not there, but could hear indistinct whispers. I felt extremely tired and started to fall back asleep, but still could hear the whispers. I became scared and tried to waken myself, but it didn't happen.

From the bottom corner of my bed, I felt something sit down. It then moved directly up over top of me and I could still hear the whispering and now could feel breath on my face. I tried to move to waken myself, but felt very heavy and now knew that I was unable to move, nor wake up. In my mind I began to recite the Lord's Prayer and as I went through it, I was able to finally move a part of my body. Once I could do this, I was able to wake up. I got up and put the light on. It was around 3 am. I still felt extremely tired and was still having trouble staying awake. Each time that I started to fall asleep, I would feel something creeping up the bed again.

I had to keep my light on and stay fully awake for about 1/2 hour before the heavy and tired sensations left. Once I was fully out of the dream state, I was ok. I was able to put out the light and then go to sleep.

After that, I put it to my mind to not over identify with my cousin's death and never had that specific thing happen again. Though it was definitely not my last episode of sleep paralysis. It was only probably 10-15 years later that I heard the term "Old Hag" and found out about sleep paralysis.
 

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#24
. . . the only thing I can think of is that it was a period of intense stress, where I was worried sick about losing my job and my house (both of which happened).
I hope you've regained a home and some security. That must be incredibly difficult, losing your shelter and the means to support yourself!
 

IbisNibs

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#25
After reading these posts, I think I must have had some sleep paralysis experiences too, but nothing that felt really scary or threatening, just (typical of many of my experiences) a little silly.
The most amusing one was when I was a teenager, and thought I was awake. I heard an odd rumbling noise that was far away. I grew alarmed when I realized it was getting closer, and suddenly it was right next to me! It woke me all the way up -- it was myself snoring!
As I had gradually come to full wakefulness, the snoring noise had seemed to get louder.
 

Lord Lucan

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#26
I have had one instance only of sleep paralysis and it was fascinating and a little scary all at once because I was quite aware exactly what was happening to me.
It happened 12 years ago, just a normal night and it was summer, though not particularly hot.
I awoke suddenly, aware that something or someone was in the room with my wife and I. Typically, as is the case, I was unable to move, however, looking towards my feet where the figure was (I sleep on the left side of the bed), I saw a short, dumpy old crone in a hooded robe (imagine the evil witch from Disney's Snow White). Suddenly, I felt that she grabbed the bed covers that lay at my feet and and pulled them up to my neck. I experienced a warm rush throughout my body and it was then that I began to regain movement. My heart was racing and I felt somewhat disorientated. I recall the time was around 4.45 am.
I was excited that this had happened to me, though I have to admit that it was unnerving as well, not so much the feeling that something was in our room, but moreso from the feeling of being unable to move whilst being alert and conscious enough to realize what was happening.
I have never had an experience since, nor any before. As peculiar as it sounds, I'm pleased it happened and I can surely understand why people are terrorized by these nocturnal visitations. It seemed entirely real as I not only saw the figure, but heard it breathing and shuffle about.
 
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brownmane

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#27
I had many more sp incidents, and continue to do so. Often it happens as I am trying to wake and my mind and body feel excessively tired, though the night before I am not unusually tired.

I know that I would actually open my eyes and see my bedroom. Then, unknown to me, I would return to a dream state but still see my room. Then I would have people either standing right beside the bed, or dream of someone breaking into the house. Of course these episodes scared the crap out of me.

Once it happened to me enough and I knew what sp was, I would attempt to wake.

I now don't usually have figures standing at side of my bed as I'm now well aware of the symptoms of when I can't wake easily. The only thing that allows me to wake instantly is a real life sound or a cat (I have 3) disturbing me.

Otherwise, I think it takes me about 1/2 hour to wake myself intentionally after struggling to move any body part - even if I can move a finger, I can wake myself. During my struggle to wake, I can have disturbing dreams, but I know what is going on.

I have read theories of why this happens. One is the mind wakens before the body, hence the paralysis state. Another has to do with having low blood pressure and heart rate (as when sleeping) that is slower to return to normal waking level and again this might explain the paralysis state.

Either way, I don't enjoy the sensation.
 

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#28
The rocket i 'saw' was definitely painted in deep blue and white checks, not black. It occurs to me that if, for the sake of argument, I'd seen a picture of one in a book or on TV, the image would most likely have been captured on black and white film. So my brain could have assigned to it the blue colour. This would then lead me to speculate that the 'vision' was a reworking of an image I'd encountered rather than a memory. However, all it'd take is to find out that some V2s WERE deep blue (French Navy is the closest fit) and white and that's me spooked once more.
Hello, Maxley, is this similar to what your rocket looked like? This is a screen shot I pulled from a 1954 sci fi movie called "Gog."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gog_(film) It's full of very Cold War style paranoia, and would mesh well with a child's anxieties!
Maybe you saw this on TV or something. checker board rocket!.jpg
 

catseye

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#29
I have never had sleep paralysis (which brings up an interesting question as to why some people do; some suffer regularly and others never have a single instance - you would have thought it being a part of human existence should mean that pretty much everyone would have at least one episode?) but I have had extremely vivid lucid dreams (in the 'proper' sense, dreams where I know I am dreaming). In these dreams other people behave like separate entities, doing things in a realistic manner, and I can smell and see things with extreme clarity. I've often been impressed during the dream with my brain's ability to recreate things in such a realistic way.

Lord Lucan's experience with the shuffling, breathing wicked witch made me remember that the characters in my dream are usually as realistic as this., doing things that I think upon waking are actually true to character. It's made me wonder if there's any connection between lucid dreaming and SP...
 

Lord Lucan

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#30
Upon reading of the 'Old Hag Syndrome' and then to experience it myself, what struck me was the similarities amongst different cultures and how sleep paralysis is viewed.
This WIKIPEDIA page gives a great introduction and explanation on the folklore surrounding sleep paralysis and the visitations that accompany it. Worth reading.
 
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