Sleep Hallucinations: Things That Go Bump In The Night

photo of a woman in bed experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations

Do strange images of geometric shapes, people or animals appear out of nowhere as you lie in bed at night? Perhaps you’ve heard voices or noises which can’t possibly be real?

If so, it could be that you’ve experienced what’s known as sleep hallucinations.

Despite leading to the occasional leap out of bed in sheer terror, they are usually harmless. And many people experience them at some point in their lives – including me.

My nocturnal flying geometric manifestations

As a child, multicolored geometric shapes would regularly swoop across my bedroom, just as I thought I was drifting off to sleep. I remember simultaneously marveling at them and wishing them away so I could sleep in peace.

It doesn’t happen so often nowadays, but once in a while, I’m still prone to my mathematical manifestations.

Perhaps I should be grateful for my geeky hallucinations – especially compared to the disturbing experiences some people have.


What are sleep hallucinations?

Sleep hallucinations are imaginary experiences that happen during the transition between being awake and asleep, and can feel confusingly real.

They are also referred to as hypnagogic hallucinations if they occur while you’re falling asleep, or hypnopompic hallucinations if they happen while waking up.

The hallucinations are usually visual, such as seeing shapes or figures in the dark. But they can also involve your other senses.

The hallucinations can be vivid and frightening in some cases. If you see a giant creature in your room or hear a scary voice, it’s understandable that some people will jump out of bed and turn the light on to check what’s going on!

image explaining that hypagogic hallucinations occur while falling asleep and hypnopompic hallucinations while waking up

How many people have sleep hallucinations?

A commonly quoted statistic in medical articles comes from research conducted in 1996. The team interviewed 4972 people in the United Kingdom by telephone. They found that 37% had experienced hypnagogic hallucinations. And 12.5% had experienced hypnopompic hallucinations.

In 2000, another team of researchers surveyed 13,057 people and found that 38.7% had experienced hallucinations at some point during the day or night. 24.8% of the sample had experienced hallucinations at sleep onset, and 6.6% upon waking.

A sign of Narcolepsy

For some people, sleep hallucinations can be a sign of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder which involves sudden daytime episodes of:

  • Unexpectedly falling asleep
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations

If you have these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice.


Symptoms


The main symptom is imagining events while falling asleep or waking up that are not real. Researchers believe that the most common type of hallucination is visual.

However, it’s possible to experience hallucinations that correspond to any of your senses:

  • Visual – such as geometric patterns, shapes or light flashing. Sometimes complex forms like animals or people.
  • Auditory – voices talking, phone or doorbell ringing, music, hissing, humming or whistling.
  • Olfactory – pleasant or unpleasant smells.
  • Tactile – insects crawling on the skin, rubbing, stroking, tapping or tickling sensations. Perhaps also feeling weightless, distortions in the body, flying.
image of a woman in bed with patterns and animal forms around her

Not the same as nightmares

Telling the difference between dreaming and hallucinating isn’t always obvious in the moment. But sleep hallucinations are not the same as nightmares.

When you wake up from a nightmare, you’ll know you were asleep (even if it takes a little while to come back to reality).

Sleep hallucinations, however, can feel like they are really happening. You know you’re awake, but you’re not convinced it’s merely your imagination playing tricks on you.

Coexisting with sleep paralysis

Sleep hallucinations sometimes happen during an episode of sleep paralysis.

During sleep paralysis, you might be unable to move your body in bed, which in itself is often frightening.

The hallucinations that accompany it can range from seeing a presence in the room to seeing and feeling a creature sitting on you.


Causes


The International Classification of Sleep Disorders manual suggests two causes related to brain function, though also states that more research is needed:

  • An intrusion of dream imagery onto wakefulness.
  • A lack of stimulus leading to the visual cortex in the brain creating images.

Health websites, such as healthline.com, suggest that sleep hallucinations can be caused by other conditions, such as:

  • Sleep disorders like narcolepsy or sleep paralysis
  • A medical condition or medication use
  • A mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse

Risk factors

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, they are more common in children and young adults. Women might experience them slightly more often than men.

Some factors are thought to increase the likelihood or severity of the hallucinations, including:

  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Mood disorders like bipolar disorder or depression
  • Insomnia
  • Epileptic seizures

Treatment


Do you need to see a doctor?

If you’re experiencing anxiety or losing sleep because of regular sleep hallucinations, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor or sleep specialist.

They would ask you about your hallucinations and look at your medical history and other factors like medication and lifestyle. They might decide that an overnight sleep study is needed to find out more.

They would also look at the possibility of another condition causing the episodes. And if they find one, give you the appropriate treatment.

What can you do to help reduce them?

Here are some ideas which might help keep the hallucinations at bay:

  • Get an adequate amount of sleep every night. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule and don’t allow yourself to become sleep deprived.
  • Avoid recreational drugs.
  • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Try to reduce your stress levels.
  • Try using a soft night light in the bedroom. This might help fill the space that your brain uses as a blank canvas.
  • If you tend to hear sounds that are not real, perhaps listening to music or the radio at night will help.
  • If you find yourself focusing on visual hallucinations, try to re-focus your mind on something else. Breathing exercises or muscle relaxation can keep your brain occupied.
  • If it’s overwhelming, turn on a light and get up for a while, do an activity you find relaxing and then try to sleep again after 10-15 minutes.
  • Several readers have said in the comments below that wearing a sleep mask helps them.

Generally though, you can see that hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations are a normal part of life for many people. Once you’ve ruled out any serious illness or disorder, you’re left to deal with the experience in two ways.

First, try to adapt your lifestyle to make sure you do everything possible to sleep well. Second, relax and try not to worry about things that go bump in the night.

Your thoughts

Do you ever experience hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up? What form do they take?

Feel free to describe your experience in the comments below and share any ideas you have about dealing with them.

1,230 thoughts on “Sleep Hallucinations: Things That Go Bump In The Night”

  1. I see HUGE spiders descending onto my face when I wake up sometimes. Have hit people with pillows trying to crush them, and often I violently jerk away from them.

    Last night I saw a spider on my girlfriend like it was under a spotlight, then suddenly I could see everything around me, but I realised it couldn’t be real because it was dark. Slowly it faded into just the spotlight on the spider and I stared at it until it disappeared.

    I have had 3 in the last few months, although they used to be very rare for me.

  2. Wow I always wake suddenly and see things. I’ve seen floating shapes, a line that moves around my room wall in a wormish motion, my son being elevated when he slept next to me as a baby when the floating shapes were around him but I no longer let my children sleep next to me because I’ve grabbed him when he was “floating up” (was he really though?) and he started crying and a lot of people. Most recently it’s been a cat in my wardrobe and saw a demon-like face leaning over my husband as he slept just looking at him, like literally breathing down his neck lying in the bed behind him. I hear doors close all the time and sounds like banging at night sometimes I ignore it other times I get up and walk around and find nothing I’m really tired of being awake till 3am especially when I see a figure of someone. I’m happy to know it’s a sleep disorder instead of thinking I’m crazy.

  3. Latroyria Crawford

    I just started to get these hypnagogic hallucinations ever since I just turned 19 this year. It’s not as complex as others, but it’s still freaky for a young adult that never experienced this. The form was a scribble ball, it can pulsate sometimes, idle, or grow legs and crawl down the wall. It mostly appears when I wake up to get started for the morning. Now the pandemic is happening it’s really hard to find a therapist (worst time to crawl in spider..) I’ve made sure I had enough sleep and etc. I don’t understand why it chose this time to torment me. If I didn’t take sleep aids I probably struggle to sleep even more and I already have my own anxiety to deal with. I need some way to cope with this.

    1. I get this all the time except I am completely awake in bed! I can literally be tapping my fingers on the mattress while listening to the tv. For an example I’ll see a horrific car accident. Another time I rolled over toward my husband and seen a very thin long finger come over my husband’s side and point at me. The finger was every color of death and decay. I could see the skin cracking and peeling. I’ve seen an angel hovering just below my ceiling and I’ve seen my husband’s deceased father. I am always awake when this happens. My mom just told me that my Grandfather used to see lights in his bedroom and would call them his visitors. I’m not too sure about the whole half asleep as some would say. My husband has Sleep apnea and narcolepsy with cataplexy/sleep paralysis and he doesn’t experience anything like this. In fact, he never remembers any dreams at all. I do suffer from insomnia but no sleep apnea. I had a sleep study done a decade ago and no narcolepsy either. Narcolepsy usually starts as a teen or young adult, not in your early 40s and sleep paralysis, no cause I can move.

  4. Margaret L Mitchell

    For 2 nights in a row now I have woke up at 2a.m., fully awake, eyes wide open and my bedroom door has turned itself in to a pine box house with a black lantern in front of it. I’m propped up on my elbow just staring at this “house” thinking ok I’m dreaming and pretty soon this “house” will fade away and I will be able to see that it’s only a closet door.
    I even took my foot out from under the covers and was trying to hit the lantern with my toe. I was thinking, ok if I’m really awake and this thing is real, I will be able to hit the lantern with my foot.
    I thought it was kind of weird how my foot kept going through the lantern.
    Without fail though, while focusing on the lantern, an unknown face will pop up on my right side and scare me enough to flip over on my other side and try to go back to sleep!
    What in the world? I’ve never experienced anything like this!

    1. When I was a kid I always wake up around 3 or 4 at night and hear footsteps. Then a huge Dinosaur eats me and the dinosaur goes back downstairs and while I’m trying to go to sleep after the event it gets closer and closer to me if I fall asleep but if I don’t fall asleep it doesn’t come closer

    2. I’ve been experiencing kind of the same, I’ve been seeing things and shapes floating around my bedroom to my living room, what scared me is I knew it was not a dream, I knew I was awake or falling asleep but definitely not dreaming.
      I’ve been scared to tell my partner this because it sounds crazy.
      The things I see are so real.
      Just last night I woke up screaming, well I knew I was not asleep maybe falling asleep my partner heard me and asked if I was having a dream, I told him no I was bit dreaming that I saw an old white woman standing next to our bed on my side staring at me.
      I was so scared.
      This morning I woke up and searched Google to see what I can find and came across this article.

  5. My first and only memory of a shadow person is from when I was about 6 years old. My bed faced one of the windows in my room. It was a bright and sunny day, my curtains were open and the room was filled with sunlight. I remember looking out of my window, and seeing a silhouette – a black as black outline of a person – side step in to view from my window, as if it were right there on the verandah looking into my room, stood there for a moment, and then side stepped out of view. I don’t remember any feeling of fear and I don’t remember feeling as though it was not ‘normal’. I simply saw the figure and went about life as usual. I only mentioned this to my family as I grew up maybe at about 14 or so.

    I do suffer from what I believe to be hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis some times. I have done so most of my life. I would often wake after being asleep for a couple of hours as a child, and I would sometimes call out for my Mum, and she would be there but I would say to her “no, I want my Mum” in a total state of panic. Sometimes I would wake up and I remember being present in the real world but unable to process much other than a strange feeling that I can only describe as a sickly ‘fuzzy’ feeling. I would stare my Mum in her eyes but not be able to say or comprehend anything. I would walk out to her and just stare until I came to.

    I remember waking up in the middle of feeling around in my room trying to find the door but I could never find it. Every time I would somehow snap back to my bed as if I were never out of it.

    Now that I am older I have begun to hallucinate even more so. Generally it would begin when I am starting to fall asleep. I would be drifting off, but still conscious, and suddenly it felt like I was dying, I would feel paralysed and as if I were slipping in to death and I would have to force myself to somehow move a muscle – all the while I would be trying to push out a scream. Sometimes I would slip in to hallucinations. Once I could hear a Harley Davidson motorcycle pull up in the driveway – the sound was as loud as ever. Whoever was on the bike was trying to shoot me. I was terrified and tried to cover myself with a pillow for protection (my obviously bulletproof pillow). I actually got up and went out to my roommate and asked them who it was outside on the Harley. Obviously it wasn’t there and then I realised it was a hallucination. Another time I was just repeatedly ‘slipping to death’ but I would get up and walk to my door but suddenly snap back to my bed like I wasn’t even out of it. Trying to scream. I also tried to sit up in bed but I put my hand on my cat who was laying underneath me and crushed her bones. This was my pet cat that had died a few years earlier so obviously another hallucination.

    I’ve had some very interesting dreams also, and sharing a room with my sister she would say I’d be quietly screaming in my sleep but she’d be too scared to wake me up. I would know that I was dreaming in my dream and would be trying to wake up but couldn’t. In one dream a lady told me I had to go to this circus tent on the beach to get out. I went to the beach and put on a pair of ruby shoes and clicked them together three times while saying “there’s no place like home”. My mind totally stole that from the Wizard of Oz! But I woke up out of the dream nonetheless. Perfectly aware of what I had just done to escape my dream/nightmare.

    I kind of enjoy having these hallucinations/dreams. At the time there is nothing more frightening. But to recollect and be able to analyse these strange occurrences is really cool. I must say I believe, more so in my adult life, that a lot of the occurrences could be triggered by stress or fatigue. They seem to happen only when I stay at my mothers house which I can only associate with feeling relaxed enough although stressed from everyday life, to be able to slip in to this half asleep/half awake state.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I felt I had to share my experiences!

  6. So I am a 43 year old woman with 20/20 vision. No drug usage but red wine at night. For a long time I have always seen shadow people at night but who doesn’t right? The last 3 months have been scary as I wake up in the middle of the night and see scary figures of demons and such. I go to turn on my light and its obviously a broom or something to validate what could’ve looked creepy in the dark, but as soon as I turn off the light again, there is no mistaking what I think I’m seeing. Worse even is that my paintings on the wall take shape and start forming demonic poses and start to move. Once again turning on my light and back to normal they go. I am not crazy. I’m a manager of a huge corporation with a family. I’m not sure who to turn to or talk to about this. Am I actually seeing this? Are other people seeing what I think I’m seeing? Please comment back.

  7. The noise that woke me up sounded like someone was hitting the headboard. I went back to sleep and I felt like someone was pulling off the covers and I could hear loud noises. Each time, I would finally wake myself up and everything was normal but it was terrifying.

  8. I was struggling to fall asleep and decided to put a pillow over my face. Realising I was now unable to breathe I removed the pillow and saw a very clear mans face looking down on me I saw the design of my ceiling within this experience ( it was very clear) I turned to my partner to ask him who the man was. When I looked back he was gone and a few hours later I woke to it stood at my bedside again I was able to move to grab my phone to put the torch on and have a meltdown I was not in a state of paralysis on either occasion. I’m now too scared to sleep, I’ve tried music, going to bed early, late etc I need sleep 😟

  9. Most of you on here are sensitive to a world most say do not exist, with messages that can be decoded to glimpses of what’s always there but rarely seen by others. I bet that most of you when seeing what is happening in the world at this time recognize this obvious escalation of insane people and their ridiculousness being forced into normality and it seems like a count down to something ominous, a dreadful countdown where depravity are the digits. You were born for such a time as this, hold fast to the Lord Jesus and seek wisdom and discernment. Now how exactly did you come to this site? Weird isn’t it? God bless you all.

  10. I had an experience like this recently. I woke up and saw a black widow coming down on my face from the ceiling. I freaked out and got out of bed to turn on the lights. It was creepy, I didn’t sleep well that night.

  11. I have something similar but with ants. I would wake up and see an army of ants on the ceiling then disappears after some seconds.

      1. I’ve witnessed this as well, so real, that I’m startled enough to scramble out of bed to find it, usually a large spider of some sort.

  12. i have many of these happen to me: many times i would fall asleep but feel awake and hear a buzzing sound and start violently shaking.
    another time when i did not sleep it was 2 something in the morning i fell sleep had that same buzzing and shaking and then my legs and arms were in an up position but i was laying down, then i woke up and went back to bed then the buzzing and shaking sound happened again then i think i was awake and could not move and said the lords prayer and said ” in the name of Jesus you will leave ” five times and saw a big black mass coming slowly toward me then it had red eyes then i woke up.

  13. My problem is not described in this article. For around 2 months I have been waking up 100% sure there was some inside the apartment, someone that I somehow I knew and invited in, but it takes me 5 minutes of walking around the apartment and not finding anyone before I realize there’s no one inside. I don’t see, heard, or touch anything strange, but I can wake up 5 times during the night and have to go around looking for this person or at least knowing they are there when in reality they aren’t. It’s not always the same person, I don’t know who it’s but it happened in two different apartments, so I know it’s my brain tricking me, not some spirit in the house.

    1. This is happening to me, last night I was losing my mind over it. I live in an apartment also, I get my significant other to check with me because I’m too scared!

  14. This happens when I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. I would see a person visiting and staring at me, most of the time they seem like they’re smiling at me or looking at me nicely. I’ve seen males females and sometimes young kids. I thought I had a visit from my grandma once. I would suddenly wake up and I’m able to move and I try to talk to them but they disappear.
    The persons that scare me are the ones coming through my bedroom door or climbing through a window and they make me think of burglars so sometimes I wake up screaming at them to get out.

  15. When I was younger, I experienced both day and night hallucinations. After some hallucinations, I thought I had dark magic or some other silly power, so I made some ‘magic hand movements’ and faced my hands to the wall. I looked at the wall and a dark image appeared, it looked like Gru from the minions movie, he had a fishing rod with an eye at the end. From that day on, the image was always there, or it might have been dust or something.
    An experience in the morning was I saw a shape of a gigantic caterpillar forming from a piece of clothing, it looked like it was chasing me.

  16. I’ve been experiencing these hallucinations at least once a week. I avoid staring at the wall at night because I get scared of the possibility that I may see something. I don’t use drugs, I’m currently homeschooled due to the coronavirus. I don’t think I’ve been too stressed out. I used to see geometrical shapes when I was younger. I thought it was normal. Now I see things I night, like black shapes on my ceiling, I hear talking or screaming. I once saw a person in my room, who began moving towards me, I turned the light on and it was gone. If anyone wants to share their thoughts on this feel free

    1. Payton,

      Interesting that you mentioned and recommended that turning on the light seemed to hopefully work for you. I was having the same visual hallucination and seeing figures so I put a small, soft night and that helped me. I continue to struggle with hallucinations and sleep but I accept that this is part of my illness and all I can do is work with my family and doctors and not to hope. I’m just so young and I live alone so I become scared sometimes. Nothing but best wishes to all of the people here who understand.

    2. This happens to me almost every night. I wake up and I see faces with their mouths moving like they’re talking to me.

  17. Had one this morning upon waking up, although I was not on LSD it was visually similar to arty patterns I have observed on previous LSD trips. It was round about 10 seconds before the patterns on my carpet dissipated. I thought it was beautiful and wished I could take a photo. If I was an artist I would have spent all day trying to recreate what I saw on my carpet this morning. I have not used LSD for more than a year and my theory on LSD was reaffirmed today that LSD activates a part of your brain only active whilst dreaming but you are awake.

    1. Dude, I’m actually speechless like that’s my exact situation. I woke up about an hour ago now and saw visuals like I would on LSD and it lasted about 10 seconds as well but it’s been almost a year since I last did it. I’ve had it before and just thought it was like acid vision even though I’m not on it.

      1. I’ve been seeing faces of people I don’t know flash before my eyes for 5 to 10 sec. They were so real, this morning was not a face but a white person with a brush in it and the hands were dirty with dirty nails. At first I thought, What is this? It scared me when I first saw this and I didn’t know what to make of it.

  18. After reading this article, I think it’s okay to have such hallucinations before or after sleep. But what if we have such hallucinations in when we are wide awake but in a dark room? I have experienced this many times. I see figures or shady things moving out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes they appear like a 1foot size manly, shady things moving around, staring at me( I don’t see their expression though, just shadow like). Sometimes it’s like a small flash of a light that disappears immediately and many more things that are relatable to the human body like head, arm etc. Sometimes I feel like the shadows of regular objects in the room that suddenly appear to be shifted or moving for a second. Also this doesn’t happen when I am in the hostel. I even hang on the terrace for a while, sitting alone, listening to music or talking to someone. But in my home, I don’t even go into another room without light. In childhood, I used to experience such hallucinations after watching a horror or scary movie. But growing up I started seeing things even if I hadn’t seen any such movie in recent times. It happens only when I am alone or everyone else is asleep except me. When I have I earphones in my ears, but not playing any music, I hear many indistinguishable voices. But when I take off the earphones, there’s no such thing. Just pin-drop silence. And about that tactile hallucinations, this is what I have experienced most of the time. Sometimes it’s creepy, sometimes like a stab. My question is that why am I experiencing such things even when I am completely conscious and well aware of my circumstances?

  19. I woke up around 3:00 A.M, I saw a floating object in my room, it was a white orb with self-illuminating about 200mm in diameter. I also heard noises from outside, I’m not sure if it was real. I know I’m wide awake but I can’t move any of my body parts “sleep paralysis”. I keep on staring at that object, then it slowly disappears as it is passing through the walls.

    It happened twice already, I’m not sure if this is normal or not.

  20. For most of my 61 years I have occasionally experienced hearing distinct voices, that I recognize, and snatches of conversation as I fall asleep. I also wake in the night to see a jungle of vines floating around above my head. These do not go away until I turn on a light. I also sometimes wake to sleep paralysis in which I feel myself being pulled into the air, pulled higher and higher and I feel very afraid. I have habitually slept with the TV on for decades. IF it goes off for any reason, I wake up immediately and sometimes with these sensations.

  21. I am 71 years young, I have been seeing people in my bedroom while trying to go to sleep. The first time this happened, My husband thought I was going crazy because I was screaming “Someone J’s trying to come through the window’”. Now dealing with this for almost a year nightly, Last night one of the figures was standing by my bed and I tried to wave him away the figure wave back at me and then gone. Scared me to death! Never happened before. Scared now to go to bed.

    1. I’ve been awaking in the night to seeing visions of people staring at me for the last 10 years now and I’m 43. It started after I gave birth to my 3rd child. I’ve never bothered to go to the doctors about it as I’ve had it this long and it’s not killed me. I’ve never done drugs, don’t take any medication and am practically a t totaler. I get it will be a sleep disorder, not ghosts, but fully understand now what others see when they think they see ghosts. It’s always different people every time and never anyone I know. The bit that baffles me is why are they always staring at me. I see them on average twice a month. They are only there a few seconds upon waking then vanish. My heart always races when I see them but I guess that just the shock.

      1. I wake up from a deep sleep I see people outside below my bedroom window. Sometimes they are standing all lined up in a row and sometimes they are sitting at picnic tables and what seems like talking to each other. They are there for as long as I keep looking out the window. Sometimes there are many of them all over the place. I know they are not real but it baffles me to see this.
        I also see things inside the bedroom like Santa clauses and clowns all over the room. If I turn on a light they go away. This stuff happens on almost a daily basis. I am 71 years old and this started about 9 months ago.

  22. Hello, thank you for letting us know everything about it, My wife having 90% of everything i have read above, seeing scary things, hearing voices, and feeling touches.

    But most scary thing that happened is yesterday, 4/7/2020, we were on a video call, she was okay, and we were planning to go to sleep, then suddenly she start experiencing what i have mentioned above.
    It was so “SCARY” i tried as much as i can to keep her talking to me, and looking at me, but sometimes she was talking to someone else, asking them to leave.

    Finally, and also suddenly she said ” GOOD MORNING”, as if nothing has happened and she has no clue about anything that happened, “she wears her t-shirt during this, turn on the light, and she drinks water”.

    Help!

  23. Reading this makes me feel so much better. I get vibration but within me. And when I close my eyes after a few minutes I see a big white flash and I shoot up., I also lay in the dark eyes open and it looks sorta like oil mixed with water. Floating above me. But it’s 3D like coming into me around me etc. Then I feel something crawling up the side of me. Also very strange dreams where I’m shaking the closer I focus. Then it wakes me up. And I go back into the same dream:/ odd…

  24. I’m glad i found this article. i’ve been having different types of sleep hallucinations my whole life. I’m still young, 19, but i just woke up suddenly from a deep sleep and seen a crab walk across my pillow. yes, i’m very imaginative. but now i can’t go back to sleep. oh well, at least having some understanding will ease my anxiety

  25. Reading the article has given me a sense of comfort. I really thought I was going crazy. I believe I had this sleep disorder since I was a child. When I was a child I would see figures, but only a couple times out the years. Now I see things almost every night before I go to sleep. Figures like big spiders, people, or demonic things. No matter where I am or what room I’m in, it always comes. It keeps me up at night and it takes about a couple of hours before it goes away. It really scares my husband and I don’t know what to do.

  26. Wow thank you for this article. I have been noticing things at night in my room only and it has scared me and I did not know how to explain it without sounding crazy. I see on my walls and ceilings patterns and numbers in green color and it puts me in mind of a computer the old ones from the 80’s even after I wake up it is still there. I have seen dark shadows go across my celing and I have seen people never demonic except for one of them one night. I have what looks like being able to see thru walls there will be green leaves blowing in the wind and then early morning rain and daylight I can see through the wall just weird stuff. This started about a month ago I have also felt someone touch my side and sit on my bed.

    1. I wake up and see a figure my mind instantly thinks it’s going to harm me and most times it’s moving and getting ready to hurt me. I usually sprint out of my room or scream in terror I’m in a whole different mindset I am not thinking of anything but the person and it’s whereabouts.

  27. Could it ever be Paranormal / demonic? – I try to keep a balanced mind, skeptical but not closed, & 9x out 10 it will be medical, hallucinatory – But I’m also aware there are things that science cannot explain – Like why I experienced (unwanted & unexpected) death premonitions when people I’d known, but lost contact with, had been dying at that time; there’s some VERY weird stuff in this world, which don’t all fit into ‘normality’.

  28. Yaquelin Brambila

    I’m so happy to read this article! And to know that I’m not alone, for many years – and I’m talking about years – I have been seeing objects, objects that I’m not able to identify what they are. And they’re just floating in my room or in the hallways. It’s always when I’m asleep something makes me wake up and when I open my eyes there they are. I am used to them already but I always wonder what is it and why does my mind create this.

    1. The same things happen with me, whenever I sleep I suddenly woke up and see an object floating in my room. Earlier, I was scared to see the objects, objects can be in any form, but nowadays I look at the objects and try to go near to object and suddenly it floats away and moves towards the wall and disappears, request to kindly guide me on overcoming it.

  29. For the last six months I’ve been seeing images of animals, dead people, family members, strange faces I have never seen. Sometimes when I’m awake its quite scary – don’t know what’s real or imaginary anymore. I think I need help.

    1. Hi Chris
      I imagine this must be very upsetting for you. It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about what’s going on for, and how you’re feeling – especially if this is happening during the daytime. Hopefully, they will be able to help you in a way that’s positive for you.
      Regards
      Ethan

    2. I see dead relatives as well. They talk to me like they’re not dead – are they just figments of my imagination or am I actually talking? They tell me what heavens like they described it as peace and perfect, there are beautifully paved roads made of gold. I don’t know if this is true because I don’t know if they’re real or not.

  30. Hi, at childhood approx ~5 years I was seeing at night like a clock which spins around or moving left and right like coupe inches. If it was shadow on wall I was believing that it’s monsters but I never saw real vivid monsters… I never saw external things only things which was real but it was moving or spinning around. Is it hallucinations or delusions? Thanks for answer

  31. It’s been happening to me a lot recently. My experience has been a black shape almost like a bigger spider crawling up my wall and then disappearing as it reaches the ceiling. Always while I wake up in the night from being asleep. It’s never scared me just more of a what the hell moment and then curiosity. The last night I saw it, I got up in my bed and tried to follow it till it disappeared right above my head. It’s just so weird I wonder if now I’m subconsciously thinking about it and that’s why it keeps happening.

    1. I felt comfort after seeing this article. I can see some people, a little bit similar. Actually I was not knowing how to tell my problems. Now I am getting some clear picture of my from this article. I am a Single lady, 41 yrs now. I think from my childhood i have less sleep ( though I am not sure). I used to awake my Mother frequently to check whether it is day or night. From the age of 16, I lost my sleep completely. Around that time my mother committed suicide. There were a lot of family issues. And I had my own personal issues like sexual abuse. I didn’t have anyone so close to share everything. Though I informed about my sleep issue with my family, everyone ignored it. I spent 4 yrs of sleeplessness continuously, without even a blink. There were no difference of day and night for me. All nights I cried. Nobody believed me and nobody took me to any hospital. After 4 yrs, i started getting drowsiness some times. I used to close my eyes at nights, and i started seeing a lot of dreams without sleep. Some times same dreams repeated till morning, and same time i was fully alert. Many times I got sleep paralysis (this term I got from this article, i was not knowing how to say this). It is like someone is pressing my body and i am not able to move, not even able to open my eyes for few mins. I suffered complete sleeplessness of 24 yrs. Everyone warned me not to take any medication for this because of the chances of getting addicted to sleeping pills. In between my Father also passed away due to cardiac arrest. Elder sister got married and her importance was only her family. My brother was 9 yrs younger to me. He was my responsibility. Now he is an Engineer abroad. I am also an MBA holder, worked in India and abroad for 18yrs. I don’t know how I lived my life. It’s only by the grace of God I managed every day. I do not know what is a normal life. Now I am totally alone in my life. Many time I thought of ending up everything, but God did not allow me to take my life. Now for the last 1 yr I am taking medicine for sleeping. Doctor said it will be difficult to cure my problem completely, I may have to continue with sleeping pills till the end. Problem is even the sleeping pills dont work many times. Now its lockdown everywhere, so my Doctor stopped consultation for last one and half month. I am getting hallucinations (new word for me, learned from this article) frequently. Many times in my drowsiness I listen to my doorbell ringing, some times I get up and do many things but later I realise that I am still on bed. I am suffering too much. I lost my faith in that Doctor also. He did not even bother to replenish the medicines at least for a month. Simply left me and many other patients in halfway. He never had a sleep study on me. Now I don’t know what is next. I am not doing well financially also. This loneliness kills me every moment. My only prayer is nobody in this world should be like me.

      1. I am so sorry for the hardship you’ve faced, I can’t at all imagine what you’ve gone through. Just remember that although faith in your doctor might be lost, you can still have faith in God. He knows what you are going through, even if others around you don’t. Jesus understands what it is like to suffer.
        I hope you will keep praying and keep looking forward to the day when He returns and all pain is destroyed. I am praying for you.

  32. Most times when I wake from a deeper sleep than normal or troubled sleep I see crawling spiders on my ceiling and walls.
    before sleep, as I close my eyes I get flashes of imagery usually motion images, and I see numbers, usually in the form of complex equations, almost like viewing a computer while it processes numbers, but now I’ve started to see numbers and letters on the ceiling when I wake, usually in a cipher style arrangement, or like watching matrix images that you see.
    is it possible that the imagery is what scares us most or what fascinates us most projected onto white surface upon waking or falling asleep, I ask because spiders are my biggest fear awake, and patterns in numbers is an obsession for me recently, specially palindromic numbers like 6556 or sets of double digits like 6565

  33. I’ve seen these odd mutant spiders on and off for about 7 years now, oddly enough I don’t find them as terrifying as you’d expect from a multi-eyed swarm of monstrosities with an odd number of legs

    Each the size of my fist on average and mottled grey and brown. Real arachnids give me the heebie-jeebies but these little eldritch abominations just inspire curiosity.

  34. I’ve been having this issue since I was 7. I always see ppl looking at me or creatures they’re weird demonic beings that I can’t describe due to me not knowing what it is. But after my stepfather terrified me at 8 with a werewolf costume I knew what that one who has always been there was. And then when I watched it another made sense and so on and so on. They all had characteristics since I can remember from the one behind my chair to the creepy animal monsters in my closet with glowing red eyes that I could see crawl along the floor and pop up next to my bed. And then they’d transfer into my dreams if I was terrified enough that night. How I’ve lived with it is very dim lights due to light bothering me while I sleep. And I always have to face the wall due to me being scared of it and not wanting to see it coming so I’d constantly hide in the corner.

  35. Wow! Thanks for the article. Glad to know I’m not alone here. The two images in the article are also very close to what I’ve seen. Not color but moving, blending images. I am 60 years old and have never experienced this before. The first time was only @ 3 months ago and I WAS under a lot of stress. In the corner of the wall and ceiling, above the door, I saw heavy and dark charcoal-drawn faces moving in and out of the crowd that could have been hundreds of people. The only word I can find to describe the feeling is pure anguish. It was if they were all being taken to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. None looked at me. No eye contact. I thought this was due to stress.

    Then, just two nights ago I saw (in the same place) what looked like leaves moving at night and lights (fire flies?) moving in and around them. I closed my eyes and when I opened them the moving leaves were now a thick school of fish swimming and swarming around each other. Not stressful at all. Just interesting. I closed my eyes again and went back to sleep.

  36. I have for years been waking and seeing people, (I could tell you exactly what they were wearing, a small boy sitting at the end, Marine in full dress uniform standing at attention, a mom, dad and baby all in Green Bay Packer sweatshirts, last night it was two dogs. I thought was going crazy as no one believed me. Your information was very helpful! Thank you!

    1. Wow lots of posts about seeing things, so let me get this straight. When you see things is it when you have woken up eyes open or are your eyes closed? Or both? This happened to me once. I woke up, eyes open and saw a spider, and then it disappeared.

      1. Hi,
        Mr. Ethan, now I have read the problem that you are suffering as below :

        “As a child, I regularly sleepwalked and had nightmares. Even now, I still have nightmares on occasion.
        I’ve suffered from intermittent periods of insomnia for more than 20 years.
        I sometimes have sleep paralysis, hypnic jerks, confusional arousals, and false awakenings.”

        I am also suffering all these and much more except sleepwalking for the last 25 yrs. My Father, Mother, close Friend and her children, another friend all passed away. Many times I see all of them together in my dream. I have written another comment some time back with complete details. I hope you understand me. I do not have anyone my own now. And I am very much reserved. I dont get along with people easily, I do not trust anyone. Everyone left me in half way.

        1. Hi Deepa
          I don’t usually reply directly to comments on this article nowadays as there are so many of them, and I originally wrote it years ago. I just keep them open so people can continue to share their own experiences and communicate with each other if they want to.
          However, I do read all the comments still. And considering you took the time to read the About page and quoted what I say there in your second comment, and considering the difficulties in life that you mention in this, and your other comment, I thought it would be only right to reply to you.
          I’m sorry to hear you have had so many difficult moments and events to deal with. And I can understand how frustrating it must be for you to not get the ongoing medical care you need during the covid-19 outbreak. That must add an extra layer of worry and stress for you.
          All I can say is please try your best to stay strong and have faith that you will get through this. It will pass in time, and you will hopefully be able to get medical care again, as well as be able to spend more time with people.
          All the best
          Ethan

      2. My eyes are open and I’m awake as I sometimes take to my husband and he talks back to me and he mentions it the next morning. He doesn’t see anything when I’m looking straight at it. Always different people staring at me as I wake up suddenly in the night. I know it’s just a sleep disorder but can’t get my head around why they are always staring at me. I’ve had this for 10 years now.

  37. I keep a flashlight next to me in bed for when the hallucinations are particularly large or difficult to overlook. Pointing it at a specific object often makes it go away. Prior to that, I tried not to leave my bedroom because such images made it difficult to find my way back.

    1. hi Jeffrey,
      I too do the same things. I used a flashlight when I see any floating objects when I woke up middle of the night, and after flashlight it floats towards the wall and disappears.

      1. I will often feel my cat jump up onto my bed and walk towards me, but my cat has been gone for six years. I hear footsteps outside my bedroom window, walking up the stairs to the door to my house. I often hear someone turning the doorknob as if trying to enter my home. Sudden, loud noises, people walking past me in my bedroom, frightening figures sitting down on the bed beside me. I’ve felt someone crawl into bed with me and bump up against my back.

        These are all absolutely terrifying because I feel completely awake. I’ll raise up on my elbows and open my eyes wide, thinking these people will vanish. But they don’t–not easily anyway. For me, these hallucinations seemed to begin after I started a new medication. I suspected that might be the culprit, but your article has brought me relief that I was unable to find anywhere else. Thank you!

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