Hypnagogic Hallucinations: Things That Go Bump In The Night

geometric shapes image demonstrating hypnagogic hallucinations

Have you ever seen something like this in the dark at night?

Have you ever switched off the bedside light, only to suddenly see strange shapes, animals or figures in the darkness? Perhaps you’ve heard voices or sounds which can’t possibly be real?

If so, it could be that you’ve experienced what’s known as a sleep hallucination, also sometimes referred to as hypnagogic hallucinations.

Many people experience hypnagogic hallucinations at some point in their lives, sometimes on a regular basis. And I’m no exception.

As a child I’d often see strange, multicolored geometric shapes in the darkness when trying to sleep. I used to lie there alternating between 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 these mathematical manifestations. Perhaps I should be grateful for my geeky hypnagogic hallucinations. Especially compared to the disturbing experiences that some people have.

So what exactly is this strange phenomenon and why does it happen? In this article I’ll be taking a closer look to help you understand what you’ve experienced yourself.

Definition

hypnagogic hallucinations occur when falling asleep, hypnopompic when waking upHypnagogic hallucinations are usually short-lasting experiences in which you might see, hear or feel something which isn’t real whilst transitioning from being awake to asleep.

It can be an auditory, sensory, tactile or any other sensory experience. Whatever form it takes though, it’s not real and is caused by your amazingly creative brain.

Hypnopompic hallucinations are exactly the same thing, except that they occur while you’re waking from sleep. For the sake of simplicity I’ll refer to the phenomenon as hypagogic hallucination throughout this article.

Both hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations can be very vivid, so can be disturbing in some cases. Especially if you see creatures appearing in your room, voices saying unpleasant things or feeling something touch you.

The history

Hypnagogic hallucinations were first described in 1664 by the Dutch Physician Isbrand Van Diemerbroeck. He might not have called it by the name we know it as today, but he did describe a woman who appears to have experienced hypnagogic hallucinations.

How many people experience it?

up to one third of people experience hypnagogic hallucinations in their lifetimeThere hasn’t been much research done to find out how many people experience this. But the following surveys and research show how common it might be:

1. A telephone survey in the United Kingdom in 1996 of 4972 people found that 37% experienced hypnagogic hallucinations twice a week or more.

Furthermore, 12.5% experienced hypnopompic hallucinations. It was more common among people with insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness and mental illness.

2. A review of 35 different studies in 2011 found that 7.6% of people experience sleep paralysis in their lifetime. We’ll see later how sleep paralysis often occurs alongside hypnagogic hallucinations.

3. In 2000 a survey of 13,000 people found that 38.7% experienced hallucinations, though 27% were in the daytime. 2.7% of people had them once a week, with 2.4% more than once a week.

So you can see that if you do experience hypnagogic hallucinations, you’re definitely not alone!

Symptoms of hypnagogic hallucinations

It’s possible to experience hallucinations that correspond to any of your senses, though visual hallucinations are the most common. They can be experienced from between just a few seconds to a few minutes:

  • Visual – for example the geometric shapes in the picture above. But possibly also images of people, animals or other complex shapes.
  • Auditory – this can be simple sounds like hissing, humming or whistling. But it can also be more complex sounds like human voices. It may also be extremely loud, similar to the sleep disorder known as exploding head syndrome.
  • Olfactory – perceiving smells which aren’t actually there, either pleasant or unpleasant.
  • Tactile – this can be very disturbing, such as feeling insects or spiders crawling on the skin. It can also be a strange rubbing, stroking, tapping or tickling sensation.

Furthermore, there can be more complex hallucinations as part of sleep disorders such as sleep paralysis. You may feel unable to move your body, and perhaps see or sense a person or presence in the room.

Causes

The latest international classification of sleep disorders manual in 2014 presents the following 2 main causes, though does state more research is needed to confirm them:

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

The causes of sleep hallucinations may also be related to another illness or sleep disorder. For example, they’re often associated with these sleep disorders:

  • Narcolepsy.
  • Sleep paralysis.
  • Exploding head syndrome.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Sleep terrors.

They can also be associated with a mental illness such as Schizophrenia. Each of the above will have a particular way of explaining the causes that’s relevant to them.

In addition there are some things which might lead to an increase in frequency or intensity of hallucinations, including:

  • Stress.
  • Sleep deprivation or exhaustion.
  • Electrical activity in the brain.
  • Drugs – particularly illegal drugs such as hallucinogenics, ecstasy and marijuana. But also some medical drugs, including sleeping pills.
  • Brain damage or lesions.

Treatment

relaxing can help reduce stress and prevent hallcuinationsA doctor would want to rule out any of the other illnesses or sleep disorders first, particularly narcolepsy and schizophrenia.

If you do have one of those, then your treatment would be tailored accordingly.

For example, Schizophrenia is usually treated with anti-psychotic medication. Narcolepsy will be treated with advice about lifestyle changes and possibly medication.

For most people, however, there’s no specific treatment for hypnagogic hallucinations and reassurance is the main need. It’s something which you just need to accept as a normal part of life.

Despite that, there are lifestyle choices you can make which may help. And the same applies to those who experience them as part of another sleep disorder. Here are some ideas which may help keep the hallucinations at bay:

  • Get an adequate amount of sleep every night, follow a stable sleep schedule and don’t allow yourself to become sleep deprived.
  • Avoid illegal drugs and check with a doctor if any medication you’re taking may be causing it.
  • 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 things, 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. So for example, 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 something 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, then 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.

If you do find yourself becoming overwhelmed by your experiences, it might help to talk to your doctor for some reassurance. You may also find it helpful to try some relaxation techniques which can help take your mind off any hallucinations.

Your thoughts

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

Do you find they get worse at certain points in your life, or if you do certain things? Have you found anything which helps prevent them?

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

Please note that after years of responding to comments personally, I’ve now decided to leave this discussion entirely to readers.

I will still read your comment before publishing it, but would like to leave the fantastic discussion that has grown here over the years in your hands now.

844 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I experienced sleep paralysis and hallucinations very often. I get visual and tactile hallucinations. It wasn’t just crawling sensation but I can feel they were poking and sometimes pulling me hard and it hurts. Is this also considered as something that everyone experienced like those of paralysis and hallucinations because it started to hurt me and is it not harmful?

  • i dont know what it was but i am a very heavy sleeper and for some reasoni ended up finding my self with the feeling of small spiders or insect crawing all over me.Some one please help because i do have a strong fear of spiders and that scared me to death. I am only 13

  • I’ve had visual and auditory night hallucinations all my life. At 71 I still have them. I am no longer afraid. I’ve had people talk to me among other things. After all these years and thousands of experience I now wonder if there is more to this than the medical definition. By the way I sleep well no insomnia.

  • My boyfriend has just begun experiencing this within the last week. He works on the road for weeks at a time and drives upwards of 15 hours sometimes to return home. The first occurrence he jolted into an upright position and mumbled about the dog escaping the bedroom. But when he came to his senses he realized the dog was asleep in her bed as she had been for several hours. Last night was the second occurrence, this time he jolted completely out of bed into a standing position and insisted I check the bed. He was visibly shaken so I asked what I was looking for and he said “I told you I saw a spider the size of a dinner plate” -which he did not say out loud, must’ve been part of the hallucination. We eventually climbed back in bed after I found no evidence of giant man eating spiders, and he was still very shaken and had to rest his head on me to relax. It’s extremely frightening!! Any advice??

  • Sometimes I wake up at night and see things when I was little I would wake up but not remember waking up at all and my arm would be raised holding a plastic see through cup and inside would be worms coming out and going onto my body. When I was 7-8 I would see spiders crawling al over my walls and every piece of furniture in my room… sometimes I see sisters and this big mosquito type of insect hovering above my head and I try to swat at it and it vanishes…and last night I woke up and saw a dolls face looking at me from my dresser in between some clothes I had there so I woke up text my Bf and then fell back asleep and then I woke up again and see this tire rolling on my bedroom floor fall on its side and I look at it for a couple seconds and then it disappears.. idk what’s going on but good to hear some people experience similar things

  • I have experienced waking up and seeing different people that I don’t know. It scares me so bad , I put my head under the covers.

  • I wake up seeing a man standing at the foot of my bed but lately it has been my children’s faces. Last night I woke up and thought my daughter was standing by the side of my bed staring at me and I said her name twice. I fully woke up at that point and saw that no one was there but it scared me. Every time this happens I get scared. I hate it and thought that maybe my house was haunted. Its comforting to know that it’s an actual thing.

  • Fascinating, reading what others have experienced! The colors and geometric shapes sound like a blast, but I never see those.

    I’ve had hallucinations since my mother passed away in 2012, very sparse at first (once every couple months) but they’ve now shown twice a week.

    They used to happen when I’d accidentally cut off circulation in a limb, like sleeping on an arm; or I’ve had sleep paralysis from folding my arms tightly over the chest. Nowadays, they’re drawn from excessive stress/worry during the day or dehydration, and I don’t have to cut circulation. They just happen, right as I wake up.

    It’s primarily spiders crawling on top of me, causing me to bolt for the lights and rapidly search the bed! But I did have one experience of feeling some strange, unseen presence looming in the far corner of the bedroom… and then, another hallucination of a cobra slowly gripping onto my hand.

    I’m pretty aware of what causes these vivid, disorienting things, yet I continuously dismiss picking up healthy habits. I’ve struggled with anxiety, sleep deprivation, and basic paranoia since early childhood, so change is kinda hard to swallow. But typing about the hallucinations has eased my nerves (just experienced another an hour ago)! I’m so relieved to find this online community. :)

  • I have been having “episodes” like this probably since I was 11 or 12. I feel like I am awake but always been told it is just an intense nightmare. But I will be awoken or so it seems to a spider (not even a big one) repelling down off the ceiling fan right at my face. Unable to move until it gets really close and then usually I jump out of bed screaming spider! Spider!

    The spider practically vanishes when the light comes on. But usually I shaking and my heart is pounding and at the time I am so convinced I saw what I saw. I literally make my husband strip the bed of the linens looking for this magical vanishing spider because I know it has to be there somewhere. There are times he says I have actually kicked and punched him during one of these dreams just trying to get away from the spider.

    It’s always a spider coming off the ceiling fan. For years I always chalked it up to be walking into the living room as a little kid and my family was watching Arachniphobia and perhaps I was a bit traumatized by what I saw. But now I don’t know.

    Sometimes it can happen one or two times a night and other times I can go weeks, months, or years before it happens again.

    Usually happens when I am extremely stressed out.

  • I am glad found this site. For the last year I have been seeing horrific creatures as I close my eyes. I am not asleep just closed eyes. They are all different but all aggressive and horrible faces. They are not static, they are jumping around in my eyes.
    The first time it happened I was terrified I was going mad and turned to the internet to try and find something to explain what was happening. I couldn’t find anything at the time to explain it.
    It doesn’t happen every night and if I shut my eyes really tight I can make it go away. This last year has been very stressful. My Mother was taken into hospital and from there into a care home and six months later died. So I am thinking maybe it is stress related. Never the less it is unpleasant.
    Thank you for the explanation of this strange affliction.

  • Honestly this has never happened to me before tonight. I’ve been going out with friends the past few days and have hardly slept. I’m also stressed out about some personal things ( I see from other comments that stress plays a part in this).
    I live in student housing, so for the summer my roommate, who lives across the hall from me, has been visiting home. She doesn’t sleep at night like a normal person, instead she’s always up watching movies or chatting with friends on her phone. I’ve been so used to the quietness of her being gone that I think during stage 3(or 2) sleep my brain picked up on the noise she was making and woke me up. I think that I fell asleep around 1am. It was early 2am that I woke up and saw a face hovering above mine which made me sit up… this scared me but the face wasn’t vivid enough for me to really be scared. I understood that it was my mind playing a trick on me and went right back to sleep. At around 2:40 it felt like I had been sleeping for a while, but I opened my eyes for some reason and right in front of my face, again, was the same face (a friend of mine) smiling down at me. This time it was very vivid. I sat up screaming and throwing my fists around. After reading these comments I’m really hoping that this is just a one time thing because I can’t deal with this again. I’ve had sleep paralysis twice before but have never seen shapes, faces, people. Nothing.

  • I see musical notes on walls…..ive fought this after being sectioned twice. thanks for your publication…it has saved my life…

  • I have had these for years. I go to sleep and awaken usually within 20-45 minutes, scream, leap out of bed, and run out of the room because I see someone standing or sometimes hovering there. It is totally terrifying, my heart is beating so hard that I feel like I am going to pass out. I have noticed that these episodes occur more frequently when I am exhausted and stressed. They happen way too often though; several times a week. It has gotten to the point where I am afraid to go to sleep and end up sleeping in a recliner in the living room. I am tired all of the time.

    • Hi, relieved to read this and can empathise- I have practically the same thing happening.
      It’s been happening for many years and also appears to be linked to stress.

  • I see shadows that shoot across my eye sight so fast that I only know what direction its going in and I hear weird noises that I can’t describe whenever I close my eyes in the light I see something that I can’t explain and when I’m in the dark I get chills down my spine around my arms and legs and I get very paranoid whenever I see something that shouldn’t excise and I can’t go to sleep also whenever I go anywhere that even has a bit of darkness I see the darkness grow and whenever I talk about demons and how we could defeat them the room shakes and if I’m standing I almost fall And if I close my eyes long enough I feel a bad presence and I feel like I need to run and the same thing happens when I’m outside at night. If anyone can help me that would be great.

  • I’ve experienced I see something above me and I literally swat at it with my pillow. What the hell s it? Happens from time to time. I’m always wondering, do I really see this in a conscious state or a subconscious dream state and awake aright then and swat consciously. I’m baffled. Please someone explain.

  • I am very interested in the conversations that I have read I don’t know if I’m sleep but I think I’m awake I hear three knocks at my door and sometimes they’re very loud like somebody’s Banning for me to wake up and I’ll say I’m coming and when I go to the door nobody’s there what’s wrong with me why am I doing this I have been doing this for a long time the knocks or beginning to be louder and louder and my grandson said that I am answering somebody but nobody’s there and he tells me to go back to bed it bothers me because it happens I think when I’m awake I don’t know if I’m falling asleep or not but it’s all the time so I’m asking for help what’s going on with me

  • Wow this is interesting to read. I have only really just realised that there is a name to these experiences that I have and so many other people do too!!
    I see silhouettes of people stood next to my bed, behind the curtains or in the reflection of my mirrored wardrobe so many times. I normally don’t react to the people as I’m terrified I just lay there and wait to wake up and when I do im normally sweating and my heart is beating SO fast.
    I also get spiders crawling on me or imagine them on my pillow or in bed, I’ll sit up in shock and search for the spider until I eventually wake up or my partner wakes me up and I realise nothing is there.
    A weird one, my dog sleeps in bed with us in a morning yet I always imagine that she falls out of bed. The moment she hits the floor I wake up, or I’ll imagine she’s trying to get into bed and I’ll go searching around the floor trying to find her. I wake up and she’s fast asleep in her own bed. I did that last night I imagined a different dog and my partner was awake watching me and he said I was talking to the dog and leaning over the bed trying to pick an imaginary puppy up.
    I sometimes wake up and think I am somewhere else in the bed (like laid the wrong way around) and I’m not.
    Everytime any of these happen I wake up and my heart is always beating out of my chest and I’m shaking. I’m wondering if there’s anything that can help me as they’re starting to really annoy me!

  • Unlike the most, i enjoy sleep hallucinations. Seeing pictures is pretty common to me but if ever get my sleep cycle disrupted, i experience auditory hallucinations. Hearing existing ( yet more twisted and powerful) or non existing tunes is quite awesome. Was i any good at writing music, i could easily use them to get famous!

  • I just had this experience…again and it bothered me so much that I grabbed my phone to find an answer at 530a.m. I’ve heard a man say my name before upon waking right in my ear and scared me to death. Other times, I feel a bird or a bat or something something with wings fluttering across the blankets or moving under the blankets and I feel like I must move the covers to let it go free. The sensation of its wings are so real to me that I can feel the wind of it. My eye sight is so bad without contacts that I couldn’t see a shape at night, I think that’s why I get more tactile and auditory hallucinations. Either way, they’re so real!!!!!

  • I have had these since taking ‘Z’ sleeping pills for a number of years. When I stopped taking them, I got massive hallucinations (never had them before in my life); including spiders, huge creepy crawlies etc. and disorientation – no knowing which was I was facing in bed or which room I was in. This has gradually eased but some two months since stopping I having hypnagogic hallucinations (only found out a name for it today on here) – where pictures appear to slide down the wall; my grandson is apparently standing at the side of the bed; patterns on the walls. I stare at them until they gradually dematerialise. Hoping they will eventually disappear but wanted to put these down as withdrawal from sleeping pill symptoms and to warn people to keep them to short term use. Have to say it is a very interesting phenomenon though.

  • I usually experience dreaming before I actually go to sleep, nothing terrifying but as I am laying in bed with my eyes closed thinking my thoughts will turn into random images in my mind, I usually know this and can pull myself back into reality if I want or just drift into sleep, nothing terrible. I’m had instances of sleep paralysis a few times throughout my life but it hasn’t happened to me in years. (I’m 34 years old) This past Sunday I was in bed all day, napping and waking on an off. I think I was in one my dreaming before I actually go to sleep phases when I tried to snap myself out of it. I was lying on my side looking at my window and I saw a small creature making its way up the back of the curtain, (they are black out curtains but sunlight creates some light through the back) I was paralyzed as I tried to move but realize that I couldn’t. I couldn’t make out what the creature was at first my mind thought a small fish but my eyes were awake and I the curtain was blowing from the fan I had facing the window. As it continued to make it’s way up I realized it was a mouse. I was panicking and trying to move it felt like my body was twitching but I couldn’t move as I tried desperately to lift my head from the pillow. The creature eventually made it to the top crawled down the front of the curtain, it was definitely a baby mouse. (I am terrified of them) I kept trying to move with no avail. I could also hear the TV on in the background (I was watching a Crime Documentary and was fully aware they we’re talking about computer hacking) The mouse eventually made its way all the way down the curtain and what appeared to be a daddy long leg spider was now crawling down the curtain. My phone was under my body and it buzzed which “snapped” me out of the paralysis. I jumped up sweating and out of breath, breathing hard and disheveled. My straps on my nightshirt were down. I ran out of the room terrified. In my other episodes of sleep paralysis I’ve never “seen” anything which made me think the “mouse and spider” sighting were real. I’m having a hard time knowing what I say was real or not because mice and spiders are common normal creatures. I’ve never had mice in my house but every morning for the past week I’ve been seeing mice and big giant squirrel sized rodents running down the street. I Googled sleep paralysis and came across this that talks about hallucinations,. I’m trying to reassure myself that it was a hallucination but also terrified because now I think I have a mouse in the house and possibly more. Haven’t slept well the past few days because I think a mouse is gonna crawl in the bed with me. I would have been more assured it was a hallucination if it were an alien or demon but this is creepy and stressing me out.

  • I wake up and see things in my room, it’s usually big spiders and sometimes ghosts. It’s very disturbing. My partner says I talk in my sleep a lot. I fall asleep constantly every time I sit and relax during the day

  • I remember the first one I got was on a holiday in africa. I was taking medicine to prevent malaria. It’s recommended by doctors to take it if you go on a holiday where there are risks. I discovered that one of the side effects of this medicine is having vivid dreams. I have talked to several other people that have experienced the same after using this medicine (Strange isnt it)

    So the first one I got was this one:
    I woke up and saw a big truck comming my way. It was comming right towards me. I was a big truck, and the lights of the truck where on. It was comming straight at me with enormous speed. I was just screeming in terror because I knew it would hit me.

    And one time I woke up and I saw a dog in my bed wanting to poop. So I wanted the dog out of my bed because I obviously dont want poop in my bed. (I was awake, but think my brain was still asleep, and I dont have pets) then the dog just dissapeared.
    The strange thing with this one is that day I went to a friends house and she took me to a friend of her I did not know. She had the same breed of dog. (The exact dog I saw in my “dream” wile being awake) I was sitting on the sofa and the dog came and sit my me. And then the owner screems “stop, dont!” Because the dog wanted too poop on the sofa. And then at that moment I remembered my “dream”

    And one time I woke up seeing bent over me and looking straight in my face. It was a woman and her face was green. I was not afraid. And than she dissapeared.

  • When I was a small child,I would sometimes get frightened to shut my eyes to sleep because I would see a tiny spot that would grow and grow and became like a large convex round shape coming towards me,still growing until I felt like I was suffocating!! I would wake myself up,open my eyes and try to stay awke so that I wouldn’t have to experience it again!!

    • I have something very similar which is why I came across this page looking for answers. I get the feeling of the walls closing in on me until I can literally feel them right in front of my face and can’t breathe. Like you it makes me try to stay awake to not have to experience it, it’s awful. These days I have to be on the verge of passed out exhaustion before I can sleep as it disturbs me so much.

    • For a few months I experienced that exact thing every night. I always thought it looked like an eye staring at me. Mine was a result of an MDMA overdose and generally bad mental health though.

  • I’m almost 70 years old and I have been having hallucinations when I wake up 4 years.. usually it shapes and colors but it also has been animals and people. The people come at me but if I close my eyes V they disappear. When I open my eyes again I see something else. Very upsetting. I’m glad I’m not the only one

  • I’m a 19 year old girl and for the past three months have been seeing various images: silhouette of people, eyes on the wall, writings and very often see this mat of matter (ranging from sharp object to green things) inches away from my body. This has frightened me to tears and disturbs my sleep.
    I’ve started wearing an eye mask to avoid looking, but when I forget to do so, I see things again.
    Should go see a doctor for this?

  • I would like to say I’m glad I found this website and if my story has happened to I would appreciate the response. My second earliest memory is me laying in a baby bed beside my parents bed and in the dark I see this horrid something in the corner of the room. I could not move anything but my eyes could not scream. A fear that still follows me to the day and I’m 42. I am not the only one that has witnessed it’s presence. I am not asleep. I felt that same fear for many years when it was present. I do not fear as much now that I’m older. If anyone has this experience I would like to hear from you.

  • I am a 27 year old male as well have had this phenomenon happen to me since I can remember, it can be very prominent at times and seem to mostly go away at times, seems to.happen to me when im not sleeping my normal work schedule hours or I am aburptly woke up. I worked graveyard shift for nearly four years and it happened almost every time I laid down and woke up from sleep. I had a extremely terrifying LSD trio at the age of 18 and had it worst then I had my whole life for a couple.years after that. It’s typically geometric patterns that seem to breathe and have light coming out of them. They used.to.scare me but now actually wish they would happen more often, being as how they have mostly disappeared for the first time in my life this past year, maybe it’s cuz of my new spiritual practice (mantra mediation) I see them.as a gift bow they are so beautiful remind me of sri yantras etc.

  • Ha! I knew I wasn’t crazy! I’m 66. Seeing a spider running across my pillow has happened occasionally for many many years. Fools me every time. I swat it away, jump up, turn on the light to search for it, then, during the futile search, it always dawns on me that it must have been a ‘dream’, ‘cause I couldn’t have seen that much detail in the dark. But now I’m seeing way different stuff in addition to the occasional spider on the pillow. Two memorable ones follow.

    1) I awoke during the night and slowly opened my eyes. Much to my shock there was a guy a few steps away from me in the corner of my room, who was running full tilt towards me! He passed right through me, my bed and the wall behind me and was gone so fast I barely had time to gasp in surprise. I did not feel or hear or smell anything. I realized that he had been running in a race somewhere ‘cause he was wearing racing clothes and a number. He was not running “at” me, and was not even aware of me or my surroundings. In fact, he was not running at the same height as my room. He was running a few feet below my bedroom floor; like he was in a different plane/dimension than me. It was like a hologram! He meant me no harm. I was just so incredibly startled by it.

    2) Less dramatic….. I woke up during the night and saw a strange blue round/oval object, larger than a baseball, smaller than a basketball, almost at ceiling height, slowly moving across the room towards the corner. It was like a puffer fish thing and it was propelling itself with small very fast moving ‘fins’ at its sides. Didn’t see a face or anything. I thought, “What the hell is THAT?” I knew I was awake and really seeing this thing, but I also knew that it was impossible. I watched and figured it would disappear when it reached the corner. So, without looking away from it, for fear it would disappear, I reached for my phone on the nightstand so I could take a picture. Just before it got to the corner, I snuck a quick glance toward the nightstand to help find the phone and, when I looked right back, the thing was gone. Not that I would have gotten a picture of it anyway, I guess.

  • Hi, My name is Zoya and I’m 23 years old. I feel lucky to have ended up reading this article in just the right time. I was on the verge of believing that either my house is haunted or I myself am haunted and need to go to a Holy person to check up on me. This happened the first time when I was about 16-17 years old. Those days I was really upset and used to cry a lot. My father has passed away a three years earlier and it only got worse with time. I used to feel lonely more often at this age and depressed. I was lying on the bed, comfortably sleeping in an awkward position as I always do when suddenly I was awake and couldn’t open my eyes. I was sleeping literally in an “X” shaped position with my arms and legs wide open and something was holding both my wrists and both my ankles. I also felt a lot of weight on my chest and I couldn’t even scream or move an inch. The room was totally dark. The window and curtain both were open but even my neighbour’s lights were off so the room was completely dark. It was 2-3am in the night. I am Muslim, so I started to call Allah for help in my heart and could feel the tears flow through my eyes even when there was no way that I could open them. I started reciting a dua (prayer) from the Holy Quran in my heart and suddenly the next door neighbour’s backyard light turned on, the thing that was holding me down went away that instant and I could finally get up. I was too scared to tell anyone in the house and thought they’ll think I’ve gone crazy.

    Until it happened again when I was 21 and this time it was here to stay. It happened so frequently that I find myself being pressed down the chest twice a week. Unable to move, speak or open my eyes until this thing took am shape and I started seeing a man (only a black shadow, an outline of a man filled with black color) standing beside the bed holding me down with some power and it would go away as soon as I was free to move and open my eyes again. I would wake up crying and so damn scared that I won’t sleep the rest of the night or atleast the next 3 hours. I was so afraid of me bed that I started sleeping on a mattress on the floor until it happened again and this time the man was not only standing at a distance but also bent over me right in front of my face. He said he was the angel of death and was here to take me with him. When I opened my eyes I was staring in the same direction, lying in the same position and it was freaking real I can never forget it.

    I never told anyone until one day when my mom said she had experienced something pushing down her chest causing her body to paralyze. My sister was in the room as well and she told a similar experience from last night. All three of us were shocked to have been experiencing the same thing being scared to death on frequent nights and were too afraid to tell each other!!

    We called a known and trusted Holy person who is Muslim and also a professor at a well-known university here in the city. If there was a demon in the house, he would know and we would believe him, but he told us that the house is absolutely fine. He examined the house and got to know that none of us are possessed and we don’t need spiritual help. He even told us that he had a similar experience once when he was sleeping on a roof of a house and saw a woman wearing heels coming towards him. He told us about sleep paralysis and the hallucinations, and that our mind was playing games with us. Honestly, I didn’t believe him right away because It felt so real and I had suffered a lot being scared to death, but eventually I did. I believed him and also googled the symptoms. I had never gone through an article as informative as this one though. Also, the people sharing their stories is really helpful and comforted my heart. Thanks a lot!

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