image of a classical painting representing sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis stories typically involve unusual and frightening experiences. Perhaps you have one or two of these disturbing tales of your own to tell.

If not, I’ll first share one of mine to give you an understanding of what it can be like.

Then we’ll take a closer look at whether sleep paralysis demons or ghosts really exist. Or if science can provide a logical and comforting explanation.

My sleep paralysis experience

Imagine the following scenario: it’s been a long day, you go to bed later than usual and fall asleep quickly through sheer exhaustion.

But instead of waking up peacefully in the morning, you half wake in the middle of the night. And in the darkness of your bedroom, it slowly dawns on you that you can’t move your body…and that someone, or something, is watching you.

A weight pushing on your chest

You feel a weight on your chest, pressing you down and preventing you from sitting up. And not only is your whole body paralyzed, but you can’t so much as move your lips to call out for help.

You’re not sure who or what is pushing on your chest. It’s too dark to see. You just know there’s a presence there. Something strange. Something frightening.

This happened to me last year and was a very unsettling experience. Fortunately, there was no demon, ghost or burglar in my bedroom.

After a minute’s panic, the feeling passed. And I was then able to stumble to the bathroom to make sure my face wasn’t decorated with demonic symbols. It was a classic case of sleep paralysis.

What is sleep paralysis?

Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis is classified as a parasomnia, which is a group of sleep disorders involving unwanted behaviors that accompany sleep.

The main symptom is being awake and unable to move your body. It might also be accompanied by hallucinations or dreams/nightmares whilst still awake.

It typically lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes before movement is regained. And although it may feel like it at the time, it’s not believed by medical organizations to be harmful.

What causes it?

The exact reason for why it happens to some people and only on some nights isn’t known. However, scientists do have a theory about what goes on during sleep paralysis.

During the night, you cycle through different sleep stages. When you enter the REM stage of sleep, your brain stops your muscles from moving – known as REM atonia. One explanation for this atonia is that it prevents injury from acting out your dreams in bed.

During sleep paralysis, the atonia starts, or continues, while you’re awake. And during this time, you might also experience what’s known as sleep hallucinations, or dreams while you’re awake.

So your body and brain are temporarily out of sync while transitioning between sleep stages, potentially creating a frightening experience.

As Dr. Michael J. Breus neatly explains:

Sleep scientists believe that sleep paralysis may occur when the transitions in and out of REM sleep and other sleep stages don’t go smoothly.

How many people experience sleep paralysis?

Sleep paralysis stories like mine are surprisingly common. In 2011, researchers aggregated 35 sleep paralysis studies to find out how many people had experienced it at least once in the past year, finding:

  • 7.6% of the general population
  • 28.3% of students
  • 31.9% of psychiatric patients

Who is more at risk of having sleep paralysis?

Scientists might not know the precise reason only some people have sleep paralysis yet, but there are a growing number of risk factors becoming apparent.

For example, researchers who analyzed 42 studies found several risk factors and associated conditions:

  • Sleep problems, changing sleep patterns and shift work.
  • Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and nocturnal leg cramps.
  • Stress.
  • Some psychiatric groups, particularly those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Substance and medication use.
  • Physical illness.
  • Personality and anomalous beliefs.

Is there a genetic component to sleep paralysis?

In 2015, British researchers published a study of 862 twins and siblings aged between 22 and 32. They did find some evidence of a genetic role, but only a small one:

In this sample of young adults, sleep paralysis was moderately heritable

Interestingly, they also found other independent risk factors, including:

  • Disrupted sleep cycles
  • General sleep quality
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Exposure to threatening events

Polls – readers’ experience of sleep paralysis

I polled readers of this article for a year to find out what kind of sleep paralysis episodes they had.

Note that it’s likely that many people who search online about it will have had the more frightening episodes, skewing the results.

But they still provide a fascinating insight into what people experience and how they cope.

Poll 1

In poll 1, the most common episode was thinking there was a demon or other being in the room.

chart showing the results of my poll about the type of sleep paralysis experiences people have

Poll 2

Poll 2 shows that many readers find sleep paralysis terrifying. Again, those who search online for it are likely to have found it particularly disturbing.

chart of poll results for how scared people are during sleep paralysis

Poll 3

Poll 3 shows that many readers first experienced sleep paralysis during adolescence.

chart with poll results about the age people first have sleep paralysis

Poll 4

Poll 4 shows that most readers don’t experience sleep paralysis on a regular basis. 

chart showing poll results about how often people have sleep paralysis

Poll 5

Poll 5 shows some of the ways readers deal with episodes. You’ll find more coping mechanisms below.

chart showing the results of the poll about techniques for stopping sleep paralysis

The not so scientific explanations for sleep paralysis

image of a woman floating above the bed

Since first writing this article 7 years ago, there have been an extraordinary number of comments.

The comments show that not everyone accepts the scientific explanation. And interestingly, that some people struggle to accept it even though they want to – such is the realistic nature of their experience.

The possibility of demons, ghosts, spiritual beings and aliens all crop up from time to time. And while many people accept their experiences as hallucinations or dreams, some people choose to believe another explanation – that those beings are real.

Despite these beliefs, there’s one clear theme: nothing bad ever actually happens, other than being frightened and perhaps losing some sleep after an episode.

Around the world

In Fiji, the demon is sometimes seen as a deceased relative coming back to discuss an important or unfinished matter.

In Chinese folklore, it’s also seen as a ghost rather than a demon or intruder.

Some people in Iran and Pakistan interpret it as demons or spirits taking over your body. This could be due to black magic performed by an enemy.

The common theme is that the entity is usually something to be feared. I’m yet to find a culture which believes it’s a friendly creature!

Sleep paralysis treatment

When to see a doctor

Fortunately, most people don’t experience sleep paralysis very often, and no treatment is usually required.

However, if the following apply to you, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor:

  • It happens regularly.
  • You’re anxious about sleep paralysis and going to sleep.
  • You don’t get enough sleep.
  • You feel very sleepy during the day, sometimes fall asleep suddenly or lose control of your muscles.

What medical treatment is available?

If you see a doctor, they might take the following action:

  • Refer you to a sleep specialist to assess if you have another sleep disorder, like narcolepsy.
  • Treat any underlying psychiatric condition.
  • Discuss any medication or substance use that might be a factor.
  • Explain the biological processes involved in sleep paralysis to reassure you.
  • Talk to you about developing good sleep habits. This is thought to help reduce the frequency of sleep paralysis.

Readers’ techniques for coping with sleep paralysis

Over the years, many readers have left comments explaining how they cope with sleep paralysis, and I’ve created a list of the most frequent ideas below.

The first five in the list below are also suggested by sleep experts. The rest are a mix of personal opinions. Please bear in mind that none are guaranteed to work:

  • Don’t let yourself become sleep deprived.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Try to reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
  • Focus on wiggling just one finger or a toe.
  • Don’t take recreational drugs or drink alcohol in the evening.
  • Don’t sleep on your back.
  • Stay calm.
  • Tell yourself that you’re in control. You can order the experience to stop.
  • If you feel a weight on your chest, imagine there’s something friendly causing it.
  • Film yourself sleeping so you can see there was nothing in the room.
  • Don’t think about what it could be. Your imagination will probably make up something scary in the darkness.
  • Organize your bedroom in a way which makes you feel safe and secure.
  • Don’t hang dressing gowns, coats or hats in places which look like figures in the dark.
  • Sleep with a night light, music or radio on.
  • Remind yourself that nothing bad will happen.
  • Imagine your body rolling from side to side in your mind and count each roll. Focus on this and try to grow the capacity for movement from there.
  • Count numbers to focus your mind on something else.
  • Don’t sleep with a high pillow.
  • Keep your eyes shut and try to clear your mind.
  • Squeeze your eyes tightly shut if you can control the muscles.
  • Keep well hydrated – drink water before going to bed.
  • Talk about it to family or friends – they may have experienced it too.
  • If you have it once, get out of bed for a while to reset the brain.
  • Many people say prayer helps. Some also say that calling on their religious beliefs and commanding what they see to leave helps them.
  • Check if any sleeping pills or herbal remedies you’re taking are causing it.
  • Use sleep paralysis to lucid dream by relaxing and going with the experience instead of fighting it.
  • Once the episode has passed, tell yourself that you overcame it, are not afraid and will always overcome it.

How I recently stopped an episode of sleep paralysis

I successfully used two of the above techniques to stop a recent episode of sleep paralysis.

I woke to find myself in a strange position with my arms crossed on top of my body. And I could literally feel strong hands pinning my wrists to my chest.

I have to admit I was immediately petrified. The whole event was blurry, and I think I was having some dream overlap, but can’t remember exactly what now.

Stay calm and wiggle a finger

Two things sprung to mind after a moment of panic: stay calm and try to wiggle a finger.

The calmness I only managed with moderate success. But I did manage to focus my efforts on moving a finger. It felt quite odd – like my fingers were wiggling in different directions!

Eventually, I felt my arms loosen as well, and soon afterward I was able to shake the whole sensation away as I regained full control.

I then spent a few minutes doing some breathing exercises to ground myself and calm down, and then fell asleep again.

I think just knowing about the finger wiggling technique was enough for me to remember it when the sleep paralysis occurred.

Share your story of sleep paralysis

Have you had sleep paralysis? What happened, and do you have any suggestions to help others deal with it?

Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

2,916 thoughts on “Sleep Paralysis Stories: Demons Or Hallucinations?”

  1. I too have experienced this terrifying sleep paralysis. I just wondered why most of us experience a bad thing eg demon or a black beast with heavy breathing pressing on our bodies, chest for eg. It seems to much of the same experiences… they are so similar to each other. Do you think this is all stress related? Ann

  2. I’ve been studying this and acting like I’m asleep this thing sits on top of you checks your eyelids to see if you’re asleep slowly creeps up on you and I’m not sure what else it does I know on meth I felt a spirit press down on my cover and seduce me I’m not sure what this thing does when I’m asleep haven’t acted asleep long enough and I’ve been sober for a long time now it wasn’t just the drugs I’m not tripping people!

  3. i experience sleep paralysis the first time is when i was in Manila and i’m 19 years old on that time it was early morning i think 2 to 3 am when i’m going to sleep, in that time i awoke and thinking somebody then when i closed my eyes suddenly i feel that on my forehead was pushed by unknown force and the suddenly i feel that i could not breath, i tried to talk but there is no sound coming out from my mouth and i saw a woman in front of me i could not see his eyes, only his long hear that touches my face, i tried to shout but but there is no sound from me, the only thing i do is to close my eyes and prayed, and i feel that i can already move my fingers and when i open my eyes the black woman was gone. and last night i experience it again, but this time it was a man looking at me and just like what happen in me when i got sleep paralysis i feel paralyzed again, then i shout and shout again but no sound came out from me, and when i close my eyes my body was able to move again, i don’t know why it happen to me.

  4. Woke up past three in the morning some time back , say a black figured man sit on my couch opposite me in my room I was terrified but not scared I though it was my friend but when I looked at the time it was way to late for him to be at my house , I sit up straight called out to the black shadow figure , there was no response, I went back to bed and woke up again to put on the light and the figure was gone.
    I had a sp experience on Saturday night at 03:04 am felt the tingly sensation and immediately breathed hard to escape the sp , thinking I was free of this I continued scrolling on my phone to tire myself out, my phone died and I had no choice to sleep now. I was laying breathing trying to breathe I felt this evil presence behind me cos I was laying on my left side, all of a sudden could hear another person breathing. I immediately lay awake in my bed not trying to sleep this was just before the paralyzing state. The feeling of having someone cuddle up behind you feeling bed sheets move, very scary. Hate SLEEP PARALYSIS.

  5. I’m 19, and I had my first sleep paralysis experience yesterday, in the early morning about 07.00am. I had a dream that I was at my boyfriend grandparents, and I was ironing a bed sheet but was then torn out of my hands, by well what I thought would of been a ghost, to then in real life have just my eyes open slightly and have something press down on my chest three times, how the hell did it feel so realistic?! I tried to shout my mum but it was so faint and she wouldn’t of heard, which sounds silly but she’s the only person I wanted to shout, when I finally got control of my body about 30 seconds later, I stood up went to her room and she was asleep so I went back to sleep. But I rang my other half and sobbed for ages. But knowing yesterday I needed a good sleep as I am on a night shift right now. But that wasn’t just once, it happened after I went back to sleep, then one big push on my chest but I could control it this time and then just went back to sleep on my side.

    I’ve never ever experienced this before and I just know I will, with my shift patterns and the paranoia of feeling like it’ll happen again, I am meant to be going on a break to sleep, but I really don’t want to :(

    Thanks for this page, I’ve learned a lot more!

  6. I used to wake up the next morning thinking I had had a horrible nightmare and had been screaming for my boyfriend to help me. He told me every time that I had not moved at all or even made any sounds.

    It doesn’t happen that often, but often enough to be annoying, so since I am a medical librarian, I did some medical literature research. I was very comforted to know that I am not crazy and that my boyfriend hasn’t been lying to me all these years. :-)

    Here’s what it used to feel like. I would definitely feel like I was awake, but could not move. It seemed like someone was in the room who was going to attack me and I tried to scream, but I couldn’t open my lips. It was pretty terrifying, but the next morning I would just chalk it up to a bad nightmare.

    Now that I know what is happening when it does happen, I know what is going on so I don’t freak out. It’s like I can hear myself trying to scream and that alerts me to the situation. I usually go right back to sleep. I remember that it happened when I wake up the next morning. But it’s not scary any more since there is a very good medical explanation for the whole thing.

  7. At 3:46 this morning I woke up out of a very deep sleep to my dog moving around so I turned over and I looked at her and she was looking at my door which was open so I turned and looked at my door and I saw nothing but black smoke. It was just sitting there covering my entire door frame like it wanted to come in but couldn’t and usually if someone is standing there you can see a silhouette but I didn’t see anything it was from edge to edge just black. Right when i turned over onto my stomach to look I saw the smoke and I was pinned down I was paralyzed I couldn’t move it took me a good 60 seconds or a minute and a half of struggling and trying to break free of that and I ended up moving my arm and flipping off that thing and then I passed out after that. I just kept thinking about how scared my dog looked and I wanted her to be alright. When I woke up it was around 6am and I just kept getting these images flashing through my head every time I blinked, just one image, it’s a black background with a bone white tree like how trees lose their leaves in the winter and they’re just bear with all of the branches sticking out it was like that, one singular tree. And then just like 20 minutes ago my mom sent me a picture of a tree and I inverted the colors in the picture and it looked like the tree that I saw when I woke up this morning. (THIS HAPPENED ON 6/7/2019) note: I’ve had sleep Paralysis before and I’ve never needed to break out of it I always just went with it close my eyes and then it was over and I’ve never been physically exhausted to where I just passed out after I’ve had something like this happen before and I’ve never needed to break out of it I always just went with it close my eyes knew everything was going to be alright and then it was over and I’ve never been physically exhausted to where I just passed out after. It’s just strange.

  8. Lee Farrington

    Hi, my name is Lee and I am 41 years old. A while back I experienced something trying to get into my body while i was asleep and something was trying to ward off this being or whatever it was with some kind of prayers like good fighting off evil. I have thought about this A lot and kept it to myself until now. I have been watching a film called Astral and that’s what are me read up on astral projection and other related topics to see what it was that night. I have had bad luck after bad luck for a long time and worry something mat have actually managed to get into my body that night. Can anyone help me to understand this as it plays on my mind alot? I know this sounds crazy but is there anyone I can go to or talk to about without being labeled crazy. Maybe it was just a bad dream. I really have no clue. I would like to hear anyone’s opinions on this please. Many thanks.

    1. Prazosin works very good for night terrors and sleep paralysis, I have suffered from this since I can remember and it is TERRIFYING I didn’t know there were others like me

    2. it was sleep paralysis and you aren’t going crazy. i’m dealing with the same thing, it’s pretty petrifying.

  9. I just had my second encounter with Sleep Paralysis last night. It started a few months ago with the first episode. I have a 44-year-old male who lives alone and have never experienced anything quite like this, it is downright terrifying and I’m not want to scare easily.

    The first occurrence happened at exactly 3 AM or just before. Perhaps and she give you the backstory first. I recently moved into a home in the historic district. My bedroom has five doors for leading out and one closet door that has the attic access but also the return vent for my air-conditioning in the floor. Numerous times I’ve woken up to my door opening to my closet and the door to the other side of my bedroom being open. My girlfriend who occasionally spends the night with me is terrified of my house as this has happened to her as well with the closet door opening. She claims to even seen a figure in my dining room and the Lady. I laugh this off because I ultimately think as the pressure change to my return vent causing the door to open.

    This brings me to my first encounter with sleep paralysis. It was a few months ago and I wake up to a very evil feeling and I can barely lift my head from my pillow. My eyes are wide open and I can move my hands and my fingers but it feels like somethings holding my wrists and my body down as if someone is sitting on my chest. I find it very difficult to breathe. I tried desperately to move or say something but cannot. I look forward and all five of my bedroom doors are open and it feels as if the room is being stretched away from me getting elongated. After a minute or so I am able to break my wrist and arm away from the bed. And the most eerie feeling still washes over me as I look at the alarm clock it reads 3 AM exactly and all my doors are still open. Now I sleep with my door shut as I like it pitch black in my room.

    Another occurrence but wasn’t sleep paralysis was being woken up by someone a female whispering in my ear to “wake up” which she repeated two or three times softly but gradually getting closer until she was right in my ear and yelled for me to get up. I looked to my right immediately thinking it was my girlfriend coming to wake me up But I immediately saw my first apparition. And I could see right through her and then it was gone I’ll never forget it.. I rolled across the bed to the other side and then got up and made a pot of coffee and did not get back to sleep. She appeared to have her hair pinned up and all I could see was the shoulders and I’ll never forget a white lace collar on her shirt with the brooch kind of an 1800s look. Again I played it off as I was dreaming…

    Now my second encounter of a sleep paralysis was last night and the most terrifying yet! I had just fallen asleep maybe 15 minutes had passed I realize this after the occurrence was over. I wake up to feeling someone getting in the bed behind me and spooning me as I’m laying on my left side, I can tell it is a male! I feel his leg being draped over me and his arm around my chest and around my side. As I try to roll over and throw an elbow to whomever this is behind me I realize I cannot move but one finger on my right hand. At this point I hear breathing right behind my ear and I can feel the breath on the back of my neck. I’m terrified now my eyes are wide open and I tried to say something and I can barely whisper help. And then I feel this pressure on my throat and I can feel something strangling me and I can’t breathe! and I could feel it pressing up against me while it’s choking me. When I feel it grab my leg and I can move my eyes and I see my skin moving as if there’s a hand grabbing my thigh but there’s no hand there. Then I feel somethings grab me by my hair and start slamming my head into the headboard of the bed. I have a pistol in my bed but I can’t grab it all of my right finger when I tried both and can barely turn my head. At this point I’m a grown man but nearly in tears and just disappears and I am able to move. I look around and nothings there But all my doors are open my covers are on the floor and my head hurts and very tender to the touch as if somebody had been yanking my hair and hitting me in the head with a brick… I wound up going into my living room and fell asleep in the chair. As I looked at the dining room and just seemed evil and I did not want to go towards it although that’s the way to the kitchen and I was very thirsty. There was other evidence but I wish not to discuss at this in more than sleep paralysis. But if it is then you surely can physically harm your body with your mind. But this just feels evil…

  10. I am 50 now and had two episodes in the last 4 weeks, the first I thought I was awake standing at the end of my bed looking at myself laying in bed asleep, the next second I was in bed on my side and a massive weight was pushing me through the mattress, then I woke and heard 3 taps on the pillow behind my head, I was terrified!! Later awake for ages after too afraid to move. The second time which was 2 nights ago, I was laying on my side and asleep, I felt like it was covered in scales which were picking up all over my body, then I felt hands on my back pushing me out of bed with force, I tried to open my eyes but couldn’t. I remembered reading after the last one that concentrating on moving one part of your body could get you out of it, I put all my effort into pushing my shoulder forward- i managed to , I opened my eyes and see a black ball above my head which immediately exploded with light and a bang and then I was fully awake. I plucked up the courage to put on my lamp, checked the room which was fine and lay for ages making sense of what happened !! Am not looking forward to the next one.

  11. I’ve had sp since I was 13. I know it’s just my fears controlling it and what society has painted fear to be like but it’s still hard to look at the hooded figure or the crouched figure sitting above my head. It’s pretty easy for me to fight whenever I feel it coming now I’m 24. I use all my will power to jump up awake and completely wake myself before I lay back down and then I’m okay to sleep. I’d like to be able to explore this fear and have the upper hand in this experience some day.

    1. Hi Shaneia.
      May I recommend this book to you.
      Sleep Paralysis
      Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection
      By Shelley R. Adler. Professor in the department of Family and Community Medicine and Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine director of education at the University of California, San Francisco.
      (Nocebo means ‘I shall harm. The opposite of Placebo ‘I shall please’).
      Hardcover ISBN 978-0-8135-4885-0 paper IZBN 978-0-8135-4886-9
      Dr. Shelley spent 15 years researching this subject and it would expand your knowledge immeasurably should you read it.
      I have experienced all the phenomena she describes.
      Best wishes.
      Martyn Pryer

  12. Hi I have had sleep paralysis more than a dozen times and I had it seven times in one night. I researched what it was and I know that it is a demon or entity and they pin you down. When it happens to me I fight so hard that it takes me a few seconds or minutes to fight it but I do and I wake up punching and yelling at it to get away from me. The night that it happened 7times I was so tired that day it was hard to stay awake but I fought it off and woke myself up but bc I was so tired I kept falling back asleep then I would fight it off and wake up. I repeated that 7 times before it gave up and left me be.. I have had it be mad at me and it’s always the same one but it gets mad at me for fighting it off. It will leave me alone for a few weeks then it comes back. It came back mad and instead of pinning me down it was slamming my head into the bed I fought it off and woke up and I had such a bad headache. It came to me the other night and before I could fight it off I started dreaming and it was in my dream so strange I’m a little worried now and I don’t want that to happen again. When I woke up I felt out of sorts dizzy and disoriented.. Just remember you can get mad in your head and use that strength to fight it off u are in control.

  13. Having done a little research, I believe I experienced sleep paralysis last night. Not the first time I have to admit. I have experienced it regularly whilst living in this house. We have been here for just over 4 years. At the time sleep paralysis occurs, it feels more like there is someone or something there with you in the room. One of my three boys had fallen asleep in my bed and I when we went to bed, I just said leave him there and I will sleep in his bed for tonight. I fell asleep promptly.

    All I remember next is the sound of someone or something running towards me (laminate flooring in his bedroom) and then I felt like I was being pushed into the bed with an almost shaking sensation, although I wasn’t moving. It lasted for what seemed like minutes but was probably more like 30 seconds. I remember trying to shout my husband but I couldn’t open my mouth to shout.

    As soon as it stopped, I heard the radio presenter announce it was just after 4:30 am. Now, I have experienced similar events in the past but not this late on in the night, It has usually been between 3am-3: 30 am which is a time of night that I have come to dislike because of these episodes, so this late on in the night was strange.

    I laid there for a while before walking to the toilet (stepping out of bed as far away from the bed as possible, in case something grabbed my legs – that’s how terrified I felt at that moment!) I then squeezed into my bed next to my husband and son, and tried to get back to sleep!

    In the past I have been asleep in my bed and have awoken to see my youngest son next to my bed, I have immediately gotten out of bed and followed him out of the room saying “come on, lets go back to bed”, only to find that once in his room, he is in his bed fast asleep.

    Myself and my husband have also both been woken up to the sound of footsteps on the floor in the boys’ bedroom, gone to put them back to bed, only to find everyone is fast asleep in bed!

    I have also felt this pushing/crushing sensation in my own bed, whilst laid next to my husband and being unable to shout him for help as I cannot move.

    I find these events very strange and I cannot say for sure what I believe about the paranormal as I have no proof but I think I prefer the sound of scientific explanations in terms of sleep paralysis, to enable me to at least get to sleep at night!

  14. I just had an unusual and disturbing experience. I was stressed and deprived of sleep as I have been having irregular sleep routine because my exams are going on. This might be one of the reasons behind what I experienced some minutes before.
    I went to bed around 2:30 with my room locked and light out, maybe this was one of the factors that made me experience what i experienced.
    I was trying to fall asleep but i remember i was very much disturbed…as far back as i can recall it started with me thinking about a recent happening -news that i have been waiting for. Then I in no time found me losing control over my body, I found one of my cousins was lying next to me with her son and shouting and talking loudly to him, maybe she was asking him to go to sleep and a lot more. Then i tried to clear my mind and go to sleep because I thought this is just a dream at the same time i knew that It can’t be a dream since i was awake and constantly reflecting on what i was experiencing and even hoping her to shut up. Then in less then a moment or i can tell how fast it was that i was made to experience some more loud voices – this time there were two more cousins talking in their usual loud and irritating voices.
    I was continuously trying to get rid of all that but I could not Then all this dreamlike experience took a disturbing turn when I started thinking that there is something wrong. I who had already heard about these incidents from my family. Members thought in the same way that maybe it is someone over me not letting me get up. Then As i was thinking and believing in a ghostly presence while lying in bed, unable to control my thoughts and mind, I actually felt that there is something that is not letting me move my leg which i was trying to move to come out of that terrifying experience. I even found my mum standing near my bed saying it’s a “nevla.”
    I finally, after having told myself to try to move my body no matter how difficult it was, could get up. Thank god it did stop because i was sure that I would die today because the door was locked.

  15. Kathleen Palmer

    I suffered from sleep paralysis with hallucinations for years during a time in my life when my sleep was frequently disturbed. I always had a sense of a profoundly evil presence standing behind my left shoulder. It would take control of my body, lift me off my bed and spin me in the air. One time I felt myself drop back to the bed from about a three-foot height and looked over to see my husband peacefully sleeping beside me. After suffering for years, I found I was able to control the hallucinations using lucid dreaming techniques. What a relief! Those episodes were terrifying.

  16. It happened to me Two days in a row, however, mine was a white spirit like a shadow with no face, then I saw a woman lying next to me dressed in white, told me not to be scared that she was my angel.
    This morning my husband woke me up to give me a kiss as he was going off to work, the clock said 6:13 am, it happened again, this time I fought it and tried to scream I sat up on my bed and saw my mother (she passed away in November) I was in an unfamiliar room. I jumped out of bed and ran to her. I felt her hands, I smelled her perfume and she gave me a message to give to my sister. When it was over I found myself in my bedroom s looked at the clock and it was still 6:13 am.

    1. Manuel Rodriguez

      I’ve had sleeping problems literally ALL my life, remembering when I was 4 years old laying in bed bored for hours in the dark because I couldn’t sleep. I always had really weird dreams that didn’t make any sense and frequently remember a majority of my dreams, dreaming every night. I’m 26 years old, and had my first encounters with sleep paralysis at around age 18. It started off as just my mind being awake while me
      Not being able to move, nothing more than that at first. I also didn’t have them frequently, probably every couple of years or so. It was a frightening experience each time but when it became more than just not being able to move is when it really terrified me. I was about 22 years old when it happened. Naturally, in my mind I would be like “oh great it’s happening again” and would just focus all my energy on moving my arms, fingers, or opening my eyes. I never felt like there was a weight or something holding me down like many experience, just felt like there was a “disconnection” between my brain telling my body to move and it doing so. So as I laid there trying to get myself up I began hearing a demonic voice…it was laughing at me. I didn’t see anything, didn’t feel it, but it just kept laughing. I was freaking out, thinking if it was me somehow making the voice. I’ve had dreams where I knew I was dreaming and was able to manipulate the dream. The voice was coming within my head also, not like I was hearing it with my ears within the room. I just thought to myself “wth what that?” And shrugged it off and began concentrating on getting my body up. I heard the laughter even louder and once again it was within my head, within my thoughts. It began talking with this monstrous voice, I forgot what it was saying to me but I’ll never forget the sound of it’s voice. I immediately thought I was going insane, having two sets of voices in my thoughts. Finally I woke up in sweats and was horrified, but also relieved it wasn’t real. That’s when I did research, since I was scared I was becoming a schizophrenic or something. Thank god I read about sleep paralysis and there was a scientific explanation. However, like a day or 2 later it happened again! But this time I spoke back to it. I told the voice to leave me alone, that it’s not real. It got angry with me saying that, sounding more furious the more I said it. Luckily, I reciprocated, getting louder and angry myself with each reply. Yelling louder and louder “leave me alone you’re not real!” Then it stopped.

      I might’ve had one or two sleep paralysis encounters since but none with the voice, until two nights ago. This time it wasn’t a voice. I had a dream where I knew I was dreaming, it took place in my home. I actually was unsure during the dream, trying to decide if I knew this was a dream or not as weird as that sounds. Finally, I “woke up” and realized it was a dream. So I lay in my pitch black room, unable to open my eyes or move anything. I’m like “great not this again.” Then I start experience projects on my ceilings, cartoon like, turning into these monsters. I guess at this point with my experience it’s like they didn’t phase me anymore. Then my cousin pops up and I think to myself “oh nice he’s here, I bet he turns into a monster pretty soon……(he does)” and I nonchalantly respond with a “And there it is” lol I ignore these things and focus on getting up. I finally get up, look at my hands as I move it and at the time didn’t realize that my glow in the dark stickers on my ceiling weren’t there. I walk over to this dresser near my bed (I don’t have a dresser near my bed) and there’s this head sculpture of a boy that immediately turns demonic when I walk over to it. I get upset realizing that I never woke up, For a second I just thought I did not realizing the clues of this dresser or the stickers on the ceiling not glowing in the dark. I yelled at the things “you’re not real! Helloooooo, you’re not real!! I KNOW you’re not real so just stop!!” And finally I woke up. For real this time. The glow in the dark stars stickers on my ceiling confirming it. I now wonder if it was actually sleep paralysis or a weird dream of me dreaming about sleep paralysis

  17. I would like to accept the notion of “sleep paralysis” being just a dream , however,how do you explain your spouse waking you during a episode,you still see the dark figures,and you ask her to turn on the light but she won’t because “they are coming towards us”…. Yes Im diagnosed with Combat related PTSD,
    however it started when I was probably 9-12 years old

    1. Scarlette Cox

      I had a similar experience except I could see my boyfriend trying to wake me up and I could hear him. And then the entity in the room looked at me and smirked and said he can’t see me…once I was fully awake I sat up all night thinking it was just going to show back up… I would also like to add that this says not to sleep on your back but I have to because when I sleep on my stomach I feel myself floating around the room uncontrollably and that is even scarier. So I purposely sleep on my back to avoid that because I have sleep paralysis often.

  18. I see a black shadow staring at me, i cant move myself, i am completely paralyzed.
    No matter how much i use my power i am overpowered.
    I see it moving towards me, sometimes a man or a women shadow appears.
    Once it said its here to kill me and i answered – not today.
    Last night i saw a man standing right next to me completely black at around 3:30-4 and i got paralyzed.
    It scares me a lot sometimes, yet i never give up and overpower the unknown.

  19. I have always been reluctant to take naps as I have suffered with sleep paralysis for years. It is terrifying. A few years ago I had fallen asleep on my futon and I awoke to my tuxedo cat biting my face and punching my chest with his paws until I woke up. It happened another time and each time afterward I had the lingering effect of suffering a sleep paralysis episode. I am convinced he senses the onset and saves me as a therapy dog would a PTSD victim. I will only nap now if he is nearby so convinced I am of his therapeutic sense of protection for me.

  20. I am 24 yrs old (f). About a week ago I experienced a spirit on me that didn’t want to let me go. The first time it happened that night I brushed it off I said to myself its sleep paralysis, maybe I’m just tired I had woken my partner up and told him about it and then we went back to sleep. The second time I actually heard the spirit telling me to shut up in spanish and was also laughing, my partner had woken up he said because he felt the bed shake and he said I was shaking. He kept yelling out “babe!” and I could hear him but I couldn’t respond or wake up. Then when I was able to get up but still unable to speak or breathe. Then suddenly i feel a really big relief of weight off my body and can finally breathe and talk but even then I was scared I started crying hysterically and I couldn’t talk right due to me being scared and panicking. After that happened I had someone help me do some things that might help and it did until last night around 1:30 am, I had fallen asleep while my partner was in the bathroom taking a shower and I felt my body getting heavy and I couldn’t move so then I just woke up and brushed it off. Then when we were ready for bed we slept and it happened again and again just every time I slept. At one point it was about 2:45 am I heard the same voice as last time and I felt it touch my face both my eyes and my forehead and I said stop touching me and he let out a growl that I let out but then he mentioned my partners name and I yelled leave him alone and he growled even louder and I let the growl out. My partner woke up instantly he said he felt something and got chills all over his body for a whole minute or two. I just don’t know what to do or whats going on I need help I feel like I’m going crazy. Please someone give me advice or something.

    1. Hi Zayda. I’ve experienced a lot of those experiences in sp, I have this every night since I was a child, so I kind learn to deal with it. (I might commit some grammatical mistakes bcoz English is not my native language, so, sorry) Idk if the “level” of this thing is the same as mine or if all this thing that happened with is us something supernatural or psychological, but I believe that this would help u. Techniques for wake up from paralysis will make u run away from the problem, not to face them. First of all, put in mind that you are stronger than this thing. Try to not feel so afraid of him, Ik that this should be difficult, he is scary. But u need to not be so afraid of him for overcoming this. At least not stay in panic. U can see that most cases of sp don’t have any physical symptoms. What it really attacks is your mind. Soon, your body paralyzed doesn’t mean that he is in a superior or stronger stats than u. If the attack is more psychological than physical, u don’t need a strong or a moving body. U need a strong mind. Put in mind that you are the superior. You are stronger than him. Force yourself to believe in this. Yes, be arrogant with him. It works with me. U can’t show that weakness to him. It’s like an animal: it sees that u have fear of him and feels like it is the ruler there. Put in mind that no one can attack your mind. No one can attack your body. Doesn’t matter if its human or inhuman. U r the only master of u. They only would damage you or him if u accept that he can. Those things will try so hard to use your weakness against u for u lose to them. So, no matter how hard this hurts u, u should never give up. Till you discover how to finish with him, (if he doesn’t give up from u bcoz of this, like a lot of creatures like him that haunted me), stay brave. U are stronger than this. If u aren’t, become.

  21. This just happened to me for the first time. Its 3:30 am now and I am feeling nervous even though it’s been 15 mins. I usually fall asleep with a film on, but I didn’t tonight. I remember hearing the film but it ended. After a few minutes, I felt the other side of the bed bend down and two hands or something pin my arms down (I still feel it a lil near upper biceps and triceps). After 10 seconds, I could talk or make noise and 20 seconds later, I could start to move. I have my pistol under the pillow on the other side of the bed in its holster, safety on, nothing in the chamber. I immediately grabbed my gun and swept the house. How can this be so real? The bed was literally pushed down and even made some noise as it happened. A split second before, what felt like a sheet hit me in the face. 35 years old and never experienced this before, but as a child, I had very vivid nightmares.

    1. I woke up breathless and I wondered if I had a stroke /heart attack in my sleep. During my dream I was in a room with 2 people we noticed an animal in the corner of the ceiling. I’m not sure if it was a moth, giant butterfly or a raven. We tried to coax it outside of the room. Suddenly this big animal had me laying flat down on the ground suffocating me on my chest and I kept screaming get it off of me, get it off of me no one was helping me. I think I scream that about 20 times and then I woke up breathless. I went to find my holy water went back to my bedroom wrote a cross from the water and my body and the bed. And said remove the dark forces from my life. I followed that up with listening to a video on YouTube on how to remove curses from your life. An hour after waking up, I still feel traumatized from this experience.

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