Sleep Paralysis Stories: Demons Or Hallucinations?

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. Even though you seem to be able to move your eyes just a little, it’s too dark to see anyway. Regardless, you just feel that 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

And according to the handbook of sleep disorders, it will happen at least once in a lifetime of 40% to 50% of normal subjects, but is “far less common as a chronic complaint”.

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 has been an extraordinary number of comments. And the comments show that not everyone accepts the scientific explanation.

Interestingly, some people struggle to accept it even though they consider themselves to be scientifically minded generally. I think these cases highlight just how realistic the experience of sleep paralysis can be; how it can linger in your memory and makes you question what happened for a long time afterward.

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

Cultural beliefs also appear to play a role in how sleep paralysis is perceived by some people.

In Fiji, for example, 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 described how they cope with sleep paralysis, and I’ve created a list of the most frequent ideas below.

The first seven in the list 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 too sleep-deprived.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Try to reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
  • Try to vigorously flutter your eyelids or move your eyes, as this tends to be an area of the body that’s less affected by the paralysis.
  • 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 that makes you feel safe and secure.
  • Don’t hang dressing gowns, coats, or hats in places that make them 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.

3,239 thoughts on “Sleep Paralysis Stories: Demons Or Hallucinations?”

  1. I just woke up from one just right now. I was curious to find out if anyone experiences what I experience. It seems as though everyone goes through similar situations but I never see one that I go through. When I get SP I wake up unable to move and talk, however, I don’t feel any pressure on my chest or any feeling of demons being near. I only feel like I can’t breathe automatically, almost as if I don’t do it forcefully I won’t breathe at all. I definitely try to stay calm and start by moving my fingers. Today though I felt like I was going to pass out even though I was already asleep??? Weird, lastly I wake up from SP only to go back to sleep seconds later and experience this several times over unless I tell myself that this next time I wake up I’m staying awake! Please someone let me know if you experience the same things. Thanks

  2. Last night I had a dream not the first time that something was holding me down and I could feel the fingers, I knew I was dreaming but the fingers felt long and real and I tried to break them or twist them because I knew I was dreaming I could barely talk, trying to pray to make it go away, it felt like it lasted forever, I was on my stomach but couldn’t see anything just felt the hands holding me down, I kept trying to pray but I couldn’t get the words out, I even tried to get the hands closer to my mouth to try to bite it but I couldn’t, I knew if it was something evil I wanted to hurt it bad for trying to scare me but I couldn’t break the fingers just twisted them really hard and they felt long. It was scary AF! Then I woke up grabbed my Bible and holy water and read a scripture and blessed myself. I knew I was dreaming and I had episodes like this before but this was the scariest. Can’t even go back to sleep, anyone else have this dream or feelings?

  3. I just had the most horrible realistic dream that someone was in the bed next to me, but I couldn’t see them, I vividly felt them get into bed next to me and it felt like they were punching my stomach and my pelvis and it hurt and I tried desperately to call out for my mum but no voice came out my mouth! However, I tried and I tried and eventually, I got myself out of the nightmare. I immediately turned on the torch in my room to see if anyone was there but of course they weren’t. I just instantly felt like someone was in the room with me. The dream felt so real, just the sensation of it, it was horrible. I don’t think I am going to be able to go back to sleep now, its 4:40am! I have had these twice in my lifetime, but nothing about there being someone next to me. It felt like I was being haunted by someone and they were playing tricks on me. I don’t believe in that sort of thing but that’s exactly how it felt! So scary.

  4. Jan6,2021 so I had one today this has been the second time for me both times this happen to me it felt like my bed was moving by itself which I tried to ignore and just sleep it off but the thing that woke me up and made me just out my bed completely was that I feel something touch my head so I just went into my living room and sleep on my couch even my girlfriend has reported to me before that when she has sleep over my house she has felt like something has touched her in her sleep.

  5. Hi.

    I think this might be a demon. The demon that was in my sleep paralysis, is a demon that have been in my nightmares ever since i was a kid. If i’m going to tell you about the paralysis you have to know about the past. The first night I saw the demon was the day before my dad got in a boat fire and almost drowned. Thankfully he survived.

    I was asleep in my bed at the time before waking up in the middle of the night to my door suddenly bursting open, Where I could see a girl with long black hair covering her face slowly walking towards me. I was violently pushed off the bed and as she entered the room I woke up laying on the floor exactly where I was pushed.

    The next day my mum told me that my dad has been in an accident and he was in the hospital.. I don’t think this was a sleep paralysis though, I think this was a night terror?

    Later on around my childhood i’ve had several nightmares of this girl? But the worst one was several years later when I was around the age of 13/14.

    I woke up in the middle of the night, but with my body not being able to move, I could still see something though. In the corner of my small room at the time I could see a tall figure,,, ofcourse being the same girl with long dark black hair, staring at me through her long black hair. To say the experience was horrific would be an understatement. I tried to scream, but all that came out was a faint whispered ”help”. I later woke up crying and ever since I have not been able to sleep.

    My therapist say that she thinks it has to do with my past, but why the same girl? I think that might be something demonic or spiritual? Because I still have nightmares of her.

    Something that personally helps me is ASMR, my cat or nature sounds. I hope it can help you too.

  6. I don’t believe in the after life, and even if i did, there’s no way they can hurt the living. So, I wanted to trust in the author’s explanation but then it got worse. Researching it, to my surprise it was a thing others had experienced. Cat ghost! What the hell, if it was just in my head, why were others describing the exact same experiences.
    I’m a light sleeper, if someone walks into the room i’m awake. I guess that’s why i sleep closest to the door. Fire, burglar or angry husband, i’m awake and on my feet. This supports the arthurs theroy, yet this first night, i only woke because i felt the cat walking across my bed, how in hell did you get here? She loved sleeping in the nook of my arm, so i held my hand out to pull her close but she wasn’t there. I just figured she curled up next to the girl next to me. I went back to sleep, only to be awoken again with her stepping over my legs. There’s no not knowing how cats walk, each step is judged before its taken. She curled up between my legs i could feel her weight on ankle. Yeah that’s not going to happen, I went to pick her up and couldn’t move. My arms , legs and head turned to lead weight. I began to panic, what the hell i couldn’t move! My first reaction was to call out to lady next to me. “elp’ barely made it past my lips. I knew she was a deep sleeper so i had to force my limps to move! I’m a well built bloke and with all my strength I managed to lift my left arm to my chest. The weight now upon my body was over every limb. i call it weight because with great effort i could move. Then the invisible cat moved and sat on my chest. I say invisible because even tho i felt it move, i couldn’t see it, it wasn’t my cat! I could no longer move. I couldn’t even form words other than a painful moan. I focused, This cant be real and let out a painful moan, enough to wake the chic next to me, i watched as she touched me. “you ok”?
    The spell was broken and i felt like an idiot,
    “yeah fine, get rid of that dam cat”! She got up and turned the light on, there’s no cat here. I searched the room, no cat, bad dream i guess.
    The next day i told her about it. Shes a bit of a space cadet and said You had an invisible cat experience. look it up it’s real.
    Unknown to her, I did look it up and excepted the science.
    Then a few weeks later it got a hell of a lot worse.
    I woke feeling the doona move but it was if someone was sitting on the end of the bed. I looked down and saw an impression on the end of the bed, this wasn’t a cat! I got up and turned the light on. There was no mistaking the impression, Someone had been inside my room!
    I was not having a bar of this! i turned the light off and waited.
    Finally drifting off, i woke not able to move my legs!

    Most will find this hard to believe, so i won’t say what happened next, rather wait for others to confirm.
    Just in case I’m crazy!

    1. I had my 3rd episode last night. First one 2010. Second 2016. And now 2021. I do feel “crazy”. It’s horrifying. Can’t move, can’t speak. Feels as if I’m going to be suffocated. I visualized something long and cloth like being pulled from my esophagus. Seeing similar stories helps me feel so not alone.

  7. I had another one just last night. In the past ones, my husband or grandchildren would wake me up. But last night I slept alone for the first time in many weeks. I also took some prescription pills to help me sleep as I have insomnia. I am 57 years old. These have been going on all my life.
    When I’m falling asleep it first feels like there is a cat on the bed walking or someone getting into bed with me. But nothing is there. I sleep with Alexa playing relaxing nature sounds to help me settle my very busy mind at night. I also need a very dark room.

    Once I’m in deep sleep someone came into my dream that was scaring me badly.. like a shadow I could only see out of the corner of my eye. I remember it turned out to be an old woman. But before I could see her face, she was trying to hurt me. I can remember trying to recite that Jesus Christ is my Savior and you can’t hurt me. I usually try to say this or something along those lines rebuking the demon. But no words come out. Finally, I end up screaming it and that’s when my family awaken me. But I was alone last night. After I was able to scream it, I saw her face, it was caring and she gave me a stuffed animal to go back to sleep with. I actually then told the story to some friends as part of my dream. So I was able to complete the dream but felt like I was awake.

    I feel like there are things getting into my bed almost nightly. I usually just ignore it at this point. And I always tell my grandchildren, to rebuke it in the name of Jesus.

    1. Hi Alisa,

      I randomly experience these things but I think it’s Demons sent by known or unknown enemies. I had one last night. I don’t think it’s a dream.

  8. After a horrendous experience last night after falling asleep, I decided to search the internet and it brought me here! I awoke as I felt a crushing feeling in my back like somebody was pushing me. I opened my eyes and was so scared but unable to move. I tried to shout out but I couldn’t get the words out. After what felt like a few minutes I was able to jump out of bed. I went into the next bedroom where my husband was asleep and was so terrified I woke him up to tell him about my experience. I don’t really know what to make of it other than it was very real. I’ve put it down to losing my sister a few weeks back and have suffered from some anxiety. I honestly don’t think I could cope with another experience like it!

  9. I had a terrifying experience last night and started Googling what it could be and ended up here. I went to sleep and woke but couldn’t move or shout out (even though I tried ) I felt frozen with a feeling of somebody/something pushing against my back. I definitely felt movement and I thought my little dog was laying next to me but she was in another room. It must have been for a few minutes or seconds but felt like longer. The feeling of being awake but unable to move or call out freaked me out! My sister recently passed away so I’ve put it down to anxiety.

  10. Thank God it’s been a few years since I’ve had an episode of Sleep Paralysis. My episodes began in my mid 20’s as best I can remember and they were usually much the same. They started when I was asleep in the middle of the night and I would feel my bed being slightly jolted. The jolting started simply enough but then would escalate to much more serious jolts to the point my bed frame was bouncing of the floor like an earthquake and sometimes rising off the floor (I’m not kidding). It was a warning that he was coming. “He” is creature about medium sized, demon-like, flat black and seemingly covered with short black hair and his eyes were small with and piercing stare. Menacingly, he would dart around the room just behind me as I slept on my side. I remember being terrified and all I wanted to do was turn around so I could see him and defend myself somehow. But as much as I tried I could not move even though my eyes were open. Eventually the creature would get closer and closer until he was actually holding me down completely and I could feel it’s weight becoming heavier and heavier which removed any hope of me moving at all. Anyway, after being frozen with fear for a few minutes I would fade away back into full sleep and wake up a few hours later. I realize these are supposed to just be dreams but I swear to God when I woke up in the morning my entire bed would be moved a few inches and the mattress was out of line from the box springs. A few years ago I had another episode and I was sick of this happening to me over and over again for decades so I decided to do some research online. This is when I found hundreds of people suffering from episodes very similar to mine. After doing my research I realized these were just dreams combined with sleep paralysis. So when an episode would begin I’ve been able to control things by just relaxing and telling myself “this isn’t real, it’s just another episode of sleep paralysis”. Then quickly I would say a short prayer asking God to protect me and the episode would quickly scale back and disappear. It’s been five or six years since I’ve had the last one but inexplicably there are mornings when I wake up and my bed and mattress have moved slightly but I try not to worry about it too much. I hope my story helps others with this phenomenon. Tony.

    1. I feel like you just described word for word my same experience. The EXACT same thing happened to me last night and I woke up drenched in sweat. I felt my whole bed move like an earthquake was happening and when I woke up all of my pillows were moved and my mattress had moved slightly off my box spring. I saw the same creature. I have never been so terrified in my life. I am not one that usually prays, but that was the only thing I could think to do.

  11. My theory is all is consciousness. We can experience different states of consciousness thru sleep(different stages), meditation, and alter our consciousness by cultivating feelings or drugs.

    That said, when in a dream are we entirely creating that world within ourselves? Are we tuning into another one by the frequency our brain waves function at when in trance like states with relaxed breathing?

    We experience our reality with a limited amount of sensory equipment. There’s much more we could see or experience with modification of this equipment. This can be from a technological perspective or a biological one(meditation, sleep paralysis)

    I’ve had many sleep paralysis experiences most auditory. Me chilling out and saying to myself ok do what you’re going to do. I hear death is perfectly safe anyway. I say hello, how are you. It seems to go away now. Is this a mental trick, do these “spirits” dislike someone who is not afraid and welcomes them? I don’t know.

    This morning I was writing in a dream diary and I heard a weak-sounding “baby” from my wife.

    Long story short she was in a very vivid dream. Two servants inspect a very old antique house. In a room, there was a ragged man(homeless looking, weak) in a corner.
    My wife runs and the man speaks to the two servants.

    “Leave this place”

    Servants ” we are sorry my god/lord” they run

    My wife hears from the extremely tall man.. Wait a minute with a curious tone. He runs after my wife and it zooms in on a dark face. She said it saw her there then it saw her in bed. It came next to her. She felt it. It spoke a strange language in her ear as she fought the paralysis.

    What is reality, what is consciousness? Definitely makes one ponder if there is such a thing as magic, God & gods, etc…

  12. This one was as real as it could be …
    It all started when I was younger I now realize and remember and no bullshit I’m starting to tear up writing this … living in this house in Pasadena two bedroom me and my brothers in one room that of course had the attic closet door in it I would wake up feeling dark energy turning into repeating dreams of scream character opening the closet door or wanting to get out of it. Slowly brushed it off and got over it as I got older saying naw it’s just a nightmare I shouldn’t have watched scream lol.

    Fast forward to 21 when I was in Humboldt on a pot farm sleeping in a tent on top of a mountain with me and one other girl. I’m usually not afraid of shit including big ass bears and big ass mountain lions but this night it was something different, I had most nights scared off bears and other weird sounds by running them off with my dogs or loud pipes banging together or if I needed to shoot off a round or two in case it was a robber. We would sleep in a tent with the dog outside of it for protection and peace of mind. I’m pretty sure this night we didn’t have the dog. I remember glint to bed like normal but all of a sudden waking up half asleep can’t move but can feel not fully see but as if I’m blind and can only see a filter outline of this shadow as big as a bear almost like an evil bear spirit leaning over me if not touching me. The girls sleeping next to me still asleep as I’m trying to wake up and I can’t for what felt like 20 minutes. I woke up and woke her up and told her and she quickly told me she had the same kind of experience and we were both a little freaked out but managed to brush it off and go back to sleep.

    The very next day we decided for some reason not to and I’m getting chills writing this, not to go back and sleep there for a night or two. We went back and quickly were in horror after looking at our tent we discover three huge bear claw swipes directly over where I was sleeping on the thin mosquito net tent roof. Now the weird thing about this was not the marks it was how nothing was broken or knocked over or food taken from the tent. It’s as if it tiptoed to the tent down the car awning it’s under and clawed the top and tip toed back out. It sounds crazy but the tent is located an inch away from the wall of the car tent nothing could have passed the tent without bending or brushing against the poles for the car port. Every night we would leave and a bear would come in the past it was obvious cuz there are trash bags ripped up everywhere ask anyone that’s what happens when you have bears and trash but not this time no trash no mess nothing but the tent claws.

    Tonight fast forward to 28 years old now sleeping next to my girlfriend and it happened again. A dark spirit over me almost feeding me bad energy and thoughts and all I could say is barely in my mind “ Jesus Christ please help me wake me up “ as I’m trying to wake up and call for my girlfriend all I could squeeze out was “babe !” And squeezed her and she jumped of course half scared herself wondering wtf so she woke up and yelled at me haha I felt bad and Crazy but told her something had me something was in this room something please believe me I know it sounds crazy but please believe me as she’s falling back sleep I had to go back on here and see what this was about and I’m terrified to find this is very VERY common.

    I think it’s spiritual or Inter-dimensional evil spirits but I dunno man I don’t believe in ghosts but I’ve seen some shit on hallucinations ( lsd mushrooms dmt) but never anything negative like this.

    Sorry but waking up during the rem sleep faze doesn’t quite explain it for me.

  13. My dreams have been progressing- it first started with feelings of levitation, movement above my bed. It progressed to movement above my bed and then me in my sleep testing myself knowing if I put my hand above my head I’ll touch my headboard and if I put my hand under my back I’ll feel the bed. In this case I’m assuming this in my dream that I felt the top of my headboard and there was space between my back and bed and then immediately woke. Last night started the same way- levitation but this time I moved through a tunnel of fast light it felt very much the highs and lows of a rollercoaster. Then I’m above my bed again and this time it felt like someone or something was trying to disorient me. I felt turned around, facing the floor next to my bed. I tried calling for my husband and it felt like even though in bed he was too far away to hear me like a different dimension of our room. Then was the scary part. I felt something behind me, now I’m on my bed but something is under me, it then is able to reach around and hold both of my arms by the wrists and I now can’t move- and then something touched my leg. I felt very anxious as open as I am for where these dreams take me- this one felt threatening. With the panic I felt I was able to wake myself up. And I was wide awake and everything was super clear. I would love feedback on this!!

  14. I experience sleep paralysis on a regular basis and experience a wide array of symptoms; full-body paralysis, inability to vocalise, feeling something sitting on my chest and body, bedcovers / mattress moving and again the sensation of something kneeling on the bed causing indentations, shadowy figures, voices whispering, changes in audio frequency in the room, moving shadows of stationary furniture. Most of the time I stay calm and manage to recover easily, however the last few months it has become extremely intense and confusing. For instance the other night, I had not yet fallen asleep when I noticed the audio frequency pitch in the room and although the room was dark it seemed to go completely black with almost no visibility at all. I felt my body stiffen and could not move at all, in the darkness I could see a slight movement of at least 3 figures. 2 I felt move to the top side of my bed and the other remained at the bottom corner. I felt extremely uneasy and my cheeks and eyes felt some sort of pressure and started to twitch slightly. It was like this for 20 minutes, I kept focussing on my finger to try and make it move to try to break the experience but it didn’t work. Eventually, the room started to lighten and I managed to move freely. My body was covered in sweat and all of a sudden I felt hot and thirsty.
    I fully understand sleep paralysis symptoms and try to manage this when I can, this was however completely different and utterly terrifying.

  15. Hello, my name is manny. I wanted you all to know I feel all of your pain. I to have experienced these visits in the middle of the night in fact I had one last night, which is what brought me here to you all. As a child, this would happen to me almost every single night. As I got older it got fewer. But I’m now in my early 40’s and it still happens as much as twice a week, or as little as once a month. My experience is a bit different than some of yours. I will explain what happened last night which is the same basically as all the other times. I will go to sleep, and be having a nice normal dream. Then in my dream an evil presence will come to me. Last night I dreamed I was in a house sleeping in a small bed In what I assume was my room. I began feeling fear and a presence in the bed with me and began to sort of wrestle with it. From there I jump out of bed and run down a hallway (still dreaming) and find my mother in the bathroom. I begin to frantically try explaining the situation to her and then I feel it coming. I yell to her “its coming, its here” and then we embrace each other terrified and suddenly I wake up. And when I awake I sense a presence in the room with me. It feels like waves of energy, but im able to move and speak. Often times I will get up and turn the lights on. The presence will watch me and be there with me for a while and it eventually goes away. It doesn’t feel good, it’s certainly a harassing evil. This experience has happened to me more times than I can count. I have seen pastors and been prayed over. The house has been prayed over. It doesn’t seem to make a difference. I have noticed that when I wake up often times im speaking the lord’s prayer out loud. And I say I the name of the father, and of the son, and the holy spirit I rebuke you. This helps as it repels the presence. My dreams have been from mild scary to full-on apocalyptic nightmares about the end of all things. Before I wake up to a visitation.. but I have never been hurt or attacked. I have grown less afraid when I wake up and it has sort of become more annoying to me than anything. I have lived with this as far back as I can remember. Good luck to you all and please know you have power and dominion over all things through Christ our lord who strengthens us.

  16. Well, I have sleep paralysis a couple or more a week. When I try and put on the light beside my bed it does not go on. That is one way I know I am not in the real world anymore. I believe there are beings in this other world…some good, some not. I have had animals crawl on me….I’m talking giant lizards, dog-like creatures and many others. I can move my hands and feel things and remember how the giant lizard felt…its loose tough skin. If it is all in my head… do I know what it feels like if I never held a lizard? There are these beings….like djinns, that have a dust that puts you deeper in sleep and is supposed to erase memories of the place…but it never works on me. There were these other being there that call themselves minions that watch over us in our sleep. Part of me thinks that is the real world and we are living in an illusion. The evil ones try to steal our breathes…I can still remember the stale taste in my mouth…these are like the demons. Recently, I had a force push on my chest so hard….it was as if it was trying to force the life out of me. All I know is the hate light…..sometimes I sleep with a flashlight. I have had many other experiences, I feel weird telling what I go through…reading the other stories I can see similarities. Please….If u experience anything like I do or feel the same way… let me know…..I would like to hear from you. I am tired of feeling alone.

    1. You are not alone man I’ve never seen any lizards but I have seen cat. Most of the time its shadow minions are the hat man also a woman that wears black Cape. They are evil don’t trust them.

  17. I don’t think sleep paralysis explains it all. For me, I hear footsteps coming and approaching my bed and as it draws nearer, I feel energy being sapped out of me and i get weaker and weaker. Then it presses and pins me down and I can’t move a muscle, even a finger. Sometimes I see strange figures or animals like rats, birds siting on the window or some flying animals. I usually pray with my mind because I can’t move my lips or produce a sound until it goes. I usually have pain where it presses me for several days. So this can’t be just sleep paralysis. There is a spiritual part to it. And it is not a good spirit. Lets accept that.

  18. I have had many experiences like these but I wouldn’t say they are sleep paralysis. I feel waves of energy prior to feeling a presence that starts wrapping me in something. I have felt someone’s hair against my face and touched by someone and felt their fingers and I have been pulled on several on many occasions. I will discount sleep paralysis as there is always a presence and it is very vivid. I would say it is a visitation. Which explain the strong waves of energy that I feel prior to experiencing these events

  19. I’ve had multiple experiences with sleep paralysis. My last one I’d like to share. I’m currently 24 btw. I was standing in my bedroom., my husband, I could see he was in bed. I was telling google to turn on my smart lights, no response, then I tried flipping the switch multiple times, no light. I believe I saw myself as a shadow on the bed. I freaked out and everything scattered. next thing, I’m laying on my back on the bed, and can’t move. I feel a presence or something holding me down. I say “in the name of Jesus Christ..” that’s when the pressure, like a cloud seeping from my body “leave me alone”. I felt like whatever it was, I felt the anger and I believe I saw a face… I instantly got outta bed and felt as though I could feel that weight had been lifted.. was an intense experience.

  20. I just woke up from another sleep paralysis episode. While laying on my side, as I usually do, my body felt as it was being held down. Something was again talking to me with a strange and scary voice. As I opened my eyes, I briefly saw its face. Hard to describe it but it looked like it had bulging eyes and sharp teeth. I simply stayed calm and said “Jesus loves me and he does not love you” and I am freed. I said the Our Father and did a web search. Found this blog and wanted to share.

  21. It began with a low beastly growl that grew and got closer and I just felt like something picked me up effortlessly by the shoulders and my whole body was vertical and frozen. It felt like I was up against the sealing and it got so cold immediately. I don’t know what just happened to me. I’m 23 and never knew stuff like this can happen, people always make fun of sleep paralysis but this was so much different than what I’ve been reading. It felt real and I can’t even figure out how long it lasted. It felt like an eternity of dread and fear. I was facing down and I couldn’t do anything and my eyes were closed, it was pitch black…

  22. I used to experience these types of sleep paralysis dreams occasionally as a child and teen. Gradually these experiences stopped, except for a few very bizarre incidents that occurred when I was about 50 (about 5 years ago.)
    Yesterday, due to something I watched on TV, I started thinking of the first sleep paralysis experience I can remember, which happened when I was 4, and this is why I searched out this article. Lol.
    So, in this incident that happened when I was 4, I had been sleeping in an upper bunk bed. In the middle of the night, I awoke to feel an ice cold hand on my back. I don’t think.I was actually paralyzed, but I was certainly too terrified to move.
    I then heard a voice that said something like ” Hi….I’m Spooky”. So, there used to a character called Spooky on a cartoon called “Casper the friendly ghost”, and I assume that’s where the name came from.
    As this incident occurred, I thought I was awake and that someone was standing beside my bed (an adult would be the right height to place a hand on my back) and I was too afraid to move.
    After a couple of minutes, I finally found the courage to flip over, and I then started screaming for my parents. My mom put me in their bed and told me I had had a bad dream, and that no one was in the house.
    The thing I remember most is the horrible coldness of that hand on my back. I could FEEL this icy handprint. on my back for hours it seemed.
    After this incident, I was too afraid to sleep on my side…it took me about 20 years to be able to fall asleep in any position other than lying on my back.

    Anyone else experience an ice cold hand dream?

  23. I experience these symptoms when I was in my early twenties. I would feel like there was somebody standing over me close to my head and I couldn’t wake up, open my eyes to see if somebody was there, my body would not move. This experience always frightened me and I would what I call head talk and convince myself to go back to sleep and when I woke up everything would be fine. Whilst this experience lasted about 18 months the technique of head talking would work. The people I spoke to about my experiences told me I was having an “out of body experience “ and had never questioned their diagnosis. Something made me look up these symptoms today and question what would cause this only to learn it is known as sleep paralysis. This makes more sense to me. I am now 69 years of age and as far as I can tell have had no ill effects.

  24. Hi Ethan, My name is Karen and until today I have been reluctant to even search this topic. I have recurring bouts of what I think is sleep paralysis probably more than five times a year. Most of the time I feel as if someone or something is pushing me up in between the mattress and headboard. I try desperately to alert my husband but it is futile because I can hear myself try to cry out but go unheard. I can FEEL my panic and once I wake can remember everything in excruciating detail. Sometimes he hears some sleep talking but nothing that alerts him to something serious. It’s all just so scary…

    1. Hi Karen Gordon when I was 11 I would sleep in my parent’s bed,
      and when I would fall into paralysis I was scared and couldn’t move
      I could hear barely a raspy call for help and when I woke up it was like nothing happened.

  25. Hey everyone! I’ve experienced sleep paralysis twice. One at age 20, one at age 34 (I’m currently 37).
    Neither of them did I see anyone or anything in the room with me.
    BUT I had the most severe, intense fear I’ve ever felt.

    I believe that there was a reason I felt fear though, not the medical reasons, as the nanosecond I became aware and opened my eyes, I immediately felt the fear, almost before I knew I couldn’t move, it wasn’t a few seconds or 10 seconds after, as in the moment of “realization-I-can’t-move” type of fear.

    I’m pretty in tune with the spiritual world, which is why I believe there was a supernatural force that made my spirit feel the fear, thus why it was immediate fear, not a delayed fear after the awareness of not being able to move.

    I saw a comment a lady had made on another post, about whether you see something or not see something. And that God won’t give you more than you can handle, and that God wouldn’t give the ability to see spirits if you couldn’t handle it.

    I’m that person who God wouldn’t give that ability, as He knows I would be weak in that area, because of how my mind works.

    But, He has given me the ability to feel and sense spirits & energy, both good, bad, evil, and anything in between.

    That’s why when I say the fear was immediate, it’s my ability to sense what is in the room without needing to see it.

    Which, I thank God for not giving me the vision ability, and that we understand each other on why it wouldn’t be good for me.

    The first one I was on my back, home alone, and the room was completely dark. The second one I was on my side, on my bed, no lights on in there but the door was open to my living room, which the overhead lights were on, and a friend was sitting in a chair, whom I could see, and my bedroom was quite illuminated by the overhead lights in the LR.

    So, that’s my experience and wanted to share!

    1. Hi April, my experience is very similar to yours. It first happened to me when I was 19-20 and I was taking a nap after lunch. The second time I was around 34-35 and it was nighttime, I was sleeping right next to my son. Both times I didn’t see anything only felt a terrifying presence and I couldn’t move my body or cry for help. I’m 42 now and last night it happened again which is why I’m here reading your stories. I was sleeping next to my husband. I feel like I might’ve seen something this time but a darkness on top of me. I was trying to move and cry for help but I couldn’t, eventually I was able to call out my husbands name. I asked him this morning if in fact I called out his name last night and he said he was watching TV while I was sleeping and that I called out his name but when he responded I didn’t say anything back. I personally don’t know anyone that has had these experiences. I’m not a psychiatric patient nor do I take any pills for any condition. I am a spiritual person and I believe in God. I wish someone could confirm what this is all about. I’d like to think that the scientific explanation is accurate but you have to experience this to understand how scary it is and why other explanations come to mind.

  26. Hi Ethan and all…

    I realise this blog is a few years old now as I write but hopefully people are still reading?

    Having had a very recent episode, in the past week or so, I decided to go surfing for more info on a condition I would suffer regularly from as a teenager, I’m a month away from turning fifty now.

    Back in my early to mid-teens this was a regular thing, at it’s worst stage it happened going to sleep and also trying to wake up again in the morning. From the age of twelve I suddenly started suffering from massive and terrifying panic attacks, which started a few days before my thirteenth birthday, hey I can recall the date and time of day now, it was a real ‘ Remember where you were during the JFK assassination’ moment. Those attacks would continue throughout my adolescent life, until I was eighteen, going on nineteen, but the sleep paralysis episodes began a year or so after that and although they peaked around sixteen-seventeen years old, they’ve never fully gone away. They are however extremely rare now, maybe every ten years or so and can normally be attributed to over tiredness, working too hard or just something bugging me too much, (I did say I’m about to enter my fifties and that’s the age both my parents passed away, so it’s been preying on mind somewhat)

    Back in my teens, I’d generally fall asleep quite quickly at bed time, but soon after become aware of noises outside, traffic going by or people going home, we lived on a busy road back then with nearby bars, restaurants etc. The noises outside would generally be accompanied with strange sounds like pumping water or rushing water, emanating from inside my head. If you stick an ear against a water pipe inflow, it was a bit like that. I could also hear my heart beating and the sound of blood coursing through my veins. Then I’d become aware of the fact I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t move and that I was somehow trapped within myself. Fear and absolute panic would quickly set in, whether or not this was an actual panic attack in my sleep or not, I do not know, but it would be impossible to snap out of it for what felt like several minutes. Eventually I would snap up awake and leap straight out of the bed in sheer panic. My heart racing and breathing heavily like a long distance runner.

    I never had the terrible sensations of being watched or devilish demons in the room, but on one occasion I did experience a sensation of strange disembodied hands going up and down my wrists and it’s fingers examining my wrists. This was whilst ‘relaxing’ on my bed one early evening and listening to the radio (a live Queen concert broadcast as I recall). Once again I could not move and the sensation of complete fear and panic began to build. A huge tremor travelled up my spine and as it reached the top of my neck, the mysterious hands suddenly let go as if receiving an electric shock, I quickly woke up and ran into the living room where my parents were watching tv. Generally speaking there was no association with any sort of ‘entity’ imagined or otherwise, but always the same feelings of being trapped, unable to move a single muscle or more importantly, wake up.

    I put it all down to the bodily and hormonal upheaval that adolescence brings. I never got acne, just a terrible fear. Looking back now and at the very rare one off episodes, I’ve learned not to panic and just roll with it. It’s an experience that’s gone from scaring the hell out of me, to something that’s taught me to remain calm in trying real life situations. I think the important thing to realise for anyone suffering from this currently, in a big way, is that although terrifying at the time, it does settle down with time and an understanding of what might be causing it does help to deal with it. KTF…


  27. I had two instances of sleep paralysis last night. From what I remember, I woke up around 2:30 am and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I got water and then tossed and turned and eventually did fall back to sleep. I don’t know how much time passed but I woke up again, and I was on my stomach and I couldn’t move my body. It felt like somebody was physically holding me down. In my lucid dream, it felt like someone was assaulting me and I was terrified. I then mentally realized what was happening and breathed through it and kept telling myself I just need to wake up. I was eventually able to move again and snap out of it.

    After I fell back to sleep again, I had another instance of sleep paralysis. Again I was sleeping on my stomach and I felt like someone was physically holding me down and I couldn’t move. I kept trying to convince myself that it was my cat on my back and that’s what was weighing me down. It wasn’t my cat.
    Since I woke up this morning, I cannot stop thinking about these instances and am doing as much research on this as I can. It’s quite unnerving and scary.

  28. This started for me a few nights ago, I was in bed at a pretty normal time. when I was almost asleep I heard a slight whispering, thinking it was my mom or sister I passed it off. Then what felt like a few minutes later the whispering was back and directly in my room it said, “Where are you?” a pretty normal phrase but the way ‘she’ said it was terrifying like someone who was actually lost. my eyes shot open, fully awake I tried to get up to see if it was really my mom in the other room. But I couldn’t move I was too terrified to do anything. After sitting there for what felt like forever I finally could get up I walked to my mom’s room and found her asleep (which was slightly odd because she’s such a light sleeper she wakes up at the drop of a pin). That’s when I got really scared. I woke her up told her what happened and she passed it off and told me to go to sleep. I slept on the couch and had a hard time even doing that. the next day I looked up possibilities of what it could be, it was between ghosts and sleep paralysis for me. I don’t even believe in ghosts but this just pushed me over the edge. that night I didn’t have anything wrong. The next night I actually fell asleep and then I woke and heard it again, this time everything was very groggy. I can remember hearing ‘her’ voice again (can’t remember what she said) then I went to my mom’s room to find her sleeping again. she mumbled something about going back to sleep and I think I did. The next morning when I woke up it dawned on me what happened. I’m really nervous about this and I find myself not wanting to go to sleep so I’m tired all the time. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Not sure if you’re gonna see this but, I also get auditory hallucinations, during sleep paralysis. I’m too scared to open my eyes, cause I might scare myself. For me, I usually hear people like my dad, brother, teacher, or someone I know calling me, sometimes a whole bunch of people at a time. Their voices are in my head, and they slowly get very loud, and scary.

      Try not to get too tired, and go to bed at the same time, and also if there was a specific way you were sleeping (like on your back etc.) try switching it up, and maybe get your sister to sleep with so that when you hear something you can think it was probably just your sister talking in her sleep. That way it won’t get too scary for you.

      I dozed off on my couch today and experienced sleep paralysis again, at first I was hearing a sort of spraying sound, I would open my eyes to see what it was but when I did I didn’t hear anything, so I closed my eyes again and once again the spraying sound. This happened a couple of times and I thought it was probably something outside but then I heard this sort of robot noise coming towards me, when I first heard it I was oh cool, there’s a robot this time, (I tried to be positive so it wouldn’t get creepy) then it got closer and closer, and as it did I felt a pressure on my neck and on my side ( I was sleeping on my side) and it got harder and harder, I tried moving my arm and fingers but nothing worked, and this time it was lasting too long. But anyway it stopped soon, but I could still feel the pressure that was on my neck, ( like if someone holds your arm really tight and they let go, and you can still feel).

      I hope it goes away for you, and actually, talk to your mom and tell her about it, It scary, but it’s just a hallucination.

  29. So I literally just woke from an experience. I’ve had more in my life than I care to count but this one was a little… off… as someone who’s accustomed to these but extremely spiritual in nature(I can’t ever go back to the Antietam battlefield ever again long story short on that I gave the tour guide such a scare that I’m not allowed turns out one of their ancestors was killed there and I felt the man reach out to his grandson at the same time the dude felt not only like he was being watched but he felt something touch him I warned him of it and now I’m not allowed back *shrug* don’t wanna go back anyway back to the instance which was 20-30 minutes ago has anyone ever experienced sleep paralysis looked around and not been in their own room? I was in my mom and dads room from my childhood I felt an extreme chill like that of the Antietam incident there was a plate of corn which I was able in the dream to eat from and there was a medium height hooded figure who looked at me saw me awake grabbed the corn and ran into my mom and dads bathroom I couldn’t follow but my cat who I have now was in the dream she followed it hissed and came back to curl up on my legs something she only does if frightened I woke from the “trance” and there my cat was curled up on my legs with her hair on end… like I said this felt off as no one has to my knowledge ever included their pets in these. On a side note, I have a rare cyst building on my brain so I’m sure that has something to do with the sense of dread.

    1. At the height of my episodes as a teenager in the late ’80s, and as I literally snapped out of one such experience, my cat was standing on the end of my bed hissing and spitting at something unseeable in the corner of the room. As I got up to go into the kitchen to open a can of cat food for her, she ran (as usual) alongside me, but would run back towards the room to continue hissing at whatever she could see. This cycle of waiting to be fed and running back to the room lasted several minutes and was not typical behavior from her at all.

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