Sleep Paralysis Stories: Demons Or Hallucinations?

Sleep paralysis stories typically involve unusual and often extremely 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 really exist. Or if science can provide a logical, and hopefully comforting explanation.

sleeping man seeing a sleep paralysis demon

A typical sleep paralysis experience

Imagine the following scenario: you’ve fallen asleep as usual after a long day. You hope you’ll have pleasant dreams and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed.

But instead of waking up peacefully in the morning, ready to groggily hit the snooze button, you awaken at an unknown time in the middle of the night.

Two things immediately spring to mind: you can’t move at all, and you’re not alone.

A weight on the chest

You feel a weight on your chest, pressing you down and preventing you from sitting up. But it’s worse than that – you can’t move your arms or legs. You can’t even 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. But 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 seems I’d had a classic case of sleep paralysis.

A common experience

Sleep paralysis stories like this one are surprisingly common. A review of 35 sleep paralysis studies in 2011 analyzed how many people had it at least once:

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

You may have experienced it yourself, but until now not known what it was you were going through.

Polls – what’s your experience of sleep paralysis?

I ran several polls for a year to find out more about readers’ experience of sleep paralysis.

It’s possible that many people who search online about it will have had the more intense episodes, perhaps skewing the results.

But they still provide a fascinating insight into what people go through, and how they cope.

Poll 1

In poll 1, you can see that many have had the experience of thinking there was a demon or other being in the room.

chart showing the results of our 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.

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

Poll 3

Poll 3 shows that most readers first experienced sleep paralysis during childhood or adolescence.

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

Poll 4

Fortunately, 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 things that have helped people stop sleep paralysis. You’ll find more coping mechanism later in the article.

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

What causes sleep paralysis? The scientific explanation

The causes of the physical aspect of sleep paralysis are slightly different depending on the stage of sleep in which you experience it:

When falling asleep

Some people experience sleep paralysis during sleep onset – sometimes known as hypnagogic sleep paralysis.

While falling asleep, your body naturally relaxes and you become less aware as you drift off to sleep.

However, if you do remain aware, you might realize you can’t move or speak if your brain stops your muscles from moving to help keep you safe while you dream.

When waking up

Alternatively, it can happen after you’ve already been asleep, known as hypnopompic sleep paralysis.

During the night you cycle through several different stages of sleep. During what’s called the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage you tend to dream more vividly.

During that stage, your brain ‘switches off’ your muscles to prevent you from acting out your dreams and potentially hurting yourself.

If you become aware again before the REM sleep cycle finishes, you might become conscious of the fact that you’re still paralyzed.

So you could look at sleep paralysis as your body and brain being temporarily out of sync.

Why do you see, hear or feel strange things?

The explanation for why you feel physically paralyzed but awake is one thing. But how does science explain 3 of the main sleep paralysis stories that people report?

  1. An intruder or other presence in the room.
  2. A demon or other evil presence pushing down on your chest, strangling or doing other unpleasant things to you.
  3. Having an out-of-body experience.

The first two are usually explained by a combination of three occurrences:

Misinterpretation

During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, and the muscle paralysis that comes with it, your breathing can be shallower. And when you try to breathe deeply, you may feel that you can’t.

Your brain might then misinterpret this as a feeling of being strangled, or a presence pushing down on your chest.

Fight or flight

When you feel threatened, your body naturally reacts with its fight or flight defense mechanism.

So if you wake up, are unable to move and it’s dark, you may react to the sensation of paralysis and breathing difficulty by thinking that something bad is happening.

Sleep hallucinations

In addition to the above two processes, several brain structures might interact to create a hypnagogic hallucination.

During the experience of an intruder or demonic entity, the hallucination might not initially take on any particular form.

But when the threat system comes into play, you might interpret what you see or feel as being dangerous. And that then forms a hallucination which is demonic or malevolent in some way.

Out of body

The out-of-body experience isn’t explained by the activation of the threat system. Instead, it’s explained by the parts of the brain involved in coordinating movement and understanding where your body physically is.

Researchers generally agree that an out-of-body experience is another form of hallucination caused by a neurological mechanism.

Dreams and nightmares overlapping with reality

In addition to the above, there’s also the confusion which can occur as your dreams or nightmares overlap with reality.

If you wake up from a dream, but remain paralyzed, your dream imagery might appear to ‘map’ onto the real world.

So you may have your eyes open but still see your dream content – even if you can’t remember that you were just dreaming.

Then add the physiological elements that come with finding yourself paralyzed, and you have all the ingredients for being scared.

But why does it happen?

So now we know what happens, and what causes the feeling of paralysis and the hallucinations. But why does it happen in the first place, and only to some people?

Scientists still aren’t completely sure. But it’s thought that the more disrupted sleep a person has, the more likely it is to happen.

And researchers in 2017, who analyzed 42 previous studies, found several risk factors and associated conditions:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Trauma / post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep problems (sleep deprivation, poor sleep patterns)
  • Substance use (some medication too)
  • Sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy and nightmares
  • Physical illness
  • Paranormal and mystical beliefs
  • A family history of sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis causes – the not so scientific explanation

astral projection - one of the rarer sleep paralysis storiesIf you don’t believe that the scientific explanation is sufficient, then what else remains? Let’s look at each of the 3 main types of sleep paralysis stories in turn:

1. The Intruder

If you wake up in the middle of the night and you have a sudden feeling that there’s a human intruder in the room, then the possible explanation is simple. There really is someone else in the room.

If you weren’t paralyzed, there would be an obvious way to find way out if this were the case: turn on the light and have a look. But you’re paralyzed though, so that doesn’t work.

Thankfully, it’s unlikely that you’ll wake up to find a real intruder in your bedroom. And it’s even less likely that they will have a way to paralyze you.

So if you wake up paralyzed and struggling to breathe, and then notice a presence in the room, it’s probably safe to assume there’s no intruder.

2. The demon

If you firmly believe in supernatural entities, there may not be a great deal of science that could convince you otherwise. It’s a personal choice to believe in such things.

However, if you experience sleep paralysis, wouldn’t it be more comforting not to believe that you’re being tormented by demons?

The scientific explanation would make the scarier experiences easier to shake off. And not dwelling too much on the experience is what many people do manage to successfully do.

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 kind or beautiful creature.

I know from readers’ comments that some people do believe that demons or evil spirits exist. Some talk about them within a religious framework; others feel that there’s a lot which science can’t explain yet.

Despite these beliefs, there’s another clear theme. Nothing bad actually happened to the person beyond being frightened and losing sleep.

3. The out-of-body experience

When I was a teenager, I was given a book which claimed to be a training manual for astral projection.

The idea was that there’s a separate part of you that’s able to leave the body and venture into other planes of existence.

The manual mostly involved visualization practice, which I spent a couple of days failing to do, before deciding it wasn’t for me.

There seems to be an overlap between the concepts of out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, lucid dreaming, and astral projection.

The internet and bookstores abound with writers who claim to have techniques to leave the body and have amazing adventures in the astral realm.

There’s no dispute that people do experience the sensation of an out-of-body experience during sleep paralysis. But is it best explained in biological terms, or are there really other realms waiting to be explored?

Again it’s a question of belief and I’m not here to tell you either way what you should think. You may even feel that both explanations can coexist.

Converting sleep paralysis into lucid dreaming

Some websites and authors suggest that sleep paralysis has a biological cause, but can then be used as a springboard for lucid dreaming.

An interesting book explaining how to do this is ‘Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night’.

It provides a background to sleep paralysis, but also aims to help you find a way to convert sleep paralysis into a lucid dream.

Make sleep paralysis a positive experience

The core idea is that you can take control of the experience and turn it into something positive.

That might sound impossible, especially if your experience has been very frightening. But you’ll find several detailed comments below from readers who also say they’ve done it.

They have some inspiring stories of viewing sleep paralysis as a positive thing, which they enjoy because of the fascinating experiences it brings them.

Choosing to believe in astral worlds that you can access and fly around in doing whatever you please sounds harmless and fun. If I’m honest I’d like to believe it’s possible – even though I’m not convinced.

On the other hand, choosing to believe you’re having the life sucked out of you by a demonic presence doesn’t sound so good to me.

How to stop sleep paralysis

When to see a doctor

Fortunately, most people don’t experience sleep paralysis very often, and so no treatment is 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 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 rule out the possibility of narcolepsy.
  • Prescribe an anti-depressant medication for a short period.
  • Check for an underlying mental illness.
  • Explain the biological processes involved in sleep paralysis to help 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

In the comments below, many readers have explained how they cope with sleep paralysis.

Please bear in mind that these are personal opinions and experiences only.

  • Don’t let yourself become sleep deprived.
  • Keep a regular routine of going to sleep and waking up.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety in your life.
  • Stay calm.
  • Focus on wiggling just one finger or a toe.
  • 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.
  • Wearing a sleep tracker and see if it records you as being awake or asleep at the time. It can also check your heart rate and breathing during the night.
  • Don’t think about what it could be. Your imagination will probably make up something scary in the darkness.
  • Relax and go with it.
  • Don’t sleep on your back.
  • 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.
  • Don’t take recreational drugs.
  • Check if any sleeping pills or herbal remedies you’re taking are causing 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.

Further reading

You can find some useful ideas in my article about nightmares and night terrors. Some of the methods there about changing the content of your dreams might be helpful.

For any readers wondering if there’s a genetic factor involved in sleep paralysis, it seems that there could be.

A study by researchers at Sheffield University in 2015 showed this in their research into twins who experience sleep paralysis.

And in 2016, another British study looked into the fascinating connection between sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. They also examined the relationship between sleep paralysis and well-being, poor sleep and stress.

Your experience

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.

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  • I think I was 17-18yrs.old my boyfriend and I moved into a house that had been in fire, the bedroom was freezing cold couldn’t get warm for nothing I had this happen over and over it’s morning I try to wake up but can’t this went on for hours it seemed I couldn’t keep my eyes open or move or speak and felt doomed and scared to death of what I had know idea……

  • I have been plagued since I can remember, probably 8. I always thought my house was haunted until I moved and the dreams happen no matter where I am. I could be in a hotel or sleeping at a friends home…. it always occurs in the bed I am really sleeping in making it seem real. More often than not there is trickery. What seems to be a friendly sprite or person morphs into a demon as soon as it has my attention. I cannot move or scream and the harder I try the more it suppresses me. There is an intense pressure and in the times I have stopped fighting hoping to have enough strength to possibly speak then it attacks me sexually. My dreams are so real and so intense I can see articulate detail in the demons faces. Many of them are tiny. They come out from under the mattress or sit atop the ceiling fan. They threaten to go in my daughters room. They don’t speak but make awful sounds. I have these dreams almost immediately after laying down, usually within first 20 minutes. And they happen one after the other for hours. It is debilitating fear mostly due to the trickery involved and my falling for it and it being too late when I realize oh no it’s a demon again.

  • I think I may have an extreme case of sleep paralysis. I’ve had these dreams since I was 8. Usually an intruder entering into my room. I can hear the door open and a dark shadow appear. Another time I felt a cat walking on my bed and then it’s paws walking on my legs up to my chest. The worst one was a demon. I could here him breathe, grab me and he tried sexually assault me, but I managed to move my toe to wake up. I thought it was real. I could see, hear and feel the awful thing. My husband thinks I’m weird. Lol
    The latest one was 2 night ago. A shadow figure entered my room with a cowboy hat on. He was really loud with the door knob and it sounded like he shuffled his feet. I haven’t slept well in the last few nights. Now I’m suffering a headache looking up ways to prevent these dreams. I think my pillow might be too high and I need to stop sleeping on my back.

  • I Had this dream a year or few back I end up in this weird house pricing a roof out it’s the weirdest roof ever anyways I go inside to have a leak and turn switch on few times to turn bathroom light on it wont work then it does then during mid piss it turns off whole house goes pitch black and a demon comes after me black cloud figure no face I run to the kitchen to tell the people they laugh about it like nothing happened i was serious about it asking for help they all turn into demons one at a time but still remain the same human figure I turn to for help they start coming after me One bites my hand i couldnt wake up out of that dream when I did I jumped off the couch freaking out That was the first dream years ago It came back exact same last week But I woke up suffocating had to get puffers it happened at 220am last week Just happened now at 220 am Worse part was I knew In my dream it was a dream I tried to wake myself up this time few new things came up in the dream that I tried to leave this random house that appeared the same all times in my dream and get help and I couldnt so strangely I ran back to the couch then I ran into my own body seen myself there I said help help my mouth wouldn’t move I remember waking up this time on the couch I woke up trying to say help help couldn’t move my jaw it took me back under this time i strangely woke up again in this house I rolled off the couch crawled up the stairs and somehow my dad was randomly there I went to lay with him to feel comforted and wouldnt ya fuckin know i fell asleep in my dream i was having to wake back up to the same scary stuff and my dad was gone the dream repeated again I panicked in the dream of a dream ran to the couch to find myself staring at myself sleeping on the couch I tried to open my eyes it wouldn’t let me in the dream i used my fingers to open them I couldn’t pry them open I was panicking bad Then I woke up screaming jesus jesus help I tried to say jesus 10x I finally woke up to myself saying jesus help but the words came out like the first letters were switched around ( hesus jelp ) i couldn’t speak Literally just felt like I left my body got chased by demons and I tried to get back in my body I’m not crazy superstitious or God fearing what ever all I know is this was hands down the worse to have that dream re occur and feel multiple ways in that dream it probably is sleep paralysis I’m almost certain but the experience of that dream was out of this world the worse part is I remember almost every little detail about the dream and I’ve never seen this sort of house anywhere in my life or these people in it

  • I have sleep paralysis on a regular basis. Each time its similar. A shadow figure pulls my quilt/sheets off me very slowly so as not to wake me (I think).

    In the past I was scared and didn’t know what to do. Now I fight it ( whatever it is). I punch it with both hands and tell it to get lost in my head.( because I can’t speak when this happens).

    I found a great site called ‘ true ghost stories’. The members are fantastic and have helped me heaps.

    There are so many things that you can do. I haven’t stopped this shadow/sleep paralysis from happening, but at least I’m not scared anymore.

  • I have had many sleep experience of not being able to wake up while trying to wake up. Once when i tried to run away I tried to stay awake until everyone in house went to bed but i must have fell to sleep. I later had an urge to use the bathroom really bad. I went to get up and could not move. I was trying to scream but I couldn’t hear my voice. My grandfather said he heard me moving and looked on me and saw me moving like I was fighting someone. Then he started shaking me to wake me up but he did not hear me calling him. Next, i had just left church and went to sleep in my dorm. I felt something move in bed with me that was heavy on my back that woke me up. I got very scared and started sweating. I remembered to say the blood of Jesus to an an unclean spirit. So i did.., then tje thing hit the floor like a bowling pin. I got out of bed and ran to my balcony until morning. The same happens the next night when i visit the dorm of my friend. We went to sleep together in her bed and the thing got between us but he spoke and commanded the thing to leave in Jesus Name. I never had those experiences to happen to me again until after i had my first child. I was lying down and was just thinking through my day when I was lost in my thoughts I felt my body going through my mattress then I felt heat. I heard a sound like something was on fired. Then my body felt more intense heat. I felt like I was on hell. Then I prayed but can’t remember how I floated back on top of my bed. Next time I was giving blood at work…, all of a sudden I felt my body going through the chair and I was going further down. To me I was trying to move my body and I was trying to say “help me” over and over. When the nurse nice me I had turned gray and she touch my body. No one heard me repeat over and the words help me. I don’t understand it. Being a Christian since I was very young and all my experiences have been on the demonic feeling hurt because if I had floated up it would make the experience feel like I was witnessing heaven. I hate these experiences. Am 66 years old and have not had an experience like I have texted since I was in my 50ties. Thank God!

  • i have sp around my menstrual cycle it started when i was 14 and im 28 now i see a doctor fior it but im still convinced im haunted or cursed its pretty scary especially when you have to deal with it on a monthly basis

  • My experiences with “sleep paralysis” have happened only two times, two nights back to back, while living in an old apartment near Camp Greene in Charlotte, NC around 1998. I was fully awake both times. Weirdly enough, both times happened at midnight. I felt as though demons were holding me down all over my body. As I tried to set up and scream out to my roommate in the other bedroom, I was hearing screeching sounds. Once I finally broke free and told him what had happened, he basically made fun of it. I spoke with my sister who is a nurse, and she told me it sounded like sleep paralysis. The only problem with that theory is that I was fully awake both times this occurred. I purposely spoke to these “demons” on the second night and sort of taunted them to do it again if they were really present. They didn’t disappoint me. I was totally freaked about this as I was powerless against these forces I couldn’t see. I basically sat down the next day and said I was okay with them being there and “playing in the apartment” and to please not attack me again. No other issues with “sleep paralysis” occurred. My roommate got freaked out one night after these happenings and said that he felt like something was watching him while he was taking a shower. I just laughed and said “I tried to tell you this place is haunted”. He was visibly freaked out by the occurrence. At times, I could see shadow people in that apartment. One particular night, while watching tv, I really honed in on one of the grey figures in the corner of the room. My roommate’s cat ran across the room and sat motionless for probably over a minute, starring up to the corner of the room where this thing was hanging out. Later, while having a second phone line installed for AOL, I asked the installer if he had ever heard any strange stories about the apartments and he quickly replied: “you mean about ghosts?”. He had heard several stories of ghosts being the apartments. I stayed in the apartment for a couple of years before moving to Raleigh. Upon returning to visit friends about a year later, I went by the apartment to find where the new renter had placed over 50 tiny cherubs on all the window ledges. They were all facing outward. As a side note, I have had numerous experiences with the supernatural over the years. I also hold a degree in chemistry, so I try to find logic before jumping to conclusions. I just wanted to share my experiences as it irritates me when people try to dismiss everything through science-based reasoning. We can’t and don’t fully understand everything that happens in this world. And you can bank on that.

  • I just had one of this episodes (I hope).

    I took a nap in the afternoon, my daughter was playing with her dad in the living room. I could hear them talk and giggle. All of a sudden, I feel little steps – just like my daughter’s- walking around the bed. I was sleeping on my tummy. Then, I feel this man-like presence in the room, he lays on my back and holds me. I can feel his head next to mine, and his breath on my neck… Very terrifying! I kept trying to make noise so that my daughter and her dad could hear me, but I couldn’t move or talk. I started praying, but that didn’t work either. The weight of this man was still on my back. After a few minutes, I could move again and got out of the bedroom.
    I’m 32, and this is probably the 3rd or 4th time I recall having this experience. It is super scary. Thanks for the information. I had read about it before but it’s hard to relax while it is happening.

  • The first time I remember ever experiencing sleep paralysis, I was 19-20 living with my Grandmother and taking care of her in her bad health. A little bit of a back story on this house: My grandmother had lived there from 1992-2011 when she passed. I had many fond memories of the house but I was also terrified of being in the dark there. Even in my teens, I would turn on lights walking through the kitchen and into the bathroom. I REFUSED to do I to the BG bedroom without a light on and long walk in closet? FORGET IT. I had to have a flash light on just to reach in, pull the string really fast. When I turned the light off I would literally run out of there. Now back to me: My first experience with sleep paralysis, my grandmother was sleeping in the living room because all of her medical equipment was in there so I had taken over the big bedroom. I had rearranged everything and always kept a lamp on, so I was no longer scared of the bedroom, (the closet still freaked me out though). Anyways, one night I had fallen asleep with my lamp on like always. The next thing I know I am opening my eyes and I realize that my lamp is turned off, which is weird because there is a spin switch, so you have to roll it and click it for it to turn off. I immediately started to reach to turn it on and I realized I couldn’t move. My head, hand, legs, mouth, everything was frozen. The only thing I could move was my eyes. As I looked around, I noticed this tall black shadow in the middle of the room. It had no body shape, no idea but I could feel this evil presence wafting off of it and I could feel it staring at me. I started trying to move then and I couldn’t, it came to the bed, still in shadow form and stood over me, by the right aide of the bed, looking over me. I was terrified. inside my head I started praying, “Please help me God, please help God, God don’t let me die, please God don’t let me die. Jesus please help.” That’s the last thing I remember was seeing the shadow figure get close to my face and me praying those prayers. I woke up the next morning to sunlight coming in through the window. I called it up to a bad dream until I realized that my lamp had indeed been switched off. I have had several bouts of sleep paralysis since then. I’ve also had nightmares about being attacked and choked by an invisible force. Every time it happens I start praying. Even in my nightmares where I am being choked, I pray.

  • Its been happening to me for years and sound and light usually protects you from this entity prayer also keeps the entity from reaccuring, because in my case going right back to sleep only taunts the entity and it usually reappears, i also experienced me looking at me while i was sleeping the outer body experience lasted for about 20 seconds before then i returned into my natural body… the holding me against my will and the no speaking is very common in my
    Episodes and is a reaccuring insident….

  • Yes! Probably 10 times from 19 to 67 years old. I’m still feeling anxiety from my most recent event on 12/01/18 (night before last). In my nightmare I was at the end of a lengthy pursuit. I felt that I was trapped and my pursuers were slowly closing in. I was completely paralyzed unable to even cry out. Apparently, I had been moaning or creating some sort of disturbance, enough to attract my dog’s attention that sleeps downstairs. He awoke me by attempting to manipulate my hand with his nose and barking in my ear. I remember a series of these attacks when I was 19-22. Very few since but, two in recent years.

  • I started having Sleep Paralysis episodes when I was 19 after suffering from chronic insomnia. The first couple of times it happened was scary because I had no idea what SP was and so I didn’t understand why I could see but could not move or speak while feeling this insane pressure on my chest. After around the third time it happened I started focusing on ways to break the episode and I found that trying to wiggle my toes helped me ease out of my state of paralysis. However, my next episode was different…One night I could feel the heaviness on my chest and my eyelids feeling as if they were being weighed down but couldn’t shut completely, I knew I was about to slip into a state of SP. The difference this time though was that I saw this dark, evil, gruesome presence emerge from the corner of my room and began to move toward me. Next thing I knew, what I believed to be a demon or satan himself is on top of me with its hands around my neck. I looked straight into its eyes as it began to choke me for what felt like forever although I believe it was more like a hot 10-15 seconds. I was petrified, helpless and struggling to breathe. Since I couldn’t move my body to defend myself or scream to call for help I did the only thing I could do which was to say in my mind “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ”. The demon was instantly gone, I shot up out of bed and turned my light on. There was sweat running down my face, I was shaking and was convinced I was going to go into cardiac arrest at the ripe old age of 19 with how fast my heart was pounding. I got back in and cried until I fell asleep, and you better believe I kept the lights on. To this day, what happened that night was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced in my 24 years of life. I still get shaken up just thinking about it sometimes because I can still recount everything so vividly. One week after that frightful night it happened again except I knew what to do for the SP to stop. Before the demon reached my bed again I said in my head, “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ”, and it was gone in an instant. I do believe in God and look to him whenever my SP episodes occur so maybe you should too because I have faith it will work for you as well. Also, not sleeping on my back has helped decrease the frequency of my SP so try doing that as well!

  • I experienced sleep paralysis with “hallucinations” for over two decades. During adolescence it happened several times a week, sometimes multiple times in one night. I would experience what felt like strong shocks or convulsions during my paralysis, and I would wake up physically stiff and sore in the morning. One particular episode resulted in an out of body experience, which actually felt as real as reality ever gets, except for the obvious anomaly of not being attached to my body. I try to be open-minded in general, and am therefore undecided about what sleep paralysis actually is. The last episode I had was in my late 30s. By then I had done some research into the phenomena and had decided I would no longer allow the paralysis to frighten me. This seemed to have a significant impact on my experience. During my last episode, I was able to relax somewhat, and I even laughed at the “intruder” who I was no longer certain was real. Strangely, this seemed to enrage it, and I suddenly felt hands under my arms and the sensation of being lifted and tossed towards the ceiling. I was not expecting this, but I just laughed again, and said, “Oh, so you’re throwing me now?!” Then I was launched instantly into what I’m pretty sure was a “lucid dream”, too lengthy and bizarre to put into words here. When I woke up the following morning, my heart was racing and I felt both physically exhilarated and exhausted as if I’d just ran a mile or something. I have had no paralysis experiences since then, and I think being able to relax and laugh during the last episode really helped for some reason.

  • This morning around 430am I remember falling into a light sleep and suddenly feeling a presence standing over me. I could not move or speak and then I felt a long, thin hand touch my left shoulder and firmly press to hold me down. Next my body felt some sort of dull deep pain and I wanted to yell out but couldn’t. I started to breath calmly and took a deep breath and yelled out my husband’s name it was a forced yell that took all the energy I could muster to get out. Immediately when I yelled-It broke the hold on me and I heard the sounds of what seemed to be a pack of howling dogs.. but it was long mourningful like howling like dogs fleeing away from me and the sound was loud in my right ear then gone. I started praying and it helped me feel much better like the omnious presence had finally left.

  • This is how it happened to me(sleep paralysis thing) just a couple of days ago from now. I was laying on my back, and suddenly I woke up to this person right on my lap chanting in a language I clearly didn’t understand, facing down so I couldn’t recognise their face, with their hands on my tighs, and very dark in nature.

    Initially I thought it was just my mom praying for me, but at closer attention I realized that this wasn’t her and when I tried to investigate the person further and tried to reach out to them that’s when I realized I could not speak non move, and in that realization the thing which I initially thought to be a person started to become more vocal and I could sense that it was happy or excited by the fact that I was acknowledging it presence and the fact that I wasn’t able to move.

    I quickly panicked (predictably so) and fought so hard to no avail cause the things was like feeding off my fear and became stronger in restricting my movements.

    But I drew enough will power to fight off the dam thing and suddenly I woke up now for real and rose to a seated position from the initial laying on my back and quickly realised that I was hallucinating though the thing felt seriously real, and to my surprise I realized it was just about to hit dawn because I noticed that the birds out side were just starting to sing and I came with an estimation that it must have been between 05h00 – 05h30, also considering the fact that it summer now here in the southern hemisphere, the birds soothed the fear away and I just went back to sleep lol.

  • I had my first SP a number of years ago while visiting my son and his family.
    I woke up at exactly 2:00 p.m.,on my back, frozen to my bed unable to move. The only thing I was able to do was turn my head and look at the clock on the end table. The entire room was filled with like bright stars, everywhere I could see. First feeling was aliens in the room, then thought about trying to warn my son, but couldn’t get up. I turned my head and it was 2:15 p.m. on the clock. The room was still filled with with these bright star like beings. I must have relaxed and just fell back to sleep, as the next thing I remember was waking up in the morning. I totally remembered the entire experience. Never said anything to anybody about it.

  • My experience is when I felt asleep my body was stiff my eyes was open someone was pressing on my chest stopping me from turning side to side. I thought it was a demon I couldn’t lift my body up . I thought my blanket was going to suffocate my face and I was going to died in my sleep. Somehow I broke a loose and went to the bathroom. I was scared to fall back to sleep.

  • I was about 14, 15 or maybe 16. I had several occurrences of similar happenings. While I am actually still in deep sleep, I believe, it always felt like someone was pressing down on me, touching me, in an intimate way as well, I couldn’t move, I knew I was still asleep when this was happening because when I did wake up, I would remember it as though I was remembering it, like, it must have just been a dream, but when this happened on several occasions, I started thinking that something really was pressing down on me, something that I knew I wouldn’t ever get to see, or hear, but just feel. When these occurred, I started becoming frightened by it, because little did I know back then and know now from family, was that strange this did happen in our home. I never spoke to anyone about it, so I kept quiet and hoped it wouldn’t happen anymore, but it did, a few more times. Years later, my sisters and myself sat down and started talking about our old home and we just started talking about strange things that happened in the home, many of which I never even knew about, and so, I brought that up to my sister and she said that she wouldn’t have even been surprised by what happened after all the other strange things, so I do believe in other presences, if that’s what you call it or another being.

  • I do remember most of my dreams since I was a child, from amazing dream to nightmares. Never bothered me. But last night I felt a force hard to ezplain, trying to unite with my body. I refused to let that happened and start praying in my native language then I couldnt articulate so in my head I said Im stronger than this and forced myself to wake up before my body got entirely invaded. It worked I just wanted out of this nightmare. No idea where thats coming from. Im happy in my mariage and at work. I dont know and im not afraid either I feel in control, Im just perplex of that strange dream.

  • Woke up around 5:00 AM, saw a dark figure enter my room in front of my bed, wanted to leap up and attack it but felt like I weighed a thousand pounds. So I concentrated all the strength I could muster and jumped up and then I shot up and snapped out of it, was terrified after I realized what happened

  • About a year and a half ago or so, I was at the time an online college Post Baccalaureate student. I woke up in the middle of the night in my bedroom, my eyes open, I cant move a muscle and I immediately hear a demonic voice. I did not think or feel there was anyone on my chest but I felt the voice was coming straight across from me in my closet. It laughed, and said very clearly in a dark and deep evil sounding voice, “The beginning is starting to end”. Totally afraid and paralyzed, finally I gained enough ability to respond to the voice “What? Is this real?” The dark voice replied in laughter “Ahaha, Yeahhhp”. The when i finally was able to move my whole body I sprung out of bed and ran out of my room as fast as I could. When I came back, no one was there. I slept on the couch the remainder of that night. The most unusual and terrifying experience I’ve ever been through. And it was 100% real.

  • I remember having sleep paralysis all my life growing up. Last night, I went to sleep to one of our guest bedrooms because I was not letting my partner sleep well for several nights due to too much moving around and not finding a comfortable position. I had the worse sleep paralysis of my entire life. I remember seeing this “demon” face next to my left side. He looked like a bat/dog. I felt his claws being inserted on top of my hands and he/it held me down above my chest. I immediately started freaking out and I remember me calling it to stop, stop, stop, stop. I can hear myself speaking in a different tone of voice as if I was strangling. I then started praying and the “demon” said “shut the f**k up” and that freak me out even more. I continued praying and telling it to stop, until I finally was able to move and I was drained in sweat. Literally, I was soaked from head to toe. The first thing I checked were my hands to see if there were any claw marks and there weren’t. I then checked the room and slept the rest of the night with the lights on. Worse experience even, I had never had this entity spoke to me back in the many times I’ve had similar experiences.

  • I’ve had issues with my sleep and dreaming my entire life so luckily the first time sleep paralysis happened I wasn’t too scared. I had night terrors every night as a child and had to teach myself to lucid dream (without knowing that was what I was doing) to cope with it. I’ve acted things out in my sleep resulting in punching others and even had full on conversations out loud in my sleep. The worst was when a friend was over and I slept talk about a secret and she happened to be awake listening. The first time I had sleep paralysis, or at least realized I had it was a little startling. My mind was awake but my body wouldn’t move. I didn’t initially get the feeling that someone else was there, but eventually I did. I couldn’t open my eyes but I could see it was light out and there was an area where the light was blocked. Presumably a figure. That didn’t worry me though. The fact I couldn’t move and felt pinned down did. The fact that I couldn’t just “wake up,” which has always been my last resort in dreaming if lucid dreaming didn’t help, was the terrifying part. Suddenly I felt the other presence grab my hand. This kind of startled me. I could always tell when I was dreaming or not but this felt more real. I tried to apply what I had learned from my night terrors as a child and tried to calm down. Whatever it was then peacefully whispered in my ear that everything was going to be okay. Since then my sleep paralysis has included nothing but shadows, creepy figures, even the little jigsaws guy on a bike. One time a child was standing behind me and I thought it was my little brother oddly staring at me in my sleep. I even tried to yell out to my brother to get out of my room, but of course couldn’t. I finally was able to move and it was gone and my brother was no where around. But, nothing has scared me since that first voice told me it would be alright. And every time I always wake up just fine. It’s almost like a fun experience that I then get to analyze and pick apart after. If you just calm down. Wiggle a finger and breathe you will be just fine.

  • I had all three experiences. Demon pinning me down and strangling me to a point I can’t breathe, as well as it being in my room and out-of body experience (however I don’t think out-of body was a dream because I believe I was awake at time). Firstly I was 12 and I had an exam for school tomorrow watching a series I wasn’t preparing for it, so since I’m a perfectionist I got stressed and I didn’t wanna fall asleep. I was doing so a bit too frequently so I just slowly drifted away with my eyes possibly open and I remember before I fell asleep I was telling myself I shouldn’t sleep but prepare for exam tomorrow. As I fell asleep I felt really anxious about a bathroom that was next to my room and I felt like something was there just as I fell asleep. Then a second after I felt sth jump out of that bathroom right on top of me and pin me down so I couldn’t breathe the pain was real and feeling of being choked too and I was terrified, I wanted to shout for help and move the creature away, but with no luck. I felt so helpless and not in control, then as I slowly gave up the struggle the creature disappeared and i woke up automatically turning the light on and checking the bathroom. There was nothing there or in my room. I checked the clock and it was 3:33 which spooked me out so much I couldn’t fall asleep anymore. And then later I saw that number more than one time as well, but recently I have stopped seeing it. I think it,s because during the time I had sleep paralysis and number symbolic I was at a very bad point in my life where everything seemed black and hopeless and now I have people supporting me and I feel much better about my life. Anyways, I concluded my sleep paralysis as my brain trying to forcefully wake me up cuz I wanted to study and I was scared of getting bad grade. My sleep during sleep paralysis lasted from 2:40-3:30 so it was rly short which is why I think I just made myself forcefully wake up because of my fear of getting a bad grade. About the out-of-body experience, I had that while I was awake talking to my mom after school in the kitchen. I was sitting on a chair and she was facing me on opposite chair, I don’t remember much about what we talked about but I think we were having an argument and then I was staring at blank wall across of hear, slowly disconnecting from conversation we were having and I felt myself drift away to somewhere up. Then suddenly I looked down and there was someone talking to my mom, someone else not me, someone smiling again that wasn’t me and I was terrified. It all happened in a matter of seconds, but it felt too long and as I was up there I remember asking these questions: “Who am I? Who is this in my body? Are we really in control of ourselves? What if every day someone else takes over my body and I don’t even notice it? How can I go back?” And I really wished to go back down because being up there floating like a ghost was terrifying and I couldn’t do anything, but watch. Then as I slowly went back I saw an evil smirk coming from my own body that I wasn’t in control of and just like that I went back to myself. Then I looked at my mom and I knew I didn’t talk to her, but she seemed to not have even noticed like someone else was really talking to her and when I asked her she was confused. I traced this back to me having really suicidal and dark thoughts back then as “Why am I here? Why am I alive? Why do I exist and what’s the point?” I still can’t say for certain the meaning of anything of this, but I was never superstitious (that’s not how you spell it) so I tried to explain it with logic and I believe that now that these things stop appearing is because I met someone who I hang out with a lot, I have friends and I’m not dark or suicidal anymore, so I really suggest anyone who has these dreams or out-of body experiences to carefully look at their life and even if they feel there is no hope try to make every day better as there is always a better way to live your life and if that day was the worst and day after that, and day after that there is no way it can be worse than that. Changing my life and having people around me helped me to stop having these dreams so that’s my experience. Having my problems and realizing it’s not that bad and occupying my life with anything else, but these dark thoughts made me stop having them, I don’t know for people who have good lives how they would deal with this, but I believe that these dreams or nightmares come from being unhappy within urself and that’s it for me.

  • I have had a similar experience i fell asleep and felt like someone was attacking me when woke i heard a distinctive sound like a truck passing my eyes were open and i could not move or speak and i saw and felt this dark figure choking me and slowly the figure faded away. this was on of the most frightening experiences i have had and truly feel this was supernatural.

  • I’m 38 and have had this happen to me on and off since I was around 19. Seems like lately ( past 2 years ) ! I’ve been experiencing them more and more. I am a Christian and Faithfully have a close connection to my church. I want to believe it’s nothing. In my mind and heart, I feel attacked. The only thing that helps is praying. That’s only if I’m able to talk. Not only have I heard whispers in my ear, seen men and actually have been able to reach out and touch a arm. My eyes are always opened and I can see my room. Even my young son. ( if he’s cuddling with me that night ). Sometimes I didn’t feel threatened. I would just lay there. They’ve got worse lately. I feel attacked. When I pray. It stops. Than I can still feel a presence next to my bed. I feel like I’m going crazy at times. Then am embarrassed to share. I can talk and talk about this. I’m constantly researching it. So again pray “ for me “ is the only thing that helps me and that I believe can help.

  • saturday 13 october 2018
    once again it was around 4 am in the morning and i already knew something is coming i feel it in my spirit and then it starts the fear is so gripping this time i let it go on a little longer then normal and some form of animal jumped on my bed i was powerless to do anything i couldnt move or yell out i freaked out then woke up and this went on and off for 2 hours i cant belive the sun started to come up and i was still have those feeling i truly believe it demonic as i feel as a born again christian nothing more could grip you than the fear of going to hell or demons trying to torment you

  • Last night, for the first time, I felt awake but couldnt move. There was something on my bed? It was moving about? It was dark, so I couldn’t see anything. I tried to sit up and see what was there, although I was frightened. The experience lasted about a minute? I must of just gone back to sleep, but very much remember it. No one, or any pet was in my house. Feeling a little scared about going to sleep tonight?

  • I had a similar experience, I felt the mattress dip as if someone sat on the edge of the bed, and I felt hands pushing down on my legs a few times, and felt the mattress dip with each push. They were violent pushes and quite alarming. As if someone was trying to wake me up and get my attention, or just mess with me to frighten me. I tried to talk, but couldn’t. This happened 3 – 4 times recently.

  • I just had it. I sleep with my mom who has dementia. This is the 3rd time in 6 mos. I awoke to something pulling on my blankets and could not move. I was being pulled out of bed when i finally realized it and cried, MOM..i then woke to her saying, its ok..it felt so real it scared me.

  • My earliest episode was around three, with visual and auditory hallucinations as well as tactile. I saw wild like creatures that stood like humans and threatened me by snarling and speaking to each other in something I didn’t understand. I experienced paralysis but thought it was caused by fear. At one point I was able to get up and scream for my parents at the baby gate that had up at the stairs but I was thrown back into bed by one of them. And they continued until a different one came in and chased them away. My parents tried to convince me it was a dream but it felt as real as it does typing this out. I experience another horrible one with a wolf like creature on top of me too years later when I was kid, just staring at me and I couldn’t move.

    For years I didn’t experience anymore notable ones, but would occasionally feel the vibration, felt like my bed was shaking so fast and hard and id try to ignore it and eventually it would go away. This woyld happen on and off for years. But at
    about 14, they came back. I was visiting family out of town and felt extremely tired so I took a nap and had sleep paralysis. I explained what happened to my parents and after we got home I had two more that night. I thought I was dying. I got trapped and confused in my covers, like I was in between my body and covers and panicked, I saw bright lights and thought, well this is it, I’m dying. I prayed…im not religious, but I prayed anyways for it to stop, and eventually it did.

    I had another one, where I knew something was coming for me around a year later, I couldn’t move and tried to yell and move my eyes to wake up fully. As soon as it was over that fear was still there and I panicked, locking all my doors and looking out the windows for something, still convinced that something evil was coming for me.

    Another year or two later, I saw a face in the darkness with its mouth open yelling but didn’t hear anything, it was nighttime but I was fully awake talking to my boyfriend in bed and was able to move.

    That same year I experienced more, one where I was sleeping at his parents and cane out of a dream where a woman was being strangled outside by her car by a man and as I “woke”, all of a sudden I was the one that was being chocked, and felt hands around my neck squeezing, with sleep paralysis to make it even more terrifying.

    I’ve had a couple other ones not as terrifying but with the sleep paralysis and intense evil or death coming feelings the past few years but a couple more stand out. I had another dream turned sleep paralysis one where a goat in total darkness was staring at me (but dream, not hallucinating this time) and an intense noise. It felt like the goat was pure evil and it hated me and was trying to kill me. I decided to fight back finally and starting screaming and cussing at it, to show I wasn’t as scared as it wanted me to be (although I was bluffing), but it worked. And I was able to come out of it.

    Last year I had a couple bad ones, one I thought someone was on top of my trying to kill me and apparently I was screaming and mistook my fiance for trying to kill me when he was trying to wake me from it. It took me a while to realize what was happening but I remember seeing him but it was like something wasn’t right in him at that moment, his eyes were hateful, but I know that wasn’t really happening.

    The grand finale also happened last year, no dreams that I remember, I woke up couldn’t move at first, there was a thing on top of me looking at me, sorta studying me. It was hideous, best I can explain a midget sorta goblin or demon, not much bigger than a toddler, with a very long nose, pointy ears, squinty eyes, naked and very boney with grayish white leathery skin. It was nearly half with some tufts of hair on the side of its head. Very very vivid, not a shadow, and on me, not within the dream. When I could finally move, I turned my eyes away and saw this other thing that I can’t really put into words but even though it wasn’t as detailed and even smaller I knew it was controlling everything, that it was why the other one was on top of me, it was what starts everything. It was pure evil.

    My only advise is when you have one episode, get up and don’t go right back into another one. I feel it happens easier if you try to sleep. I’ve also heard people having better luck with tv’s on. I haven’t heard until now of trying to turn it into a better experience, so I will definitely try to see if I can go into lucid dreaming but it’s so frightening I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack and die from this eventually. And what really bothers me is it’s so sporadic, I read the list of causes like stress, sleep deprivation, medications, but I’ve been paying attention to my own and don’t see any significant causes from when I do and when I don’t have them.

    I’m agnostic, but experiencing this sort of stuff does make me question everything. Perhaps it can be explained, but if the scientific explanation is simply waking from a certain level of sleep, why is it not more common with people? Why do some people experience it on a regular or semi regular basis and others not at all? Everybody sleeps, everybody has been to a point where stress causes other issues but why not these more often?

    • Thank you for that. It’s 4 am right now. I’ve just awakened from one of these experiences. Probably my sixth or seventh experience with this. I truly feel it is something demonic. I try to pray and call out to Jesus but it’s like my mouth is too dry to make a sound. I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared. I just want to sleep without this fear.

  • I’ve had it all my life so I know if I hear or feel something it’s truly happening… It only started bad back In July. Me and my friend at the time were sleeping and felt something beside me moving and I couldn’t wake up so I knew it was sleep paralysis again, I felt (it) which I thought was my friend, Pat my head 3 times before I woke up screaming waking him up (he was facing the other way) and I yelled at him why did he touch my head to which he explained I had awoken him from a nightmare.. I didn’t believe him until same night couple hours later i had it again but this time I heard something (it) walking around in the corner of my room I woke up screaming again. Now it’s October 9th and it happened again. After my new friend left for work I felt something crawl behind me which I thought was him and I couldn’t move or talk so I couldn’t ask what he was doing because he had work and as it began breathing on my neck i started panicking until i woke up and no one was there. It happened again within 2 minutes and I couldn’t wake up but somehow this time I barley pushed whatever was beside me and it bit me. A similar experience as the second one happened again not even a minute later. I freaked out and been awake since, on couch with all lights on

  • Happened to me last night. I didn’t feel a weight on my chest. I didn’t even think I was awake. I was laying on my side, next to my boyfriend and as I was apparently falling asleep, I thought I heard my boyfriend whisper, “El Diablo, Satan. I know his name.” My entire body began to shake and I couldn’t speak or move or see anything. I was too scared to open my eyes. When I finally did I turned around to ask him if he said anything and then tell him what happened. He said, “No and you were definitely asleep.” The strangest part is that there’s no one that I know that speaks any Spanish or related languages. There is no explaination that science can give me about this experience. This was purely a demonic, spiritual experience. If I didn’t have God in my life, I would be a mess.

    • I agree. I took a nap today and idk if y’all get vibrations when it happens but I do and when I feel it I can usually wake up well this time it was too late. It was as if I was the demon and I couldn’t talk but when I could my voice was deep dark and evil. My friend told me I was sleeping for two hours. Little did she know I was in a paradox in my own personal hell. Usually I can’t get up but this time I was determined to escape and I walked to my door and it got all Topsy and turvy so I fell and ended up back in my bed. I was faced with all of my fears and a demonic entity if not Satan himself wanted me trapped there and I could wake up. I tried praying, screaming for help, closing my eyes and trying to get up over and over again… I also saw very vile writings on my wall that would be coming and going like a strobe..This was the longest experience I have ever had and I was completely terrified. When I finally woke up I ran outside saw my fiance with our friends and ran back inside, by the time I was gonna run back outside my fiance came in and begged me to tell him what was wrong I broke down crying and freaking out breathing heavily sweating and just hugged him. I don’t wanna go through this anymore. It keeps happening to me more so when I sleep on my back or left side. I’m sick of it how can I fix it or maybe I need to face my darkness and accept it. Idk but I need help and advice. :(

  • this happened to me on 25/09/2019 i always have really in depth dreams but this was so weird i woke up and could not move then it felt like somebody sat on the bed i could feel the mattress dip then i heard a rustled noise above my head i was alone in the house so quite scary

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