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 several 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.

3,367 Comments

  1. My wife said when she was around 10 years old she woke one night to find a skeletal figure wearing a straw hat standing at her bedside looking down at her. She screamed out for her mother and the figure slid under her bed feet first. You can imagine it’s knees would have had to bend opposite of how they are supposed to. This only happened to her once. I’m sure some will say she was dreaming and I’ve questioned her exstensively about this. She was sleeping with her aunt this night and she doesn’t remember why she woke up but she woke up, saw the figure, screamed and turned to look for her aunt who was not there, she had went to watch tv and fell asleep in the living room. *update* She just told me that the figure did not immediately slide under the bed but stood there looking at her until her mother got to her door at which time it slid under the bed. Her mother did not see it as it was gone before she actually stepped into the room. So her screams did not cause the figure to react, it was her mother’s approach that caused it to flee. Has anyone else experienced something similiar?

  2. So, about 10 minutes ago, I experienced the most intense sleep paralysis yet. My head was under the blankets. I remember opening my eyes and being able to see my chair, curtains, and painting on the wall. I could not move my head or limbs; however, I had slight success in controlling my toes. Before I began rapidly moving my toes, I also noticed that I could not hear the usual external noises, like the wind blowing or the bathroom door banging back and forth. Instead, I heard sounds almost like radio waves. I immediately began wiggling my toes, and eventually, I woke up. I sat there for about 5 minutes trying to process the event. But I knew something was off. I put my head under the blankets again and, unsurprisingly, I couldn’t see through it — it was a thick woolly blanket. The most unsettling aspect of this sleep paralysis episode is knowing that I was able to see through this blanket, but after waking up, it wasn’t possible.

    During another encounter, my eyes were open, and I couldn’t move any body part. I regained consciousness after hearing someone breathe in my ear.

  3. Well, I don’t know when it started, but it’s been 3 years since I began experiencing sleep paralysis. I had it for two of those years, particularly when I slept on my bed. So, I changed my sleeping location to the living room, and I stopped having it for about a month. However, today it happened differently. I was dreaming, and it was a happy dream. My boyfriend was touching my face, and I was laughing. But then he began touching my eye in the dream. I closed my eyes and told him not to change anything. When I opened my eyes, we were outside in the dream. However, after closing them again, I found myself back in the living room where I was sleeping, and something was gripping my neck tightly. I couldn’t breathe. The pressure felt more intense than in my other sleep paralysis episodes. I couldn’t move, but I tried to speak. Eventually, it went away. I don’t know why I’m experiencing this again, but I genuinely wish to sleep in peace.

  4. I woke up, unable to move any part of my body. My eyes were open, and I saw a tall, shadowy figure circling my bed. It hovered over me, looking down with intense hatred in its eyes. Around the bed, a circle of flies also moved. As it circled and stared, I kept trying to move my legs and arms. I heard the voice say, “I’ve been planning this for 10,000 years, and you’re not going to mess it up.” Struggling, I finally managed to move my arm and reached for the knife I kept under my pillow. As I started to gain movement in my legs and began jabbing at the shadowy giant, it would jump back. At times, it used the spirit of a little girl as a shield. I held back, but I knew I had to end this. I prayed in Jesus Christ’s name for the knife to find its target and pass through the spirit of the child unharmed. I plunged the knife into the girl, and as it found its mark, the shadowy figure dissipated and joined the swarm of flies, which then exited through a crack in the door. They were gone.

    Then, voices that had tormented me since 2000 spoke up. This happened in 2015, and they continue to this day. The voices said, “You shouldn’t have done that,” “You’re dead,” “Do you know who that was?” “That was the devil,” “You’re a dead man,” “You’re so dead now.”

    Yet, here it is, 2023, and I’m still alive. These voices have been with me every waking hour, minute, and second for 23 years. They torment me, but I am still here.

  5. I was about 15 or 16, and I was sleeping when I noticed a shadow figure come into my room. It was more of an awareness than actually seeing it, because I could not move. I felt the presence and fear. I sensed it was evil and I was terrified, so I prayed for God to help me. All of a sudden, God came and put a protective barrier of pressure on me, that the evil could not touch. The shadow figure left, and God’s protection was lifted so that I could awaken safely, without harm. This was my experience.

  6. I am writing on here because I just woke up in a massive panic again. I’ve been having these a lot lately, and I’m not sure if it’s a demon, but I feel that if it was a spirit or a beloved angel, I would not be terrified. My experience is waking up in a massive panic, sweating. I sit up straight away, but I can’t breathe. It only lasts for about 10 seconds, but it feels longer. My throat feels stuck, and the air stops. It feels like you could actually die if it keeps going, but it always passes. I go to bed with straight, nice hair, and wake up in the early morning with wet, curly hair. Another thing I have to do is wash my hair, which I didn’t need to do before.

    But I have experienced a lot over my life, starting maybe from a young age. We had no idea about this until our neighbor told my mum. We lived in a home where a whole family was murdered. When my mum found out, she was horrified. She always said the home had a cold feeling, especially the back room. So, we found out that the family that lived there, the husband shot his wife and two children in their bedrooms, then shot himself. How horrific for my parents to find out this after we had lived there for a long while. So, my mum, like a police woman (she isn’t, we just joke about her personality), searched the home and found bullet holes from the gun. What a scary house to live in for all of us.

    After that, I’ve had experiences of yelling, screaming out while asleep, and sleepwalking. I have frightened my parents a few times. Once, I screamed, got up, and walked to their room. They opened the door while I was right at the other side, and we all screamed. They didn’t know I was at the door. Scary stuff.

    It eased off after a while but started up again when my father-in-law was dying of cancer. He suffered for 5 years, and it killed me. He was like a father to me. We both loved each other, and he was affectionate to me, treating me like his own daughter. So, this was a very emotional time for me. I was pregnant with my daughter towards the end of his life. It was a horrible feeling in my stomach, knowing that he would never see my unborn baby girl grow up. He died when my daughter was 3 months old.

    So, I started getting more panic attacks in bed, with a racing heart. It felt like I was having a heartache. I had to learn how to breathe to stop the loud beats in my chest.

    Currently, I’m going through a toxic separation full of lies and betrayal. So, I’m not sleeping too well. I always wake up in the early hours of the morning, around 3 am, sometimes earlier. I really feel like it’s some sort of demon or black magic out to get me because waking up in a sweat, in a panic, unable to breathe, cannot be from a beloved passed angel.

    So, I pray that helps my head. Hopefully, one day I don’t ever have to experience these terrifying episodes. And I believe God will be there for me every minute, every hour. I just wanted to share my story, hopefully, it can help others who experience the same thing. Even though it’s scary, it doesn’t last too long.

  7. My first, and hopefully my last, experience was a couple of months ago. During this time, I was very sleep-deprived and stressed from (junior year) school. I honestly don’t know if it was a dream or a hallucination, but the moment I felt hands on me, I automatically checked the time so I can tell if I was “dreaming.” It was around 3-ish am. I could feel the skin and weight pressing on my body. I also could not move or speak. I was honestly really scared because it was touching my thighs. I knew it was demonic because there was a sense of danger. The only thing that helped was I prayed in my head. I finally woke up, and it was around 3 am.

  8. I just had a dream I was getting ready for bed. My 11-year-old daughter was saying good night, and my 2-year-old got down and walked into my closet to get his bottle. Then, something (a spirit or ghost, though nothing was seen) throws my son into my arms forcefully. I laid down with him in my bed, shocked, and my daughter walked out of my room. As she walked out, the thing in the closet started pulling me out of my bed, and I was screaming for my daughter to stay and not leave, begging for help. In real life, I was whimpering loudly or whining, and my husband woke me up, asking what was going on and if I had a bad dream. I was so scared after I woke up. I told my husband about the dream, and I actually sobbed and cried, feeling the weight of fear throughout my entire body.

  9. I never knew sleep paralysis existed until it happened to me. That is the only reason I am even on this website. About 6 or 7 years ago, when my child was just a baby, I woke up hearing him cry in his room, and I couldn’t move. I saw a man standing next to my bed, looking at me and not moving. It was only his outline because the light from the lamp in the living room was shining in my room, making him look like a shadow. I tried my hardest to ask him who he was, and I finally strained with all my mental might and got it out. My husband, who was in my baby’s room, came running across the house and through the man. He was freaked out and asked me if I was okay. I actually saw my husband run through the man. It really freaked me out, and I couldn’t sleep easily after that.

    It is really hard to brush that off as science when you have actually witnessed it. It could very well be science, but why do so many people experience a presence? I saw the man-like figure, and I saw my husband run through him, and then the man disappeared. I was then able to have control over my body. I was not actually scared when it happened, but I was scared when I tried to go back to sleep. The scientific explanation does make sense in a way, but I think they both come hand in hand.

  10. My first bedtime paralysis was not during sleep, as I had just gotten into my bed. I “sensed” someone standing in the darkness of my room. At first, I thought it was my older brother playing a prank. It wasn’t.

    I “saw” the foot of my bed depress downward as if a heavy weight was upon it. It was then I realized I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, or yell. I could move my eyes and nothing more. This “thing” laid atop me, and I could feel the sheer weight of him. My arms were outward, and he assumed my position. The moment lasted not very long (or so it seemed). It lifted up off my chest, then off my legs, and then off the bed. I was 17. Yet, I have no explanation why I called it a “him.”

  11. I felt something crawl on my bed behind me and growl. I felt myself move closer to the edge of the bed because it moved me.

  12. I have suffered from this for years. I wake up and can’t move, shout, or do anything. I feel like I’m sinking deeper into a black mass, and if I don’t get up, I could die. I have had three out-of-body experiences, and I’ve had to align myself back into my own body. It’s been awful my whole life.

  13. I had some entity grab my wrist, which felt like claws keeping me from moving…so frightening. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night, and I could feel the claws on my arm for hours afterward. My wrist also feels bruised. I can’t shake the feeling even after 4 days.

  14. 1983 – I was 19, finished cleaning my motorcycle, laid down on the couch. I remember my head face down in the corner of the couch and then I struggled to pick my head up to breath. It lasted like forever. I kept struggling to raise my head up, finally it felt like whatever was holding me down I fought with all my strength and finally raised up and just kept thinking “what was it?” no drinking, no drugs, nothing. I have never told anyone here. It is 40 years later and it never has happened again, but some force was holding me down. Does this sound crazy?

  15. I’m writing this because what I experienced still haunts me. I have never had sleep paralysis as a child or anything of the sort. I have no fear of the dark or horror films etc… I am now in my early 30s and one night about 8 months ago I was in bed alone while my girlfriend worked her night shift. It was the middle of the night and my eyes slowly opened, at first the room was a blur, but then I started to gain focus and I could feel something was not right.

    As soon as I looked into the corner of the room I could clearly see a tall, slim, completely black figure in the shape of a human facing me. As soon as I saw this…thing…my whole body was pushed down into the bed, my head was pushed back, my mouth wide open unable to make any noise, I began sweating and my heart racing. It was similar to a cramped muscle experience but my entire body. This lasted for about 2 minutes.

    As soon as I got control of my body I instantly turned the bedside light on, my breathing was very fast and all I was feeling was 2 things.
    Evil and Fear.

    This has not happened to me since but I cannot get that image of that thing out of my head ever since. Healthcare will say it is normal REM sleep behavior however until you truly experience it, you will not know what pure atmospheric evil feels like. My gut feeling tells me that I was not supposed to see this thing and what happened to me was its self defense power. Horrifying.

  16. I just had sleep paralysis I think and I want to know who else heard a creepy scream from a girl while trying to escape. I tried to force it off me with my arms but I couldn’t move till tried to move my legs and when I did It felt like a force went away and heard almost like a demon screaming I have never heard before. It was even crazier when I woke up and it was 3:03 AM. Then I knew for a fact it wasn’t a coincidence there are evil spirits roaming around and god is real.

  17. I could feel what felt like hands pressing hard to keep both arms down. I was trying to scream for help but it was only muffled. I felt like I was fighting for my life It felt like my bed covers were slowly being pulled down and then I was fully awake and utterly terrified.

  18. Hi Ethan,
    Thank you for this article! It was very helpful in understanding something that happened to me when I was 6 years old. After reading your article I now understand that I had an episode of sleep paralysis. In my dream/nightmare a being dressed like a giant Arabian Knight was leaning on me with both hands on my chest in the CPR position, crushing me. I tried to scream and thrash and cry, but I was unable to move or make any sound. I couldn’t breathe and believed he meant to kill me. It was absolutely terrifying!!
    I’m now 58 and for the last 20 years have been journaling my dreams. The internet offers so much information on dream interpretation. Some of my dreams have held valid messages. I now pay close attention. :)
    Best regards,
    Julie

  19. I’ve gotten sleep paralysis on a somewhat regular basis for almost 20 years. Sometimes I won’t have it for 3 or 4 months, then I’ll suddenly get it once and it snowballs from there and I’ll get it regularly for a week, a month, 3 months sometimes. When I start getting it really badly, some nights I’ll get it like 10 times. I eventually have to just get up, as my body WILL NOT fall asleep without slipping into the “in-between”.

    For me, it’s terrifying and I panic every time, but not because I think it’s greatly spiritual or demonic. It’s because I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest and when I’m having it, I can’t help but think I’m going to keep falling deeper and deeper into the episode and eventually slip into a coma. In my normal, waking state, I know this won’t happen… but when I’m in it, rational thinking is out the window. That being said, I have had greatly demonic episodes, where I see and hear horrible things. I had one about 3 months ago that still gives me chills and is very vivid in my head:

    The Episode:
    I was having a dream that I was at my grandparents’ house that they had back when I was a fairly young child. I walked to the back of the house, where the garage door was (in real life, it was in the front, but you know dreams…) I walked into the garage and saw a bald man standing on the small, elevated landing by the door into the house. For some reason, as soon as I saw him, I knew I was dreaming and started vivid dreaming. Instead of going out and having fun like I normally would in a vivid dream, I made my way through the longer than real life garage and walked up the few steps to the landing to confront the bald stranger who was in my grandparent’s garage. He was staring at me and smiling the whole time. That is, until I asked him who he was… His smile that he had been sporting up until this point, immediately dropped and he instantly looked angry and said: “I’m your subconscious. I’m here to tell you that you have cancer and you are going to burn in hell.”
    The second he finished that sentence, I slipped out of the vivid dream and right into sleep paralysis.
    I was sleeping on my side and facing the side table and wall, with my feet pointing to the door of my bedroom. My heart was racing, as always and I could hear the pounding in my ears. I heard something big and loud barreling down our hallway, running right for our bedroom and right as it got to where I figured our door was(I couldn’t see the door from my angle), I saw a shadow cast on the wall from it. As soon as the shadow moved, suddenly a fast, rhythmic drum beating started (picture hearing a tribal drum beat, beating about 3-4 beats per second) and with every beat of the drum, a different demonic face with white eyes appeared right in front of me on my bedside table. I closed my eyes as I panicked, but with my eyes closed, I could still see the lingering outline of their faces for a few seconds( like when you accidentally look at the sun and still see it in different color when you close your eyes)

    This was probably the worst episode I’ve had, as far as demonic and scary ones. I’ve had others, but this one stood out to me.

    I’ve trained myself to be able to call my wife for help in a very raspy, strained voice, as the vocal chords are paralyzed as well. But it’s usually enough to wake her up after about 10 seconds and she knows to grab my shoulder and push or pull me to snap me out of it.

    The times I can almost guarantee that I’ll get it is a mid day nap, and especially if I nap on the couch. So I don’t know what tends to cause it… how soft the couch is? Because I sink in more? Because I sleep really deeply when I nap?

    So what do you think? Is it just a physical disorder paired with a crazy imagination? Or something else… If anyone has any ideas, I’m open to them. I’d give anything to be able to get rid of them.

  20. I had an incident while sleeping at night. It was an old house that I had rented. During the night I was awoken by a feeling that something was pressing down on my whole body. It was a sprung mattress and I felt the pressure getting stronger because the springs started popping I couldn’t speak but on my exhalations, I tried to call my girlfriend’s name but she didn’t wake up. It was getting frightening as the pressure increased. I decide to call out to my Papa who had died many years ago for help and after a few moments, the pressure released slowly and went away. I knew that I was conscious because I could hear the springs popping, but I wasn’t afraid as I knew my spirit grandfather would help me. I do believe in Ghosts and I believe that you can call on dead family to come to your aid, but few people do that and I don’t know why, because if you have a spirit who is causing you grief, fear and actually moving things then who better to call than family. They are not effectless against spirits and demons. It didn’t happen again, but I am sensitive to ghosts and when my brother died in my family’s garage, he stayed around the house spiritually for a while. Things like lights would be on in the morning, things going missing and not just small light things either. One night when were we watching TV, all of a sudden our dogs both looked up at the top of the stairs, for at least a minute and a half. They would not move and then just went back to sleep. When I was having a bath, I was playing music on a tape and suddenly the music started laying speedily. Freaked out, I turned it off. Then I started playing again and it was fine, but then it happened again. I shouted out for him to stop it and he did, but it wrecked my bathtime. Tape decks don’t play fast on battery power and that deck hasn’t done it since or ever again. Not all ghosts are benign though, but if you stay strong and show no fear they will retreat. I think they get stronger the more fear you show.

  21. It’s been reoccurring for the past two nights. I stayed up pretty late Saturday night, so late that when I realized it was 3 AM I got scared because of the fantasy videos I would watch about 3 AM as a kid. When I grew up and realized that 3 AM is truly the witch’s hour, I couldn’t bare staying up that late unless I was with somebody. This Saturday when I checked the clock and realized it was nearing 3 AM, I panicked, and quickly sat up, ready to rush in out the bathroom, before I put my headphones back in to play some music to distract myself, I heard faint crying coming from the corner of my room, where my lamp was, I got a little stiff in my position. I was pretty aware of the paranormal, and I grew around them and or with them when I was younger. Hearing voices, seeing shadows, feelings presences wasn’t new to me, but it still scared me. I quietly inched for my phone, turning the flashlight on, and then keeping my hand over my bed, I reached for the lamp light, so I wouldn’t bother this “spirit” this alone took around 1-3 minutes. I then quietly jumped off my bed, to avoid getting snatched if it was even underneath my bed, but it still didn’t like me because it made a hissing sound. I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, my red protection string hanging on my bedpost had fallen. That scared me even more. Harming me and touching my protection is off limits, and almost all the spirits I know, know that about me. I knew whatever this was, was new, and I knew I had never welcomed it in the room, or even my house. Last night was way worse, I lay on call with my friend, joking around, and then he eventually drifted off to sleep, only waking once to mute himself, I twisted around and scrolled through various apps because I wasn’t tried, I eventually felt the presence on me, watching me, I was facing the wall where my lamp was, and I started thinking the worse. I don’t know how long I was in that fetal position with my phone in my hands, but I remember waking up at 6 am, to my phone charging, and my friend calling me because the connection to the call had died and he knew I would almost always forget to put my alarms on. I guess I was so tired and unbothered by the “spirit” I probably fell asleep. I don’t know what it is, but it’s definitely not something I have a connection with. And I don’t want a connection with it at all.

    • Be strong, show no fear and tell it to leave in a strong voice, but don’t shout at it. The 3am + time is when shadows and ghosts are strongest as it is the darkest period. You can make it stop if you show confidence.

  22. I was about ten years old and I was sleeping on my right side. I opened my eyes and right in front of me on the side of my bed was this horrible face. The bottom eyelids were pulled down, his lips were pulled back to expose his yellow teeth and gums with a snarl. His head and face were almost skeletal. The top of his head was bald and he had a little hair on his head above his ears. It looked like the face of a demon. I immediately pulled the covers over my head and stayed that way till the morning. About three weeks past and my younger sister mentioned to me that she was afraid to sleep in the bedroom. I asked her why and she said she saw a face at the foot of the bed. When I asked her to describe the face she described the same exact face that I saw right down to the pulled down bottom eyelids. I saw this face only once, but my sister saw it on two occasions. I am now 69 years old and I will never forget that demonic face. To this day I still talk about it with my sister.

  23. I’ve had it many times and it mostly doesn’t alarm me now. This one was the creepiest, but I stayed cool.
    I woke up alone on my left side, facing the edge of my queen size bed. I couldn’t move. The room was dark.
    I can tell if I’m in SP by either waving my hand in front of my face (can feel it moving, but cannot see it) or by pinching myself (and not feeling it.) I moved my hand. Nothing to see. Well okay then.
    Then I realized there was a presence behind me. Something right there. On the bed. Lying alongside me at my back.
    I could see her in my mind’s eye or I just knew… It was an old woman, a skeletal thing with black hollowed out eyes, and dried out withered up skin covering long bony fingers. She was lying behind me, and she was going to come closer.
    So I did what any sane person would do. I sighed, gave in to whatever it was going to do to me… and reached my right arm up over my pillow, to the top of my head. I reached out to her.
    She reached back. And we held hands. I could feel her bony fingers.
    She didn’t hurt me. I either drifted back off or woke out of it.
    Though the others were super cool, it was one of the creepiest ones I’ve had.

    • You did the right thing, Joanne. Many ghosts are trapped in our plane of existence and many don’t know they are dead. next time just say politely that they don’t belong here and that there are family and friends waiting on the other side, waiting to greet them. There are malevolent spirits out there too, and are best ignored. There is a thing called EVP, electric voice phenomenon, where voices can be heard in the background on tape recordings. There are a small percentage of those that are threatening in nature, so expect the good and the bad in ghosts too.

      • You say this as if you have absolute, definitive proof. You do not have any proof whatsoever that ghosts are trapped here and do not know they are dead. It’s one thing to offer your “opinion” but many people are gullible and very impressionable and to tell them something as the truth without any way of proving it could have negative consequences. Now, if I have spoken out of ignorance I will stand corrected and eagerly await your undisputed proof of what you have stated.

  24. I don’t know how to go about telling my experiences with sleep paralysis because the first time it happened I was terrified. It was just me and my daughter at home and at the time we lived in a two-story house and we were upstairs. She was in one room and I was in my bedroom. I happened to fall asleep finding myself wide awake screaming and crying but she couldn’t hear me. I could hear myself screaming and crying I looked over and happened to see a black figure with wings fly out my window in the bedroom. I was trying my best to move and couldn’t I was soon able to make it to where I got my arm on a hairbrush on my bed and I ended up throwing it against the wall to get my daughter’s attention. When she came in my room I was then able to sit up and gain movement back I then explained what happened and begged her not to leave me alone. This has happened to me quite often since the first time it took place. It stopped for the longest time which was right after we moved out of that house. But now they are back and seem to be a lot worse then the first time. I find myself begging for my fiance to hold me tight and not let go and not to leave me in our bedroom alone. It has me terrified at this time to even go to sleep nights after it has taken place because I’m scared to even go to sleep and feeling like something or someone is after me to harm me.

  25. I was dreaming that demons were chasing me and passing through me, trying to like, take hold of me, it was like we were in a battle. When I woke up I could feel a force like wind holding me to the bed, I tried to fight it but I couldn’t move, it felt like my body was shaking but I had no control, then it stopped. It was very weird and felt pretty damn real. I’m going back tonight to kick that demon’s ass.

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