Shadow Visitors: Sleep paralysis and discarnate “dark ones”

Louis Proud: Dark IntrusionsA week or so ago I finished reading Louis Proud’s fascinating book Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences. Published just last year, it argues that sleep paralysis is actually a cousin to spirit mediumship, in that the experience represents an actual visitation by paranormal entities that live constantly among us. Usually we remain in a condition of mutual ignorance — we don’t see these entities, and they don’t see us — but sometimes they become aware of us, and then, if they’re the lower and more craven kind, they latch onto us to feed on our life energy. Sufferers of sleep paralysis thus serve as conduits to the spiritual or daimonic realm in a manner roughly similar to mediums or, in a slightly different context, the teenager that’s typically identified as the focal point for a poltergeist disturbance. (For a detailed explanation of Proud’s ideas, see the interview he gave to TheoFantastique a couple of months ago.)

You’ll recall that I myself suffered for years from savage episodes of sleep paralysis. I still have them occasionally, only they’re much milder and less dramatic than they used to be. In the beginning they were fully as shattering and spiritually transformational as what Proud — a sleep paralysis sufferer himself — describes in his book. Although I never bought fully into an all-out paranormal explanation of the whole thing, remaining mostly skeptical about such matters, I was unable, as a matter of psychological fact, to escape the awful pall that the experiences cast over my life for a few years, just as I was unable to deny the clear impression that the figure or figures that visited me during those episodes were objectively real, as opposed to subjective dream figures generated by my brain. Of course, that doesn’t mean they actually were (or are) real. But as in all things, it’s prudent here to make sure you’re informed before you pass judgment, and in this case that might mean reading — for instance — the work of David J. Hufford, the brilliant pioneer of sleep paralysis studies (and a professor of both humanistic medicine and religious studies in the Penn State and University of Pennsylvania systems). Among the several aspects of his work that are guaranteed to provoke a reaction deeper than a mere shrug are his findings that the phenomenology of the sleep paralysis experience (what it feels like, and what the “entities” encountered during it look like and act like) remains constant across cultures, even among those that are fully isolated from each other, thus giving the lie to the idea that cultural expectations determine the content of the attendant hypnagogic visions; and that even among educated moderns who have been taught, or who have sometimes eagerly sought out on their own, the voluminous medical literature that explains the neurological aspects of sleep paralysis, it’s still quite common for them absorb this medical-scientific knowledge without changing their opinion that their experiences have a metaphysical or paranormal basis.

Reading Proud’s book has got me to reflecting seriously on everything that happened to me during those years, a task that’s made easier by the fact that I wrote about a lot of it in my journal at the time.

Here are two things about my experiences that I’ve never mentioned to anybody, including family and close friends. I bring them up now because I figure they might prove interesting to those of you who are fans of my horror fiction and want to know more about its origins.

First, I’ll highlight two famous images from Hollywood that, although they’re very distinct from each other, manage in tandem to illustrate the thing that I encountered during one of my earliest and most powerful sleep paralysis experiences (which I described in a kind of glossed-over fashion in “Fun with nocturnal assault“):

"The Beast Within" and "John Carpenter's The Thing"

If you can imagine these two images — which are probably familiar to you — mingled together to the point where they’re concomitant, then you’ll have a good sense of what I encountered in my bedroom one night in 1993. On that occasion, I emerged circa 3 a.m. from a sleep so deep that it was almost a coma, to find myself paralyzed by a dark figure hovering over me at the foot of the bed. When I say I was paralyzed by the figure, that’s precisely accurate: I had the sense that this thing was responsible for the awful state of paralysis that had unaccountably taken hold of me. And yes, I do know, and I think I may even have known then, about the physical paralysis that naturally occurs during REM sleep. In the presence of that dark figure, I was immediately panicked, horrified, positively sickened with terror and dread, in a way and to a degree that I had not only never experienced but had never even conceived. And this horror was a result not only of my paralysis, nor of the figure’s presence and frightening appearance, but of the awful knowledge of its reason for being there, which gripped me suddenly and totally. The thing was a vaguely man-shaped vortex of darkness, and I knew, with a kind of psychological weight that I had never imagined, that it was the anti-me, that it was like my own personal black hole, and that its presence, in fact its very existence, meant my utter annihilation. I actually felt it sucking my entire being into it, like a roaring, devouring hurricane meant for me and me alone.

Yes, cue thoughts of the Jungian shadow, the disjected and repressed aspects of the total self, objectified in a moment of involuntary hypnagogia to confront me. But does such an explanation, even if accepted (and it sounds valid to me), necessarily negate and exclude all others? Can’t the “explanation” of many things be multivalent?

So that’s the first of the two things mentioned above: In 1993, during my worst-ever episode of sleep paralysis, I encountered a demonic-seeming figure whose very essence and raison d’etre was my utter negation, and which looked a bit like the cinematic images I’ve supplied. I didn’t think of the movie pictures until sometime afterward, though, when I was trying to come to grips with the whole thing, and was trying to remember what the entity had looked like, which was singularly difficult because although it definitely had a visual appearance, which definitely felt like I was looking at it in just as real and wakeful a fashion as I’m now looking at my laptop screen, its appearance was also, somehow, psychological or spiritual, so that what it looked like to the physical eye was completely intermingled with what it “looked” like to thought, emotion, and the imaginal eye.

The second thing is a little anecdote from my college years that has come back to haunt me from time to time, and that has now pushed its way to the front of my thoughts thanks to Proud’s book. As I mentioned in a recent Demon Muse post (“Stoking Your Creative Fire: Embrace your Creative Demon’s Rhythm (1)“), when I was an undergraduate at the University of Missouri-Columbia, I took a class titled The Creative Process. It was offered through the honors college, and was created and taught by Dr. Betty Scott, who in addition to being a noted trumpet player was and is a long-time adherent of alternative spiritualities and health modalities. Her Creative Process class, which I took when it was brand new and had only been offered once or twice before, was ostensibly about the subject named in its title. It was supposedly intended to teach students the psychology of creativity and help them increase their creative potential. And while it really did cover this territory, it also ended up being so chock-full of non-mainstream spiritual and psychological stuff that it could validly have been titled New Age 101. Under Dr. Scott’s tutelage, I and my fellow students engaged in guided visualizations to find internal creative guides. We drew and shared personal mandalas. We created and endlessly wrote affirmations. We listened to subliminal learning tapes consisting of New Age electronic music accompanied by subaural messages aimed at increasing our creative focus and energy. We discussed Richard Bach’s newest book at the time, One, which continued the author’s tale of his transcendent love affair with his “soulmate,” Leslie Parrish-Bach, that he had begun in The Bridge Across Forever. (Having been mesmerized first by Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull and then his Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah back in high school, I was an easy mark for this one. Of course, the whole thing seemed to fall apart retroactively when he and Leslie divorced in the late 1990s.)

At first I dug the hell of the whole thing, and I started out as one of the star pupils in the class. But partway through the semester I dove with gusto into researching a paper for another class about the then-hot New Age movement in America, and by the time I had finished writing that paper, which touched on the channeling phenomenon (including J.Z. Knight and her Ramtha swindle), neurolinguistic programming, crystal mania, UFOlogy, and all the rest of that ill-defined, Shirley MacLaine-helmed phenomenon, I had shifted into full-blown skeptic mode, and for the rest of my foray through The Creative Process I was barely able to contain my scorn for what we were doing. Poor Betty, who really was a great lady, couldn’t help but notice the change. Of course she was a lot older and wiser than I was, so I think she just endured my altered demeanor as she had probably endured the attitudinal volatility and pseudo-schizophrenia of a great many college students before me.

Then, a year or two after I was out of her class, a mutual friend named Robert who had been in there with me, and who had gone on to spend more time with Betty in The Creative Process II (a class that I naturally opted to skip), told me something that came blazing up from my memory several years later when I was suffering my near-meltdown from repeated sleep paralysis attacks.

Specifically, Robert told me that when he was talking with Betty one time after a class meeting of Creative Process II, he brought up my name for some reason — an understandable occurrence, since the three of us, he and Betty and I, were all mutual acquaintances. And then for some reason she shared with him that she was concerned that I might have a “dark one” attached to me. I blinked when he told me this, and replied, “Huh?” since this was the first I had heard of such an idea. So he explained that, according to Betty, a dark one is an unincarnate or disincarnate spirit that longs for fleshly existence, and that sometimes one of these spirits will attach itself to a person and live vicariously through his or her bodily experiences. But when it does this, it accidentally and involuntarily imparts a kind of night-sided emotional cast to its host, simply by the fact of its own nature and presence, so that its host’s outlook, mindset, attitude, and overall view and experience of life are tilted in a certain dark-ish, anti-life direction.

And that, my friends, is something that Louis Proud describes very specifically in Dark Intrusions.

As I have explained before — for example, in my Strange Horizons review of Unexplained: An Encylopedia of Curious Phenomena, Strange Superstitions, and Ancient Mysteries, and also in some blog posts here and at Demon Muse — I’ve been very interested in the paranormal, in ghosts and UFOs and cryptozoology and all the rest, since I was a kid, when Daniel Cohen’s books about these things were a delight to me. As an adult that interest has continued,. and I’ve gone on to read books of a much more sophisticated nature, everything from Colin Wilson, John Keel, Patrick Harpur, and Anthony Peake to explicitly skeptical stuff like Skeptical Inquirer and a couple of the hardcore skeptical titles from Prometheus Books. And I’ve done all that while earning a graduate degree in religious studies and pursuing a side career as a supernatural horror writer and independent scholar of such matters. So it’s not like I haven’t thought about such things in awhile. It’s not like I haven’t been “up” on the mediumistic and parapsychological theories of earthbound spirits and all that. But reading Proud’s book, and finding him not only saying things about “lower order spirits” that recall Betty Scott’s odd speculation about me all those years ago, but doing so explicitly in the context of a study of sleep paralysis, which is an experience that helped to define who I am now, has really knocked the bolts loose on some of my mental doors. Multiple interpretations indeed. I feel like I’m living out a metaphor.

If you’ve experienced sleep paralysis yourself, and if you have any thoughts about any of what I’m saying here — or even if you haven’t and you don’t — I’d love to hear your reactions. The comment threads on my previous posts about sleep paralysis have been most enjoyable to read, so if you’re so inclined, please speak up.

Oh, and for those who may be wondering, the answer is yes, the nocturnal supernatural assault scene near the end of my story “An Abhorrence to All Flesh” in Divinations of the Deep, where a character is horrifically destroyed by a man-shaped hole or vortex that appears at the foot of his bed, does indeed hail from the experience I’ve described here.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on May 26, 2010, in Paranormal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 87 Comments.

  1. Matt, I’m glad you were able to finish the book and find it not only helpful, but inspirational (perhaps in unsettling fashion) in some sense. It is indeed amazing what sources we may draw upon for our creativity. Makes me wonder about folks like Poe. And just as some of your horror fiction finds its roots in these experiences, no doubt more of our classic horror literature and cinema is likewise. As a fellow scholar and one on the journey regarding not only sleep paralysis, but also the paranormal and “the fringe,” I hope the bolts come back together for you in even more promising and creative ways.

  2. Hello, Matt Cardin. Your blog is very informative and your literary talents as a writer shine through it. I am 19 and last year I had a similar sleep paralysis “visit”. It resembled the images you posted and a character from the anime “Gurren Lagann”:
    http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j2/BamaSnoopy/GurrenLagann-Anti-SpiralAvatar.jpg

    I only gazed at the figure’s “face” and an intense panic rushed throughout my body. I actually screamed “within” myself; for an instant I felt unbelievable horror and broke free from the paralysis to see everything became okay…

  3. I am a 28 yr old man who has been dealing with sleep paralysis my entire life along with a certain “visitor” who stands at the side of my bed…..I was 5 yrs old when i had my first experience. A shadowy dark-cloaked figure who at times seems as though he is looking away towards my door as if to give the impression that he is guarding or watching out for me. Other times he watches me. i have become so accostom to these experiences that fear is no longer a factor, i just get angry with him for waking me and attempt to yell at him as i yearn to know why he has been doing this. He just stares at me. What is most odd is the feeling of protection he offers and not feelings of threat.His presence gives me a sense of security. WHY???

    • What you say about the sense of security that comes from your “visitor” really is striking, Mike. Please feel free to post more about it here if any further developments come to light.

    • Dear Mike, what struck for me to write back is that i can COMPLETELY had the SAME “most odd is the feeling of protection he offers and not feelings of threat.His presence gives me a sense of security.” it took an unknown drug that till this day i cannot figure out what it was (my dealer told me it was Xanax)… but it wasn’t. and until then, i have stopped after i got a visitor coming above me, a black cloud over me as i slept high, off the unknown drug. i felt glued to my bed, even trying to open up my eyes. my body was moving right and left, right and left, right and left, very quickly. my mind was all awake, but something was controlling my body. as hard as i tried opening up my eyelids, the nosier it became inside my head but i couldnt scream bc i felt something either sucking the life/energy out of me or bc i had the feeling as i was drowning. this was no dream. as i finally open up my eye lids all i remember was seeing AND feeling a DARK cloud of bad energy (let me remind you my room is quite dark as always). i felt a storm over my body as i lay on the bed and then thinking… all i was thinking about was God. I’ve had doubts of wether or not he was real the past couple of months, but it all came down to me thinking about him. It’s as if you are an atheist until the airplane starts falling. so i talk to him (or at least in my head) but the bad energy was so big when i spoke, i could only whisper and could barely hear myself speak bc of how loud the black cloud was above me. It connected with God saying, “if you help get through this, then you are real, if you get me through this, then you are real, if this black cloud goes away with me praying to you, then you are real”… I felt as a nod was given to me from somewhere as a “Yes”, so I began praying. “Hail Mary, full of grace the lord is with thee .. blessed..” (Prayer #1) & “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thee name, thy kingdom come.. thy will be done….”(Prayer #2). those were only prayers i knew by heart and ones my mom said were important. i spoke/mumbuled them really quickly and throughly over and over and over and over. it felt like 20 min and as i did, opening my eyes now and then(it was hard), the black shadow began getting smaller. and it was NOT only my mouth that the bad energy overcame and has gotten to move.. it was also my hands which eventually began to move. i raised my hands, bent at the torso and began move them symmetrically out and in, creating a light or a ball of energy in between my two hands. and as this ball of energy got bigger (i was praying the whole time as i was moving my hands), the shadow above me began to disappear. and then.. as soon as ALL of it disappeared.. my upper body stood up on my bed , and i was still sitting on the bed but i could BREATH… i was gasping much more air than usual, and my eyes were wide open.. i looked around the room.. looked up, nothing. and the best part was, i was completely sober. i had no doubts that i was high. and as soon as i saw that nothing was above me.. my head threw itself back into my pillow and closed my eyes and fell asleep.

      Can someone please help me what this was?
      Being born into Russian Orthodox Christian, praying, and it went away.

      Merry Christmas 2013, everyone.

    • Ok, Ive seen the dasrk shadow’s since I was 10. Im 45 and I was having sleep paralysis. I mentioned it a week later to my girlfriend and she said she seen the dark shadow right next toi me. I think it is a angel proctectingme? Anyone? I repeat my girlfirend witness the dark shadow..anyone? explainantion? Please?

  4. I had a similar experience to the one you described here. There was a dark figure similar to the one you described dark, ‘cloaky’ hovering above me. I still have the similar issue of what it looked like because I guess, I had an OBE with it.. at one point it felt like it was behind me tugging on me at others I remember seeing it from the outside pulling me out of my body.

    I guess this is where we differ there was a chain attached to my spiritual back linked to my body. I felt as if this thing were able to pull me completely free from my body then I would die so I fought it. My memory of it is spotty but eventually the episode was over and I was just paralyzed with no illusions and then I was able to awake. Like you said this was my most intense episode

    I guess what I was most intrigued about with your article was the dark-tilt that is associated with the ‘dark one’. I’m a skeptic of all things supernatural now.. as of recent I guess since that experience though one would expect opposite. Initially I suppose it fueled my appetite for the supernatural but something changed and I’m not sure where or why.

    6 – 8
    When I was younger I also had a visitor that was an old lady she seemed to always stand near my bed watching me or looking out the window.. I never really felt afraid of her but I can’t say I felt secure just aware of her presence..

    But one night I woke up screaming to a host of dark entities that seemed to surround me in my room and I could see them in the hallway outside my door. My dad came running to me.. I saw him walk through them and turn on the light, they were gone.. when he turned the light back off I screamed they were still there. They were more like what Sepehr described with the link.. only they weren’t glowing at all. and just congregated like idle zombies.

    He being a religious man.. prayed and they were gone.

  5. I’ve had a hand full of these episodes nothing like a dark figure. One I was in my bed sleeping on my back I remember having a dream and I woke up from it and couldn’t move my vision was shaky like my head was vibrating I tried with everything I could just to try to move a finger but couldn’t it was so hard to breath then above my head looked like a white see through long cloth was being swayed over my face. My eyes scanned the room and I thought I was going to die was pretty scared I closed my eyes just hoping if I was going to die then let it be over I think I may have went back to sleep when I closed ‘em and woke up scared thinking it had to be a dream but I remember the way everything was in my room like the sunlight coming through my certains the time of the clock laying next to my bed. My other episodes will make me sound like a lunatic so going to keep them to myself.

  6. Hey was up my name is will n Ive been experiancing this demonic presence trying to posess me since a child . It happened to me over 20 times and the most recent time was interesting . I was on a trip with my brother who Ive always discuss this with and we were talking about Bruce Lee and how concious he was as a person who made his bidy this best it can be physically mentally and spiritually and was effected by sleep paralysis which was interesting to me because how can a man so healthy die at the age of 33. As we discuss that and how weird that was I got tired and went to take a nap the last time I experianced that was months ago and was not thinking something like was going to happen to me . Once I fell asleep I felt like I was concious while my physical eyes were close my spiritual eye was open and scanned the room in which I saw a short figure looking upon me on my bed and quickly moved to the shadows I immediatly woke up because I felt it was about to attack me with the paralysis . I then went downstairs and told my brother what I saw and said their a presence in this house thats evil . He looked at me like I was bugging out . So as we talked he was on the couch and said hes going to nap I said okay thinking nothin of it because I thought the spirit wouldnt justify what I had told him. But as he took his nap I played playstation 3 in about 20 minutes he woke up and said he was attacked I saw it in his eyes and he swore to evryone knowing im sensitive about this he wouldnt lie about that. He told me that the spirit took him to a dark realm which he could not move until he chanted in arabic I rebuke u in the name of jesus . In which it freed him and he awoke. I dont know evrything but I know the spirit world is real and we are vulnerable to these experiances when we are far from god . Anyone that reads this just know that jesus loves u and will always forgive you for whatever sin u commit . Just after u repent to not continue on that path and gain a sort of conciousness to do better starting with yourself and become a child of light not of darkness. I can go on forever about this but I dont type very good so anyone get something from this please give feedback.

  7. Hi. I have myself experienced this type of sleep paralysis whilst dark hooded creatures were chasing after me, I was about 6-8 years old at the time. I noticed that if I screamed nothing would come out, however I could clearly hear the screaming and groaning of these creatures. Even weirder,the ghost hunters have caught something similar on camera at the eastern state penitentiary to what I experienced and a lot of people have accounted experiences of these same creatures, has anyone else seen these beings? However the sleep paralysis just suddenly ended, and I have had no other experiences at my present age of 22. Though there is still a heavy presence in my room back at my mums address. which my partner has even picked up on, but it has been there all my life, and thankfully I don’t think it can get to me. Though it was such a scary experience, and I will remember it for the rest of my life

  8. Oh and to reply to Kevin my room was also exactly the same as if I was waking up normally, I could see my alarm clock, I could feel the duvet on top of me and I could feel the mattress! Very real and frightening experience.

  9. Stumbled on this page looking for an explanation for a similar experience. In my case I triggered it myself when I was awake and I know exactly who my dark shadow is. I’d be interested if any of you also experience this in waking condition or know who your shadow is.

  10. Hi. A couple of weeks ago I had a horrible experience with sleep paralysis. I suddenly woke up in in the middle of the night in my bed to see a woman (she wasn’t really black, I could see her face) who was looking at me from the corner of my room. Before I knew it, she was on top of me, choking me. Naturally, I tried to move or scream but I couldn’t move a single muscle or make a sound. Then she suddenly disappeared and I could move again, as it if nothing had happened. Should I be worried? This hadn’t ever happened before and it hasn’t happened again. Was the woman a figment of my imagination or was it something else? Please, any help will be most welcome

  11. Hey I wanted to share my experience, seeing how I have not yet seen anyone with a full similarity. Starting from the beginning I am a recovering addict, finally beating it after about 5 years of trying. I have had many encounters with death including a trip to the hospital from my drug use most recently and have always felt as if I have had been saved a few times by someone watching over me.
    Anyway, to the night it happened I was having a very intense dream in which my sister was in trouble and these things were after her, and I ended up finding her hurt and screaming for my parents and not knowing what to do when they didnt come. So I decided to run to get them as I couldnt carry her and she was unconscious and the things were coming, but as soon as I got back seconds later she was gone and the room I left her in was completely devoid of anything. Looking back after the dream seemed oddly like a test to me? Not sure why I just got this strange feeling that it was a test. I screamed in agony as I realized I had let her be taken or die or whatever.
    I wake up, Im groggy and still calming realizing it was just a dream when I turn my head to the left side of the room I see a dark figure.
    It was very short, maybe 4 and a half, 5 feet and very slender with long arms. This is the strangest part I havnt seen anywhere else.. The being had an elongated skull, and gave me the appearance of an alien as soon as i saw it. It was completely black, devoid of any features, like a black hole it was consuming all light. It was standing at the foot of my bed and I had my window open, so right in front of my open window at the corner of my bed. It seemed startled when I noticed it, like it was not expecting me to wake. When it noticed, it began moving its arms over me in very rapid and precise movements, but completely unhuman. It moved so quickly its as if it was in an altered state of time, its arms would be in one spot then another, almost the way someone looks when viewed moving quickly in a blacklight. No movement, they were just here, then there, then in another place. As soon as I saw it I tried to scream and it began its arm movements over me, then I tried to get up and felt my body paralyze completely, and finally I started blanking out like I was being forced into unconciousness. The rapidity of its movements and the way I could not even see it move just where its movements ended and the alien like physique near my open window really freaked me out. I blanked out completely like a g-force push on my consciousness almost, then instantly woke and it was gone and I ran out of the room. It completely felt real, Im 24 and never have experienced anything like this. I have had double dreams and all but I was in my bed and looking around my room and it did not seem like I was dreaming before I saw the being.
    The next day I was riding my bike along the side of a main road, with oncoming 50 mph traffic pretty constant coming towards me. Suddenly my bike had a nut pop loose and my handle went left and wheel went right throwing me right into oncoming traffic. Somehow there was a lull in the constant traffic I had been riding near, and the one car coming head on swerved just in time, and somehow I didnt fall even with no direction control.
    I feel almost like the being cast a protective like spell or something on me, thats what I get from the whole experience. I was extremely scared when I saw it, but I felt no evil just frightened to wake up to such a thing I think. And then for the near death experience to happen literally about 12 hours later really had me thinking it somehow put a barrier around me knowingly. Its extremely strange, and this is the only time I have ever had one of these dream paralysis or visions or anything.
    So I get either angel or demon, but I feel like it was testing me in the dream beforehand and somehow protected me from that crash.. But why did it look like an alien in form? Could not make out any features but that it was solid and the outline of it, because of its darkness, like a black hole it was as if it sucked in the light from around it.
    Anyone have anything like this or some insight? Would much appreciate it, thanks!
    -Nate

  12. I’ve been fascinated to watch as this post of mine has become a magnet for people to share their own experiences. Thanks, all.

    Addressing some people’s specific questions:

    Andrés, you ask, “Was the woman a figment of my imagination?” Since your story sounds like a classic variation on the so-called Old Hag experience, which has been known cross-culturally by many people, I think the best answer is: Yes, but that doesn’t mean the woman wasn’t real. The real meaning of your question devolves down to the question of the imagination’s reality. If something is imaginary, does that make it utterly unreal? Or are creatures and events in the imagination real in their own right, but in a way that’s different from objective reality? When you felt assaulted by this spectral woman, where exactly was the boundary, the division, the borderline, the limen, between your subjective sense of identity as the assaultee and her reality as the assaulter? These are some of the questions that occur to me as most pressing, and not just theoretically but quite practically. I strongly recommend seeking out some writings by Jung on the objective reality of the psyche, and by Patrick Harpur on what he calls “daimonic reality,” and by David Hufford about sleep paralysis, as you’re trying to sort through what happened to you.

    Nate, your experience sounds both fascinating and horrifying — just like my own. I recommend some of the same reading I just mentioned to Andrés. The alien appearance of the being you encountered may well be a metaphor — a living, real, existential one, not just a symbolic one — for the fact that the being is ultimately a part of your own psyche, or rather that you’re both part of a wider psyche, or perhaps that it arose/arrived as a kind of literalized visitation from and encounter with your own shadow self in the Jungian sense. In other words, the fact that it looked and seemed “like an alien” may indicate its relationship to you-as-ego, to you as your customary sense of being a self known as Nate. Alienness means utter, absolute otherness. As I describe in my article above, I experienced my own shadow figure as an anti-me, as my anti-self, my absolute antithesis, the negation of Matt, my own personal soul-sucking black hole. Following the clues provided by the very seemingness and the very vocabulary that we spontaneously use when describing such things may be the golden thread to arriving at some sort of understanding.

    • My question is, do they really share reality with us or could they just be created from the thought sphere? The reason I say this is because, when you look at some of these shadow characters like the hat man, the type of hat he wears is something of 1800′s era. And what I want to know is did they experience the hat 1000 years prior? I highly doubt it since it wasn’t invented. So I think it is an inorganic being. None the less, it does not make it less real or scary. What I find interesting is that when I had my first experience, I did not feel sketched out or paranoid, I was very peaceful and all of the sudden that changed and did not seem like it came from my mind.

  13. I too stumbled upon this by chance when trying to figure out a similar occasion.
    I’ve been having sleep paralysis bouts since I was a child; I just didn’t realize what it was until my college years. I’m 20 years old and I’ve progressed from just hearing sounds to being able to move away from my body. It feels as if I’m projecting myself from my body when this happens… Usually my room is void and empty, or I’ll hear non-threatening sounds (sometimes I get creepy whispers but I usually wake up).

    Just last night however, I felt a presence lurking in the corner of my room and I felt the urge to almost cast a, for lack of a better word, a “power-up” in an effort to take control of the situation; however, in doing so I became paralyzed and only my peripheral vision could scan the side of my bed. I saw a figure in a white/beige gown walking, in a hunched manner, along the side of my bed, its hair went down past its knees and it was making wavering breathing sounds… I immediately started that pseudo-hyperventilation associated with sleep paralysis… thankfully my brother in the adjacent bed, of whom shares similar experiences, heard me and called me out of it.

    Creepy. Rather Creepy.

    • I wish you the best with it, Ash. Don’t be afraid to let it change your worldview.

    • Ash, what is so interesting is that my first experience with this thing was when I was actually in my dream and in the dream, I visited a very old mansion building ( My history classroom to be exact ) It was very random because I just ended up in that classroom all by myself without realizing what I was dreaming prior to that. I felt completely at peace and wonderment why everything felt so real in my dream, and all of the sudden I felt like something big was going to happen and I felt it right above me; I looked up and saw this blob of black ( very much like a huge black thing of undefined blob of oily type of substance) and it landed on my chest and pinned me on the ground seeming like it was choking me with his hands, sucking the life out of me. I then starting moaning off the top of my lungs and my dad all the way from the other room heard me. And this is where it gets pretty interesting, later on I asked him if he ever had this happen to him, and he said after him waking me up, he has had them sense as well. I have had about 6 experiences with 3 different looking characters. I have seen the hooded figure, the black shadow with the strong hands, and the black blob ( which just stared at me with no attack )

  14. Oh man! I’ve had sleep paralysis since I was about 12 years old (I am now 22). One night a couple months ago I had the scariest sleep paralysis ever. I was in my boyfriends bed and woke up around 5 am. He left for work at 4am. As I woke up to turn to my side I saw a light float into the fish tank we had for some baby turtles. I lied down on my back and put the blanket in front of my face so I wouldn’t see anything. I woke up about 10 minutes later paralyzed. I didn’t think much of it since i’ve had it so many other times before. Anyway, about 5 minutes later I turned to my side facing his door and noticed two dark shadowy figures standing there. I got instantly scared and horrified. I have NEVER felt like that before in my life. I closed my eyes as fast as I could and when I opened them again they were standing even closer. I was so scared I could barely breathe. I remember peeking through part of the covers and seeing one of them walking toward the edge of the bed and I felt the bed kind of fall through like someone was climbing into it. I was so scared I couldn’t even scream. I think I fell asleep right after closing my eyes as tightly as I could. I have no idea what happened after that. I didn’t remember the incidence till around noon that day. :(

    • That’s an excellent description of the real thing. Thank you, Winter, and good luck with it all.

      • Rob hernandez

        Whats up Matt,
        I think I might have a dark one
        Attach
        A couple years ago I was going through some changes in my life. I didn’t like the way I was living my life .I stop smoking cigs
        Going out with friends drinking
        I completely did a 180
        Everything was great, I started school for audio engineering I had my business on the side
        My own place I felt like everything I told my self I wanted to accomplish was happening right before my eyes ..until one night everything changed in a heart beat ..one night I couldn’t sleep ..I was excited because I just recently invested in a in/home-music studio so that night I got up ..I started working on my music
        Hours into my session I start feeling tired
        I lay down on my sofa
        I fall asleep while
        I cant remember but I felt that I was awake but I told my self its only a dream..I saw a dark shadow on my ceiling flying around
        suddenly it started to approach me
        I remember saying clear as day
        stop leave me alone however it came with such force pushing down on my chest as if it was trying to go inside of me .I tried to talk but I couldnt..I finally managed to push it away
        and then thats when I snapped out of it

  15. My husband had just left for work it was about 4am, and all of a sudden, I see this goblin looking thing (almost like that white creature in lord of the ring-precious) but a dark black image come and whisper in my ear. I started to sing church songs (I did this as a child whenever I was scared) to try to scare it away. It wouldn’t leave, so I got up and chased it out of my bedroom and into the living room. That’s when I saw about 20 zombies/dead looking people congregating in my living room. All I can think of was to open the door and tell them to go home. That’s when I realized I was actually still laying in bed, but I felt like I was being held down and couldn’t move. Also found myself repeating “go home”. I finally broke away from the hold and felt this numbing paralyzing feeling throughout my body. I got up out of bed, got ready, and left the house at 5am… Is this the same thing as sleep paralysis? Why was I able to get up and leave? I don’t recall how I got back to bed. Please help. I’m terrified.

    • I like how you say congregating because it makes think since you were praying prior to that and right after that I can see the mind creating something like zombie type creatures “congregating” (which is a religious term) and you sound like a religious person who prayed prior to that. Which then, your mind was able to create an experience that seemed all too real.. But then again, who knows?

  16. Hello Mr. Cardin,

    I just found this article, while looking for answers to my experiance two years ago. I was at school, it’s a military college in the north, and while there, I experianced multiple events with the paranormal. Two moment of living on the campus never scared me more than anything. The first would be a demon chasing and taunting me for a few weeks and the second is my sleep paralysis episodes. Now I was on the bottom bunk in the room and my roommate as asleep in the top bunk, the door was to the left of the bunks and would hit them if the door was opened. Well this happened to me two nights in a row, I awoke suddenly from a pretty good dream, to see my door opening up (it’s a heavy fire door) and we’d have the door unlock because we trusted the people on the deck. So as I was watching the door open I thought it was going to be one of my buddies coming to get a cigarette, but I see this 6 foot 3 slender, black figure glide into my room. It’s face was pail, and almost looked like an opera mask yet the eyes were wide and black. I could look around, but I couldn’t move, I tried to yell to my roommate to see if he could see the same thing I was seeing, but I couldn’t speak. As I was trying to yell it notices me looking at it, it turns to look at me, we make “eye” contact and dives face first into my face and I fall asleep. I wake up the next morning feeling different yet still the same person, the day seemed smooth and yet dark. I thought it was just some crazy dream, but when it happened to me again that next night, I knew it was something dark that wanted something. Supposedly on that campus, theres a demon, ghosts and other “things”, yet I didn’t know how to deal with it. To this day I haven’t had any episodes, so I guess the “being” is a part of me and has what it wants. What are your thoughts?

  17. hi.i have just found this site and find it very intresting to read about so many similar expiriences.im 26 and have had sleep paralysis since i was a child.im a serving british soldier and untill a recent tour off afghanistan the expirience had always been qite similar.as i child i would always complain about a dark figer at the end of my bed whith a head shaped like an anvil(it even became known as anvil too my mother)and i couldnt move.some times i would just hear somthing in the room and i would open my eyes only too see the shadow and not be able too move.this continued for most of my adult life untill i was away on tour with my battalion.with out going in to too much detail was in my sleeping bag in a deep sleep at the end off a paticularly dificult day.i could feel someones breath on my face.i opened my eyes and was stuck as usual exept there was a very angry arabic man breathing very heavily in my face and the shadow was sort off stood behind him.i was so terified.i had almost come acustomed to the usual state but this re awoke the fear and has been the same ever since i have returned.i now dread this happening even more so and sort off get the feeling that some how the shadow has brought this man too terify me to the point that my fear turns to aggression and i scream and try to attack but cant move untill i snap out of it and sit up.this does not feel like a dream or even sleep it seems very real.but it is comforting to know people are having similar expirences.please give your view on this.and i also appologise for my awfull spelling lol.

  18. I was forcebly shaken awake by something i had a pressure on my chest keeping me down, i couldnt move except my eyes but i did not see any thing at the time which was the most scariest even though i could feel something sitting or holding me down. I couldnt talk scream or whatever but i tried reciting the lords prayer i my head and i could move, it was the most teriffing experiece ive ever had, I have not had another attack as of yet i fhink due to me sleeping with the rosery under my pillow at night. I am not a religious person i dont go to church but something happened to me that night and it didnt like the fact i calked apon god! ta zoex

  19. Hi, I have been reading through every ones description of this sleep paralysis black shadow figure which looks to me like a dark hooded, grim reaper like , which I have been experiencing since I was 12 I’m now 25 but the worrying thing is matt, though what your friend betty said.”so that its host’s outlook, mindset, attitude, and overall view and experience of life are tilted in a certain dark-ish, anti-life direction, is worrying cause if this is true it can effect your daily life and if this can thing can be stopped

  20. Hello there. I’ve had similar experiences as well and find it odd that all of these stories are similar. The same dark cloaked figure is in most of these posts. If I want to be scientific about it by referring to them as hallucinations, why don’t they differ from each other? It doesn’t make sense that they would all be eerily similar.

    I’ve had sleep paralysis off and on since I was 13 I believe. And it’s always been the same. I feel as though something is sitting on my chest, and I can’t speak or move. My worst experience was this past year (i’m 28) and my sleep paralysis turned into an OBE. At first I was being pinned down but then it was as if my spirit had left my body. Then a dark cloaked figure started chasing me throughout my apartment, violently thrashing at me. I was terrified and angry at the same time. So I started screaming at the figure and I began to chase it out of my apartment. I was saying prayers as well but i’m not very religious and I’ve never gone to church before. I finally chased the figure out of my apartment and haven’t had an episode since.

    I’m pretty terrified this will happen again.

    What struck me as odd was how realistic the “dream” was. I’m not even sure it was a dream. I’ve never had a dream where I was in my apartment and everything was exactly as it is in real life. I’m talking little details in my apartment. I try and tell myself it was a dream…but it was so real.

  21. Hello,

    I had this experience happen to me many years ago when I was 19 years old. I am 33 now and have not had anything like this happen since then, although, at times I have had the feeling like there was some kind of presence in a room with me. This presence that I had felt from time to time was not a good presence, conversely, it was more of a dark and evil presence, which would give me a very uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Anyway, back to my experience.

    I remember clearly and vividly the entire experience. At the time of my experience I had been a drug user, but I remember that the night this happened I was completely sober minded. At first I had told a few people about this and they would accuse me of being on acid, high, or drunk but I insisted I was not. Most people do not believe that I am telling the truth.

    I was lying in my bed, I remember it was very late at night. Everyone else in the house had been sleeping for awhile. With the bedroom light still on, I dozed off fully clothed. Like many people have posted before me, I experienced a very vivid dream. I remember standing in a dark abyss. It seemed almost as though, although it was me in the dream, I was my spirit or soul standing in this dark abyss. The darkness was infinite and I remember not being able to see my hand directly in front of my face. The feeling that I got from this darkness was complete emptiness and hopelessness. A feeling that I felt deep within my soul and all around me, utter loneliness. Then I heard an eerie whisper that said, “Help Me!” After I heard the voice I saw a vision of a small boy, blindfolded, and bound to a chair in front of me. I could see it clearly as though there was a spotlight shining down upon him, as something you would see in a rock concert or a play. Then I heard the voice again! This time it was louder and seemed to be standing next to me whispering directly into my ear, “HELP ME!”

    I then immediately woke up frightened and terrified. As though the dream were not frightening enough, I looked to the left of my bed, and there stood what seemed to be a dark cloaked figure standing directly beside my bed. My first thought was that my eyes were playing tricks on me in the dark. I turned my head to the right, and then left again, and I saw this figure clear as daylight. It stood about 6 to 7 feet tall. It had no face, no arms or legs. It was just fully cloaked from head to toe, almost that of the image of the grim reaper but no skeleton. Just as soon as I began to realize that this thing was real, it began to bend over me. I tried to move but could not. I tried to scream but could not. In fact I was screaming at the top of my lungs and only a small sound came out, like that of a small groan, kind of like the sound the boy in the “Grudge” makes.

    Frightened and terrified I closed my eyes and began to pray to Jesus. I just remember repeating over and over in my head, “Help me Jesus, Jesus please save me,….” When I finally got the courage to open my eyes back up I saw this cloaked figure standing back up at the side of my bed. It then began to float, not walk, down toward the foot of my bed and then out of the door. When it got into the doorway I could clearly see this figure in the hall light. When it was gone I remember sitting up in my bed hyperventilating.

    The strangest thing about this, other than the fact the the entire experience was strange in and of itself, was the fact that when I fell asleep in my bed, the bedroom light was on. But while this figure was there the room was dark. Then when it left the room was light again. I don’t know what this thing was, like I said, this has not happened to me since then. Though at times, I do get this strange feeling that there is something in the room with me even though I can’t see it, but the same feelings I felt when this (I call demon) was present is the same feeling that this unseen entity gives me in the pit of my stomach. Ever since that night, I have slept with a nightlight on the side of my bed.

    Another strange thing is that, this happened to me while I lived at my mother’s house, and since then my sister-in-law stayed in that same room and said she saw the same thing, only not as vividly as I can recall it. Since then I have become a Christian and can’t help but wonder if this happened to me to test me or whether this experience has some greater significance in my life. It is a total mystery to me.

  22. THIS was much disturbing I have never in my life ever heard of this as well as go thru this, But last night I was so scared, a black mass appeared in my room over to the left of my bed, it mas horrific sounds and i was frozen I could not move but I remember feeling a vibration in my chest, I keep pleading the blood Of Jesus and it went away, and I was able to move again, but I have never been so tired in my life.

  23. For the past year ive been having nightmares of a black shadowy person. one of my dreams was that I was at my bestfriends and it was quiet when all of a sudden she pointed to a corner in the room and when I looked there was a black shadow person standing there as soon as I seen it. it was almost if it was choking my j couldn’t breath in my dream or out. when I thought I woke up I was laying there and couldn’t move or speak I was like that for a good 30seconds and then it stopped and I could breath as I tried to catch my breath my door creaked I thought it was just my imagination from the dream but in the last year ive had at least 40 of these dreams. they no longer scare me as much but last night I had one and decided to see if I could find anything on it and what do u know I did. I’m not sure what it is but I wish id stop.

  24. how the f… can u make such a intresting topic boring you are one of the worse writters ever

    • applegeese fore teh bad writting dark shadow ill triy too beteter thaks.

      • One thing I might want to add about my very vivid like nightmare is that when I was in my old history classroom, there were no desks in the classroom ( Which the school was getting ready to move at the time, and the lights were shut off and it was dark looking at the windows. It all seemed very detailed as if I thought I was out of my body. What are the odds that these things might be some sort of gatekeepers that don’t want for our dreams to get too lucid since it is easier for us to spot them, and they feel much more threatened by us? Just a thought.

  25. I had an experience a few years ago.

    I had fallen asleep only to wake up around 3AM and not be able to go back to sleep. I started to watch TV, then I felt really sick to my stomach very suddenly. I actually threw up which surprised me because I wasn’t really feeling bad at all before that. I turned the TV off and thought maybe it was because it was so early in the morning. Either way, I had an unusually calm and content feeling as I lay there ready to fall asleep. I felt the presense of one of my late Aunts, which was comforting to me because I hadn’t felt her presense for many years prior to this night. I heard a high pitch noise, then out of no where I hear an evil whisper (female) in a language I didn’t recognize. I opened my eyes and above me was a dark shadow figure, darker than dark – I mean like the blackest black you can imagine. Once I saw it, it started to come at me over and over, each time it ‘hit’ me I would hear a very resounding noise. I remember struggling to try and get away, but I was not able to move. I tried to scream to my daughter, but my voice was gone. Then my body started to convulse and I just remember thinking what the f*ck is happening. The thing kept hitting at me and I finally was able to muster out leave me alone, whether I lipped it or I thought it, the attack stopped and I could move freely again. I felt really drained physically and emotionally, but I picked up my phone and sent a text to a friend saying I was just attacked by something. I did end up falling asleep because I was so drained. A little while later I had this weird dream, but it wasn’t really like a dream since I had a certain awareness I don’t normally have. I looked at my door, my cat walked in followed by my dog followed by a black and white cat I never seen before.
    When I woke up in the morning, my kids walked in the door and said guess what we found? I replied, a black and white cat? They asked me how I knew. I just said I had a feeling.
    I’ve never had this experience again and hope that I never do.

  26. I have sleep paralysis on very normal occasions , once I fell asleep with my eyes open & I seen a 3 foot shadow with a top hat on , it very much resembled the neighborhood watch logo & when I seen it , it looked at me & as it walked towards me I tried to hurry up & wake up but I couldn’t , I was face to face with it & it laughed a mischievous cackle that Ive never herd & will never forget before it went into my forehead , when I awoke I knew it was real but nobody believed me. Another time I awoke around 3am , I fell asleep on my stomach & I awoke on my stomach but I could see my entire room , all of a sudden I felt cold hands on my back , it felt like somebody was putting Bengay on my back , I knew I wasn’t alone by this time so I asked it “who are you” & in a demonic whisper it replied “I am the sign of death” & I replied “I am the light of Christ” & it got off me & I woke up , then immediately I was filled with an overwhelming sadness so I knew I was dealing with an upset or sad spirit , I protected my room with sage the next day I realized I’m at war with dark forces. So the last time sleep paralysis happened to me , these very very extremely smart kids came from the stars & what they told me about myself is a entirely different story but my connection with them was telepathic & their knowledge of things was indescribable they answered any question I had , there were 4 of them & i can only remember two of them the bigger boy & girl but they all 4 actually told me these dark shadows are like the vampires that feed off of us & they helped me chase down the dark shadow entity that stood in the crease of the corner of my wall , they came into my room & the shadow figure tried to run & together we killed it , right across the street from my house & ever since then I haven’t had sleep paralysis , however Ive been tirelessly studying the supernatural because I believe there really is something else out there & idk if those kids were really real , somebody respond please .

    • Marv you really sound like you want to be protected, and it can be felt in your dream. It all seems as though your mind is creating this from your sequencing of your dreams. From seeing that thing. To you saying you are the light of the christ, to these telepathic kids telling you they scared the thing off.. My question is, who do you think scared it off, you or the kids? From my point of view, it sounds like your mind created all of this since you seemed to scare it off with your words, then you needed all these protections, and THEN you had another dream that had these kids that were saying they scared it off and are your protectors. Sounds all too comforting huh? The mind can create many things in order to sustain itself! But then we can always look at it from the opposite perspective and wonder if I am just trying to scoff it off as fake in order to feel less frightened..Now we are back in square 1! But nevertheless take all the information for a grain of salt, but still keep it in the back of your head with the information that you might find relevant, and who knows, maybe we will solve this unnerving mystery once and for all. Great posts to all!

  27. Once several years ago, I seemingly woke up, and noticed a dark figure standing by the door, as if it had just entered. The fear that came over me was the worst fear I’ve ever experienced. It was a horrifying and threatening feeling. I actually, physically sat up in my bed with my eyes open. I know this because 1.) I remember it, and 2.) when I sat up, it woke up my fiancé beside me. I put my right arm over her as if I was trying to protect her. The dark figure began to move from the door, to the foot of the bed, and around to her side of the bed. My eyes were open the entire time, I had my mouth open screaming, with no audible noise coming out. I remember hearing my fiancé ask me “what’s wrong? Are you ok.” I couldn’t respond to her or do anything for that matter. I had one arm on my fiancé, and the other arm reaching to this figure.. Just as soon as this figure got within arms reach, I forcefully laid back down, almost slamming myself down, eyes closed, immediately back to sleep. My fiancé immediately woke me up and was explaining what happened from her perspective, and asked if I was ok. I remember EVERYTHING about this event. She was asking questions and I had very clearly had the answers. By far, the strangest, most horrifying time of my life.

  28. Why is it that everytime i have a visitor when ever i cannot yell or move i always scream gods name to help me 3-4 times in my head and suddenly it stops but i always hear a whisper, scream or some weird language saying something as it leaves? What is it? What is this? Does this usually happen to all those with this sleeping issue? Is it in my head or is this a visitor?

    • i first was visited at 5 years old on xmas eve 1960 i remember the paralysis very clear it happened through
      my youth there was no information about at that time and at 20 i remember a hooded person above me with the same paralysis after i got married it continued until a point where at abduction i repeated the lord prayer and the visits have stopped ,i have a inbuilt feeling of destiny to end time and protect my son in a similar way his name is jordan and was baptised from the river of the same name whats going on???

  29. Note that i rarely see the “visitors” but i always feel them and i’m trying to wake up and move. Just a couple mins ago i saw a “visitor” the second time out of all my experiences i usually never see them just feel and hear them but this time i was dreaming that i was with a friend but i knew it wasnt really him so as i was moving to get away my body froze and became paralyzed and i saw myself try to get up from my bed and the visitor started speaking in a weird language kind of like an alien type voice and i said God 3 times and i was able to move. It never fails when i scream for Gods name. What’s going on?

    • Jody Jean Bowers

      What is going on is what has been going on for centuries. God & the Fallen Angel Lucifer are preparing for war. They are gathering souls for their Army’s. Satan challenged God & was evicted from Heaven. He feels that he will be able to destroy what God has built. Lucifer is aka the Trickster & he uses human nature to fool people into following him. Some go willingly. I actively decided to join the Good side & try to do Good at every turn. I’m not a Bible freak, but Iam vpritually aware. I’m serious, it’s all true.
      I have experienced the dreams. The paralysis, the lack of a voice, the desperate attempts to roll yourself off the bed to wake up, the sensations & the awareness that something else has control of your body & whatever it is, it’s Evil. I had a visitor this afternoon. My arms & legs had an intense, almost electric pins & needles feeling & “activity” in my nether regions which was very unwelcome. I had been pulled down into the darkest place in my psyche & I struggled to pull myself out. As the entity realized it was losing control, I started dreaming that my kids & neighbor girl were on my bed playing with their chiuawa (sp??), chasing the dog on the bed. The dog kept trying to crawl underneath me as I lay on my back. I fealt the bed shaking as though the kids were really there. It was the visitor’s attempt to continue his “whatever it was doing” by tricking me into thinking it was just a dream. Fail! I continued to “climb” to consciousness, breaking through long enough to open my eyes for a second only to be pulled back down. Each time I broke through, I let out a gutteral sound associated with, oh, I don’t know, when you’re pulling at something really, really hard &you finally release what youare pulling. “Aaah!!” By the third time I surfaced, I was awre enough to see (in my mind’s eye) a dark figure outlined in a slightly lighter background. It tried to put a piece of fabric over my head again, which served to keep me under. I had my wits about me by then & in my mind I said “Oh, this is some bull shit!” & called to my Heavenly Father. The experience stopped. I feel that these cloaked, hooded beings are associated with Satan’s army. Perhaps they are trying to weaken our faith. Maybe if they get into our consciosness deep enough, they can control us to some degree. Maybe they want our energy to use for their purposes. One thing I know is that every little thing on this earth bows & bends through the Will of God. The Angels, Demons, flora, fauna, animal & human being all belong under Him. When one of his precious children is under attack by his adversary, the Old Serpant, he rushes to oour defense. Whatever you do, don’t be scared. To be scared is to doubt the Absolute power of God. Stand up, fight back using the power of the Holy Spirit. St. Michael standss with us & aids in our offense. Never lose your faith, because through faith, if you believe that the power of God can work through you, you can send Satan straight back to Hell. Remind the visitors that through the power of Christ, they MUST obey our Heavenly Father. Many of you have experienced this firsthand.

  30. i have been searching from time to time about this experience that i had, i found this thread and have been reading. it has taken me some time to respond mostly because im crying. hystarically for a while. someo of the stories are just like my experience, but what disturbes me the most is that i feel that i have taken it with me. i wake at night in a cold sweat to voices in my head of a child screaming for help. feeling drained and lethargic almost like when in a dream and you cant run feeling. the last year has been the worst, i have slipped into severe depression, i have uncontrolable crying spells, some times i go into a flying rage out of the blue, i have been to the dr. im seeing a counsler but to no avail. I am begining to wonder if this is real, or if im going crazy. i dont know what to do….

  31. JAMES pray to God he IS the only answer! I had a rem dream 3 nights ago, I’ve never had this experience before, I was up late at night @approx 2am I feel asleep exausted, immediately it was like I woke again everything in my bedroom was the exact same as when I fell asleep except at the foot of my bed there was a dark black shadowy figure with many hands swaying (like the Hindu God) being a Christian for 2 years now I knew this was demonic I quickly looked away from it, being paralysed full body I could only move my eyes, I looked away to my right & I saw another dark figure, a turantula looking spider the size of a human lay upside down directly over my son’s cot bed fully covering the cot it lay hanging in the air but it did not move. I haven’t been this afraid EVER in my entire life, I freaked out and started screaming & realised no sound could come out of my mouth immediately I thought of God who could only help me in that state, i shut my eyes & started singing in my mind a church song I knew I opened my eyes & they were still there, feeling like I was alone and stuck with noway out I just prayed to God “Im so sorry for my sins please forgive me in Jesus name, amen” ..Immediately I awoke to reality, everything in my pitch dark bedroom was still the same but now the dark figures were gone. I was sweaty and hot & felt lethargic? But I felt an inner peace of security because God brought me out of it which meant He heard my cry & I just knew He was with me & He is most powerful than anything here on earth or in the spiritual realm, therefore I went straight back to sleep in peace knowing with Gods protection NOTHING can ever harm me. From this experience my faith in God has definitely grown, a huge awakening! I’ve started reading my bible again more often & will definitely be praying for you all! Xxx

  32. Matt thanks for writing this, it has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I had a similar instance when I was 7, but with a few differences. The biggest difference is mine was recurring almost every night for about 2 weeks. Another difference was that there were always seven hooded figures instead of one. For the approximate 2 weeks this occurred I would suddenly be pulled out of whatever dream I was having to find myself paralyzed, wide eyed, with my little twin bed surrounded by 7 hooded figures. They all stood equal distance apart surrounding my bed. Everytime I could hear them whispering, they never looked at each other they just stood there whispering. This would last for about 30 seconds, then the one to my right would bend over my head and get within a few inches of my face. I never saw its face, when I looked in the hood it was like looking at pure darkness. I would then hear this figure whisper “awake” and I would snap up in a cold sweat to find my room empty. I had the feeling you described of fearing its intentions, at first I didnt tell anyone not even my parents, but then everynight it kept happening and finally after the third night my parents could see I was a wreck. I explained to them what I experienced and at first they thought I was making it up. The next night it happened I woke up screaming and then i think it clicked I wasnt making this up. The following Sunday they had a special prayer ceremony asking for God to deliver me from these “Demons” aka excorcism. After that it stopped and just like most bad things, this got repressed into my mind.
    Im 24 now, and I never again had that dream, until May 27, 2013. One of my friends was talking about nightmares he used to have and all this just came back rushing to me, I hadnt thought about it for so long. That night I didnt experience sleep paralysis but I did experience a lucid dream where I was back in that bed surrounded by the figures. I woke up a wreck. I havent had it since but Im still worried that their back. What should I do?

    • Allen, I suggest that you look up the work of Ryan Hurd, who is a Teeming Brain contributor (see his column “Visions and Visitations” here) and a writer and researcher in the field of dream studies and consciousness. His site is http://www.dreamstudies.org, and he has written a couple of books about dealing with the difficulties of sleep paralysis and other devastating sleep disturbances. See his most recent column here — available by clicking from the category links at the right side of this page — for an article about dealing with nightmares, excerpted from his latest book. I also suggest that if you’re not familiar with Jung’s concept of the shadow — which is easily look-up-able online — you’ll find much of value in gaining an understanding of it. I wish you luck.

  33. Just sharing my thoughts on how I have learned to cope with this.. I’ve been left alone for over a year now. I have not seen humanistic figures, but small distinct shadowy figures that whispered into my ear and said horrible things.

    All you need is STRENGTH, you need to truly BELIEVE you are stronger than the entity. To be honest, the origin of this strength can come from anywhere – be it god, trinkets, herbs, or belief in your own strength – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you truly BELIEVE you have the strength to banish. And we do. We all do.

    When I realize this is happening, I force myself to push away fear and replace it with my feelings of annoyance, anger, then just let it have it: it’s not just enough to say “get out!” You need to focus your energy on banishing it, and make sure there’s more feelings welling up behind it! If you run out of steam just do it again. Just believe you can do it

    I’m not an expert, I’m just a normal person who has learned to cope with this since I was a child. If this helps anyone I am glad

  34. I have read about this stuff before, like years ago, and it always came of interest to me, i came across reading it because when i was a kid i always use to see dark shadowy figures of people or creatures standing at my door in the middle of the night. As i grew up they went away, so i assumed it was more of a kid thing.
    But lastnight i was simply having a crazy dream that i rolled of my bed, forcing myself to wake up. But when i woke up, i could not move a muscle in my body, i could not even make a sound to scream for help, all i could do was lie there and watch a dark shadowy figure that to me, looked like a cloaked, skinny, boney guy with really long & sharp fingers, the cloak had a hood which covered half his face aswell. He was kinda crouched, like he was sneaking towards me.
    In all honestly i was scared shitless, trying and trying to move body and sit up, this only went on for about 15 seconds, but at the time it felt like forever, but i basically forced myself to sit up eventually, and the very second i did it vanished, and my room seemed normal again, i don’t know what it was or how to explain it, but it was awful, so i googled it, found this story you have written, read it, and you have pretty much put into words exactly what i experienced. So yeah, i’m a little freaked out, how could we experience the same thing?

  35. This is real dnt buy into anyonne sayinng oh it was just u in na certain stage of sleep b.s whoever it happens to knws its real anyone that it hasnt happened to either dont believe it or try to feed us the it was a dream b.s i knw it was real because it played over into my real life let me explain…. The first night something happened i was sleeping and i had a full length mirror right across from my bed hanging on the wall well i woke up because it fell off the wall and toppled over on me i had a strange sense of something was coming to get me but shook it off as maby it wasnt hung up right…well the next night was when it got worse i woke up with an intense fear of just think the WORST for me it would be the end of the world type fear we are all going to be blasted by atomic bombs or something crazy type fear i open my eyes and try to move but i cant i look on the side of my bed and there is a really tall dark cloaked hooded figure i look at the end of my bed and there is a midget type one at teh end of my bed right by a childsize say 6 years of age tall size one right next to it im freaking out like a tornado of fear going through me i try to yell or scream and i cannot i look down to see why i cannot move and there r these decaying think dead body from the grave type hands WRAPPED AROUND ME preventing me from moving i look around again at the hooded figure and close my eyes and open them back finally after praying over and over for jesus christ to save me in my head it all dissapears i then sit up in my bed only to see something more disturbing….a black thin silky cat going under my bed…so disturbing and scary i get outta bed and turn on the light the next day i admit myself to the er because at work i was feeling shortness of breath and like i couldnt breathe they do an mri im ok and tell me im not crazy people come in there more often than i think for happenings as this happening to them. Then acouple days late im getting ready for work and walk outside right in front of me as im leaving there is the neighborswooden fence going right in front can you GUESS what is staring back at me from the fence as im trying to lock up my front door???? A DAMN BLACK CAT! I freak out grab rocks throw them at the poor cat and scream at it like a crazy lady, thats how i knw whatever happened was telling me this is real and we r here it was very scary. The next day i THROW OUT MY BED on my lawn mind you like a crazy lady again beacuse i cant even sleep on the bed anymore thinking maby its haunted i really wanted to burn it but then i really would go to a mental institution then… i never sleep in that room again i slept on the couch in my living room with lights on and so forth and a bible the only thing that will protect you is just not buying into their fear thats what makes it stronger this happened at a really low time in my life as well i was recently single mother the boyfriend went to prison and i was alone and vernerable and scared for my future but everything is better now ive had acouple other wierd things happen but i have to get off here good luck to anyone

  36. Hey man well im in the army and I was on guard in a tower and me and my buddy where takin about the sleep encounters well our storys are very similer so looked on the web and it seems as if u had the same expirance. Heres mine well I was homeless at the time and I stayed at a friends well I slept in his livingroom and I was awaken to a loud overpowering noise as if a plane was taking off just a load roar. Then quickly interputed by a fast whisper which said “hey” then my heart started racing and I heaed almost a thousand more whispers all going off at the same time I was looking at the clock as this happend (3:45am) afraid to look up becouse I could feel in my whole body that something was over me I felt sick, scared, held down , and completly helpless as if I could not do any thing and I knew what was above me was just pure evil so ilooked up and saw a blck amoeba type thing just hoverin over me so I prayed I still remebr what I said it was “dear l9rd you are my shield and my sword help me combat this oh plz lord may u help me” then bam! No noise just gone it left and I was shaking and I went to sleep as fast and as hard as 8 could for fear that it would come bak lol if some of this s8unds familer can u tell me id love to know mpre about ur expriance and find oit what it is cuz ots nature to me was just evil
    l

  37. Hi, I have just read your article on sleep paralysis. Thanks for your viewpoints. I have had sleep paralysis on and off for six years. I also hear voices , astral travel and have visitations. I thought that these encounters were projections from my unconcious until a few months ago when my son (21) slept in a bed with me in a hotel. I awoke at around 3 with the usual tapping on my foot which indicates a visitation. I suddenly felt very cold and thought, hear we go, another encounter happening. I get very scared but try not to emit fear in case the entity feeds off it. Anyway, my son saw this man hovering above me with long hair and a hat. I dont see I only feel so her verified something which for me I thought was mind generated. I often hear my daughter calling me in my ear even when she is in her room so I had this idea that maybe what we think are ghosts are really atral travellers? This could be so. I sometimes think these entities are me, or aspects of me trying to assimilate?

  38. same thing happened to me recently….but i had felt no fear whatsoever…i even told the dark figure to wait til im fully awake and ill deal with him then…it was said NOT in a mocking way, i just felt that it wasnt fair that he shows himself when i am in a paralysis…then weird things have since been happening :-( like waking up with fingermarks on my arms…or hearing and seeing someone coming in into the cr and then no one is there when i go out of the cubicle…im not afraid though, i just find everything weird

  39. Hey thanks for the posts guys.. I am SO GLAD this is common and i’m not losing my mind. This happened to me for the first time last night and I had never heard about it or read about it until now. Its so relieving that others have experienced it too.
    My experience is a little different though and insanely terrifying to me so I wanted to see if others had insight on it or had similar experiences..
    So I was lying in bed staring at the moonlight through my window and I started to get a very dark and very petrified feeling. I felt that a very evil presence was coming for me and I knew right away that it was Death. As I lay in bed, I could hear/feel it entering my house and moving towards the bedroom where my wife and I slept but I couldn’t get over the feeling that I expected it and that my wife and I had been waiting for him. Moments later I felt my wife nudge me that it had entered the bedroom. I turned to look at it and it was the same dark cloaked figure as most others described but “he” was impressively large and stood over my wife’s side of the bed. At that time I turned back away from him and stared at the moonlight and was overcome with such an insane amount of fear and shame, to a degree that I had never felt. (side note: I am large man, 29 years old, military academy grad, combat veteran, and life-long rugby player.. I have never felt fear like this) Then I felt a very large hand on my back (I was lying on my stomach, different to most other accounts that I have read tonight) and it felt as if it was sucking my life and forcing me into hell. I could hear and see hell beneath me so I tried to scream and wrestle free but I couldn’t move.. this is when I realized I was paralyzed. All I could muster was a grotesque gurgling sound. Moments later it was over.. Once I regained feeling I forced myself up and leaned toward my wife. (The strangest part and the reason i’m probably not going to sleep tonight) She was facing me and she leaned toward me but her face was completely contorted – round and misshapen, i can only describe it as resembling the Scream painting but a grieving woman – at the time she looked to me like a nun. I paused to look around the room, I thought I had died, and I looked back and she held the same position with the same face.. Then I sat up in the bed and stared out in fear toward our open doorway for what seemed like hours unsure of what was happening to me. I didn’t look back at her until it was daylight, but by then everything was normal. We both got up and went about our day as if nothing had happened.
    Now, I know there are scientific/medical attempts to describe this occurrence. I know that someone is going to tell me that I have repressed issues or that i’m sleep deprived. But no one is going to be able to explain to me the intense feeling fear, shame, or dread as I felt; nor the feeling of accepting my fate as “he” was approaching. Lastly, my back is still sore from the intense feeling of pressure like being forced down onto the bed.
    Anyway, I am REALLY glad to see that this is common. Please comment and let me know if your experience was uniquely similar or if you have insight.

  40. The age of 16 was the first and biggest episode in my history. I had been with a group of friends ghost hunting as small town people from the south tend to do. It was a good exciting night nothing different except the approach I took. Which was on the disrespectful and antagonizing side and I’m never that way just the crowd I was with and adrenaline I suppose. I get home around 130sh am and at the time my brother was sharing my room so he notices me walk in and get ready to sleep. It was around 145 when I initially passed out not responded to my brother he said and the attack would begin no more then two minutes following. My brother was still awake and the way he described my body and my awareness was comparable to someone fighting for their life against invisible demons; funny thing is I was maybe not demon but the pressure started on my chest and went to my face were my mouth nor eyes nor anything could respond or defend myself. Its best described as a staring battle one paralyzed almost dead(so scared) 16 year old and a shadow like floating oil but almost infinite if that makes sense. Ever sense then it happens one or twice a year sometimes I remember sometimes I cant and other times its screeching voices in other tones and language almost physically effecting me just by the words then ill snap out of it before I freak out dead pretty much. I’ve done studies here and there could be aliens-higher powered beings using a different realm way. psychotic relatedness, but dreams isn’t in the category I know dreams I love to dream and I damn know well when I’m wide awake and on the verge of being taken by something know one can see or feel. Words cant tell the experience.

  41. Two nights ago I had an out-of-body experience. I have never had one before and obviously, a little freaked out. I saw myself, just as i was, sleeping on my bed. I wasnt floating? i dont think.. but i seemed to be taller than usual. Maybe I was floating, idk. My attention was drawn to the hallway outside of my bedroom.. and it was a black man figure. No features.. just could tell it was a man.. he didnt walk.. he floated fast towards where i was sleeping and hovered over my body… Then.. i went back into myself and could feel him there still. I couldnt move.. i think i made noise. Once I DID finally wake up.. my heart was POUNDING.. i was sweating and could not sleep for the rest of the night. I need advice! Has anyone had this happen before? I have been googling for help but not finding much with all that i experienced that night. I appreciate any advice or tips.

  42. I too suffer from this. Just two days ago I was awakened and immediately I knew I was in sleep paralysis. My eyes could not look around the room, but only stare at the ceiling. A dark figure, almost like a shadow, moved across the ceiling tiles. I knew yelling for help was out of the question, so I just kept trying to fight it off. In the corner of my eye I kept seeing little sparks of light where my tv was. I tried to look in that direction but my eyes were stuck. After a few minutes of complete struggle and fear the shadow disappeared and an overwhelming breath came upon me. I could finally move and looked at my tv and it was off. Usually it is one dark figure that haunts me but I feel like there was more than one in my room that night. I am a firm believer in spirits because I am a Christian, and feel nothing but fear when this occurs. I don’t know if these are demonic or neutral spirits, but I am very curious to why this keeps happening.

  43. Hazard J Gibbon

    I’ve had sleep paralysis experiences, but only rarely and at long intervals. The first that I remember was as a child, I awoke from sleep with the image of an oak tree with a face, screaming in silent agony, but I could feel the scream vibrating my whole body, and of course I was paralyzed and frightened. I’ve had others that were more along the classic lines, waking, paralyzed, with the feeling that something unutterably evil is in the room with me. The most dramatic episode was somewhere between sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. After a night of partying I finally crashed out, and awoke with the image of a devouring dragon rushing towards me. I projected my dream body out of my sleeping body ( although I was paralyzed I could still feel an adrenalin rush) and discovered that the dream body took the form of Iggy Pop circa 1974, platinum wig and all. So I thought “what would Iggy do ” and executed a head-first dive into the dragon’s maw. This dissolved the dragon and I must have fallen into a deeply restful sleep because I don’t remember anything else.

    I know how difficult it is to work with these experiences because you are put in the position of utter powerlessness, but did you ever feel, Matt, that your writing process changed after having these experiences? I ask because perhaps this being, as frightening and invasive as it was, seems similar to powerful images that have arisen during times when my meditation practice was reaching a critical moment, and almost all of these images had to do with a total annihilation of the self, and my reactions were often in the form of extreme fear until I started talking to people who assured me its a normal part of the process.

    “From this vast expanse of nothing
    Nothing good will come of this
    But the hole in the zero
    And an open-heart-surgery kiss”
    - “Pop Crimes”, Rowland S Howard

  44. This article was very helpful. Moments ago, dreaming heavily in my dark dorm, having Spotify playing a thunderstorm nature song.. I fell into a deep sleep. My dream seemed familiar, the same paralysis you spoke of. It was a dream within a dream. A version of me was experiencing the incident of this figure and overcame it. Apparently, I awoke from that “dream” and felt the irry frozen sensation. This was the first time that I have ever seen this figure (hunched over, cloaked, shaking back and forth beside the edge of my bed)..I immediately recognized it from the “previous dream” and I did not hesitate to use my Will power to shake off this experience. I did not feel a sense of fear, but one of courage, with all my might, I yelled at the figure and it vanished. And thus I awoke completely. This is the first time I’ve decided to follow through and research this phenomena, I am very glad I did.
    If this be a demon on ny side, I felt no fear to face it. I felt that it could not touch or harm Mr and I had that faith, that it could not. I do not know what this experience represents, perhaps a specific special spiritual experience about where I am in accordance with God/my faith. I proceeded to light a candle and place my St. Anthony image prayer by it, to lighten my room. I wish to encourage all to be courageous in this vulnerablet state, let not the fear consume you but you consume the fear.

  45. Hi all.
    I’m going through hell and high water and it’s affecting my life.
    Five years ago or so I’d wake up from a deep sleep always in the early hours of the morning screaming. With three very old men floating above my bed in a fetal position all three with a Mona Lisa smile on their face.
    I end up kneeling on my bed telling myself its only my imagination, when I take my hands away from my face two of the men slowly start to disappear but the third stays there smiling at me and he’d take a long time to disappear. I decided to fight them so the last time it happened I got up and started to punch them and it really felt like I was hitting something.
    It didn’t happen again for couple years but over the last couple months my girlfriend tells me I’ve started fighting in my sleep, punching the air and shouting. It’s affecting our relationship because I don’t want to hurt her and she getting scared of what’s going on, also I’m scared that these guys are back.
    Has anyone experienced this or am I going mad in the head.
    Any advice I’d appreciate.
    Dave

  46. So what does it mean when you have seven figures? I had similar experiences when I was around 8, much like you have describe, the only difference being there were seven hooded figures evenly spaced around my bed. Every time it was the same, one at the foot with three on each side. I would lay there paralyzed for about 30 seconds (which felt like forever) while they whispered collectively. This would continue until the one to my immediate right leaned over my face, leaving only a few inches between our faces and would whisper one word, “Awake”. I would immediately snap up gasping for air and sweating. I remember the worst part of the whole experience was staring into the hood leaned over my face and not seeing anything, just darkness, pure utter darkness, the kind of darkness that makes you wonder if you’ll ever see light again. This stopped after a few weeks and never came about again until last week. Im about to be 25, I just recently joined the Army and will be shipping out in May. If you could explain this to the best of your knowledge it may bring me some peace of mind. What does it all mean? I look forward to your response.

  47. A fascinating read! I too have been having these experiences over the past few years and the fear that overwhelmes me is immense. Part of me during the process knows I am just asleep and will awake soon but the fear still remains. The last event took place in my bedroom where I felt a movement as if someone was passing my feet at the bottom of the bed. Unable to move I felt the figure begin to climb over me eventually approaching my ear and saying “Shhhhh”. I awoke straight away. I must admit that one did bother me. Not a nice experience but does fascinate me also. I have had many experiences at different places. One event I will never forget is the feeling of drifting asleep one night but then a big slap across my cheek. Felt as real as you could imagine a real slap to be. Also figures opening my door and coming into my room. Dark shadows. Occasional flashing lights are sometimes present in them as if police cars are parked outside. I am a 41 year old male with no drug issues except the occasional drink. Thanks for posting.

  48. Hi,

    I have also had a couple of disturbing and unexplainable experiences (and mostly all of them had something to do with sleep paralysis).
    I will talk about the most disturbing one.
    I was asleep in bed and felt something against my collar/neck, like I was being strangled and found it hard to breath.
    I have had these “hard to breathe, strangling, sleep paralysis” experiences a few times before – but this was intense.
    During this, I was aware that I was in deep sleep and something was happening to me. So i decided (subconsciously) to just be patient and wait to awaken properly. However, the strangling and not being able to breathe got worse. In my sleep I sort of kicked forward, like pushing something away, and then I woke up completely. Only to see a figure behind my door. It resembled a woman, covered in old kind of long clothes.
    I had just woken up and couldn’t really rationalize what just happened. So I looked at the figure, thinking it was my sister, and started calling her name – but no response. Until I switched on the light and everything was back to normal.
    And yes the strangling sleep paralysis experience has happened a few times before (only this time was it so intense and sighting an image/entity).

  49. Hi Matt,
    My name is Luis and first of all my sincere apologies for the poor english but… after reading this article, a almost lost memory that basically just drove slowly into my sub-conscience has become clear again. A memory that I honestly, in many occasions when discussing scary tales with friends, have tried to explain but every time in vain. No matter the subject it seemed for a long time that I was the only one who had experienced such a phenomenon in real life and when I say real life I do not mean waking up in the night and witnessing a strange figure at the foot of my bed ( which sounds real enough to me but you’ll understand why, my sister had this experience more than once and i myself have been having trouble with sleep paralysis since i was a little kid ) but as in bright daylight when then sun is at its highest.
    This happened back when I lived in Brazil at age of 12.
    I was just sitting with a friend on the sidewalk enjoying a ice-cream when a man shaped like shadowy vague figure crossed over at clearly beyond human capability speed. But here’s when it gets really strange, for when I looked at it I was convinced it was just another vision of mine but then I noticed my friend was looking at it too with a very scary look on his face.
    That moment I will never forget, for that is the only real PROOF and CONFIRMATION I try to keep holding on for years. Proof there is something else than just us, for I was not the only one who saw it. When we looked at it each other it seemed like we both understood it was real en we both saw it, that’s when the figure crossed back over again and disappeared.
    After that we both just started desperately to run towards our neighborhood and I noticed that, for some reason the streets seemed to be abandoned, Everyone was just inside their houses, and, when we got to our neighborhood it was finally crowded and we felt safe.
    All this felt to me like it was meant to happen but at the same time it felt like I could choose freely which actions to take, like for example; I knew the streets seemed empty and that it was in some kind of way a part of the whole thing but I saw people in the distance and thought about running to them but, we still chose not to run towards them which was much further than our own street but visible because it was a long straight road. Like it was all some kind of error in some kind of system yea…
    It all happened fast but VERY CLEAR, it was unbelievable. I myself am a thinker at the highest level. And I am open for every possible explanation on the subject but I find that most people I try to discuss with are naïve. This I say because of their unreliable theories and scientific explanations that are but mere calculations that can simply be calculated wrong and of course because most people lack experience like its not just something that occurs to everyone. Even when I start doubting myself i think twice on that day and I know what I tell is the truth.
    I wanted to keep it as short as possible but i could not find the right words. Please understand I am not just someone trying to get attention, I just sat on the couch on 2 am reading weird stuff when I came across this page and to be honest, this is the ultimate confirmation for a guy like me that this things DO exist and that they are as real as the moment you witness them.
    The section that mostly got my attention is when you tell about the so called “dark one”, this is a term I understood completely without need of explanation. I have the feeling that I am fit to experience these kind of things for some reason and I would really like to discuss more on the subject with someone who is more of an expert than I am.
    Again I am not searching for any kind of unnecessary attention, its just that you are the first person I have encountered with exact the same interests as me and who really seems to know about this kind of stuff.
    I filled in my email address so if you have the time maybe you could send me a brief recap of your own life time experiences on the matter? If its not much to ask, it would mean a lot to me if I had some kind of clear explanation or maybe just something to read about so I can understand it a bit more.
    There are plenty more hard-to-explain stories that I can share with you, but this one was the most reliable one, because of my friend being able to see it too that is.
    I hope you understand where I come from and why I am sharing this, looking forward to your response, J Rodri.

  50. Lauren Warner

    I may have something for you. I, too, have experienced sleep paralysis & in 1999 I had the most terrifying night of my life. What I will tell you seems unbelievable but as you know these things often do. I accidentally left my body & the dark entity reached in the center of my chest & grabbed ahold. I felt the pain & it was extreme. It was there when I woke up, as well. There is much more to this tale. Recently, my sleep paralysis episodes have returned. Contact me if you’d like to hear about what I’ve experienced. thanks

  51. Hi there. I had my first sleep paralysis episode 2 days ago. I am a 30 year old female, and have never had any experience like it. I came home early from work around 2PM, and laid out on the couch, made myself comfortable and propped a pillow under my head and pulled a soft blanket over myself. I fell asleep. Then I suppose I started to feel myself waking up. My eyes opened and I could see the room – the bookshelf in front of me, the desk in the corner, the TV, and the door. I thought that maybe I should get up and move, and realized that I could not move. My body felt heavy and I started to panic. My eyes darted around the room as I struggled within my own body. Then I started to sense someone else in the room with me. I saw a dark shadow that I interpreted to be male. It had no features that I can recall, but it looked human. It stood right above my head, silent, unmoving. Just there. It felt sinister. I became extremely panicked and tried to move. I kept thinking, “I’m just a few feet away from the front door. If I can just get there, I can scream for help!” Still I could not move, and the shadow remained there, usually out of sight. I started to feel my blanket slowly move down my legs. I shut my eyes and started praying. I’m not a religious woman, but I started to call out to everything I could think of for help. I thought, “If I have a guardian angel, please come help me!” Then I started praying to the Virgin Mary, and tried to fill my mind with positive thoughts. Shortly after, a woman appeared at my side. She looked like she could have possibly been a relative, although I did not recognize her.She had a crown of light around her head, and when I focused, the beams of light became daggers that jabbed back and forth, forcing the shadow back. She stood at my side, interjecting herself between me and the shadow until I fell back asleep. I have been doing research about sleep paralysis since I’ve had the experience. I’m afraid to talk about it because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy.

  52. I’m a 46 year old female and have always had sleep paralysis and they have always scared me. In all of them I dream I’m asleep and can’t wake up talk or move and even in the dream I’m telling myself you have to wake up or I’m gonna die. Sometimes it was suffocating or even once being swallowed by the couch. Lol don’t know what that’s about. But I had one just the other night that was different from the rest. All is the same except the way I would die. In my dream I see this dark figure about the size of a big bird like a hawk move across the ceiling down the wall and across the floor and over to where I’m sleeping. This shadow had like a pair of hedgeclippersad was cutting my fingers off one by one and I couldn’ sto p

  53. Sorry my keyboard messed up before I could finish. I couldn’t stop it from doing it but I felt the pain like it was real and when I started crying and panicking I woke up. I would really like to know what this all means. I can’t stop thinking about it.

  54. Rich Sellers

    This is certainly a long-lived post! Also one that is of particular interest to me as I have long been haunted by a bedtime experience that I had back in the sixties (I’m 53 years old.) I’m not certain how this experience may relate to the subject of sleep paralysis as such, but it might point to one possible variant of that. This took place in Southern California about 1967-68.

    Just dropping off to sleep one night, a very battered and bloody-looking figure suddenly arose beside my bed with a very agonized sounding yell. This person was male, probably in his late twenties (as I remember it) and dressed in what were once apparently rather colorful duds, but were now badly shredded. He had dark hair and a slight build. He was covered in blood and I could see various scratches and bruises all over his face. It was obvious to me even at that age that he was basically screaming for help.

    There was nothing really threatening about this image; the disturbing aspect was entirely due to the fact that he was obviously in such horrible torment, but it upset me badly. I’ll never forget this bloodied man and wonder what his appearance meant, if anything. I had certainly watched my share of horror movies by then, but none of them had shown me a character like him, nor one that affected me so deeply.

    He wasn’t shadowy or wearing any sort of cloak – he was obviously quite human, and as vivid as a waking image of another person would be. Quite disturbing, to say the least.

    I would be interested if others have encountered anything similar to this.

  55. I have experienced episodes of sleep paralysis with the first memory being when I was about 4. I woke to a voice telling me not to look at the light. Throughout my childhood, I experienced periods of sleep consciousness and I would estimate I have had hundreds of these episodes over the course of my 40 years.

    When I was younger, I would simply wake up and leave my body and go into other rooms in my house and actually see my family members, speak to them, but with no response.

    During those years, my experiences were not encumbered by the presence of any spiritual presence that I was aware of other than myself. I did have experiences of not being able to move or scream, even though I was obviously frightened by something.

    Additionally, during that time frame, my visual perception when I left my body was in color as I moved about the house.

    I will call my middle years from 17 to 28 I experienced something a little different. The awaking moments were prefaced by a tremor; a reverberating feeling that signified the beginning of either a short or painfully long period of being pinned to the bed by either an external actor, or a projection of my mind in response to the paralysis. I narrowed this period down to eating ice cream or some other type of food late at night.

    My current period of experiences have two flavors; one is pleasant and allows me to travel extended distances from my body. I’ve been to places that when I exit the paralysis leave me with a smile on my face. My most memorable happened within the last 12 months. I was way beyond my known physical boundaries and a rotated my view 360 degrees and as I did the stars in the heavens lit up as I viewed them. I had a companion in this episode that was acting as a tour guide and when I came to I had a feeling of complete euphoria. I was so sure of my place in the universe and had a confidence in knowing that I was a force of good in the world.

    Often I simply leave my bed and even used my dresser to step down from the end of my sleigh bed. The interesting thing is now when I leave my body, I often float and use swimming motions to move myself around in my environment. I will often leap through my ceiling and go above the roof of my home and the only distinction now versus my youthful experiences is that everything is usually gray with only some things have color.

    Last night however, my son had a visitor over for the night and I experienced a very dark presence when I woke. In fact, it was a completely new experience. My head only was being pinned to my pillow and the force was so severe that I felt the bones in my neck pop. It was almost like it was pushing something into the back of my skull.

    I take my experiences very seriously and pay close attention to the details. As I have gotten older, I have made efforts to control the experience while I am in the paralysis. I thought up until last night that I had evolved, but the force last night was so powerful I felt like a patient under the surgeons knife.

    I can see the correlation between these experiences and the anti-self. If fact, reading this for the first time tonight, the anti-self is the most apropos explanation I have heard to date.

    Lastly, the one aspect of this I have not yet reconciled is the missing details in terms of the physical space. I am certain the projection this state brings about is a part of the brain or a incarnation thereof that does not understand the physical aspect of existence. If the brain, a part segregated from the senses save the visual, and it’s not very much evolved in that sense. Conversely, it could also be that the brain does not know how to operate in the spiritual sense and compensates the best way it can, which would explain the external theory that in the state of paralysis we are in co-existing in a dimension where we are consciously dreaming in a body that is paralyzed which makes us aware of the various force of energy that exist in the same state. Whether they be thoughts of our minds or a collect I cannot say for sure.

  56. Interesting to find others who’ve had similar experiences. Now I don’t feel so crazy. This is just a quick post to say you all have made me feel “normal”. LOL. I had a visitor when I was teenager that I named “the reaper”. He (it?) is gone now but something continues to visit me at night, to the point that I make sure I don’t sleep alone, even if it’s just our dog in the bed with me. I have thought of putting a camera in my bedroom to record whatever it is but I’m scared of what I might see. Anyway, have any of y’all had sleep paralysis with audio? I mean, does the thing that visits you during this time make sounds? I haven’t read all of the comments here, so I don’t know…maybe some of you have experienced this. My last sleep paralysis episode involved sound. This was the 1st and last time I’ve had that happen during sleep paralysis…it was next to my left ear making this freaky humming noise that increased in volume and then gradually faded away and I could move again. Anyway, I will be back to post my experiences. No time this evening.

  57. This has been happening to me since I was little. I’m 30yrs old know and it still happens on a regular basis. I always wondered what this figure was and still do. It actually happened again last night. I’m so used to it know it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve a actually found ways to prevent it. At first you start to get cold Shivers that first start slow and get stronger. If you open your eyes right when it starts nothing will be there but if you wait to long its to late and you either open your eyes and get it over with until its gone or keep your eyes shut until eventually you open your eyes because the shivers will just get stronger and a weird whistle noise will start. I’ve noticed I’ve I open my eyes quickly and go back to sleep it starts right up again. One night I woke up 5 times and when I went back to sleep it started again so I said screw it and when the chills got stronder I opened my eyes and It was there. It seemed aggrevated and was shooting at my body very fast back and fourth. So I never did that again lol. Or sometimes I open my eyes very fast and it won’t come back. I’ve tried talking to it and can’t or try over powering it when I can’t move . It doesn’t like it when you try to overpower it. It moves fast and looks like it wants to attack you. Over the years it never hurt me so I try different things to piss it off or figure out what it wants. I was able to get my arm up half way one time and it slammed my hand down and put it face in mine and looked like it was screaming. I didn’t know this happened to other people and I’m surprised to see all these comments. What does this thing qant? My only suggestion would be when it happens just open your eyes and wait until it leaves. Don’t aggravate it because it will scare you. I just like to push it buttons. Has anyone else ever made it mad? Sometimes it wakes me up 3-4 times a night

    • michael anderson

      ive never attempted to piss off what ive seen but i have lived in a house with entities that could not speak only interact there was one that like to close doors my sisters door in particular that if you held it open it would vibrate the longer you held it the more vibrations and the minute you let go it would slam shut also the strength of the slam depended on the length it was held
      i have also woken up many times where things will have moved and while being paralized i can still see ive been looking up and i feel as if im being carried and ill see the entity that i described in my comment above me and all i feel is the presure of two arms under me usualy i pass out at that point and ill wake up not in my bed where i remember going to sleep that night but elswhere in the house on the floor in the kitchen on the couch things like that as far as physical interactions with my entity thats all that happens to my knowledge

  58. I’m curious did the sleep paralysis start before Betty’s class or after? Also, do you think maybe she said what she did about you because of your skepticism?

    • Initial stirrings of it started about three years after Betty’s class, with the full arrival occurring a couple of years after that. As for why she said what she said, I hesitate to speculate, because I really don’t know. My guess is that although my skepticism may have been what initially prompted her to pay more attention, it was mainly that she observed a bundle of certain personality traits and caught a certain personal vibe from me that interacted with things she had studied and read to suggest her speculative diagnosis.

  59. I myself experienced full blown sleep paralysis several times growing up, complete with the short dark hooded figures huddled around my bed, who would just stare at me. Total paralyzed state, unable to move or scream. Often 20-minutes at a time.

    After alot of research, I have some thoughts..

    This is definitely linked to OBE’s (Out of Body Experiences) which proves it’s probably not just a medical affliction alone. Coupled with what you mentioned, there are strong patterns in the perceived “entities” themselves, which is cross-cultural.

    While remaining skeptical, IMHO there may still be a slight element of the paranormal about this.

    I do use the term “entities” loosely because they could very well still just be a creation of our *own* mind.

    My current theory is that they might act in a similar to a computer firewall, preventing us from accidentally leaving the body in these hypnagogic states. If this is true, then they may not be anymore “conscious” than a well coded piece of computer software.

    When researching OBE’s you will often hear accounts such as, “I started to rise out of my bed, only feel hands grabbing me and pulling me back down into my body”. The very placement of them could be part of it, designed by the mind to simply scare us into falling back sleep or just not leaving our safety-zone (ie. the body).

    Can I prove that these are not conscious entities/demons/deadsouls/ghosts/etc.. out to “suck your lifeforce”? No. However if you look at the evidence:

    A. They are not really “there” in reality (Obviously). I mean to say, other people who are awake do not perceive them. A video camera set up in the room will not see anything. There is no physical interaction.

    B. They cannot harm you physically. YES people will claim a heavy-feeling on their chest or head, but it’s never permanent, and it is also reported even when no entities/hallucinations are present.

    C. There are rarely, if ever, any reported social interaction. That is, they are not yelling at you about Satan or The Evil or anything at all. They are usually silent.

    I know religions/new-agers/mediums and such are very quick to jump to conclusions that these are “Low-Level Demons” or “Lost Souls” or whatever, however I have to be quite blunt here and say that this is all faith-based speculation.

    The same way the Poltergeist phenomenon was thought to be evil ghosts/demons, until you look into the parapsychological science behind it, and find the same measurable patterns emerge of Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, which is all linked to LIVING human psyche. We do not understand our OWN consciousness, and therefore we cannot just jump to conclusions about dis-incarnate intelligence.

    That is, if you really want the truth, we need to look at the meta-data and find what pattens emerge to help explain the phenomenon.

  60. well…. Im about to go to sleep so ill sum this up quick, I reached spiritually awakening like how eckart tolle or mooji or ram dass or jesus did. where the ego dies and I become one with all…. some howafer three months lost it, and shortly after I had a dream that ill also sum up. I remembere waking up (was actually sleeping still) and ended up in the kitchen and seen a entity/energy… and I too remember trying to look at my had and could not see it. but anyways I have not been a junkie ever since and suppress as much as possible. but im thinking of writing a book soon, btw I think we are all seeing the same entity. and also when I heard anti-self it clicked with me too. because I used to be a state of love and now im not open enough to feel love. although I still know truth I just am no longer pure awareness. Also I deeply believe tv has something to do with the sp because I woke up to sp a few nights ago and had a revolation of how it involves tv. but too tired to go into it now. Thanks
    Daniel Bushnell

  61. The Thing poster – this is exactly what I saw two nights ago whilst asleep. It was far from pleasant! I’m not joking when I say it was exactly as the poster… How very strange!!

  62. michael anderson

    Im not entirely sure that it is sleep paralysis. But i suffer from horrid night terrors where im being chased and attacked by skelatal angels and demons of all kinds, and at some points i wake up with a feeling like im falling back into myself but ill be sitting up and i cant move a muscle at all just completly frozen and i see one of the skeletal angels in front of me at least partof one that has a whole human face a womans face that just stares at me and im held i cant speak cant move at times ill pass out and wake up in a whole nother part of my house at other times il be transfixed for what feels like eternity as it feels like im being drawn in. the night terrors started when i was little but the phenomenon i describe has occured since i was 10 years old and though it might not help to add this but i use to have rages i could not remember when i was 12 and a pastor once said after placing his hand on my shoulder i sense something dark then continued like nothing happned.. im not sure if these relate but they all made me a believer in the paranormal i have more experiences things ive seen things that have happned things i experienced first hand and since then i have striven to find the answer and learn so that i may someday help another perhaps others have these experiences but if anyone wants to ask about my other experiences feel free

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