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Metaphysics & Psychology

The terrifying creatures of sleep paralysis

By T.K. Randall
October 10, 2019 · Comment icon 89 comments

Sleep paralysis can be a deeply unnerving experience. Image Credit: John Henry Fuseli
During sleep paralysis, the experiencer can hallucinate all manner of strange entities in the room with them.
Have you ever found yourself in a half-waking state, either while falling asleep or waking up, and completely unable to move or cry out no matter how hard you try ?

Known as sleep paralysis, this distressing experience is thought to occur when a person is stuck in a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. The inability to move is thought to be due to the muscle atonia normally induced during REM sleep to stop us physically acting out our dreams.

To make matters worse, some people also experience hallucinations while paralyzed which can include seeing an ominous figure in the room and feeling a strong sense of presence.

In some of the worst cases, this intruder can be seen and felt physically climbing on top of the helpless experiencer, resulting in a crushing sensation on the chest and difficulty breathing.

Exactly what form this terrifying visitor might take can depend heavily on the specific cultural background and spiritual beliefs of the experiencer.

In the western world, one of the most common hallucinations is that of an old woman or 'old hag.' Visions of demons, angels and even extraterrestrial visitors are also not unheard of.
In Japan, experiencers are often visited by the 'Kanashibari' - an ancestral spirit. In Thailand, the phenomenon is known as 'Phi um' which means 'being enveloped by a ghost.'

In Mexico, the term 'se me subio elmuerto' is used, meaning 'a dead body climbed on top of me.'

In Brazil, the 'old hag' takes the form of a 'Pisadeira' - a horrific old crone with very long fingernails.

Cambodia's 'SP/HH' or 'the ghost pushes you down' is particularly disturbing as it is said to take the form of individuals who were murdered during the Khmer Rouge regime.

There are also the 'Cheyne' - three humanoids with fur and long fangs - who hover over the bed.

Whichever country you might be from however - please, don't have nightmares...

Source: Dreamstudies.org | Comments (89)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #80 Posted by the13bats 5 years ago
when i had any kind of "sleep" issues i dont have a clue if i was in deep sleep, rem, near wake or where I was and with that not knowing, I can't reach a definitive conclusion from unknown  and unknown plays a big part is this,  and "this" for me starts and end in the brain not with autonomous demons, aliens or shadow beings etc,  I just don't jump to it must be paranormal. As I said many times from my experences i do see why some people ones who whether they even know it or not they have a tendency to fantasy, to want things to be bigger more epic, not mundane, to jump to it must be parano... [More]
Comment icon #81 Posted by RabidMongoose 5 years ago
Nope, but if you have found that sound annoying in the past perhaps the entity was watching and is now copying to annoy you?
Comment icon #82 Posted by RabidMongoose 5 years ago
I have had the loud explosion sounds too.
Comment icon #83 Posted by RabidMongoose 5 years ago
You have seen shadow people and had telekinetic experiences? I get your stance, wanting definite proof its not in your head before you believe in the paranormal. Please share your shadow figure and ghost experiences though, along with the telekinesis. I would be interested in hearing what is the same compared to mine. I have seen an object magically appear in front of me before. I have come across about 5 objects which were momentarily stuck in the situation of being more than one of their outcomes at once. I have seen objects, looked away, turned back to find they have gone without anywhere l... [More]
Comment icon #84 Posted by preacherman76 5 years ago
I think this is where you and I took dramatically different paths in our younger years. From my early teen years, maybe even a little before that I too loved watching horror movies. Loved talking about the possibility of ghost and ufo's etc being real. Then around the age of 15-16 I began to put all that away. Up till then I had never had any type of experience. I had no reason to believe any of it was true. By the time I was 18 just before my haunting experience began, all that was the furthest thing from my mind. At that time I cared about girls, cars, hanging out with my friends, and where ... [More]
Comment icon #85 Posted by preacherman76 5 years ago
Well interestingly enough, what I read about it said something to the effect that that noise is actually the sound of an entity crossing from where ever they come from into our world. Now I'm not saying I believe that. Not at all. But because I did hear exactly what they described, I did find it very interesting.
Comment icon #86 Posted by XenoFish 5 years ago
It was a casual interest in high school. I was to busy with school and my job. It only became a curiosity driven hobby after my grandfather's death in 98. I went out to the field behind my parents house, it was rather isolated. Had a "talk" with him. Basically I has a grief induced phantasm appear along the tree line. He waved and vanished.  That event drove my curiosity with the occult. I wanted to know for a fact that such things were real. As time passed, I learned that if was either 100% psychological or 75% psychology with 20% being mundane and only 5% unknown.  As it stands now, I am m... [More]
Comment icon #87 Posted by swoop1234 5 years ago
I have an experience of facing my fears during a sleep paralysis episode.  When I experienced this episode I saw 2 figures. One was a black shadowy entity. It was my winter coat that was hanging on my bedroom door. The other entity was a smiling, Gremlin-looking type of thing, standing on top of a chair located near my bed  It was about the size of a cat and it was grinning ear to ear. I've seen similar looking entities in all sorts of different Sleep Paralysis documentaries. I was able to overpower my paralysis, jump out of bed and attempt to punch this thing. The strangest part of this exp... [More]
Comment icon #88 Posted by Fabula Omnium 5 years ago
Check my post I spoke about this
Comment icon #89 Posted by darkninja 4 years ago
Many years ago, during what I assume was an occurence of sleep paralysis, I had a nightmare and was able to grab a hold of the creature. I held on it with the express intent of wrestling it into the real world. I used to experiment with lucid dreaming, so I distinctly remember realizing that I was dreaming when I attempted to grab the creature.    In any case, I wrestled this creature while trying to wake myself up for what seemed like fifteen minutes or so. Once I woke up there was of course no creature within my grasp. An extreme feeling of dread came over me as if I had pulled a demon or ... [More]


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