1. I found myself unable to move, with a puppet dropping out of the shadows of the ceiling. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, I was frozen as ice—even my breathing didn’t seem real.
“Face your problems and rationalize. I found myself unable to move, with a puppet dropping out of the shadows of the ceiling. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, I was frozen as ice—even my breathing didn’t seem real. He dropped onto my chest with an appropriately sized carving knife and cut into me, but I still couldn’t move. It was a dream, it was my imagination, it was something in between, but regardless, it wasn’t real—of course my brain made me think the pain was real.
This happened a lot, each time the situation slightly changed. Sometimes my lips felt like they could move, but were sewn shut or sealed, like in the matrix. The last time it happened, I remember raising my hand at the last minute and grabbing it by the neck, crushing it before it could cut me. Sleep demons? paralysis? recurring nightmare? Whatever it was, after on/off for a good 8 months it was gone.”
2. That feeling when you’re convinced there’s something standing over you while you’re trying with every fiber of your being to move any muscle is truly terrifying.
“Sleep paralysis is, without a doubt, the scariest shit I have ever experienced and will likely ever experience.
That feeling when you’re convinced there’s something standing over you while you’re trying with every fiber of your being to move any muscle is truly terrifying. I remember waking up wailing incoherently the first time I experienced it.”
3. Couldn’t move my body and I could only get my eyes open for about a split-second. Each time I opened them I could see a figure getting closer and closer to my bed.
“I had the sudden urge to wake up one night, and as much as I tried to open my eyes I couldn’t. Couldn’t move my body and I could only get my eyes open for about a split-second. Each time I opened them I could see a figure getting closer and closer to my bed, until I think I woke myself up out of fear as I don’t remember what happened after it got about 2 ft. away from me.
I was 16 when it happened to me and I had no clue what it was so for a few weeks I was convinced that the house was haunted. I did not sleep well, or without a light on. It wasn’t until I told my mum about it that she said it sounded like sleep paralysis.”
4. I always see something peeking over the end of the mattress, then standing up and just staring at me. Sometimes it touches my feet, and I can actually feel fingernails going up and down my toe.
“I always see something peeking over the end of the mattress, then standing up and just staring at me. Sometimes it touches my feet, and I can actually feel fingernails going up and down my toes. I never see it’s face though because it’s completely black. Literally the creepiest shit that ever happens.”
5. She’s draped in black clothing that seems wet. Skeleton hands but a very soft, feminine, young face. Eyes like black holes. She’s always sitting on my chest.
“This is word-for-word what I experience two-three times a month. Except it’s obviously feminine voice telling me, ‘Go back to sleep’ or ‘Goodnight, baby’ and I can see her face and body.
She’s draped in black clothing that seems wet. Skeleton hands but a very soft, feminine, young face. Eyes like black holes.
She’s always sitting on my chest.
I like to refer to her as ‘bitch.’
When she leaves me alone I go flying through infinity.”
6. I saw a shadow-man walking around my room, disappearing behind my open door.
“I saw a shadow-man walking around my room, disappearing behind my open door. This was the scariest one I’ve had so far”
7. I woke up one night with sleep paralysis and the big, spooky, hooded bastard was standing right next to me.
“I’ve had cycles of sleep paralysis for as long as I can remember and regularly see two different ‘demons.’ The hallucinations are visual, auditory and you can physically feel them at times. They have become more vivid as I’ve gotten older.
One is a tall dark hooded figure that always stood at the bottom of my bed.
My scariest experience with him was when I woke up one night with sleep paralysis and the big, spooky, hooded bastard was standing right next to me. His hood was covering his face but I knew he was watching me and I knew he was evil.
The second one I see is a smallish gremlin type creature that’s got pointy features and is a browny green colour (very similar to the one in the painting but I had seen him before I had seen the painting or even knew what sleep paralysis was). He normally appears when I’m on my back and restricts my breathing and speaks in a weird whispery language.
I woke up once and he was crouching in the corner of the ceiling. When I looked at him he turned his head and looked right at me and smiled.
I woke up on my side once and I could hear him behind me, speaking in his freaky language and then I felt his snake like tongue going in my ear and making a slithery noise.
I can’t tell how glad I am when I found out that there was a scientific explanation for it and that I wasn’t actually being haunted.
I can’t explain how so many people with sleep paralysis see similar demons and how we all just know that the things we are seeing are evil, but it’s something I choose not to think about too much for the sake of ever being able to sleep again.
TL:DR Brains are spooky arseholes.”
8. My last experience was a demon in the corner of my room speaking some sort of gibberish.
“Mine are a lot more evil than that and usually not on my body. My last experience was a demon in the corner of my room (behind me where I couldn’t see) speaking some sort of gibberish.
Other times it’s things walking toward me totally Jacob’s Ladder style as in they move toward almost hyper speed but very slow and their legs don’t match their movements. A lot of the time if it isn’t a demon, it’s someone I know, but they’re possessed. Often laughing at me.
If you experience sleep paralysis, someone told me to say to myself ‘I am saved by my lord and savior Jesus Christ.’ Every time, I wake up.”
9. A shadow forms along the floorboards of my bedroom and starts going up the walls. I can then feel the presence of radio/TV static.
“I get to see mine about once a month. Usually somewhere near the full moon (which is odd) it starts out usually with me waking up. I can always tell what is about to happen so I try to scream and wake someone up to shake me out of it. If that does not work I try to move my limbs and force myself to roll out of bed and wake up. This typically does not work so I know it’s time for the visit. A shadow forms along the floorboards of my bedroom and starts going up the walls. I can then feel the presence of radio/TV static. This shadow starts to form into a demon similar to the early renditions of Slender Man. He has no eyes or face just little balls of static were the facial structure should be. He slowly starts edging closer and closer to my face and the volume of the static rise’s And I can feel it very lightly shocking me. It then puts me in some weird trance by grabbing the sides of my face and screaming directly into it (This is the scariest part) The scream is so shrill I can’t even describe to you how terrible it is. As this happens the room starts to turn red and these giant arms start to form into long spikes. So while I’m stunned/hypnotized it starts taunting me with the spikes rubbing them around my neck and heart etc. He then reaches up and stabs be directly into the throat and I wake up. I apologize again for the sloppy typing. If enough people are interested ill post a painting I did of it and fill you in about 3 other ones I Get once in a while.”
10. That sense of dread and pending doom scared the shit out of me. I would even hear what sounded like English being said backwards.
“I used to have sleep paralysis up to 10 times a night, most nights at one point. I would wake up with that familiar feeling of ‘buzzing’ or vibrating in my head, I would see flashes of light. That sense of dread and pending doom scared the shit out of me. I would even hear what sounded like English being said backwards. And obviously, paralysis.”
11. I’d open my eyes and see a young boy standing before me in a cheap astronaut Halloween costume.
“I had a few occurrences in adulthood, but when I was an adolescent it happened regularly. Almost always the same thing:
Wake up paralyzed. Can’t move. Hear distant voices whispering indistinctly. I would strain to hear them but they were quiet and made no sense. Then I’d feel the presence of eyes staring at me. I knew what was coming.
I’d open my eyes and see a young boy standing before me in a cheap astronaut Halloween costume. The mask looked like this.
It would stand there, silent, staring. At this point I’d strain against the paralysis, fighting to move, fighting to breathe so I could scream. Eventually I’d wiggle a finger or a toe and the paralysis would start to crack apart like thin ice on a lake. Once I was free, the voices and apparition would disappear. It would just be me, in my bed alone, freaked the fuck out.
This went on until adulthood. It still happens once in a great while, but I never see the apparition. I just sense him…”
12. This thick fucking column of fire that spanned from my floor to my ceiling just at the side of my bed…watching me.
“I have only experienced this a few times however the worst by far was for what seemed like hours this thick fucking column of fire that spanned from my floor to my ceiling just at the side of my bed…watching me. Came round eventually and felt like I was suffocating.”
13. A figure darker than the pitch-black room walk from the hallway into my room. Then it bent over at the waist and (seemingly) stared at me, about six inches from my face.
“First time—watched a figure darker than the pitch-black room walk from the hallway into my room. Then it bent over at the waist and (seemingly) stared at me, about six inches from my face. Then it tried to rip my heart out of my chest by chowing down on my ribcage. Trying to scream was useless for what seemed like eternity, completely frozen. Finally screamed (guess I was coming around), and it exploded into a cloud and dissolved.”
14. You try to scream. But your mouth will not move. Soon you discover that you cannot move your body, either. All of the straining and the willpower only lets you blink, or maybe move an index finger, if you’re lucky. There is no escape from this.
“I was eight years old when it first happened.
You awaken in a panic. Something is not right, and you know it. Something is close. Something is in here with you.
You try to scream. But your mouth will not move. Soon you discover that you cannot move your body, either. All of the straining and the willpower only lets you blink, or maybe move an index finger, if you’re lucky. There is no escape from this.
Soon you see them. Something in here with you. Something that isn’t human. You try to scream for your mom and your dad in the next room, but you can’t even make a noise.
And then, you see them.
If you could scream, you would do it now.
They don’t walk. They glide. Moving over to your bed, they look down on you, their elongated bodies some horrific caricature of the human form. You know their intent is malevolent; you can feel it, sense it, even though you’re just a child.
The stark white light of the full moon screams through your windows (is all of this light coming from the moon?) and their sick, long frames dance in front of it. Your sister is in the same room and you wish through hot tears that you could make enough noise to wake her up, so she could save you. But you can’t do a goddamn thing. One of them comes right up to your face—his giant black empty eyes right in your face—and puts his finger to his lips—oh god he knows I want to scream –
And that is the last thing you remember.
You wake up the next day, slightly fuzzy and beat up. If you were old enough, you’d say this felt like a hangover. Gingerly, you descend the stairs to where your parents are eating breakfast, chatting boorishly about the events the day holds in store.
After a few minutes, you cannot withhold it any longer.
You tell them what you saw last night.
They shoot one another pained, dark glances. Their beliefs tell them about this.
Soon enough, they explain to you that Satan hates people who believe in Jesus. (The guy at Sunday School, right Mom?) So Satan sends demons to persecute people who believe in the Lord. Those were demons in your bedroom last night, son.
This is no consolation. The Prince of Darkness hates me—personally—with such fervor that he’s sending his horrifying minions to come get me every night. greaaaaat.
The visitations go on for almost ten years.
One night, they get so bad, that my father calls my grandpa—a Baptist minister—and asks for advice. Subsequently, my dad anoints me with oil and covers my doorframe with a blessing, so nothing may enter. (They don’t enter through doors. No this is just going to make them angrier. oh no.) He prays over me and kisses my forehead—I’m thirteen—and then I drift off to sleep.
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB
what the hell is that noise
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB
how can a noise have pressure? it’s crushing me into my bed
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB nothing can be this loud (I manage to roll over onto my back)
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB
OH GOD THE FUCKING FACE IS AS BIG AS MY CEILING THE EYES ARE HUGE AND I CANNOT LOOK AWAY PLEASE HELP
Sometime later, you’re reading online about a psychological condition known as ‘sleep paralysis.’ It sounds very familiar. The pressure, the visitors, the terror. All of the sudden, it all falls into place. This wasn’t spiritual; no demons, no aliens. You simply have a broken brain. This is just a glitch in the system, a spanner in the works.
And with this realization, it all stops.
You never see them again.
But for the rest of your life, all of your girlfriends ask you why you sleep facing the wall, with the blankets covering your head.
You don’t really want to tell them.”
15. I ‘woke up’ and stared at the ceiling. There was an increasingly loud, low-pitched vibrating noise that sounded like the world was ending.
“I ‘woke up’ and stared at the ceiling. There was an increasingly loud, low pitched vibrating noise that sounded like the world was ending. As I stared, I saw a very complex glowing green circular design (think crop circle) appear and become more clear as I didn’t blink. I finally got too scared and shut my eyes. When I opened my eyes again, it was gone. Here is the freakiest part though — for the next minute, every time I blinked I would see the circular design again, as you might see the shape of a lightbulb after staring at it for a few seconds. I really thought I’d been abducted by aliens. Sleep paralysis is no fun, guys.”
16. This was…something else. And it was coming towards me. This, for those who haven’t made the mental leap yet, is something you DO NOT WANT when you’re paralyzed.
“Imagine, if you will, waking up, and all you can see are tones. No color. And then suddenly realizing that you’re actually seeing the insides of your eyelids, and you can’t even open them. And then, I realized that I couldn’t move. Not one bit, at all. I couldn’t even twitch a toe.
Normally, I would have been fine with this, but for one small, very insignificant problem. I felt there was a presence in the room with me. And I don’t mean a ghost, or a spirit (they’re not spirits per se, they’re more like a recording, repeating over and over). This was…something else. And it was coming towards me. This, for those who haven’t made the mental leap yet, is something you DO NOT WANT when you’re paralyzed.
My fight or flight response was going completely bat shit insane, only I was unable to either of these things. I was pinned there, like a chair glued to a wall with no more nails. And then, I had a sense of what this thing was. Utterly evil. Positively demonic, in fact. All I could ‘see’ were the hands. Grey, wizened hands, cracked with age, or evil, I didn’t know which. There weren’t any nails either. There were claws, filed to rough points.
And this pair of hands was coming towards me, pinned on the bed. They may have been connected to something else, or not. My mind wasn’t exactly up to thinking about this at the time. So, to sum up, I was pinned on the bed with some kind of grey demon hands coming at me. Slowly. As though they were enjoying the complete and utter fear and terror I was experiencing at the time. And then it occurred to me to mentally shout for help.
And then I saw, felt, and became aware of a light- the brightest I have ever seen, or will ever see. Brighter than the Sun. It was like the primordial light of the universe, come to my aid to burn whatever this…thing was that was coming towards me to ashes. My bonds were loosed, my muscles started working, and my eyes shot open, and thank fuck, it was over.”
17. Even though light was shining through the windows my room instantly became darker and I was immediately terrified.
“I have had the misfortune of experiencing sleep paralysis demons on and off for most of my life, but after the worst experience and before I read up on the subject I was completely convinced I was being haunted by some malevolent ghost.
In hindsight when it happened I’m pretty sure I was asleep but at the time I felt as though I was still half awake. I had just come off a night shift and it was mid-morning, there was some light in my room and although my eyes were closed I could still see around my room. It almost felt like a lucid dream. I heard a soft voice whisper in my ear say hello. I was not yet afraid, it sounded as though someone wanted to say hi but wanted to wake me up gently. I wanted to respond but my vocal chords, along with the rest of my body, were completely paralyzed. So I said ‘hello’ back in my head. The next thing I heard was a loud, hissing ‘fuck you’ in the most spiteful and vicious tone I have ever heard. Even though light was shining through the windows my room instantly became darker and I was immediately terrified. It took all my strength and effort just to open my eyes and when I did everything went back to normal.
I’ll also share a recurring event that plagued me through my early childhood and is probably the reason I slept with a night light on until was about eight years old:
The first few times this occurred I thought my parents were playing a trick on me. I would be lying in bed in that weird state, most likely asleep but feeling as though I was aware of my surroundings. I would feel a death grip hand tickling me on my knee or the back of my hamstring. I would try to kick my leg or reach out with my hand but even thinking about doing so made the grip tighter and tighter until I was forced to wake myself up. I thought at first my parents were tickling me in my sleep then running off to hide as soon as I woke up. Then came the vivid visual and auditory hallucinations. It always started with a breathing sound in my ear and it made me feel as though there was something else in the room with me. Again, I would have this awareness of my surroundings but there would be something out of place in my room that would clue me that something was not right. I might notice a toy out of place but it was usually a corner was darker than it should be, or my closet door would be open and exposed to light from the hallway but inside was completely pitch black. I’m not sure where I thought of the name but I called it ‘the skin’. It was this featureless dark shape that moved around my room, always starting from that dark spot and always giving me that death grip tickle that got worse and worse and was impossible to break until I forced myself to wake up.
I am a staunch atheist and I do not believe in the supernatural, but even after all these years writing this still creeps me out and if there is one thing that challenges my convictions it is these very real, very scary experiences. Even though this will probably get buried it actually feels really good to talk about it and read that I am not the only one by a long shot to go through this.”