13. A Little Dead Boy
I was having a night terror and there was a little dead boy standing beside my bed. I felt that I was slowly sliding off the bed toward him, but couldn’t stop myself or even open my eyes. Funny thing is, since it was a night terror I was wide awake and knew my girlfriend was laying right beside me reading a book.
14. The Dog
I had a number of experiences with sleep paralysis in the late ’80s and early ’90s. As I recall they started when I was at college and would sometimes take naps. I decided at the time they were happening because daylight was getting to my eyelids and waking up ‘part of my brain’ but not the whole thing.
One early experience with sleep paralysis came on a Sunday; I had come back from the dining hall to my dorm room and wound up asleep on my bed. I was alone in the room. Prior to me drifting off I could hear people out in the hall; someone had lured a dog into the dorm. I fell asleep, then thought I was awake but found I couldn’t move, and I was convinced the dog (which I had not seen or heard, but had heard people talk about, outside my door) was standing just outside my field of vision and about to attack me. I couldn’t move though! Then somehow I came fully awake, as I would term it, and reality synched up for me and of course, there was no dog in the room with me.
I had similar experiences on and off for the next several years. The last one I remember was actually the scariest and most disconcerting and happened five or six years after the one with the dog. I had been living in Texas and gone back to my home state for a visit, and was sleeping on a friend’s couch. One morning while my friend was taking a shower I thought I was awake but of course could not move, and I could hear two voices which at the time sounded quite demonic to me – and they were observing and commenting on me. They were talking about me in very hateful terms, and in a threatening tone. Whatever they were they were outside my field of vision. I was really scared and since I couldn’t move tried to call out for my friend, but couldn’t yell either. Then I woke up and the voices were gone, and I could still hear the sound of the shower from the other room. That was the last major episode I remember, and that’s been, hmmm, over twenty years ago.
One thing about that last episode, I already knew I was subject to these episodes, and had a notion as to what they were and (right or wrong) what explained them. But at the time it happened, I was still very afraid and didn’t know what was going on. I guess it was a bit like a (semi-) waking nightmare where your full powers of reason aren’t at your disposal to assess what you’re experiencing. Maybe.
I now think I had these experiences when I did due to something about my brain chemistry in my late teens and early twenties, and that my mind has since changed enough I don’t get them anymore. I can’t remember how I learned what they were at the time; they began before I was accessing Usenet so I must’ve read up on it in books or magazines. I remember characterizing them as hypnopompic hallucinations and am sure I read about this somewhere but I do not recall where; I was a college student when they started though so, plenty of options at the library there.