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#1
*Huge wall.txt here* Please bare with me

Anyone experienced this? My friend has been telling me stories about how he has experienced this, and he thought it was some kind of 'ghostly' thing going on.

Sleep paralysis occurs when you're just falling asleep, or are just waking, and you find yourself aware but unable to move, and often unable to speak.

Quote by Wikipedia
The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes, with some rare cases being hours, "by which the individual may experience panic symptoms"[6] (described below). As the correlation with REM sleep suggests, the paralysis is not entirely complete; use of EOG traces shows that eye movement is still possible during such episodes.

In addition, the paralysis may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (hypnopompic or hypnagogic) and an acute sense of danger. Sleep paralysis is particularly frightening to the individual because of the vividness of such hallucinations. The hallucinatory element to sleep paralysis makes it even more likely that someone will interpret the experience as a dream, since completely fanciful or dream-like objects may appear in the room alongside one's normal vision. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for alien abductions and ghostly encounters.


My friend described (on several occasions) waking up on his back and finding himself unable to move. He can see, and move his eyes, but thats it. Upon trying to move he feels something holding him on the bed via his hands and his body, as if someone/something is sitting on his chest. Upon trying to speak, or shout for help, he feels something grab hold of and squeeze his throat, preventing him from doing so.

He has always described this as some kind of supernatural experience; and some people who experience sleep paralysis also describe various different 'ghostly', 'demonic' feelings and visions during such an episode; as if it's some kind of nightmare.

But i've been thinking...

All the research done, and all the stories told, of these 'supernatural' visions/feelings/experiences, all follow a similar pattern. Allow me to elaborate (all but the last following quotes are from Wikipedia):

The original definition of sleep paralysis was codified by Dr. Samuel Johnson in his A Dictionary of the English Language as "nightmare," Such sleep paralysis was widely considered to be the work of demons and more specifically incubi, which were thought to sit on the chests of sleepers.

In Swedish folklore, sleep paralysis is caused by a Mare, a supernatural creature related to the werewolf. The Mare is a damned woman, who is cursed and her body is carried mysteriously during sleep and without her noticing. In this state, she visits villagers to sit on their rib cages while they are asleep,

Folk belief in Newfoundland, South Carolina and Georgia describe the negative figure of the Hag who leaves her physical body at night, and sits on the chest of her victim. holds him down hardly enough to not allow any kind of movement, starts to strangle the person

Source: In some cases, when hypnogogic hallucinations are present, people feel that someone is in the room with them, some experience the feeling that someone or something is sitting on their chest and they feel impending death and suffocation. That has been called the “Hag Phenomena” and has been happening to people over the centuries. These things cause people much anxiety and terror, but there is no physical harm.


Now then. The vast majority of these experiences are of people thinking and sometimes seeing, something in the room with them, usually and demonic creature of some sort, or an elderly witch-type thing. So where do they come from? How do many millions of people, from every part of the world, experience the same 'hallucination'?

Even of the stories where people don't 'see things', they feel something or someone is pressing on their chest and/or strangling them to the point they cannot breathe. Even in the deepest of sleeps where your body has mostly paralysed your muscles, you can still breathe; so why not when you become consiously aware?

Is it not possible that there is in fact some truth behind these 'ghost' stories?

Discuss.

P.S. My many thanks if you read all of that.
You cannot choose the little time you're given in this world. You enter bare and unclothed, provided only with intelligence enough to choose how you spend your time. You always have a choice. Always. Though be warned, your choice can rarely be undone
#2
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#6
thisthreadagain.jpg but seriously, i see this thread once every two weeks.

EDIT: what's up with the pit and all this conspiracy shit?
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Last edited by son_of_bodom at Oct 23, 2011,
#7
Quote by rockdude375
Is it not possible that there is in fact some truth behind these 'ghost' stories?


I'm guessing no, I don't see why it would. Sleep paralysis have been around for a long time, and was probably the cause of those incubi and other mythological beasts you listed.
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#8
Read it all and you raise excellent points. People need to accept the fact that supernatural entities such as ghosts, demons, angels etc. may in fact exist. Stop looking for every answer in science, which has become its own religion of sorts.
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#9
Quote by Trowzaa


This. Again.

And the reason that people typically see the same hallucinations is not because there is truth to them, it's because the hallucinations are all based around common, universal patterns. Take aliens, for example. The most common type of "alien encounter" described fits the bill of sleep paralysis to a tee.

The reason people see elongated faces and figures in the dark during sleep paralysis is because the brain is trained to identify patterns so that it will better recognize them in the future. Without your subconscious there to tell your conscious "nope, that's nothing," the human brain will begin trying to identify patterns even where there are none, so something in that shadow across the room vaguely resembling a human figure or face suddenly becomes a human-like alien because your brain is struggling to identify something that isn't there.
Last edited by madbasslover at Oct 23, 2011,
#10
Read the whole thing from start to finish.

Meh.
❝Don't be afraid of death, but of an inadequate life❞
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#11
Is it not possible that there is in fact some truth behind these 'ghost' stories?

in one word, no.
#12
They aren't really experiencing the same thing.
They have the same feelings (obviously, people who wake up paralyzed in the middle of the night aren't going to feel much of anything beyond terror) and they point to common cultural villains such as witches, demons, ghosts, etc.

A lot of people are sure that this is why people think they were abducted by aliens. What people see depends on the time and place in which they live.
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#14
Quote by ErikLensherr
Read it all and you raise excellent points. People need to accept the fact that supernatural entities such as ghosts, demons, angels etc. may in fact exist. Stop looking for every answer in science, which has become its own religion of sorts.

so right, science is so flawed
#15
TS, until there is evidence found, no.
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#16
Quote by son_of_bodom

EDIT: what's up with the pit and all this conspiracy shit?

Because sleeping disorders are conspiracies...
#18
I get sleep paralysis, but I can't say I've ever had any hallucinations. I just see what's around me, but my eyes don't focus properly, and I can't move or speak. Sometimes I feel like I'm making a noise, but I don't think I am.
hello
#19
Quote by winterXsolstice
so right, science is so flawed

I'm glad someone agrees. Common sense, it's contagious!
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#20
Quote by abdulalhazred
They aren't really experiencing the same thing.
They have the same feelings (obviously, people who wake up paralyzed in the middle of the night aren't going to feel much of anything beyond terror) and they point to common cultural villains such as witches, demons, ghosts, etc.

A lot of people are sure that this is why people think they were abducted by aliens. What people see depends on the time and place in which they live.


What about the things that people see? All of them are basically the same, and I don't mean just shadows on the wall kind of thing, things people claim to have actually seen.

And what are the common cultural villains? These very similar phenomena have been described in detail from nearly each and every culture. Yet we have different religious and cultural beliefs from each other.

I've heard many pregnant women experience an elderly lady in 'ghost' form, suffocating them; but not only experience it/her, actually visualise it as well.

A lot of women victims have not only 'seen' and 'heard' something/someone threatening sexual harm, and sometimes doing it; but have actually woken up properly with pain and discomfort around the genital and groin area, and in areas where they have felt 'pinned' down such as the hands/wrist etc.

EDIT:
Quote by son_of_bodom

EDIT: what's up with the pit and all this conspiracy shit?


It's not a conspiracy, it's a condition. And not everyone who gets sleep paralysis has any kind of weird hallucination.

Also, I'm not saying I either do or don't believe that something supernatural is happening, i'm just putting some ideas across that I think are valid points to make.
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Last edited by rockdude375 at Oct 23, 2011,
#21
Quote by ErikLensherr
Read it all and you raise excellent points. People need to accept the fact that supernatural entities such as ghosts, demons, angels etc. may in fact exist. Stop looking for every answer in science, which has become its own religion of sorts.


Pathetic.

You can claim magic shit all you want but it still doesn't make up for the fact that there isn't any good evidence for it.

"Science is a religion"

Science is not a f*cking religion. It is a method of testing the world around us and coming up with the best explanations possible. The only reason it seems like a religion is because morons go "hurrrrr durrrrr science is a religion" and sane people get pissed off at such pants-shitting lunacy.


Quote by rockdude375
What about the things that people see? All of them are basically the same, and I don't mean just shadows on the wall kind of thing, things people claim to have actually seen.

And what are the common cultural villains? These very similar phenomena have been described in detail from nearly each and every culture. Yet we have different religious and cultural beliefs from each other.

I've heard many pregnant women experience an elderly lady in 'ghost' form, suffocating them; but not only experience it/her, actually visualise it as well.

A lot of women victims have not only 'seen' and 'heard' something/someone threatening sexual harm, and sometimes doing it; but have actually woken up properly with pain and discomfort around the genital and groin area, and in areas where they have felt 'pinned' down such as the hands/wrist etc.

EDIT:


It's not a conspiracy, it's a condition. And not everyone who gets sleep paralysis has any kind of weird hallucination.

Also, I'm not saying I either do or don't believe that something supernatural is happening, i'm just putting some ideas across that I think are valid points to make.



You're still coming up with people have similar experiences.
Also this kind of thing can be created in lab conditions with people who have experienced it before and they say there isn't any difference.
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Last edited by abdulalhazred at Oct 23, 2011,
#22
Sleep paralysis is in fact the cause of these stories. It is your body's natural protection against injuring yourself during sleep. Imagine if you acted out everything you dreamed during the night - chances are you would have a good chance of falling out of bed, hitting yourself on something, or hurting yourself in other creative and hilarious ways. Sleep paralysis prevents movement of the body, and can be a difficult experience for many people.

The source of hallucinations is known as hypnagogia. They are, in fact, hallucinations. These occur in the state bordering waking and sleeping, and are experienced by you every night as you fall asleep or wake up. Often you will be too deep in sleep to recall them, or may just mistake them for the wanderings of your mind. Think of them as dreaming while not quite asleep. They will generally take the shape of strange buzzing or whooshing noises, or sometimes an indistinct conversation, as if hearing through a thick door. Occasionally they can be more detailed, and you can actually see or feel a person or entity in the room with you. This is nothing but a hallucination.

Those who practice lucid dreaming or meditation frequently will become very familiar with both of these sensations, as both practices require retaining mental clarity and memory in a half-asleep state.

tl;dr
Story explained by the science of sleep, just your mind doing crazy stuff.
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#23
Quote by rockdude375
What about the things that people see? All of them are basically the same, and I don't mean just shadows on the wall kind of thing, things people claim to have actually seen.

And what are the common cultural villains? These very similar phenomena have been described in detail from nearly each and every culture. Yet we have different religious and cultural beliefs from each other.

I've heard many pregnant women experience an elderly lady in 'ghost' form, suffocating them; but not only experience it/her, actually visualise it as well.

A lot of women victims have not only 'seen' and 'heard' something/someone threatening sexual harm, and sometimes doing it; but have actually woken up properly with pain and discomfort around the genital and groin area, and in areas where they have felt 'pinned' down such as the hands/wrist etc.


My post explained a great deal of this already. As for pain, it's all based around external stimuli. If your brain thinks something is happening to you, it might as well be, even if no damage is actually being done. It's a hackneyed explanation, I know, but really if you think about it, setting aside actual bodily harm, what's the difference between being injured and perceiving that you're being injured? As far as your brain can tell they're the same experience, so you're bound to experience pain whether it's real or not.
#24
Quote by abdulalhazred
Pathetic.

You can claim magic shit all you want but it still doesn't make up for the fact that there isn't any good evidence for it.

"Science is a religion"

Science is not a f*cking religion. It is a method of testing the world around us and coming up with the best explanations possible. The only reason it seems like a religion is because morons go "hurrrrr durrrrr science is a religion" and sane people get pissed off at such pants-shitting lunacy.

Quote by jakesmellspoo
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#25
Quote by chaos13
Sleep paralysis is in fact the cause of these stories. It is your body's natural protection against injuring yourself during sleep. Imagine if you acted out everything you dreamed during the night - chances are you would have a good chance of falling out of bed, hitting yourself on something, or hurting yourself in other creative and hilarious ways. Sleep paralysis prevents movement of the body, and can be a difficult experience for many people.

The source of hallucinations is known as hypnagogia. They are, in fact, hallucinations. These occur in the state bordering waking and sleeping, and are experienced by you every night as you fall asleep or wake up. Often you will be too deep in sleep to recall them, or may just mistake them for the wanderings of your mind. Think of them as dreaming while not quite asleep. They will generally take the shape of strange buzzing or whooshing noises, or sometimes an indistinct conversation, as if hearing through a thick door. Occasionally they can be more detailed, and you can actually see or feel a person or entity in the room with you. This is nothing but a hallucination.

Those who practice lucid dreaming or meditation frequently will become very familiar with both of these sensations, as both practices require retaining mental clarity and memory in a half-asleep state.

tl;dr
Story explained by the science of sleep, just your mind doing crazy stuff.


This still doesn't explain why millions of people from hundreds of different cultures/religions/countries experience a similar thing when it comes to the 'weird' stories. Yes I agree with the strange noises and all that, and the generally stuff that when you come round properly you'd think 'oh, funny dream, that was' kind of thing. I mean the more scary things, much like what many people claim to have seen/felt/heard when they are awake.
You cannot choose the little time you're given in this world. You enter bare and unclothed, provided only with intelligence enough to choose how you spend your time. You always have a choice. Always. Though be warned, your choice can rarely be undone
#26
Quote by abdulalhazred
Pathetic.

You can claim magic shit all you want but it still doesn't make up for the fact that there isn't any good evidence for it.

"Science is a religion"

Science is not a f*cking religion. It is a method of testing the world around us and coming up with the best explanations possible. The only reason it seems like a religion is because morons go "hurrrrr durrrrr science is a religion" and sane people get pissed off at such pants-shitting lunacy.


Jeez, guy, can we do without the hostility? No one can hear "Look, I have a good point" over "OMFG FCK U UR RONG!!!@"

EDIT:
Quote by rockdude375
This still doesn't explain why millions of people from hundreds of different cultures/religions/countries experience a similar thing when it comes to the 'weird' stories. Yes I agree with the strange noises and all that, and the generally stuff that when you come round properly you'd think 'oh, funny dream, that was' kind of thing. I mean the more scary things, much like what many people claim to have seen/felt/heard when they are awake.


Please read my post further up the page. Please. I addressed this in that post and nobody seems to have read it.
Last edited by madbasslover at Oct 23, 2011,
#27
Quote by abdulalhazred
Pathetic.

You can claim magic shit all you want but it still doesn't make up for the fact that there isn't any good evidence for it.

"Science is a religion"

Science is not a f*cking religion. It is a method of testing the world around us and coming up with the best explanations possible. The only reason it seems like a religion is because morons go "hurrrrr durrrrr science is a religion" and sane people get pissed off at such pants-shitting lunacy.


dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


#28
Quote by abdulalhazred
Pathetic.

You can claim magic shit all you want but it still doesn't make up for the fact that there isn't any good evidence for it.

"Science is a religion"

Science is not a f*cking religion. It is a method of testing the world around us and coming up with the best explanations possible. The only reason it seems like a religion is because morons go "hurrrrr durrrrr science is a religion" and sane people get pissed off at such pants-shitting lunacy.



Most science (particularly around this area) is based on theory. there's no eveidence against it either.


You're still coming up with people have similar experiences.
Also this kind of thing can be created in lab conditions with people who have experienced it before and they say there isn't any difference.


Nearly everything you've experienced is retained in your memory. I've never been stabbed, so if I were to have a nightmare about being stabbed (however 'realistic' and scary to me) it would most probably be completely inaccurate. However, if I had been stabbed, then a nightmare about being stabbed would be completely realistic because I would be remembering bits, if not all, of said stabbing.
You cannot choose the little time you're given in this world. You enter bare and unclothed, provided only with intelligence enough to choose how you spend your time. You always have a choice. Always. Though be warned, your choice can rarely be undone
#29
one time i woke up with sleep paralysis. only problem was that i couldn't breathe. those were some frightening seconds
#30
I don't know, i can tell you my interesting story though.

One time i had sleep paralysis (i get it fairly often) and this time i had an auditory hallucenation, first time i've had that. It sounded and felt as if a huge monster, or a bear or some big creature was behind my head, growling really low. It was creepy as hell, and i had the whole 'pressure on the side of the ribs' thing, as i was on my side. Like i was being pinned down.

Needless to say, in my mind, since i've had sleep paralysis a lot, i started to think 'this is just a hallucenation, nothing is going to happen', and when i thought this way, the 'sane' line of thinking, the growling got quieter and died down, but when in my mind the fear kicked in and i thought 'but what if it's real?!' then the growling got much louder, as if the rational and irrational sides were in conflict. It was very strange.
#31
Quote by madbasslover
Jeez, guy, can we do without the hostility? No one can hear "Look, I have a good point" over "OMFG FCK U UR RONG!!!@"

He had nothing resembling a good point.
His responses will get respect when he says something worthy of respect

Quote by rockdude375
Most science (particularly around this area) is based on theory. there's no eveidence against it either.



Germs are just a theory.
Also, there's that whole part where they can recreate it in a lab. At will.
Being able to do that with machinery means it's pretty well understood.

Nearly everything you've experienced is retained in your memory. I've never been stabbed, so if I were to have a nightmare about being stabbed (however 'realistic' and scary to me) it would most probably be completely inaccurate. However, if I had been stabbed, then a nightmare about being stabbed would be completely realistic because I would be remembering bits, if not all, of said stabbing.

er...ok?
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Last edited by abdulalhazred at Oct 23, 2011,
#32
The reason why people have similar experiences is because they share a common factor: the mythology of what causes sleep paralysis. Demons, hags, spirits and angels are all ingrained in our psyche so much so that people attribute seemingly paranormal phenomena to them, when in fact there isn't any. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain wakes up before the body does. When we sleep, the brain secreted hormones that control breathing rate, heart rate and limit motor function. Its a protective mechanism. When we sleep, metabolic rate decreases, but when Er wake it increases. If the brain wakes before the body does, you feel paralysis because your body is paralyzed and you feel like you can't breath because your metabolic rate hasn't increased. Attacks last so long because the body takes time to enter the awake state since hormones act over long periods. I get stress induced sleep paralysis... its not nice.
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#33
Quote by rockdude375
This still doesn't explain why millions of people from hundreds of different cultures/religions/countries experience a similar thing when it comes to the 'weird' stories. Yes I agree with the strange noises and all that, and the generally stuff that when you come round properly you'd think 'oh, funny dream, that was' kind of thing. I mean the more scary things, much like what many people claim to have seen/felt/heard when they are awake.


Why do so many people across developed countries dream about vehicles at some point or another? Because it's a common thing to see in our society.

What else is a common fear or event throughout this whole period of time in the universe?

Someone sneaking up on you while you sleep.

It'll be common because it's a common instinctual fear. That doesn't mean every hypnagogic hallucination will be like this. I recall once I woke up in the night and my whole body felt like it was vibrating, I couldn't move, and then I saw my high school social teacher in a green plaid turtleneck sweater and heard 8-bit music that got louder and louder until all I could hear was PSHHHHH and the plaid pattern got larger and larger until I was part of the sweater.

Then I fell asleep.

Why isn't that a common hypnagogic hallucination? Because it's ****ed up and weird, and the majority of people will not know my high school social teacher and the Aztecs won't have known 8-bit music. But they will have had a fear of being stabbed to death ingrained in them. Murder was just as much a part of that society as it is ours.

Am I making the sense to you now?
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#34
Quote by madbasslover

The reason people see elongated faces and figures in the dark during sleep paralysis is because the brain is trained to identify patterns so that it will better recognize them in the future. Without your subconscious there to tell your conscious "nope, that's nothing," the human brain will begin trying to identify patterns even where there are none, so something in that shadow across the room vaguely resembling a human figure or face suddenly becomes a human-like alien because your brain is struggling to identify something that isn't there.


Yes, found it. This is a good point well made. But where did these ideas originate from? No body is scared of nothing, you could show someone a wasps nest, but if they have neither been told of, nor experienced the danger of a wasp, they won't be fearful. (if i'm making sense there).

Also, the brain is trained to recognise faces/shapes etc, so what about the ghostly woman that pregnant ladies claim to have seen? Thats a detailed image. Shadows on the wall, might be perceived as a 'ghostly figure' or a 'person in the room with them', but there isn't any detail to it.
You cannot choose the little time you're given in this world. You enter bare and unclothed, provided only with intelligence enough to choose how you spend your time. You always have a choice. Always. Though be warned, your choice can rarely be undone
#35
Quote by rockdude375
Yes, found it. This is a good point well made. But where did these ideas originate from? No body is scared of nothing, you could show someone a wasps nest, but if they have neither been told of, nor experienced the danger of a wasp, they won't be fearful. (if i'm making sense there).

Also, the brain is trained to recognise faces/shapes etc, so what about the ghostly woman that pregnant ladies claim to have seen? Thats a detailed image. Shadows on the wall, might be perceived as a 'ghostly figure' or a 'person in the room with them', but there isn't any detail to it.


My cat has never before experienced the dangers of a vacuum cleaner, and nobody explained the dangers to her, yet she's terrified of it.

And I'll bet you 200 e-dollars that people who are not pregnant and not women have also seen a ghostly woman during a hypnagogic hallucination.
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#36
Quote by chaos13
Why do so many people across developed countries dream about vehicles at some point or another? Because it's a common thing to see in our society.

Am I making the sense to you now?


Yes and no

Exactly, people in developed countries world dream about vehicles at some point. But someone living, say, in a tribe, in a African desert somewhere, who has never seen nor heard of a vehicle like ours, won't dream of one. Do you see what I mean also ?

EDIT:

Quote by chaos13
My cat has never before experienced the dangers of a vacuum cleaner, and nobody explained the dangers to her, yet she's terrified of it.

And I'll bet you 200 e-dollars that people who are not pregnant and not women have also seen a ghostly woman during a hypnagogic hallucination.


Thats because vacuum cleaners are not natural to this world, let alone your cat It makes a horrible noise that to her probably indicates danger; for the similar reason that thunder scares some animals.

And yes, i'm sure they have; but that seems to be fairly common among pregnant women who suffer from sleep paralysis.
You cannot choose the little time you're given in this world. You enter bare and unclothed, provided only with intelligence enough to choose how you spend your time. You always have a choice. Always. Though be warned, your choice can rarely be undone
Last edited by rockdude375 at Oct 23, 2011,
#37
Quote by rockdude375
Yes and no

Exactly, people in developed countries world dream about vehicles at some point. But someone living, say, in a tribe, in a African desert somewhere, who has never seen nor heard of a vehicle like ours, won't dream of one. Do you see what I mean also ?


But they see people all the time, and nearly all the hallucinations related to sleep paralysis are based around human forms and figures.
#38
Quote by madbasslover
But they see people all the time, and nearly all the hallucinations related to sleep paralysis are based around human forms and figures.


Another good point. I cannot think of another argument against yours, sir.
You cannot choose the little time you're given in this world. You enter bare and unclothed, provided only with intelligence enough to choose how you spend your time. You always have a choice. Always. Though be warned, your choice can rarely be undone
#39
I usually have sleep paralysis once or twice a year. It is very scary when your brain is conscious but you cannot move.

I usually do not hallucinate or anything; usually just paralysis and my brain yelling at my body to wake up. However one time, I experienced what I thought I felt was a demonic possession.

I didn't really see anything, but I felt as though a demon was trying to enter my body and I was fighting as hard as I could. Then I woke up and it was over, but then I looked at my alarm clock and it was 3:00AM. (I think 3am is the "Witching Hour") Needless to say, I was scared to $hit.

At the time, I wasn't watching any scary movies, but a few months prior to that I watched the Exorcism of Emily Rose. I think that was still ingrained into my head for some reason.
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#40
Quote by thetalonguy
I usually have sleep paralysis once or twice a year. It is very scary when your brain is conscious but you cannot move.

I usually do not hallucinate or anything; usually just paralysis and my brain yelling at my body to wake up. However one time, I experienced what I thought I felt was a demonic possession.

I didn't really see anything, but I felt as though a demon was trying to enter my body and I was fighting as hard as I could. Then I woke up and it was over, but then I looked at my alarm clock and it was 3:00AM. (I think 3am is the "Witching Hour") Needless to say, I was scared to $hit.

At the time, I wasn't watching any scary movies, but a few months prior to that I watched the Exorcism of Emily Rose. I think that was still ingrained into my head for some reason.


"One of the earliest, if not the first, appearances this term makes is in Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
Earliest appearance in a story. I don't see why people get scared by fictional things. Zombies and werewolves and vampires, all fictional yet some people believe they're real... How
dirtbag ballet by the bins down the alley
as i walk through the chalet of the shadow of death
everything that you've come to expect


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