The scariest thing I’ve ever encountered.
Let me save you a Google search– Sleep Paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between states of wakefulness and sleep. You may be unable to move or speak.
I remember it was summer because I was stricken with long, boring and repetitive days. I was much younger, in the beginning of high school. I stayed up watching Youtube videos and movie trailers that night up until about 3am. I knew it was summer because I was usually hot and constantly tossed and turned throughout the night, but that night was different. I fell asleep quite peacefully.
I stayed in a relatively spacious bedroom by myself. My bedroom had 4 doors: 2 entry doors on opposite sides of the room, 1 door that led to a balcony and the final door which was a bathroom door. My bed was closest to one of the entry doors. My windows were always covered by sheer curtains, and my room doors were ALWAYS locked, however that night I had left them open because I expected my little brother to join me in watching movies at some point.
I woke up pretty suddenly, and I found it peculiar at the time. It seemed to be around 4:30 because I could see a tint of the rising sun through my sheer, translucent curtains. I could see that the sky was no longer pitch black but a subtle blue hue. It all still is very vivid to me. I was calm upon waking because there was nothing to be fearful about…until.
The entry door closest to my bed started making noises. The knob twisted back and forth a bit, then it slowly and eerily swung upon. It was very slow, as the creaking was loud and agonizing. It was only then that I realized I could not move. I tried so hard. I could not move at all, but I remained calm because I figured it was my little brother maybe.
This tall, and skinny figure swam into my room. I say swam because that’s exactly how it moved. Very smooth, and quick. It stood directly infront of me, where I noticed it’s frightening features. It had a long head, similar to a horse’ head but very skeletal. It had deep eye sockets but no eyes yet I knew for a fact this creature was peering deep at me. It had long, bony fingers. Inhumanely long with sharp finger nails. His fingers twitched crazily, like when you play with your knuckle/finger mechanism. It was the world’s scariest image. I had never watched a scary movie with this figure. I knew it was real. It felt real. Nothing else was out of the ordinary.
I was fully conscious. Have you ever put all your energy into lifting something that was enormous and heavy? but it didn’t budge at all. That’s exactly how it felt when I tried to lift my arm. I exerted ALL my energy, teeth-gritted and everything yet I couldn’t move at all. I was completely paralyzed while this creature breathed heavily in my face. My heart was beating out of my chest. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t sit up. I just laid there with fear ripping my body apart.
The creature swam closer, crawled on my bed and sat on my chest hunched over. It’s horse face an inch away from my nose. My chest cramped because it was crushing me. It was so heavy.
I kept trying to “jump-start” out of my paralysis by constantly pushing energy into moving a body. I tried to jerk myself out of whatever I was in. I closed my eyes and gave it one more big push, and flung myself out of whatever daze I was in.
I dashed towards my parent’s room at that point, sobbing hysterically about a demon. They reassured me it was ‘just a dream’ despite my vivid explanations of everything. I know what I saw, and I know what I experienced.
I had educated myself on sleep paralysis at this point. I’ve spoken about my experience extensively with close friends, but my curiosity was still not quenched. I stayed up that night, and I watched a netflix documentary on Sleep Paralysis, and fell asleep before it ended. I fell asleep with my laptop beside me, and I was on my back. I had learned in that documentary that it is advised to not sleep on your back, but it happened.
I saw the tall, horse-faced man again. He was running towards me at full speed with it’s mouth hanging open. I jerked out of this paralysis right before he charged into me. This time, it was not any less frightening. His face still lingers in the back of my head sometimes.
Interestingly, these encounters can be categorized based on beliefs. Religious people would state that this is probably a wake up call, spiritual would say that a demon is taunting me and scientist would explain sleep paralysis and how the brain works.
But what if you could be conscious, while dreaming? Usually in dreams, you’re going with the flow. You don’t have much control over anything! That’s where my interest into Lucid Dreaming piqued. I recommend reading up on how to take control in your dreams, be conscious and explore this ‘dream world’ as your actual self.
I haven’t had an encounter since but there has been a significant amount of times this week that friends of mine have brought up to the phenomenon. I find that weirdly coincidental. I wouldn’t wish sleep paralysis on anyone because knowing you’re fully conscious. You can feel the bed around you, you can see the room you sleep in and you can feel the temperature of the wind that blows on your body. This is full consciousness.
I’ve moved rooms since, and I’ve been very happy to know that I haven’t felt scared or wondered about the next encounter with this horse faced, tall, skinny and crooked man.
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope this sparked some curiousity into Sleep Paralysis. If you are interested, I recommend watching “The Nightmare” (2015) on Netflix. It’s a great documentary; “a look at a frightening condition that plagues thousands”. If you have personally experienced sleep paralysis, I’d love to hear the experience so let me know!
Stay safe, and sleep well!