That One Time I Experienced Sleep Paralysis

And it was the single most terrifying moment of my life. For those who have been fortunate enough not to go through it, let me tell you that the saying "You will never know true fear until you experience sleep paralysis" is 100% true.


I don't remember the exact time it happened but it must've been sometime between 3-5am at night. It started with a sudden jolt of consciousness - like that feeling you get when you almost fall asleep on a bus but the rockiness prevents you from doing so. And the moment I "woke", there was an immediate feeling of wrongness about the room. I felt like I was being watched or scrutinized and when I glanced to the foot of my bed, a shadowy figure was standing there. That's when the horror really kicked in.

You know that hypersensitive reaction you get when someone's about to touch your face? The fact that you're aware of it and expecting the contact kicks your nervous system and pulse into overdrive. That was the feeling I got when my brain realized there was something else in the room. I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for the inevitable because it seemed like whatever the fuck that thing was, it was definitely coming closer. A pressure started to grow on my chest and my brain attributed that to the malicious entity sitting on it. I also started hearing low-pitched growling and felt phantom fingers touch my face. I was so terrified I think I tried to scream but all that came out was this weak pathetic croak because my throat muscles wouldn't work. My whole body was a lump of useless flesh.

And then the worst part. I actually saw the thing in the room with me. Its face was leering down at me from above and it looked like a cross between an old woman and a gargoyle. I had a moment there where I wholeheartedly believed in the supernatural.

The episode faded away gradually. My limbs started working again but when I stayed still, the feeling would creep back in until I started hearing the growls. So as soon as it was physically possible, I sat up and flicked on the light switch. I probably stayed awake for about 15 minutes after that, just trying to process it all and tell myself I wasn't fucking insane. The whole episode probably only lasted 2 minutes max but it felt like a lifetime.

So definitely the worst experience ever. And even though afterwards I read all this scientific analysis on sleep paralysis, how it's caused by disrupted REM sleep and proof that the 'malicious entities' really are just hallucinations of the mind, I cannot get over my terror of it happening again. Can you blame me?

P.S. Google image "sleep paralysis" if you're really curious as to what an episode feels like and how different people visualize 'the creature'. But don't do it if you scare easily.

P.P.S. While we're on the topic of the strange and creepy, how awesome is Sia's Chandelier video? Once you get over the weirdness, it's actually quite riveting. I've watched it like 10 times now, no joke.

I also may or may not have mentioned this because I needed a suitably creepy banner image for the post...but it's fitting, no?

P.P.P.S. Total change of topic but I managed to cross off my very first item on 'The List'. Thanks Celine for cooking for me! I doubt you're reading this but here's your shoutout anyway.


  1. I have heard the worst stories from friends who regularly experience sleep paralysis (I get scared to the point that I won't read anything related before bed... In fact I'm too afraid to read what you wrote after '3-5PM at night' D:)... But I was just wondering, do you think the occurrence may have been attributed to anything? Such as a lack of sleep over the past week, or just an uneasy state of mind? Or is it really just random? D: ARE NONE OF US SAFE FROM THE CLASPS OF IT?!

    1. Yeah, I've been wondering about that too - especially since I want to do everything possible to prevent it from happening again. It happened a few weeks ago and I don't remember being particularly stressed about anything. Now that I think about it though, it was probably a lack of sleep since I remember having stayed out really late for consecutive nights before the episode happened. So moral of the story: go to sleep when your mum tells you to and you shall be fine.


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