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Sleep Paralysis: Awake But Still Asleep

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Biology 202
2000 First Web Report
On Serendip

Sleep Paralysis: Awake But Still Asleep

Hiro Takahashi

A person may wake up and find himself unable to move or speak as if he is frozen. He also may hear footsteps, see a ghost-like creature, or feel someone sitting on his chest. Throughout the history, people considered this phenomenon as work done by evil spirits. However, the modern science can explain the terrifying event as a Sleep Paralysis.

A Sleep Paralysis is possibly a hereditary disorder in which one experiences very frightening seconds or minutes of total body paralysis with little respiration and eye movements (1). A victim in this state feels awake, but he cannot move or speak (2). In addition to the immobility, the common symptoms include feeling choked or suffocated, hearing strange noises like footsteps and voices, seeing beings or dark shadows, and feeling an existance of someone in the room (1). Although these symptoms often direct the victims to believe in ghosts, mistransmission of neural signals in the brain causes Sleep Paralysis. When a person sleeps, his brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contraction (3). If he comes into consciousness before the brain sends signals to activate muscle contraction, he cannot move his body, and consequently, become "paralyzed"(2).

In order to understand how a body becomes paralyzed while the person is awake, it is necessary to understand sleep cycles. In a mammalian sleep, the brain activity undergoes two different states called non-REM (NREM) sleep and REM sleep, which differ very much from wakefulness (3). NREM and REM sleep alternate cyclically through the night; in human, about 80 minutes of NREM sleep starts a night of sleep, about 10 minutes of REM sleep follows, and this 90 minute cycle is repeated about 3 to 6 times during the night (3). During NREM sleep, a body produces few movement, but the body has capability of tossing about in bed and producing some other motor events, such as sleepwalking and sleeptalking (3). The cardiac-muscle contraction and breathing occur at a uniform rate, and the eyes move slowly (2). During REM sleep, on the other hand, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure vary (3). The eyes move rapidly because most dreaming takes place in this period, and the sleeper probably "look" at the moving objects in a dream (2).

The brain's control over muscles during REM sleep points out that in this period, a body is normally in the state of total paralysis, called a "nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis" (3). Probably to prevent a person from "acting out" a dream, the brain sends signals to inhibit any muscle contractions (2). Although some peripheral muscles, such as the muscles of the fingers and face, still twitch, the large skeletal muscles become relaxed, or "paralyzed" as a result (3). Some evidence supports that the motor paralysis of REM sleep protect against the acting out of one's dreams. A patient who suffers from rare syndrome called REM Sleep Behavior Disorder lacks the normal nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis, and he acts out violent dreams during REM sleep, often with injurious consequences (4). For example, a 60-year-old surgeon dreamt that he was attacked "by criminals, terrorists, and monsters who always tried to kill [him]" and fighting against them in the nightmare, he was actually punching and kicking his wife who slept in the same bed (4).

A nonreciprocal flaccid paralysis during REM sleep is accomplished actively by postsynaptic inhibition of motorneurons (3). Although the exact process of motor inhibition is not clear, some neurotransmitters and hormones are known to generate the many components of REM sleep. Aministering physostigmine, an inhibitor of the catabolic enzyme, increases the concentration of acetylcholine within the neurons in the pons, making it possible to artificially generate and start REM sleep in the middle of NREM sleep (3). Carbachol, the cholinergic agonist, produces a period of REM sleep in cat when directly injected into the pontine tegmentum (3). The hormone melatonin, a "master hormone" (5) that mainly controls circadian rhythms, also seems to play an important role in enhancing the REM state; the level of melatonin secretion by the pineal gland reaches its lowest during REM sleep (5). Such neurotransmitters and hormones probably activate or inhibit the activity of second messengers, which then activate or inhibit the third messengers, and so on till the last messenger inhibit the synaptic transmission or cause hyperpolarization of the motorneurons. And if, for some reason, the nervous or endocrine system continues to release the neural inhibitors, a person may experience Sleep Paralysis as he enters awakefully into or awakens directly from REM period (2).

While the modern neuroscience can describe the state of Sleep Paralysis as some errors of the neural transmission in the brain during REM sleep, a person who has seen or heard ghost-like figures/voices may easily believe that eveil spirits fully controlled his entire body. However, the images or noises, which the victim believes that he has seen or heard, are most likely hallucinations; and hallucinations, too, can result from the brain activity. In the 1960's, the Canadian neurologist W. Penfield introduced that electrical stimulation of the temporal lobe can cause the auditory hallucinations in the wake state (5). The buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears and other auditory hallucinations are closely associated with the activity of the auditory cortex and involves the temporal lobe (5). During the early period of sleep paralysis, the activity of the temporal lobe increases significantly, sometimes inducing hallucinatory sense (5). Similarly, the visual cortex generates internal visual stimuli, causing the victim to "see" terrifying figures during the paralysis (5).

How an episode of Sleep Paralysis induces visual or auditory hallucinations is still not clear, but it seems to have a significant relationship with anxiety (5). For anxiety is a neurocognitive event closely related to both psychological and physical processes, the extreme anxiety or panic may cause the release of several different signal molecules that trigger all kinds of physical events (5). A person experiencing Sleep Paralysis feels mortal fear or extreme panic, and hence, the brain generates and releases internal visual or auditory stimuli, producing hallucinations.

Also, hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis may happen, for one keeps dreaming even after some parts of his brain wakes up directly from REM sleep. Since the nervous and endocrine systems continue to release the neural inhibitors which sustain the paralysis, it may be possible that those systems keep releasing the neural activators that stimulate dreaming. Thus, a person continues to "see" the images and "hear" the noises produced in the dream that he has just had in REM sleep from which he has awaken.

Understanding more neural concepts of Sleep Paralysis, some researchers now hypothesize that a very rare condition called Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS) may closely relate to Sleep Paralysis (1). Upon the death, a SUNDS victim produces no body movement even though he experiences a myocardial infarction and strong breathing difficulties and should straggle in agony (5). The death may be caused by the extreme muscle atonia during Sleep Paralysis, which is so severe that even the cardiac muscles and the diaghragm paralyze (5).

Until I started researching on this subject, I have believed that the total paralysis of a body is due to an evil taking absolute control over the body. However, the interactions between neurons in the brain can explain this seemingly mysterious phenomenon in a scientific way. Although the explanation is not complete yet, for there are many unclear processes about Sleep Paralysis, the current hypothesis appears to reject the possibility of ghosts on this matter. Of course, it is impossible to completely disprove the existence of "spirits", "minds", or "God" affecting one's behavior. Nevertheless, like Sleep Paralysis and SUNDS, many or the mysterious conditions and behaviors which are only explained in supernatural terms probably result from brain.

WWW Sources

1)The Evil's of Sleep Paralysis

2)The Body During Sleep

3)Basics of Sleep Behavior

4)REM Sleep Behavior Disorder: A Neurologic Dissociative Sleep Disorder

5)Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis



Comments made prior to 2007

I have been trying to figure out what was going on in my sleep untill i read this.Now i am happy to know what my body was expeiencing. It's quite scary your first couple experiences of sleep paralysis but now i'm gonna stay calm when it is happening to me and try to get my own understanding of the experience ... Jeremy, 21 March 2006


I have had sleep paralyisis at least once per month for the last 8 years. I am 29 as of this writing. I just had the experience about 1 hour ago and thus has caused me to do reasearch about it on the net. I noticed that many Dr.'s contribute this to anxiety, stress and other factors. My question is ... why is there always an evil presence in that concious yet body is still asleep phase? Today I heard a loud static sound, and opened my eyes to a spider crawling all over my arm. When I prayed to God, or said His name (Jehovah) the spider would start to disappear. I finally went thru my mental prayer when I awoke. This leads me to believe that it is more of a spiritual occurence, because I never have positive images while in this paralized state. I know there are many things in which our ancestors thought it was demonic rather than scientific, only to find there was a scientific explanation. However, I think this is different and cannot be simply written off as "scientific". There is not enough proof to show that it is scientific.

About a month ago I had another episode of sleep paralysis and I saw a small presence in the room with me. It was dark, and I could not see it's face (I am getting chills typing about it right now). My question is, why is there always an evil presence not only associated with my episodes, but so many others I have read about? ... Abel, 24 August 2006 


i was thinking it is evil who do that during night but now i find out why. I am suffering from sleep paralyze possibly every nigh spicily when i have dinar ... Salah Nasser, 28 January 2007


I used to have this sleeping disorder when I was a child.  It has come back once or twice with adulthood, but otherwise, it is in the past.  I used to, with great effort, move my hand to my face and pull an eye open, which would wake me up, but sometimes the struggle was too much and I would go on into a deeper sleep. 

Since the brain can do this to me, can it also cause me to get migraines just as I am about to wake up?

It seems, as I have discovered, if I get less than 4 hours sleep a night, I do not get migraines.  If I get 6 hours or more, it's about a 90% chance I will wake with a migraine.  Later in the day, I get an hour or two nap and that is the routine as it works.  Doctors just sort of treat the migraine and don't get into the sleep thing I have.  I take MaxAult for the migraines when they do get me.

I woke one time, and just as I woke, I felt this white-hot needle going into my head... bingo.  A migraine in 5 seconds.  That is how they can occur.  I wake with them otherwise.  I figure it my brain doing things it shouldn't.  I have a clean bill of health otherwise.

Thanks for your time.  Have a good day ... Jay, 11 February 2007


I have a question, and hope someone out there has an answer, it has been months and I have thus far failed to find one.  Has there ever been a record of anyone receiving the effects of sleep paralysis without having been asleep?  The reason I ask this, is a while ago, having not slept in a few hours, I was sitting at my computer, and it seemed to have happened to me. Within seconds I was too tired to hold up my own head, and my breathing got very difficult. Then I began to feel a sort of dizziness as my limbs lost feeling, and dropped to my side. after this, the dizziness turned to near blindness. I could see, but nothing would focus, and everything I tried to look at seemed to dart around like a mosquito. By this time I had no feeling in my entire body, could move nothing without quite a bit of concentration, and I could barely breath.  My mother heard me try and make out some kind of cry for help, and found me there spilled into my computer chair. She rolled me to my bed, and poured me into it. Within about 10-15 minutes I had regained everything I once had, but my sea legs did not ware off for another ten or so minutes.  I went to the emergency soon after. I had an E.K.G. and a C.A.T. scan, with no results, and I piss less in a week then the amount of blood they took that night. After basically telling me I was lying, the doctor told me that my symptoms did not fit anything at all.  What I do know, is I have been researching the issue ever since, and can only base my problem on Sleep Paralysis. All the symptoms match. And again, my question....Has there ever been a record of someone under the effects of sleep paralysis without ever having gone to sleep?  I hope you can shed some sort of light on this subject, as it,...well, it freaked me the hell out, and no one has been able to answer me!  Thank you for your time ... Mitchel Henderson, 7 December 2007


I used get this "evil paralysed me" feeling when i was paralysed and usually saw a ghost. i tried to shout or move but no sound escaped my mouth and couldn't move at all. it happened again yesterday and was almost convinced that ghosts/evil spirits were getting the better of me. But, me being a practical and logical guy, erjected this theory and started researching on this phenomenon. I came across this research paper on Sleep Paralysis. This greatly helped me in alleviating my fears. And next time i "see" a ghost during sleep paralyses, ill just laugh at it ;-)  Thanks for the research ... Siddarth, 10 December 2007 


Kymmi 's picture

Last night - violent SP episode

Last night (4/14/15) - I had a bad SP episode.
It kept me up all night.
My boyfriend was by my side the whole time.
It felt like something was on me. I could literally feel it pass through me.
I've been dealing with this since I was 11.
I would say SP happens twice per month.
It doesn't matter if I'm sleep alone or with my other half.
The only way to stop it is sleeping with music blasting in my ears.

I don't want to deal with this as an elderly lady.
I can't see myself shaking myself to wake up.
Freaks me out just thinking about it.

What I've experienced with SP:
1. Hearing whispers, growls, groans, laughter, and other inaudible sounds (even buzzing)
2. Seeing dark shadows
3. Feeling something touching my back, arms, legs, face, and ears.
4. Feeling a deep sunken feeling..

Praying used to ease it.
But it feels stronger now.

If I take the scientific approach, I guess it could be my nerves or my sleep pattern is off track.
I have no clue. I just want it to stop. :(

I used to come to this message board all the time to type out my experiences.
I stopped once the experiences disappeared but now they're back again.

Amanda 's picture

What could it be ?

For years and months , I've had these paralyzed dreams of a dark presence sometimes its on the side of my bed I close my eyes but the feeling of this dark force is unbearable I can feel it trying to reach out and touch me . So I clinch my eyes and I can't move my breathing becomes heavy because I'm trying to scream and I began to panic so I say Jesus trying to in between breathing repeating Jesus and I wake up . I get them sometimes three or two days out of the week but at least once a week if I'm lucky once every two weeks . And it doesn't matter if I fall asleep in daylight my breathing is what terrifies me the most . I don't wanna believe that it can be evil but nothing makes any sense when it comes to a scientific beliefn. I'm glad i found this article and im sorry for those who experience it.

Quin's picture

Sleepless Nights

I too have had the same feeling the past two nights. The first night I was awake my face was facing down as I sleep on my stomach and my arms and body felt as if some one was holding me down or as if I had a force field around me. It was really cold and I started to pray, as I kept praying I felt my voice as if it were trying to shut me up but I kept on praying and eventually felt released from its hold. I eventually moved and fell back to sleep. Last night I fell asleep and felt a presence I was awake and could move so I just prayed and eventually it felt as if it went away. Tonight I bought me some sleeping pills I hope to fall so deep in a sleep I wont event feel a think, considering even getting alcohol to help.. lol

Serendip Visitor's picture

Sleep paralyse

Thank you for sharing the info.

Mine was totally different. I was not scared. My mind was fully functional and active.
I saw my door open and a figure walked in. Only the outer frame work, almost
see-through. He sat next to me for a while and left. I could not see the face.

On a second occassion, I woke up with a bright light in my
room and my fridge made a loud noise. And I heard a voice.

Rudolf fourie's picture

from the age of 6 curintly 22

This has been happening to me since the age of 6 . During then and now
Some weird stuff has happend Like me waking up and clearly see my mom walking past
Me but i cant do any thing .And i dont believe in relogion and stuff but just To say its scientific is nonsence cuz time and time again i wake up cant breath cant move and can clearly see someone or something sitting Ontop of me. And my whatever you call it can last for what feels to me like up to an hour the only way i can wake up is by fighting trying to move atleast one limb. That seams to do the trick i then wake up or become unparelized. this can also hapen to me up to 5 times in one night.. please if any one has any news or idea on what can be done let me know cuz im freaking out

Andre's picture

SP vs Sleep apnea

Hi Rudi. First, I have the feeling you are from South Africa. The fact of the matter is that many people try to pass off actual Demonic activity as sleep paralysis. This is not true. Not all these experiences are due to brain activity. I have had many such experiences in the past but have now mastered these attacks which in my case are factual and physical demonic attacks. The first one I had many years ago was a case of absolute fear and uncertainty as I was terrified by the evil presence I could feel. Being a Protestant Christian, I tried calling aloud on the name of Jesus to release me. Demons can not read minds but can place thoughts into your mind and this is where they get to you. As soon as I could call on Jesus the attack immediately stopped and I was released bu was extremely tired out. If you are not a Christian as in accepting Jesus and asking Him to come into your life and guide you, then do that. If you do not know what to do, then reply to my comment and I will tell you what you should do to get Jesus in your life. These attacks are very personal and although all around you everyone is ok, and you not, it is perhaps because they have the peace of God in their lives. My adopted son has had these attacks all his life. He is now 28. His son is 4. My son made a video call to his biological sister a while back and while talking she told him to hold the phone still and turn slightly. She told him she saw behind him a tall man standing behind the table and at the edge of the table under the table-top was a little boy, but when my son looked there was nobody and the table was against the wall. BUT his son has also been heard speaking to someone and when asked who he speaks to he just says a friend. We believe the old man is the demonic spirit who has been bothering my son for many years and the little boy is the same for his son? Just a few months ago when someone slept in my house for a while, I again had these experiences but being used to this I was easily capable of warding off the evil. do not let people tell you it is just your body. Talk to Jesus. I am NOT selling religion to you I am being very very serious.. Remember there are literally billions of fallen angels on earth. do you for one moment think they are sitting around playing jokes on you. No they are trying to reap in as many souls as possible in order to keep them from inheriting eternal life. This is part of the strategy.God bless. Andre

Serendip Visitor's picture

I agree with you 100%

I commented here more than twice in 2014. In one of my comments I suggested that it could be evil disturbing some people here and someone replied and refuted my claims. I have several months since i had y last deep episode. I stopped by held down at night when I learned how powerful the name Jesus Christ is. Each time I called this precious name, whatever pressed my chest and flew my body in the air escaped instantly. From that moment on i do not play secular music before sleep, I choose praise and worship and I even leave my phone radio turned on the whole night. Then before I sleep I pray for God to protect me in my sleep, and I hold my Bible when falling asleep. Also I no longer drink coffee a few minutes before sleep, do not sleep on my back anymore and I do try not to sleep while angry at someone or some situation. You will find that when your SP is as a result of evil it begins with a horrible nightmare where, for instance, you find yourself: falling down from a height, thrown among countless snakes, being quarreled/mocked, pursued or surrounded by a horrible enemy, seeing your family member dead and being buried or sick and dying, swimming to cross a sea of sewage with floating poop, eating weird things like poop or human flesh and so on. Then in the middle of this scary dream you suddenly get held down and get up feeling so exhausted like you have been carrying weighty bags in your sleep. Since I started praying, holding my bible in my sleep, calling JESUS CHRIST they have never overcome my whole body. The last episode i had they blew my legs only as my spirit is always alert now. Whenever I slip in to a scary dream my spirit wakes me up to pray. If you live anywhere in Africa you know that witchcraft is real and some of us are totally affected. You may be a good person and you do not trouble anyone. But guess what, someone is disgusted by you and want to trouble you. I am not saying you do not have SP, it could be it. But do not rule out demonic attacks, invite Jesus in your life and you will handle your problem much more easily.

Serendip Visitor's picture

True evil

I have had many of these occurances over the past several years. None befor I heard a thunderous voice come seemingly from everywhere that told me not to fear you will preach. Not exactly the plans of a corporate safety director but i knew whos voice it was. A few weeks later hell started. The first was a large dark figure that looked into my room at me then jumped toward me. I was awake with eyes open when this happened.
One of the worst. I was asleep i think but what i knew was a demon grabbed me lifted me up. I could smell and feel its breath on me. I was powerless to fight and knew i was going to die. We began falling. I suddenly felt peace and then anger. I began yelling Jesus Christ is my savior. My God is my shield and my sword. At once I was released and ready to fight. As my journey prepareing and teaching Gods word this thing has returned over and over. On three occasions i have been wide awake once even raised up and looking straight at it.
I believe this is a fight that will continue but, if God is with me who then can beat me.

spice Visitor's picture

reply to Rudolf

Hi Rudolf ..just want you to know that you are not alone....I have battled this for years along with narcolepsy.
Here are my suggestions.. Physically :Don't eat late and avoid sweets through out the day. Avoid dairy and meat as much as possible. Say goodbye to fast food. Try having your liver cleansed, do a detox. Or fast for a day...Drink tea.. lettuce tea (tea and hot water)Camameal tea is good.. use lemon and brownd sugar, honey or white sugar or iodized salt. Reason: Our brains are a complex device. Your mouth us a portal...what you put into it can haunt you if it is not good for the soul mind and body. Mentally: Before going to bed , stretch...take deep breaths and breath from your diaphragm.. Avoid television and try music with a high vibration frequency. Like classical or natural sound waves... This affects your mind body spirit and soul.. Don't rule out anything... Spiritually . get sage.. it wards of spirits..good and bad.. get a bowl and put t near your bed, sprinkle some on your window seal.. it smells sweet so you can make a sac like I do and put it under my pillow. Cover your TV's and mirrors.. they are actually portals for beings and other life forms undetected without the activation of the third eye. Try sleeping with a eye mask, ear plugs or headphones and positive non secular music... there are demons in the music after the 1960's. WAKE UP AND LEARN THE TRUTH! CHECK OUT "THE CODE TO THE MATRIX" BY SEVAN BOMAR on You Tube.. Also to nasty watch the videos..then go to Markus Rothkranzt .com to learn how to prepare delicious natural foods that feed your brain mind and soul. We consume too many animals ..these animals have spirits. I have been through and seen it all and I have come to the conclusion that those spirits maybe some how trapped within us and the only way they can escape is when the right brain is asleep. But unfortunaley the other side of the brain does not sleep and may somehow act a a police when the spirits are trying to escape and somehow sounds the alarm which triggers the paralysis within the brain.... I'm no scientist. I just try to diagnose and create explanations to what I am experiencing. This will give you a sense of control over

Serendip Visitor's picture

real or not

No offense intended but just because you believe it is real does not necessarily make it so. There are many people with these experiences and their views on them all differ. Thise who preach confidence in religion are from all backgrounds and many beliefs. Each claim success in their own methods.

my outlook. Perhaps its not real in which case your reaction doesnt matter. On the other hand maybe it is. If it is real and there is any form of presence I can react with hostility or peace. I prefer the latter. No swearing. No attacking. No threatening. Just friendship and open arms. Faced with the unknown you would hope most would take that view. Yet the surprising result indicates otherwise.

Andre's picture

Respect or not

Good day friends. Hallo Fanie. I am afraid as a Born-again Christian I am not able to agree with you. You see being a Christian also often comes with certain unexpected gifts. Without blowing things out of proportion, I discern that you (the guest, give us your name, from; Fri, 06/26/2015 - 4:21am) are very possibly not a Christian in the full sense of the word. The Bible makes it obvious that Jesus did treat the Demons with whom He came into contact with, with a type of respect and did not treat them roughly. However, one cannot play around with these demonic spirits because with the “friendliness” which you preach, you will be inviting them into your life and possibly also into your body. Friends, by watching secular TV and listening to rock/pop music and by living a lose life, invites these attacks. Ask Jesus into your life, ask His guidance and pray the Heavenly Father to protect you and what you think and do and to show you the direction He wants you to walk. When in trouble, call on HIS name. May the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob bless you and keep you safe.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Learnt alot from you

I was going through this for the whole of 2014 and i commented here twice. Prayer and gospel music has helped me a lot. I also do not drink a cup of coffee at night , I don't watch TV, I do not sleep on my back, and I think it has helped somehow. The last episode i had this year was not as serious as those i have had before. I have also noticed that prior to an episode I am always having a bad dream such as falling from heights, snakes etc. I find your contribution very useful and will try your tricks. Thanks.

Quin's picture

Praying helps me a lot. Try

Praying helps me a lot. Try it and believe.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Repressed memories perhaps?

Repressed memories perhaps? Hypnosis? Psychiatrist?

raven27nosleep's picture

please help any advice

I am 27 years old the other night i woke up from a nightmare those happen alot.i tried to wake up my bf but i couldn't move or speak felt like i was being held down and fel a hand i thought on my thigh and a noise i can't describe.i started to panice and began to pray a few moments later icould move and called out for my bf but started choking and coughing...this has happened only a handful of time but his time lasted so much longer its getting worse. Ive had some pretty terrible nightmares and shake in my sleep. Does this contribute to that..i thought i was haunted bc of my dreams. The other night i woke up from a nigjtmare with a painful bruise on my back that wasnt there becore..any advice anybody please i just want ssome sleep

Andre's picture

Reply to raven27nosleep

Dear raven27nosleep. I read your entry of a few months back, today and the other day, and was touched as I do believe you are genuinely calling out for help. I need to tell you that the nightmares you suffer from are probably induced by forces outside of you. For example, bad movies occult activity, loose way of life contrary to the Word of God, sleeping around and basically a worldly way of life. My advice is to abandon the life you are leading, get to attending a protestant Christian Church and consult that Christian friend you have that you do not respect very much because she is a good Christian person. She might assist you to and ask Jesus into your life; and find your way out of the horrors of the attacks and the nightmares. God Bless

GW's picture

Awaken by someone

I was awoken this morning by a medium size hand pushing the back of my head. I've as these other sleep paralysis before numerous times. Today though was different. I was asleep and dreaming of a recording that was captured as part of my dream. The recording had pictures and voices. The last recording before I was awoken was in another language and as we (myself & somr other random people) were listening to the last recoding they looked at me with a strange look. I was about to ask them what it meant when a medium size hand pushed the back of my head. I got the chills and immediately woke up and looked to my left to see if maybe my son was trying to wake me up, or maybe it was one of my two small dogs who sleep with us in bed. Well my son is at a sleep over, my husband is at work tody, and my dogs were down by my legs. It was real and just scared me! Has anyone experienced anything like this?

Serendip Visitor's picture

it happened to me 3 times

I'm 14 this happens a couple months ago the first time it happed I saw my room and every thing around me, and like everybody else it felt real I thought I was awake. I was trying to move and scream I kept trying to get up it was tiring then I finally woke up and my neck was hurting so I was like what the heck. The second time it happed I thought it was time for me to pray and my prayer time was about to go out, cuz in my religion you have five times to pray so i was trying to get up but I couldn't my room has 2 big windows with curtains you can see through, so I saw someone trying to open my side door so I was like Allah (what I call god) please help me I woke up and it was really 12 twenty something in the morning so I really only got like an hour of sleep and my prayer starts at 5 or 6 something, I was scared so I went in my moms room and slept on the floor and I told her the next day,should her this site but she was like way is there always a bad feeling way can't it be good so she was like those are jins (what we call demons) and the third time it happed I was trying to scream but I was only whispering my grandma was calling me so she came in my room and when she came in I was whispering I "can't move"so she called my sister to help me and then I started crawling on the flour and they where just staring at me so then I woke up it was 7 in the morning and my grandmother was actually calling me so I got up and all she wanted me to do was pick up something off the floor but I couldn't get up right away it took me a minute, then I told my dad he was like a jin was trying to get you play some Quran (our Holly book) so I did then it stopped.

Marta's picture

Dear 14 year old Muslim friend

My dear little 14 year old friend, the Jins or Demons listen to Satan and they do what he commands.You may appease they by reciting the Q'ran or playing sacred music; BUT they obey Jesus and fear Him. My advice is to ask Jesus into your life and He will assist you if you ask Him to guide you in ALL aspects of your life. I know that you may not do this according to your religion, BUT in your heart and in your mind is a personal area where your thoughts and beliefs are ONLY yours. speak to Jesus, you already know He lives. Just remember He is a God of love. He said, "Come unto Me all ye who are tired and I will give you rest". Do this and trust Him. I will also pray for you and your problems. you may also reply to me by means of this site? ? May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the Creator God, be with you. Amen. Marta

Serendip Visitor's picture

Wow. Patronising and racist.

Wow. Patronising and racist. Well done... :(

Marta's picture

Wow. Patronising and racist.

Hi there nameless person not showing your name. Please would you care to discuss your view instead of throwing stones at an unidentified target. Would be fun hearing other persons views on the problem. Kindest regards

Serendip Visitor's picture

Muslim friend

I also am a christian and not Muslim but Martha, you are being rude here. Try to keep the context of the forum in mind.

Serendip Visitor's picture


This morning it happened again for 5 years I been going through it the first time I seen this black dark figure leaning over me but then after that & This morning something would hold me down and I would scream help and it felt like something was holding my whole body down but this morning I tried to sit up and I seen hand marks on my stomach pushing my body down but when I said Help me GOD It all stopped but then this strange face appeared on my tv seconds before vanishing smh that was the first time that had Happened like that all the other times it was just me being held down till it was over

Serendip Visitor's picture


This morning it happened again for 5 years I been going through it the first time I seen this black dark figure leaning over me but then after that & This morning something would hold me down and I would scream help and it felt like something was holding my whole body down but this morning I tried to sit up and I seen hand marks on my stomach pushing my body down but when I said Help me GOD It all stopped but then this strange face appeared on my tv seconds before vanishing smh that was the first time that had Happened like that all the other times it was just me being held down till it was over

Serendip Visitor sharon maclean's picture

im shadow hoover over me at night an in day time

can someone please help me with this or anyone have the same as me, I remember vaguly seeing this shadow when I was younger an going through sexual abus4, then 2007 my partner killed himself but a few month before he did I started waking up paralysed an nothing was above me, I couldn't move call out to my kids or family , I would make little noice I could, 1 day my pal said he heard a wimper an tried to wake me, I said I wasn't asleep I could tell him everythink that was going on in the room an he said go the docs, the doctor said I was asleep with my eyes open, time went on an it would occasionally happen, then 5 monthes ago I started taking notice off strange occurances an shadows that couldn't happen in m6y house, thinking it was somthink to do with me having spiritual mediumship gifts, a could sense summit was in the room an I knew it wasn't spirits to which I put my spiritual side on the back burner as I had emotional stuff going on an thought that too was messing with my head an I didn't like it as I was scared ball the time, anyway, I seen a black shadow move over my living room wall. that night5 I felt a stroking sensation on my face an couldn't move I was calling out in my little voice I could an could not move, I lived alone that time so no one would be able to help me anyway so god knows why I tried to call on someone but think I was praying for help. then I seen this black cloud an realized it was the same thing that had hovered over4 me as a child when I was going through the abuse, an also terrarised me floating on my wall at night when I was a child an would often be aware off my self sleep walking going to my bedroom door opening it an shadow man be stood there with no face id shut me door go back to my bed close my eyes then awake to see if it happened, so it was back, but that's where my nightmare bagan, now everynight as soon as it goes dark, I see this thing in a shadow on my wall in livingroom (and no im not nuts been checked for that as ill explain soon) at first I thought it was outside shadowing in, then id be sitting down an id see the sghadow aboth my shadow on the wall, id turn an it would go, it would touch my hair an disappear, it was tryin to get my attension, what gone from aboth me in my nroom to paralyzing me with fear, is now haunting my daily life, I can sense it when it about it stay in shadows but I get a sensation in my heads about to burst an ringing in ears I thought a spirits was attacking me but its this, it had me run out 2-3 am in the morning to police station thinking I was haunted as it felt like It was moving in out my body as id see a mist and orbs coming in an out me, evrytime that happened I would feel different, I ran the police station saying this ghost is leaving me evp telling me to get out an played it, they took me hospital to get checked an I was tested an went through hours off questioning to be told I wasn't nuts but how can they stop summit they cannot see, so I went the church no one would listen I went to circles to start re developing my mediumship again as I had lost my confidence and became a hermit who suffered severe anxiety when this happened, but the women at circle said if I was medium a should be able to cleanse my home, ivfe tried but everytime I cleanse or as priest says prey I get attacked an I faint or that night it worse, ive not suffered the paralys in a few weeks but I know its in my house full time, this thing never leaves iver commanded it too, but dosent either that left me a evp or a spirit that has now found its way in through this an wont leave either, but this is a living hell ive tried to not pay attension but it starts it darting on the walls so I see the shadow, an if I lie down on the couch everynight5 im afraid to go asleep as if I quickly close my eyes an open them I see the wooshing noice an shadow across the ceiling as if it dosent want me to see, please how do I get rid this thingif this has come back since 2007 , thenits so strong its took over my life it cost me my kids my partner my emotional state, doctors said it was anxity for years an mediums said it was spirits but its the shadow guy, an since cleansing my house no spirits which in a way ive regretted as I think maybe they were protecting me from the shadow watcher/stalker I now cal;l it, please someone help im a5t my wits ends I did get picture off this and it felt as I was copying themn on my laptop it darted across the wall to see what I waws doing then my laptop blew up, then I woke up today an my mobile has been wiped off evp and pictures , I contacted paranormal people but there busy waiting list the police finaly listening to me, as they wanted proof that I could see spirits so gave them a reading which left them gob smacked, then when they heard the evp theres a deep voice saying stuff to me, I had felt presences before I notice3d the shadow again over the past couple off years an started collecting recordidngs nan there are lots where the voice is distorted ., but still no ones listening I feel this shadow watcher has taken over my life, an wont leave, now I have to go library to go on internet as it have broken all my laptops when ive been trying to get evidence, and im basically using a cheap mobile an even that's nearly broke as it dosent displays stuff somehow got water in it, so im coming library daily to check these answer can someone help me, im on my own in north lanarkshire, Scotland, no family or friends as I keeps myself to myself as this as cost me everythink ive totally changed i9n my self an life im not the person I use to be, from Sharon -marie

Serendip Visitor's picture


you need to have group prayers for you in a Church, accept the Lord as you Savior and it will go away. I was tortured like that as a young girl too, and still they try and scare me... you just got to believe with your whole heart, that God loves you, and calling upon the name of Jesus WILL remove them. Take the power back and tell them to leave you alone in Jesus name and that they have no power over you. Ask that God take them away and deal with them if they should ever return. I promise you, you will find peace again.
God bless you and bring you peace.

Simon's picture

IF theres really something

IF theres really something there, you've mentioned it stroking you and trying to contact you. So what makes you think its out to get you? Thats behaviour usually associated with someone who cares for you. Frustrated I imagine. Ignore the hair raising tingling. Its just energy. Still ts logical to assime there are rules. Rules mean police

Serendip Visitor's picture

hi simon yer I had another

hi simon yer I had another medium comer in my house to give me some answer, the stroking on the face was a partner who had passed on through suicide, it was one off the last things he had done before he went out an took his life, but the black shadow I was told it is sleep paralys, an the spirits came through because I fed so much fear into this thinking I was going nuts, which theses black watchers or what I call stalkers make you feel so my ex an couple other nice spirits came through to protect me, an because ive also been thinking off going back to developing classes, as everytime I put my spiritual gift on the back burner everytime I go back to it it comes back stronger, but im single now an don't have to put up being called a freak because this, so I can develop it now an hoefully get my confidence back, an hopefully this black watcher/stalker will go, its ruled my life long enough

Simon's picture

Those black ones arent so

Those black ones arent so different either. In many ways like you. Picture someone who faced a life of fear. They die and fear is either all they knew or they hang onto negativity. They are very responsive to emotional states though.

They are easy to deal with simply by being the first to care about them. Lost. Afraid. Abandoned and angry. Its hard to finx peace so they feed on all they know. Fear is better than oblivion. Its a fiber of being. Provide concern. Understand pain. Imagine a battered animal or child growling at all it faces in fear. Try to reach out. There are far stronger forces than fear.

I made some friends and transformed them in the process. They are no longer what they once were. Ive not had problems since

Serendip Visitor's picture

reply back to you

hi simon sorry just getting back to you, yer i took a leaf out ur book and killed my shadow with love an kindness, i changed my routine got myself out the house started speaking with people, laughed which not done in a long time, even went church, an ive not seen it since, i know its there i can feel it presence, lurking in the shadows waiting for the slightest bit off negativity, fear, even doubt and sadness which ive had an soon as i notice it i think off things that make me happy, manly just too piss it off, i dont know whether it hoovers over me while im asleep i certanly havent notice when i open my eyes, but i know its there but im finding a way to deal with it, im glad im not alone, cheers hun xx an everyone else who gave me advice

Simon's picture

Glad to hear you're better.

Glad to hear you're better. You didnt kill anything though so dont fret ;)

You've changed it though. Imagine you yourself are a wonderer. Where ever you go people react with shock horror and fear. You are cursed at and rejected for nothing. You long for connections but none seem to care about you. At least fear gives you attention sometimes.

Now picture a new event. You arrive and are met with the same hair raising fear yet theres a sudden change. You sense understanding, compassion, even the love of a parent. How does that make you feel? Even once will mark a change in a person. Even for the safety of a parent or carer. A shield from the storm. Your actions and words ofyen shape those around you, more than you realise. Where the mind or heart are concerned, your thoughts and feelings are a far stronger influence by far.

The shadows I once met are no longer dark.

Serendip Visitor's picture

benjie here sharing my thoughts

hmm maybe we all have the same lifestyle? me am alone have no friends and i feel bored most of the time i can remember my first episode of sleeping paralysis it happened in the morning i dont know if it was a dream or truly awake i could not tell but im certain i was awake i first notice that i could not move its like a huge gravity pulling me down i think i have tried to move my head to see my surroundings and in my room with my blurry vision i saw 2 figures that looks like 2 dogs staring at me not moving and i tried to fight by moving more but i couldnt i tried to shout for help but i couldnt i tried harder and thats when i woke up i remembered the two bastard figures that creeped me out and looked at the direction where i seen them and it does look like 2 dogs when its just a pile of chlothes stacked together. i dont know why this happened is it why because i tried doing the concentrate and controllling your chakra and beliefs about ghosts also when i look at the time damnit why do i see a pattern like 11:11,12,12, 5:05 etc.. if it really is my brain playing with me fine ill play along i have research that the pineal gland is still unknown on what it does but it is believed that it is the sit of the soul so i going to have to name mine specifically so the next time i have a sleep paralysis i will try to talk to it just ichigo i would like to say please make me strong by teaching me how to use a bankai. huh thats what ive always wanted.

Ingrid 's picture

What happened to me

I have problems with sleeping. When I'm at sleep I screams out loud. Knocking on the wall and sit up.
Still asleep. I've been sitting like that before but then I thought I were waken but after I closed my eyes I don't remember anything.
I've also, woke up and go to the bathroom to the toilet and back to my room where I see myself sleeping and I got panic. So everything got black and my mother wake up and came in to my room and said. Oh she's asleep. But who did open the bathrooms door.
Then I was asleep. But Whatta F Happened!? This is scary and I have seen myself many times and then I see others on my room... Not people.. What is going on?
Please help me..

Serendip Visitor's picture

I belive I just have

I belive I just have experience this, it was scary. I must say that I was feeling sick and unable to sleep properly (sweeting in a very cold night, waking up every now and then and of course I had nightmares but they were relate to real life stuff not magical nor divine) anyway at some point I start to feeling better and fell sleep again then I heard this noise in my left ear (like a electronic buzz and bing) I woke up but couldn't open my eyes, I try to move, but I feel like my "orders" where being blocked (scary stuff) and I think to myself "sh*t did I die?" then "no, im still 'here'" (as in I cannot die and still being able to think, it make no sense to me, as my belive is that either we go back into "the all" or we go instantly into oblivion) and that scared me even more because I think "coma", and that is very scary to me, childhood stuff mind you. Anyway I belive it may have a few seconds or even less because my thoughts where instant and I had a diferent reactions that I still can remember clearly
"I die? - no I didnt - coma? - dammit!! - a memoir about focus - focus and deep concentration into open my eyes."
So after I thought coma and was scared a flash show up into my imagination and I knew what I had to do, and it worked but it was not instantly took me a few seconds to actually move.

J's picture

Sleep paralysis

These comments make me feel better! Just recently I had the waking with my heart racing feeling like I'm going to die experience, with a strange sensation in my head, two or three times within the same night. As soon as I begin falling into sleep it would happen! Very unsettling. This has happened 2 times within the past 3 weeks. I am trying to see if it's related to something I am doing like eating meals later in the evening or having had too much alcohol etc. It doesn't seem to have a correlation with any particular behavior. The one thing I have noticed is that it happens more when I am over tired. Like many of you, these experience(s), have happened to me my whole life; but they have really impacted my life within the past 10 years. I can't fall asleep w/o zolipidem. I am social and have a spouse and children, good friends, good job etc. When I was a teenager and in my early 20s I Also thought it could be a supernatural experience in regard to this (primarily because the dream state before waking was very disturbing). As a middle age adult I don't believe it's supernatural but physiological. The chest pain, headache sensation and flash of light was so disturbing the other night, that I began researching and found this site, and read others comments. It is very reassuring to know there are others that experience this too. Has anyone read about sleep study during one of these episodes. They are so random and sporadic that it would seem like it would be hard to test. Just want them to stop and or know triggers (beyond being over tired) because it doesn't happen every time I'm over tired.....

Leeza's picture


This has been happening to me for years... in reading all the comments... I'm more frighten now... I now have the ability to wake my self, which makes a big difference. I figured out, your brain is just not ready to go to sleep... so I get up and do something, have some tea, watch a little TV... and I fall asleep... case solved, for me... Hope you all find your Sleep...

mairaj nizamani's picture


Same thing i have been experiencing since long time, and im also now more frighten after reading comments nd dont want to sleepnow,nd i too do some activities after waking from sleep paralysis, suggest me something more to avoid this bullshit

Simon's picture

It's interesting that people

It's interesting that people use wording to suggest these dreams are evidence of the devil.
Point one: It seems real but there's no evidence it is.
Point two: If it is real there's no evidence that it is the "devil"
Point three: Theres no evidence of the devil being real or it's nature.

Finally point four. If someone says they are psychic it doesn't prove they are and much of what they come out with may be nonsrnse. I had one so called psychic telling me I'm Satan. Yet I believe in God, and good. I care about people. Another so called psychic had a fixation with an Emperor figure from their cards and kept pulling it out and dropping it. Two others described me as a white giant. Its sometimes too easy to mix imagination with intuition.

I've seen the shadow people too but I can't bring myself to hurt them even in my dreams. For me they felt masked and scared. Lost, so I cared for them as I would care for any other. If you believe in God no matter what your religion, understand the true meaning of evil. It is equally measured by action, and your beastial reactions may be your own weakness. Perhaps this is nothing more than dreams yet it may in part reflect your waking life and your view of the world. Are you fast to judge and unforgiving or do you feel compassion and seek understanding of all? All people, all things have part and purpose.

mUnch 's picture

Now I know

I have experienced this just last night. As I waking up from a nap, I couldn't move nor speak but my eyes open. I sensed a great presence of someone who is not human (maligno). I feel scared and forced myself to move my arms and body but failed. Coincidentally, I saw my girlfriend walking from the CR, and tried my best to yell out and called her but still failed. Suddenly, I was able to move my feet and called my girlfriend's name. Afterwards, I had immense goosebumps and still feel the presence of someone like an evil spirit.

I do not believe in ghost, evil spirit, or any supernatural being, but after what was happened, I feel scared. So I researched for explanation of such experience and found this blog. I am thankful I have read this, and most of the paralysis descriptions have matched my experience.

Now I know what I have had last night and feel no fear anymore. But I still doubt on what I have sensed during that very strange phenomenon. Why people feel that there is a presence of someone like an evil spirit. Like what I said I do not believe in any evil spirit or supernatural being, but while I was experiencing the paralysis, the presence of such being is what immediately notice.

Hunter 's picture

Sleep paralysis

I have been experiencing sleep paralysis since I was very young (around 8 or 9). The first experience I can recall I awoke with my face buried in a pillow and could not move. I don't know if it was because my face was in the pillow or just because I was panicking ( I feel the latter to be more likely ) but I remember not being able to breathe. The sleep paralysis cropped up again probably a few months later and I was terrified an would panic until I was able to move again. The condition pursisted and I came to the idea that I should just close my eyes and go back to sleep at around age 12. My though process was "hey I'm basically half asleep already, why not just catch some more z's?" So i did just that. And it worked. I either fell asleep or I just waited until I could move again. I am now nearly 20 and still experience sleep paralysis frim time to time. I have learned I cope with it but I must admit it can still cause panic. It helps that I have bever felt or seen anything foul or "evil" during my states of paralysis. I am certain that this is not anything evil or anything like that. Just because there is no "proof"(such a port choice of words) that science has come up with yet doesn't mean we should look for answers thy are short sighted and fantastic. After conversing with my brother, friends, and my girlfriend about it they always say the same two things: that they would be horrified if it happened to them, and that they wish they could observe me going through it and try to snap me out of it.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Can't believe how common this is

Deanna springgay here at 24 on ( nov 19) happened to me 5 this morning I was coming out of a dream I can till I woke but I try taping my face cause this happened before to n thought I try it I felt my had and felt constricted and tried sucking my figures scared for my life I tried screaming with all my might the moment after I broke out of it did thing it was some supernatural thing. Abut disappointed I really want this to stop guess this mean I really need to get baptized

Serendip Visitor's picture


I was dreaming that needles were shooting into my body.. It was dark I was trying to use my phone to get some light..needles kept sinking into my hands I was scared.. I said sorry and my voice became that of A man..then I felt the paralysis and woke up immediately..

Not an nice feeling

Serendip Visitor's picture

So hear me out bruh

Ok so this happened to me but i had heard of it before and i kinda knew what it was. I was awake in my bed and i was in a deep thought, i dont remember what exactly. Anyways, i suddenly felt somthing weird, imagine a memory being dragged out of your brain. and then it fealt as if i was in a deep sleep but i was awake. I tried to move but i couldnt. I managed to close my eyes because i had heard that if that happned you can see monsters and ghosts, So i tried to move for about 2-3 minutes, then i tried to controll my breathing and i managed to breath out very fast and that way i got my ability to move back. But the day after i was not really sure if it was an illusion or nah, idk man

Serendip Visitor -age 14's picture

I've had this before thats

I've had this before thats why I searched it the only scary part is I'm awake but I can't prove it. Sometimes I can wiggle my toes or I can feel them wiggling but I can't move to get out of bed I have'nt tried speaking yet to call for help, next time it happens I will

Serendip Visitor's picture

I've tried calling out for

I've tried calling out for help but only heard me screaming in my head and gasping for breath with my mouth. I hate that I go through this every other night. I'm absolutely afraid of sleep. I really am. Now I just take little naps here and there.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Hi im Jonathan and im 17

Hi im Jonathan and im 17 years old. This happened to me last night(Oct 28) i was sleeping then i suddenly heard this loud noise right before i woken up i couldnt move or nothing. I was seing shadows and my eyes where just looking around the ro. I honestly felt like i was dying, i felt like this was my last day.I believe i have experience it before but cant remember. I saw my self in a place were their was cains with crosses and this couple where just looking at me as i stood there.And my question is, Is their something I should do when this happens again?

Melany's picture

hi im melany & just turned 16 5 days ago

I was reading other comments people was saying about the same experience i was having but when i read yours, mine was almost exactly like yours the part when you said there was a couple just staring at you

in my dream i saw my self in a hotel laying down in bed and saw just like 7 people was just standing where the door is and was open, then i end up seeing a dark figure walking towards me.... i started to wake up and saw the black figure in front of me leaning towards my stomach & couldnt move at all like i really didnt know what to do at that moment. the more i started to wake up where i can move, the more the figure started to lean back & and fade away ><

Ana's picture

I had it last night !

I have it every year and I had it last night . I'm a Christian and I believe in sprits ..Im sure it's the work of evil and ppl need to understand that too.The first name I always call is my mum because she's a strong Christian women but this time I called of for the name of Jesus I couldn't hear myself off course ..when I did I felt it stopped..but before I did that I called out for my brother because he's room its the closest to mine so your conscious is still working . The best description for the sensation would be "survival adrenalin "you don't feel scared you brain sends signals to your body to fight everything's feel slow but it happens so quickly because you don't really want to think about the moment just how to wake up .i believe it's often to happen when I feel Miserable, stressed ,emotionally drained ...etc as a Christian I would add ;not going to church not praying not reading the holy book .i don't go out its really nothing to do with your life actions because I don't really go out ...or drink but it has to do with your state of mind ! and off course who you invite to your home !!!plz if you are reading this let me tell you my 1 experience was the worse I woke up crying because it felt real, I saw the devil not he's dark angels I saw him he came for me so bad he was talking to me loud and clear I felt like I was going to die when I called my mums name he said why are you calling yo mums name do you think she's coming ?then laughed I feel gosspump just by remembering next day I woke and crying I asked my mum did you not hear me calling out for your name she said no I didrnt off course she was shocked . this is part of what happen .if you don't believe in Jesus Christ you need to from today this world is not a joke Jesus is our survivor he died for all of us science can't prove spirituality and its battles science can't prove GOd .if you don't believe in GOd at least have the understanding that this is real and the only reason why the devil didrnt take your life is because he doesn't have the power to ...the power over GOd.what he can do is use someone to do it a human being but not him .i never ever wrote a comment on a article or wtv I'm doing it becouse I know there's ppl out there that need to know there's a God ,trust me I'm as human as you are I have my doubts I hate myself when I'm in a emotional battle and I doubt GOd we all do it becouse things get so hard living in this world of evil I haven't been in church for a long time I can't wait to go back .jesus I love you .

Serendip Visitor's picture

Wow. You are right! the power

Wow. You are right! the power of God is real. Im a christian as well. When this use to happen to me all I would do is say the blood of Jesus over and over again in my head and i would slowly be able to move a finger or a toe and would come out of it. I believe it is a spiritual attack.

john smith 's picture

cant move the body hear sounds seeing seeing people walking

i experinced this before but not like this i was sleeping and i open my eyes i heard sound like radio tuning sound and some unclear sounds . And i am sure i saw my friend doing something in his phone but icant move my body or call him i felt some strong gravitational force acting as if i am pasted or sticked to my bed and saw some transperent people walking beside me and i could not
even move my finger at that time after they passed i can feel my body comming back to orginal state