The mundane explanation for sleep paralysis is that sometimes when we’re asleep, our brains become active but our body remains asleep. A person experiencing sleep paralysis will wake up and find that they’re unable to move, they may feel afraid and sometimes they may even feel a presence or see an entity in the room. It can occasionally be accompanied by the sensation of something heavy pressing on their chest, this can even cause breathing difficulties. The whole ordeal can be very terrifying.

The strange thing about sleep paralysis is that no one actually knows why it happens. It is something that nearly 50% of us will experience at one point in our lives. For me it has happened more than once. I’m thankful that my experiences have not been as frightening as other people’s accounts, yet there seems to be a common theme with everyone’s sleep paralysis experience.

Demon visitations, alien abduction and ghosts have been explained away by sleep paralysis. It seems like the logical answer to explain away unexplained phenomena. The problem is that sleep paralysis itself is unexplained, mysterious and more terrifying than scientists want to admit.

The most terrifying aspect of sleep paralysis is when the sufferer senses someone or something in the room with them. It is a theme that is common throughout the world, and it begs the question, why? one hypothesis is that it is an instinct that has stayed with us as we’ve evolved. It was a way for our caveman ancestors to be aware of their surroundings while they slept. This idea just doesn’t make sense to me. Imagining entities watching us while we sleep doesn’t seem like a useful technique for preparing for an attack.

Occam’s razor dictates that the most obvious explanation is more likely to be correct. The obvious explanation with sleep paralysis appears to be that there actually is something there in the bedrooms of sleep paralysis sufferers. I’m not saying that they’re being visited by demons or aliens or ghosts, but what if our unconscious minds work with our subconscious to enter a plain of existence that is slightly different from our own reality.

You’ve probably heard of an incubus and a succubus before. They were thought to be demons that enter the sleeping quarters of sleeping men and women to perform sexual acts on them. They’re now thought of as an olden day explanation for sleep paralysis. Again, I find it baffling that we’ve tried to explain away what could be considered ‘paranormal’ with something that is equally unexplained and in its own way ‘paranormal’. The question is, what if the old legends are true? what if these entities are real, some kind of inter-dimensional being that requires you to be on the right frequency for it to make contact with you.

I’ve spoken to a lot of sleep paralysis sufferers and most of them said that during an episode, they were visited by a hag like woman. I too have been visited by this woman.

I remember on one night I woke up to find I was unable to move, this wasn’t the first time I had experienced this, I knew it was sleep paralysis so I didn’t panic, I just tried to move and jerk myself awake. In the process of trying to move, I suddenly felt a sense of dread, I knew that something was coming for me. I heard it walking up the stairs outside my bedroom door. It made an awful gargling, choking noise as it got closer to my bedroom door. I didn’t want to see it, I was desperately trying to wake up because seeing that thing would have just killed me (that’s what I was thinking at the time). I managed to wake up just before she got to my room. Even though I didn’t see her, I knew what she looked like, and I knew she wanted to kill me. After speaking with other people about it, I realise that she was ‘the hag’.

‘The hag’ is just one of many sleep paralysis visitors that people have described. I find it strange though that there are categories of visitations. If it were all imaginary, wouldn’t every experience be different? wouldn’t everyone see or sense a different person or being. Why are there only a small number of beings that people tend to see? could it be that the explanation is that these beings are indeed real?! no matter what they are, there is one thing to be said about them, they are sinister, evil and they want your soul!

26 thoughts

      1. There are ways to avoid it. I know that you’re more likely to get it if you’re not sleeping well, you’re stressed or you’ve drank a little too much alcohol.

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      2. Yeah I know it’s difficult to do haha there are some good breathing exercises you can do help you sleep. There’s also this technique where you lay down, get comfortable and then focus on your toes, you have to imagine you are your toes, and then you move up to your legs and focus on them and keep going up until it relaxes you enough to sleep. I’ve tried it a few times and it only works if you’re already pretty tired.

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      3. I’ve had auditory hallucinations when I’m drifting off to sleep.. but personally in my experience the entities that come a long during an episode of sleep paralysis don’t talk to me.

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  1. I’ve come to believe that there are beings from other dimensions out there who occasionally intersect with our own.

    My sleep paralysis entailed a monster who was always trying to strangle me as a child.

    Later as an adult, I found illustrations of this exact same monster in books of Irish folklore.

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    1. Wow that’s amazing that you found an illustration of the monster you’d seen. It really does make you think that these beings must exist but that we have to be in a dreamlike state to make contact with them.

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    2. Interesting, it could also suggest common patterns that the human brain tends to execute. Kind of like the young vs old lady image, those are the 2 main interpretations of the illusion, you don’t see a goat, for example.

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      1. Yes that’s a good point. I sometimes have hallucinations as I wake up in the morning and a common one for me is a spider coming down from the ceiling. I looked online and found so many other people who see a spider as they wake up too. It makes you wonder why so many people see the same thing.

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  2. I have had sleep paralysis several times. Mostly it happened in my late teens. The pressure on my chest was terrifying and I always felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was afraid I was going to die and I didn’t know why. Ultimately, I was able to jerk myself awake. No hag, at least. Thankfully it hasn’t happened for many years and I hope it never comes back!

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    1. That’s awful, I hope you don’t get it again. I haven’t had it for a long time now, luckily for me it wasn’t too bad, I could usually manage to wake myself up before anything horrible happened haha.

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