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This is a question Terrified!

Bathory asks: What was the most scared you've ever been? How brown were your pants?

(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 13:32)
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Sleep paralysis. The one and only time I’ve genuinely been terrified.
In my late teens, I was a bit of a raver. A social partier, shall we say. I’d go out once or twice a week and do my bit to earn my place in the chemical generation. And to poorly paraphrase the late, great Bill Hicks “didn’t lose a job, didn’t hurt anyone, had a great time”.

But there was one unforeseen consequence: sleep paralysis. I didn’t notice it at first, encroaching like a tide. Every now and then, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and wouldn’t be able to move for a few seconds. But it’d pass and I thought no more of it. Hell, I was 19, nothing worried me.

But… it happened more. And more. And more. Until every week, often several times, I’d wake up a prisoner in my own body. Utterly frozen, locked down, unable to lift a finger, twitch a muscle… or even breathe.

But that’s not the terrifying part. That I could just about deal with. It was the others that scared me. The hooded, shadowy figures moving on the edge of vision.

Ever woken up surrounded by things which your brain screams out are going to do you unspeakable harm? I have. More than I care to remember. More than I can forget. Being utterly unable to breathe, speak, move, escape as you realise you’re about to die… wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Or perhaps I would. But nobody else.

It came to a crux one night, the worst night, the one I remember vividly, yet barely comprehend. I woke up, utterly choking. Unable to breathe. All I do remember is a weight on my chest, a black figure, wraithlike, choking my throat. I felt every kilogram pushing down on me, felt myself slipping away, looked into its eyes and saw my own death.

I concentrated on a fingertip, willing it to move, flexing my will with the drive of the almost-dead. Move, damn it! Move! MOVE! MOVE OR DIE!

Slowly, it woke. My finger twitched, curled, twisted towards my palm. The others followed, balled into a fist. In my mind, I summoned my strength and anger and swing for the creature. In reality, my brain came out of standby, purged my body of the melatonin which keeps us paralysed when we’re in deep sleep and my brain stopped dreaming. The figure turned incorporeal, into dust. Disappeared.

I sat up shivering and with ice-cold veins, afraid of what my head told me couldn’t exist, but my heart told me couldn’t possibly not.

I slept with the lights on.

Soon after I stopped the partying, stopped the recreational Es and, I believe, that was the last time I have ever felt or experienced sleep paralysis.

In my mind, the two are utterly linked. Either way, I don’t plan on kicking the sleeping bear.

I never want to experience that again.

(Fun fact: sleep paralysis is widely believed to be the basis for the folklore stories of the succubus and incubus; demons which copulate with the sleeping and sire half-human offspring. It’s also believed to be the phenomena which explains people’s experiences of alien abduction, as it holds all the same signs: dark figures, being paralysed, fear and lack of control… spooky innit.)
(, Tue 10 Apr 2012, 17:51, 2 replies)

It is really interesting, and yes, what you describe is very common as far as sleep paralysis goes. Demons move in your periphery and eventually one sits on your chest, often choking you. It's no wonder folklore exists, when people's experiences are so similar.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 8:15, closed)
Me too
I've had this a few times in my life but completely without chemical aid.

I do the exact same thing. I wake up paralysed, scared and desperately trying to move some part of my body. What I've never had is the feeling that something else is there although the last time I had a loud roaring noise in my ears which vanished once I was able to move.

It isn't nice.
(, Wed 11 Apr 2012, 13:03, closed)

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