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View Full Version : Sleep Paralysis - Seeing Ghosts and Unable to Move After Waking Up



Cyclone792
06-03-2005, 01:14 AM
I posted this on another message board a few months ago and it generated quite a bit of response so I figured maybe some Redzoners would be interested :) And I swear, I'm not crazy!

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Sleep Paralysis, AKA the "old hag" syndrome. Has anybody else here experienced this?

Back in the summer of 2001 when I was 19-years-old, I experienced this for the first time, and it's far-and-away the most frightening thing that has ever happened to me. I woke up lying on my side with my eyes looking straight out toward my doorway in my room. However, I couldn't move and I couldn't talk at all. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't even move a finger an inch or mutter a little whisper; all I could do is stare out the doorway of my room.

Then suddenly, an image appeared floating or hovering in my doorway. It was a faceless girl with long brown hair, clad in a 19th century white dress, and it seemed to be looking directly at me. For maybe 10 seconds, it just floated in my doorway, but then started to move toward me. By this time, I thought I was dead, and the only feeling in my entire body was my heart ready to explode out of my chest. I hadn't a clue what in the hell was going on, except that I couldn't move or scream and some ghost figure was about to attack me. Finally, just as the figure approached the side of my bed, my entire body jolted and I exploded out of my bed, violently swinging in the area where the figure was (I hit the dresser, which sucked!).

Since then, I've experienced this phenomena probably close to 50 times, though only that very first time was there an image of a being in my sight. The other times I've just been unable to move for a period of time, maybe 30 seconds or so, and then I'm able to get out of it. Since I've read up on it a bit and have realized I'm not as crazy as I thought I was the first time it happened, it doesn't bother me at all (waking up to an alarm prevents it from happening, rather than waking up on my own, at least in my experience). But I'm telling you what, that first time it happened with some being standing in my doorway was the most terrifying experience I've ever had.

For the people that still think I AM crazy, or have had similar cases but don't know what's going on, there's some good reading material which I've linked below. Trust me, if this has never happened to you, I still encourage you to read up on a bit, because if it ever does happen and you don't know what's going on you'll want to kill yourself on the spot.

http://paranormal.about.com/library...y/aa112000a.htm
http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P.html

And for those who have experienced sleep paralysis, what kind of experiences have you had?

savafan
06-03-2005, 01:21 AM
This has happened to me as well. I can't recall any time recently, but I remember a few times from my childhood all the way through high school when this occurred to me.

Neo
06-03-2005, 02:04 AM
Well, something weird happened but I am not sure I would classify it as sleep paralysis. Right before my junior year in high school began, I became real sick and was suffering from a high temperature around 105 degrees. But I remember one night when I was sick I had this weird dream that till this day I could swear it was real. It first began with me sleeping on the couch and I had just died in my sleep. You could say my soul had just left my body like an out of body experience, and I could see myself just laying there on the couch with my parents running in there to see what had happened. Then the next thing I knew I was riding in an ambulance to the emergency room while the paramedics worked on me even though they knew it was to late. Next thing I knew I was at my own funeral, it was an open casket and I remember seeing all my family and friends. But the interesting part of this dream would be the presence of this older couple I didn't recognize. They were both standing off to the side just waiting there, I could remember walking over to them trying to reach them, but I couldn't. Then I tried running but no matter what I couldn't get closer and when it finally seemed like I was getting somewhere everything started getting brighter and brighter and then.. nothing. I awoke right then lost and confused. Because of the fever I guess you could say I was suffering from amnesia. I had no recollection of anything, who I was, where I was or who my parents were. The only thing I did know or remember was that dream. When I explained it to my parents and got to the part about my funeral, I described to them the couple I didn't recognize standing there along the side. Right then my Dad went to go get something and he came back with a picture. In that picture was the couple from my dream. When I asked who they were he said they were his mother and father who had passed away before I was born. That was the first time I had ever seen a picture of them.

The Baumer
06-03-2005, 04:08 AM
One time I woke up and I saw the #890 on the roof. I thought nothing of it. Then later on in the day I wanted to hear the news on the radio, so I said "hey paw, turn it on the news." so he turns it on the news. IT WAS CHANNEL 890AM. But wait. There's more. My dad died in Vietnam in 1965!!!! But wait. There's more. So I looked over to see who was actually driving the car and it was my rabbit Leaf. MY RABBIT LEAF CAN'T DRIVE A CAR. SCARIEST EXPERIENCE EVER.

cumberlandreds
06-03-2005, 08:05 AM
A good place to read about this type of experience is www.theshadowlands.net/ghost. It has everything imaginable about paranormal happenings and experiences. Also a great place to go just to read good old fashioned ghost stories from actual experiences.

Jaycint
06-03-2005, 08:50 AM
Not sure if it has anything to do with the paranormal but on a few occassions I have been asleep and had the feeling that I couldn't move my body at all even though I was trying to. This would last for what seemed like a minute or two before I was finally able to move my limbs and usually at this point I would wake up as well. Who knows, maybe I was in some state between a deep sleep and waking up. Very strange and kind of frightening experience.

Ravenlord
06-03-2005, 09:03 AM
how about having a dream where you get slashed with an axe and you wake up with blood cached on your shirt and a cut where the axe head hit in the dream? does that count?

registerthis
06-03-2005, 09:19 AM
I've never seen a ghost, but I have experienced sleep paralysis. It's a horrible, horrible feeling...perhaps the worst feeling I have ever experienced.

zombie-a-go-go
06-03-2005, 09:47 AM
Last night I dreamt that a hamburger was eating me!

Cyclone792
06-03-2005, 01:37 PM
Well, something weird happened but I am not sure I would classify it as sleep paralysis. Right before my junior year in high school began, I became real sick and was suffering from a high temperature around 105 degrees. But I remember one night when I was sick I had this weird dream that till this day I could swear it was real. It first began with me sleeping on the couch and I had just died in my sleep. You could say my soul had just left my body like an out of body experience, and I could see myself just laying there on the couch with my parents running in there to see what had happened. Then the next thing I knew I was riding in an ambulance to the emergency room while the paramedics worked on me even though they knew it was to late. Next thing I knew I was at my own funeral, it was an open casket and I remember seeing all my family and friends. But the interesting part of this dream would be the presence of this older couple I didn't recognize. They were both standing off to the side just waiting there, I could remember walking over to them trying to reach them, but I couldn't. Then I tried running but no matter what I couldn't get closer and when it finally seemed like I was getting somewhere everything started getting brighter and brighter and then.. nothing. I awoke right then lost and confused. Because of the fever I guess you could say I was suffering from amnesia. I had no recollection of anything, who I was, where I was or who my parents were. The only thing I did know or remember was that dream. When I explained it to my parents and got to the part about my funeral, I described to them the couple I didn't recognize standing there along the side. Right then my Dad went to go get something and he came back with a picture. In that picture was the couple from my dream. When I asked who they were he said they were his mother and father who had passed away before I was born. That was the first time I had ever seen a picture of them.

That's a pretty amazing and intriguing dream right there. Some people are able to lucid dream and actually control those dreams, but the older couple in your dream that you'd never seen before is a rather interesting phenomenon.

westofyou
06-03-2005, 01:39 PM
I told my wife about this thread, she experienced it quite often sans gjhost when she was younger.

I have a friend who had the experience, except the ghost was a robot.

This was back in 1980, when we were still afraid of robots. ;)

Rojo
06-03-2005, 02:29 PM
I've had sleep paralysis a few times. However, my experiences with exploding head syndrome are scarier.

creek14
06-03-2005, 02:51 PM
I'm a sleep walker and talker. I use to wake up in the closet or in the corner or in the hallway. Once my dad found me out on my swingset - sound asleep. As for the talking, I try not to call out "Adam" while mr creek is around...

No paralysis, tho.

Off topic, but last night I dreamed SCredsfan tried out for the Reds and won a spot on the 25 man roster. Out of the pen.

Az. Reds Fan
06-03-2005, 03:08 PM
I've experienced this quite a bit, but without the ghost aspect.

My wife actually reads Sylvia Brown quite a bit, and she offers an explanation of this...believe it if you wish...

She says that when we sleep, our souls tend to play by leaving our bodies, every now and then. If you awake before your soul re-enters your body, you end up in a "comatose" state until your soul returns, usually fairly quickly. She also mentions that when your soul re-enters your body, it tends to be "noisy" and somewhat violent, meaning you might hear what sounds like a train and you might shake, just before you're able to move again.

It sounds a bit out there, but what she says makes sense with regards to what I've experienced.

Usually if this happens to me, it happens when I try to go to sleep when I'm not overly tired.

One experience I had, my wife had gone to sleep before me and was snoring quite a bit, she does this from time to time, so I had trouble falling asleep. I contemplated waking her up, but decided I'd just try to go to sleep. Shortly after I did fall asleep, I actually had, what I think was an out of body experience. I suddenly felt myself rising above my body and floating near the ceiling looking down her, then I floated just above her and tried to shake her. I'm assuming I was trying to get her to stop snoring. Then before I knew it , I found myself in one of those comatose states where I felt like I was awake, but couldn't move. After about what felt like an hour (probably more like 30 seconds), I heard a loud rumbling noise, like a train whizzing by, and then woke up shaking.

That experience was a bit more in-depth than most, usually it tends to be more of a doze off to sleep, then wake up "paralyzed" for a few seconds, then wake up kind of freaked out.

Falls City Beer
06-03-2005, 03:13 PM
I think I experienced something like you're describing as a youth--no ghosts, but I WAS incredibly scared of something when I awoke--dream hangover maybe? It only happened once, though. Then I started sleeping with hot chicks and the rest is history.

But one time when I was sleepwalking as a kid I mistook the foot-operated flip-top trash can in our kitchen for the toilet and took a wee-wee in it. It was like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. Except awesomer.

creek14
06-03-2005, 03:18 PM
Then I started sleeping with hot chicks
I must deny ever sleeping with FCB.

But this is a pretty interesting thread. I have really vivid dreams and often times wake up very confused about where I am, etc. Plus the walking and talking. Strange things happen while we sleep.

pedro
06-03-2005, 03:29 PM
I have experienced the sleep paralysis quite a few times. No ghosts though.

Red Leader
06-03-2005, 03:31 PM
I have experienced the sleep paralysis quite a few times. No ghosts though.

Did you see Kris Kristoferson the night after performing "Convoy"? :laugh:

Rojo
06-03-2005, 03:33 PM
I sleepwalk as well and done the peeing in the trashcan bit. Maybe I need some therapy.

Falls City Beer
06-03-2005, 03:35 PM
I must deny ever sleeping with FCB.

:laugh:

This is a general question to everyone: when you experienced this "paralysis" did you awake from a nightmare? no dream at all? pleasant dream? what? What preceded your "paralysis?" I only ask because my experience was preceded by a bad dream, so maybe what I experienced wasn't actually this "experience."

That's messed up that some of you have had a concomitant hallucination. Stuff like that freaks me out. If that happened to me I'd never sleep with the lights off again.

pedro
06-03-2005, 03:35 PM
Did you see Kris Kristoferson the night after performing "Convoy"? :laugh:

It was "a convoy christmas"

Red Leader
06-03-2005, 03:39 PM
It was "a convoy christmas"

I still think that is soooo hiliarious. I don't know why. I guess I'm just picturing little 2nd grade kids in trucker vests singing the song.

I don't want to derail this thread, as I'm really fascinated by it, so I'll stop talking about Convoy now.

On with your wicked crazy dream stories....

westofyou
06-03-2005, 03:40 PM
That's messed up that some of you have had a concomitant hallucination.

Diffusion

Falls City Beer
06-03-2005, 03:45 PM
I sleepwalk as well and done the peeing in the trashcan bit. Maybe I need some therapy.

Just means you're a charter member of the Awesome Club.

Blimpie
06-03-2005, 03:57 PM
I sleepwalk as well and done the peeing in the trashcan bit. Maybe I need some therapy.While sleeping at a friend's house when I was about 12 years old, I was awakened by the sound of my friend sleepwalking into his older brother's room...where he then proceeded to relieve himself into the bottom dresser drawer.

Showing a complete lack of sympathy, the brother immediately began to pummell my friend while he was still asleep (allegedly). While it made for an interesting topic of conversation at the breakfast table, there was no mention of ghosts... :eek:

Cyclone792
06-03-2005, 04:01 PM
:laugh:

This is a general question to everyone: when you experienced this "paralysis" did you awake from a nightmare? no dream at all? pleasant dream? what? What preceded your "paralysis?" I only ask because my experience was preceded by a bad dream, so maybe what I experienced wasn't actually this "experience."

That's messed up that some of you have had a concomitant hallucination. Stuff like that freaks me out. If that happened to me I'd never sleep with the lights off again.

I've only had two or three nightmares that I can remember and none of them preceded any of the sleep paralysis events. I've tried and tried, but the vast majority of the time I simply cannot remember any of my dreams, good or bad. Every hallucination I've had during sleep paralysis has started literally as I was waking up and lasts maybe 30 seconds.

traderumor
06-03-2005, 04:03 PM
I have had the experience of trying to wake up from a nightmare but can't.

Also put my clothes in the fridge once after waking up on the living room floor and putting my jammies on. My mom still tells the story. And no,that wasn't just last night ;)

Falls City Beer
06-03-2005, 04:09 PM
I've only had two or three nightmares that I can remember and none of them preceded any of the sleep paralysis events. I've tried and tried, but the vast majority of the time I simply cannot remember any of my dreams, good or bad. Every hallucination I've had during sleep paralysis has started literally as I was waking up and lasts maybe 30 seconds.

I awoke from my nightmare (I couldn't have been any older than 5 years old) in a cold sweat, tried to scream but couldn't, tried to get up but I was frozen in terror, literally my limbs felt frozen stiff and cold. I had dreamed of the scene in Psycho where Janet Leigh's sister finds Norman Bates's dead mother in the basement of the house. I had that nightmare about 60 times as a kid (but only once did I have the paralyzed feeling). But I'll never forget that experience of paralysis as long as I live. The worst part was not being able to scream.

Cyclone792
06-03-2005, 04:23 PM
I awoke from my nightmare (I couldn't have been any older than 5 years old) in a cold sweat, tried to scream but couldn't, tried to get up but I was frozen in terror, literally my limbs felt frozen stiff and cold. I had dreamed of the scene in Psycho where Janet Leigh's sister finds Norman Bates's dead mother in the basement of the house. I had that nightmare about 60 times as a kid (but only once did I have the paralyzed feeling). But I'll never forget that experience of paralysis as long as I live. The worst part was not being able to scream.

Sounds like sleep paralysis to me and you were able to remember the nightmare along with it.

Many of the things I've read about sleep paralysis suggests that while you sleep, your brain purposely "paralyzes" your body to prevent you from acting out your dreams and potentially harming yourself. For most people, the brain shuts off this paralysis mechanism before waking, but others wake up sometimes before the brain is able to shut off the mechanism. Some people have the opposite; their brain begins the paralysis mechanism before they are fully asleep. It's during this these moments that sleep paralysis can occur and are sometimes accompanied by various hallucinations.

Maybe if there's a psychologist reading they can help us out :)

Falls City Beer
06-03-2005, 04:24 PM
Has anyone had a waking "fear-flight response" that was so overwhelming it felt as though your body had taken over control of your mind? When I was about ten, I was walking home alone at dusk from a friend's house and I had to walk past a large unlighted field--I got about midway through the patch when I heard this deep, guttural moaning or lowing coming from the field. It certainly didn't sound human, but it didn't sound like a cow or a dog either (though, in retrospect it probably was a cow). Of course, my imagination had already worked me up into a lather by that point, but to cap the moment off with a not-too-distant ominous moan coming from a dark field, well, let's just say I'm glad I didn't have to use the potty. Anyway, so much adrenaline flooded my body at once, that when I reached home my legs kept trying to jerk up into a running response even after the door was closed behind me. I had the shakes for a half-hour afterwards and felt totally dizzy and nauseated. If I had seen a person on the way home I would have beaten the crap out of him or her. I was totally out of control of my conscious mind. I'll never forget it.

Red Leader
06-03-2005, 04:31 PM
I've definately had dreams (bad ones) where I wake up and can't move or talk for a couple seconds. I feel almost like a dead fish. Totally paralyzed and lifeless, but just laying there. What you described by saying your body turns on a paralysis state, makes sense. I've often wondered before why I haven't totally beat on someone I'm in bed with when I have a crazy dream about fighting someone, or why I don't YELL real loud when I do in a dream. That would explain why.

halcyon
06-03-2005, 04:50 PM
I gotta confess...I ain't never heard of any of this "paralysis" business with regards to sleep. It does sound interesting though. My worst sleep experiences came with sleep walking as a child. Once, when spending the nite with my friend, I decided to see how late we could stay up. I made it past four oclock and passed out on his couch. Next morning, I find myself in my friends bedroom and my friend is still on the couch. I get up and ask him how in the world I got in his bedroom. His dad starts laughing at me. Turns out I slept walked into him and his wife's bedroom. I just opened the door, walked in and proceeded to stare at him and his wife in bed until he carried me back to my friend's room. He tried to wake me a little but couldn't so he left it alone. The weirder thing was that it was the first time I'd ever been in that house and had never been into the part of the house that I slept walked through. How'd I manage that without bumping everything?

OnBaseMachine
06-03-2005, 04:55 PM
I had a horrible dream that the Reds signed Eric Milton to a year deal worth 25 million a year. Oh... :dunno:

Seriously, this paralysis stuff sounds scary. Hope I never get it.

SirFelixCat
06-04-2005, 04:25 AM
Off topic, but last night I dreamed SCredsfan tried out for the Reds and won a spot on the 25 man roster. Out of the pen.


I love you, creek :beerme: :thumbup:

And this got way too little attention, folks ;) I am a lefty with a NASTY 11-TO-5 curve. If it wasn't for that little tear in my labrum....:sigh:


Back on topic, my God. I pray I never encounter that feeling. That, to me, would be unbearably terrifying. That "mechanism" sounds viable to me. I'm just grateful I have never had to deal with this

RFS62
06-04-2005, 08:00 AM
When I was 12 years old, I had a very vivid and terrible dream about vampires, and I woke up terrified, and paralyzed. In the darkness, I imagined a shape moving just at the foot of my bed. I tried to scream, but nothing. Couldn't move a finger. And the shape moved slowly around and came right up beside me, so I believed. I was freaked completely out, trying to move or yell, but I couldn't. The being paralyzed part was incredible, and I vividly remember how eerie and terrifying it was to be defenseless.

I then imagined that it was the vampire from my dream, and she leaned down and bit me on the neck. And I was paralyzed, and couldn't do anything. Then she got up and disappeared, and I laid there for what seemed like hours, although I'm sure it was just minutes, before I could move again.

I just kept telling myself "it has to be a dream, it has to be a dream". But I couldn't believe how different it was from any other dream I'd ever had. So real, and the paralysis was stunning to experience.

The next morning, getting ready for school, I was still shaken up by the whole thing, and just kept saying to myself "it was only a dream" and still amazed at how real it seemed.

Then I looked into the bathroom mirror, and I swear this is true, there were two little scabs on my neck, EXACTLY like they would be if a vampire had bit me!!! I almost had a heart attack. Words will never describe the wacked out thoughts that ran through a 12 year old mind at that moment.

I wouldn't go outside after dark for about two weeks. It was a tremendous battle to go to sleep every night for months after that.

I know I wasn't visited by a vampire. I have no idea how those marks got there, no kidding. And I haven't told anyone this story in years, mainly due to the looks you get when you do tell someone, even a close friend who knows that you generally aren't crazy. But it happened just like that.

RANDY IN INDY
06-04-2005, 10:17 AM
That's amazing, RFS62! Vampires were my biggest fear as a child. I was terrified of them and would sleep every night, regardless of how hot it was, with blankets up around my neck.

Rocket_Fuel
06-04-2005, 12:08 PM
I've had the sleep paralysis thing a number of times. I've seen ghosts, though I was actually wide awake and not sleep and out-of-body experiences.