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Sleep paralysis – when your mind is awake, but your body is still asleep.
It is a quite common phenomenon that troubles a lot of us.
The common features include a feeling of being paralyzed while lying in bed.
Usually, auditory and visual hallucinations also occur.
Some people see human-like figures and even creatures, and they will hear voices or other strange, unsettling sounds.
There are people who do not believe the science behind sleep paralysis.
They choose to believe in the supernatural aspect and that a real creature or a demon was attacking them.
We asked people to share their true sleep paralysis stories – on Facebook, Reddit and also to send it on our email.
Here are the 32 sleep paralysis stories –
decide for yourself what to believe.
1. Footsteps in the hallway
“One night I woke up to what I thought was the sound of footsteps in my hallway. I was laying on my back, which immediately made me confused and a bit nervous because I never sleep on my back.
I tried to turn my head to see where the sound was coming from, but I couldn’t move at all.
The panic set in and I heard the source of the footsteps come into my room. Now, although I could not see the figure, I knew it was a home invader.
I could feel him standing on the opposite side of my bed, silently staring down on me.
He had some sort of weapon in his right hand, I believe it was a knife.
I swear my heart has never dropped and raced like that in my entire life. I kept trying and trying move or scream, but I was frozen in place. It felt like hours.”
– From gingeroblivion, Reddit
2. I could hear ”it” breathing
“I heard footsteps coming up the stairs of the attic (which ends up right beside my bed). I couldn’t see anyone coming up though.
Suddenly I realised I saw something in the corner of my peripheral vision, and I could hear it breathing. When I slowly rolled my eyes to the side I saw the small head of a white-faced troll grinning and staring at me.
I panicked and suddenly all the phones in the house started ringing. This ringing sound built and built louder and louder.
It scared me and I knew for sure that I had permanent tinnitus.
After this short moment which felt like a really long time I had enough strength to locate and lift my arm. This immediately stopped all the hallucinations and I woke up. Without tinnitus :)”
– From IthunnuhtI, Reddit
3. Inaudible whispers
“My mind woke up and my entire body, including my face, was under the covers and unable to move; I couldn’t see a thing.
I worried for a brief moment when I discovered I couldn’t move, at all. Then things got scarier.
I felt an enormous amount of pressure on my chest; I had the feeling as though this spirit (or whatever it was) had its face only inches away from my own.
If this wasn’t enough, I heard inaudible whispers in both ears and pounding on the wall adjacent to the bed.
I began to cry because that’s all I could physically do and in my mind, I was screaming as loud as I could, but nothing came out.
I began to struggle, but I finally burst awake, sat up immediately, still crying. The room was silent.”
From thisisnotmyusername3, Reddit
4. Babadook-ish grinning dark mass
“To me, the paralyzes always happen in cycles. I always sleep on my side or on my stomach.
Recurring experience for me is feeling something evil floating over my bed, slowly coming down towards me. Even though I never see it directly, I somehow always feel/know it has this very wide grin on its face.
It may not sound very scary coming to think of it, but the fact that it’s always the same damn babadook-ish grinning dark mass motherfucker, makes me feel super creeped out.”
– From Murkymidsummer, Reddit
5. Face to face with the dead body
“Back when I was hooked on FFXI I was playing way too much while neglecting my sleep. One evening I went to bed stressed.
I then spent a while tossing and turning in bed, upon turning to my right I was face to face with the dead body of an old man.
He had some kind of scaled reptilian skin. After around five seconds (which felt much longer) he started to vanish.
Then, I could feel some kind of omnipresence outside. It was super early in the morning, so it was turning light. However, the sky and natural light began to dim rapidly as this presence was making its way to my room.
I could feel it growing and growing as the window went pitch black – the pure evil darkness began to seep into my room.
So I jumped up and got the hell out of there. Splashed cold water over my face to stop all of this onslaught.”
– From DAFJ, Reddit
6. The man with the knife
“I feel I’m awake, but I feel groggy, and so incredibly tired it’s hard to move. Then, I realize that actually, I cannot move.
Simultaneously, I am also acutely aware that I am in imminent physical danger. I can see a shadow in the room, at the foot of my bed. It is a man with a very large knife.
I know I MUST move to save my life, but I cannot move. I hold my breath, as I cannot move, I, instead, try (intensely) to be as still as possible.
I will my heart to slow down, for fear he can even hear that inside my chest. He wouldn’t try to stab me if I’m ‘already dead’, right?
I stay this way, hardly breathing and drifting between awake and asleep and again… Eventually, the male shadow is gone and I finally feel I can let go and drift back, safely, into sleep.
When I do wake up, I’m almost always on my side…not on my back at all. “
From Sandy G., Facebook
7. Sleep paralysis loop
“I was lying in bed at night when I realized my body was rigidly locked in place. It was uncomfortable.
I tried moving around, but and then my body started rising off the bed. Just a few inches. A terrifying sensation… that woke me up. Such a relief. It was just a weird dream.
Suddenly I was rigid again and there was an eerie green glow outside my window… and then I woke up. That was disturbing.
I’d somehow been dreaming again, with no recollection of having fallen back asleep.
Suddenly I was even more rigidly locked up than before, floating so far off the bed I was almost at the ceiling, and the eerie green glow was brighter than before. I panicked… and woke up.
This time I was actually awake. Sleep paralysis within sleep paralysis within sleep paralysis. Dreaming of being exactly where I was (in my own bed at night) within the same dream within the same dream.”
– From bohemianish, Reddit
8. The little girl
“A few reoccurring characters are a banshee in my room screaming at me in some sort of demonic multi-voice.
A little girl that walks up to me and resets my sleep paralysis and puts me into nightmares. I’m usually up for the rest of the night if I get a visit from either of those two.
But I get them quite frequently while stressed. And they tend to stress me out for the next night so compounds itself.
Skeletons walking past my door. Dead people staring at me from my window. I don’t know why most of mine are centered around dead, rotting things.
But they are. I’m a 34 year old man I don’t know why little ghost girls scare me. “
– From grundalug, Reddit
9. Six arms grabbing my body
“I was sleeping in my bed, and woke up paralyzed. I looked at the wall of the hallway, where we have a painting.
It was slightly oblique (also it was a different painting). Then I see my brother’s arm that puts the painting in his natural position.
At the beginning it felt like a dream, then I said to myself “What the fuck is my brother doing here in the middle of the night?” and I realized that I was yet again in a sleep paralysis. And then…things got worse.
The painting changes, revealing the face of the Witch from The Wizard of Oz (i had a dream with her that night).
She isn’t really that scary looking, but holy fu*k, it was terrifying at that moment. She laughed, and she jumped out of the painting and came into my bed.
I just closed my eyes in complete terror and felt something like six arms grabbing my whole body. It stayed like this for 5 seconds before I managed to free me from that fucking nightmare.”
– From Kiuraz, Reddit
10. The demon from the dream in my room
” I am awake and unable to move.
My body is tingling all over and I am seriously panicking. I can’t move and I remember just trying to jump out of my body. “Just sit up,” I told myself.
As if I’m suddenly released I bolt upright and turn on the bed lamp. I see the demon from the dream standing on the side of the bed.
Naturally, I panic and scream. Wake up my boyfriend who is freaked out. Took me about two hours to fall back asleep.”
11. Decaying man on my bed
“It happened when I was about 12 years old and I was obsessed with Justin Bieber, so much that I had a poster of him next to my bed.
At the time I fell asleep sleeping sideways on my bed so that I was facing my mirror and I could see the poster next to me.
I woke up not being able to move and instead of seeing my Justin Bieber poster I saw a mangled, decaying man sitting on the edge of my bed staring at me…
I was so scared and all I could do was close my eyes and hope that it went away. I took the poster down after that night haha.”
– d. jansma, e-mail
12. The french kiss
“I was happily sleeping on my back when I woke up, except that I didn’t, at this point I hadn’t realised yet that It was an SP episode, so I opened my eyes, and then I couldn’t move, and then it clicked.
“Fuck, I’m not supposed to open my eyes”
Inmediately after that, a curvy female shadow figure with long hair appeared at the end of my bed. She didn’t even had glowy eyes or anything, just a pitch black silhouette. Like Mr Game and Watch, but in 3D and sexy.
Surprised, but not scared, because as I mentioned, I already knew that this could happen and In reality, I was safe in my bed in the real world.
“What a cute demon”
And after a few secconds of staying there, she, without emiting a sound, jumped on me, her shins over my knees and grabbed my wrists and hold them at the sides of my head, to prevent me from moving.
“Bitch I’m already paralyzed, what are you doing”
And she just french kissed me, with tongue, I felt everything.
“WHAT THE FFFFFUCK?”
And I woke up out of pure confusion. I couldn’t even let her finish, I was so surprised that I just woke up, I definitively wasn’t expecting that.
– From Zharken, Reddit
13. The tall slender figure
“In a not so recent episode I woke up in the middle of the night, unable to move, and saw a tall slender figure enter my room.
so far, it was an occurrence I am familiar with, as I have sleep paralysis on a semi monthly basis, but this time I watched as the figure crawled into big spoon position with me in my bed, got uncomfortably close to my ear and whispered
“Go back to sleep”
and then I jolted awake, no sign of anyone in my room.”
– From LaVey32, Reddit
14. Pressured from behind
“I was sleeping on my stomach which I never do. I felt the paralysis start to begin.
Then I kept feeling being held down and hard pressure near my a**, kinda like thrusting motion. Kept trying to push it away but kept feeling more and more pressure.
Then I woke up after my mind told me to wake up. After that, I just stayed awake and tried not to think about it.”
15. The black face
“I remember waking up for no reason whatsoever. No loud noise. No touching on my body that makes me wake up. Just complete silence.
I sat up just thinking to myself that maybe I was thirsty or had to piss. But something just felt very odd. A feeling I never had before.
I can’t even explain the feeling but certain people know the exact feeling I’m talking about.
If I had to put it into words, all I would say is pure dread.
I felt as if time simply didn’t exist. I almost felt like the entire world just stopped. It even felt like my clock was frozen in time.
I remember sitting up in a daze. As I sat up I turned my head to the left of me, looking out of my bedroom doorway.
As I peeked through I saw a man standing there just staring at me. He had to be around 7 feet tall not even joking here. This man wasn’t hollow looking at all. No ghostly look.
He looked like a human. Completely solid just standing there staring at me. I remember seeing the detail in the clothes and everything. He had on all black boots, kinda like docs.
Faded blue jeans and a huge puffy jacket. Very odd since it was the middle of summer and even at night it can still be warm even in CA. The jacket had a hood that was over his head.
The odd thing is that I could not see his face at all. Even with the dim blue light lighting him up. His face was just black. No facial features or anything.
Just a complete dark void where his face was suppose to be. As i sat there staring at him i was just frozen.
Not making a sound. I was washed over with this confusing feeling mixed with fear. I remember us just looking at each other for what seemed like minutes but was most likely only 30 sec.
As i was looking at him i just felt terrified.
I remember all of a sudden just knocking out. I was staring at him and then just slowly laid back down. Then nothing. Just KO’d instantly. Complete darkness.”
16. A zombie virus
“It’s not usually scary for me. Usually, I hear a really loud buzzing sound and my head feels like its vibrating, hahah. I had a weird SP/dream where I got infected with a zombie virus and had to get killed to save humanity.
So I had to lay down in a chamber and they turned on a machine that blasted radiation waves at my body.
I couldn’t move and felt this strange but somewhat nice force/static feeling and the whole time I was thinking, this doesn’t feel very painful for being radiated and burned alive. :D”
– From BlackCode9, Reddit
17. Face to face with an old woman
” I heard some kind of whisper very close to my ear. It was really fast-paced and gibberish.
When I opened my eyes to know what the f*ck that was I saw an old women hovering face to face about 1inch away of my face.
She had a pale old face, blacklip and two very very deep black eyes ( I’m not even sure if she had eyes in fact I think these were eyes sockets).
After what felt like an eternity of panic I woke up. I didn’t sleep again that night.”
– From SempiSenpai, Reddit
18. The naked murderer
“One day I woke up in the middle of the night and I immediately realized that I couldn’t move.
I could not talk either and quickly realized that I was experiencing sleep paralysis.
That’s when I saw a person standing in the corner of my room. I got really excited, not scared, just happy to finally experience it.
At some point I woke up and thought about how cool it was so I tried doing it again.
I was really tired and I don’t really remember what I did, but I managed to get sleep paralysis another time, only this time I kept slipping into a normal dream (if there is such a thing) and back into sleep paralysis.
I dreamt about a crazy naked murderer breaking into our house and when I was back in sleep paralysis I think I saw the murderer from my dream in the corner of my eye. Still, I was happy to experience it all.
I woke up again and tried getting into sleep paralysis again, managed to do it and this time I did actually get scared.
I remembered something I had read a few years ago about sleep paralysis, saying that a lot of people see the Hat Man standing in their room.
I don’t know why, but the thought of this really frightened me and I woke right back up from the paralysis.
Once I was awake again I got really mad at myself for not just staying in paralysis but I thought that I would just go back one more time.”
– From getoutofthewaylydia, Reddit
19. The people with no eyes
“Was sleeping next to my mum in a hotel room at the time, and I kept waking up between them and trying to wake her up to wake me up but I could barely move.
I kept drifting in and out of the dream state, where I didnt know what to do at all.
The first experience was when I floated to the ceiling of the room and saw my mum get ripped to pieces, screaming in agony as blood came pouring around the room.
The second experience was when I saw two people standing over me and cooing me, but they had no eyes and I couldn’t move, and didn’t know who they were.”
– From kirrans, Reddit
20. The shadow Mary
“I entered the sleep paralysis state and went into my normal panic.
My eyelids just barely open to see the haze of a shadow darting in and out of the doorway to stand right at the end of the couch by my feet.
When I woke up fully and my friends came home I had the name Mary stuck in my head.
I kept thinking that the shadows name was Mary or it was trying to tell me something about Mary.”
– From asianmfmike, Reddit
21. The teleportation shadow
“I got comfortable fell asleep and woke up in the middle of the night, I opened my eyes and looked around, it was all I could do.
I had never heard of sleep paralysis so I didn’t know what the hell was happening, and then I saw what looked like a shadow walking around, then teleporting around.
It teleported to me and leaned down its head right above my face, then it climbed on to my chest and I felt an immense pressure there. I assumed it all actually happened until I heard about sleep paralysis and that a lot of people had almost that exact experience.
For a long time me and my dad thought I had seen a ghost that day, but it was just my mind making things that would haunt my nightmares forever.
After climbing on my chest the shadow teleported my sister’s room first and then teleported out, walked into the bathroom.
Then turned into a dog and the dog was barking at me, but there was no sound, it was like someone had muted him, then he disappeared entirely and I never saw him again.
I then forced myself to slightly wiggle my toes and slowly try to move the rest and it worked and I got up.”
– From livingpieceofshit, Reddit
22. The loud whispering
“I was laying down in my bed when I heard some noises but just assumed it was my cat running around and didn’t really pay that much attention to it.
I also noticed that my window blind was a little open but just thought that I forgot to close it.
As I am trying to get up to close the blind I notice that my body is very heavy, I try again but I do not move at all.
At the same time the noise outside my room starts becoming louder and closer and it sounds like loads of people whispering but very loud.
I start getting really confused and kind of scared, thinking that I could be getting robbed.
I try to reach my phone to light up the room but I get reminded that I can’t move. At this time I start to get honestly very scared.
A few seconds later I hear the door latch and it slowly begins to open revealing a shadowy figure, I try asking who was there but my mouth does not respond.
I start to freak out and can hear my heart beating insanely fast, I want to scream but I can’t, the shadow slowly moves across the room getting near my bed, the whispers coming from the creature get louder and clearer.
I can almost distinguish what some of the voices are saying. The shadow bends over the bed and between all the whispers I clearly hear my father’s voice:
– Want some peanuts?
I get obnoxiously confused and suddenly I notice my room is completely dark, the door is shut and there’s complete silence.
I’m still scared as f*ck but somewhat relieved and I notice that I can move again, but I decide not to as that “thing” could still be around.”
– From Quetas83, Reddit
23.The Jumping man hallucinations
“I remember one instance that was shortly after watching Twin Peaks: The Return.
I was really obsessed with that show at the time and I was attempting to do a WILD one night.
I’m not entirely sure if it was sleep paralysis, but I had some faint hallucinations that reminded me of the Jumping man from Twin Peaks.
I kinda noped the f*ck out of that before the hallucinations got stronger and forced myself back awake.”
– From BonanzaBurger, Reddit
24. The skinny little girl with long hair
“I was sleeping by myself in my grandparent’s basement during some holiday.
I woke up in the middle of the night to some little girls voice saying my name over and over and saying “where are you?”.
Then I can hear her slowly walking down the stairs. It was a really old house, so I heard it creaking each time, and the voice was getting louder and louder.
Then I saw her silhouette standing in the doorway. She was this super skinny little girl with really long messy hair. She just stood there and stared at me for what felt like forever.
I was trying to do anything I could to get up or yell for someone, but I couldn’t move and I thought it was just from being so scared.
Finally, she lunged at me and right before she got to me, I woke up. Probably one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had.”
– From Stekl, Reddit
25. A man screaming in pain
I sort of felt myself transition into a lucid dream, which I guess then turned to sleep paralysis.
I was unable to move, and then suddenly as I try to go back to sleep my entire body starts violently vibrating and I can’t see anything, and I hear what sounds like a man screaming in pain.
I instantly “woke up” from the sleep paralysis and jumped up in my bed.
Didn’t sleep the rest of the night because I just had an uneasy eerie feeling. “
– From ethanlaubmeier, Reddit
26. Horrifying whispers
“As I “realize” I’m awake I see that there are shadows moving on the wall opposite me in the basement.
I start getting freaked out and try to move myself but nothing happened.
I heard these deep horrifying whispers that sounded like they were getting closer and the shadows moved closer along the wall next to me.
The shadows moved to right above and beside my bed and the whispers were so loud it was like a train whistle.
I remember just shutting my eyes as hard as I could.”
– From cdoc06, Reddit
27. Unwanted “guest”
“I woke up sometime in the middle of the night and was trying to fall back asleep.
I felt a weird tickling sensation/vibration through my body. I couldn’t move at all but I could feel my body lying in bed. I know my eyes were closed and I was asleep but
I could see the room I was in via dream. I heard someone unlocking the front door of my house and then a few people started running around the floors and walls.
A sense of dread started filling me as the noises came closer but I stayed calm knowing it was just SP due to my remaining awareness. Eventually the noises went away.”
– From fallingquasar, Reddit
28. The man from my dream came in my room
“One night I have a dream that I went into the attack and there is a man up there wearing a hooded cloak.
I don’t remember the details of the dream, but I knew that I needed to get away from the man and I remember feeling very panicked.
Then I woke up but realized I couldn’t move.
I was laying on my side facing the wall and felt like the man from my dream was in my room, standing right behind me.
It was not a fun experience.”
– From cassadora, Reddit
29. Black energy twisting out of my stomach
“I’ve only experienced it once, but I was asleep on an air mattress in a room I normally don’t sleep on.
There was a fan above my head which had a calming sound I remember, but I also felt this black energy twisting out of my stomach and chest, it was above me looking down.
I couldn’t see it but I could feel it so I guess I was picturing it within my mind.
It filled me with dread and my entire body felt like lead (unintentional rhyme).”
– From apathetic666johnson, Reddit
30. Little boy coming to my face
“Once I fell asleep on my sofa and was in this scary place and this little boy who had been recurring in my dreams was there.
He had massive eyes and this little brown fringe and he turned all dark and weird and kept coming closer to my face until he strangled me and then I woke up it felt like it was happening.”
– From stagnantriver35, Reddit
31. My friend was choking
“By far the most terrifying instance was when I was in my college dorm.
It was dark in the scene, the only thing lighting the room was a thin sliver of light that came from the hallway through the bottom opening of the door.
I was sleeping in the scene and then woke up suddenly as if from a nightmare, I tried catching my breath and collect myself and go back to sleep.
Once I put my head down my heart sank when I heard sudden heavy breathing and I looked over at my roommate thinking it was him and put my head down again but it kept getting closer and louder.
In my uneasiness, I scanned the room with my eyes only to see a tall shadowy figure in the right corner and it began laughing hysterically in a distorted and demonic fashion.
I tried to scream and yell for my roommate but I had not to voice. A sudden force then laid me flat on my bed and no matter how much I tried to get up I couldn’t.
I peer over and watch the figure jump onto my roommate and literally and brutally tear him limb from limb, I tried to avert my gaze but it made me watch.
I can still remember the sound of my friend choking on his own blood as he was devoured alive.
Realizing this was likely a sleep paralysis experience I tried to collect myself and kept saying it’s almost over.
But the figure now looking at me slowly approaching my stiff body began touching my still face with its bloody wretched bony fingers, it licked my cheek and started screaming things in my ear while surrounding laughter crushed my body and before it could escalate it was over.”
– From ariveracre, Reddit
32. The space ship
“I sometimes experience sleep paralysis and I’m usually facing a wall or under blanket, so I don’t get much visuals but shadows from people behind me.
But what really gets me in the noise.
It sounds like the is a space ship or an airplane flying RIGHT next to me, in my bed.
The loudest thing I can coherently process, and throughout the duration of the sleep paralysis, it somehow gets LOUDER??
I don’t understand how I can physically hear these things as if they are external but my god does it feel real every time and very loud.”
– From GigaTrigger69, Reddit
Have you experienced something similar?
Or do you want to share YOUR sleep paralysis story, too?
Feel free to write your experience below, in the comment section!
Lastly, if you want to know more about sleep paralysis, be sure to check the following articles:
We can all agree that Sleep Paralysis could be pretty scary...IF you do not know what exactly it is and...