Sleep paralysis is a fairly common occurrence that afflicts many people. It is most commonly explained as a feeling of being paralyzed while lying in bed, during which time auditory and visual hallucinations might also occur. Some people see human-like figures or even creatures and hear voices or other strange, unsettling sounds. Far more intense than your average nightmare, sleep paralysis experiences can deeply terrify and disturb sufferers, as you will see in these 26 accounts of sleep paralysis, compiled from a Reddit thread.
From Redditor /u/black_feather:
"My first experience was in junior high and has continued to sporadically occur throughout my life (I’m 25 now). The worst experience I’ve ever had happened after I graduated high school and moved into my grandfather’s old house after he passed .... I had a couple of roommates who were out and I decided to take an afternoon nap. I knew as soon as I shut my eyes what was going to happen but I never could have imagined how intense it would be. The music I had playing in the background began to morph until it was nothing but the sound of unknown voices screaming and crying in pain.
I had fallen asleep on my side, facing a pair of doors leading into my walk-in closet which slowly began to creak open and give me a glimpse of complete darkness surrounding a pair of ruby eyes staring gleefully at me. As the doors continued to open inch by inch, the piercing cries intensified and I was able to pick out the word ‘Hell’ being repeatedly screamed. I managed to jerk myself out of it just before the doors opened halfway and I wasted no time bolting out of bed to the safety of my front yard. Feeling the sun on my skin and seeing the neighbor’s kids playing in the street had never felt so good."
From Redditor /u/Jellybeanskittle:
"I suffered a terrible accident involving being kicked in the face by a horse, which resulted in my jaw being broken. Two plates and a wired jaw later. I was pretty hangry and exhausted.
I'd suffered from sleep paralysis before but nothing to the extent after this accident. It occurred every night, sometimes multiple times, for months on end. We have a mirrored wardrobe next to our bed, my side of course, and I keep the bedroom door open. Quite often I would be just falling off to sleep when I would feel the dread wash over me followed by the feeling of someone being in the room. I would then feel like something was pulling me off of the bed by arm, towards the mirror - then the nightmares progressed to being dragged off the bed by my back. All whilst feeling choked, unable to scream or move, unable to get my husbands attention, who lay next to me. Extremely unnerving and upsetting, to the point I would fear sleep. My husband told me that I'd been sleep walking and I had no recollection of this. He'd found me in the hallway a few times ... really upsetting.
After a post on Reddit, it was suggested that we cover the mirror. It did help curb the amount of experiences for a while until I returned to work, etc. where the nightmares lessened.
Recently, the sleep paralysis has returned but interestingly, so have my daily headaches and migraines. I am able to sometimes let out a sound (whilst trying to scream!) which my husband then is able to wake me out of it.
My most recent experience has been of a black figure (think person covered head to toe in skin tight, black lycra) who is trying to drag me from the bed by face ... incredibly frightening. In this state, it feels like it is almost in slow motion and I am trying to crawl my fingers across the bed to my husband to wake him but it is impossible.
I find it interesting that most of us who experience this, tell of the same figure, etc."
From Redditor /u/okuro9:
"Similarly during one of the darkest times in my life - I awoke in my room to a feeling of great pressure and a sense of evil, it sounds cliche'd and difficult to describe but a real thick, heavy energy in the air which instinctively told me there was some kind of malevolent presence in close proximity to me. It was the middle of the afternoon so there was enough light to really get a good look. I was in the state described above - mind awake, eyes open, but body asleep/paralyzed. After staring in anticipation and horror for what seemed like a few minutes at the entrance to my room it came.
I see a figure slowly struggling to walk through the doorway - a very old woman, sunken eyes, long grey hair, skinny to the point that the skin looked barely attached to bone, and naked - her ribs were sunken in. A sense of complete dread overwhelmed me as I saw this woman make her way awkwardly towards me - there was definitely a sexual component to it. It took every ounce of strength and willpower to shake myself 'awake' as this thing made its way half on top of me- very much like the way the dementors were depicted sucking out the life of people in harry potter years later. it was like I had to push a yell to come out of my mouth, it began as a struggled wimper and with great effort I managed to let out a roar.
The 'waking up' consisted of me being given back control of my body and the woman vanished, but it was a seamless transition - everything else remained the same. The feeling of dread remained for a short while before withdrawing. I was unnerved at the time, wondering if i'd simply lost the eyes to see this thing in my 'awake' state and had a cold shower in an attempt to get rid of the putrid feeling that i was left with.
I've since done a lot of research into this and the out of body experience and am convinced that in our dark moments there are entities that are attracted to this state. I was shocked when i discovered the 'night hag' or 'night mare' was a not-so-uncommon experience. Whether they 'exist' or not is another question where multiple answers could be given. My advice if these things are plaguing you is to not underestimate the power of ritual."
From Redditor /u/AmNotCrab:
"I have only had one experience and it was terrifying. I woke up in the middle of the night and had the usual symptoms. However I was sleeping facing the door which was open. An old lady in full black appeared and stared at me for what felt like a hour. Finally before I regained motion the woman screamed and lunged at me and I woke up."