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/Hoobshanker:
I've had quite a few, from just feelings of a presence to a full blown figure. Sometimes there are voices, sometimes it is dead silent. But the masked man was in another league of bone chilling.
It started with me wake up to a deep throated chuckling. Having been one of my later expierences of sleep paralysis, i knew immediately that it was that. I resigned myself to another sleepless creepy night, when the door opened. A man stepped through, in a mask as red as blood. The mask itself was demonic in nature, with big under fangs, like a boar's, with unnatural, outlandish twist and turns in the cheeks, and a deep set wrinkled brow. But the worse part were they eyes. His violet serpentine eyes bulged out of the mask, they looked like they were about to pop. He was wearing a rich colored brown robe, with a hood pulled up covering the rest of his head, drawing all attention to the mask, and those dreadful eyes. He pulled a squirming burlap sack behind him, and he stopped when he got to the foot of my bed. He stared at me for a long moment, and then reached in the bag.
One by one, he pulled everyone I had ever loved, cared about, or considered a friend. Each time he pulled them out he positioned them so I was looking directly into their eyes. And he took his hand, a gnarled bony thing, with skin drawn so tight it looked as if he had none at all, and drew his long sharp nail across their throats spilling torrents of blood at my feet. I had to watch the life drain out of the eyes of everyone I had ever truly known, and deep in those eyes I could terror mixing with pity in each and everyone of them. And only after his bag was empty did he let it drop and he began walking around my bed. He stopped as he towered over me. Leaning down he reached to me and gently stroked my fave with his blood stained nail. With his other hand he reached and pulled off his mask. I cannot honestly put it into words what I saw beneath that mask, it was an ever changing face of horror, it twisted and squirmed and never remained still for long, and each facial reconstruction was more terrifying than the last.
As I looked into his violet serpentine eyes he spoke to me. I still remember the words well enough to quote them verbadim, but as they were profoundly disturbing and personal in nature I do not care to repeat them to anyone. But the last thing he said was, 'Enjoy the time you have left, because soon your life will be mine, and your soul as well' And he said this his face finally settled onto a single form. It was my own face.
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/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.
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 away. 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.