Graveyard Shift
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People Describe Insanely Scary Sleep Paralysis Experiences

Updated April 29, 2020 14.6k votes 4.7k voters 289.0k views26 items

List RulesVote up the freakiest sleep paralysis story on this list

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.

  • 1

    The Masked Man

    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."

    Does this freak you out?
  • 2

    Hand And Footprints

    From a former Redditor:

    "I almost only have them when I sleep on my back during the night, so the most terrifying time was when I slept on my chest during the daylight hours on my couch in the living room. I thought that it was a coward that only came in the dark of the night, but it came back to prove me wrong. Every single incident was at night except this one. My wife and I were arguing on the way home from church, and she took the kids to her mothers for the day so we could both calm down. I chose to take a nap laying on my chest with my head turned to the left away from the sunlight from my living room windows. I awoke around 2 pm unable to move, only this time I felt that my right leg was slightly elevated. Each of my experiences beforehand were different in that I was being held down and choked by a dark silhouette, I would try to yell, but nothing would come out. I would panic, and begin to pray, and then it would let me go and leave. This time though, it dragged me off the couch and was yanking me violently with my face down in broad daylight where I could not see it. I truly thought this thing was finally going to kill me. I'm a 33-year-old man in good health who isn't scared easily, but in that moment I thought I would never see my children again. I prayed that God would protect me, and He did. A veil of darkness lifted from the room, from where I was on the floor I could see the sunlight from the window shift forward several inches. There was a hand print on my ankle from where it grabbed me and dragged me, it had five fingers like the hands of a man. I had a large terrier mix at the time and he was clawing at the back door and growling like I had never heard him do before. I let him in the house and he was snarling and baring his teeth running from room to room chasing something that I could not see, but had heavy footprints on my wooden floor. I watched my dog chase after this thing to the corner of my yard and it wasn't until he came back that I realized my dog almost clawed halfway through a 2" thick wooden door trying to get in to protect me. I blessed my home with oil that same day and I haven't had trouble since. That was in 2012. My dog passed ... a year later of old age, but I got my girls a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Jax and he sleeps in their room every night. I'd rather he be there with them if this thing ever returns."

    Does this freak you out?
  • 3

    Mother-Like Monster

    From Redditor /u/godWEENsatan:

    "This happened when i was 6, 20 years ago, and I still remember it vividly because I haven't gone more that a couple months without replaying it back in my head. I remember waking up from a creepy dream, and lying in bed for a minute. Then my mom opened the door and I could see her silhouette. Was she there to comfort me possibly? She didn't say anything. She then eerily waddled (hobbled?) into my room, and started looking a little more creepy. She looked a little like a creature from Where the Wild Things Are. I could only see the dark outline of her body and head, but her hair appeared messy and her head looked larger than normal. I was on the top bunk (my baby sister was asleep below).

    My mom stood at my bed - her head was about level with my own. She stood there for a minute at the side of my bunkbed, and I could begin to sense that things were weird. She then reached out and started tickling me a little. I wasn't freaked out quite yet. Then I began to feel uncomfortable, but the tickling intensified. She began grunting quietly, almost as if she was murmuring something. Finally i was trying to tell her to stop, but of course, words were impossible to form. The tickling intensified until she was scratching and jabbing and digging at my torso. By then the grunting had eventually grown into a deep growling and howling. I couldn't move or make any noise. WHY WOULDN'T MY LITTLE SISTER WAKE UP AND HELP ME?! Scariest f*cking thing that's ever happened to me."

    Does this freak you out?
  • 4

    Getting Pulled From The Bed

    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."

    Does this freak you out?