Sleep or Scream?

Author: Ornella Pavey

158

Added 15.05.2019

This is a very true story about me. It’s weird. It’s going to sound utterly scary too but it’s all true and real. During my early teenage years, I had faced and felt unpleasantness whenever I was alone. It didn’t take long before I was inclined to skepticism. I was overwhelmed with thoughts that I have been watched and followed. Sometimes I would tell myself that all this is my mere imagination. As usual, morning becomes evening and evening becomes night, fear creeps in me slowly as I see the switches of lights go off one by one to get some good night sleep. I rarely had a good sleep those days! I would often wake up seeing the most frightful nightmares and it doesn't stop there. I often saw a tall shadow that looked like men but with no features. Just tall figures that stunned me!

I couldn’t explain this to anyone at the beginning. Nevertheless, among these events my life went on a normal routine - school, home, homework, etc. I used my computer a lot for school work and games, and the moment I switched off my computer and stood up to leave I heard clicks from my mouse and typing sounds from my keyboard! It was just right next to me. I could feel it. This got me really scared now. Then onward every night I had nightmares that something evil was trying to lock me. It looked as if it wanted my soul or something like that, sometimes when I tried to wake up to call out to my mom I wasn’t able to open my mouth and when I tried to wake up I felt something so heavy sitting on my chest and wouldn't get off! I was terrified! These heart throbbing experiences led me to search about these on the internet and I came across two options that have these similar symptoms. The first one is sleep paralysis and the second is demonic presence.

According to the researches from wellcomecollection.org sleep paralysis was discovered in the late 19th century. It is relatively easy to explain and it is not a serious condition. It occurs when the brain and body are not in sync during the sleep process. During a “normal” night’s sleep we can expect the brain to dispatch a message to the nervous system that relaxes the muscles; so when they are relaxed they become inactive during sleep, protecting our body from acting out physically while in the state of sleep. As the brain is roused to a waking (hypnopompic) state or as it falls into a sleeping state, the brain gives the order to end or start the paralysis.

As for riding with the demons, it is believed that in the western concept of the nightmare is weighted with an accumulation of historical interpretations that emerged from the myth of the incubus. From ancient Mesopotamia (c.2000 BC) to the Roman Empire, a demon known as the incubus was responsible for bad dreams. Originating from the Latin “to sit on” the incubus sat on top of your chest inducing horrifying dreams and physical immobility, making it the first documented explanation of sleep paralysis.

Today, the demon of sleep paralysis has morphed again, taking the form of the alien abduction, playing upon our fear of the unknown universe that surrounds us.

The vivid thoughts I have experienced during my younger days, especially at nightfall, didn’t sound anything like a sleep disorder to me as it was more than that, and somehow I have gotten rid of these frightening nightmares and uneasiness up to some extent. The remedy I used and still use is prayer as I’m a huge believer of God and miraculously all the scary dark images vanished into thin air from the day I started to pray daily. I’m lucky it's 80% over for me whereas some still face these horrific things that give goose bumps all over again!