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Metaphysics & Psychology

15 People On Their Experience With The ‘Sleep Paralysis Demon’

If you’ve ever woken up and been unable to move and/or seen some kind of dark figure in your room you’ve probably consulted Dr. Google and learned about sleep paralysis and “witch hag syndrome.” Although, if there really was a demon that attacks you in your sleep, a really great cover would be to convince the general public that it’s all in their heads… Here’s some true stories of people posted on Ask Reddit. Decide for yourself if you believe.

1. “Something whispered in my ear.“

I’ve never had any visual encounters but when it happened the first time I was laying on my left side and started to feel that pressure on my chest. When I realized I was paralyzed and started panicking, something whispered in my ear “Just coming in to say goodnight.” That’s when I felt like something was pushing me towards the edge of my bed. Terrifying shit.

2. Cats, penguins, and a shadownman, oh my!

I’ve had 3 sleep paralysis events in my life

I saw a cat sized shadow creature at the base of my bed and it slowly crawled up on to my sheets and finally upto my chest. I felt uncomfortable.

Another time I saw a shadow-man walking around my room, disappearing behind my open door. This was the scariest one I’ve had so far.

This one was the best. I saw a couple of surreal looking penguins walking around my bedroom. It was amusing and funny.

3. It takes extreme effort to wake up.

I get this on a regular basis, but mostly when I nap, not when I go to sleep for the night. I have never experienced the “demon”, but the experience is terrifying. I can see everything (or at least it seems like I can) but I am unable to move. It feels like if I don’t make every effort to move I will be stuck like that forever. I usually have to start by wiggling a toe, or a finger, and then keep that momentum going until I fully wake. It takes an extreme amount of effort and if I don’t keep the effort constant, I have to start all over again.

4. “I have a few different ones.”

I have a few different “sleep paralysis demons” and one sort of “sleep paralysis guardian angel”. The demon ones are the usual shadowy figure standing over me or by my bedroom door. The worst one was while I was lying on my side with my back to the door and it felt like someone got into bed behind me. Under the covers and put their arm round my waist. Then it felt like they were cuddling into me and I could feel breath on my neck. It felt like they cuddled me for about half an hour. All this time I’m trying not to show that I’m panicking because it feels like I’m getting cuddled by a skeleton with claws. It was only about the second, maybe third time I’d had sleep paralysis, so I nearly had a heart attack when this thing feels like its moving in closer to kiss me behind the ear. Worst of all it whispered “Not yet. You’re not ready yet. I’ll come back when you are.” To me it sounded disappointed and excited. It felt like it was silently telling me it meant that it was coming back when I was about to die. Scared the fucking shit out of me.

My “sleep paralysis guardian angel” was a weird experience. I’d been getting sleep paralysis on and off for about 18 months by this point so I could usually tell straight away when it was happening. At first I thought it was the usual demon things beside my bed, but when I looked properly I realised I could clearly see a man kneeling next to my bed smiling at me. It wasn’t a creepy smile. More like a parent coming in to check on their kid. He looked like he was dressed in a 50s style suit and hat. He didn’t say anything. Although I got the sense he was letting me know everything was alright and he’d look after me.

5. It was the best experience of her life.

My mom once told me that when she was younger, her room lit up and a couple of men dressed in white and gold were sitting at the foot of her bed playing music. One had a guitar and the other some kind of wind instrument. My mom said she felt such joy and peace, that she didn’t want them to ever go. But when she finally managed to move her head, she heard one say to the other, “She is waking up. It’s time for us to go.” Then they vanished.

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6. Many horrible things.

Before I learned to cope with it I’ve seen quite a few awful things. Horror films don’t really do anything for me anymore because I’ve already seen the most terrifying things I already could. Here’s a few things I remember off the top of my head:

A little girl in the corner of my room staring at me. Then, without notice, she shrieks and runs up and starts choking me.

A large dark figure, kind of a human silhouette, emerging from the foot of my bed and staring down at me.

Something banging and scraping on my bedroom door. I keep it locked at night because I have had ones where it opens by itself. EDIT: No, the door isn’t open when I wake up. It only opens in the dream.

My bedroom door opening by itself followed by dark figures coming into my room.

The earliest one I can remember is with my mother in the room and she’s sitting on my bed, her face morphs into a demon like thing.

Many others.

The worst thing is when you try to fight or call for help. Your voice doesn’t work and your body will not respond. You just feel helpless. Ugh, I need to stop trying to remember these things. I’m getting chills.

7. Hundreds of experiences.

I have experienced sleep paralysis literally hundreds of times. To me, it’s usually a slick, black alien-type creature about four feet tall, although I have seen a grim-reaper type figure as well. I don’t tend to get auditory hallucination, so keeping my eyes closed pretty well negates the entire experience (except for the actual feeling of paralysis).

8. “It’s going to get me!”

I’ve gotten mine so frequently that I don’t even freak out about it anymore. It’s still scary, but not nearly as much as it used to be. The first few hallucinations were awful:

A little creature eating something on my floor. I blink. Now he’s right next to my face chewing on something and whispers “Remember me?”

An old lady standing over my head and whispers “Darling…” I told my mom about that one and she asked if I thought it was my late grandma? No. It was evil.

The hallucinations are always evil. Even if I can’t see anything, there is an overwhelming presence in the room and it is always evil. I can’t move. I’m stuck. The evil is pulling on me deeper and deeper. I can’t cry for help. I can only breath heavily as fast as I can. Hoping someone will hear me breathing so loud and will come shake me out of it. I try and move a finger. Come on finger! Why won’t you just move?! It’s going to get me!

9. It was aging before me.

My first and only time I seen someone transform was from dream to reality. I was dreaming, it was this pleasant dream of a person you like very much, a crush. Then I realized I was dreaming, so it turned into a lucid dream. And all of a sudden I open my eyes, and the face aged like in Indiana Jones movie when he drinks from the wrong grail, it also turned dark, and from lush, vivid environment around her, it turned black, dark it was my room in darkness, and above me this aged old face of woman, similar to the picture op showed. And at the top of it I couldn’t move, I felt pressure on my chest, and it was aging before me.

10. They’re laughing at me.

Mine are a lot more evil than that and usually not on my body. My last experience was a demon in the corner of my room (behind me where I couldn’t see) speaking some sort of gibberish.

Other times it’s things walking toward me totally Jacob’s Ladder style as in they move toward almost hyper speed but very slow and their legs don’t match their movements. A lot of the time if it isn’t a demon, it’s someone I know, but they’re possessed. Often laughing at me.

11. Someone saved me.

One night as I was trying to fall asleep, my arm fell through the bed. Obviously my physical arm was still laying on the bed. Usually when this happens I just pick my arm up, but this time I got curious. How long would it last? So I started waiving my arm around, and my shoulder sliped through. This was new, and exiting. I moved my fingers around, swung my arm around some more, and got bold.

I consciously attempted to push my head through the bed. It worked. But, what I saw was nothing. I don’t mean I couldn’t see, but it was as if something was in fact nothing in this place. I must sound totally bonkers right now.

I could feel, though, that there was something. Farther away. My fear being exactly zero at this point, and my curiosity impossible to control, I threw caution to the wind, and tried to reach out as far as I could for whatever it was I could feel out there.

Big mistake. My leg slipped. The rest of my torso sliped. My other arm slipped, and my hips started to fall in. A the very last momment, when my left leg was all that was attached, and it was about to go, I realized somehow that what I was reaching for was NOT a thing I wanted to interact with. There was fear. Of an intensity equal to my rage during sleep paralysis. Fear like I’ve never experienced. At this point I tried to pull back but there was nothing I could do. I tried to swing my leg back up to smash into my body, but it was stretched down. like being pulled into a void. My other knee slipped, nothing but my foot ankle down and part of my left hip holding me up at this point.

I was pretty sure I was about to be gone. Whatever that means.

Just at that last second, something reached in, grabbed my shoulder and yanked me back up. Like it was nothing. I can’t really explain this properly either. The hand felt solid. Powerful. Like I was in it’s natural habitat. It pulled me back up with all the difficulty of lifting a cotton ball. I slammed back into my body with a feeling of finality. As if to say, “No fucking way I’m letting you fall into THAT”.

12. Footsteps.

Hear the back door being forced open. Laying on the couch. Can’t stir myself. Hear hurried footsteps crossing the linoleum in the kitchen, then the hardwood in the dining, getting closer to where I am in the living room. Can’t move, can’t even yell out. Manage to regain consciousness at the last possible moment before I likely suffocate (sleep apnea). Happens 50-70 percent of the time I pass out drunk on the couch. 100% if on my back.

I know some day I’m going to die like that. Not from an actual intruder but dreaming of my end and then realizing it while suffocating. The nightmares I have due to sleep apnea have made me nuts.

13. A little black child…

It happens to me when I’m overtired, usually when I’m taking a nap. It always depends on the dream I’m having- I’ll “wake up” unable to move but with an intense pressure on my body that almost feels good but scary because I can’t control what’s going on. Whatever I was dreaming about will be projected into my room, so for example: my mother talking to me, one time a little black child (that one was creepy), usually just different people or “demons” as you call them. I’ll snap out of it and fall back to sleep, then it will happen again for a few seconds, and finally after a few times I will completely wake up in a panic.

14. Bugs.

There’s a gigantic Egyptian scarab looking over me and telling me it can’t wait to taste my rotted flesh. It will then go on to describe all the ways it would eat me ( think like forrest gump and shrimp) and then it turns into several hundred/thousand smaller versions of scarabs and buzz away into the cracks in the walls. The buzzing is very loud.

15. Successful corrobation.

Never realized this is what I had experienced until I started looking around here. Worst experience I had was with a devil like creature. Red and black with huge teeth that sat on me. It felt like it was suffocating me. It just kept pushing on my chest and I was terrified. I couldn’t move or scream. What made it really bad was after I got up my husband woke up startled and told me something had been pressing on his chest trying to kill him.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Why do people see the same dreams before they die?

Specialists of the American Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Buffalo have been observing patients for 10 years and made a rather intriguing discovery: it turns out that shortly before death, people begin to have the same dreams.

People who have undergone so-called clinical death, that is, a reversible stage of death, which is a kind of transition period between life and biological death, often talk about strange visions. As a rule, their whole life flashes before their eyes, after which they find themselves in a dark tunnel, which ends with a bright light, and some even meet long-dead relatives.

However, a 10-year study by doctors at the Buffalo Hospice and Palliative Care Center led by Christopher Kerr shows that three weeks before death, people begin to have strange visions – the same dreams. Observing more than 13 thousand dying patients during this time, experts have found that 88% of people have incredibly vivid dreams on the eve of their death.

According to patients, in 72% of cases in a dream they communicated with deceased relatives and friends, while experiencing warm feelings. 59% of patients in their last dreams were packing their suitcases or buying tickets – in general, they were going on their last journey. Some were already on the train or on the plane, and sometimes they also found long-dead relatives next to them, with whom they joyfully communicated.

29% of patients also saw their relatives and friends in a dream, but exclusively alive. Finally, 28% observed in their dying dreams various memories from their passing life – certain events that left a pleasant impression. The exception was dying children: most often they dreamed about the deceased pets they recognized. Adults also dreamed, but their little patients could not remember.

Mysterious dreams begin about 10-11 weeks before death, and in 3 weeks their frequency increased rapidly, and the dreams became brighter. Unfortunately, Christopher Kerr and his team cannot explain this phenomenon. Perhaps, on the eve of death, some changes begin to occur in the brain that lead to the appearance of such dreams. One thing is clear: it calms people down and reduces the fear of imminent death.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Wigner’s paradox: what you need to know about the duality of reality?

Quantum mechanics is weird and contrary to common sense. A 2019 study showed that the outcomes of various processes in the quantum world depend on the observer. Back in the 1960s. Eugene Wigner, an American physicist of Hungarian origin, complicated the famous thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat, in which the cat is trapped in a box with poison that is released when a radioactive atom decays. 

Radioactivity is a quantum process, so the story goes that the atom in the box both disintegrated and did not disintegrate at the same time, leaving the unfortunate animal suspended between life and death – the so-called quantum superposition. But how does it feel to be alive and dead at the same time?

Quirks of Quantum Mechanics – Observer Observer

Wigner’s paradox is a complicated experiment of Schrödinger’s cat. Wigner introduced the category of “friends” whereby the cat in the box remains alive.

Quantum paradox

Imagine a person trapped in a laboratory and measuring a quantum system. Wigner argued that it is absurd to say that he exists in superposition (since he simultaneously sees and does not see the decay of an atom) while the laboratory door is closed. Thought experiment shows that things can get very strange if an observer is watching observers.

Quantum physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane (Australia) Nora Tishler and her colleagues conducted a version of Wigner’s experiment, combining a classical thought experiment with another quantum theory – quantum entanglement – a phenomenon that binds particles over huge distances. The researchers also came up with a new theorem that places the strongest constraints on the fundamental nature of reality. The work was published in the journal Nature Physics.

Scientific American quotes theoretical physicist Ephraim Steinberg of the University of Toronto, who was not involved in the study, that the new work is “an important step forward in experimental metaphysics.”

As long as a quantum system is not observed, it does not necessarily have certain properties.

Quantum probability

Until the 1920s, physicists predicted experimental results with confidence. But quantum theory seems to be inherently probabilistic: as long as the properties of a system are not measured, they can span a myriad of values. This superposition only collapses into one state when observing the system, and physicists cannot accurately predict what this state will be. Wigner held the then popular view that consciousness somehow causes the collapse of the superposition. Thus, his hypothetical friend will determine the outcome when he or she takes measurements – and Wigner will never see him or her in superposition.

Since then, this view has gone out of style. “People who study the basics of quantum mechanics are quick to dismiss Wigner’s view as ghostly and vague because it makes observers special,” says David Chalmers, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at New York University. Most physicists today agree that inanimate objects can bring quantum systems out of superposition through a process known as decoherence.

Of course, researchers trying to manipulate complex quantum superpositions in the laboratory may find their hard work being destroyed by fast air particles colliding with their systems. Therefore, they test at ultra-short temperatures and try to isolate the apparatus from vibrations.

Note that several competing interpretations have emerged over the past decades, the most exotic of which is the “many worlds” view that whenever you make a quantum measurement, reality collapses, creating parallel universes. Thus, Wigner’s friend would split into two copies and could actually measure being in superposition outside the laboratory.

An alternative “Bohm” theory (named after physicist David Bohm) states that, at a fundamental level, quantum systems do have certain properties; we simply do not know enough about these systems to accurately predict their behavior. Another intriguing interpretation is called retrocausality. According to her, events in the future affect the past.

The problem is that each interpretation is equally good or bad at predicting the results of quantum tests, so the choice between them is a matter of taste. Nobody knows what this solution is. We don’t even know if the list of possible solutions we have is exhaustive.


Quantum physics is like magic

Other models, called collapse theories, do provide testable predictions. These models rely on a mechanism that causes a quantum system to collapse when it gets too large, while also explaining why cats, humans, and other macroscopic objects cannot be in superposition. Experiments are underway to find signatures of such collapses, but so far researchers have not found anything. Quantum physicists are also putting ever larger objects in a superposition: in 2019, a team in Vienna reported that it was doing this with a molecule of 2,000 atoms.

Most quantum interpretations state that there is no reason why these oversized superposition efforts should not go on forever, suggesting that researchers can design correct experiments in pristine laboratory environments to avoid decoherence.

Collapse theories, however, claim that the limit will be reached one day, no matter how carefully the experiments are prepared.

Observer observer

Tischler and her colleagues were inspired by a new wave of theoretical and experimental work that explored the role of the observer in quantum theory, introducing confusion into the classic Wigner experiment. Suppose you take two particles of light or photons that are polarized in such a way that they can vibrate horizontally or vertically. Photons can also be placed in a superposition vibrating both horizontally and vertically at the same time, just like Schrödinger’s paradoxical Cat can be both alive and dead – but exactly before it is watched.

In general, the researchers once again confirm that quantum physics is akin to magic.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Scientists have created a device that can make dreams lucid

According to statistics, more than eighty percent of people at least once realized themselves in a dream, that is, they understood that they were sleeping. There are various practices of lucid dreaming in the world that allow a person to achieve the ability to control the subconscious, which works in a dream, and through it – radically change his life. All this is difficult and, moreover, unsafe. 

But there are people who are naturally endowed with the gift of lucid dreams, and some of them can even travel through dreams through parallel worlds in which their counterparts live – there is such evidence, we don’t know how true they are …

Photos from open sources

As for the official science, it considers dreams only as a rest of a person (any animal), as a result of which the strength lost during the day is restored. However, the world of dreams is too fantastic for such a narrow materialistic understanding. 

In addition, dreams, as people have noticed since ancient times, are associated not only with our past (memories), but also with the future (prophetic dreams).  The sages have always argued that managing dreams is the key to managing your health, destiny and your life in general.

Photos from open sources

Senoi – a tribe that knows how to control dreams

Even more interesting is that there is a tribe in the world – the Senoi, living in Malaysia, in its most impassable mountain jungle, which does not separate a person’s real life from his dreams. Senoi believe that a person has two souls: one lives in this world, and the other in the world of dreams. Both the one and the other world, according to the Senoi, is real, and that these realities are interconnected. 

Kylton Stewart, one of the researchers of this tribe, who lived among the Senoi for a certain time, proves that health, peacefulness and harmony in the social structure of this people is achieved precisely by the fact that they do not share dream and reality – this is one whole for them. 

Learning this understanding of the world order from birth, hay and hay see lucid dreams, do not forget anything about them, they know how to change everything for the better in dreams (from infancy, a special system of working with dreams is developed and maintained in a child).

Photos from open sources

For example, Stewart writes, in contrast to ordinary people, over the years, hay improves their dreams more and more, excluding any negativity, not to mention the nightmares so inherent in Europeans, thanks to which they achieve complete harmony in real life. All their songs, dances, ceremonies and even their clothes are all taken from dreams and brought to life.

Independent dream researchers have long struggled with this mystery. And the point is not even to understand what a dream is, but in the applied meaning of this secret of nature. It is important to find an opportunity to control dreams, that is, to come up with a mechanism that would easily (without tedious and often fruitless practices) allow a person to see lucid dreams and change something in them.

Dream manipulation device

And now scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA) seem to have come close to creating a device that allows a person to manipulate their dreams. A team led by neuroscientist Adam Horowitz Haar has developed Dormio, an electronic device that allows you to control the first stage of sleep, when a person’s consciousness is in the so-called hypnagogic state (the borderline state between reality and deep sleep).

Dormio is a dream manipulation device that helps to form individual dream pictures rather than being aware of them and influencing the natural processes of the subconscious. It cannot yet be considered as a tool for lucid dreams, but this method can be successfully used, say, for training, solving some problems, and so on. 

Moreover, as the researchers at MIT assure, complete control over dreams is only a matter of time. And such control will allow solving many problems, primarily those associated with various mental illnesses of a person.

Photos from open sources

However, not all dream researchers were enthusiastic about the achievement of their American colleagues. In their opinion, an invasion of the holy of holies without a full understanding of what dreams are, can have the most sad consequences for a person, it is possible that for society as a whole.

It is no coincidence that in the practice of lucid dreaming, so much attention is paid to safety methods, and the same hay uses a unique system developed by many generations. 

By the way, lucid dreaming gurus argue that dreams cannot be approached from the standpoint of modern science, which constantly wants not to understand God, but to grab him by the beard. It doesn’t hurt to remember how it all ends (atomic bombs, epidemics bursting out of laboratories, widespread natural disasters, and so on).

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