The krasue, known as Ap in Cambodia and as Kasu in Laos, is a nocturnal female spirit of Southeast Asian folklore. It manifests itself as a woman, usually young and beautiful, with her viscera hanging down from the neck, trailing below the head.
According to Thai ethnographer Phraya Anuman Rajadhon the Krasue consists of a floating head accompanied by a will-o’-the-wisp kind of glow. The explanations attempted about the origin of the glow include the presence of methane in marshy areas. The Krasue is often said to live in the same areas as Krahang, a male spirit of the Thai folklore.
This spirit moves about by hovering in the air above the ground, for it has no lower body. The throat may be represented in different ways, either as only the trachea or with the whole neck. The organs below the head usually include the heart and the stomach with a length of intestine, the intestinal tract emphasizing the ghost’s voracious nature. In recent movie Krasue Valentine, this ghost is represented with more internal organs, such as lungs and liver, but much reduced in size and anatomically out of proportion with the head. The viscera are sometimes represented freshly daubed with blood, as well as glowing. In contemporary representations her teeth often include pointed fangs in yaksha or vampire fashion.In the movie Ghosts of Guts Eater she has a halo around her head.
Krasue has been the subject of a number of movies in the region, including Kon Aeuy Madai Ahp. Also known as Krasue Mom, this Cambodian horror film has the distinction of being the first movie made in the People’s Republic of Kampuchea after the absence of locally-made movies and the repression of local folklore in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge era.
The Krasue is also found in the popular mythology of Malaysia and Indonesia, where it is called Penanggalan, Hantu Penanggal or Leyak, among other names. This spirit is also part of Vietnamese folklore, as ma lai, via the tribal societies of Vietnam’s Western Highlands. In the Philippines there is a similar ghost, Manananggal, a local spirit that haunts pregnant women.
In Thailand, there is a legend of a certain Khmer princess becoming the Krasue in centuries past after having been executed by burning. The marriage to a powerful Siamese nobleman had been arranged for this Khmer lady following the defeat of her people in war. She was very distressed, however, for she was in love with one of the conquering soldiers, a younger man of a lower status. Eventually she was caught with her lover and the offended Siamese aristocrat sentenced her to death by burning. Shortly before the execution the princess got a Khmer sorceress to cast a magic spell over her to allow her body to be unharmed by the flames. The spell was powerful, but its effect arrived too late, when most of the body of the princess had been burnt except for her head and some of her viscera. Thenceforward the non-charred remains were cursed to continue living as the Krasue ghost. A version of this Krasue folk tradition was enacted in the 2002 Thai horror film Demonic Beauty.
There are traditions that say that this spirit was formerly a rich lady that had a length of black gauze or ribbon tied around the head and neck as protection from the sunshine. This woman was then possessed by an evil spirit and was cursed to become a Krasue. Other popular legends claim that origin of the spirit may have been a woman trying to learn black magic that made a mistake or used the wrong spell so that her head and body became separated. Past sins are also related to the transmission of the Krasue curse; women who aborted or killed someone in a previous life will become a Krasue as punishment. Other folk stories talk about a person being cursed to become a Krasue after having consumed food and drink contaminated with a krasue’s saliva or flesh. Popular imagination also claims that the transformation into a Krasue is largely restricted to the relatives of women practicing witchcraft “Mae Mot” or “Yai Mot” , especially their daughters or granddaughters. Often women acting strange in a community are suspected of becoming nightly a Krasue by other members of the village.
Description in Thai folklore
The Krasue is under a curse that makes it ever hungry and always active in the night when it goes out hunting to satisfy its gluttony, seeking blood to drink or raw flesh to devour. It may attack cattle or chicken in the darkness, drinking their blood and eating their internal organs. It may also prey on pieces of cattle, such as water buffalo that have died of other causes during the night. If blood is not available the Krasue may eat feces or carrion. Clothes left outside would be found soiled with blood and excrement in the morning, allegedly after she had wiped her mouth. Therefore villagers would not leave clothes hanging to dry outside during the night hours.
The Krasue also preys on pregnant women in their homes just before or after the childbirth. It hovers around the house of the pregnant woman uttering sharp cries to instil fear. It uses an elongated proboscis-like tongue to reach the fetus or its placenta within the womb. This habit, among other unmentionable things that this spirit does, is believed to be the cause of many diseases affecting women mainly in rural areas during their pregnancy. In some cases it may catch the unborn child and use its sharp teeth to devour it. In order to protect pregnant women from becoming victims before delivery, their relatives place thorny branches around the house. This improvised thorny fence discourages the Krasue from coming to suck the blood and causing other suffering to the pregnant lady within the house. After delivery, the woman’s relatives must take the cut placenta far away for burial to hide it from the Krasue. There is the belief that if the placenta is buried deep enough the spirit can not find it.
The Krasue hides the headless body from which it originates in a quiet place because it needs to join it before daybreak, living like a normal person during the day. To crush the still headless body of the krasue is fatal to the spirit. The flying head will return after hunting but rejoin with the wrong body which will lead it to suffer torment until death. If the top part of the body fails to find the lower half before daybreak it will die in terrible pain. The Krasue will also die if its intestines get cut off or if its body disappears or gets hidden by someone. Some folk beliefs hold that the creature can be destroyed by burning it. The main foes of the Krasue are mobs of angry villagers carrying torches and machetes. They may catch the Krasue and kill it or watch where she goes before dawn and destroy her body.
The krasue is a certain female spirit of Southeast Asian mythology. This ghost has been the subject of a number of movies in the region, including Konm Eak Madia Arb (or Krasue Mom), a Cambodian horror movie which has the distinction of being the first movie made in the People’s Republic of Kampuchea after the absence of locally-made movies and the repression of local folklore in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge era.
A Krasue or Ap is a malevolent spirit appearing during the night. It manifests itself as a woman, usually young and beautiful, with her internal organs hanging down from the neck, trailing below the head. Since it has no lower body this spirit hovers in the air above the ground. The organs below the head include a length of intestine and are usually represented freshly daubed with blood. Her teeth often include pointed fangs in vampire-fashion.
Thai Ghost – Phi Krasue Captured on Phone Cam
It is believed that this spirit was formerly a rich person with a length of black gauze or ribbon tied around the head and neck as protection from the sunshine. The ghost originated with the possession of this woman by an evil spirit which turned her into a head suspended in the air with some internal organs hanging from the neck after the separation of the head from the body.
This hungry ghost is always active in the night when it goes out hunting, seeking blood to drink or raw flesh to devour.This ghost can prey on pregnant women in their homes just before or after the childbirth. It uses an elongated proboscis-like tongue to catch the fetus or its placenta within the womb and its sharp teeth to devour it. This habit, among other unmentionable things that this spirit does, is believed to be the cause of many diseases affecting mainly women during their pregnancy. Attacking pregnant women is a feature Krasue or Ap shares with the Filipina ghost Manananggal.
In order to protect the pregnant women from becoming victims before birth, their relatives place thorny branches around the house. This improvised thorny fence discourages the Krasue coming to suck the blood and causing other sufferings to the pregnant lady within the house.
After the birth, the woman’s relatives must take the cut placenta far away for burial to hide it from the Krasue. There is the belief that if the placenta is buried deep enough the spirit can’t find it. To crush the still body which can be left sleeping or sitting is fatal to the spirit. The flying head will return after hunting but rejoin with the wrong body which will lead to suffer pain until death. The creature will die if the intestines get cut off or if its body disappears or gets hidden by someone. If the top part of the body fails to find the lower half before daybreak it will die if it does not rejoin the other half when sunlight comes. Some traditions believe that the creature can be destroyed by burning them alive.
Many religions believe that heredity to becoming the spirit originally came from The Physical or Supernatural. Someone trying to learn the black arts in Hindu culture makes a mistake or studies the wrong magic. It appeared to them to separate their head and body. Past sins are also related to Krasue Heredity; women who aborted or killed someone in a previous life will become a Krasue as punishment. Another story refers to a person who later become the Krasue, by contaminating their food and drinks with an old krasue’s sailver or flesh. Transformations into a Krasue mostly happens to the relatives of witches, especially their daughters or granddaughters.
The Nature of the Krasue Spirit is localed in Hinduism from India which later spread to Cambodia, which first lead the birth of Krasue Spirit by its dark art and witch cursed. It was part of the local religions for a long time until the war, when refugees took a place in another country. In Thailand, there is a story of a Khmer princess becoming the krasue in the mid-18th century during the dark age of Cambodia; the losing of war with many country had told as the first Thai Krasue. The legend was again used in the Thai horror film Demonic Beauty’.
A lot of countries of believing the Krasue tale had adapted it into the Screen. Several Thai films depict the krasue, including Krasue (Demonic Beauty) in 2002, 2006’s Krasue Valentine by Yuthlert Sippapak, the Cambodian film, 2004 horror film Nieng Arp (Lady Vampire) or Burn the witch , Hong Kong’s Witch with the Flying Head (1977) and Indonesia’s Mystics in Bali (1981). In the Vietnam war-era drama Freedom Deal by Camerado, President Nixon orders the 1970 military incursion into Cambodia, unwittingly unleashing a legion of Cambodian Arbs, similar to the Krasue. A Krasue was also comically featured in a Sylvania light bulb commercial for Thai audiences.
Repeated Mothman sightings in Chicago
It was a normal summer night for John Amitrano, working a Friday shift as security for Chicago’s popular Logan Square hangout The Owl – but when we went outside, he saw something odd. “I saw a plane flying, but also something moving really awkwardly under it,” he told VICE. “It didn’t look like a bat so much as what illustrations of pterodactyls look like, with the slenderness of its head and its wing shape. I know what birds and what bats look like. This thing didn’t have any feathers or fur, and it didn’t fly like anything I’ve ever seen.”
Amitrano added that the thing he saw – which, according to him, had muscular legs, a jutting tailbone, and a human-like shape – flew in a “strange swooping motion, undulating up and down.” After it flew away, he retrieved his phone from charging in the bar and texted his girlfriend and close friends what had happened. “I remember thinking, This was the worst time in the world to have my phone charging,” he laughed.
What Amitrano saw that night was one of 55 reported Chicago-area sightings of a flying humanoid in 2017. Accounts have varied from “a large, black, bat-like being with glowing red eyes” to “a big owl” or something that resembled a “Gothic gargoyle” or a “Mothman.” Most eyewitnesses spotted the being in-flight, but some particularly disturbing reports detailed it dropping onto hoods of cars, peering in through windows, and swooping down at bystanders. The alleged “Mothman” has captured the attention of the city, from local media articles and rap songs to Halloween costumes and countless speculative Facebook groups.
Amitrano later remembered seeing something on Facebook about the sightings, and as he read more about it he contacted Lon Strickler, a self-described Fortean researcher who’s been compiling all of the Chicago sightings on his website Phantoms and Monsters. Strickler – whose book Mothman Dynasty: Chicago’s Winged Humanoids was released last month – has been investigating paranormal sightings since the late 1970s and claims to have seen both a “Mothman” and Bigfoot. Since the rash of sightings started in February, he’s been painstakingly interviewing witnesses and documenting their accounts.
According to Strickler, these Chicago sightings are unlike anything he’s seen in his decades investigating alleged flying humanoid sightings: “This group of sightings is historical in cryptozoology terms. For one, it’s happening in an urban area for the most part and that there are so many sightings in one period.” He added that he believes there are at least three flying humanoids around Chicago due to the varied locations, the concentration of sightings in certain neighborhoods, and the small differences in the eyewitness testimonies.
The main reference point Strickler uses for explaining this phenomenon was the wave of reported “Mothman” sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. From 1966 to 1967, there were several reports of a large, man-like bird with glowing red eyes; local folklore later tied the monster to a bad omen connected with a tragic bridge collapse in 1967. The sightings were popularized by John Keel’s 1975 novel The Mothman Prophecies, which was later adapted into a 2002 film starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney – and since 2002, the town has commemorated the “Mothman” sightings with an annual festival.
Strickler doesn’t believe that what Chicagoans have been seeing are harbingers of bad things to come: “These beings are less aggressive than the one in Point Pleasant, for the most part. I believe overall there was only one being in the Point Pleasant-area that was seen during that period.” While he’s not sure why Chicagoans are seeing what they’re seeing, he theorized, “I think they’re flesh and blood beings that aren’t of this world.”
Dr. David A. Gallo is a psychologist from the University of Chicago whose research deals with memory – specifically, how people “actively (and sometimes inaccurately) reconstruct the past,” studying why people believe or are skeptics of paranormal psychic phenomena. A fan of The Mothman Prophecies, he offered his own explanations for what’s happening in Chicago: “It’s a selective sample. When people are choosing to report sightings, the basis of data upon which your paranormal researchers are collecting is all self-report,” he said over a phone call. “He’s not sampling random people and asking if they saw the Mothman – he’s just counting the number of people that voluntarily came forward to report a sighting.”
According to Gallo, the people more likely to visit a paranormal-centric website like Strickler’s might also be more inclined to believe in, and therefore witness the existence of, a “Mothman.” “Ideas about the supernatural can be culturally transmitted and socially transmitted. When incidences of UFOs are reported in the media or represented in popular culture, more sightings happen. I’ve heard it called The Will Smith Effect.” But Strickler doesn’t buy that explanation: “We have had very few cranks from what I can tell, which I think is pretty unusual. If the media would have picked up on it more than it has, I think that we would have had more fraudulent sightings.”
“So many things could be different factors for why there’s such a big uptick in the sighting,” Gallo stated, adding that he doesn’t deny these witnesses saw something out of the ordinary. “There’s a phenomenon where there’s basically some real witnessed experience, but if there are holes or gaps in that original experience, sometimes the mind is unable to fill in the gaps.” Because of this, Gallo warned, “if something is suggested to them subsequently as a plausible scenario – like a Mothman or whatever – that person might be inclined to fill in the gaps with that.”
Did Russians Conducted An Experiment Similar To That of ‘Philadelphia Experiment?
The Philadelphia experiment is a designation for a classified military experiment that was supposed to take place at the naval base in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1943. It is one of the most famous military experiments, but many speculations are still underway here, and there are plenty of ambiguities. That is why he is interested in so many mystery hunters and there are many conspiracy theories in circulation. The experiment has never been officially confirmed by the US government, and is still surrounded by a series of secrets. So I warn beforehand that it is not necessarily the truth and that.
The experiment has never been officially confirmed by the US government, and is still surrounded by a series of secrets. So I warn beforehand that it is not necessarily the truth and that the whole event should be taken with reserve and distance. The aim of the experiment was to hide or ‘invade’ the USS Eldridge destroyer so that it was hidden not only from the enemy radars but also from the sight of a regular observer. This would give the US a tremendous military advantage in the war. The experiment should include world-renowned scientists such as Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein.
The first unsuccessful experiments of this kind were to take place between 1933 and 1940. The project was based on Einstein’s theory of relativity and the use of a combination of gravitational and magnetic fields. The field would merge into one unitary field, which would then change the geometric properties of the space. Even according to official records, Einstein was employed as an adviser in the navy in 1943-1944. According to scientists, huge electric generators bend the light around the object, making it invisible.
Intruders and incubi: The waking nightmare of sleep paralysis
Brian Barrett Motherboard
© Nicolas Bruno
Once, when I was 17, I woke up in the dark and couldn’t move.
I could hear, at least. That’s why I was awake to begin with: someone was banging on the front door in the middle of the night, insistent, sharp, angry.
I could see, too. My eyes were open to the ceiling above me. My head, though, was locked into position by some invisible vise. I tried to yell, to warn my parents about the angry intruder outside, and the irrevocable harm I was convinced he would do. I couldn’t yell. The knocks got louder.
No matter how insistently I begged my body to jump out of bed and find a place to hide, it remained a slab. Something terrible was about to happen to me, to my family. The door was going to give way. The outsider was going to come in. I was going to face whatever—whoever?—came after completely immobilized and alone.
It was the most afraid I’ve ever been in my life. What I realized, looking back later, was that it still would have been even if it weren’t for those knocks on the door, and my certainty that something awful would follow. My deepest fear came from the realization that my body, in that moment, had become completely dissociated from anything I recognized as myself. It was a car sinking to the bottom of a lake, my mind its captive passenger, waiting to drown.
I don’t remember how long it lasted, but eventually it wore off. I quickly found out that the person on the porch was my older brother, home at an unexpected hour on an unexpected visit from college. It took me a few more years to figure out that the other part, the immobility, the sense of self reduced to flickering consciousness, even the deepness of the fear I felt, had a name. It was sleep paralysis.
At least, that’s what we call it now. Dr. S.A. Kinnier Wilson coined the term in a 1928 edition of the medical journal Brain. His description then should feel familiar to anyone who has experienced sleep paralysis today: a man dreamed of a murderer, then carried that dream over to a conscious state. The patient in question “lay thus, flat on the floor, motionless but suffering acute mental stress.”
That’s not to say that sleep paralysis is a relatively new human experience. A Dutch physician named Isbrand van Diemerbroeck published several case histories that accurately describe sleep paralysis in 1664, one of which, titled “Of the Night-Mare,” may as well have been penned by Mary Shelley.
“In the night time, when she was composing her self to sleep, sometimes she believed the devil lay upon her and held her down, sometimes that she was choaked by a great dog or thief lying upon her breast, so that she could hardly speak or breath, and when she endeavored to throw off the burthen, she was not able to stir her member,”van Diemerbroeck wrote, suggesting moderate exercise and plenty of juice as a possible remedy to the invisible nighttime demon attacks. [17th century sics implied throughout.]
Even that landmark medical documentation isn’t remotely the first reported instance. Go back further still, and you’ll find references to sleep paralysis in medieval Persia and Ancient Greece and even more ancient (400 BCE) China. There’s probably a cave drawing somewhere that depicts a red-eyed saber-toothed tiger sitting atop a paralyzed Neanderthal’s chest. Sleep paralysis is as ageless and as universal as fear itself.
It’s not quite as simple as simply being afraid, though. It’s a complex confluence of physiological and psychological occurrences that force you to experience your deepest nightmares with eyes wide open.
Take a normal night of sleep, assuming you still have those once in awhile. Your body cycles through five sleep stages, the last of which is REM, which you probably remember from your high school biology class as being your brain’s lights-out, shut-it-down, dream-time state.
Which is great! Dreaming is wonderful, especially if you ever wondered what it might feel like to fly down Rodeo Drive with a soft serve twist cone in one hand and a chainsaw in the other. Dreaming, though, can also be dangerous, because your big dumb body doesn’t necessarily know that your brain is just playing pretend. Given the opportunity, your body will act out those dreams, which can lead to a whole other terrifying condition called REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
You’ve heard of sleepwalking, which can technically be a type of RBD, depending on whether it occurs during the REM stage of sleep. Many RBD episodes are much more involved than just puttering down the hall, however. Think of it like this: juggling with tennis balls and juggling with flaming swords are both technically types of juggling, but you’d never confuse the two.
Comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia turned his experiences with RBD into a very entertaining show, book, and film called Sleepwalk with Me. Well, entertaining but also terrifying; at one point in his mid-20s, Birbiglia threw himself out of a closed, second-story La Quinta motel window. At the time, in his dream, he was trying to escape an incoming guided missile.
The reason more people don’t experience RBD is that the brain also has a safety valve. “During dreaming… bursts of neural activity called PGO waves spread through the cortex, producing the imagery we experience during dreams,” explained James Allan Cheyne, sleep paralysis expert and professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo. “Simultaneously, activation spreads down the spinal column causing spinal interneurons to suppress signals that normally would produce muscle movement.”
Your body, in other words, paralyzes itself during REM sleep to keep you from throwing yourself down a stairwell when you dream about laying out for touchdown pass to win the state championship.
Sleep paralysis, then, is what happens when you wake up before that effect has had a chance to wear off. Your body has frozen to keep you from acting out your dreams. But also, haha, good joke, you’re still dreaming.
“You have aspects of REM sleep that are going on when you have waking, conscious awareness,” said Brian Sharpless, assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University and author of a recent book about sleep paralysis. “First, you’re paralyzed, and second, you are having dreams, but unlike normal dreaming these two things are happening while you’re awake and able to look around the room.”
Not just any dreams, though. Sharpless estimates that while a little less than a third of our normal dreams could be considered nightmares, 80 to 90 percent of dreams experienced during sleep paralysis qualify. “You can kind of imagine why,” he said. “If you’re lying on your back and can’t move, that’s scary enough. And if you’re having hallucinations that are scary as well, that’s a bad mix.”
My own sleep paralysis, then, was fairly textbook. The banging on the door vaulted me into consciousness but not out of REM, leaving me frozen in a liminal hell of the mind, waiting for a bad man with an axe to bust down my door. Actually, I got off easy.
As it turns out, sleep paralysis nightmares can be divided into three tidy categories, two of which—the Intruder and the Incubus—would make for decent Paranormal Activity sequels. The third is “vestibular and motor,” a less-fun name for a more-fun condition.
Cheyne cautions that these categories are broad, and the experiences the describe can vary greatly. On the other hand, he also is one of three authors of a landmark 1999 scientific paper, published in Consciousness and Cognition, that helped define them.
Vestibular and motor incidents—Cheyne calls it “Unusual Bodily Experiences” in his 1999 paper—are relatively harmless, potentially even enjoyable. “It’s fancy term for feeling like your body is being moved without its volition,” Sharpless explains. “You could feel like you’re floating, or levitating, or your arm is being lifted.” Not so bad, right? Your standard Sigourney-Weaver-in-Ghostbusters scenario.
The other two, Cheyne says, have no such upside potential.
“For Intruder experiences, the main sensation is the sensed presence—a feeling of something in the room,” he recently explained over email. “That something may then also be seen, heard, or physically felt. It may move around the room, approach the bed, and sometimes climb onto the bed.”
Scary! But remember, at this point you also can’t move. As far as you know, you may never be able to move again, even if you somehow survive being horribly violated by the shadow monster in your periphery. Screaming would at least be cathartic, but you can’t scream, and you can’t breathe all that well, so all that’s left is to wait.
I was fortunate in that my Intruder scenario involved an actual (friendly!) person. That gave quicker closure, presumably, than some hallucinatory demon-dog lurker might have. I was fortunate, also, that I didn’t draw an Incubus instead:
“The Incubus experiences often continue this sequence by climbing on top of the ‘sleeper,’ Cheyne continues, “perhaps smothering, and even assaulting them physically and sexually.” This is how your brain works. This is van Diemerbroeck’s devil.
© Nicolas Bruno
Beginning in February of 1995, reports began to circulate throughout Zanzibar of a spirit that assaulted men and women in the dark of night. Its name was Popobawa, which means “winged bat,” because that was the form it was said to take most often, though it was just as often invisible.
As social anthropologist Martin Walsh detailed in 2009, Popobawa attacks spread quickly throughout the country, jumping from person to person, house to house, and village to village, eventually constituting a full-blown paranormal pandemic.
The bat demon was said to sodomize its victims. The response was violent. At one point, residents of Zanzibar City murdered a suspected Popobawa who unsurprisingly turned out to be a human, one who had visited the capital in search of mental health treatment. The terrors, both spiritual and corporeal, continued. Then, three months after they began, the Popobawa incidents stopped.
An entire nation plagued by a sex-starved bat demon would laughable as a SyFy channel script. As reality, it seems impossible. That it led to mobs and murder, more so.
It happened, though. And again, to a lesser degree, in 2007 (“Sex attacks blamed on bat demon” read the restrained BBC headline that time). How?
“A typical [Popobawa] assault involved somebody waking up in the night to find themselves being attacked by an amorphous or shape-shifting intruder, which was most frequently described as ‘pressing’ or ‘crushing’ their chest and ribs, and of suffocating them until they had difficulty in breathing and passed out,” Walsh wrote. “In general all of the victims experienced extreme terror, and were often frozen speechless when they were assaulted.”
An intruder. An incubus. The inability to move. The loss of respiratory control. The Popobawa, Walsh concludes, was no demon. It was textbook sleep paralysis, at a massive scale.
Zanzibar’s example is extreme, but far from isolated. Every culture has its bogeyman. Every century has ghost sightings. Everyone has heard things go bump in the night.
“We believe that sleep paralysis is a good, naturalistic explanation for a lot of paranormal beliefs,” said Sharpless. “Alien abductions that occur at night; visits by ghosts and demons; more recently, shadow people. If you look at people’s first-hand descriptions of these events, they map really well on to sleep paralysis.”
“Different cultures have come up with unique names for sleep paralysis that are descriptive of various common experiences in how it manifests,” explains Kevin Morton, who five years ago founded a site dedicated to better understanding sleep disorders as part of an undergraduate project at Stanford University. “In Japan it’s been known as ‘Kanashibari’ (retaliating spirit), in Thailand ‘Phi um’ (enveloping ghost), or the ‘Hauka’I po’ (night marchers) in Hawaii.”
In the same way that we might ascribe a happy coincidence to a guardian angel or God, we paint sleep paralysis with the brushstrokes of our deepest terrors.
Sleep paralysis being blamed on ghosts, spirits, and demons transcends cultures, but you can count on Japan to give it the perfect anime treatment.
Estimates vary as to how many people will experience sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime. Sharpless pegs it at 8 percent of the general population, with students (28 percent) and psychiatric patients (32 percent) even higher. Sharpless thinks that spike may be attributable to those groups having disrupted sleep patterns to begin with, making sleep paralysis more likely. Cheyne notes that incidence rates are higher still “in societies with an active tradition of haunting night spirits.”
Despite the prevalence of sleep paralysis, especially among certain groups, there’s been no large intervention trials to determine an effective treatment for it. In a 2014 paper, Dr. Sharpless and co-author Jessica Lynn Grom outlined a few preemptive methods (e.g., changing sleep positions and patterns), as well as techniques to help mitigate the impact mid-episode. Among the most effective of those? Simply trying to calm yourself down in the moment, if you can manage it. Focus on trying to move your extremities. Don’t worry about the demon on your chest.
That’s more easily accomplished if you’re aware that you’re experiencing sleep paralysis, or even of what sleep paralysis is. It’s a condition that’s been largely (apologies) in the dark, in part because it’s not an easy thing to talk about. I didn’t tell anyone about my experience for years, and even then it was only after I had found out what it was. Until then, I was too worried that it signaled something deeply wrong with my body or mind or both.
“Sleep paralysis has quite a large awareness bias associated with it,” says Morton, whose site has received hundreds of submissions from people who have lived it, and a magnitude more visitors looking for answers. “It is such a crazy experience–waking up with your body paralyzed, often hallucinating frightening dream imagery, occasionally of a sexual nature–that those who experience it often don’t talk about it with others, usually out of fear that they will be seen as crazy or possessed, or just otherwise stigmatized if they bring it up.”
Morton is optimistic about the internet’s power as a great normalizer; all it takes is a quick search of symptoms to find out that you’re neither possessed nor insane. Sleep paralysis also seems to be having a larger cultural moment beyond the web, if a phenomenon as old as consciousness itself can be said to have moments.
That’s a brief clip from The Nightmare, a documentary from Rodney Ascher, which brings brings to life people’s real descriptions of sleep paralysis events. Ascher, who previously directed the critically lauded Room 237, pursued the topic after experiencing it himself. Devil in the Room, a short film released in 2014, takes a similar approach, while photographer Nicolas Bruno has a series of photographs depicting the horrors he has experienced in his years of sleep paralysis.
Most dreams stop when they want to, not when you tell them. A modicum of awareness, though, helps with what comes after. Even if you can’t beat sleep paralysis, you can cope with its reverberations.
There’s comfort in knowing that the demon on your chest actually resides in your mind. Or at least, that yours isn’t the only mind with demons.
As Gov’t Frames ET’s as Threat, Many Use Higher States of Consciousness to Contact Them
Antarctica Castle Discovery Rewrites History
Repeated Mothman sightings in Chicago
Mysterious gamma rays are alien messages claims MIT astronomer
Controversial Illustrations That Expose The Dark Side Of Society
Free Yourself From Depression Forever By Applying These 10 Basic Principles
Time Travel, how it really works, explained so a newbie can understand
2018 is going to be the year when, for the first time, we’ll observe a black hole
Oumuamua First alien object to visit our solar system is wrapped in strange organic coat
Scientific Bullshit — How ‘Science’ Is Used To Deceive The Public
CDC Prepares Public For Nuclear War
Time Travel, how it really works, explained so a newbie can understand
The Moon is Not What You Think it is – What Ancient Human Civilizations Said About The Moon
The Most Detailed Map Of The Universe Is Here
Mysterious Freemasons and NASA
- Spirituality4 years ago
Top 10 Spiritual Truths We Weren’t Taught in School
- Conspiracy Theories4 years ago
Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Know About The Ubiquitous “Illuminati”
- Aliens & UFO's5 years ago
Alien Species: Advanced Humans, Greys and Reptilians
- Planet Earth5 years ago
Lost Tribe On Small Island In The Indian Ocean remain virtually untouched by modern civilization
- Aliens & UFO's5 years ago
200 Meter Cigar UFO Enters Volcano Near Mexico City
- Occult5 years ago
“America” The Land Of Lucifer; The Real Story Behind The Name
- Conspiracy Theories4 years ago
The Great Cancer Hoax: The Brilliant Cure the FDA Tried Their Best to Shut Down…
- Bizzare & Odd4 years ago
Sokushinbutsu – The Bizarre Practice of Self Mummification