Question: I am female, 33. I don’t know if that information is relevant to anyone studying this, but there you go. My very first (and hopefully only…) episode I had of hallucinatory sleep paralysis happened about 2 to 3 months ago in Canada.
I live in Florida, and took a trip to Toronto for a weekend to see my fiance working there. I am a very big fan of, generally the “unexplained”, and was watching TV before bed. Namely the two last programs I was watching before bed were “Ghost Hunters” and a program on, guess what?, sleep paralysis.I then went straight to bed. I would say I was asleep about a couple of hours (though I didn’t check clocks before or after the episode, so I cannot say for sure). The way the episode started was somehow I was feeling a low “wah-wah” sound concentrated in my head. The only way I can describe this feeling/sound is to liken it to the sound/feeling you get when you suck down a nitrous balloon. I have breathed laughing gas only once or twice in my youth and not since, but this is the only way I can describe that sound and feeling in my head. I had simply described it to my fiance as an “entity” being bent over directly above my head “effecting” me somehow. I honestly don’t know how I came to that conclusion since my hallucination was not until after this sound when I really did “see an entity”.My body was completely paralyzed, although I seem to remember opening my eyes to see if there was anything above me and closing my eyes again. The sound/feeling continued intermittently, until, for some reason, my body (mind?) told me to open my eyes and look towards the foot of the bed. This I did and was met with the most frightening experience I have had to date. A “shadow person” dissolved into my view in a strange way. Meaning–the way this shadow person came into view is from the feet up (or, legs up I should say since I couldn’t see the floor from where I was.)It was almost as if someone was standing there with something covering their entire body and slowly moving it up their body so that the legs became visible before the head. There were no features, simply a black shadow in a person’s shape.As soon as I experienced this vision, I shut my eyes again and immediately started trying to scream at the top of my lungs. I could feel the effort of the scream, but nothing came out. Over and over I
felt myself pull in air and try my damndest to scream to wake up my fiance next to me. All this time I seemed to feel the “entity” again bending over my head and the sound/feeling continued. I would guess that I tried to scream about 5 times before I managed a small, muffled shout. I seemed to break the paralysis with this as at the same time this “scream” came out I bolted upright and was grabbing frantically for my fiance. He woke up and held me as I continued to look to the corner and point saying “It was right there”, crying almost uncontrollably. After about 10 minutes, I was able to fall back asleep with no further incident.I have to say that at the time, awake after the episode, I knew what had happened. I knew it was sleep paralysis. Even though I had never had an experience of sleep paralysis, I knew of it’s symptoms due to the fact that I am very interested in all things unexplained and sleep paralysis constantly comes up when dealing with the different varied subjects (i.e.- ghosts, aliens/abductions, etc.) There were also a number of other factors that I deduced were responsible for the episode. First, and most importantly, I am on the anti-depressant Paxil. I have had times where I have either forgotten a dose (it is to be taken every day) or had intentionally skipped some. This I have found causes me to have very strange, lucid dreams, and is accompanied by a lightness in the head. At the time I had taken the trip to Canada I had not taken my pill in about 2 days. I think it was due to forgetfulness as I had a lot to think about and plan for with the trip. There is also a definite uprise in stress around that time since I am terrified of flying. These two factors I consider to be the biggest triggers (I believe) of my experience.The other two I can point out is the fact that I was actually watching a program about sleep paralysis immediately before bed (suggestion) and also the fact that I was sleeping in a strange bed in a hotel. So–that’s my experience and MY explanation of why it happened. I would like to know if there is anyone else out there that has had a similar experience especially if they are taking Paxil, as I believe this was a major factor in my having the experience in the first place. Thank you.For information on treating, taking control of, and dealing with sleep paralysis episodes, please see this book review.