Question: In my 19 years I’ve had this happen to me on numerous occasions. I first remember it happening when I was eight and it has happened a few times since then. Normally it is nothing more than me not being able to open my eyes or my blankets inflating overtop of me.
However, last year, when I was on my first trip to Europe things took a turn for the worse. I was in a hotel room with three other girls and was the first to go to bed. The next thing I remember I woke up to strange noises in my left ear. Mixed in with a variety of sounds was the sound of someone clapping. It kept getting increasingly louder and louder. I felt extreme terror and evil surrounding me. I tried to turn my head to bury my head in my pillow but I couldn’t move it. I also had great difficulty opening my eyes. I tried so hard to get them open but they wouldn’t stay open.After a while the strange noises quieted down, but I still couldn’t move. At this point I seemed to realize what was going on because we had studied it in my psyc class. I tried to tell myself this was nothing more that chemicals in my brain being stupid but the noises kept becoming overwhelmingly loud. I tried to talk or move my hands to wake up the girl who was sleeping next to me, but still nothing happened. No matter how hard I tried to move nothing would happen. I tried to hard to pronounce the words “Kristen help me” but my tongue wouldn’t move. I could hear the words in my head but didn’t understand why she couldn’t hear me. I kept trying and screaming but no matter how loud the words echoed in my head I knew they weren’t being produced. I could feel every bone in my body aching to move, but they wouldn’t.I was convinced I was about to die. I was terrified beyond anything I have ever experienced. I repeated to myself that this was only a messed up dream, it was literally all my brain’s doing, but I couldn’t calm down. I kept trying, and imagining that I was able to touch her to
wake her up, but I always snapped back to the reality that no such thing had happened. Eventually I saw her wake up. She looked at me and asked me if I was ok with a shocked look on her face. I tried again to move, to tell her to help me but couldn’t do so. Then, she put her fingers in my mouth, as if she knew i was trying to talk. Her face went white and she told me I was dying and she needed to call for help.Everything faded to black for only an instant, then I woke up again. My heart was pounding and I lay there for a few minutes, afraid to even try to move. Eventually I began to wiggle my toes and my fingers. I sat up quickly and pinched myself anywhere I could. I told myself, now fully awake that it had all been a dream and tried to go back to sleep.The second my head hit the pillow I was filled with terror. I wasn’t ready to go to sleep again. I sat in my bed for a good 30 minutes, just sitting there staring into space. I was shaking and crying and couldn’t get my breathing under control. Eventually I stood up, slowly, afraid my feet weren’t really there, and made my way to the bathroom. I turned on the light, but I was afraid to look in the mirror. I was afraid I wouldn’t see a reflection of myself, but of some demon. Slowly i looked up and saw myself, it was me, I was ok. I think I sat on the bathroom floor for another 30 minutes trying to calm myself down.I know I didn’t have hallucinations of a demon or a rapist in the room or anything like that, but the feelings of fear and terror I felt that night are beyond anything I have ever felt. I was convinced I was about to die, and although I am a person who believes not to fear death, but embrace it as a part of life, I was inexplicably terrified. This has happened to me a few times since, but thankfully has been limited to me not being able to move my body or talk. No more sights and sounds.