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Sleep Paralysis

Estimated reading time — 2 minutes

It’s a simple enough thing. It’s all a part of the body’s sleep processes. Sleep Paralysis, right? No big deal, really. Your body produces a chemical that paralyzes your body during R.E.M sleep to prevent you from hurting yourself by thrashing about during your dreams. No big deal.

Okay, so, you opened your eyes and you can’t move your body. It’s the chemicals. Oh, you can keep trying to wriggle those toes, but it’s not happening. Forget it. Just relax. It’ll go away. It’s fine. It’s normal.

Oh, now there’s something pressing on your chest, real hard, it’s making it hard to breath. It’s heavy, so very heavy, whatever’s on your chest. Chemicals. It’s all chemicals. Stop trying to scream, it won’t work. Your throat muscles are paralyzed too. You still can’t breath.


You are staring at a blank ceiling, you can’t stare anywhere else. Shadows flit across your vision, forming shapes you try not to think about. A clawed hand, a flash of jagged, shadowy teeth. All images from your subconscious. A face forming above yours, leering through black void eyes. You think you
hear sibilant whispering. Angry hissing, like a snake that’s been disturbed.

Suddenly, a sharp white light briefly flares in the room as a car pulls down the street, dispelling the shadows. The weight is gone. You can breath, your hands clench sheets.

You feel an eternity has passed by but it was all the work of a moment. You wriggle, just to prove to yourself you can. You sit up, take a deep breath and then laugh a little at yourself. Sleep Paralysis. Stupid.


You turn to shake your spouse awake, eager to share your experience. You feel paralyzed again, but it has nothing to do with Sleep Paralysis. You stare at the blood, the jagged wound in her throat, her wide, staring eyes, mouth opened in soundless scream.

You survived your Old Hag Syndrome.


She didn’t.


Credited to C. Noel Huff

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97 thoughts on “Sleep Paralysis”

  1. Wolf Bloodmoon

    This is a tad bit confusing. I don’t really understand it fully, however it is good. Interesting topic to cover, good wording, and it’s brilliantly written. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Creepypasta girl

    I had sleep paralysis once and I couldn’t move anything but my head and I was really ticked off I was stopped getting scared after I turned 13 so it really was just agervating but it felt like something was holding my eyes open then I hear this voice just cursing at me it happens to me about 5 times a year

  3. I got sleep paralysis a few times and i can only remember being pissed that i couldnt get up and beat the shit out of this creepy demon thing saying that i was so weak and that all my insults like “bitch brain”, and “i would kick your ass if i could move”! In all reality, i dont really get scared but actually kinda pissed when a demon ruins my lucid dreaming so the next time i get one, ima break out of paralysis and kick ass!

  4. Damn, sucks for that woman…

    Nice CreepyPasta. Very well done.

    I rate this 7/10.

    Grim Gamer

  5. I’ve had sleep paralysis and I hallucinated that a shadowy figure was standing in the corner of my bedroom. I thought it was a nightmare at first but I found out it wasn’t on later on. Scared me really badly.

  6. As a frequent sufferer of sleep paralysis, I enjoyed this.
    Good piece of writing, nice and concise, I like that in a story.

    1. Like when you wake up, are aware of it and can’t move. The worst is when you try to scream or say anything and all you hear is a deep breath out.

  7. Oh my GOD, people! The “old hag syndrome” thing is not a typo!! If you did your research on sleep paralysis, it is commonly referred to as “old hag syndrome” because when you wake up, you are likely to see an old hag or a dark, shadowy figure at the foot of your bed!

  8. I remember when I was having a nightmare about Slenderman, then I woke up and couldn’t move. I imagined he was actually there outside my window. That was the most scared i have ever been.

  9. I once had sleep paralysis, it happened once after a dream where all I could remember of it was that it starred will smith, dogg the bounty hunters wife, and occurred in an HEB store.
    I woke up to a highly contrasted version of my room with an indescrete figure holding their hand out to me, like trying to help me up. This persisted even past the sun rose until a dumb bird hit my window, then POOF! He was gone.

    The rest of the day, I felt morbidly depressed, like someone who either had a relative who died, or like I was diagnosed with cancer. Maybe the figure was offering me somethIng good, cause I feel like I missed out on something.

    Also to the guy talking about replacing hag with alien, I did wake up once and for half a second, I saw a REALLY big black eyed alien. Freaky stuff.

    Good pasta btw though. Really made me consider my dreams and night terrors more, with the amount of true fax within the fiction. It’s pasta like these which make you think about it, because he scariest entities are literarily he ones we either have no control against or ones we hardly see, so the mind fills in the blanks with the humans most unnaturally descriptive horrors.

    Would eat again if it was more in depth or had a lot more to it.

  10. Jesus. There was a period of time that I had sleep paralysis almost every night. It always began with me not being able to sleep, but trying to. Finally I would find myself drifting off to an extremely eerie feeling and bizarre images flashing very quickly through my mind/before my eye(lid)s. The content of the images were not as creepy (though often they were) as the vibrancy of them were. This would occur during that transitioning stage of dozing and dreaming. Then I would begin to dream.

    Most times, during sleep paralysis, it is like my eyes are open. Everything around me is the way that it is in real life, but there is usually one thing that is different. One example (from one of the first times I experienced it) was that while asleep, there was a coke can on the in-table next to the bed I was in. I was not aware that I was asleep until I had a panic attack and was finally able to pull myself out of it- to see that there was no coke can there. Not too scary, but weird. Another example is that I was in a room that I shared with my family, and my cousin’s girlfriend was laying in the bed opposite of me, watching a movie. The movie was glitching and the room around me was doing the same thing. The room was red. You know how they say that everything you see is actually completely reversed (upside down/backwards), but your brain mirrors it so that you see everything right side up? Well, everything I was seeing was upside down. I was paralyzed and as usual, there was a presence of evil. When I came to, the room was dark. My cousin’s girlfriend was in fact in the bed opposite of me, but sleeping, and laying in a different position that I had seen a moment ago. The movie was at the exact same scene as it was when I was asleep. I have wondered if maybe my eyes are ever actually open during these encounters.

    On a couple occasions, I have climaxed. I recall a particular instance where- unlike the other times- I was having a nightmare rather than seeing a fucked up version of everything around me. I was flying through a city, and a skeleton-like male entity was summoning me. His energy was sexual. I remember feeling like I wanted to have sex with it more than anything. His presence was enough to send me over the edge. Right as I climaxed, I began to notice that I was very afraid, tried to get out of it, and thus the “paralysis” part of it began.

    Of all the times I’ve had sleep paralysis, of all the weird and scary images I have seen while asleep and in the transitioning state, of all of the evil energy I have felt while going through and waking up after sleep paralysis- one of the creepiest encounters involves “the old hag” and the “feeling of a demon sitting on my chest”. Except it was my sister.

    I was in the same room as I described above. I was in the same bed. My sister, who was very young at the time, was in the same opposite bed with her then-bff, asleep. I had a night of constant sleep paralysis. Finally it was morning. (As I said before, it usually happened when I would force myself to sleep. After I managed to sleep, and the episodes began- and when I was able to pull myself through- it would then be very, very difficult to keep my eyes open and avert sleep throughout the rest of the night. I thought I had finally gotten through the worst of it). The sun was shining through the windows, but there was still that eerie feeling. In a panic, my insides started to freak out and I tried to move, only to find myself paralyzed once again. I felt the weighing on my chest, and above me was my sister and her best friend, both pressing on my chest relentlessly and laughing.

    Effffff sleep paralysis. I haven’t had it in years, but have had it twice recently out of nowhere. :(

  11. I liked the story a lot.

    I also like how everyone hates on Mr. Welldone. He’s an “Out of the box” thinker, so if that makes someone an asshole then I guess he really is. Personally, I think he’s hilarious. Does that make me an asshat as well?

    Anyways, like I said, I liked the story.

  12. Wow, I remember experiencing such a feat like this when I woke up from a nightmare once. I couldn’t move for the longest time and was paralyzed by sheer terror that there was a possibility my nightmare was real.

    Good Pasta.

  13. Roland Deschain

    I THINK I’ve had it. The reason I say think is because I’m still capable of closing my eyes and if it was true sleep paralysis I wouldn’t be able to would I?

    Either way whenever I have these types of experiences I shut my eyes, even though its absolutely terrifying and feels as though theres something evil in my room, and sing the old “Jesus loves me this I know” song I learned a long time ago (I’m sure alot of you think its silly but it makes me feel better).

    During the experience I have an intense pulsating sensation from not only from my own body but also from two other areas. One that feels like its in my chest (not in a crushing sensation like this though) and one that feels like it bouncing all around the room. I keep replaying the song in my head until the one from around the room finally stops and the one in my chest just goes more to a slow rhythmic beat that I fall asleep to.

  14. Quite creepy, though I honestly couldn’t connect with it being uber-scary because I’ve never experienced any manner of paralysis while sleeping. Actually, I can be a pretty restless sleeper. Insomnia is an old buddy of mine. You know the kind. You really should have stopped talking to this “friend” ages ago because you just don’t have much in common, but you’ve been friends for so long that you’d feel like a dick just dropping them….

  15. Jesus, I just had sleep paralysis almost a week ago, scared the poop out of me :( I was half-asleep at the time, and I could have sworn I saw the silhouette of a man to my right, and he was holding my right shoulder down. I tried to move it, but it felt so heavy, like it was really being pushed down. Then I thought I saw another guy to my left, but he soon disappeared. My sister had her friend sleeping over downstairs, and I thought I heard screaming and immediately related it to them. I really thought I was going to die D:
    Then they went away and I got up and felt better XD

  16. @DJ LoONa
    im so sorry about my night visits, i didnt mean to frighten the shit outta you. but dont be afraid, i use condoms every time i rape you. and about the screams, i just cant help it that i must scream every time i have an orgasm. and the slaps are just to give me a harder boner, ya know i like to slap-up-da-bitch. btw your hot :)

    oh and very nice story this was. good job noel. old hag syndrome ftw :D

  17. I agree that sleep oriented hallucinations are “fun”, interesting always. To those who still don’t get it, “Old Hag Syndrome” is a term associated with night terrors.
    I have nasty insomnia, so I’m in and out of lucid dream state every night and morning. I really think most paranormal activity can be explained by sleep disorders- Yes, I see figures, hear voices, and even feel things that aren’t there- =)

  18. I have really bad sleep paralysis and this one totally relates to how I feel. Except the spouse and blood part. I have sleep paralysis so much that I am actually to the point where I can self induce it.

  19. Pff, Sleep Paralysis is not scary.
    It can be… but only if you let it. I like it. It’s fun.
    Especially when I feel like I’m being pulled off my bed.

  20. I suffer from very frequent episodes of sleep paralysis but never have I seen images. I’m always being tickled in my dream when it happens.

  21. I’ve had quite a few episodes of sleep paralysis as well as hypnogogia and hypnopompia. The worst was the sleep paralysis I had the first night I had to spend in the hospital. It’s really not best to think of all the folks who didn’t make it out of that emergency room bed before you before falling asleep.

  22. justthesweetweather

    sleep paralysis is the scariest shit ever. once I was laying face down on my bed, half awake half asleep, and I felt something pressing down on me really hard and then it felt like it was pulling me to the side off my bed.

    Good pasta.

  23. Sleep paralysis usually only happens when awakening from a lucid dream, and usually only happens to lucid dreamers. Even though it may be scary, all the hallucinations are merely in your head, and are caused because even though your eyes are open, your brain still thinks you’re in REM sleep (which is also why the body’s paralyzed). The easiest way to get out of it, in the rare chance you get it, is to try to move any of your fingers or toes. If you can move just one of them even slightly (which isn’t that hard), then you’ll snap out of it.

    1. It’s called old hag syndrome because sufferers of sleep paralysis usually see a pitch black figure at their door or an old witch.

  24. Snazzy Cheez luvs scares

    omg. well creepy cheesey pasta
    god- i didnt no that actually existed! My friend about 5 months ago told me that she had one of these episodes and saw dwarfes running around her room and they tied her up with silver rope!!!!
    i laughed! Damn!

  25. I’ve never had Sleep Paralysis before, but one time when I woke up, I sat up and thought I heard something in the room. A second later it felt like an invisible fist slammed into my gut, knocking the wind out of me and throwing me back down against my bed. Later that evening, I had a large fist-sized bruise on my stomach… Creepy, no?

  26. I only remember having sleep paralysis once in my life. I was about 7 years old, and it scared the shit out of me. I thought I died in my sleep and that I was stuck.

    The hallucinations didn’t help much either.

  27. I had sleep paralysis a couple nights ago. It was awesome. I had no hallucinations, at least none that I can remember. I just woke up in the middle of the night and felt very light. When I tried to move I just couldnt. I could barely even curl my fingers. It felt like I was extremely high. After a couple minutes I think I just passed out. Bottom line: It was like being high for free.

  28. I once had sleep paralysis. I didn’t see anything as vividly as in my actual dreams, but two green blurry shapes across the room I imagined to be those earth-ruling reptilians from conspiracy theories just looking at my helpless unshakable form. Terrifying.

  29. thank you mr. well done!
    i think i love you!
    i hav hypnapompia [it occurs while u try to wake up while hypnagogia occurs while you are trying to fall asleep]

    ive seen unbearable things, even had about 8 episodes in one night, i get it very often
    and i can hear screams and i feel like i’m being raped sometimes, and i see sum1 coming to slap me, or a man without a head…
    it’s not fun ><
    btw, the end of this was stupid…

  30. Only upon seeing his wife’s blood pooling in the bed did he realize. This is why you never ask Garfield, “I can has cheezburger?”

  31. Did you know that waking during sleep paralysis is one of the suggested reasons for “alien abductions”?

    Just change the old hag to alien grays in this story and you’ll see what I mean.

  32. I get this quite often, and it terrifies me – usually because its accompanied by various hallucinations of my death by various means, with the most common being suffocation.

    Am I being told something, perhaps?

  33. I had this happen to me once, except that the thing with black claws was on a door. That scared the shit out of me when I couldn’t move and my heart was about to bust out of my chest.

    1. Funny thing, I have had sleep paralysis twice, maybe a month ago, I remember it vividly.

      I was laying in my bed, it was morning, early morning when I thought I woke up.

      Something was hugely different about this though, my Girlfriend was laying next to me but I couldn’t move, my eyes were fixed on the ceiling, I noticed that I couldn’t Breath and started to panic, I tried and tried again to say something to my Girl next to me but couldn’t for the life of me, my chest was heavy and all the air felt like it was squeezing out fast, then I finally woke up and gasped for air.

      I had no idea what happened and was scared, I remembered that it is a normal thing and went back to sleep…never happened again.

      I hadn’t seen any ghostly figure, nothing paranormal, just scary in the sense that I could have died if I didn’t get air.

    1. It’s basically implying there was some otherworldly force that was trying to kill you and your spouse, and you survived. Imagine those visions that some people report seeing during sleep paralysis, only they were real.
      …idk, that’s the best I could come up with =/

    1. Kinda funny that nobody called you out on this, but how would you fight back during sleep paralysis? I understand you were being funny and that I’m an ass for pointing it out but I felt the need to.

  34. Thank you all for your kind thoughts. Will try to remember breath/breathe. I was in a bit of rush when I wrote this and didn’t proof-read very thoroughly. I had this happen to me once, and it is very terrifying, when you see things that ‘aren’t’ there. Bhawawa

    C. Noel Huff

  35. “Mr.Welldone, no one asked what it was.. everyone is friendly here really, I don’t believe there is any need to be cocky. :D

  36. good, but it sort of ruined it for me when it said “breath” instead of “breathe” EVERY SINGLE TIME. but i’m a spelling nazi so whatever :]

  37. Sorry to have to play editor, but you meant to write “breathe” not “breath”. Kinda kills the mood.

  38. The person formally known as "Noneya"

    Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome sounds like what happens when people see themselves die in a dream. It isnt the dream that kills them, its the shock of actually seeing themselves die.

  39. Hello.

    Sleep Paralysis. Hypnagogia. Hypnopompic Trance. Kanashibari. Pee Umm. Guǐ Yā Shēn. Mottaka. So many names.

    Curiously, there are just as many names for an anomalous entity which causes this fascinating state. Night Hag, Kriksy, Plaksy, Nocnitsa, Gorska Makva, Succubus, Dab Tsog… the list is curiously long.

    I wonder if any of you have heard of Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome?


    What fun.

    Go on, friends. Use those handy research faculties provided by this advanced form of “communication.”

    What knowledge I have imparted is easily attained.

    What knowledge I keep in confidence is damning.

    Do not tarry, friends. Look.


    1. I think I just fell in love.
      In all honesty, though… Does it really exist? I can’t seem to find any, er, trustworthy information on the phenomenon.

  40. At the beginning I thought I had read this one before. Is there another sleep paralysis creepypasta out there?

  41. I’ve also had several night terrors/sleep paralysis experiences, and this is quite terrifying. Good story!

  42. This one was actually really interesting. :-D. At first I thought it was a ghost but it was a person. I didnt expect that.

  43. Holy cow. I’ve had sleep paralysis. Scary poo too. D:

    I hallucinated about a giant black shadow with glowing red eyes. Scared me so bad.

    1. Anon, that may have been a REAL thing. A Red Eye Shadow Person. The paralyses comes from…. well no one knows but it happens in most Shadow People encounters. I’ve seen many Shadow People so I know what it feels like first hand. But I suffer from frequent episodes of sleep paralysis so I can’t say if all my encounters were real. But I’ve seen them in day light too, while wide awake. It’s creepy stuff

        1. Yeah, it really happens. I had that exact shadow experience happen once too, red eyes shadow face right above me on the ceiling. I wrote it off to hypnogogic hallucinations after reading about them during my neurology class. Then just a little while back it happened again, except it was “waking up” into another dream with a demon clown almost out of my vision to the left and bonnie the bunny at my feet a little to the right. Both just standing there totally still. Then they just weren’t there, and I was able to move, but I didn’t “wake up” – same room I went to sleep on the couch in, same position I was stuck in in the “dream”, I didn’t blink or open my eyes again like waking up because they were already open… it just suddenly stopped. It hasn’t faded like a dream either. I could probably draw it.

          Disclaimer, I was diagnosed preimptively with schizophrenia after some recurring audial hallucination following some drugs, but I’ve never had visual hallucinations other than those two, not even that time I tripped; the first was even before the drugs (and the absinthe, as an aside, since that can also cause hallucinations and I drank almost three fifths of it solo in a year long period), and the audial cleared up within the six month wait period for a schizo diagnosis. (Really weird to hear duck quacks from random places in the house. Especially with acoustics so perfect each time I could almost mark where they were coming from. Thankfully this was before I was familiarized with FNaF, and they stopped well before the second nightmare(I guess? Hallucination maybe?) else I might have freaked that Bonnie and Chica were after me. Roflmao.

          Dead serious though, since that actually all kinda sounds fun, don’t do hallucinogens kids. They had to put me on leave from med school and put me on anxiolytics and halidol for awhile because I thought a dark god was torturing people who weren’t torturing each other (the god part because of a tactile hallucination where my IV was being sucked up into my vein as I hallucinated the words “you better learn to suuuck,” plus I was “told” to watch them draw my blood, which I hallucinated just being created out of nowhere at the bottom of the vial instead of sliding down the side like it really does, all this while in the ICU after trying to kill myself) and I asked for some antipsychotics instead of trying to chew my wrists out (which I actually could do, agonizing as it would be; I’ve got a straight smile otherwise but my canines are turned naturally so I have blunt, symmetrical fangs) after waking up from a nightmare where my nurses removed my eyes with wire cutters, into the needle things (which I already have a phobia of, ever since I was little I’ve passed out and had seizures upon getting shots and blood drawn)… hence the dark god thing, torturing people in the real world and dreams… And pf course I hallucinated the nurse shaking up the adivan in front of me, with air in it, before shooting it in the IV, which as a med student freaked me out a little bit more, as impossible as that seems as terrified as I was – being fatal and all – before I didn’t give a damn, figuring it would get both me and her out of a round of worse torture, already being in Hell from killing myself and all… Yeah, I reiterate, don’t do drugs unless you’re under proper supervision with the proper counter drugs on hand.

          GOD it feels good to get that out. I’ve been working my way back up to horror theough desensitization this year after a Harry Potter fanfic I was reading nearly led to a flashback, where a dark artifact puts someone through recurring, escalating illusion torture, starting in a well lit “dark” room and proceeds through increasing levels of cannibalistic violence alternating being eyeless. I haven’t even talked about that experience with my psychiatrist it freaked me out so much. In fact, Dr. Mirza, I’m probably gonna show you this as a sort of journal next time I see you (so he knows I’m not just stealing, heh.)

          Now if anyone wants to take my 2016 and make a creepypasta of it, since I really need more friends and gaming partners, you better credit it to Maleon, or Youko a la Steam… otherwise I’ll use TrollTrace to track you down and show you HOW well I’ve learned to “suck” – I promise there won’t be enough bluud left in you to leave a hickey. I might even fuck you to death in the process if Trump doesn’t get to you first, m’kay? ;P (Best. South Park. Evah.)

          And again, can’t say it enough, DARE at your own risk to do drugs anywhere but a clinically controlled situation and/or amount! Except pot, pot is harmless, lol. It doesn’t cause brain atrophy like alcohol and smoking, and doesn’t directly paralyze the proteins that move hair cells like nicotine does (necessary for clearing things from your lungs AND digesting food… hence bronchitis being higher smoking cigarettes than filtered green, AND irritable bowel syndrome being common with smokers).

    2. Yea, I’ve gotten sleep paralysis too, but only four times. The first one, there was this horrible sound that was similar to a distorted version of the sound effect for casting spells in The Elder Scrolls III, Morrowind (which I was playing at the time, so it would make sense that my mind would choose this), and everything was “melting”. The others included a cloaked figure that just watched me, a giant beast that tore through the door to my room while roaring, and some sort of demon creature, although it’s the sounds that happen while I go through this that really bother me.

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