Imagine for a moment that…
There is an old man standing by the side of the road as you walk by. The sun is shinning and this old man, as you draw closer, is very unattractive and seems to be getting older and older. This confuses you. Why is he getting older? Am I getting older too?
He stops you, “Excuse me, do you happen to know the time?”
You look for your cell phone, but your pockets are empty. It’s gone. That’s not possible; you always have your phone. You must be dreaming, but how do you know for sure? Put your assumption to the test. Think of the road turning into a green grass path.
As the road turns into grass, you laugh-this is going to be fun. The old man looks at you annoyed and yet angry.
“What are you doing? You’re not supposed to control your dreams!”
You walk away, continuing on your now green path and changing the scenery at your hearts content.
“I told you to stop!” The old man grabs you by your shoulders and turns you to face him, violently. He’s not the old man you encountered earlier, he’s demonic looking.
Wake up! Wake up!
Startled, you wake up lying on your stomach only to feel someone holding you down. Your eyes are open, you see nothing, but you feel everything. This person, this thing, it’s holding your whole body down, every inch. Then it feels as though someone has decided to sit down on the bed next to you and watch the show. Who is this mystery guest? You see nothing. The television seems to be on, were you watching television before you fell asleep, or did someone, or something turn it on as a distraction?
You feel what seem to be hands on your back, multiple sets of hands moving up and down your back. As much as you want to disregard this experience as a vivid hallucination, it is all too real. How can you feel a hallucination?
You try to talk, yell, but no sound, you can’t even open your mouth to cry out for help. You try to make a sound, any sound, even if deep in your throat. Whatever is holding you down is laughing, it sounds inhuman, demonic even-like the way Linda Blaire sounded when she laughed while possessed by the devil in the 1973 movie The Exorcists. Like the old man in your dream that turned into a demon. But this is real, the sound is real, and it is on top of you.
Your body feels oddly heavy. It is a heaviness that will not let up, and as much as you will yourself to move, you do not move. As much as you want to push this thing off of you so that you can get up, you can’t move; you can’t even blink. You see something from the corner of your eye, finally, but it is of no solace. It is a dark cloud that seems to be looming completely over your whole body.
Then you feel a breath on you. As much as you want to think it is a breeze coming in, all of your windows are closed. There is no denying this is a breath when you hear the deep ragged heavy breathing that comes with the felt breath. Is it from the dark cloud, the thing holding you down, or the other thing sitting on the bed next to you? You are uncertain, but one thing is certain-fear, your fear.
As panic sets in, the desire to move becomes an obsessive thought. If you can just move, if you can just yell, if you can just blink one eye, this thing will go away-it has to. It will see that it no longer has control over your body and leave.
Finally, the heaviness is lifted off your body and the struggle for control has left you tired. You sit up in bed; there is no way you are going back to sleep.
This is just one of my most memorable experiences that involved a lucid dream and was followed up with an episode of sleep paralysis.
Needless to say, with my constant nightmares and the underlining dread of falling asleep only to suddenly wake up to yet another sleep paralysis event, I don’t get much quality sleep. I fall asleep with the constant fear I will, yet again, wake up with the devil on my back.