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Current time: November 29, 2021, 1:46 am

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Sleep Paralysis
#1
Sleep Paralysis
I'm really glad we have this forum now. I don't know about the rest of you, but part of my "exploration" when I was a young teen who was bored with Judaism included a deep interest in the paranormal (I hear this is a common theme among skeptics and atheists). An interest in some sort of folklore inevitably leads to other sorts.

I don't know what it is about the idea of ghosts that scares the ever-living crap out of me. You'd think we'd like to know that our consciousness survives after death, yeah? Except for as long as I can remember I have avoided ghost horror movies - and even a few non-horror ones (and aliens - much as I drool over Mulder, some X-files episodes left my heart pounding). That scene in "The Ring" where she crawls out of the TV? Screaming nightmares for a week - no lie. Forget seeing anything like "The Grudge" and I turned "Darkness Falls" off after the first 20 min.

But I do have to wonder why they bother me, so I watch the goofy shit that comes on TV regarding ghosts - things like "MonsterQuest" or Nat Geo's "Hauntings". Lately, just to have something on in the background, I've been watching Discovery Channel's reruns of "A Haunting."

Something about that show bothers me - inevitably it ends up being that the real cause of the problem is a demonic force. I thought that a demonic force was different from a ghost? Either way, also inevitably, a Catholic priest is called in, whether the family is visibly Catholic or not...usually after the wife/mother has spent time "cleansing" the place with a smudge stick (made of sage - a usual New Age remedy for just about anything except ridding the place of the annoying-smudge-stick-holding-hippie).

I have a tab on my igoogle homepage called "what the wackos are doing" and have links to paranormal and cryptozoological blogs, various religious news-sites, conservative editorials, etc. and ran across this one: http://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal...llowed-me/

Now I can understand the terror from ghosts, as I described above, but what gets me is that she's describing a classic case of sleep paralysis. Being a person who has nasty, vivid, wake-up-ready-to-punch-my-bed-partner nightmares, I'm pretty interested in dreams. I used to get sleep paralysis regularly as a kid. Most commonly, I dreamed that I was frozen to my unicorn-covered sheets while a very tall man dressed all in black stood in my doorway, blocking the hall-light and watched me. I couldn't scream. I couldn't move. You can look up this condition on the internet and it's very well documented. This is where the concept of the incubus and the night-hag came from. The form it takes changes with society - it used to describe elves...demons...aliens...whatever you were predisposed to.

Then there are the responses to how she should deal with this: holy water. Exorcism.

I am constantly amazed at the plethora of information that exists at our fingertips, but a good many people still choose to believe in this crap and hold themselves hostage to their own fears because of it. There's even a tag called "Sleep Paralysis" underneath her description, meaning SOMEONE has identified the phenomena and given it the correct name.

I can hear Min now - "Some Jesus freaks don't want to let go of their nonsense."

(Coincidentally, I just got a notification of Shell posting an article about the "Most Haunted Houses in Massachusetts" Tongue )

Anytime they don't understand what's going on..."a ghost must be behind it". And just like sleep paralysis episodes, the criteria and manifestations change with the era.

For instance: in drafty homes of the Victorian era where people were used to dust and photography was just getting started and therefore had craptastic resolution, here is one idea of a ghost photo:
[Image: brown_lady_lg.jpg]

Now, in a time where we seem to be less used to dust and dirt and have spectacular cameras that correct for EVERYTHING, we seem to be fascinated by...dust balls. (AKA, GHOST ORBS!1!!)

[Image: ghost-blue-orb~s600x600.jpg]

I shit you not. You can check the URL for that one - it's on a ghost site.

Some recent Christian stone-cold-fuck-nut visitor here asked "why does this site exist if you don't care about religion?" I told him "sanctuary". But not just from being preached at - I needed somewhere to go where I could reach out to other people who were grounded in reality. Dust motes are dust motes. Sleep paralysis is your body not completely waking up. I needed to be in contact with other people who didn't let fear rule their lives to the point that they had to make up a scary explanation even for the most mundane things that go on in their lives - like fucking up a picture they took OUTSIDE.
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#2
RE: Sleep Paralysis
I suffer from sleep paralysis and thought it was ghosts when I was younger. I help remedy my paralysis by accepting that I cant control it and trying to use dream control..Lucid dreaming..its very fun.
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#3
RE: Sleep Paralysis
It is - I stopped having those episodes after I got out of high school and now I just have really horrible nightmares. No paralysis though, unfortunately. My ex told me to have my next boyfriend call him up so he could warn them about the possibility of me waking up with clenched fists.

Fortunately, the last time I slept beside anyone he made sure I was too worn out to dream. Tongue

The funny thing is I distinctly remember how I felt and what I thought I saw during those episodes and I never thought it was a ghost or demon. I'm not sure what I thought that tall man in black was.
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#4
RE: Sleep Paralysis
(February 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm)thesummerqueen Wrote: It is - I stopped having those episodes after I got out of high school and now I just have really horrible nightmares. No paralysis though, unfortunately. My ex told me to have my next boyfriend call him up so he could warn them about the possibility of me waking up with clenched fists.

Fortunately, the last time I slept beside anyone he made sure I was too worn out to dream. Tongue

The funny thing is I distinctly remember how I felt and what I thought I saw during those episodes and I never thought it was a ghost or demon. I'm not sure what I thought that tall man in black was.

Iusually see the dark, distorted figures hovering over me and gloating, dark forboding, and lots of distorted noices in the background. Its an effect of the paralysing chemical that you body naturally releases when you sleep to keep you from running away because you dream you are running. Sometimes they still freak me out, but most of the times I just let it be, dont let it get to me, and dream control has helped me to pull higher brain functions in during those times so I can remind myself it is nothing to freak out about.

I wake up and ask my wife "were you just looking down at me and screaming at me when I was sleeping?" she says no and I start laughing..yup..another episode.

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#5
RE: Sleep Paralysis
Stupid people are . . . stupid. Ghosts, the devil, demons and god are all they've got in the way of explanations for simple things. I had sleep paralysis once or twice in my life. During the most memorable, my hallucination wasn't a person. It was the fabric I had on one of my walls twisting and turning and bulging out. Seriously fucking freaky and I don't believe in anything paranormal. It's scary enough without labeling it incorrectly. No wonder some people go fucking nuts.
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#6
RE: Sleep Paralysis
Seriously. I did think it was hilarious I got your AC notification JUST then, though.
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#7
RE: Sleep Paralysis
That is kind of funny. Those types of articles tend to do really well, but I often get irate comments because my articles are on the skeptical side. I try to stay neutral, but a lot of "this supposed ghost" and sarcastic orb comments tend to slip out. So much for objectivity.
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#8
RE: Sleep Paralysis
Fuck 'em. Next time you have a nasty-gram, let me know. I enjoyed being bitchy to that one fundie, and as I said then it can do nothing but help your page views. I'm supposed to be helping Mr. Hetvile with that sort of thing but his followers aren't anywhere near as enjoyable as yours seem to be.
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#9
RE: Sleep Paralysis
(February 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm)Shell B Wrote: Stupid people are . . . stupid. Ghosts, the devil, demons and god are all they've got in the way of explanations for simple things. I had sleep paralysis once or twice in my life. During the most memorable, my hallucination wasn't a person. It was the fabric I had on one of my walls twisting and turning and bulging out. Seriously fucking freaky and I don't believe in anything paranormal. It's scary enough without labeling it incorrectly. No wonder some people go fucking nuts.

Very good point, and yes, at first a halucination can be very freaky. What you described on your wall, people would call "spirit realm" or something like that? I call it motion after effect

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_aftereffect

Which is just a normal reaction of the eye when induced under the paralysing agents your body uses during sleep. I have used hallucinogenic drugs before and I personally like when things like that happen to me..as long as I am not working on live high voltage that is..it isnt for the weak minded and yes, some people do go nutty when they encounter things like this, or take drugs like that.
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#10
RE: Sleep Paralysis
Jeremiah, I would only like it if I knew it was going to happen. I don't like being surprised by hallucinations.

Summer, tell Eric he has to hang around in a Christian forum or two, using his AC profile as his sig. He'll get all kinds of nutters that way.
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