The Nightmare

I’ve always been fascinated by the phenomenon of sleep paralysis.


According to numerous web articles, Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which a person temporarily experiences paralysis. This can be while they falling asleep (referred to as Hypnagagia) or while they are awake (known as Hypnopompia), When I say paralysis, I mean the person is not able to move, speak, or react to anything. They are stuck, held within the silent prison cell of their own body.


It Gets Worse…


If being paralyzed, but acutely aware of what is going on around you isn’t terrifying enough, there’s more. Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations. Many report experiencing an intruder in their bedrooms, something that they would have no ability to react to.


A Little History…

Samuel Johnson was an English writer, essayist, and poet. He’s best known for A Dictionary of the English Language, which was first published in 1755. It took around nine years to finish and is known as one of the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.

It’s within these pages that Samuel Johnson defined the word “nightmare”, that seems close to our modern definition of sleep paralysis. Lucky for us, the original 1755 edition of Johnson’s dictionary has been scanned and is available for viewing online. Here’s how Johnson defined “nightmare.”


So according to this dictionary, a nightmare is a Spirit that, in the heathen mythology, was related to torment or suffocate sleepers. A morbid oppression in the night, resembling the pressure of a weight upon the breast. Kind of creepy, right?


Here’s The Nightmare, an art piece by Henry Fuseli (done in 1781). Many believe it to be a classic portrayal of sleep paralysis. Seems to be right on par with Johnson’s dictionary, doesn’t it?


Imagine my excitement when I happened upon an interesting trailer called, yep, you guessed it. The Nightmare.


The Nightmare Official Trailer



Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? Have you seen something you can’t explain? Tell us all about it in the comments below.


Jolene - Midnight Society Signatures

  • Shen.Hart
    August 24, 2015

    I’ve had sleep paralysis quite a few times, but never had the hallucination (fortunately!). I’ve seen quite a few shadow men though 🙂

    • MidnightSocietyJolene
      August 25, 2015

      OH MY GOD, REALLY? What is it like? Terrifying? Weird? Exciting? And tell me all your shadow men storiessssss!!!

  • Amy G
    August 24, 2015

    OMG! This has happened to me quite a few times and have attributed it to being abducted by aliens! That is, I figured that what was causing it and completely freaked out! Lol!

  • Kathy Palm
    August 25, 2015

    I have heard of this, but never experienced it. If I did, I WOULD TOTALLY FREAK THE HECK OUT! And this is fascinating!

  • Jenna
    August 26, 2015

    I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times I think! I like half woke up once in the middle of the night and felt like I was laying down in my own bed but I couldn’t move. I had a mirror across from my bed at the time and it still felt like I was unable to move but I looked over in the mirror and I was like sitting up in my bed and I looked like I was possessed!! And then I woke up normal in my bed right afterwards. It was terrifying because in my dream the light was on in my room and everything looked normal and when I woke up I realized I had fallen asleep with the light on!!! A couple of other times this has happened but I saw like a bright light shining through my window as if there were aliens outside of my window lol

  • Ruthie Jones
    August 26, 2015

    Oh yeah. I experienced this from age 12 to about 17. Many, many times. I honestly thought it was the devil trying to get me, and I was too scared to tell anyone. I hallucinated once that I flew up to the ceiling. I was surprised the next day that my face wasn’t scratched up. It was so real. It was years before I discovered what was really going on. I hope it never happens again! It’s extremely oppressive.

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