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