I've been interested in the topic of sleep paralysis lately. Don't worry, I won't try and write a story about it. But, the entire experience of a sleep paralysis episode, no matter how terrifying, is quite fascinating.
According to Livescience, sleep paralysis is caused by an individual waking up before REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is finished. Since the muscles of the body are essentially shut down, the person will remain conscious, but unable to move for a short period of time.
It's also worth mentioning that one experiencing such a phenomenon can also bear witness to strange and frightening hallucinations, since the brain is still in the dream state. I myself was unlucky enough to go through this, and I'd like to recount my personal experience, for the sake of both example and food for thought.
My experience started with a vivid nightmare. I was watching one of those stupid TV shows where animals attack people (Such as "When animals attack."), on my laptop. This particular episode was about a bullfight in Spain gone wrong. A matador brandishes a red flag at his monstrous foe, who suddenly leaps forward and proceeds to gore the man through his right cheek. The bull's horn penetrates upwards, tearing through the skin all the way up to the temple. Suddenly, the bull yanks the horn out of the man's head, spraying blood all over the sand.
This is where things get weird.
All of a sudden, I'm there. In the moment. No longer watching the clip from the comfort of my room. However, my location is not a coliseum like the one pictured in the show. Everything is just black except for that one square of sand that me, the bull, and the matador stand on.
Except they are not standing. They are on the ground, the man is suddenly naked, and they are straddling each other. With what remains of his face, the matador smiles at his newfound sexual partner. The bull copies him, and I notice that it has human teeth (I told you this got weird).
Suddenly, the macabre couple stops what they are doing, and they turn to me, still smiling. Then I wake up.
I can't move. I also can't remember the last time I've been so terrified. I'm screaming at my muscles to move, but they won't obey me. My eyelids are on the verge of shutting, re-entering me into that world with the bull and the man with the lacerated face. I don't want to return. I try my hardest to keep my eyes open, but inevitably, they close.
I don't return to the bullfight. Instead, an array of images shoots through my mind, along with a feminine scream that I'm sure only existed in my own head. The image that lingered the longest was one of Jesus Christ, an expression of horrid pain on his face, on the cross. A huge shudder passed through my upper body.
Shortly afterwards, I woke up fully and was able to move.
Referring again, to livescience, about 7.6 percent of the general population experiences sleep paralysis. With that said, has anyone else out there ever experienced this such thing?
Thanks. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.