Through live events, film and online resources, The Sleep Paralysis Project offers access to information and creatively explores the phenomenon of sleep paralysisDevil In The Room, a short film about sleep paralysis, has been made as part of the project.

The project and film are directed by Carla MacKinnon and supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award. More information and resources can be found at: thesleepparalysisproject.org



7 thoughts on “About

  1. I have been living with this all my life since I was very young. I only found out last year, at 49, that there was scientific explanation for what I thought to be supernatural occurrences. So of course, never spoke to anyone about it! Over the years I developed a love/hate relationship with my “visitor” (sometimes he brought friends but mostly came alone) and a battle of the wits developed. I thought I had won until he came back one day, picked me up and threw me “through” the bedroom wall saying something along the lines of “don’t tell me what to do, I decide NOT you!!!”
    Always happened when I slept on my back which doesn’t happen often. Hasn’t happened for a while as now, I have started snoring when I’m on my back and that always wakes me up and I move to my side. Happy to discuss this. Excellent news (and a big THANK YOU) that you are helping this disorder become known as it affected me very much and I am a very rational and assertive person. I can only imagine the terrible effect it must have on people not quite so strong.

  2. I’ve had this a handful of times to varying degrees through my life. It has never been with a terrifying intruder though. I found it interesting but frightening when it happened, but then read a book about sleep which explained it, and from then on just found it interesting when it happened. But reading the stuff on the project it reminds me that to a lesser degree I have had the chest pressure and immoblisation, but I have never personified the weight and heaviness but experienced it just as weight, sometimes – the closest I can say is as bricks – but never in a hallucinatory manner, just in a kind of vague mental justification with a cloudy mind accompanying it.

    The most frightening experience I had with it was finding myself to be paralysed (I always immediately recognise that i cannot move) and trying to scream for help and then dragging myself out of bed and into my brothers room across the hall from me, but this didn’t actually happen. This was the incident that led me to think about it a lot, and since then I have had it a few times (it makes sense the conclusion drawn that it happens with sleep irregularity for me, as I noticed it happens when I am incredibly tired from some disruption), and simply been aware of the paralysis. Apart from one very strange time where I had the paralysis, but my attention was not heightened to this, as before my eyes came only what I can describe as an old projection show, with the whirring sound of the projection reel (probably the sound of blood rushing?) and flashing images in perfect clarity – I was perfectly conscious mentally- showing scenes of old disney characters moving. I was so astounded by the experience I wrote it all down upon shaking myself out of the state, with the realisation that this would have been attributed to supernatural input in other times, or as some interference from God.

    In the Guardian interview, the question – why fear? – is raised. Well, feeling a sudden total loss of power and mobility whilst being conscious- total disempowerment – surely this is simply a normal reaction… It’s worrying, and telling, that women accord this sense of total bodily powerlessness and passivity with rape.

  3. I am 48 years old – I have this every six months or so – the video described exactly how it feels! The things I hallucinate when I can’t move are so vivid and real – they are not dreams at all to me – something different because I feel so awake – the feelings of terror are so intense – I can remember many instances even years later!

  4. My first experience with sleep paralysis was terrifying. I woke up and realized I couldn’t move, then saw a man wearing a black cloak and hood standing at the bottom of my bed – his face shrouded in darkness. Nothing else really happened, he just stood there until I could move again. I didn’t know that I’d even had sleep paralysis until I looked it up later. I’m not sure what triggered the paralysis but my friends and I had been on a horror themed trip that day which might explain the vision, I think my subconscious was just sending up images from that day.

  5. I’m 56 years old and this crap started when I was 17-18 years old. the first time I saw a black figure standing near my bed and obviously scared the living shit out of me. I was NOT religious and didn’t grow up in a religious home at all. Father was an atheist and mother is a hard core agnostic. For the most part never went to church until I became an adult. As an adult I’ve had this experience too many times to count and it just happened again the other night. To say this is purely biological and just a result of REM sleep is total b.s. Maybe there’s some truth to that, but I have no doubt that there’s some spiritual component to it. Up until 5 months ago I had never heard of the term “sleep paralysis/” The only reason I know about it now is because it’s so disturbing, I figured that I can’t be the only one who suffers from it. I don’t give a damn what the “academics” say. This is NOT just some biological or neurological occurrence due to REM sleep. If it was, then why is it that every person who experiences it, interprets it as evil? Why in the hell am I seeing demons and not angels? If this is just a manifestation of REM sleep, why the feeling of evil? Their explanation is bullshit.

  6. I read how to preform sleep paralysis.the first time i tried it i meant a guy named oros but i thought this didnt happen unless you were vary advanced.during sleep paralysis i was a blue human shaped mass with my face.Oros looked normal though and wore jeans,red plaid and said he was 26 he had my voice.it was weird should i see him again and make a friend,i have none in real life

  7. I realize it has been a long time since anyone has commented but I just found this so I wanted to say that this is real.
    I had a encounter that lasted 3 nights and culminated with the figure I was being visited by leaving a hand print mark on my face.
    Most of the details are similar to other as the encounters started with sleep paralysis and then a figure visiting. Without going into all the details my encounter included out of body experiences and me actually being able to communicate with it. But after two nights of it on the third night I asked out loud that if this was real for them to leave me a sign i could recognize. I woke the third night with a mark on my face that lasted three weeks. I took pictures of it daily thinking it would go away. I assure you, This is more than a sleep phenomenon and should be researched as a super natural encounter with things for which we know very little about.

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