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I was 24 and still living with my parents. I had come home tired from work at around 3:30pm, and felt I could use a little nap. So, the family dog and I hopped onto my bed and I proceeded to set the alarm clock for 4:00. I sleep on my left side, facing the clock, so when the alarm went off I reached over with my right hand and reset it for 4:30, to give me another half hour rest. I then rolled over onto my back. To my horror there was a young nude man crouched next to me on the bed, staring curiously down at me. I am not easily frightened, and certainly not afraid of any man, but this was different. It was all wrong... impossible. I was overcome with terror and covered my face as my mind reeled to make sense of it all. After what seemed like several minutes I gathered up my courage, telling myself that it had to be just some crazy guy that snuck into the house, and I could overpower him and call the police. I uncovered my face, ready to lunge, only to find my West Highland White Terrier quietly staring at me as if I were nuts. I jumped up and ran through the house searching for the guy, but found no evidence that he was, or had ever been there. I wasn't alone in the house, and I asked my father, who was in the living room at the time, whether he had seen or heard anything out of the ordinary. He hadn't. I would have dismissed it all as a dream, had I not been fully awake at the time. I had spent a while staring at the alarm clock, debating whether I should take another half hour nap before finally resetting the alarm. The "apparition" was as clear and real as anyone has ever appeared to me. The strange thing was the dog’s reaction... or lack thereof. That occurred to me later. I called my best friend immediately to tell him what had happened. We had made a pact... one borne of watching far too many horror movies together... that if either of us called the other after experiencing anything supernatural, the other would believe without question. He did, and I felt better. We tried to make sense of it together... was it a ghost? Did I catch myself astrally projecting [the man was nude, and looked somewhat like myself]? Alien? To this day the only thing I know for sure is how "real" and terrifying it was.
One night about 15 years ago I was sleeping on the sofabed in the basement when I was suddenly shocked awake. I felt like I was being pressed face down into the bed with a tremendous weight, unable to move or cry out. I had a sense of presence, as if there were small beings in the darkness around my bed. There was a deafening buzz... like a billion cicadas, and just over the sound I heard "you will not have this technology for another 2000 years". Then suddenly everything was normal. Scared the crap out of me. It wasn't until years later that I learned about HSP. While my experience had all the makings of a classic nocturnal Alien abduction scenario, it also matched the common symptoms of hallucinatory sleep paralysis [HSP].
Symptoms: Hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations occur in the few seconds/minutes before and after sleep. The person will awake, often with a start, to find that they can see, hear, feel or smell something in the bedroom that either disappears or is later found not have happened. The most common hallucinations are: thinking that a name has been called out or that the phone is ringing; bright or dark amorphous blobs that hang in mid-air and slowly fade; a feeling that somebody has touched the face, feet or hands; the appearance of a person by the bedside who rapidly disappears.
Causes: The hypnagogic state is the period when the brain is falling asleep after being awake, while the hypnopompic state is the period when the brain is waking up from sleep. Hallucinations occur, like sleep paralysis, in the confused period of time between sleeping and consciousness when the brain is neither fully asleep or awake. During this time the dream state can intrude into our waking world, producing hallucinations through all the senses. Our brain can also misinterpret signals it receives from the senses and create hallucinations from these as well. For example, a shirt hanging on a wall can, in the first few moments after waking, be misinterpreted as a human figure.
Paranormal Phenomena it Resembles: Hypnagogic/hypnapompic hallucinations are most likely to be misinterpreted as being various types of ghostly phenomena. The paranormal investigator should make a conscious effort to look for reported cases of strange phenomena occurring to people who have just woken up or who are very relaxed or falling asleep. The chances of seeing a ghost are greatly enhanced if the person is sitting or lying down and in a relaxed state. Similarly, a majority of the several hundred cases of crisis apparition collected in Phantasms of the Living occurred to people who had just woken up. This is not to say that there may not be a paranormal element in some of these cases (eg. telepathy), but the link with hypnagogia/hypnopompia is quite unmistakable.
Common Features of Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is often characterized by a transient inability to move or speak during sleep transitions. In general, the ability to move your eyes is preserved. Some people try to scream or call out for help, but this may manifest only as a soft vocalization. For example, you might only be able to whisper, squeal, grunt, groan or whimper. Many people have a sense of suffocating or breathlessness during sleep paralysis, which likely relates to the limited muscles that are active to help you breathe. During REM sleep, the diaphragm acts as a bellows to help you inflate your lungs and breathe, but few of the other accessory muscles of breathing are active. Some people experience this as a chest pressure or as if someone is standing or sitting on their chest. The level of awareness during sleep paralysis varies. Some people insist they are completely awake and aware of their surroundings, while others describe only a partial awareness. Infrequently, people may have an out-of-body experience, the belief that they are outside of their bodies looking at themselves.
The Important Role of Hallucinations
Vivid hallucinations may be part of this experience. In other words, you perceive an experience of something that is not there. In a broad sense, the hallucinations associated with sleep paralysis can be divided into visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile experiences. The visual experience can be quite profound. Many people report seeing the presence of a human figure, often described as being a dark figure, shadow or ghost. This figure may be standing at the bedside, just at the periphery of your vision. Some people report seeing multiple people in the room. Others report that they see flashes, bright colors or lights. Sometimes the visual hallucination can be quite elaborate. For example, some have reported seeing a disembodied hand, a gargoyle, bugs or even a cat. In other cases, the visions are vague, described as being blurry or shimmering or simply having a sense that things are floating. Similarly, the experience of auditory hallucinations in sleep paralysis can range from the routine to the bizarre. Many people hear various noises. It is most common for people to hear voices. The language used might seem foreign. There may the perception of whispering, screaming and laughing. Nearly as often, a loud buzzing or static noise is reported, much like the sound of a radio that is on but not tuned to a station. Some people hear breathing, footsteps, knocking or a ringing sound. Even unusual sounds like a horse carriage or growling may be perceived. Sometimes the sounds heard during sleep paralysis are nonspecific, difficult to characterize or not well remembered. One of the most often reported phenomena of sleep paralysis is a tactile hallucination, the experience of being touched when you are not. Many people describe feeling a pressure or contact, often sensed as if something or someone is holding them down. Some people with sleep paralysis describe tingling, numbness or a vibrating sensation. Others describe a sense of floating, flying or falling. A few people report feeling chilled or freezing. Less frequently, there may even be a sense that you are being physically moved or dragged from your bed. Some people report sexual contact, including physical sensations involving the genitalia or even rape. Other physical experiences have been reported as well, including a sense of being bitten, bugs crawling on the skin, breathing in the ear or an uncontrolled feeling of smiling. The least common hallucination in sleep paralysis is of an olfactory nature, relating to your sense of smell. As with the other types of hallucinations, you could imagine a range of possible imagined smells that you might experience.
plural noun: anecdotes
a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
"told anecdotes about his job"
an account regarded as unreliable or hearsay.
"his wife's death has long been the subject of rumor and anecdote"
The expression anecdotal evidence refers to evidence from anecdotes. In cases where small numbers of anecdotes are presented, there is a larger chance that they may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases. Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a generalized claim; it is, however, within the scope of scientific method for claims regarding particular instances. Anecdotal evidence is no more than a type description (i.e., short narrative), and is often confused in discussions with its weight, or other considerations, as to the purpose(s) for which it is used. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims.
The short answer is that you shouldn’t necessarily believe me, but rather weigh my experiences against those of others
So why should I believe you?