Things that go Bump in the Night
It was cold in the room yet still, I lay under a sweat-soaked sheet, frightened from Things that go Bump in the Night.
I’m not sure if anyone else has had this recurring experience. I’ll explain it as best as I can. Over the years, I’ve told a few friends and acquaintances when it comes up in conversation and I’ve had a number of theories suggested. These range from; ghosts, aliens, out of body experiences and something as simple as chemical imbalances which cause the mind to hallucinate.
I don’t profess to know what it is but I do know that at the time, it is real, it is terrifying and it is something I dread.
Last night, yet again, I woke up at 1am to visit the bathroom. Even though I was really tired, I went back to bed and suddenly felt that familiar paralysis; I can’t move. Within seconds, I was trapped, conscious and afraid. I knew what was coming; it has happened to me since I was a very young child. By now my body is soaked in sweat-I mentioned already that it was cold, so that shouldn’t be the case, yet, I’m sweating profusely and I’m terrified because I can’t move. I try and shake and wake myself up, even though I feel that I’m already wide awake, but I can’t. I’m paralyzed. Something is right next to my face, something is breathing and I can’t quite hear it because by this point I my heart is pounding and that is all I can hear, yet something is there and I can feel it. I try really hard to shake myself so I can get up and put a light on and break free.
There’s this pull, it’s the best way I can describe it, it tries to force me to fall asleep while under this paralysis. I refuse to, that’s why I’m trying to wake up. You only ever let yourself fall asleep under that pull once in your life. What happens when you do, is so terrifying that you will do your best to prevent it. This is exactly how I’m feeling at that moment, too afraid to fall asleep and be aware of the paralysis and too afraid to stay in that state. Yet, I cannot wake. I try hard and I can’t shake it. Suddenly I find a voice, very soft at first, then quickly it gains strength, then i’m able to start talking and then yelling. For some reason, I’m yelling the name of my ex; I don’t know why. Within minutes, somehow, I manage to break free. I get up and turn lights on and no matter how tired I am, I refuse to go back to sleep. I’ve developed a real fear of Things that go Bump in the Night.
That one time, when I was a teenager, I decided the paralysis was too hard to fight and I made the mistake of falling asleep. What happened next is the reason why this issue is so big for me to this day.
It’s always around the same time, around 1-2am. Occasionally 3am, but mostly around 1-2.
I’d gone to bed, nothing unusual about my day at school, dinner with my family or anything else that I recall. It was the most ordinary day I can recall. I woke up at 1am-ish and found myself needing the bathroom. Interesting how that is a habit that I haven’t broken! After I returned to my bed, I was about to fall asleep and I suddenly experienced that paralysis that I’d had since I was really young. Being too tired and not having really understood what was happening, I gave up trying to fight the paralysis and fell asleep. The half-dream and half-awake experience I had immediately after was so shocking, so frightening, I cannot recall any other time in my life where I understood sheer terror. I learned that Things that go Bump in the Night were very real. At least to me they were.
The ‘dream’ started with my spirit self leaving my body. I looked back and saw a figure leaning over the bed, looking at my body. Then it looked at me and I felt a sense of evil, wanting, yearning and something else I can’t put my finger on – or maybe didn’t want to. You must remember that I was in a dream-like state and unable to clarify exact details. I walked out of the room and saw many other figures around my family home. They were all waiting for me, all of them with this weird vibe, this wanting something, this expectation. I began to feel exposed – like suddenly being in a crowd naked – and afraid and went back to my body.
As I lay down on top of my body, the figure that had been there watching my body, suddenly climbed on top. His face, it looked deep into my eyes and I felt that it knew me. It smiled a knowing look as though he understood more about me and who I am than I do myself. Those eyes were pure evil. I suddenly saw that and knew it wanted something from me that I couldn’t give it. I tried hard to fit back into my body and I couldn’t; I just wouldn’t fit. I struggled, I turned away from this figure, I tried to find a voice, but I had none. Eventually, by some miracle, I heard my father get up and go to the toilet. I’d left the door to my room open so the light spilled in. And suddenly I was in my body and able to sit up. I raced out of the room and into the corridor and called out, “Dad!”
Well talk about seeing a ghost, he nearly screamed from the fright I gave him. He jumped up, spun a half circle-his hands going out into this weird karate-like stance, then hit the wall and looked at me with wild eyes. Now we were both a bit spooked I guess I’d leveled the playing field. He was on my level.
“I’ve just seen a ghost I think. Many of them, they were everywhere and there was one that was laying on top of me!”
My dad was speechless; what kind of advice can you give your teenage son who claims a man has broken into his room and tried to lay on top of him? My dad did what I guess most rational fathers would do, he raced off to his bedroom and returned with his shotgun. I kid you not. He turned the light on, crept into my room-still wild-eyed and proceeded to use the shotgun to poke under the bed, behind the curtains and anywhere else there might have been shadows. Nothing. He did not see any Things that go Bump in the Night.
With conviction and relief, he declared that there was no intruder and that it must have been a dream. He went off to the bathroom, still carrying his shotgun and left me standing in the hallway. I left the light on in my bedroom and went to bed.
I didn’t sleep that night and for many, many years, I have remembered that experience of Things that go Bump in the Night.
Time has a way of diminishing details, erasing the emotions or at least dulling them so you can recall it if you need to. Not that memory, it’s there when I want it in High Definition, Full Dolby Surround Sound and frightening clarity. Whether I like it or not.
So to this day, hundreds of nights just like that one have come and gone and yet every single time I’ve managed to evade sleep at that moment. I don’t often see him-whoever he is – but I force myself awake, shake, scream, sweat and eventually get up and try and dispel it.
Is this sleep paralysis?
I’d love to know if anyone else has had this ongoing experience. Would you take a minute to leave me a comment below and tell me what you think? You can do this anonymously.
And no, I don’t believe I’m having alien visitations, I don’t believe it’s an out of body experience and I am not sure it is a chemical imbalance in the body which forces me to hallucinate. It’s not a hallucination, I can assure you of that.
In my forties and still Afraid of Things that go Bump in the Night. ‘Good work Fox’.