Folklore/ Text: Sleep Paralysis
SM: “Do you know what sleep paralysis is? It’s basically when your mind is awake in bed, but your body is still asleep. I used to get sleep paralysis a lot, and I would open my eyes and see a figure. Sometimes it would scream at me, and it was so scary because I thought it was real… Like someone was trying to attack me. To remedy this, my mom used to tell me “if you sleep in these certain positions, the sleep paralysis demon is going to get you!” But she would say this to combat the way I would sleep in positions that are bad for my body. I would always get sleep paralysis when I was sleeping pin-straight on my back or stomach. Legend has it that if you see a demon when you’re having sleep paralysis, the demon is coming back from hell to check on you… And now I still avoid these sleeping positions to this day, because I don’t want a visit from the sleep paralysis demon.”
Explanation/ Context: Sleep paralysis is not incredibly common, but it’s something that is widely feared because of those who have experienced it. But the element that is folkloric about it is the alleged sighting of the ‘sleep paralysis demon.’ People who have endured this kind of paralysis almost always report seeing some kind of hideous, frightening, threatening figure. And its sightings date back to Why don’t people experience nice things during sleep paralysis?