This is the account of two sleep paralysis nightmares I had several months ago. I believe both horrific episodes were the result of a very underwhelming and comical reason: I had tucked my sheets in too tightly.

The red iris

It must have been the middle of the night when I woke from my sleep and felt a slight draft under my sheets by my feet. Though it chilled me I was to drowsy to think of doing something about it. Suddenly though, my attention was caught my the inescapable feeling that something was moving from the door of my room, which is about three meters to the right of my bed’s foot end, past my bed. My immediate assumption was that a burglar had entered, an idea which enraged me, but I kept still. I became even angrier when I had the feeling that someone came to sit or lie on the mattress next to me and had its face close to mine. Not only did this person want to steal from me, but it also wanted to satisfy some kind of perversion.

My plan for how to act in case of a burglary is simple and maybe a bit naive: be as loud, intimidating, and violent as possible and if they turn out to be violent themselves, submit. Just as I wanted to strike my intruder and scream on the top of my lungs I was confronted with my inability to do either. No matter how hard I tried I could not get a single muscle to move and my throat had dried up.

I opened my eyes and to my shock there was no thief, but a woman. She had long sleek black hair, white skin, and, as I looked a bit lower, I saw she was holding a child. However, the one thing I was drawn to and couldn’t take my eye of was the bright red iris of her right eye. She stared at me and calmly asked me: “You’re good at waking up, are you also good at falling asleep?” Though I tried I couldn’t resist falling asleep again and my mind slowly slipt.

It felt like it was only a few minutes later when I woke up, but I was alone again and able to move. Again I felt a slight draft and out of fear I pulled at my sheets to make them cover me fully. I didn’t dare open my eyes to look at the time let alone stand up and tried to go back to sleep, which I eventually did.

A vanishing

Normally I lock the room of my door as I go to sleep, a habit I formed when I lived in a dormatory as a student. This night, as I lay in bed, I realized that I had not locked my door, but I wasn’t feeling like getting up out of bed and instead went to sleep.

I woke up suddenly and realized there was a movement from my door to the window to the left of my bed’s footend. Instead of making the connection with the previous episode I again gathered a burglar had entered my room, though I did not think of my unlocked door. The thought of a person daring to come into my house made me furious and I immediately tried to scare this intruder off and opened my eyes.

Instead, I was confronted with the black wraith of a woman staring at me standing at the left footend of my bed. I couldn’t actually see if it was a woman, there were no distinguishable features, but somehow I knew it was a woman. Behind her stood another wraith who I knew to be her mother. She did not face me, but instead looked in the direction of the door. It was at this moment that I realized that I had made a mistake and that I was having another hallucination. The wraith turned in the same direction of the mother looking up. They were looking at an evil presence which I could not see as it was beyond the corner of my eye, but which I felt to be as present as myself.

It was with dread that I heard the wraiths speak without making sounds. “Condolences, condolences, condolences, condolences”, they repeated over and over. Not to the presence, not to me, but almost as a mantra.

I felt terrified, but also humiliated and angry. It couldn’t be that what I saw was real and it was unacceptable that I was not to say whether I could move or not. I decided to close my eyes for a second and then muster all my strength to move by force of will alone if needed. I shut my eyes and as I opened them and tried to lift my arm with great effort and felt that I was succeeding in moving it a tiny bit. However, I couldn’t hold my attention to my mixed success as at that very moment I saw that one of the wraiths had disappeared and, as I looked, the second wraith disappeared in thin air.

My newfound ability to move was of no use to me. I was deadly afraid to move. I must have lain completely silent for at least twenty minutes, feeling an intense solitude in the room, but nevertheless fearing to see or feel anything else. Eventually I did dare to readjust my sheets and to look at my alarm. It was after three o’clock, which struck me as I remembered this was the witching hour.

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