Recently, a child said to me,
"Sometimes when I sleep at night, I feel something pressing on my chest
and I cannot get up no matter how hard I try."
This child asked me what this meant because they did not understand it. Consequently, numerous children and adults have told me that they feel as if "something" is pressing on them while sleeping. At times, to the point of being immobile as they are waking up. They shared not being able to move and it causes them to loose sleep.
Some have seen dark entities on top of them and walking in their bedrooms or
where they were asleep as it was happening, including roaming around the room.
Their depictions of this event looks very similar to this picture above, (Photo courtesy: www.livescience.com), and it terrifies the people who have expressed concern about it with me. Many of them want to learn if they have sleeping disorders, or if these are truly demons that are causing this disturbance. As a safety precaution, I would always refer these individuals to Neurologists and Neuropsychologists who specialize in sleep disorders. That is not an area of my expertise, although I have trained in neuropsychology enough to know about sleep disorders. When I trained, I learned a significant amount of information and even psychological testing for sleep disorders. These stories, however, stretch beyond the scope of what I learned to assess and diagnose during my time in neuropsychology.
Now, these individuals could have been experiencing a sleep paralysis which usually occurs during rapid eye movement (REM sleep). Usually, we are dreaming during that part of our sleep cycle, and the muscles are paralyzed. Does that explain why some people see and feel a presence on their chest? Some literature states that this maybe caused by hallucinations that can occur during REM sleep. However, what made Nebulous Children stand out to me was the fact that they not only saw the entity on their chest, but also walking in their rooms. They described these apparitions clearly to me. I am not sure how a doctor would test this scientifically in the brains of Nebulous children and adults to affirm their sightings and/or tactile sensations, but I would love to know. What I do know is that these children are sometimes horrified and searching for solutions. Older children, similar to Child J, are adamant about a dark presence when this happened to them. As Child J shared this same experience with me, there was a clutching of the chest and turn to the side of the room as if to avoid the visual. Why?
"It's scary. It's dark ghosts/demons"
Being paralyzed during sleep is scary enough, but visions of demons as this happened is beyond terrifying to the victims. Some reported to me as seeing them floating/hovering over them as they were trying to move their bodies as well. Some researchers attribute this phenomena to hallucinations, brain sensations (phantom limb), disturbances to a sense of self (body image) and brain activity, signals from the motor cortex of the brain causing paralysis, and other chemical changes. I do not negate science because psychology IS a science, but I do question a few of the explanations for example, the serotonin justification and similarities to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) causing the alleged hallucinations. Despite a few scientific explanations, I pose a few questions:
Why do so many people experience this same type of paralysis?
With visions of the paranormal?
And, sensations of something sitting on them?
Then, they cannot move?
If it was just one story, the maybe I would fall back exclusively to science. However, most scientists know that not some experiments fail and others cannot be thoroughly explained with science. For nebulous children and adults, this problem involves demons. Many people are convinced that they can dispel thoughts and visions about ghosts from Nebulous individuals. Again, when something is abnormal to others we have a tendency to attribute the cause and solution to science. Meaning, if we cannot prove it scientifically, then it does not occur and/or it cannot happen. There "must be" a scientific explanation.
That, until you have numerous children (and adults), give you the same story.
A very young child said to me,
"It sits on me."
"I can't get up."
"It goes in my basement"
"It follows me to school."
A teenager mentioned,
"My eyes were open and I saw it."
"I always see it on me."
"I cannot get rid of it."
"It wakes me up at night."
"I can't move, it sits on my chest."
"I can't call my mother to help me."
"It grabbed me."
"It stops when I pray, or call out Jesus's name."
This phenomena happens over and over again to many people.
All who have told me about their experiences said, "This is not sleep paralysis."
What do you think?