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Sleep Paralysis & Shadow People

By: Brittany "Pagan" Adkins

This week we explored the scary topic of Sleep Paralysis and it's connection to Shadow People. These two paranormal topics are largely connected but unlike Shadow People, we see Sleep Paralysis often in the medical community. Let's explore this topic together!


Listen along with the episode here!


Disclaimer: First, before we dive in, we want to remind people that sleep paralysis is a real medical condition. We will be discussing the paranormal aspects of the phenomena. Nothing we say should be taken as medical advice, nor are we attempting to discredit the research in any way. 

Is it real?


Yes. It is a real and paranormal phenomenon. It is exactly that, a phenomenon. In the medical and paranormal communities, it is still very much unknown as to why people experience it. 


What is it Medically?


From VeryWellHealth

1. Sleep paralysis is the presence or persistence of features of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during the transition into or out of sleep. 

2. It may occur when you are first falling asleep (hypnagogic) or when you are waking up (hypnopompic). It is estimated to occur in about 20% of otherwise healthy people. Most people experience just sleep paralysis, but it can also occur with other symptoms as part of narcolepsy.

- During REM, your mind is active and you might vividly imagine sights, sounds, and other feelings as part of a dream. You might even be afraid, as you would in a nightmare.

- At the same time, your body is paralyzed so that you do not act out your dreams (this is called muscle atonia). When these features occur during wakefulness, you will have an experience of sleep paralysis.

3.  Your mind wakes up before your body unlocks your ability to move.

Three Types of Encounters:


1. Incubus/Succubus or weight on the chest


2. An intruder or malevolent entity


3. Vestibular-Motor Hallucination - out of body experience or astral projection.

What makes this medical thing paranormal?


If dreams or hallucinations, why do so many people see the same thing? Around the world, people see variations of demonic entities such as an incubus, shadow people or a hat man, or even feel as if there is a body or something sitting on their chest. Some people even report feelings of aliens trying to abduct them. Even people without a disposition to aliens or the occult still site these things. 


If this was something strictly medical, wouldn't people be seeing their loved ones or something that makes them happy versus frightened? Instead, people who are not connected from around the world are seeing and experiencing frightening things. 


Sleep Paralysis Around the World


In parts of Brazil, for example, there are folkloric tales of a creature with long fingernails that lurks on people's rooftops during the night. The creature, called "Pisadeira," comes into a person's house and tramples on the chests of those who sleep.


In parts of Spain, have a tale of the "Pesanta," a black animal, often a dog or a cat, that invades people's homes and sits on their chests while they are asleep, making it difficult to breathe and causing nightmares. 


In Inuit culture, for example, people tell of shamans who can cast a spell when a person is sleeping, causing an experience called "uqumangirniq," during which a person can't move, talk, or scream and is visited by a dark shapeless or faceless presence.


- It would be good to note here that shamanism is a healing practice, not a dark practice that would wish harm on someone. However, there are what are known as black shamans or dark shamans. According to research, these shamans do wish harm upon people. 


Japanese folklore refers to a summoner who calls upon a vengeful spirit to suffocate enemies through a phenomenon called the "kanashibari," which is "the state of being totally bound as if constrained by metal chains.

Shadow People

There are many other cultural stories, but each seems to have the same underlying symptoms and synchronicities in the paranormal. Many have connections to dark masses or figures. These figures are often referred to as Shadow People. 

"A shadow person (also known as a shadow figure, shadow being or black mass) is the perception of a patch of shadow as a living, humanoid figure, and, interpreted as the presence of a spirit or other entity by believers in the paranormal or supernatural." - Wikipedia

Some cultures even link sleep paralysis as an entity feeding on the soul. If this is the case this could be the paranormal explanation of the out of body experiences. Essentially forcing the person into a form of astral projection. 

Could the body be using astral projection as a defense?


Is it possible the body is realizing what is happening and is trying to defend itself by forcing you into astral projection? Absolutely, however, this is only a mere theory vs. scientific fact. There is still so much we don't know about this phenomenon. 

On the more medical side of the fence, the phenomena could be a disturbance in the Parietal cortex - an area of the brain that interprets your senses. It allows you to create spatially coordinated images. This can explain the first two above to some degree but does not explain number three.


Though number three does have links we are studying between those with schizophrenia and LSD usage. 

Is it paranormally induced or paranormally abused?


Could the life situations such as jet lag, or drug usage be being abused by a paranormal entity? Yes. Again, this is a theory, but there are quite a few theories about it that still need exploring. 

How can you prevent it? 


1. Reduce caffeine intake

2. Get quality sleep - most jet lag

3. Stress level

4. Alcohol

However, some say it is unavoidable because we can not help dreaming. 

Viewer/Listener Stories

One of the sleep paralysis stories that was submitted to us was from one of our viewers, LunarMalvina. 

“This was about 10 years ago but still gives me chills to this day. I sometimes get sleep paralysis but this time I kept hearing a voice talking to me, but my brain could not retain or make sense of anything it said. It felt like it was sitting on the pillow next to me (I slept alone in a queen-sized bed and I could not see it) and it sounded like a very young childlike voice. I remember somehow having a moment of clarity from the terror and asking it "Are you a boy or a girl?" It answered the only words I retained from that event: "We are many." And then I woke up.” When it comes to Sleep Paralysis we know this field needs further exploration in both the medical aspect and the paranormal aspect. The link to Shadow People makes this topic one that Kyle and I will not be forgetting or considering closed any time soon.  Thank you for joining us and we will see you all next week!  Links:  https://www.verywellhealth.com/symptoms-of-sleep-paralysis-3014781 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TWijdJddrc&feature=youtu.be https://www.livescience.com/56422-sleep-paralysis-different-cultures.html https://qz.com/quartzy/1444843/what-is-sleep-paralysis/ https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/01/13/national/science-health/how-japans-teens-can-avoid-sleep-demons/#.X0qUy8hKiUk https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013036/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism https://www.luciddreamsociety.com/sleep-paralysis-stories/

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