Have you ever had the experience of waking up but being unable to move? Did you feel the sensation of “the intruder” in your room restraining you? At least 40% of the population has had this experience and people from different times and places have had different explanations for it. Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, your Horrific History co-hosts, explore folklore and the paranormal as they dig into the history of sleep paralysis through the ages.
Discover how these “waking hallucinations” have taken the form of witches, demons, vampires, fairies, ghost children and more (as well as which new theme only appeared after the space race)! Nightmares such as these have been connected (usually erroneously) to all sorts of things in the waking hours, from the Salem witch trials to UFOs and alien abductions! It all depends upon which dream interpretation (or doctor!) you choose! But, if you see in your life the expected result after such an encounter in your waking dreams, would it be a case of causation or correlation?
When people from all parts of the world from all across time have similar experiences but see or interpret it differently depending upon their cultural background and time in history, could it be that it’s all the same thing? If you’re religious you’re likely to experience demons or possession. If you like horror movies, sci-fi or conspiracy theories it might be aliens or monsters. And, those with exposure to fantasy or fairy folklore may see goblins or similar fanciful creatures. Depending upon the dream, it wouldn’t be at all uncommon to even have an erotic angle (though we’re not sure if that is more or less traumatic if you’re dreaming of aliens, demons or monsters). Hopefully, you would take to it like Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers and her dreams of zombies.
Gastric distress, raccoon scrotums, and house spirits, this episode has it all! Whether you’re interested in things that go bump in the night or how cultural influences can impact your dreams, you’ll find it in this brand new Horrific History Podcast episode! And if this edition inspires a dream, we hope you’ll tell us about it!
So sit back and enjoy a nice relaxing beverage while listening to this new Horrific History episode before bed! Come back next week when we get back to our usual schedule and talk about children who kill!
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Some of our favorite resources from this week’s episode:
- Sleep Paralysis Project
- University of Pittsburg
- Linguistic Subtleties
- Columbia Journalism Review
- Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus
- The Guardian
- Reality Sandwich
- Dream Studies, 2
- Live Science
- Sleep Paralysis: Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection (Studies in Medical Anthropology)
- National Institute of Health
- The Japan Times
- The New York Times
- Boston Globe
Commercial break music by Dead but Dreaming.
Slideshow Painting By Henry Fuseli – wartburg.eduimage, Public Domain, Link
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4 Replies to “The Waking Nightmare: Sleep Paralysis”
[…] back next week for our sleep paralysis episode and then we’ll go back to our usual publishing schedule and release the regularly scheduled […]
[…] character from Victorian England was known for assaults, attacks and pranks. Was he an imp, devil, demon or gremlin? Some thought so, but perhaps they were just primed to believe it. Jumping by leaps and […]
Its nice article. Informative and easy to read. I think we all are familiar with it being natural and happened to everyone. If you think it is demonic then you should think otherwise because it is not. It is natural and happened to lots of people in the world with being scary but not harmful!
[…] apples, this episode has a lot of early methods of birth control which may make you feel the “terror of the womb”. Before you get to the end of the episode, you might decide some of these […]