Attacked By Shadow People!!!

About two weeks ago I experienced something called Sleep Paralysis. Basically, that's when you wake up suddenly and find that you can't move. According to Wikki (which is always a legitimate source of information) audio and visual hallucinations can sometimes accompany these bouts along with a sensation of being held down. This is the second time in my life this has happened to me - the first time being several years ago. On the first occasion I don't remember any hallucinations, just the sensation of weight on my chest and the inability to move. This time I got the hallucinations along with the paralysis.

When I first woke up I was on my side facing my dresser which has two big mirrors attached to it. In the mirror I clearly saw a vaguely human outline standing behind me and could hear weird grunting sounds. Then the shape appeared to run away and I could hear accompanying foot-falls. For a moment after this I thought I could feel hands on my side pulling me towards the edge of the bed. At the time I was completely terrified because I couldn't move and I thought someone was grabbing me. After a few seconds I regained the ability to move freely but was still panicked so I rolled over, swinging my fist as I went. Since there was no one actually there, all this action accomplished was to roll me off the bed and onto the floor.

By the time I climbed back in bed I was fully awake and aware of what had just happened. The first time I experienced this I did some research into sleep disturbances and ran across this phenomenon so I was under no pretense about a possible ghost attack or alien abduction situation. This is simply something that happens to people from time to time for various reasons.

I never really planned on writing anything about this event because it's really not that interesting or entertaining, but it does provide a good lead in for something else that I think is interesting - the paranormal and the wackos who believe in it. My whole life I've been really interested in ghosts, cryptozoology, UFOs, etc. When I was younger, probably until I was 14 or 15, I completely believed in ghosts, Big Foot, Nessie...all that crap. I used to rent and read any book I could find on supernatural topics. But as I grew older and I became more and more skeptical my belief in monsters and boogeymen began to wain. At this point in my life I believe almost none of it. I reject any notion of ghosts, demons, or angels. There is no Loch Ness Monster and people who die stay that way, they don't come back as a dog or a duck billed platypus. But these subjects still fascinate me. I still love horror movies and The X-Files is one of my all-time favorite programs. If you put me in front of a tv that's playing a 48 hour marathon of all those spook shows The Discovery Channel airs now I will watch the whole thing and be completely enthralled. The only difference is that now I watch these programs not because I believe in monsters and ghosts but because I can't believe there are actually adults in the world who do.

One of my ongoing guilty pleasures is listening to an AM call-in show called Coast To Coast AM. I first discovered this show six or seven years ago and have listened regularly ever since. It typically comes on around 12 or 1 AM every night and if you can pick it up in your area I highly recommend it. It's basically a call in show for wackos to relate insane conspiracy theories and ghost/ufo/Bigfoot sightings. I suspect some of the callers have tongue firmly planted in cheek but a lot of these people sound completely sincere.

One topic that pops up frequently is the existence of things called Shadow People. A shadow person is apparently like a ghost but possibly also an extra-dimensional entity that attacks people when they sleep. Entire episodes of Coast To Coast are dedicated to shadow people and callers frequently attribute sleep paralysis to assaults from these things.

I know for sure that nothing supernatural was taking place when I had my experience two weeks ago. Yes, the hallucination was really vivid and I was terrified at the time but it only took me a few seconds to regain my composure and think logically about what just happened. It boggles my mind that there are actually adults out there who experience the exact same thing but assume that a shadow person is trying to eat their soul...and then call a national radio program to talk about it!

Over the course of my life I've met a lot of people who believe in ghosts, guardian angles, and Bigfoot. Some of those people claim that they've actually had encounters with said beings - I believe exactly zero of their stories. It's all well and good to believe in that stuff when you're young because, face it, kids are ignorant...they don't have a good grasp on the way the world works and it's more fun to believe that a ghost is turning your tv on and off rather than that the remote just needs new batteries. But at a certain point in life shouldn't you stop jumping to conclusions like that? If I said I still believed in Santa Clause people would look at me like I'm completely insane, but if I told 10 people I was abducted by an alien or saw a ghost I guarantee you at least 3 of those people would take my word for it with no proof at all.

It would be easy for me to say that these people are all stupid but that's not the case at all. Yes, a lot of the people I've met who spin tales of paranormal encounters ARE simply dimwits. After all, what does it say about you as a person when you attribute pipes knocking to a ghost? But some of these people are normal, intelligent adults who, for one reason or another, pick one mysterious event in their life and jump to the least logical conclusion.

The idiots are easy to write off - if you're dumb you'll believe pretty much whatever you're told if it explains the situation and isn't ludicrously insane. The smart people are the trickier ones. There are reasons why smart people believe hokum and I've read a few books that provide reasonable answers far better than I'm able to. If you care you should read The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and/or the paperback version of Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer. Both books tackle the topic competently (something which I'm unable to do) but the short and dirty is that people believe weird things because they want to and will filter out proof that supports their beliefs while ignoring the (much more substantial) evidence to the contrary.

I know it's exciting and titillating to think an extra-dimensional being attacked you last night or that the Loch Ness Monster sexually assaulted you while you were swimming...but they didn't. You had a vivid nightmare or a fish brushed up against your sex parts while you were skinny dipping in Scotland - that's all that happened. Life really is as banal as it seems, just accept it. The worst case scenario is that you move out of your parents basement, get a girlfriend, and I won't be up until 2:30 AM blogging about you.


Anonymous said…
I have been a skeptic my entire life until recently taking a class titled "Occult in American Religion."

If you go and read statistics for example; UFO sightings, there are thousands of people that have viewed them. Even the arizona lights where over 10,000 people were witnesses and the government nor scientists had any explanations. How do you explain that? Also a very high percentage of people that report sightings of whether it be UFO's or parnormal activity are people that of high standing in the community, no history of mental disorders, not trying to gain publicity. And many of these people don't want to even go public about it for the simple fact of being called a wacko, gullible idiot, and the such.

For centuries every culture has stories of paranormal activity. Cultures that had on communication with each other years and years ago, yet still had similar experiences.

You may think those people that believe in this are wacko and cannot happen, but why jump to such a fast conclusion? Why not think, it is possible. Testimony is enough to put people to death or give them a life sentence, but when it comes to the unknown it is not enough. Especially when there are doctors, governors, celebrities, two presidents, that have all witnessed such things.

My prediction for many years to come is the unknown as of now, will become the known. There are SO many things we do and know now, that if you brought up years and years ago would have been laughed at. My point never know. We don't know if this is all true nor do we know if it is all false.
Chris said…
I understand your skepticism... But let me tell you about my experiences.

I, like thousands of others living in areas once populated by Native Americans, have regularly seen these "shadow beings", or "shadow people".

They have never caused me harm, but I now belive there is something more to this that is beyond my understanding.

I do not drink or take any drugs. I am healthy physically and have never had any mental problems or conditions.

I only started seeing them about 4 years ago after moving to Arizona. I have also heard what sounds like Native American music and chanting on several occassions, most times preceding a sighting of these "shadows".

So, maybe you think I'm nuts, and that's alright. But I just think that thousands of sightings of these things means they may be a real occurrence and not imagination.