Possibly paranormal experiences through multiple generations. (Part I)

Last night, as the midnight NaBloPoMo deadline approached, I was completely caught up in a rollicking game of Catch Phrase. Unwilling to step away from the game, I begged my great-niece to write a blog post in for me. She is the only  person in my family who shares my fascination with creepy things. (This fact amuses me because she is also my namesake – her middle name is Renae.)

She had no idea that I was going to ask her to do it, nor any familiarity with my blog. Of course she knows I’m a horror writer, and that her mother and I are preparing to do paranormal investigations together – so she wasn’t too startled by the request. She did have to think on her feet though, because I gave her almost nothing to go on. I merely pointed her at my blog, told her to read a few entries to get a feel for the theme, showed her how to add a new post, and let her go.

I was surprised by what she wrote … but not shocked.

I suppose I was about Chammi’s age when I experienced my own nocturnal visitation.

(Forgive the picture quality. This a snapshot, taken with my cell phone, of a snapshot taken when I was 14.)

I remember coming awake slowly in my twin bed, turning from my habitual fetal position onto my back. As usual, my nightgown wrapped uncomfortably around my legs. (I still hate to feel constricted or constrained when I’m sleeping.) I decided to get out of bed – I suppose intending to stand up and straighten out my bedclothes – but when I opened my eyes, I froze.

A figure was leaning over my bed. Its featureless “face” hovered inches above mine. I did not get the sense it was a solid thing. I did not feel any malevolence from it. When I think of it now, I conjure a mental image of a tall, willowy, feminine … presence. And I think of the color blue.

Like Chammi, I didn’t scream or freak out. I think I just went back to sleep. Of course it could have been a dream. I dreamed a lot when I was a child and teenager. Most of my dream images were recurring. (There was one in which I saw the shadow of a wolfman on my bedroom wall, another in which I bounded through an endless meadow.) The Blue Lady, though, I saw only once. Like Chammi, I can’t exactly articulate how or why I became convinced that this single event was not a dream – if it wasn’t, however, I don’t know how to explain it. It doesn’t seem to fit neatly into any of the most common paranormal categories. (Ghosts, apparitions, poltergeist, grays, etc.)

The phenomena which seems most similar is called sleep paralysis – which occurs when a person retains a type of consciousness even though the brain/body is in a REM sleep state. It can occur either at the beginning or end of the REM cycle (when falling asleep or waking up.) Sufferers of sleep paralysis report sensing an evil presence or feeling watched; feeling pressure on the chest / suffocated; being unable to move (which is accurate – the body does enter into a paralyzed state during REM, so that the sleeper doesn’t injure themselves or others during dreams;) feeling panicked or threatened; and seeing hallucinations.


11 Comments on “Possibly paranormal experiences through multiple generations. (Part I)”

  1. Sleep paralysis is very scary and is usually on set from stress. I know this from once upon a time and it was a very frightening experience. The blue lady sounds very interesting…

    Did I ever share my paranormal story with you http://belleofthecarnival.com/2011/08/11/a-mothers-unrest/

  2. My experiences (years ago now) did not occur during sleep, so that made them even more convincing to me, the former firm non-believer in the paranormal. I don’t expect anyone to believe or understand unless they have had paranormal experiences of their own. But I know something is going on that we just don’t understand! 🙂
    And I’m okay with that.

    • Might you consider writing up your experiences at your blog? I am, of course, very interested in the stories of others.

      I’ll keep an eye out but, if you decide to post about them, drop me a line so I don’t miss it 🙂

  3. Diana says:

    If you were able to open your eyes it doesn’t seem like sleep paralysis. At least not from my experience with it, I cannot so much as wiggle a finger when it happens. For me it’s always at the end of a sleep cycle, my brain wakes up before my body. My eyes do not open, I cannot make any kind of noise. The first time was so nerve wracking, but I know what it is now so it’s not so bad. Of course I’ve never had the feeling of something being with me during it. I suppose that would make it much worse.

    • I’ve always been skeptical that I was having a sleep paralysis experience that night – it wasn’t as though I physically couldn’t get out of bed, just that there was something in my way.

      Interesting that you’ve had that sensation. I’m glad there’s no accompanying sense of dread for you.

  4. […] two stories of night visitations have been related here at The Paranormalist. (My own and that of my great neice.) Tonight, lets talk about a different kind of […]

  5. bhavana says:

    I suffered from frequent episodes of sleep paralysis from the time I was 12 up into my 30’s, with the episodes becoming less intense or frequent as time went on. None of my experiences were pleasant, most were terrifying….and this was back when no one, even my doctors, knew what it was. They thought I was having repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. Ha. I thought something supernatural was going on, but have since researched the condition and now know its sleep disturbance with dreams/hallucinations that seem real. Sounds to me like your experience was not SP – either it was a dream or a paranormal experience.

    • I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. I’ve been very lucky with my sleep patterns. My daughter had night terrors for several years, and those were tough on everyone. Thankfully, SHE didn’t seem to suffer from much fear with those … she seemed to be mostly unaware. Sleep paralysis sounds so much worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, I don’t know – one of my brothers had night terrors. Maybe he didn’t remember, but the rest of us did! Pretty horrible being wrenched from heavy sleep in the dead of the night by the terrified screams of someone running thru the house! We’d find him downstairs in a daze, or still screaming….thank god it was a short phase thing!

        Yes, SP was scary – but interesting too. I have read that it can be connected to astral projection/travel…and I think this is true, cause I always felt this sense of being pulled away from my body, with a realization that if I just “let go”, more would happen…but, it was too scary to push it any further. I’m a chicken!

        My mom had an experience like yours, where she saw someone standing over her, face very close. Possibly you attracted the attention of someone, a female someone, and she was just trying to get a better look at you….we don’t have to live in a haunted house to experience ghosts. Some don’t stay in one place all the time, they move around, perhaps follow people they encounter and find interesting.

        • Our girl screamed sometimes, then she’d just walk around with her eyes open as if she hadn’t just sounded completely terrified. The worst was when she’d try to go outside. During those years, I learned to stay awake until she’d been in bed for 4-5 hours, because nearly every episode happened in the first hours after she fell asleep. It was so much easier to deal with her when I wasn’t half-asleep myself.

          I guess I sleepwalked when I was a kid, though I have only one clear memory of it. There were some some tiny, pale purple flowers in the garden that only bloomed after dark. The smelled absolutely heavenly. I woke up just before dawn once, sitting amongst those plants. I remember being dew soaked, chilled and confused. I just got up and went into the house. I think I got in trouble the next morning for taking my nightgown off in the night.

          I’m trying to figure out why the sensation of knowing I could just let go, as you described, is so familiar to me. I wonder when I’ve experienced that.

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