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Devil Dreams

I’ve am plagued by what I jokingly refer to as ‘devil dreams.’ I can joke about them while awake, but once night falls it’s not a laughing matter.

Ask Saxon. She’s the one who has to comfort me in the middle of the night while I tremble and cry. Yes, devil dreams are that scary.

I think I began believing the devil was after me at the age of eleven when The Exorcist first came out. I didn’t see the movie, but I did see the trailers for it on TV. I stayed awake many nights after that scared that the devil would get inside me and make me crab crawl backwards down the stairs.

the-exorcist

Even as an adult, three or four times a year (sometimes a lot more) I awaken in the middle of the night to find myself completely paralyzed. I am always lying on my back. I come fully awake only to find that I cannot move a single muscle except for my eyelids.

I open my eyes and see a black-cloaked  demon standing beside my head. I begin to scream. Because I cannot open my mouth, I am screaming only inside my head. After screaming, I squish my eyes shut and recite the Lord’s prayer.

The demon hovers above me. I can feel his presence. He stretches out on on top of me, pushing his weight down on me. It’s not sexual, it’s satanical.

280px-John_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare

I don’t know how long this goes on before I finally can move. I open my eyes and realize the demon is gone. All appears normal. Except I am terrified beyond belief. That’s about the time I wake up Saxon and cry on her shoulder.

Yesterday, I was driving my daughter to Tulsa to visit the orthodontist and she asked, “Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night and been paralyzed?”

“What?” I almost screamed. How could she know about my devil dreams? I’ve never told her. I didn’t want to scare her.

“Yeah,” she continued, “There’s this thing where people get paralyzed and think aliens or the devil is after them.”

“Where’d you hear about this?”

“It’s on a show I watch on Netflix called Weird or What? It’s a medical thing called sleep paralysis where your brain wakes up before your body does. Your body paralyzes itself at night when you sleep so you won’t thrash around while you’re dreaming, but if your brain wakes up before your body you’re paralyzed.”

Wow. This whole time there was a medical explanation for my devil dreams.

(If you want to read more about sleep paralysis, click here.)

So, guess what? I’m not being possessed by a demon after all. Good to know. (Forty years too late!) Has this ever happened to you? If so,  I’d love to hear your story. Click on the comment button below. (It’s in tiny print, you have to look for it!)

A paranormal romance

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a short story that is a romantic blend of sweet & heat!

You can buy or borrow it here.

Comments on: "Devil Dreams" (10)

  1. Yeah, I read that about the effect of sleep paralysis on the mind… 🙂

  2. Charlotte said:

    Excorsist trailers did that to me too! I didn’t sleep with my head against the headboard for ages and I paid my sister to sleep next to me…

  3. M. E. Logan, Author said:

    I’m so glad that you finally got an answer, that it’s just a weird medical thing rather than something out of this world. That may not stop the dreams, but it may stop your panic when you have the next one. Or merely knowing about it, may stop them altogether.

  4. How funny! You paid your sister! lol

  5. I’ve had those kinds of dreams for going on 35 years now. I finally decided that I was stronger than the terror. I still get them, but now the doctors say it’s part of the PTSD that I have,

  6. I sympathize with you. PTSD or sleep paralysis or both, it’s terrifying. xoxo

  7. Judy Baker said:

    Never, ever, ever sleep on your back! Do not know why it causes bad dreams, but it does (can). Believe me, I spent quite a few years figuring this out.

  8. I’ve never had episodes of sleep paralysis, but I had the same reaction to the Exorcist. I was 14 the first time I watched it. I had nightmares for weeks. Since then, every year around Halloween I’d be covering my eyes and plugging my ears every time the trailers came on tv. My wife and kids thought it was pretty funny. A couple of years ago my youngest, then 19, dared me to watch the Exorcist on Netflix, by myself, in the dark. Maybe my fears of him being possessed weren’t totally unfounded. But I had to do it, he dared me! I don’t remember it being so cheesy when I first saw it, I actually laughed a time or two. Especially when I found myself sitting awake all night hugging my pillow because I was afraid to go to sleep 🙂

    • No way! I can’t believe you watched it! That movie has terrified me for 40 years! I used to have a dog that would sleep under my bed. One night I woke up with the bed shaking. I screamed. Until I realized it was just the dog under the bed scratching himself…

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