Most of those interviewed are visited by a pair of shadowlike forms who surround their beds; more than one describe these shadow-men as being accompanied by their ‘leader’ who wears a wide-brimmed hat. Perhaps most frightening of all are the hints that there is some contagion at play in sleep paralysis. Chris C., an otherwise affable New Yorker whose nightmares are the most malevolent, describes how he awoke one night to find a black figure with red glowing eyes towering over his bed telling him, ‘You know who I am… You’re going to die.’ He’s awoken for real by his girlfriend screaming. She too had been experiencing an incident of hallucinatory paralysis: a black cat had been crouched on her chest, whispering to her partner in a language she couldn’t understand, its eyes too glowing red.
I reviewed Rodney Ascher's terrifying new documentary about the nightmares experienced by sufferers of sleep paralysis, The Nightmare, for the Quietus. You can read the review here.
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