Imagine awaking to a strong sense of a 'presence', pressure on your chest, intense fear and hallucinations, but being incapable of moving a muscle
Professor French discusses sleep paralysis on The One Show
tonight on BBC1 at 7pm.
The light had been switched off, and a comfortable feeling of warmth and heaviness marked the onset of sleep. But suddenly a slurping sound startled the sleeper. Everything seemed completely normal – until he noticed the green liana which had grown from the pot plant and reached his body.
"Every movement became impossible, and every scream was smothered by the plant material that was growing around his mouth and throat. Thoughts raced through the mind: This wasn't a nightmare, the reality of the room was far too distinct and his perception and thinking were far too clear. Were the plants taking revenge on humankind, or had aliens conquered the planet?"
The above account sounds like a scene from a bad horror movie. But it isn't. Dr Stephan Matthiesen, a physicist at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, sent me the account last year saying he had personally experienced this terrifying scenario and lived to tell the tale. It's taken from his book The Normality of Altered States of Consciousness.http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/oct/02/sleep-paralysisInteresting that he doesn't mention anything about sleep paralysis being a precursor to an OBE.