I'm Afraid to go to Sleep Tonight

When I was a wee child, from the ages of about six to eightish, I’d have these intense, very realistic nightmares. I’d awaken to a very tall man with wild hair, wearing a windbreaker standing over my bed. He’d be accompanied by a smell, not dissimilar to something that had half-way rotted and then dried out. I’d hide under the covers and close my eyes, and after a few minutes of cowering in fear, I’d fall asleep again.

This would happen at least once a week, most weeks it was four or five times. It hasn’t happened for years, I even forgot about the whole thing until last night–when it happened again.

I know it’s all in my head, but it’s still creepy and unpleasant.

This is a very common experience, so common in fact that it even has a name: hagging.

It can take different forms, but having the feeling of waking up in bed and having a scary-looking individual looking over you (usually accompanied by sleep paralysis) is nearly universal among mankind. I used to experience it too, as a kid.

It hasn’t happened to me in a while. I don’t remember a smell, but sometimes there would be a low-frequency sustained noise.

Uhhhhg, WHY did I read this thread? This hasn’t happened to me in a long time and now I’m afraid it’s going to happen.

The best way to avoid it is to sleep on your side and not your back, and not eat anything right before bed.

You’re lucky. I’m so jaded I would probably interview the guy (within my dream) and try to poke his orifices.

Horror films have made me so inured that I would actually welcome the opportunity to be truly scared again.

I never smell anything in my dreams. Actually they rarely have sound.

Sucker punch the sucker!

Dream of shagging, not hagging, TravisFromOr. It’s just one sexy little letter away…

Sleep tight. Don’t let the crazy scary frizzle-haired stinky anywhere near ya.

Weird, I’ve never heard the term “hagging” for it (and Googling produced the definition that I’d expected instead) but I think reading about the sensory experiences of hypnagogia might help you at least realize it’s pretty common and maybe help you seek out things that could improve it.

On the bright side, it’s good to know that BOB is still getting the job done…

i had it several times during the 90’s and was amazed when i read about it in carl sagans “demon haunted world”, he described my “ghost-like” or “demon visit” experiences to a “T”
OP should read his book. mine mostly stopped after i read the book, and even when they happen, i now am no longer terrified

A better (and more relevant) read would be David Hufford’s The Terror That Comes in the Night, as the whole book is specifically about this phenomenon, with lots of data on folklore about it but ultimately from a medical perspective.

Attack the character in your dream.

It always works for me.


Finally, he’s asleep…

I used to wake up paralyzed every single morning (and frequently in the night) for a few years in my late teens / early 20s. Luckily the murdering psychopath only hovered over me every couple months or so. I eventually learned to concentrate every ounce of my willpower on wiggling the tip of one finger. Once I could get that going, I could move up to a whole finger, then my hand, and then my arm. Then I could throw my arm over and move my whole body, which would wake it up. It was awful. Looking back, I should’ve been beating down walls for a solution, but I just accepted it.

Improve it?

Damn you!

He is Bob, eager for fun.
He wears a smile. Everybody RUN.

Oh, and it didn’t happen tonight. It might have just been a one-night reversion–hopefully.

I tend to have nested dreams where I’m doing something and I think I’m actually doing it, but I’m just asleep. It’s kind of hard to define. I’ll dream that I’m masturbating in the bed where I’m sleeping, but I will think it’s actually happening and I’m actually doing it. Then I will wake up and realize oh, I wasn’t actually doing it but I’ll start now. Then I wake up and realize I wasn’t doing it, it was just a dream, and I wake up from that and try again… like 5 or 6 different layers of dreaming sometimes. Until finally I wake up and I have no idea if this is really fucking reality or not.


I will also get sleep paralysis at least once a week where I’m being raped by a nightmare guy but can’t move. I will wake up and be paralyzed and it will feel like there is a person lying on top of me… BRAINS SUCK

It happens to me a lot. At 11 I hallucinated that terrorists had put a bomb in the house, another time I hallucinated Jack Abbot coming to get me, and the Queen mother of all of them was when I had what is called Exploding Head Syndrome and hallucinated a thermonuclear war. Compared to that one, being visited by the Wicked Witch of the West and the Devil were only minor disturbances.

And no, I don’t sleep very well.

Travis, do you have any overdue library books? If so, I suggest you take them back pronto.