By Dana Davis
Sometimes visions can happen when coming out of the sleep state. They are hypnagogic in nature, when we’re not quite fully awake but no longer asleep, an in-between period when the dream world overlaps with the waking part of our brains. We think we’re actually seeing, hearing, and experiencing these incidents, and since the body is still in sleep paralysis and we can’t move, they can be very frightening.
I’ve experienced hypnagogic episodes, where I’m completely paralyzed and helpless as a presence holds me down in my bed and scares the living bejeebees out of me. I have learned to recognize them. The following incidents didn’t feel the same way. I’m combining several different, yet very similar, episodes in this blog.
The first happened when I was living in Pasadena, California in a tiny apartment back in the 1980s. I was young and didn’t have a lot of money, so my bed was one of those fold-out futon chairs. It was made of thick foam and surprisingly comfortable. I awoke to the feeling that someone sat on the edge of my futon. I could actually feel the movement. I also felt a presence in the room, like someone was watching me. Something brushed my hair from my face. I had no sleep paralysis at all, and I opened my eyes to see an indentation, about the size of an adult’s buttocks, in the futon. I was amazed. As I watched, the dent slowly lifted until it was gone, and the feeling of being watched left as soon as the indentation disappeared. I didn’t feel threatened. Oddly enough, I felt somewhat comforted by it. It was morning and time for me to get up for work and my roommate was still sleeping.
The second incident happened about a year later, when I was spending the night on a friend’s couch. I awoke to soft footsteps coming down the stairs but I was very tired and didn’t open my eyes. I really wanted to sleep longer. I felt the edge of the couch press down as though someone sat on it. Again, I felt a presence in the room, like someone watching me, then a gentle touch brushed hairs from my face. I opened my eyes expecting to see my friend, but I saw no person, just an indention on the edge of the couch beside me. I watched as it lifted as though a person got up. The feeling of someone watching me disappeared and I looked at my watch. It was time for me to get up. My friend was still upstairs asleep.
The third time, was after I was married and I awoke in our apartment bedroom with the feeling someone was watching me. It was morning and light streamed in through the draperies. A woman, not completely solid, wearing a long skirt and a blouse from the late 1800’s stood in front of our window. She was putting on a bonnet. She turned to me and smiled then just disappeared. Again, I didn’t feel threatened.
Incident number four happened in my current home about four or five years ago as I was napping on the couch in the afternoon. Again, felt like I was being watched. This time the indentation and brushing of my hair was accompanied by what sounded like tinkling wind chimes. I felt the indention lift as I opened my eyes but I didn’t see anything. The sensation of being watched didn’t disappear immediately. Instead, I felt a presence for several seconds after I sat up. I asked my husband, who was in another room at the time, if he heard wind chimes. He told me he hadn’t. Curious, I walked outside to see if I could hear any chimes coming from one of our neighbors’ homes. Nope. Nothing.
The fifth and final incident, so far anyway, happened just last year. I awoke in the morning and sat up to get out of bed. To my surprise, I saw a girl about ten or eleven years old, crouched next to my nightstand. Like the last figure I had seen, she wasn’t completely solid. She turned to me and her eyes grew wide. She looked as surprised as I felt. Before I could say anything, she disappeared. I had already been training with my paranormal investigative team by this time, so I immediately ran to the other room for my camera, recorder, and EMF meter. But by the time I had them set up, it was too late. I got nothing on any of them.
I have no explanations for these incidents and no witnesses or evidence. I’m looking forward to another one happening because I hope to get some evidence. So much time happens between them that it’s not practical to set up equipment every night. But if I see a figure in my bedroom again, I plan to do just that and see if I catch anything. Wish me luck.