October 25, 2015

Nightmares: Stress Related or Something More?

Keeping in theme with my Halloween related posts I wanted to talk about Nightmares. I don't mean just any nightmares. I mean the sleep paralysis, feels totally real, could this be something paranormal kind of nightmares.

Now I'm not 100% convinced that I even believe in the paranormal. I mean I guess I do on some level but not enough to make me think about it a lot. In this post I want to share with you my own story. My own nightmare that I had to deal with for months....

I can't remember the exact day it started. There very well could have been something going on in my life that was causing stress. Who knows.
I went to sleep that night and "dreamt" that I was awake. Just laying in my bed looking around my room. I could see everything as it was before I fell asleep, I could see Craig sleeping beside me. I looked across my room next to my closet and I saw someone there. It was a woman. She was wearing a dress that looked tattered and her hair was long and she was haggard looking. I remember feeling scared but I couldn't scream or make any noise at all. Eventually I woke myself up.

I had that same dream for days.

Another night came and by this point I've already started to fear falling asleep at night. I had the same dream but this time she wasn't standing beside my closet. She was standing beside my window. Looking at me. Which was only about 2 feet away from me. Again, I eventually woke myself up.
At this point i'm freaking out. I just knew she was getting closer to me in my dreams. I think it was around this point I finally told Craig and my mom about the dreams I was having.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I find myself having the scariest and worst night of all.

I fell asleep. The dream started. Only this time she wasn't beside the closet or the window. This time she was right on top of me. I remember seeing her floating there above me pushing down on my chest. Her hair hanging down by her face. I couldn't scream, I couldn't move. It was like I was paralyzed. It took longer for me to wake up but thankfully I did.

I felt like I was going crazy at this point. I told my mom about my latest dream and even she began to worry. I remember sleeping on the couch for a few nights because I was too afraid to be in the bedroom. Shortly after that terrifying dream my family and I went for a small visit to Cape Breton. We always pass through the Mi'kmaq Native reserves on our way down. I was driving back with my brother and I asked him to pull over into one of the shops. I needed to do whatever I could to make the dreams stop. I thought why not try hanging a dream catcher in my window? A real one would surely work? So I bought a nice sized dream catcher and hung it in my window as soon as I got home.

Fortunately for me, the dreams stopped. Just like that.

Some might believe the dream catcher actually worked while others may think hanging the dream catcher finally gave me some peace of mind and it created the "illusion" that it was taking the dreams away. Honestly, i'm not sure what to believe. I'm just thankful it worked.

That wasn't quite the end though.

Shortly after my dreams stopped I was on the computer and I happened to come across some paranormal stories. I was just reading through some and my heart nearly stopped when I read one certain story. It was titled The Old Hag.

Apparently this is a worldwide phenomenon. Its actually called Old Hag Syndrome. Here's a bit from a website describing it...

The name of the phenomenon comes from the superstitious belief that a witch - or an old hag - sits or "rides" the chest of the victims, rendering them immobile. Although that explanation isn't taken very seriously nowadays, the perplexing and often very frightening nature of the phenomenon leads many people to believe that there are supernatural forces at work - ghosts or demons.
The experience is so frightening because the victims, although paralyzed, seem to have full use of their senses. In fact, it is often accompanied by strange smells, the sound of approaching footsteps, apparitions of weird shadows or glowing eyes, and the oppressive weight on the chest, making breathing difficult if not impossible.
All of the body's senses are telling the victims that something real and unusual is happening to them. The spell is broken and the victims recover often on the point of losing consciousness. Fully awake and well, they sit up, completely baffled by what just happened to them since now the room is entirely normal.

Reading all of this totally shocked me. I can swear on my life that I had never previously read or even heard about this syndrome before having these dreams. 

Doctors like to say its a type of sleep paralysis. That it can be brought on by stress or anxiety. Now I do suffer from anxiety so maybe thats it but I can't help but wonder how all of these people around the world, through centuries, all have the same dream. Usually about the same woman. Kind of freaky. Especially when you've never even heard about it before.

All I know is that i'm so happy to say its been about 2-3 years since i've had these dreams. Since hanging that dream catcher. And just to note- I still suffer from anxiety and no dreams. 

Have you ever had dreams like this before? Also, do you believe its all anxiety related or do you believe there could be something more? 


  1. This actually happens to my mom and my husband! They somehow learned to control the situation though by just relaxing completely when thy realize that it's beginning to happen.

    Vegetarian CourtesyCheesePapas

    1. Oh really!? So crazy how many people this happens to! Luckily mine just went away!

  2. I've always had lucid dreaming/nightmares, i sleep at random times during the day and night due to being woken up by nightmares or dreaming too much that my body cant relax. It's rather annoying but ive had it all my life.


    1. Oh wow, I couldn't imagine! Is there anything you can do about it?

  3. Sounds like sleep paralysis?! That sounds terrifying, I don't think I've ever had it that bad! X

    Chilled Uni vibes over on -

  4. I've chronic sleep paralysis, so I completely understand where you're coming from. The issue in my case is that, in my hallucinations/dreams, I have pins and needles ALL over my body while a cackling incubus is beside my snarling or a hag is at the corner of my bedroom, and if I try to move, the sensation just gets worst. Gah. I've been having these episodes for nearly a decade now and no dream catcher I put in my room has ever rid me of them. Lucky you, Renee!

    May | THE MAYDEN

    1. Oh my goodness. That sounds terrible!! Were you able to buy your dream catcher from an actual native reserve? I'm not sure if that would make a difference but to me it feels a lot more spiritual or something that way.

  5. Replies
    1. It was pretty terrifying! After reading some of these comments though I think I may have been pretty lucky!