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Tags ghost sightings , ghosts , hypnagogia

View Poll Results: Was it a ghost?
No, it was nothing. Go back to sleep. 43 84.31%
No, it was a human intruder. You will be dead by dawn. 2 3.92%
No, it was an alien. 0 0%
Yes, it was a ghost. Whooooooooooooh! 6 11.76%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 31st August 2016, 07:29 PM   #1
angrysoba
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My Wife's Just Seen a Ghost

I've just woken up to a severe pain in my right arm. As I approached consciousness I heard my wife whisper, "Be quiet! Don't move! Someone's in the room! He's looking at our son!"

As I woke I realized the pain in my arm was my wife's nails and she was gripping my arm tightly. Still in a sleep daze I was told to go to the light switch and switch on the light.

There was nobody there!

I checked the time. It was about two thirty in the morning.

My wife told me she had seen a very large man standing at the foot of our bed, wearing a hat, and looking down into our son's cot (our son's a year and a half old). She then told me to check in the cupboards, which I did, and then check on the landing, which I did.

We then heard a noise coming from another room. Someone was moving around in the house.

I opened the door to the room in which we had heard someone moving around and both of my parents were startled - we are staying at their house and one of them had got up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. But they had used the bathroom connected to their bedroom and hadn't left the room.

My wife then wanted me to check all the other rooms on the first floor - which I did - and to take a pillow with me so that I could smother any intruder I found. Fortunately for him I never found him.

Now my wife insists she saw someone although it is highly unlikely given that whoever it was could not have left the room and got out of the house without going through the security gates that we have put up on the stairs to stop my son falling down. They are easy for an adult to open, of course, but they would have made a noise.

So what has just happened. My wife insists it was not sleep paralysis, although I think it was a waking dream of some kind. I am pretty sure it was neither of my elderly parents in the room nor a human intruder. My son is sound asleep.

Answers on a postcard!
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Old 31st August 2016, 07:39 PM   #2
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You took... a pillow... to... to smother...

So, if the intruder was a bedridden invalid, you'd be prepared...

A pillow...

Yeah, you're all doomed.
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Old 31st August 2016, 07:45 PM   #3
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Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic.
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Old 31st August 2016, 07:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ray Brady View Post
You took... a pillow... to... to smother...

So, if the intruder was a bedridden invalid, you'd be prepared...

A pillow...

Yeah, you're all doomed.
She said to take a weapon. I was not taking the "threat" particularly seriously so I said okay, pass me that cushion, she insisted I took the pillow. We can laugh about it now because we are not currently dead in our beds.

Which reminds me, one of the poll options was supposed to be "the zombie apocalypse has begun!"
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 31st August 2016, 07:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic.
I thought "hypnagogic", but had not heard the word "hypnapompic" before. Thanks. That's my main suspect. Although I didn't take the "threat" seriously, I was concerned that my wife was clearly upset and thought there was an intruder in the house.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 31st August 2016, 08:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic.
You wouldn't happen to be an SGU listener, would you?

I heard about this on a recent podcast.

I think this is the episode in question:

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/sgu/579

Quote:
Podcast #579 - August 13th, 2016


Guest Rogue: David Gorski
What's the Word: Hypnagogia
News Items: Now You Don't See It, Piltdown Case Closed, Black Hole Back Door, Cupping at the Olympics, Other Olympic Pseudoscience
Dumbest Thing of the Week
Science or Fiction
Anyway this sounds like exactly the sort of thing they were talking about. There's some sort of menacing presence in the room, often a thief. Could be demon/alien/burglar.

Steven Novella has these sorts of hallucinations himself and he describes them. It doesn't mean she's crazy. Dr. Novella certainly isn't a crazy man, and it happens to him. Once you understand that your own brain can play tricks on you in certain states, hopefully that would make her feel better.

Your lock the doors of the house right? No one broke in. Nothing missing, your son is fine. Simplest explanation is a hypnopompic hallucination, and what she describes is exactly a classic one.
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Old 31st August 2016, 08:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
You wouldn't happen to be an SGU listener, would you?

I heard about this on a recent podcast.

I think this is the episode in question:

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/sgu/579



Anyway this sounds like exactly the sort of thing they were talking about. There's some sort of menacing presence in the room, often a thief. Could be demon/alien/burglar.

Steven Novella has these sorts of hallucinations himself and he describes them. It doesn't mean she's crazy. Dr. Novella certainly isn't a crazy man, and it happens to him. Once you understand that your own brain can play tricks on you in certain states, hopefully that would make her feel better.

Your lock the doors of the house right? No one broke in. Nothing missing, your son is fine. Simplest explanation is a hypnopompic hallucination, and what she describes is exactly a classic one.
Thanks. Actually I have experienced the same things myself and asked my wife if she had Kanashibari which is the Japanese word for it. She insisted that it wasn't because she was able to move while she "saw" whatever it was in her mind. I actually have that podcast episode downloads but not listened to it yet.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 31st August 2016, 08:34 PM   #8
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I'm no expert here but I think paralysis is not always a part of it. That is, she might have had the hallucination without the paralysis. Some people are somnambulant, which means they aren't paralyzed but are basically moving around while asleep. In this way, sleep paralysis actually serves an important function for most people, as it allows you to dream without physically acting out your dream, which can be dangerous.
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Old 1st September 2016, 12:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Thanks. Actually I have experienced the same things myself and asked my wife if she had Kanashibari which is the Japanese word for it. She insisted that it wasn't because she was able to move while she "saw" whatever it was in her mind. I actually have that podcast episode downloads but not listened to it yet.
I am prone to quite vivid hynagogic "episodes". They are often accompanied by the sensation that I am awake and scanning the room - whereas I'm actually dreaming that I'm awake.
When I realise this I then have the struggle to wake out of the dream of a dream.

It can sometimes be quite distressing - even when you realise that you are dreaming.
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Old 1st September 2016, 01:58 AM   #10
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It could be simple pareidolia. Shadowy shape in the room, brain tries frantically to 'recognise' it as a person / face.
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Old 1st September 2016, 04:55 AM   #11
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Even simpler is the idea that a house will make noises as the temperature changes or the wind blows. That is what you heard. Your imaginations said these were human sounds and then supplied the visual cues for you and your wife to see humans in the dark.

If you do want a weapon take a baseball bat. Use it like a spear. You should win a fight against a person with a kitchen knife.
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Old 1st September 2016, 06:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
You wouldn't happen to be an SGU listener, would you?

I heard about this on a recent podcast.

I think this is the episode in question:

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/sgu/579



Anyway this sounds like exactly the sort of thing they were talking about. There's some sort of menacing presence in the room, often a thief. Could be demon/alien/burglar.

Steven Novella has these sorts of hallucinations himself and he describes them. It doesn't mean she's crazy. Dr. Novella certainly isn't a crazy man, and it happens to him. Once you understand that your own brain can play tricks on you in certain states, hopefully that would make her feel better.

Your lock the doors of the house right? No one broke in. Nothing missing, your son is fine. Simplest explanation is a hypnopompic hallucination, and what she describes is exactly a classic one.
Yeah, a hypnopompic episode explains my own ghost "sighting" perfectly. As it would many, I suppose.
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Old 1st September 2016, 06:27 AM   #13
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It was old man Wilkins, the janitor. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for that meddling angrysoba!
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Old 1st September 2016, 10:04 AM   #14
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Nezumi-otoko. You both woke up in time before he farted.
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Old 1st September 2016, 11:13 AM   #15
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I read somewhere that most people experiencing sleep paralysis 'see' the shape of a man in a black cloak/coat and a black wide-brimmed hat. I know someone who saw the exact same thing, but the 'man' was pressing down on their chest (the paralysis part). Bizarre, but not apparently unusual.
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Old 1st September 2016, 11:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
I read somewhere that most people experiencing sleep paralysis 'see' the shape of a man in a black cloak/coat and a black wide-brimmed hat. I know someone who saw the exact same thing, but the 'man' was pressing down on their chest (the paralysis part). Bizarre, but not apparently unusual.
I've read that it's common for people to see a "demon" (like your avatar) or an "old hag" sitting on their chest or in the room.
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Old 1st September 2016, 11:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I've read that it's common for people to see a "demon" (like your avatar) or an "old hag" sitting on their chest or in the room.
Depends on the era that the person experiencing sleep paralysis lived in. From what I've read, in the Middle Ages people experiencing this commonly 'saw' demons or old hags - hence the phrase 'Hag-ridden', meaning 'affected by nightmares or anxieties'. From the mid to late 20th century, sleep paralysis became a possible explanation for 'alien abductions', but as I said I have read that seeing a man in a black coat and hat is very common, and know someone who has experienced this.
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Old 1st September 2016, 02:23 PM   #18
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From Wikipedia:

Quote:
It is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body). These hallucinations often involve a person or supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one's chest and difficulty breathing. Another common hallucination type involves intruders (human or supernatural) entering one's room or lurking outside one's window, accompanied by a feeling of dread.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis
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Old 1st September 2016, 02:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ray Brady View Post
You took... a pillow... to... to smother...

So, if the intruder was a bedridden invalid, you'd be prepared...
A pillow...
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
She said to take a weapon. I was not taking the "threat" particularly seriously so I said okay, pass me that cushion, she insisted I took the pillow. We can laugh about it now because we are not currently dead in our beds.
Yes the shadow/noise stuff is fairly forgettable, but this is IMHO the best part.
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Old 6th September 2016, 05:57 AM   #20
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Why isn't there a "It was an MIB Agent from Area 51 that broke in to abduct you and your family and take them to the FEMA Death Camps!" option?

ETA: judging from the opening post, it would seem that your wife believes in ghosts?
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Old 7th September 2016, 01:33 AM   #21
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I'm guessing she doesn't actually believe in ghosts, but I'd be interested in whether angrysoba managed to convince her it was a typical hypnopompic hallucination.
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Old 8th September 2016, 06:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
When I realise this I then have the struggle to wake out of the dream of a dream.

It can sometimes be quite distressing - even when you realise that you are dreaming.
When I first experienced sleep paralysis it was truly disturbing as I genuinely thought I'd had a paranormal experience and been visited by some sort of evil entity during the night. But as time went by and I read about the symptoms and sleep paralysis and that it's nothing paranormal or to worry about, the episodes became less distressing as I recognised them for what they were during them and found it easier to snap out of it at will but sometimes I just have to grin and bear it as I can't snap out of it but know that it's just a hallucination, no matter how vivid the experience is.

As time went by sleep paralysis has become rarer for me, but instead, I just experienced the hallucinations without the paralysis, so I can toss and turn and sit up in bed, while seeing/hearing freaky **** going on.

I've no doubt that a lot of paranormal experiences can be chalked up to sleep paralysis & hypnopompic/hypnagogic hallucinations. The experience can be very vivid and it's quite different from dreaming. I get quite vivid visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. Voices outside my window calling to me, shadowy robed figures in my bedroom, something in bed clawing at my legs (these are the most annoying as I can feel something sharp clawing at my flesh, it's quite unpleasant).

Swarms of insects on the walls and ceiling that I can see crawling around and hear buzzing is a common enough experience for me and I understand it's a common experience during night time hallucinations.

Recently I was lying in bed after waking up in the middle of the night and could see a little leprauchan/gnome fellow on my bookshelves a few feet from my bed, dancing on the shelves. Little dude about a foot tall and in a hat, just dancing a jig on the shelves. I watched him for a while, quite amused, until I went back to sleep.

I once went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and while walking to the bathroom, passed by my brother who was sitting on a chair with his throat slit. Just sitting there casually bleeding from his neck. I passed him on my way to and from the bathroom and just thought it was weird that he should be sitting there on a chair with his throat slit. I genuinely couldn't tell afterward if I'd had a very vivid dream of waking up and going to the bathroom and this happened in the dream, or if I was half asleep when going to the bathroom and still in a somewhat dreaming state.

It's all quite weird really, but it's no longer distressing when it happens, and sometimes I actively enjoyed the weirdness going on, especially when it's really off the wall stuff like leprechauns dancing on my bookshelves.
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Old 8th September 2016, 02:49 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by tinribmancer View Post
Why isn't there a "It was an MIB Agent from Area 51 that broke in to abduct you and your family and take them to the FEMA Death Camps!" option?

ETA: judging from the opening post, it would seem that your wife believes in ghosts?
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I'm guessing she doesn't actually believe in ghosts, but I'd be interested in whether angrysoba managed to convince her it was a typical hypnopompic hallucination.
I think it would be fair to say that she is open to the possibility of the existence of ghosts. In this case she believed it was a flesh and blood intruder and has only gradually can me round to the idea that it was essentially a nightmare.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 8th September 2016, 04:27 PM   #24
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Love the pillow defense, that's my favorite part

I've luckily never experienced any of the scary sleep-related hallucinations. I suspect I get some frequent hypnagogic stuff though - the ever present falling feeling, which I understand is pretty common. I also used to get this thing where right on the verge of sleep, I'd hear someone call my name. Woke me right up, no good at all. Not scary though, just annoying.
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Old 8th September 2016, 04:29 PM   #25
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Correct response is to empty a magazine through a closed bathroom door.
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