Sleep paralysis is a curious thing. As you might know, during an episode of sleep paralysis a person is unable to move or speak, all the while being totally aware of that. If that wasn't enough, there's also an eerie twist - while being paralyzed, one might also see hallucinations, which, when seen for the first couple of times might be intensely scary. And to make it just a little bit more fun, visual hallucinations are never pleasant, merely the level of terror felt might vary. Of course, there are a couple of theories why these things happen to usually otherwise healthy people, but nobody knows for sure.

Unlike with dreams, people with sleep paralysis always remember their hallucinations easily, since they weren't dreamed of, but seen during a period of awakening. And that makes these visions a perfect inspiration for horror-themed art. Mostly, the sleep paralysis hallucinations include dark figures watching, supernatural creatures suffocating or terrifying the sleeper, often accompanied with and out-of-the-body feeling and loud buzzing, humming noises. Though it is quite hard to describe what exactly this grim experience feels like, these artists have managed to impart their episodes perfectly, giving us a glimpse of these nightly terrors in their dark drawings.

If you also suffer from this mind disturbance, try following a healthy sleeping regime as it decreases the chances of sleep paralysis phenomena occurrence. On the other hand, these deep drawings might consolidate you in knowing that you are not alone and these hallucinations haunt other people, too.

#1

I'm A Little Bit Panicked That I May Find Myself In Sleep Paralysis Again

I'm A Little Bit Panicked That I May Find Myself In Sleep Paralysis Again

Sleep paralysis hallucinations often include visions of incubus and succubus - demonic entities who lie atop sleeping people, harboring evil intentions.

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Dianna Collins 5 months ago

I have had this a lot when growing up. My granny used to say it was a "haint " and if you can name the person that sent it to you, you could call their name and the thing would have no choice but to go into an open bottle. Crazy stuff....

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#2

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

"Why can't I wake up? I have had this before, and it is undoubtedly one of the most frightening experiences ever. Who else here has had sleep paralysis? Once I woke up but I was not really awake it just felt so real, I looked at my room door to see why it was open. I close it every night, all I see is what seems to be an old woman silhouette standing there then all of a sudden she runs to the side of my bed, I can't move, can't talk, can't shout."

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i_ship_it 4 months ago

Just reading this made my heart beat faster.

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#3

I Too Had Sleep Paralysis

I Too Had Sleep Paralysis

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Giorgio Prodoti 4 months ago

such a beautiful contrast, the sweetness of the style with the darkness of the subject

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#4

Intruder

Intruder

Another common theme in sleep paralysis hallucinations - terrifying intruders. 

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反社会的 4 months ago

A lot of time, I see either the grim reaper or a random celebrity in the corner of my room. Kind of a strange mix, but neither of them seem terribly hostile. If anything, the celebrities are scarier.

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#5

Had Another One An Hour Ago. Decided To Photoshop An Example

Had Another One An Hour Ago. Decided To Photoshop An Example

I've had sleep paralysis for a few years, and each time is just as terrifying as the last. I always wake with a feeling of being in a void, alongside a sense like the void is rumbling deeply, like an airplane engine is above my house, combined with a weight on my chest

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4 months ago

Reminds me of momo

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#6

I Use My Nightmare Creatures As An Inspiration

I Use My Nightmare Creatures As An Inspiration

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Cris Şerbu 2 months ago

Thank God, I've only had this experience once. I knew what it was and I wasn't panicking...much, but it still was a harrowing experience.

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#7

The Feeling Of Sleep Paralysis

The Feeling Of Sleep Paralysis

Feeling of sleep paralysis is probably the best described by using such words as terror, helplessness and threat. 

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Chris Wilkinson 2 months ago

Love Antons art

#8

Sleep Paralysis Self Portrait. I'm A Long Time Sufferer

Sleep Paralysis Self Portrait. I'm A Long Time Sufferer

It started in my teen years and has continued into adulthood. It was always hard to explain to people without thinking I was crazy. I wanted to create something that conveyed how scary the experience is when your body is paralyzed, and you lay there while you feel things in the room or see dark shadows or demons staring at you

itslemonilla Report

Adrian Sean 5 months ago

Crazy. I always had this, being half awake half asleep periods when I was 14-19. But it was always the same situations and fortunately nothing terrifying. One set-up was that I slided from the dream to being in my room, which seemed to have being turned into a party house, friends around me chatting kinda blur figures everywhere. And my ofc unable to move. The other situation was that I was aware of me being in a bed, not being able to move, but at the same time everything around me was in movement and everything felt out off place. Very vivid, though it still was more a dreamlike state of mind.

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#9

Describing Sleep Paralysis

Describing Sleep Paralysis

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Cathy Porter 2 months ago

This will probably give me nightmares. How awful!

#10

Ever Since That Day, I Pray I Never Wake To It Again

Ever Since That Day, I Pray I Never Wake To It Again

Dark and eerie monsters are what accompanies sleep paralysis most often. And when the ability to move and speak is lost, it is incredibly hard to snap out of it.

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MPaula Whelan 1 month ago

Her eyes!

#11

A Drawing Of One Of My Sleep Paralysis Experiences

A Drawing Of One Of My Sleep Paralysis Experiences

I feel it's definitely a manifestation of my inner issues and fears. Although I used to get sleep paralysis all the time when I would drink heavily and that seemed pretty straight up demonic at times - like I was in hell. Which felt like I was in a lot of the time. But this drawing was from the tail end of my excessive drinking days and a bad relationship. That was two years ago. A lot has changed. I'm healthy. I am feeling better than ever. I don't have sleep paralysis anymore. Not often anyway. It's happened once in the last two years, but after dealing with it nightly for years, I'm no longer afraid

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Pretty Pangolin 4 months ago

So glad that things have improved for you!

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#12

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

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Ellison Darkling 3 months ago

Could it be a salamander?

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#13

Here's A Painted Storyboard Shot For My New Horror Film Called Tickle About Sleep Paralysis And Domestic Abuse

Here's A Painted Storyboard Shot For My New Horror Film Called Tickle About Sleep Paralysis And Domestic Abuse

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MPaula Whelan 1 month ago

That would be a scary movie!

#14

I Can Tell You That Sleep Paralysis Is Not Fun

I Can Tell You That Sleep Paralysis Is Not Fun

For me, I know for sure that it was a sleep paralysis since I couldn't move at all. It felt like all nerve connections were cut, and even though I ordered my legs and arms to move, they didn't respond in any way. It was a terrifying moment. Also, I saw all kinds of stuff, but after the thing was over I realized I had kept my eyes closed all the time

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Stéphanie Morneault 2 months ago

Mine are very similar except i also ordered myself to wake up and couldn’t open my eyes.

#15

The Best Picture To Depict Sleep Paralysis

The Best Picture To Depict Sleep Paralysis

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Seraphim Tat 2 months ago

She's hot lol

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#16

A Drawing Of Something I Saw During A Sleep Paralysis Episode

A Drawing Of Something I Saw During A Sleep Paralysis Episode

Those were like translucent blue electric cords, what I saw. Like being plugged into the matrix

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Lazar 3 months ago

Just have Neo protect you

#17

I've Been Having Sleep Paralysis For Years, And I Wanted To Reflect The Suffering You May Feel And The Loneliness That It Brings

I've Been Having Sleep Paralysis For Years, And I Wanted To Reflect The Suffering You May Feel And The Loneliness That It Brings

This is a profound subject to represent for me, so it was kind of hard to do, and I think that's why my style is so different, kind of truer

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MPaula Whelan 1 month ago

Invasion of the senses.

#18

My Sleep Paralysis

My Sleep Paralysis

I get sleep paralysis quite a bit, a few times a week at the moment, but unfortunately/fortunately I don't get the creepy woman sitting on my chest like so many others do. I also get night terrors, but they are always completely separate from my sleep paralysis. So anyway, a few days ago I woke up to some sleep paralysis but this time it was different, it was like an out-of-body experience, but I could see myself asleep in a hospital ward, the creepy empty 1950s asylum type. I didn't think that much of it, and I was doing the usual actions trying to wake myself up, at some point, I 're-entered' my body and was laying there asleep but able to see. Then all of a sudden from underneath my duvet these grey old spindly claw-like hands reached out towards me followed by this hollow/shallow face. It moved lightning fast with the kind of jitteriness of a spider, and this woman came from beneath the covers and injected me. The instant I was pumped I was awake 

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Ashley Kellers 4 months ago (edited)

So in a way, she saved you? or killed you - depends how you interpret it

#19

I Feel That This Is A Pretty Accurate Depiction Of Sleep Paralysis

I Feel That This Is A Pretty Accurate Depiction Of Sleep Paralysis

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#20

This Is A Painting About Sleep Paralysis. If You've Ever Had It, You'll Understand

This Is A Painting About Sleep Paralysis. If You've Ever Had It, You'll Understand

After a sleep paralysis hallucination episode one might feels totally helpless and out of control of their own body.

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Kyana Winter 4 months ago

This is pretty accurate

#21

Awake And Conscious, But Unable To Move Or Speak

Awake And Conscious, But Unable To Move Or Speak

It happened to me a lot of times, and it is the most frightening experience that has ever occurred to me, but now I am getting enough sleep, and I tried following a sleep schedule

LoneSoulArt Report

Cinthya Márquez Rojas 3 months ago

Interesante perspectiva

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#22

If Anyone Else Has Been Through It Before, You Know The Horribly Terrifying Feeling. This Is My Take On It

If Anyone Else Has Been Through It Before, You Know The Horribly Terrifying Feeling. This Is My Take On It

When I was a child, I experienced sleep paralysis for the first time. Sleep paralysis may leave you feeling frightened, especially if you also see or hear things that aren't really there. Sleep paralysis may happen only once, or you may have it frequently - even several times a night

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#23

I Worked Pretty Hard On Creating What I Saw Staring At Me In My Room, And This Is It

I Worked Pretty Hard On Creating What I Saw Staring At Me In My Room, And This Is It

For me, the first time it was on my ceiling staring at me, and the second time it was sitting at the end of my bed. Back when I had no idea what sleep paralysis was I told my brother about what happened (he is 25), let me just say that was a terrible idea... because he tried to convince me it was an alien and that I was abducted

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Pretty Pangolin 4 months ago

I think this accounts for a whole lot of alien abduction stories.

#24

Illustration I Did A While Ago Based On A Sleep Paralysis Experience I Had

Illustration I Did A While Ago Based On A Sleep Paralysis Experience I Had

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Night Owl 4 months ago

that cat knows

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#25

The Sandman, A Drawing About Sleep Paralysis

The Sandman, A Drawing About Sleep Paralysis

I avoid sleeping on my back when I don't want it to happen. It still scares me

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MPaula Whelan 1 month ago

This is the scariest I have seen here. Reminds me of a play I saw about a woman being stoned (with rocks, not a chemical).

#26

Sleep Paralysis - A Self Portrait

Sleep Paralysis - A Self Portrait

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Kevin McCloskey 3 months ago

don't sleep on your back

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#27

"Have You Been Sleepwalking Again? Don't Worry, Not Anymore"

"Have You Been Sleepwalking Again? Don't Worry, Not Anymore"

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#28

Sleep Paralysis Is Utterly Horrifying. I Did A Quick Marker Drawing Of What I Hallucinated

Sleep Paralysis Is Utterly Horrifying. I Did A Quick Marker Drawing Of What I Hallucinated

I only had the sitting feeling, seeing things, and the stabbing feeling. The choking one, which some people also suffers during sleep paralysis, sounds pretty horrible

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ETHAN BENNETT 4 months ago

Once a month I had this dream where chuck e. cheese would try to steal I was always up stair but my fm would get mudred since they were down stairs so I would hide under my grandma's bed hoping that he would not find me and thank god he couldnt, but it still occurs

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#29

Drew This Piece Based On Stories That My Friend Who Had Sleep Paralysis Told Me

Drew This Piece Based On Stories That My Friend Who Had Sleep Paralysis Told Me

Sleeping in a supine position - lying flat on your back or stomach is a known instigator of sleep paralysis and hallucinations that follow it. 

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#30

Sleep Paralysis: Succubus

Sleep Paralysis: Succubus

A succubus is a demon in a female form that appears in dreams or hallucinations with intentions to seduce men for their own good.

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Kelly Horrigan 3 months ago

i had incubus

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#31

Drawing For My Illustration Class. The Assignment Was To Pick An Article And Do An Illustration For It. I Chose An Article On Sleep Paralysis

Drawing For My Illustration Class. The Assignment Was To Pick An Article And Do An Illustration For It. I Chose An Article On Sleep Paralysis

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#32

A Drawing Of What I've Seen During Sleep Paralysis

A Drawing Of What I've Seen During Sleep Paralysis

A lot of times they are standing right next to my bed while I try to move or scream for help but can do neither. There's not much you can do besides try to wake yourself up somehow

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PyroKitty 2 weeks ago

The multicolored pen drawings are especially unsettling. Everything about them seems off and wrong.

#33

A Girl From Some Of My Sleep Paralysis Episodes. I Am Not An Artist By Any Means But She Is Kind Of Creepy

A Girl From Some Of My Sleep Paralysis Episodes. I Am Not An Artist By Any Means But She Is Kind Of Creepy

She comes from the doorway and kind of just floats in the corner of my room staring at me. She has no legs that I can see as her dirty white dress covers them. One of her arms is cut off above the elbow and bleeding onto her dress. There is always a breeze blowing her hair and dress around. She doesn't do anything but float and look very sad. Never tries to approach me. Sometimes she has a lantern in her intact arm. I used to be very afraid of her but now that I am used to having sleep paralysis - I know she is not real and nothing to be scared of

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Bluebell Rizzi 5 months ago

This one is sad :/

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#34

"Stop Trying To Scream, It Won’t Work. Your Throat Muscles Are Paralyzed Too. You Still Can’t Breathe"

"Stop Trying To Scream, It Won’t Work. Your Throat Muscles Are Paralyzed Too. You Still Can’t Breathe"

You are staring at a blank ceiling, and you can’t stare anywhere else. Shadows flit across your vision, forming shapes you try not to think about. A clawed hand, a flash of jagged, shadowy teeth. All images from your subconscious. A face forming above yours, leering through black void eyes. You think you hear sibilant whispering. Angry hissing, like a snake that’s been disturbed

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Gaylene Ngaia 3 days ago

I learned to scream with my mouth closed , I hear myself and I know if there is someone who could hear me nearby so I scream louder...it works. I can’t move my body but I somehow always manage to move a finger or two even if it’s only a little bit, I have reassurance that I have control over myself it soon stops! I also suffered a lot as a child...scarey shit..no doubt about it! Maybe sleeping on our backs has something to do with it? Maybe ..just a thought.

#35

Another Sleep Paralysis Experience

Another Sleep Paralysis Experience

I'd like to say with this one, and I remember my TV woke me up...or what I thought was my TV, I mean I was in a dream state, so it wasn't actually even on. That snowy effect was going on when the cable goes out, and there was an all-encompassing and deep vibrating or buzzing that seemed to come from the TV. This buzzing typically accompanies sleep paralysis episodes and serves as a sort of warning for what may happen if I don't calm myself and think positive and loving thoughts

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Kelly Horrigan 3 months ago

another one of mine too

#36

My Try To Describe Sleep Paralysis

My Try To Describe Sleep Paralysis

Though, as much as it scares me when it happens, I have to appreciate the creative motivation it provides! Something good has to come of it

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Lilly Spicer 2 months ago

This is exactly how I feel.. Like I'm being held down by my blanket and my mouth is being covered. I can't move my head, shoulders, legs or arms. Very scary all the while I'm awake. And..it can go on for hours. It started when I was a kid and it has followed me my whole life. I'm 48yrs old now.. I have insomnia and I've been on numerous types of medications and it seems to get worse depending on the medication..

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#37

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep Paralysis

Luckily, I don't have sleep paralysis issues anymore. Not often anyway. They were common experiences for most of my life though. Lots of ideas for artistic inspiration

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#38

What I See When I Get Sleep Paralysis

What I See When I Get Sleep Paralysis

Sometimes he comes over and picks me up, but I usually wake before we leave the room. Sometimes he just stands there waiting for me to go on my own. He's a very long, creepy looking dude with blotchy skin and wears a suit. Sometimes a table and two chairs are set up at the end of my room, and he's trying to get me to come to sit. I have a very long bedroom with not much in it. I guess he brought the table and chairs with him

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#39

What Does It Feel To Be In A Sleep Paralysis

What Does It Feel To Be In A Sleep Paralysis

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#40

Recently I Feel Like A Dark Figure Is Observing Me. When I Was Younger, It Used To Happen More Often, So I Guess I Managed To Master It

Recently I Feel Like A Dark Figure Is Observing Me. When I Was Younger, It Used To Happen More Often, So I Guess I Managed To Master It

I have sleep paralysis too. This illustration is an expression of my feelings. It's no joke, and sometimes it’s hard to deal with it

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Thiago de Paula 3 months ago

Neil Gaiman's Sandman?

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#41

Done For An Article On A Condition Known As Sleep Paralysis. It's Kind Of Like The Opposite Of Sleep Walking

Done For An Article On A Condition Known As Sleep Paralysis. It's Kind Of Like The Opposite Of Sleep Walking

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#42

When I Was Little, I Always Had Some Sleep Paralysis So Here Is A Drawing Representing My Childhood

When I Was Little, I Always Had Some Sleep Paralysis So Here Is A Drawing Representing My Childhood

The fact is that your brain thinks you are sleeping so all your dreams, and your fears will be personified into the real world, and it'll give you hallucinations. I think it's the most terrific thing I've ever experienced cause it's impossible for you to understand that what you're seeing is not real, you know you are "not sleeping" so you are SURE it's real 

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MPaula Whelan 1 month ago

Helpless.

#43

Sleep Disorders For Years. Terrified Of Shadow Things. Here’s An Example I Drew Of What I Am Seeing When I Doze Off

Sleep Disorders For Years. Terrified Of Shadow Things. Here’s An Example I Drew Of What I Am Seeing When I Doze Off

This has caused me sleep deprivation and insomnia as I am anxious to sleep. I went through severe sleep deprivation to the point of hearing things and waking hallucinations when I got to 8 days without sleep I took myself to the emergency room where I ended up voluntarily committing myself. It was scary as hell

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LanteiaTG 5 months ago

I'm sorry you went through this. I've only had 2 instances of sleep paralysis where a dark creature hung from a corner of my bedroom, watching me. It was 8 years ago, and it still scars the shit out of me. I can't imagine suffering from this for years. I hope things get better for you.

#44

My First Sleep Paralysis Episode Drawn From Memory. A Dark Figure Watching Over Me. This Happened 4 Years Ago, But The Memory Still Haunts Me

My First Sleep Paralysis Episode Drawn From Memory. A Dark Figure Watching Over Me. This Happened 4 Years Ago, But The Memory Still Haunts Me

The scariest aspect of my experience was that though its face was pitch black and had no facial features, yet I could “feel” it intensely staring at me. It was that same feeling you get when you are alone and feel like you are being watched. I get chills thinking about it. But as creepy as this figure looked, the weirdest thing is that I didn’t feel like it was an evil presence. It was sitting so human-like... and seemed more curious in me rather than threatening. It sat there motionless for about 30 seconds by my feet at the edge of my bed, just watching me the whole time, then disappeared once I regained control of my body

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#45

How I See Sleep Paralysis

How I See Sleep Paralysis

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Pretty Pangolin 4 months ago

This one looks downright benign compared to the others.

#46

My Drawing Of Sleep Paralysis

My Drawing Of Sleep Paralysis

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