Demonic Possession, Attacks and Sleep Paralysis
Article by Craig Hamilton-Parker. True reports about Old Hag Syndrome, ghosts, ghouls, and spirits are a recurring theme in day-to-day correspondence generated by my media exposure. From the incoming mail, it is clear that a surprising number of people claim to have had paranormal experiences, and many ask for help in dealing with malevolent spiritual forces. One widespread problem seems to be spirit attacks while people sleep. The sinister entity may grab the sleeper by the throat, sit on their chest, and in some instances sexually abuse them.
Could it be that a large sector of the population is under attack by demons? Certainly, some of the letters I have received show that this is happening: “I awoke one morning and realized that my body was completely paralysed,” writes one reader. “I couldn’t move a muscle. Something was in the room and walked across the bed. I tried to scream but only a slight noise came from my throat. Whoever or whatever was in my room then disappeared. Unfortunately, I have been getting this horrible paralysis for about two months now. The last time it happened I managed to open my eyes but still could not move my body.”
Sleep Paralysis / Old Hag Syndrome
This person is probably suffering from what psychologists call “sleep paralysis.” Recent surveys suggest that it affects between 25 to 30 percent of the population. People also often report feeling a “presence” that is often described as malevolent, threatening, or evil. An intense sense of dread and terror is very common. Sometimes the “entity” may attack by strangling the sleeper and exerting crushing pressure on the chest. It is caused when the back of the brain comes to consciousness before the rest of the body “wakes up.” This is more likely to happen if you are over-tired. Doctors also recommend that it is best to sleep on your side and not on your back, as this can trigger the condition.
If you find yourself in the midst of a sleep-paralysis episode, you might try a traditional method for overcoming the paralysis by attempting to move your fingers or toes, or even your tongue. A number of people have suggested rapidly moving one’s eyes back and forth as a way of bringing a bout of SP to an end. As it is possible to have multiple episodes in a single night, it may help to get up briefly and move around after any such episode before trying to sleep again.
History of Attacks
In medieval times, people believed in the incubus, a lascivious male demon that was said to possess mortal women as they slept. He was responsible for the birth of demons, witches, and deformed children. According to one legend, the incubus and his female counterpart, the succubus, were fallen angels. In medieval European folklore, it is said that female demons may visit men in their sleep to lie with them in ghostly sexual intercourse. The man who succumbs to a succubus will not awaken from sleep. Other folklore speak of Chinese Fox spirits, East European vampires, an Old Hag myth, and even Eskimo spirits, all including the theme of a person waking up, unable to move, and sensing a presence. (Some psychologists argue that Sleep Paralysis may account for what claim to be real UFO experiences or alien abductions – the modern day equivalent of a demonic attack)
Recent theories claim that these sexual attacks are also the result of sleep paralysis. As we know from Freud, a great deal of dream content is of a sexual nature. Some psychologists claim that penile and clitoral erections in REM (dreaming) sleep demonstrates the validity of Freud’s insights about the primacy of sex. Also the asphyxiation that accompanies this syndrome may also cause sexual excitement. It is conceivable that many of the sexual attacks these people describe may be simply a vivid waking nightmare with a sexual undertone that occurs during a bout of sleep paralysis. Similarly, psychologists have explained that sleep paralysis may be at the root of cases of people who believe that they have been abducted by aliens. Often such claims begin with a report of someone waking up, terrified, feeling a presence, unable to move, may include sexual “experiments,” and often include waking-dream type hallucinations.
A good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy body, mind, and soul. Many of our troubles arise because of over-tiredness that in turn creates emotional vulnerability and intellectual weakness. In some of my other books, I have gone into detail about how to establish positive sleep patterns and how to prepare an inviolate area where dreams can safely take place. The most common cause of a bad night’s sleep and nightmares is mental over-stimulation before bedtime. It is, therefore, essential to prepare your mind for sleep. Avoid watching violent films on Television just before bedtime. Instead, do something restful, such as listening to music or reading something light.
Light snack of foods that are high is tryptophan will also help you sleep. These include eggs, meat nuts, beans, fish, and cheese. Similarly, foods high in carbohydrates help you to snooze, such as cereals, milk, cakes, spaghetti, and honey. Limited consumption of high fat foods can also help sleep. But it is most important to let go of negative thoughts and fill your mind with positive imagery. You may think of happy events from the past or visualize beautiful places you know. This will create positive thoughts that will keep nightmares away. One of my personal favourites, as I prepare to fall asleep, is to imagine that I am being bathed in twinkling golden lights that fall from above. Each one is a spark of energy that carries with it a special blessing to encourage inner peace and well being.
Real Attacks and Demonic Possession
There are cases in my files of people who appear to have undergone paranormal attacks as they slept. A prison inmate, for example, wrote, “The last time it happened, I was tossing and turning and trying to get to sleep when a strange dark power pulled me off the bed and pushed me against the wall. My cellmate screamed when he saw what was happening.” Similarly, an old woman relayed, “I am terrified at night as I believe that I am being menaced by a ghost or spirit. If I awake during the night, I see what I would call “smoke” in my room. One night my husband and I saw the harrowing sight of my bedclothes being slowly pulled off the bed. But the last straw was when I felt “it” move to the side of the bed and poke me hard in the arm. I prayed out loud but it wouldn’t go away.”
Real Demon Stories
Other case files are reports of people who have been attacked by these malevolent spirits and display mild to severe bruises and bite marks, many of them in places where they could not be self-inflicted. Some researchers have noted that women occasionally have torn vaginal tissue after an alleged attack by an incubus. And how can science explain the many cases of spirit attack that are witnessed by others or happen to two people simultaneously? Clearly science has not completely explained these phenomenon.
My advice to you, should you experience an attack by a malevolent spirit, is to first consult your doctor and ask about treatment for the common complaint of sleep paralysis. If you remain unconvinced as to that cause, and feel that a malevolent spirit has indeed been making its presence known, you must not give in to fear. As with the thought forms I spoke of earlier, these things feed upon our own energy, particularly the powerful energy of fear. If we persistently refuse to feed it with energy, we deprive it of the life force that energizes it.
Demons and Religion
The peace and comfort provided by a belief in traditional religion, unfortunately, may be compromised by religious fanatics who use the fear of demons to terrorize their flocks and encourage financial contributions to their cause. Some, under the cloak of religious teachings, hold incendiary torches ready, with nothing to stop them except the critical reasoning of thinking people. Casting out demons, for example, to bring about on-call “miracles” makes exciting church, but whether the healing effect is real or the message is in any way true to the teachings of Jesus is debatable. Most enigmatic “healing” can be explained by auto-suggestion and the psychological manipulation of vulnerable people. I may be mistaken, but I prefer to believe that the teachings of the humble carpenter are about love and tolerance rather than devils and demons. The love of God, in whatever religious guise, is a powerful means of protection from all forms of negativity, so long as it comes from the heart and is not polluted by those with their own agenda for fame and power.
On a more down to earth note, a number of folk remedies are said to protect sleepers from night attacks. A peony flower taken to bed or a cauldron in the room is specific to keeping away the incubus; while bluebells or phallic-shaped magical tools are supposed to ward off the succubus. These things reinforce your feeling of being safe. Simple rituals can help some people strengthen the aura and protect against harm in daily life or as they sleep. You may, for example, wear a crystal or talisman to strengthen your faith in your protective energy.
This could be a religious symbol, such as the Star of David or a cross, or something personal that will help you achieve a positive state of mind–perhaps a locket with a photo of a loved one. Similarly, burning essential oils or placing a bowl of water in the sleeping room helps create a protected atmosphere. Hanging certain pictures in this area may inspire positive thoughts at bedtime. By creating a safe place to sleep or work and perhaps following a short ritual in a special place, you can help improve your own and the environment’s positive energy. A ritual need only take a few minutes, and is helpful to focus your attention and intent.
Just to re-affirm my earlier point. Most instances of demonic possession and the like can be explained by ‘sleep paralysis’. If you think you may have this condition then seek advice from a suitably qualified person such as your GP.
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