Sleep paralysis is a terrifying experience. If you haven’t been through it already, you’re lucky. In sleep paralysis, the sufferer’s brain is aware of everything, while his body is asleep. The person’s mind will make him hallucinate. He will feel cumbersome and unable to move. But the worst part is, all this will happen while he is being surrounded by shadowy figures and monsters that their mind conjures up.
Feeling helpless while you have someone holding you down is one of the worst feelings ever. It’s like the complete reverse of sleepwalking. You can see and feel everything, you’re awake, but you just can’t move.
People who have been in a coma have reported that they could see and hear everything around them. So, this feels a lot like that. Except, you don’t see demons when you’re in a coma. This happens to some people for a few seconds, others for a couple of minutes. And some unlucky people have even complained that they felt like their whole night was spent being sleep paralysed.
Nicholas Bruno, a Photographer from Northport, NY, has experienced terrible sleep paralysis since the vulnerable age of 15. So, like every great artist, he describes his suffering through his work. Bruno told CNN: “For people who haven’t experienced it, and say they want to – they don’t. You’ve never woken up being choked out by shadow hands. You’ve never had a looming figure floating above your bed, screaming into your ear.
“I would go to bed, and I would wake up immediately right into one of those dreams. I wouldn’t sleep for two days at a time because I was so afraid to go to bed. I thought I was possessed by demons.”
The “demons” can sometimes be seen as shadows, sometimes as long cloth wrapped figures. Bruno portrays all that using ordinary things such as bowler hats, suitcases, and bath tubs.