Sleep has always frightened me. You get yourself “ready” for bed. You put on a specific outfit, say your goodnights as if you’ll never see people again, and then position your body onto a large slab of cushion and close your eyes for 8 hours or more. Even at the ripe age of 8, I realized how creepy that all sounded. I had suffered from sleep terrors as a youngster, and the idea of allowing yourself to reach such a vulnerable state of mind didn’t sit well me, and it still doesn’t.
My first bout of sleep paralysis that I actually remember was at 22. I was living in an old brick apartment alone, and my place already exhibited some creepy tendencies. I had awoken abruptly, as though someone had slapped me across the face. Right away I knew I wasn’t alone, there was something laying next to my bed. But no matter how hard I tried to lift my head, or my body, I was paralyzed. I could feel something crawling up the side of my bed, and slithering across my covers. I could FEEL the sheets shift as though something was making its way slowly towards me. After what felt like 15-20 minutes, I shot up and threw my covers across the room. Nothing. Nothing was there, but I was soaking wet with sweat.
I continued to have a few more similar experiences while living in this specific apartment.
Now I understand, for the most part, how Sleep Paralysis works. Nothing paranormal about it, just your brain being weird. However, I do find it strange that my strongest and strangest experiences with sleep paralysis occurred at that specific apartment. So this makes me think of 2 possibilities. 1) my apartment was haunted as shit and something was definitely messing with me or 2) my environment played a huge part in my psyche and sleep patterns.
Although sleep paralysis can be explained from a scientific standpoint, I think it does have somewhat of a paranormal backbone. The fact that we have horrifying images and thoughts buried deep into our subconscious that only come out while we lay flat on our backs in a dark room suggests the dark nature of human beings begs to be released. I tend to believe human beings are innately good. But who are we after we cross the REM threshold?
The first hunt for witches began in 1022 AD. The word “Witch” derives from ‘Wicca’ or ‘Wicce’, which are believed to be derivatives of the term “Wise One.” Most people know that witchcraft has been around for ages. Even before the first crusade against witches, back in 1022 AD. The exact commencement of witchcraft can be disputed, but that’s not the topic. The practice of witchcraft and sorcery varies culture by culture. However, more often than not, the life of a “witch” was not typically glamorous. A well-known example of the persecution of “witches” would be the infamous Salem Witch Trials. In the 1690’s of Colonial Massachusetts, over 20 individuals were killed as a result of the “witch hunt” that swept the town. It wasn’t the cool thing to do at that time to say the least. If you want to get a little deeper into witch hunts, look to European crusades. Tens of thousands of “witches” were killed throughout much of Europe in the late 15th century and on through the 17th century.
For more info on Salem, click here
For more info on European hunts, click here
Although, witchcraft has carried such a negative connotation for so long, it appears as though its making quite a comeback. It’s become a sort of trend. When did witchcraft become a trend? At what point did the idea of being a witch become appealing? I myself have always been somewhat a spooky girl, and I have been known to tote my own “witchy woman” t -shirts now and again. Hundreds of years ago, I would have been executed for donning such attire.
By monopolizing on this witchy idea, does it take away from the spirituality involved in modern day witchcraft? Are we tarnishing the sacred practices of shamans, medicine men, and witch doctors? Can this phenomena be likened to that of All Hallow’s Eve, where we have taken traditional folklore, and morphed it into a reason to party and dress like a sexy slice of pizza? It just doesn’t seem right to swirl serious moments of history into something so irreverent and cheeky.
I am a hypocrite, as I partake in these “cool” activities but I also am saddened by the tainted folklore that carries over as each year passes. In a perfect world, everyone would understand the sacred history and precious lore that hides underneath the ground we walk on.
I guess the end point I would like to make is that if you’re going to jump on the bandwagon, respect and understand the lore that carried it throughout history.