Meeting Mister Shadow Body: another poem about sleep paralysis

Twenty years ago,
emerging from a dream
(now long forgotten),
awake but frozen –
yes, paralyzed!
(except for my eyes) –
I saw him pacing
in the hall, a phantom,
3-D silhouette,
Mister Shadow Body.
I was not scared then.
Terror came later
as he returned again
again again again.
Because Shadow Body
sightings are just
misfirings in my brain,
the more I learned
about evil,
the more evil he became.

Yes, I wrote another poem about sleep paralysis. Don’t worry, it hasn’t been bad lately, thanks to … ROSIE! At night, she scares the monsters away.

Obligatory science: During the REM cycle, when people dream, “Hypnopompic sleep paralysis” occurs when somebody wakes up before REM atonia shuts off. In this unfortunate state, the body is paralyzed and prone to visual hallucinations/frightening sensations. For more information about sleep paralysis science, including the neurotransmitters responsible for REM atonia, read some papers by Patricia Brooks and John Peever (University of Toronto).


2 thoughts on “Meeting Mister Shadow Body: another poem about sleep paralysis

  1. This is a really effective and beautifully put poem about something really scary (been there lots of times). I really like it how you manage to describe it in such an inspiring way. And those final lines, they click perfectly. I think I’ve kind of grown addicted to reading them out loud. Awesome šŸ˜‰

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