Being paralysed is never pleasant. Seeing evil spirits, whether real or hallucinations isn’t amusing either. Combine the two and what does the unfortunate soul get? A cocktail of fear, powerlessness and breathlessness is what they would most likely experience. There have been reports of people having happy or erotic hallucinations but those accounts started off on a creepy note as well.

I went to bed that night earlier than normal with a relaxed mind knowing that there were no classes the following day. I could, therefore, sleep till a bit later in the day. Being a cool winter night, I put the ceiling fan on at medium, covered myself and made myself cosy with a rather light blanket and soon fell asleep, the tiredness of the day helping me fall sleep quicker.

I woke up moments later, not knowing how long it had been. Turned to my left with my right leg and arm on top of my soft side-pillow, I felt I couldn’t move my limbs. I laid there with eyes wide open and breaths quickened. Fear soon gripped me as I heard the sleazy sound of my door being opened very slowly. I thought it was my mom coming in to reprimand me for staying up late. I waited and waited for the better part of a minute, which seemed like hours.

When I did see who entered my room, I was taken aback in pure horror. It was not my mom, but a white faceless figure walking as slow as a tortoise. I tried to open my mouth to speak, but couldn’t do so. Only moans of fear could come out, that too soft ones; so soft that even a person lying beside me wouldn’t be able to hear.

The ghost certainly took its time to walk towards the foot of the bed. Upon reaching, the figure sat down beside my foot, patting and rubbing my calf muscles with its sickly thin hands that made everything eerier. The surrounding atmosphere became colder and colder with every passing second. I tried pushing the scary being off, but my legs were frozen. Being held down by something unnatural is never pleasing.

Soon, I felt easier as the ghost let go of my leg. I could move but in a very limited manner. I was facing the left and all I could do was turn around to my right. Thinking of the previous encounter as the most horrifying one was a mistake, as a sickening face stared right back at me. The wrinkled, pale and gasping face lacked eyelids, hair and teeth. It looked at me, burning my eyes to oblivion, making me feel helpless and scream inside for help.

I turned for a brief second to look at the foot of my bed and saw that the white figure had disappeared. The person lying beside me pulled my cheek and pressed it, its cold and dirty hand making me feel breathless. I gasped for air but felt blackness around. For some reason, I couldn’t realise that the ghost was choking me. It had its long, pale and skinny fingers with untrimmed nails around my throat, its grasp tightening more and more.

The blackness kept closing in slowly and slowly, making me feel like my soul was beginning to leave my body. My life flashed before my eyes. What was surprising was that it wasn’t my life, but someone else’s. The events that unfolded in front of my window to the world were drastically different from those I had experienced in my childhood and early teenage years. The blackness soon engulfed my vision while I was groaning pleadingly and I was out cold, probably dead due to asphyxiation.

I soon opened my eyes when a glimmer of the sunshine fell on my face through the small gap between the two curtains. The pale old man was no longer there. I turned around to the left side and looked directly at the clock. It was fifteen minutes past ten. I sat up on my bed and stretched my hands out. I was finally convinced that the ghost was gone and I was safe. The rest of the day was spent in lazy yet productive endeavours and activities.

What I experienced was a dream indeed, but it felt very, very real. The touch of the ghost, the choking, the fear and the temporary paralysis felt pure, authentic and cold. It’s not in anyway harmful and the experience is one of a kind but living in the moment is sometimes a lot to take for the faint of heart. It’s like watching a horror movie unfold before you, only you are the victim.