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The ‘brain glitch’ explanation does not do justice to what is experienced by many victims throughout history and many fearful of a ‘demon attack’ episode, as it might be deadly to them.
The fear and resulting panic create a vicious circle in the minds of the victim, feeding into the demon, and making sleep paralysis chronic and deadly. People who are under depression or have had a traumatic experience are often more vulnerable to the attack.
Apparent hallucinations of a dark monster holding the sleeping person, while he or she is unable to move or speak, is a phenomenon that is experienced by one-fifth of the population at least once.
Scientists dismiss these episodes as hallucinations, but cultural beliefs pinpoint towards mythical monsters/demons, black magic and paranormal activity.
The Egyptians referred to sleep paralysis as something caused by a ‘Jinn’, which terrorizes and even kills the victims. Italians refer to this figure as Pandafeche, a giant cat.
South Africans interpret this as small creatures known as tokoloshe, who perform black magic, while in Turkey the creature has another name, the Karabasan.
Scientists claim a brain glitch blurs the wakefulness and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) modes of sleep, making the dreams come out in the real world, creating a hallucination.
To prevent you from acting out these dreams, the brain paralyses your body. Sometimes this mechanism fails and you see your dream in augmented reality in the real world.
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