Sleep Paralysis and Culture

Many years ago, Sleep Paralysis was traditionally defined as a nocturnal visit from an evil entity.  According to the ancestors, the visit threatens to take the life of its horrified victim.

Our understanding of Sleep Paralysis has come a long way since then. With information being more accessible, we now know a lot more about what the Sleep Paralysis experience is across the world.  Almost every culture in the world has a Sleep Paralysis equivalent.

Aged woman
In Africa
In Egypt

In the United Kingdom, Sleep Paralysis is interpreted as a physiological, psychological or neurological phenomenon, which remains unexplained medically.

In Finland it is referred to as the pusher or presser – unihalvau – which translates into ‘dream paralysis’.

In Nigeria, they call the phenomenon the “the devil on your back” which happens during the nighttime.

In Greece and Cyprus a ghost like creature called Mona tries to steal the victims speech or sits on the chest to cause asphyxiation.

People of Saint Lucia, describe Sleep Paralysis as “kohma,” which means an attack of dead spirits. The spirit jumps inside the body and chokes the throat of an individual.

In Iran, it’s ‘Kabus” which explains a heavy feeling on the chest due to a presence of a ghost on the body.

Egyptians believe that Sleep Paralysis can cause death because of an intense fear of a “Jinn attack.” An attack that can kill the person.

In Newfoundland in Canada, the experience is called the ‘Old Hag’ where it is believed that someone can send the hag to ‘hag’ you.

Click HERE for More Cultural Explanations of Sleep Paralysis

One thing is for sure.
Sleep paralysis does not happen to everyone. Only those with heightened spiritual acuity will experience sleep paralysis.

In nearly every culture, there are similar thoughts and beliefs about Sleep Paralysis.  Most cultures associate Sleep Paralysis spiritually as a non physical spiritual engagement.

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