A selection of film, artworks and extracts from literature inspired by or referencing sleep paralysis.


Limbus from Helena Adelina on Vimeo.


“…I lay there, frozen with most awful fears, not daring to drag away my hand; yet ever thinking that I could but stir it one single inch, the horrid spell would be broken”
– Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’



Hum from Emily&Anne on Vimeo.

Cataplectic Dreams from Helena Adelina on Vimeo.


Sleep Paralysis inspired fashion from Ania Leike

ania leike sleep paralysis fashion

“She lay there for something over two hours–so she calculated afterward, sheerly by piecing together the bits of time. She was conscious, even aware, after a long while that the noise down-stairs had lessened, and that the storm was moving off westward, throwing back lingering showers of sound that fell, heavy and lifeless as her soul, into the soggy fields. This was succeeded by a slow, reluctant scattering of the rain and wind, until there was nothing outside her windows but a gentle dripping and the swishing play of a cluster of wet vine against the sill. She was in a state half-way between sleeping and waking, with neither condition predominant … and she was harassed by a desire to rid herself of a weight pressing down upon her breast. She felt that if she could cry the weight would be lifted, and forcing the lids of her eyes together she tried to raise a lump in her throat … to no avail….

Drip! Drip! Drip! The sound was not unpleasant–like spring, like a cool rain of her childhood, that made cheerful mud in her back yard and watered the tiny garden she had dug with miniature rake and spade and hoe. Drip–dri-ip! It was like days when the rain came out of yellow skies that melted just before twilight and shot one radiant shaft of sunlight diagonally down the heavens into the damp green trees. So cool, so clear and clean–and her mother there at the centre of the world, at the centre of the rain, safe and dry and strong. She wanted her mother now, and her mother was dead, beyond sight and touch forever. And this weight was pressing on her, pressing on her–oh, it pressed on her so! She became rigid. Some one had come to the door and was standing regarding her, very quiet except for a slight swaying motion. She could see the outline of his figure distinct against some indistinguishable light. There was no sound anywhere, only a great persuasive silence–even the dripping had ceased … only this figure, swaying, swaying in the doorway, an indiscernible and subtly menacing terror, a personality filthy under its varnish, like smallpox spots under a layer of powder. Yet her tired heart, beating until it shook her breasts, made her sure that there was still life in her, desperately shaken, threatened….”
– F Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and The Damned



Hypnogogia from Louise Wilde on Vimeo.


“It moved up closer to him still and now he could not speak to it, and when it saw he could not speak it came a little closer, and now he tried to send it away without speaking, but it moved in on him so its weight was all upon his chest, and while it crouched there he could not move or speak”
– Ernest Hemingway, ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’