Jump to content

Sleep Paralysis/ The Mara

Recommended Posts

Blimey!! Do you mean that the victim had SP and they had 'hallucinated' violence against them? Or this is what was being claimed? Do you know what the outcome was? PM me if you prefer.


Thanks, K


This was what was going to be claimed when it went to court - the defense solicitor was clutching at straws to get the sausage off. It went "pro loco et tempore" instead, because the trial would have been too traumatic for the woman and the child who witnessed it all (thought the procurator fiscal), and not worth whatever punishment would have been given out. I wonder if there are any cases of this actually being used in courtrooms?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • Replies 39
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Wine Fairy,


Sorry for not getting back to you earlier! I have been away for a couple of months and just got back before xmas. I did do some initial work:




There are drawings, a soundpiece and a film (the film is a HUGE file) and doesn't download very well, and then only on Windows media Player. I'm going to make it into a flash movie when I get a chance and it will download much faster.


It is very much just a start and 'work in progress' I hope to do some more with it in the future. I have concentated on some of the darker sides but intend to look more at the other experiences that can be more positive, such as lucid dreaming. A few folk have commented that it's not all scary and I very much agree with that and don't want to only portray the fear. So it's only half a project! I have been able to control the fear element much more lately and once you get past that it is an amazing experience and we could even be called lucky?! I need to get that across more.


I'll also add an area on the site for collecting people's stories.... so it might be a long ongoing project! I'm also now in touch with Dr. Jorges Sevilla who wrote Wrestling with Ghosts about SP, but he also looks at how to overcome the fear and make the best of it! and he is interested in the project.


Still very, very interested in hearing anyone else's experiences. Am going away again next week for about a month but can be emailed at peeriemole@yahoo.com.


Thanks for your interest.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

very interested to read some of your stories as I had a few weird experiences a couple of years ago but I never really told anyone as it all sounded so unbelievable. We used to stay in an old tenement flat in the town. One night I woke up being pulled to the floor at the bottom of the bed. My arms were pulled upwards is if something was trying to pull me out of the room. From my elbows up was absolutely freezing and there was a roaring rushing noise in my ears. Then I was suddenly pulled back up on the bed, my arms still to the roof and something was pulling me back and forth. I remember feeling I had to fight to get back and I managed to eventually open my eyes everything was like in black and white sort of like the negative of a photo. I looked over at my partner sleeping next to me and I was shouting at him to wake up because I remember feeling I was really struggling and whatever it was was not giving up without a fight. After what seemed like an eternity I seemed to jolt awake properly.But the whole time it was happening I remember feeling I was awake but I was stuck in a place I really shouldnt be in. I shook my parner awake and I was crying and asked why he hadnt woke up as I had been shouting for help. The whole thing really freaked me out for a while. That was the worst thing that happened while we lived there but not the only one. I used to regularily wake up or was I awake and find myself floating up to the roof or then back down to the side of the bed. That I didnt find scary. But what freaked me out is when we went up into the loft one time we found really old wallpaper and hooks and pullies and things so it had obviously been a bedroom up there at one point. I did try and research who had previously lived there as it had been poor house dwellings at the turn of the centuary but didnt have much luck. I was the only one to experience weird stuff when sleeping and after all this started I would not go to sleep unless the hall light was left on all night. We have since moved house over three years ago and I have never had any sleep experiences since and can quite happily get up at night here and wander downstairs for water or whatever without felling the slightest bit scared. So after reading your article I question what was happening to me was there something there was was it all in my head - or in my sleep?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Thomsk,


What you describe sounds very, very like Sleep Paralysis. The sensation of being pulled, pushed, floating, the noise in your ears, fighting and stuggling against it and the awareness of your sleeping partner and wondering why he wasn't responding when you were sure that you were shouting. It also sounds like a bit of OBE (out of body experience)- I am far from an expert! but the sensations of being pulled and floating tie in with this and the two SP (sleep paralysis) and OBEs are often connected. I get both. There is loads of information online if you google Sleep Paralysis and OBEs. Some folk find it helpful to get an explanation. There is a lot more research around now and plenty of science if you are interested.


As you can see from this thread it is fairly common. It's probably as common as sleep walking but people don't often speak about it, because, like you say, it sounds unbeliveable! But, definately not to be scared of - but I know it doesn't always feel like that at the time!


From what I've read on SP and OBEs having the OBE thing (the floating up etc.) is rarer and even very lucky :) infact if you don't fight it and get past the scary/ freaky bit it can be a pretty amazing thing floating around and going through walls!! Lots of people try to bring that on all their lives and never manage. If you haven't had it for a long time there is no reason why you would again so no worries there. But, sleep deprivation and sleeping on your back can sometimes bring it on - if you are curious about it. Glad you posted your story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Burnt candle I gather your away at the moment so you won't see this 'till you get back. I was drawn to this thread because of the title. When I was young I would sleep-walk almost on a nightly basis and had violent and terrifying nightmares where someone was chasing me with a knife and at the last minute when they caught up I would kill them (I remember on one occasion with a knitting needle). My mam always said I'd had 'the mara'.

I've never heard anyone else using this expression and I'd always assumed it was a Shetland word so it was interesting finding out where it came from and what it meant.


Now it is very rare if I sleep-walk and I have trained myself to switch on a light if I do to wake myself up completely so it is rare that I ever get outside the bedroom door. I have never experienced sleep paralysis but I have on a number occasions woken up feeling extremely panicked and like I can't breathe, almost like the darkness is suffocating me. My heart is racing so fast I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack and I feel like something terrible is going to happen to me or my family. Then I get upset and can't get back to sleep. I always sleep with a small night-light plugged in and I find that it does help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I remember (and Google reminds me), da Mara was a Scandinavian/Faroese demon who sat on your chest in the middle of the night and either (a) pulled out your teeth - Faroese version; or (B) sucked the breath from you. Sounds about right.


Since I was small I've regularly woken up sitting in front of black TVs, or eating a bag of crisps at the kitchen table in the dark etc. etc. Rarely anything unpleasant, but disturbing all the same.


It runs in my family, it appears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi Trowie246 and pernjim,


Back in Shetland and just wanted to say thanks for your thoughts/ stories on this topic. I love that there is an old name for sleep paralysis/ other sleep experiences, suggests they are as old as sleep itself.... which probably makes sense!


Nowadays such things are often seen as weird but if they have old names they must of been spoken about in the past? I wonder how common the word was? What meanings it had?

Was it a word for any nightmare or these more specific experiences?


I'm going to be doing more work with this over Summer so hoping to get back in touch with people who have contributed to this thread, if that's ok?


Would love to hear from anyone who grew up knowing the word 'Mara'? Is it a word that is getting lost or is it familar to the younger generation?


In many cultures such experiences are seen as visionary and people who have them are revered. My take is that there are scientific explanations but on the otherhand - might have been nice to have been born somewhere that saw them as a gift!!!


Thanks again..... Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would anyone who has contibuted to this thread be willing to meet up over summer? I'm happy to meet folk on their own and/ or together, whatever you want but either way any conversations would obviously be private. I'm hoping to do some more film work/ writing on this. But, first of all it would just like to speak more about it, hear folk's stories and experiences..... no pressure to take part in anything more than that. PM or email me peeriemole@yahoo.com. Thanks, Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Hi Karen

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday (not a Shetlander) and I happened to mention Sleep Paralysis. Coincidentally her niece has just started experiencing this but had never heard of it or of anyone else who has had it. She is absolutely terrified and refusing to sleep (she's mid-teens I think).


I've sent my friend the link to your article which I hope will help to convince her she's not going mad and that it's a fairly common experience.


You mentioned before about meeting up with people in the summer. If you're still interested and the timing works out, I'll be home at the end of July. PM me if that fits with you and if you still want a chat.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...