When Nightmares Become Reality: A Terrifying Visit from "The Three Men"

When Nightmares Become Reality: A Terrifying Visit from “The Three Men”


Week In Weird gets lots of reader mail, and the experience in this missive stands out as you’ll discover.

Night terrors happen when someone awakens, finding themselves paralyzed in a state of heightened anxiety. They usually happen in kids, but some adults experience them too.

I recall a doozy of a nightmare I had when I was a kid. I was pretty young at the time, young enough to still slept with a night light. Time has made the details hazy, but I do remember that there were three men. Two of them were good, decent gents, but the third guy was pure evil, evil enough that I still remember him to this day. Anyway, as I said, details are hazy, but I do remember that the evil one was awful and terrible and scared me badly enough that I woke up, only to see the bad guy sitting at the foot of my bed. I. Was. Terrified! And paralyzed! I couldn’t move! I could only stare wide-eyed as he stretched out a hand for me, only to fade away before he could reach me. -SF


As Johnny Carson was fond of saying, “Wild, crazy stuff. Ya-ha!” Even though I never experienced a night terror, the prospect of awakening to a nightmare nemesis in the real world is chilling.

Jump on the terror train, share your night terror experiences with us at Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.


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Chris Savia
Contributor at Week In Weird, in addition to being a member of The Anomalist's crack team of news editors and their social media maven. Chris lives near the Pine Barrens with his wife, six cats, and the Jersey Devil.
Chris Savia
Chris Savia

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Sleep paralysis can be terrifying, especially if you’re not aware of it prior to the experience. The only vivid experiences I’ve had were during waking (hypnopompic) after several days of little-to-no sleep.

I sometimes had sleep paralysis as a child, but I don’t remember anything more terrifying about it than the actual paralysis itself. Being awake and unable to move was very scary.

Reading that gave me chills. I had an experience very similar to that about 12 years ago. I was having a nightmare in which I could feel an evil presence in the bedroom. It stood over me and I couldn’t move; a case of sleep paralysis which I had experienced before. I struggled to wake up and when I did there was a man leaning at the side of my bed staring at me. He had large eyes with tiny pupils and a terrible maleficent grin. The only way to describe it was that he emanated the darkest of evil.… Read more »
A night terror can be a motherf#@&er! I’ve had issue with parasomnia events most of my life and the trait runs in my family as well. In addition to garden variety sleepwalking, I’ve had two occasions of full on sleep paralysis where I woke, was unable to move, and aware of a dark figure in my room. I knew what was going on and kept repeating to myself “it’s a sleep paralysis, it will pass.” But even then it was one of the scariest experiences I’ve been through. My father told me about a recurring dream of a guy coming… Read more »
I had occasional night terrors for over twenty years. I usually wasn’t paralyzed, though. Instead, the terrors came along with episodes of sleep walking. My last night terror has been about two years ago, but I can remember it well: I was in my bed when I noticed that right next to me, there was a creepy girl lying, almost touching me. There was little light only, but I could see that she was all grey and weird, with black hair like a ghost from a Japanese horror movie. After I jumped up in terror, I watched her crawl under… Read more »
I’ve had two episodes of sleep paralysis in my young life (I’m 23). The first one was when I was 21 and on a long road trip with my dad; we had been driving for around five hours at this point and I was asleep in the passenger’s seat. We stopped at a gas station, and as my dad closed his door to get some food inside, I woke up but realized I couldn’t move. At this moment I hallucinated a darkly-dressed man coming up to the driver’s side door and I panicked, trying to move to make sure the… Read more »
I have had numerous episodes of sleep paralysis during my lifetime, all of them as an adult. The experiences are extremely disturbing! A couple of the instances of sleep paralysis included what I can only call out of body experiences. Mostly however when they occur they are “text-book” cases of SP. I will awaken and be completely paralyzed. While in this state I will feel hyper-aware and will experience extreme anxiety and a feeling of danger. I feel as if though someone is in the room and my family and I are under threat. I do everything I can to… Read more »
I have night terrors often but one was quite terrifying… at least I hope this was night terrors. I was still living at home and my bed was placed just across from my closet. One night I passed out asleep and when I woke up the next morning I noticed my closet door was open a teeny bit so I scooted off the bed to shut it and felt massive resistance then it swung open hard. I jumped back and stumbled onto my bed again and curled up in a fetal position unable to move from fear. Then I woke… Read more »

I have the same nightmare almost every night. I dream that there is a hideous beast lying in the bed next to me with piercing eyes and horrendous facial features. Then in a raspy voice that sounds like it is coming from the bowels of hell itself says the same thing every night. “Stop snoring!” Then I realize it is just my wife and cry myself back to sleep.

I experience sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations on a regular basis, unfortunately. It is a hallmark symptom of narcolepsy, and there really isn’t much that one can do about it. After many, many years of this I have developed an ability to tell myself to turn on the lights; if I am able to get out of the paralysis, then I do turn on the lights and wake up. If I am not able to do that, I tell myself I am dreaming and usually I drift off to a dreamless sleep.

It’s exhausting.

Ok, so, I’m hoping someone can tell me this can be explained by sleep paralysis or was a side effect of the new meds I had just started taking, but here’s something unusual that happened to me. I was AWAKE and was going to bed, as I started to fall asleep next to my husband, I started to feel an evil presence and, for the life of me, it felt like it was trying to take over my body! I don’t know how I knew, but it felt like it was going to use me to do my husband harm.… Read more »

Hi Barbie, sleep paralysis does manifest in a ton of different ways. And it doesn’t always happen right when you’re waking up. If you were in the half-awake state, it’s possible for it to happen, and that feeling of being unable to move your body with the indication that something evil is happening is the telltale mark of it