Danía Oneill

I am no stranger to sleep paralysis. I have suffered it from childhood. I will be the first to admit that I did not understand it. I honestly believed (during that time) I was somewhere between life and death. Trying to explain it to my parents who equally did not understand it I was afraid to talk about it after the initial talk with my parents as I did not want to appear crazy. It was not until I went to school to be an RN that I understood it. Yet I will also admit, I never saw anything. Not demons, not shadow people, not even lucid dreaming. It just became a part of my life I accepted.Until now...

I have many family scattered throughout the states as well as Ireland. I travel between the two.

Last night however..,,something changed. I flew from County Kerry, spent a couple of nights in NYC before traveling to a small town in Missouri to visit a beloved uncle.

He is single and owns a huge house that sits on Lake Tablerock. When I say huge I mean huge. Several bedrooms that each hold a bath as well as a separate loo.

He gave me a choice of rooms and I choose one overlooking the lake as opposed to one overlooking the gardens as it is currently wintertime.

My uncle owns this little 4.5 kg dog that yaps at its own shadow.

For reference, I am not a pet person. I own a dog that I love yet I tolerate other people’s pets. So naturally for the most part  ignored this tiny dog.

I tucked into bed wondering if I could acclimate to the time change. I promise I closed the door to my room.

I woke up to this tiny dog on my chest yapping (come on, a tiny dog yaps not barks) and looking at the door. I realized I was in sleep paralysis. My first thought was not what the dog may have been yapping at. Just that he was.

My second thought was, “I closed my door. How the feck did he get in?”

I was able to turn my head towards the door. (Anyone who has suffered sleep paralysis knows what a feat that is.) Yet I still could not turn my body.

Then I saw it. Him. Whatever.

The “Shadow Man”

He took up the entire doorframe. Was my first or second reaction fear? No. I was still wondering why the door was open.

I thought to myself “All Right” I am obviously in sleep paralysis. Usually when this happens I just tell myself, there is nothing else to do but to go back to sleep....OR....I can try to figure this out. (Look at my profile; I need to analyze, and rationalize)

So I looked at him. He was nothing but shadow yet I had the feeling I was looking in his eyes as he was looking in mine. All the time this dog is yapping.

I got the feeling he wanted to cause terror and fear in me. Yet as we looked at each other, I was curious about him. I felt his malice change to one of curiosity himself. He did not understand why I was not afraid. He was just as curious about me as I was to him.

All at once the hall light went on.

He disappeared.

I heard my uncle say to his dog, “STOP BARKING AT THE SHADOW MAN!”

The dog left me at this point and went with my uncle. I was released from the paralysis and walked over to my door and locked it.

You may wonder how I could do this so nonchalant and wrapped myself in my blankets and feel right back to sleep.

I can only say, it was my rational and analytical mind.

Surely such things do not happen?


The next morning my uncle made Salmon quiche and baked berries..(see why I said this house should be a bed and breakfast?)

I was not going to talk about the nights event before.


My uncle said, “You saw the Shadow Man did you not?”

For the first time. I was at at loss of words....

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