"So I've had two experiences as to sleep paralysis. The first one was when I was 14 and was suffering from serious insomnia. I had watched a horror film and because of it I had become afraid of the dark from that I couldn't sleep. One night (after about a year) I was laying in bed and a white owl came and sat on the edge of my bed. I couldn't move, scream or shout. It was terrifying, mostly because in the horror film the villain that abducted young girls and viciously attacked them turned into an owl. It flew straight at my face and then everything went black, then I woke up.
The second experience was in my second year of university whilst I was living in halls. I "woke up" in my bed and couldn't move a muscle, I looked around and it was the middle of the night. Then when I looked to my right there was this huge hooded creature standing over me. I felt absolutely terrified. I couldn't move and I felt this overwhelming sense of dread. When I actually woke up after what felt like hours I was shaking. Couldn't sleep for quite a few nights after that.
Both times it was dark. The first time I shared a room with my sister but I didn't feel like she was there - it was as if she wasn't or I couldn't sense her or hear her (she used to snore really loudly or sleep talk and I couldn't hear either of those). The second time I was alone in my student dorm. The environment was pitch black.
Both of them were terrifying. The first time had a weird effect on me. My insomnia went away and I could sleep normally afterwards. The second time I couldn't sleep for quite a few nights and it really badly affected me."