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Living out your dreams isn’t so pleasant when there’s a witch riding your back.

Imagine being trapped in a bizarre state of semi-consciousness by a frightening omnipresence. Or being chased and/or pinned by a faceless shadowy figure, unable to move or make a sound, unsure if you’re awake or dreaming.

This is a typical witch ride and for me it usually ends with me waking up terrified. My heart is racing and I’m either gasping for breath or coughing.

For those unfamiliar, witches riding your back is a Southern phrase used to describe sleep paralysis. This is a type of sleep disorder that tends to run in families. (I come from a family of vivid dreamers, both figuratively and literally).

I was 10 or 11 when I was introduced to the concept of the witches riding your back. After a particularly rough sleep, I ambled into my grandmother’s kitchen one morning. She took one look at me with my disheveled hair and dazed look and asked if the witches had been riding my back.

Anyone else know what I’m talking about? When’s the last time a witch rode your back?

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