Waking Up to the Devil in Your Room

Fuseli - The Nightmare

During the summer of 2012, film-maker Carla MacKinnon would frequently wake to find herself unable to move, deeply afraid and convinced there was someone or something in the room with her. On occasions she would see or hear people around her bed, and one night even woke up to find a giant spider hovering over her.

MacKinnon was suffering from 'sleep paralysis', a term used to describe the experience of waking to find your body paralysed, a crushing pressure on your chest, a feeling of fear or dread, and sometimes also hallucinations (both auditory and visual) of people or even monstrous creatures beside, or on, your bed. It crops up in the history and folklore of many cultures - the modern word 'nightmare' actually has its origins in this experience, with the Old English 'mære' denoting "an evil spirit or goblin in Germanic folklore which rides on people's chests while they sleep".

Inspired by her experience, MacKinnon created Devil in the Room - an "experimental docu-horror" film supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and made as part of an MA in Animation at Royal College of Art:

For more on the folkloric aspects of sleep paralysis, take a look at David J. Hufford's seminal book The Terror That Comes in the Night, and for online information (including a list of resources) check out The Sleep Paralysis Project, which MacKinnon's film is a part of.

For a survey of the experience in lecture format, see also Professor Chris French's presentation "Something Wicked This Way Comes: Causes and Interpretations of Sleep Paralysis":

Do you, or have you, suffered from sleep paralysis? Rodney Ascher, director of the cult documentary Room 237 (about perceived meanings in Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining), is currently making a film about the phenomenon and is looking to talk to people about it:

I've been obsessed with it ever since it used to happen with me (in my case, I saw sort of a living, 3D shadow looming over in me in judgement)... The film is going to be largely built on interviews with people who've had vivid, first-person experiences with it (and have given some serious thought to what's really happening to them) - if anyone wants to share their stories, the easiest way is to contact us via the film's Facebook page.

(via Mind Hacks and Boing Boing)

Morning Light Illuminates This Mosque in the Colours of the Rainbow

Pink Mosque Illuminated in the Colors of the Rainbow

Like an Alex Grey painting come to life, the Pink Mosque of Iran becomes a picture of sublime beauty when its stained glass windows are illuminated by the morning sun.

When someone brings up historical architecture, we picture beautiful arches, towering spires, sculptures and stone walls, but most of us probably don’t think of bright and vibrant colors. Nasir al-Molk Mosque, as illustrated by these photographs, is a striking and strong exception to the idea that historical structures might have been somewhat lacking in colors. Not only are its stained-glass windows richly colored, but its walls feature a beautiful and vibrantly colorful array of painted geometric tiles.

Construction on the mosque was begun in 1876 and completed in 1888 in Shiraz, Iran by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk, a lord of the Qajar dynasty. The stained glass windows capture the morning light and create a glorious play of light on the floor of the mosque, earning it the name of the “Pink Mosque” and inviting these photographers to capture its beauty. Although some of the tiles that decorate it are rose-colored, it seems like the mosque includes almost every color under the sun.

Link: Every Morning, This Stunning Mosque Is Illuminated With All Of The Colors Of The Rainbow

Penny Sartori Talks About Her Near-Death Experience Research on the Anthony Peak Consciousness Hour

One of the near-death experience (NDE) researchers I mention in my book Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife is Dr. Penny Sartori, an experienced intensive-care nurse from the U.K. I mentioned her own recently released book on the topic, The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences, a couple of months ago here on TDG, and thought as a follow-up that interested readers might enjoy viewing the above hour-long interview with Penny conducted by another researcher on these topics, Anthony Peake.

You can also keep up with Penny's latest thoughts about the topic of NDEs on her blog.


  • A Nurse's Research into Near-Death Experiences
  • Telepathy Between the Dead
  • Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife
  • News Briefs 21-03-2014

    “Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time”.

    Quote of the Day:

    “Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

    M. Gandhi

    News Briefs 20-03-2014

    So long, Tata. Thank you for all the fond childhood memories :'(

    Thanks to Kat, Susan, Erick & Benito Bodoque.

    Quote of the Day:

    "This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

    ~Douglas Adams

    Vale Steve Moore

    Steve Moore

    Strange Attractor have announced the very sad news that Steve Moore, a 'hidden' giant in the fields of the occult, Forteana and comics, has passed away:

    We’re deeply sad to announce that Steve Moore, author of Somnium and a regular contributor to Strange Attractor Journal, passed away over the weekend, under a beautiful Spring full Moon.

    Steve was a warm, wise and gentle man, with a surreal sense of humour and an astoundingly deep knowledge that covered history, the I Ching, forteana, magic, oriental mysticism, martial arts cinema, science fiction, underground comics and worlds more.

    Steve was amongst the earliest members of the Gang of Fort, who launched Fortean Times magazine in the early 1970s, and the author of a great many influential comics and short stories for publications including 2000AD, Warrior, Dr Who magazine and, most recently, the Hercules series for Radical Publishing. At the time of his death he was working on a number of new projects, including his ongoing, privately published Tales of Telguuth and The Bumper Book of Magic, with his lifelong friend Alan Moore.

    In 2011 Steve gave a rare interview to Aug Stone of The Quietus, while Alan Moore’s book and album project, Unearthing, explored Steve’s life, their friendship and their magical relationship in great detail.

    I'm lucky enough to own one of the signed limited edition hardcovers of Steve Moore's Somnium, and in a nice/tragic little synchronicity had pulled the book out of its safe storage a few days ago after reading through a couple of Alan Moore biographies (which yielded its own little synchronicity last weekend).


    Those familiar with Steve Moore's work will appreciate the beauty of the Strange Attractor comment that he passed away "under a beautiful Spring full Moon". Safe travels sir.

    Link: Steve Moore 1949 – 2014

    More Proof that the Matrix is Real...

    The wisdom of Morpheus

    I think we can all agree that this theory is simple and makes good sense...

    News Briefs 19-03-2014

    Stonehenge surplus!

    Thanks Rick.

    Quote of the Day:

    Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

    Thomas Paine

    Vale Donald Michael Kraig

    Donald Michael Kraig

    Donald Michael Kraig, author of the popular introductory occult text Modern Magick and former editor of Fate magazine, has sadly passed away at age 62. Kraig had been fighting Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His wife Holly posted this note to her Facebook account:

    It is with great sadness that I announce that Donald Michael Kraig took his last breaths last night (3/17/2014) and died. He has crossed over to Summerland and is finally no longer suffering. The type of cancer he had was just too aggressive for us to do any more treatments and his body finally gave way. He did not suffer. He simply slipped away in his sleep.

    Publishers Llewellyn have also posted a short obituary on their site.

    The Kraigs had been running a fundraising campaign to help cover Donald's health expenses - his wife Holly has asked that rather than cards or flowers, anybody that wants to help are welcome to contribute to that campaign to help cover funeral expenses.