I was browsing the web when I found out this awesome page of photographer Nicolas Bruno.
Mr. Bruno has an extreme case of sleep paralysis, a condition in which the mind wakes up during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycles. REM is when we start dreaming, and the body, in order to stop us from doing awkward and dangerous things in life, removes the ability of the neurons to accept signals. This causes an effective temporary paralysis, called REM atonia in medical jargon.
Of course, when you wake up, and your body is still doing REM atonia, no jargon can make it sound less scary. Sleep paralysis has long been associated with demons and monsters and all the things in between. As the human mind is very susceptible to wild flights of fancy, it could have invented incubi, succubi, and even alien abduction, all the while making it believable for the people who have had the unfortunate experience.
Mr. Bruno illustrates in artistic awesomeness how scary these can be. Our minds are capable of showing us truly befuddling nightmares. And it can turn even these into art.
I also feel this goes on to show how ignorance really gets our wildest conjectures to fly the highest. The problem starts when we settle our curiosity with conjectures. People who were accused of being witches and wizards could very well have had neural disorders.
And anyway, it’s the dark wizards we need to be concerned about.