First, they define “sleep paralysis” as a waking nightmare filled with anxiety and hallucinations. I guess at the time not only was the term unknown, but I was around thirteen years old and did not have my first “nightmare” (not really that scary I might add) until I was eighteen. It turns out that a few of the dreams I had had, during my teens, could be defined as nightmares but I did not feel afraid during them or after I woke up.
My one instance of sleep paralysis goes like this. I believe I awoke during sleep (which follows the common definition) and sitting upright in my bed. I discovered that I could not move my arms, legs, or torso. My head and neck moved a little, but I saw something that would make me want to remain still anyways.
There, at the foot of my bed, was a white misty form. It was not really in the shape of anything, but the height was similar to that of a child. We seemed to observe each other for a few seconds before it moved left passing from the front of the dresser and out of my room through the door. A moment later I saw a flash outside the window to my right.
Now, had I not seen the light outside my window my investigation into this might have come up with a reasonable explanation for the light. The only problem is that the explanation does not fit all of the needed parameters to be possible.
Our house was located a half a block from a roadway where three streets met on a small incline. This meant that the headlights of cars coming up two of the hills could, theoretically, shine at just the right angle to illuminate the side of our house. It was the most plausible theory, at first, but nearly two years of observations after ruled it was very unlikely to be the cause. There wee two factors that ruled out vehicle lights. First, the area between the hill and our house was visually blocked by a number of leafy trees (though in winter I concede that while the trees were bare the light would still be rare to reach my bedroom). Second, the angle of the headlights were incorrect to be able to enter into my bedroom to match the incident. The white light form appeared below four feet and this would be impossible to achieve with headlights located a storey below and over one hundred feet away.
My studies concluded that, for the headlight theory to even be plausible, the beams of light would have streaked across the ceiling midpoint, from the right window, across to the door on my left and not below the halfway up the wall location of the windows. In other words, to get lower that the window ledge the light would have had to be up in the air slightly above my window ledge and over one hundred feet away to not be intense.
This light moved with a sense of being. It remained long enough for me to be aware of its presence and to move in a way that defied a reasonable, albeit remote, explanation. That being said, and even though it can not be proven with repeated observations, I have ruled this incident as the hallucinogenic effects of sleep paralysis and not a paranormal entity.
This instance, however, did open up my mind to the possibility of transient spirits. Ghosts that are not tied down to a single location or material item but drift at random or by conscious thought across our mortal plane. This concept was later supported by my reading of works of literature and movies I watched that showed spirits flying through the night sky lost without a place to call home.