[The color test] said I was yellow. I felt strangely like a boy obsessed with dating. -Olympus
Question #90332 posted on 09/06/2017 10:50 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I had something very unusual happen to me last month that I have been thinking about since, because I never had something like this ever happen to me. I woke up sometime around 4 in the morning and was tossing and turning in my bed, when lo and behold I see a figure standing in my bedroom doorway facing outside my room. It looked like an older woman with what appeared to be "forward head posture," and before I knew it she disappeared. Not a few seconds after this happened, I then heard a man's voice clear as day say, "Happy Anniversary." I quickly pulled the covers over me, and after what felt like an eternity I bolted out of my room and rushed to my parent's room (This happened at their house). They've never seen me so terrified in my life and I could not go back to sleep that night/morning. I've been trying decipher the meaning behind what happened, as to whether it was an hallucination or something beyond that. My family has been living in this home for almost ten years, and never had something like this ever happen so it raises my skepticism, but at the same time I do not believe it was sleep paralysis or an hallucination, since I was moving and conscious. What do you guys make of it? Have you ever had something unusual like this happen to you before? Thanks a Plenty!

- Hello, My Name is...

A:

Dear Inigo,

When my seminary class was discussing the Doctrine and Covenants, and when we reached Section 129, my seminary teacher told us a story.

As a child, he had been sleeping, when he woke up suddenly to see the figure of a man standing in his room. The man didn't say anything, but stretched his hand over to the bedside table, and knocked the alarm clock off.

He had no idea what to make of it at the time, or in the many years since. There was no way of knowing if it was a vivid dream or hallucination or something more. But it only happened that one time.

I don't know if that helps, but know at least that you aren't alone.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear who you gonna call,

Holy cow, that's terrifying. So sorry that happened to you and hope you're able to find a comforting explanation for this! My first thought was "maybe sleep paralysis," but it sounds like you've already investigated that possibility.

It is, however, possible for people to have hallucinations when they've just woken up without experiencing paralysis. Hypnagogic/hypnapompic hallucinations are brief auditory or visual phenomena that happen to people in the threshold between wakefulness and sleep. People experiencing these hallucinations often find them vivid as well as bizarre or disturbing. This may or may not have been what you experienced, but it could give you comfort to have a more logical explanation.

Also, and this is definitely a stretch, but some toxic substances (like carbon monoxide or some molds) can cause hallucinations. If your parents live in an older house, maybe that's a possibility? But probably unlikely if nobody else in your family has experienced this.

Whatever this was, it'll be okay. There's likely a non-paranormal reason that this happened. And if it was truly paranormal, know that Heavenly Father is so much more powerful than any kind of darkness out there. It can't harm you. It doesn't have that power. If you're feeling anxious about this at night, this song might give you comfort (if only because it's so cheesy).

-Van Goff

PS: If you're asking whether something similar happened, I've got a story for you. When I was fourteen, my family's house burned down (for the second time... another story for another day) and some neighbors were kind enough to let us live in their dead grandparent's home for a few months. His name was Mr. Keetch, and my family always referred to the house as "Mr. Keetch's house," partially because all his furniture and other belongings were still around. Particularly this ancient TV from the 80's.

Every night in Mr. Keetch's home, the golf channel would turn on at one or two in the morning. At first, I'd get up to turn it off but it kept happening every night. When I asked my dad what was up, he shrugged and said, "I think our neighbors said that Mr. Keetch loved golf. Maybe it's a ghost."

So for the rest of our stay at that house, I had a hard time getting to sleep because I knew the TV would turn on and, as far as I was concerned, our deceased elderly neighbor had returned to this mortal sphere to watch golf. For months after we moved out, I thought my family had lived in an actual haunted house until I brought it up with my dad that winter. He gave me a strange look and said, "What, you actually believed that?"

He then explained to me that TVs used to come equipped with timers so you didn't miss a show you were looking forward to, and that Mr. Keetch's TV still had a timer set to the golf channel. My dad had known this the whole time but thought it would be funny to mess with me, so he didn't turn it off. Much like when, as a frightened seven year old watching Signs, he convinced me that he was an alien or when I was nine and he told me the lake by my grandma's house was the home of a Loch Ness-type creature called the "Deer Creek Freak." In retrospect, I should have seen that coming.

Moral of the story: my dad has a cruel sense of humor and I still don't understand why Mr. Keetch had been so adamant about not missing his 2 AM golf shows in life. And also that sometimes there's a logical explanation for things we can't understand, even if we don't know that explanation when it occurs.

posted on 09/07/2017 7:19 p.m.
As a frequent sufferer of hypnapompic hallucinations, I've been lucky to have most episodes be more annoying than terrifying. Often I would wake up in the middle of the night and (even though I was awake and could see the dark interior of my room) think I was still at work and try to help the people I thought were standing in front of me. These were generally frustrating experiences because half of my brain was screaming "it's 2AM, you're at home, go back to sleep" and the other half was sorely convinced that I could NOT go to sleep, I had to help these people clearly standing in front of me and falling asleep on them would be terribly rude.
While this seems like the most likely explanation, I will say it is odd that this is the first (I presume) time you've ever experienced it, as for most people that do have hypnagogic/hypnapompic hallucinations, they become fairly regular occurrences. However, I do also have long periods without experiencing them, and they tend to have certain triggers, like spending long hours doing repetitive actions (for me, that was working at my old job).
At the very least, you can rest assured that it is entirely possibly your sleepy muddled brain concocted this experience from ephemeral subconscious nonsense.