We didn’t plan ahead. We’d decided to drive as far as we possibly could, until Paul was good and tired, and that’s when we’d find a hotel to stay in. 

That’s how we ended up in Borowinns, South Carolina, an extra hour after Paul had said he was too tired to keep driving. We’d been driving around trying to find a hotel, to no avail. The neighbouring towns had all been absolutely deserted. Only the moonlight accompanied us as we followed the GPS’s twisting trail. There were no signs of stores, people, houses or anything. Total ghost town.

We pulled into what my phone reported to be a Best Western, but was now a budget brand motel instead. If I squinted, I could still see the faint outline from where the BW sign used to be on the building’s crumbling facade. The front lobby was locked, so we had to ding the rusty bell by the bullet-proof night window. I silently hoped that no one would show up, and we’d have to keep driving, but a man materialized right as we’d turned to leave.  

A few hours after we’d gone to bed, I woke up, and I saw him. A man, a large man, standing in the hotel room. Not the night manager we’d checked in with, someone else. Someone I’d never seen before. Shuffling around our room! Looking right at me. At first, I was paralyzed with fear. When I worked up the courage, I shook Paul roughly and whispered, “there’s someone in the room!!”

Groggy Paul got up, turned on the lights, but the man had vanished. We checked the bathroom, looked out the window, but it was certain. There hadn’t ever been anyone else there with us. 

This was the second time I woke up and saw a strange man in my hotel room. 

Growing up, and especially in university, I often woke up to people standing over my bed at home, always watching me. Sometimes more than one person. It used to freak me out so much, I would avoid falling asleep all together. I remember one particular couple who’d stand by my bed in the mornings and sometimes reach out to touch me. They never did succeed.

A few nights ago, my cat jumped on the bed and woke me up. Standing beside my bed was a woman, clear as day, holding a baby in her arms. She scared me, but I couldn’t look away, not until she morphed back into the shoe organizer hanging on my closet door. 

The internet tells me these hallucinations are often connected to sleep paralysis, but I’ve never noticed the paralysis separate from the fear. Hypnopompic hallucinations are more common than I thought and apparently nothing to worry about. 

Unless you prefer waking up alone. 

2020

25 thoughts on “The Uninvited

  1. I would offer you another explanation. I grew up talking to spirits in my room, walking in and out of other dimensions. I have had many people in my room, just as physical as a “person”. This is not sleep paralysis, or a hallucination. This is seeing other dimensional beings who exist even though present day “science” says otherwise. Science has been influenced by those who would limit the truth of what humans are capable of and what exists. Science would have us limit “reality”.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I don’t care where they’re coming from, my brain, the dead or another dimension, I don’t like random people watching over me as I sleep. Years ago I had a weird experience where two people came in my front door and held a conversation in my living room. This happened twice in the same night. After investigating no one was there either time. I believe it was the timeline folding over on itself, and I was briefly merged with a happening from the future or the past. I often think of the man and woman standing in their house and hearing someone yell down from upstairs “Hey, who’s here?”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. You know, I’ve always wondered about this too. Especially because I’ve heard talk that my great-grandmother was rumoured to speak with the spirits. And as my grandmother began her descent into the dark world Alzheimer’s, she also made certain claims that seemed to be potentially beyond just the illness. She would claim her father was in the room (something that her sister also claimed in her own battle with Alzheimer’s).

      I’ve never been particularly spiritual myself, but who knows. Maybe they’ve been coming to me all of this time.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I occasionally have premonition dreams, but seeing people next to my bed is something I have not experienced. I hope not to! I would need to sleep with the lights on. 💡 Sounds like you are seeking answers and making peace with these occurrences.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My hypnopompic hallucinations are always auditory in nature. Still freaky, though. I will often hear my mom, or somebody else I know very well, speaking in my ear very clearly. And these people are all alive and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to suffer from hypnogogic hallucinations (these ones happen when you’re falling asleep instead of waking up like hypnopompic) but they were accompanied by sleep paralysis. Absolutely terrifying–I can totally relate!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is odd for me to read for a few reasons. First, I used to get sleep paralysis but never the hallucination part, which apparently, is a thing. Secondly, I just listened to a podcast about astral projection and people who experience sleep paralysis can easily astral project…I don’t know if that’s any solace for you, but I literally just listened to this today. Third, another blogger was discussing sleep paralysis in conjunction with ghosts. Apologies for rambling lol I’m thinking your post is a sign for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great comfortable writing style you have Alexis. Tubularsock would only suggest that you get these visitors to pay rent rather than just hanging around.

    That way you’d be paid a small amount for putting up with them.

    However, Tubularsock would suggest you take cash only. Checks from the disembodied can’t be verified.

    Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 1 person

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