The first time I experienced Sleep Paralysis “duppy hol dung” was when I was a child of six years old in Jamaica, this is my earliest memory. It was torturous. I heard my mother singing in the kitchen, I felt the sun streaming in and beaming down on my bed, I heard the birds in our next door neighbour’s Mr. Henry mango tree whistling, and I could not wake up. I smelled my mother’s ackee and saltfish that she was preparing for breakfast and I tried to scream but could not. I felt my father’s presence come into my room, smelled the ganja he was smoking and I wanted to shout “Daddy help me!” but my lips could not move. The air was tight and I felt as if I would suffocate, I had not thought of death back then while this happened or the fear of it, I just wanted my mother. My small body attempted to shake myself awake and all of a sudden I jolted awake, gasping for air. Ears ringing, heart racing, me sweating and afraid. It was to be the first (perhaps the first, this was my first memory) of many of my sleep paralysis experiences, and when I became Obara Meji, the experience took on a different feeling, a very different one…

Over time this thing has plagued me and has been such a disruption in my life. I dreaded going to sleep alone at nights because I always had to have someone sleep with me in order to shake me out of it. This shaking and struggling, frightening state that I was in, it was the most horrific feeling. My mother told me to call upon Jesus and that worked for a while. I was Christian back then, so I figured that my consciousness agreed with my belief and worked on my behalf. She also told me to say the 23rd, 27th, and 91st psalms and that worked also until after a while they stopped working and unless I called out to Jesus, using his name it stopped. After I moved away from Christianity and whenever I experienced this, while struggling to wake up, I would hesitate to call on Jesus (please take note that in those moments of terror, while struggling to wake up, while fear grips you and you feel as if you are dying, you can think and make decisions) not knowing if it would work for me, because I was no longer a practitioner of Christianity. At times when the terror was too much, I would call his name, and true to my thought, nothing! I laugh as I type, because just now as I wrote that last sentence I had a flash of Jesus (Jesus in my head is Jamaican by the way, as I am Jamaican) looking down at me and kissing his teeth with a screw face and a spliff kocthed on the side of his lips saying “mek yuh ah call man name fah, yuh nuh sey mi nuh real!” and then he would bun mi out.

Ok back to the struggling, when calling out to Jamaican Jesus and he would bun mi out, I would call out to my deity to whom I am an initiate, Osun (Oshun) and yes I would come back to myself. There was one time, when I was in a fight to wake up and I forgot to call upon anything. I literally could feel the presence of something standing over me and try as I might, the brute was strong and overpowered my enemy (me, but I use the words “my enemy” to deflect the negative away from me) for a while. I thought in that moment that this was it. I heard a voice say to me, Obara relax, just relax my dear. You were far away into your travels (sleep) and now that you have come back the position in which you left to travel is new and your spirit is trying to get back inside your body, but you are fighting it, thinking that it is a foreigner. What you feel is your own spirit and it wants you to relax, my dear, so calm down, and allow it to enter. I heard this, I do not care if you do not believe me, but this is what I heard in my mind from a gentle voice that had no gender. I relaxed and in a whoosh, I woke up gasping for air.

I have gone over and over in my mind, that specific time when I got that message and have wondered if this is what happens all the time. Do we go to sleep in one position and when our spirits come back to our bodies and we are ready to wake up, if we are in a sleeping position which may disturb how the spirits enter the body when they come back, is this the reason why we struggle?

Is it that our brain is alert but in a confused state when it wakes up before the spirit, which is its engine, while it tries to come in? Ok, Science may say this, not in the same words of course, but does sleep paralysis happen when the spirit comes back and is not able to come in the way it is supposed to? The physical body does have many different points of entry and exits. Yes it does. When we sleep we all leave our bodies and travel to the world of dreams and visions. Yes there is such a world, what this really means is that we are guided to wherever we have permission to go, by our guides to receive messages or experience certain things. There are other worlds which looks just like our world, Earth, there are more than one (I will do classes on this some time soon). Many people who have very high vibrations can go beyond this world (the spiritual earth) and enter to realms of spirit where many who have physical bodies cannot go and return back to normal life.

When I received initiation into Osun, I remember laying on the ground in front of Osun’s shrine in Lagos Nigeria. It was a long and hard night of dancing and celebration of my wonderful initiation and finally I was able to sleep. As I slept, unaware that my God mother slept beside me, I heard a strange sound, like a hard wind or a tornado… Woogu, Woogu, Woogu, Woogu! loud and fast. I tried to open my eyes and found that I couldn’t, all I saw was full white before my closed eyes. I heard my Godmother get up and all the Osun women sitting up, as I struggled to open my eyes, while still hearing this sound loud and fast. I wanted to panic, I tried to panic and shake wildly, begging them to shake me out of this terrifying feeling, Instead I heard my God mother’s voice say, “leave her, let the Orishas communicate with her”. I felt hot and disturbed and afraid. Here I was in Africa, being initiated, my family several hours away, here I had no one and this thing that had plagued me all my life had come to disturb me or so I thought, and these women were watching me struggle to wake up, to me it seemed as if I was just a spectacle. I wanted it to end. However this “duppy hol dung” experience was different.

While I felt the same dread and terror, I realized that I was having a great spiritual experience, which was apart of my initiation, my personal experience, no one else I know went through that. I could hear all the mothers softly chattering, whispering to each other while watching me, but I was in another world while hearing them. I was present where they were, but caught up somewhere else, where I saw pure white and heard the names of every Orisha as they introduced themselves to me one by one by name and others things which each told to me. The Woogu sound was on full speed and loud, but I heard them speak to me, and all that I had gone through while the celebration of the first night of initiation, the singing and drumming, I heard it all over again as the Orishas came in and presented themselves to me. Being born that day was Obara Meji, I had no idea, but I was being blessed, unimaginably so. The mothers knew and so they watched me as I layed on the floor before them in that mystical place, holding on between life and death, except this death was my rebirth, me being born again. The Woogu began to slow down, and the singing stopped along with the drummings, the white was still present, but all that moved fast paced before slowed and I slowly came back to myself and opened my eyes. All the mothers watched me intently, on edge, I guess to make sure that I had indeed arrived, and when they were sure, they shouted “Oore Yeye Osun OOOOO!!!” (All praises to my mother Osun).

My God mother whispered to me, “It seems that you are talented, never before have I initiated a person and they traveled as quickly as you, if at all.” She said this with a beam of content in her eyes and a smile. When I went back home, I did not experience Sleep Paralysis for two years, to my surprise. It had always plagued me at least once per week perhaps. Was I free of it? I wondered. I knew it would come back and I dreaded the day. I will have to make a part three to this (no promises though), but when, I am not sure, there is so much more of this phenomena that I want to share with you and of course I always share my many experiences, and with this sleep paralysis experience, it could be an encyclopedia.

I believe people who have experienced this are people who have a particular spiritual height. Their spiritual vibration is different from those who do not experience this. It does not mean that those who do not experience this is not open or spiritual, it means that we, who go through this are spiritual warriors, those who have a spirit to fight spiritual beings who may come to disturb us or those who may just be passing through. However, not everyone who goes through this, goes through it for the same reason. For example remember what I told you before about the entry points and the spirit trying to get back to the body? I go through this a lot, and I have come to realize that it is when something foreign comes into where I am sleeping, something foreign meaning spirits, whether they are sent or just earthbound spirits. I am a spiritual warrior and mine is not what science describes it to be. At times I may hover above my physical body trying to get in, scary also, or while someone is trying to shake me out of it, I will hear and feel them but cannot respond. Duppy loves to challenge me, so they try to connect with me always, these things are my own personal experiences and my own belief as to why they occur. I use to hate them, and if I am honest I still do, yet I know that most often these experiences serves as a warning to me when unfriendly spirit entities comes to attack and over the years they have taught me how to fight. Do I like it? No, I do not. Am I grateful for the experience, knowing what I know now and how it is a part of my spiritual journey and teachings? Yes, I am. Spirituality, learning, doing, teaching, practicing, experiencing these things and more, is not an easy road, but one must answer their call. My own is a battle, an awareness, time travel, a meeting and occasionally, me trying to get back into my body after coming back from traveling, or me trying to escape a particularly frightening dream. I have more to share, but not today, another day, perhaps.

Obara Meji


Ọkùnrin rí ejò obìnrin paá, bí ejò bá ti kú, ọ̀ràn bùṣe /
A   a snake and a woman kills it; once the snake is dead, that settles it…..Yoruba Proverb!

[Substance over form; focus more on the result achieved rather than on who achieved it or the method used]

Everything comes when it must, and everything happens for a reason, do not hurry your life, what is destined for you, cannot escape you, just keep the faith, be patient and be prayerful, filled with compassion, kindness and respect for all, let these qualities be among your name, God will fill in the rest…..Obara Meji!

All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love….Obara Meji

There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lincoln
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 13:38:17

    When I was young between 7-18 yr old I experienced sleep paralysis many times- I thought I was just too tired to get up, I heard everyone in the house, dog barking and could even smell but i couldn’t move, I was conscious but body wouldn’t move (Scary a couple of times I thought I was dying).. One day I actually was like hovering over my body and I was looking at myself that’s how I started to believe in out of body experiences.
    I am 40 and I haven’t had one of these in year though.



  2. Obara Meji
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 13:45:08

    Yes @ Lincoln, I have had the hovering also and also kicking out the leg as my spirit attempts to leave and I catch it quick and wake up, these are spiritual phenomeneas that Science do not understand, thank you for sharing.



  3. queenleelee1
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 15:00:32

    I bless the day , I was lead to you my Obara, I feel at peace now knowing I am not alone.
    I have experienced “Sleep Paralysis ” A few times in my I remember like it was yesterday.

    I was working at a nursing home in 2000, in Jamaica. I was working the night shift, and asleep on the sofa in the office that was very close to the grill. (You know almost all the houses in Jamaica and especially in Kingston have grills..aka burglar bars for all the non Jamaicans) .
    I am a very light sleeper and been that I was at work, I really couldn’t afford to sleep too deeply, anyways I was awaken by the sound of the grill opening and I thought to myself what is Dr Green doing here so late as I turn to look at the clock that was on the wall infront of me it was after 2am.. I look through the window and saw the figure of a man , not his face just the blue jeans and white t-shirt. But I still thought it was the Boss Dr. Green. And I remember that thought lull me back to sleep..and in less than a few minutes I felt like I was been stifled by the sheet that was now over my head, I started to panic, but strange enough I stopped myself. Knowing I was not entirely as soon as I relaxed I could take the sheet off my face and I was side ways on the sofa and infront of me was the blue jeans and t-shirt.. (I knew I was awake at this point but you know what I did..I started to touch the jeans. I WAS NOT AFRAID..then after a few seconds of this I just hissed my teeth and I think I said out loud..”You lucky”.. turned my back and pulled the sheet over my head and went back to sleep..
    The next day I was telling some of the other workers about my experience and to my surprise they said they saw him too.
    You would think I would be afraid to sleep in the sofa again no true. ..nah..I did just that but he never bothered me again..

    But that was over 15 years ago, I was just defiant and refuse to be frighten. .a so mi tan so I guess I have a warrior spirit too..
    I notice now , I simply can’t sleep when I am alone.I am not afraid just overly alert a wah dat my Obara? . I know science will call it “Insomnia” , but mi know a no dat..a wah?..



  4. AcolyteCB
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 15:28:51

    Hi Obara Meji and ESP family,

    Thank you for part two. It really does help to place these experiences in context! I really liked the part where you met the Orishas. Sad that your godmother could witness this then try to harm you.



  5. Obara Meji
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 15:30:01

    Hi Queen lee, he didn’t bother you again, because he now know that you are not frightened of him, just like me and de coolie ooman, if you are alert at nights and cannot sleep, I will tel what that is in class on Saturday

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Obara Meji
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 15:30:36

    It was because of said talent why she tried me Caroline



  7. KB
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 21:39:09

    good night Obara night all ES
    Could it be the duppy hol dung was the Orishas trying to introduce themselves to u all along? could they have journeyed with u decades and been preparing u for this initiation. Knowing who u were before u did, they may have been trying to get ur attention.
    Godmother is an example of not opening urself to too many people. Yu never know what extraordinary gifts they see u have and try dim or steal. But what is for u, is for you! Ase!



  8. Obara Mèjì
    Aug 03, 2015 @ 21:45:04

    Hi KB, not all experience are for the sMe reasons, the common factor in these experiences is that non physicals are present, whether good or bad



    • KB
      Aug 03, 2015 @ 22:08:12

      Ok. So non physicals coming to visit could mean various things ie distrub, or visit. Maybe they are journeying with us and we reach our bodies after them? im trying to wrap my.mind around duppy hol dung lol Im re read both posts in the morning together. While sleep recently tho, i felt as if i was being held down. My chest felt heavy, body heavy. When i finally got out of bed i was lighter. I didnt see anyone once my eyes opened. Good night in the light.



  9. Lincoln
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 00:15:27

    most nights I wake up between 3:15-3:30. does that have any meaning. I would say 3 times a week for years



    • Obara Meji
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 10:58:25

      Yes it has a big meaning, waking up between the hours of 3 and 5:30 has a significance. If it has been happening to you or anybody more than 1,2,3 times then something is alerting your spirit and this does have a GREAT meaning and I will be doing a class on this and on hours very soon.



  10. CJ
    Aug 04, 2015 @ 08:46:33

    i’m am so glad to have found this post. I have experienced this phenomenon for as far back as i can remember (with particularly INTENSE episodes at various times in my life). i’ve never been able to truly discuss it with people because many just don’t understand (and i’ve gotten the “you sound crazy” look a few times).

    for me, in the beginning it was just the paralysis (or what i would call my suspension in time and space while everything else moved on around me). however, as the years progressed the “attacks” began and i would physically feel an entity present (there was one particularly harrowing experience in undergrad that unnerved me so badly that i was on the verge of screaming bloody murder and remained awake–with the lights on–for the rest of the night).

    i have described it to people as feeling as if there is some entity that has been stalking me since i was a child (that’s usually when i get the “crazy looks”…lol). having found someone who “gets it” and has experienced similar things lets me know that it isn’t just “in my head” and that it is spiritual and cannot just be neatly explained by science. there are a few things in your posts that particularly stand out for me:

    1. when you speak about trying to get back into your body. i have often said that i felt as if this “something” was trying to “get inside of”/possess me and i have been bound & determined to fight it off and prevent that; however, lately i’ve wondered what would happen if i didn’t fight.
    2. when you speak about spiritual warriors. i find this of particular interest because when i received my hand of ifa a few years ago i was told, among other things, that i have an affinity for the spiritual and that i am a spiritual warrior (and should wear my attire).
    3. when you speak about hearing voices. during the last (very intense) episode that i had
    a couple of years ago i heard the very distinct sound of wings flapping all around me (it was like what you described with the whirlwind only it was flapping wings) and a voice that said “i’ll always be with you…i’ll never let you go!” (as i type this i’m getting chills all over again). until i read your post (and despite everything that i’ve experienced prior) i had convinced myself that i must have imagined it. now, i am completely convinced that i did not!

    i want to thank you for sharing this post. it let’s those of us who experience such things know that we are not alone.



    • Obara Meji
      Aug 04, 2015 @ 10:24:55

      Hi CJ, welcome and thank you for sharing.

      As I have written in the post, my earliest memory of this happening is when I was around 6 years old and it has plagued me since. I am a spiritual practitioner and a teacher and I know a world of spiritualist, people who are exceptionally knowledgeable, who could not explain this thing to me. When it happened while receiving Osun and I heard the Osun women speaking while I prayed God for it to end, As I wrote in the post, at first I was upset that they would see me struggling so hard on the ground and not try to help, but while I began to hear the Orishas speak and introduce themselves to me I realized that they understood what I was going through in that moment, and eventually I would come back to my body and be fine. I have often wondered if this is what people in coma go through, being able to hear all but cannot respond not knowing if the silver cord of life would be cut and you remain where you are forever. I have come to realize that it is when the presence of a high vibrational being is around and this could be same you, only outside of your body trying to get in, it is when these beings/spirits are around that certain of us experience this. There are many different reasons why we experience this, but all reasons are spiritual, ALL! of this I am sure.



  11. A.T
    Feb 04, 2017 @ 17:20:59

    I found you as a blessing, I’m on this same journey similar experience..Knew they meant some but wasn’t sure..but by reading your experience I’m becoming more confident in my path. Stay strong and bless. Awni Tadeh… they called me.



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