Hearing Voices (Hypnagogic Hallucination)

“Have you been half-asleep? And have you heard voices? I heard them calling my name” -Kermit the Frog

The other night I posted the above quote from the Paul William’s penned song which was featured prominently in the original “The Muppet Movie” as well as the new movie “The Muppets”. I left the last part off and ended it with “And have you heard voices?”

The replies to the post ranged from people who got the reference to those who assumed I was being mysterious, or had mental issues. Others assumed I was talking about a very real phenomenon that some see as paranormal in nature.

When discussing this at work this morning, several people shared stories with me about them being jolted awake by the sound of someone calling their name.

It has happened to me, I freely admit. In fact, the phenomenon is so real and so convincing, that when it does happen I often bolt upright in bed and yell out, “WHAT?!” much to the chagrin of any one who would happen to be next to me.

The event occurred frequently in my late teen years and subsided as I got older. Still, every now and then it returns.

Additionally, in my case at least, it is not always just hearing someone scream my name, but I can actually hear conversations, like someone talking, not necessarily to me, but carrying on the most mundane of conversations with someone. Sometimes it is clear as day, other times it is muted, but still rather unsettling.

For those that experience this phenomenon, it is off-putting but fascinating at the same time. It can be scary, disorienting, and downright confusing. But is it truly paranormal in nature?

Science has a way of trying to explain away the paranormal and the paranormal field is often at odds with such explanations. In true science/medical fashion, scientists and doctors believe that the experience is a very real thing and in fact is so common that it is considered abnormal to NOT experience it.

The scientific name given to the phenomenon is Hypnagogia. The term is rather broad and in actuality describes the stage of transitioning between somnolence and sleep and vice-versa. During this transitional phase, it is common to experience a wide array of sleep-related phenomena, such as “Old Hag Syndrome” and “Out of Body Experiences”

The actual term and subsequent explanations is fairly recent. It was coined and classified in 1983 by Dr. Andreas Mavromatis as a collective noun…so the auditory disturbances we are experiencing falls under the category of Hypnagogia but is more akin to “Sensory Phenomena”. Included in “Sensory Phenomena” is seeing bursts of light from behind closed eyes, odd geometric patterns when staring into the darkness, and even audible disturbances such as hearing odd or nonsensical conversations, bangs or loud explosions (Exploding head syndrome).

Such scientific explanations are mostly based on theory and not fact. Sleep studies continue to be conducted to find out what happens when we enter a different state of consciousness. The human brain is a fascinating maze of untapped regions, synapses, and electrical impulses. Perhaps in all the functions it controls day in and day out…just maybe…it also acts as a receptor to messages from those who have stayed behind long after shuffling off their mortal coil.

Or, the voices and visions we encounter during the transition between the world of sleep and awake can simply be explained away as a misfire in the central processing unit of our very being.

So the question remains…have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?

Share your stories with us in the comments section below.

See also: Old Hag aka Sleep Paralysis

4 thoughts on “Hearing Voices (Hypnagogic Hallucination)

  1. Mohib Alam

    Today about 50 minutes back…when i was about to sleep, all of sudden i started hearing like somebody is screaming very badly and then went into a dream where i was on stairs and saw somekind of spirit ..which pushed me very hard…very very hard…! then i started praying and then i was able to open my eyes…but was not able to move my body and was not able to speak anything…i tried to reach my wife on the left side on my bed but couldn’t do that…at last after about 45 seconds…i could move my body and speak as well…but my body was very cold….even now after an hour, i still feel very cold …i guess going to take a hot shower…..but this thing was very creepy…scared the shit out of me.

  2. obiwan

    Mohib, thank you for sharing your story. Your experience is very typical of sleep paralysis, which is often accompanied by sounds. Although terrifying, it’s not supernatural, so try not to worry. 🙂

  3. rogsmith

    Scientific terms are always a veneer to console humans when it comes to spirits. In truth, its really the supernatural… Can’t be telling lies your whole life denying these things. They’re everywhere making voices, not just in you. Sleep paralysis, its really spirit force on top of you… I’ve whacked it with my forearm even though my whole body was stuck. Theres really something on top. Don’t sugarcoat these spirits, it makes them bolder because humans don’t recognise them. EXPOSE THEIR EXISTENCE AND YOUR PROBLEMS GO AWAY.

    Some have low intensity (can cure), others have absolute intensity (maybe can cure). Some have super scary intensity of bipolar (cannot cure) that will scare your balls out to the death.

    In truth, bipolar? No that much, in fact one are inflicted with much invisible forces from the other side. Some know, some do not know. Some know and keep mum. All of us have the duty to speak up about the voice. Deep down only oneself will know……Too much occult activities in the past? New age jumbo mambo, palmistry? astrology? iching, rune? tarot perhaps????? Even religion.

    Having done some bad things in life can also be one reason… Nobody will admit this though. DON’T DENY ANYMORE THESE SPIRITS… THEY’RE COMING FOR PAYBACK ON HUMANS,,,, LOOK AT THE WORLD…. SATAN DEVIL ETC…….

  4. Russ Montgomery

    About 8 years ago, when my wife and I, were living in our new home, I had this happen twice.We didn’t have the money to have our lot landscaped,so I was doing the work myself.The lot is large,with a lot of rocks and boulders,scattered around.Anyway, one evening I was laying on my back,in a rear bedroom,when someone screamed my name very loudly from nearby.It startled me,and I sat straight up, but no one was around.A few days later,I was really worn out again,and was laying on the same bed,to take a nap.This time,I felt something touch my shoulder,and say my name loudly,right in my face.This time, it shook me up,and I never went to that room to rest,anymore.I don’t recall that ever happening before,and haven’t since.


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