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To be weighed down by a ghost

Chinese believe in a phenomenon that can be translated into "to be weighed down by a ghost." This is a fairly common occurrance in which someone wakes from sleeping to find themselves completely paralyzed but conscious. During these short moments, people often report unexplainable experiences including hearing voices talking to them, feeling sensations, and hearing people in the room that should not be there. 

A relative of mine lived in Confucius Plaza in Chinatown, New York City. Those familiar with this part of town will recognize it as the tallest buildings in Chinatown. This curved brick, 44- story co-op rises at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge entrance and forms a unique wind tunnel effect along the Bowery. There are many urban legends about Confucius Plaza, which have slowly emerged since it was built in the mid-Seventies.
My relative lived alone in his Confucius Plaza apartment which had a kitchen, bedroom and living room. On one particular evening, my relative fell asleep on his couch in the living room. He later woke to find himself totally paralyzed and unable to even open his eyes.


As he lay there, he heard someone enter through his front door, walk through every room of his apartment, and leave through the front door (slamming it as they left). At the moment the door slammed, my relative was suddenly able to move again, and immediately sprang up. He opened the front door, but saw no one going down the long hallway. He searched through the entire apartment and found nothing missing or disturbed.


There are many scientific explanations for this odd phenomenon, which include the brain not fully disengaging the portion of itself that keeps your limbs from moving in your dreams. It has also been explained that the brain might still be in a state of dreaming without fully waking. All of these explanations quite compelingly explain away any supernatural reasons. Unfortunately, none of it may dispel the feeling of dread that people experience when they themselves hear unexplainable things in a paralyzed state.


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