5 Horrific Ways Your Brain Can Turn On You Without Warning

#2. Sleep Paralysis

What Is It?

Ah, another morning. You open your eyes and stare at the ceiling. Time to toss those covers aside and start the d-

Wait... what's this? Your arms don't seem to be moving. Or your feet. And... HOLY SHIT! There's a monster in the room! And that bastard glued your entire body to your bed!

"You'd think a monster would have more sophisticated methods of terrorizing, but I don't, at all."

Well, that or you're suffering from sleep paralysis. Also referred to as "devil on your back" by Africans, "the dark presser/assailer" in Turkey and "on the pig's back" by the Irish.

Wait, What's Going On?

As you fall asleep, several things happen. First, your conscious mind is set to low-level functioning. Next, your body is immobilized so that you can dream of doing things like running, without actually running into your bedroom wall like the dog in that YouTube video.

Then, your brain cycles in and out of REM. Occasionally, your conscious mind wakes up, but forgets to include other parts of your brain, usually just seconds before the REM is phased completely out. The result is that for the next few moments, you get to watch the dream, or rather nightmare in most cases, played out as a vivid hallucination right before your very much awakened eyes.

Oh, and that part about you being immobilized? That's still there, hence the "paralysis" half of "sleep paralysis." Not only do get to watch the demonized spider-crabs on your ceiling eat a tiny kitten just above your immobile body, you are completely helpless to do anything about it when they come for you.

But, you can tell the difference between real life and some stupid waking dream, right? Apparently not, since as we have mentioned before, this condition seems to explain the whole "alien abduction" phenomenon, and several thousand years worth of ghost stories and demon encounters.

So yeah, pretty fucking real.

Can it Happen to You?

It's already happened to some of you reading this. Surveys show that about one out of four people have experienced it, though who knows how many more A) had it but didn't know what it was or B) forgot about it or wrote the whole thing off as a dream.

Then again we don't know how many of the ones who claimed to have had it were actually abducted by aliens instead, so it probably balances out.

#1. Random Hallucinations

What Is It?

You're not crazy. You never have been. You're not taking any medications, or narcotics. You're not sleepy. You haven't taken a blow to the head. You're not stressed out. Everything is fine.

Still, one day you're sitting in your car, driving down the highway, alone. It's dark, the radio is off and you're listening the sound of pavement humming under the wheels. Then, a leprechaun appears in the passenger seat and calls you an asshole.

What an asshole.

Wait, What's Going On?

We think of hallucinations as the hallmark of mental illness and they are--but they are also shockingly common in people with absolutely no mental problems at all. It may happen once, and never happen again. And once more, some of you who are reading this have experienced it, whether you know it or not.

For instance, about 15 percent of people surveyed say they've had auditory hallucinations, the most common being the sound of voices (often your name, spoken aloud) right as you're falling asleep.

It's not known how common visual hallucinations are, since they so often get reported as ghost/alien/angel/etc. sightings. But it is known that such hallucinations can include seeing animals or even inanimate objects. In other words, there's a chance you have had a hallucination and to this day don't realize the object was never actually there.

Oh, it gets creepier.

Ever had that eerie experience when you feel someone or something is in the room with you? Particularly in the dark? Or maybe you just feel like you're "being watched." That "sense of presence," the normal feeling you get when near another person, only felt while alone, is another type of hallucination.

Can it Happen to You?

Probably half of you have experienced some type of hallucination, whether you remember it or not. The auditory hallucinations are so common there is a support group now specifically for these people who hear voices but who are not schizophrenic and who don't have any other crazy symptoms.

Now, if you're thinking it would be hilarious to have your ventriloquist friend sit in on one of those meetings, well... be sure to get us video.

Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.

For more reasons to never trust your brain again, check out 5 Ways Your Brain Is Messing With Your Head. Or check out the totally rad things you can make it do, in 5 Ways To Hack Your Brain Into Awesomeness.

And stop by our Top Picks to see Brockway hallucinating. Off of drugs. It happens fairly regularly.

And don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get dick jokes sent straight to your news feed.

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