Informant: Female/23/Chinese, Hawaiian ancestry
Location: Chaminade University, Oahu

I had never put much faith in ghosts, haunts, poltergeists or other floaty white transparent beings. I believed in God and while he did have spiritual phenomena, many of the scary tales bobbing around were just that; scary tales to keep children in line, or to impress, or to make your loved one's skin crawl and want to jump into your arms. They were good to listen to and occasionally gave me nightmares, but I never started looking over my shoulder for them or keeping my ears pricked for strange bumps in the night. If there were any, those were usually my neighbors having sex or the people above me stomping on the floor, somehow believing that this would oil the afore mentioned neighbors bedsprings or pad their headboard.

I wish we had headboards to bang in our dorm rooms in college; that way we would have been able to tell without knocking that we shouldn't interrupt. I wish that night that I had someone to sleep with and to reassure me that what happened was a dream, that I had my eyes closed the whole time and I was muttering crazy things. But as it was, I was alone and exposed.

How do I know it wasn't a dream? Because you don't dream about trying to go back to sleep. And I swear as I felt the pressure settle on my chest, I saw the blankets and covers flatten. It was as if someone had just settled down and sat on my chest, but slowly increased how much weight they were putting on me.

My mind whirled. I had heard of these. Most describe this kind of experience as a brush with the sitting ghost, an old woman with scraggly gray hair that slowly tries to crush the breath out of you but never succeeds. I also heard of these beings as demons with tails, similar to succubae. (Although, whoever would be seduced by a being like this must be a freak who's into asphyxiation).

My eyes rolled to the side and saw my roommate sleeping peacefully in her own bed, I tried to yell to tell her to help me, but nothing came out. In fact the weight pressure quickened, almost as if the being on me was incensed by my mouth uselessly moving. I felt the thing get heavier and heavier and I went from having a hard time breathing, to having difficulty taking in any air at all. I looked down at my own body and saw nothing but an indentation.

It became painful and I started to see purple and green spots dancing in front of my eyes. I remembered a conversation a long time ago that I must have faith that God would keep me from these creatures; that I should pray and then laugh. Malevolent spirits supposedly hate being laughed at.

I gathered my remaining energy and breath and started praying for His protection. A surge of confidence rushed through me and I said aloud, "Begone evil spirit. I am not frightened; I am a child of God." A small laugh of contempt for this poor creature that had nothing better to do pressed through my lips. I pushed my shoulder, chest and stomach upwards, trying to turn on my side and upset the ghost's balance.

Sure enough I felt a weight start sliding off my body. As it did so I heard an old woman's low cackle before the heaviness completely lifted. It was a little chilling, but the knowledge that such a ghost had never killed anyone and that I had the protection of the Lord made me secure. I also knew that if it ever happened again I knew exactly what to do.

Of course I still stared at the upper frame of my door shaken by my experience. Who knew that those ghouls were real? I held fast to my newfound confidence, but still could not manage to sleep.
This is probably why I mostly sleep on my side today, to make it harder for any spirits to balance on my body and make it harder for them to obstruct my breathing.