Daily Ghost Post – P is for Phi Am
Things that go bump in the night are bad enough, but THIS?
By now, readers of the Daily Ghost Post have come face to face with evil encased in innocence, revenge of revenants, and ghostly “let’s keep up with the Jones’ and kill you off too” experiences. But this one is in a category all by itself.
Bedtime is supposed to signify peaceful comfort. A bed is a place of pillows and blankies, coziness and relaxation. Pull the sweet covers up to your chin, sink your sleepy head into an imaginary pillow, and close your eyes. You can go there. You do it every night.
Deep sleep is a glorious respite from the ache of exhaustion and the stresses of life. Sometimes we dream, sometimes our sleep is blissfully blank.
But one night, in the middle of your deepest dreams, you feel your mind opening up like a flower. You ready yourself to soak up the sunlight of wakefulness. Slowly, your sleepy self creeps up from the rabbit hole of dreamland. You are not quite there though – you are still in that dreamy place between sleep and up. You feel the covers snuggled around you, your skin luxuriates in the sheets and softness. As your mind emerges from the depths, you notice something else. It isn’t snuggly. It isn’t soft. It isn’t comfortable. Not. At. All.
Pressing down on your chest is a heaviness so profound you cannot move. You find it hard to breathe. The heaviness envelopes you head to toe.
Your bedding feels like it has transformed from angel softness to heavy steel, sheathing you in an invisible, weighted, strait jacket. Betrayed by your bedding, you are desperate to scream but cannot open your mouth.
It lasts for hours.
In Thailand, they say that if you experience this, then you have been visited by a Phi Am. The Phi Am is a ghost that likes to sits on hapless sleepers. The weight of the ghost is so intense that it can leave bruises.
But the Phi Am doesn’t stay forever. Come morning it leaves the home and seeks another victim.
Just reading about this ghost flips me out. In my research about the Phi Am, I have been unable to discover why the ghost does this. I don’t know if it is for revenge, for fun, or just because it is tired and needs a place to rest before continuing its ghostly night hike.
But the Thai people aren’t the only people to know this ghost. Brazilians have been sat upon. Many other cultures have been sat upon too. Sometimes the ghost is called a Night Hag. And for the scientific among us, the Night Hag and the Phi Am may be the ghostly manifestation of an illness called sleep paralysis.
Let me just state here and now, I don’t care if it is a ghost or medical condition. They both terrify me equally. Just writing about this ghost scares me stiff (yes, pun completely intended, I had to insert a bit of levity before I have a heart attack).
Seriously, I find this impeccably frightening, and that is why I send my heartfelt sympathy and good wishes out to all those who suffer visitations like these. May such ghosts or maladies leave you and everyone else alone.
No bedding betrayals, pleeeeaase!
What night time ghosts frighten you most?
Copyright 2015 The Storycrafters. All rights reserved.
Lloyd, Doris. (2014). Sleep Paralysis: 65 Success Secrets. Emereo Publishing.
Wikipedia: Night Hag
PHOTO CREDIT: “In the Bed” painting by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons.