Sleep Paralysis Therapeutic Photo-Art

Or something. Some weird-ass but interesting stuff, anyway.

Nightmares can startle you awake, but what happens when you feel paralyzed and helpless as a terrifying dream engulfs you as you lie in bed somewhere between sleep and awake?

That’s sleep paralysis, and conceptual photographer Nicolas Bruno has been experiencing the phenomenon — often associated with scary visions and feeling unable to move — since he was 15 years old.

These seemingly endless visions haunt Bruno.

“I have experienced bone chilling hallucinations and extreme terror during these dreams,” the now-21-year-old New Yorker told io9. “Faceless silhouetted figures, embraces from shadow-like hands, warping of reality around me — all while [feeling] completely paralyzed.”

Bruno decided to do something therapeutic to combat the visions and take back some control.

He began writing notes about his visions. Tapping into his artform, he then recreated them in a series of haunting, eerie photographs he calls a “bittersweet homage” to what he sees.