A few years ago my family and I traveled to a small beach town on the east coast of Florida for a quick overnight stay. My 14 year old daughter was volunteering to help with an event, so my husband, myself, and son went along.
While searching the internet for a hotel close to the venue, I was intrigued by a charming old "motor lodge" style motel that appeared newly renovated. It was situated on historical highway A1A and built very close to the edge of the two lane road. On the other side of the highway was a vast expanse of quiet beach on the Atlantic ocean. You could step out of your motel room door, cross the quaint highway, pass a through a small patch of dune and be on the beach.
The website images of the motel depicted a trendy little establishment, it was not fancy but appeared clean and appealed to my sense of nostalgia.
Upon check-in the evening of our arrival, we were amused to discover that the renovation consisted of spray painting everything white. As much as I can recall they painted just about everything except the floors and beds. In the bathroom they even painted the 50's style tub, sink, faucet, electrical outlets, shower head, toilet, all window molding, window frames, etc. It was surreal and quite amusing. We laughed about it and then went to dinner. We didn't stay out late nor consumed anything alcoholic as we would have a long hot day in the sun the next day.
Back at the room we prepared for bed. My daughter and I shared a double bed and my husband and son shared a double right next to us. We all went to sleep quickly and slept soundly for the night.
At dawn I awoke to the sensation of something small and slight jumping onto the foot of my bed. I felt it begin to walk up the length of the bed right next to me. I recall wondering how in the world a cat got into our room. I tried to move and open my eyes but I couldn't.
I have experienced sleep paralysis before in a few instances when traveling but never to the extent or horror that was about to occur.
The "cat" walked up to my face, sniffed my left ear (I felt it and heard it), sniffed my closed eye, then walked behind my head on the pillow - I could feel the weight of every paw. I then felt it walk over to my sleeping daughter and then jump to the floor.
The next I remember is standing at the foot of the bed in front of a woman who was dripping wet. Her hair was long and hanging in a damp manner on either side of her face. Her clothing was saturated as well. She was pleading softly "Help Me" and quietly sobbing. I kept asking her how could I help? We continued this exchange for some time. She gradually became more frantic. "Help Me" was the only thing she would say, over and over. Finally I said "I can't". Without warning her face turned menacing as she lunged towards me to grab my hands, she roared "HELP ME!". I screamed and jumped backwards to avoid her grasp, then woke up in my bed. I checked on my daughter and she was still asleep as was the rest of my family.
That was the most vivid and realistic sleep paralysis I have ever had. Among the few instances prior to this I would just wake up unable to move. Never had I felt a cat or seen or communicated with anything.
If I were an imaginative sort (I am) I would think that maybe this woman drowned in the ocean that was mere feet from the motel. She needed some help and I couldn't help her.
I was glad to check out the next morning.