Melissa MacLeod

Subject: A Southern California resident, Roman Catholic, said to be deeply involved in various aspects of parapsychology and psychic research.

Researcher: Ann Druffel

Age: Unclear. Said to have been a newlywed in 1953

Defensive Techniques: Waking up the body, Spiritual Self Defense (Calling on Saint Michael)

Melissa had two experiences in the in the 1950s which suggest UFO related phenomena. Then, beginning about 20 years later, ...

... she repeatedly experienced terrifying episodes during which invisible forms of considerable weight --- estimated at fifty to eighty pounds --- would jostle her bed or poke her until she awakened, and she would find herself completely paralyzed. Although she could see no forms or figures, the sense of unwelcome, intrusive presences was overwhelming. [1, 27]

The first few times this happened, she instinctively struggled to awaken her body ...

... and after two or three minutes, would eventually succeed in moving some small portion of her body, usually a finger or a toe. Each time, the small movement broke the paralysis and presences vanished instantly. [1, 27]

Each time the paralysis finally broke, after what seemed to be one or two minutes of struggle, she felt great relief in mind and body and usually went back to sleep without much trouble. [1, 28]

... in the mid-1980s, she awoke paralyzed early one morning and saw a tall, black-hooded figure standing near the side of her bed. In total terror she instinctively prayed, "God help me!" Abruptly, the creature vanished. Melissa then experienced what might be called "a second awakening", in which she came to full wakefulness ... [1, 151]

Over the course of here life, Melissa developed a strong appreciation for St. Michael, the Archangel, who is reputed to be the Soul's defender against so-called "dark spirits", a term Melissa interpreted to include the unknown entities who plagued her. She decided to call upon St. Michael when she was threatened by the invisible presences.

Once she switched her defensive tactics from attempting to awaken her body when she noticed it was paralyzed to appealing to St. Michael ...

... she found that the terrifying paralysis invariably brought on by the intrusive presences broke within a few seconds. She did not need to recite the prayer [to St. Michael], but merely appealed to him mentally with the simple phrase 'Dear St. Michael, help me!' repeated several times. [1, 154]

It should be noted that this new technique was several times faster than her old standby, attempting to awaken her body, which was just as reliable in snapping her body out of its sleep paralyzed state, but which ...

... took much longer and involved the expenditure of intense mental energy. As a result, Melissa's fear of the repeated visitations lessened considerably. Even though they still occur once in a while, she no longer dreads them as she formerly did. She knows she can break them whenever they might take place. [1, 154-5]


What Ms Druffel is calling a "second awakening" is more commonly known as a "false awakening" to, say, lucid dream researchers. The experience of feeling crushing weights during sleep and the false awakening in which she noticed her paralyzed condition indicate that Melissa was Aware during Sleep Paralysis when her experiences took place.

This doesn't mean that the beings she perceived were unreal. But, it may explain why she was successful in defending herself.

It's hard to be sure what sort of entity afflicted Melissa, it is clear that it is not necessarily important to have a theoretically correct interpretation of them in order to defend against them.


  1. Druffel, Ann. How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction. 1998. New York: Three Rivers Press.

  2. Druffel, Ann. "Techniques for Resisting Alien Abduction" Fate. 1993. 11:75-85.