Mare is one of the entries in 5 Most Terrifying Creatures That Visit You In Your Sleep.
Once thought to be the product of demons, nightmares derive their name from the Old English word Maere, meaning evil spirit.
This treacherous female goblin, a Mare, was believed to visit people while they slept, sitting on their chests and strangling them.
The male equivalent, an alp, similarly hunkered down upon victims, cutting open their nipples in order to drink breast milk or blood.
Found across many medieval European cultures, the mare and alp were thought to enter homes through key holes, with the intent to kill.
With new scientific evidence, however, the ubiquity of such demonic visions is now better understood.
When people gain consciousness during sleep, their muscles still paralyzed, the terror can create strong hallucinations.
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