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The Creepy Legend of Russian Sleep Experiment

Do you love staying up too late and deprive yourself some sleep? Is the internet the main reason why you are up all night? The internet is s...



Do you love staying up too late and deprive yourself some sleep? Is the internet the main reason why you are up all night? The internet is such a nice place to know and get informed about a lot of things. But it is also a place where you can have your brain boggle due to thousands of details that may either present facts or hoaxes through urban legends. If you are one of the people who loves some creepy urban legends, then this feature is for you. One of the most famous and creepiest urban legend of the modern time would be the tale behind sleep deprivation experiment entitled 'The Russian Sleep Experiment.'

Up to this day, internet users continue to debate the truth factor of this infamous story, despite the fact that it originated on an online forum thread. Sleep is known to be one of the most important activities that humans should regularly have and in this modern era that we are living in, looks like it is being taken for granted by most of us. Well, this story might give you the creeps whenever you deprive yourself some sleep.


The Russian Sleep Experiment took place at the end of the 1940s wherein soviet researchers locked in five prison inmates in an airtight chamber and dosed them with an experimental stimulant gas. The purpose of it was to test the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation. The researchers observed their behavior via two-way mirrors and their conversations were all monitored electronically. The five inmates were promised their freedom if they could go entirely without sleep for 30 days.

The first few days of the experiment passed uneventfully. On their fifth day, the subjects began showing signs of stress and were overheard bemoaning their circumstances. They even stopped conversing with their fellow inmates, choosing instead to whisper compromising information about one another into the microphones, apparently in an effort to win the favor of the researchers. At that time, paranoia started to set in on the inmates and researchers.


On their ninth day of sleep deprivation experiment, the screaming began to happen. First, one subject, then another, was observed running around the chamber screaming at the top of their lungs for hours on end. Equally disconcerting was the reaction of the quieter subjects, who began ripping apart the books they’d been given to read, smearing the pages with feces, and plastering them over the mirrored windows so their actions could no longer be observed.Then, just as suddenly, the screaming stopped. The subjects ceased communicating altogether. Three long days passed without a sound from inside the chamber. Fearing the worst, the researchers addressed the subjects via the intercom. The next thing they know is they will be having an eerie conversation with the inmates.
 RESEARCHER: “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones, Step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.”
VOICE FROM THE CHAMBER:  “We no longer want to be freed.”

As scary as it gets, the researchers allowed 2 more days to pass. Those two days passed without any sort of contact as they debated what to do next to the five inmates. Finally, they decided to terminate the experiment. At midnight on the fifteenth day the stimulant gas was flushed from the chamber and replaced with fresh air in preparation for the subjects’ release. The normal reaction of relief from the inmates were expected by the researchers but the actual reaction of the inmates were far from being pleased. As they already knew of their chances of leaving the chamber, the subjects began screaming as if in fear for their lives.

They even begged to have the gas turned back on. Instead, the researchers unsealed the door to the chamber and sent armed soldiers inside to retrieve them. Nothing could have prepared them for the carnage they witnessed upon entering. One inmate was found dead, lying face-down in six inches of bloody water. Chunks of his flesh had been torn off and stuffed into the floor drain. All of the test subjects were found to have been severely mutilated. What’s even worse is that their wounds appeared to be self-inflicted. They had ripped open their own abdomens and disemboweled themselves using their own bare hands. To make things even more shocking, some inmates had known to eat their own flesh.

The four remaining inmates who were still living seemed too terrified of falling asleep and even refused to leave the chamber, again pleading with the researchers to turn the gas back on. When the soldiers attempted to remove the inmates by force, they fought back so ferociously they couldn’t believe their eyes. One inmate suffered a ruptured spleen and lost so much blood there was literally nothing left for his heart to pump, yet continued on for a full three minutes until his lifeless body gave up. The three remaining subjects were restrained and transported to a medical facility for treatment. This time, researchers decided to run an operation on them. The first inmate to be operated on fought so hard against being anesthetized that he tore muscles and broke bones during his struggle. As soon as the anesthetic took effect his heart stopped beating and he died. The rest of the inmates underwent surgery without sedation. Far from feeling any pain, however, they laughed hysterically on the operating table so hysterically that the doctors, perhaps fearing for their own sanity, administered a paralytic agent to immobilize them.


The researchers seemed less satisfied with the operation they performed on the 2 remaining inmates. The inmates were interrogated on why they had mutilated themselves, and why they so desperately wanted to go back on the stimulant gas. Each, in turn, gave the same creepy answer: “I must remain awake.” The researchers uneasy with their response even considered euthanizing them to obliterate every trace of the failed experiment, but were overruled by their commanding officer, who ordered that it be resumed immediately.

But now, the commanding officer wants the two inmates back to the gas chamber with three of the researchers to join them inside the sealed chamber. This decision by the commanding officer terrified the researchers that it even led the chief researcher to pull out a pistol and shot the commanding officer point blank. He then turned and shot one of the two surviving subjects. Pointing his gun at the last one left alive, he asked who are they and what made them to be like a crazed person. And he got a chilling response:
“Have you forgotten so easily? We are you. We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind. We are what you hide from in your beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven where we cannot tread.”

The researcher fired a bullet into his heart. And the rest was known to be the last time, a sleep deprivation experiment occurred for a long time. Truth or hoax? This story is still controversial to internet users as they continuously debate whether this was inspired by true events in the past.

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