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  • A piercing scream wakes you up in the middle of the night.

  • You turn to your wife, who has also jolted awake from the horrific noise, and tell her

  • you'll sort things out.

  • Your son has been suffering from terrible nightmares recently, to the point where he

  • sometimes refuses to sleep altogether.

  • Looks like it's another one of those nights.

  • You rush down the hallway to his room, hoping you don't have to stay up all night consoling

  • him again.

  • The kid is a real handful, but he's been through a lot over the last few months.

  • You can only hope that what happened in Cambodia won't haunt him for the rest of his life.

  • You enter your son's bedroom, expecting to find him sitting up in bed and trembling.

  • Instead, he's lying down and motionless.

  • Weird.

  • You approach his body, calling his name, but he doesn't react.

  • Maybe he already fell asleep again.

  • But something's wrong.

  • Is he even breathing?

  • Panicking, you check his pulse.

  • You can't find it.

  • And he's definitely not breathing either.

  • How could this be possible?

  • Just a few hours ago, he was fine.

  • It's like he died in his nightmare.

  • Now, it's you that lets out a scream.

  • If you're planning on sleeping soon, stop this video now.

  • This gruesome tale will keep you tossing and turning for the entire night...

  • Living in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 was enough to give anyone nightmares.

  • The reign of dictator Pol Pot and his party, Khmer Rouge, was filled with terror and tragedy.

  • Over the four years the party had power, almost two million people from various minority groups

  • died.

  • That's around a quarter of the population, making it one of the world's worst genocides

  • ever.

  • Those who died under Pol Pot's reign were buried in the Killing Fields: the chilling

  • name for mass graveyards containing victims.

  • Others escaped as refugees.

  • But little did they know that many of them would face circumstances almost as terrifying

  • when they arrived in the places offering them refuge.

  • Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, many people died in their sleep after having nightmares.

  • The strangest part is, they all had one thing in common: they were male refugees from South

  • East Asia who fled from the Killing Fields to the USA.

  • American dream?

  • More like an American nightmare.

  • The phenomenon became so prevalent that it was known as the Asian Death Syndrome at the

  • time.

  • We're yet to understand it fully.

  • One day in 1981, medics arrived at a refugee camp in the US after hearing that a man was

  • having some kind of fit in his sleep.

  • They found his heart contracting wildly as if he had a heart condition or was in fear.

  • But nobody knew who or what he was afraid of.

  • He was asleep, after all.

  • The medics did everything they could to save the man's life, but they watched him pass

  • away in front of their eyes.

  • The case was as mysterious as it was sadthe victim was healthy, reasonably young, and

  • had just died for no apparent reason.

  • But part of the puzzle may have been his home country: the man was from Laos.

  • See, it wasn't just the Cambodians that were going through a hard time during the

  • 70s and 80s.

  • In Laos, the CIA had recruited the Hmongan ethnic group in the areato fight North

  • Vietnamese soldiers in the Vietnam War.

  • As if the Hmong didn't have things bad enough by being disproportionately killed during

  • the warthe Hmong soldiers died ten times more often than their US counterpartsthey

  • also ended up being persecuted in their own country.

  • When Laos became Communist, it saw the Hmong soldiers as traitors for fighting against

  • Vietnam.

  • Many ended up fleeing to the US, along with refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam.

  • In fact, the patient who died in a refugee camp under the supervision of medics was the

  • fourth Hmong man to die in the US over a nine-month period.

  • And, between 1981 and 1988, more than a hundred men from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia died

  • mysteriously in their sleep.

  • It might have just been a coincidence, but it's pretty unusual for healthy and young

  • people to die in their sleep with no explanation.

  • Almost everyone who died was in their 20s and 30s.

  • Even more creepily, almost all the victims were men and boys.

  • Only one female died.

  • What was it about young Asian males?

  • And the story of one young boy makes the whole situation sound even more ominous than it

  • already does….

  • If you're even mildly into horror movies, this story might sound familiar.

  • That's because the mysterious so-called Asian Death Syndrome became the inspiration

  • for A Nightmare on Elm Street.

  • After the film director Wes Craven heard the story in the news one day, he realized it

  • would make the perfect plot for a horror film.

  • So, if you ever watch the film and Freddy Krueger is freaking you out, it's no use

  • reassuring yourself that it's “just a story.”

  • Sorry, but no it ain't.

  • Whilst I'm at it, I may as well hurl some more creepy facts at you.

  • Kraven also based the character of Freddy Krueger on two people he knew in real life.

  • The name Freddy Krueger was inspired by a childhood bully, Fred Kruge, who tormented

  • Craven when he was a child.

  • And his appearance and overall vibe came about after Kraven was a boy at home one day and

  • saw a strange-looking old man walk past.

  • The two locked eyes, and bizarrely, the man came closer and stood outside his window,

  • staring at him.

  • After a few tense moments, the old man walked away, but he obviously left a lasting impression.

  • Damn, and I thought I had a twisted sense of humor.

  • But back to the killer dream outbreak.

  • The story about the man who died in his sleep might have been mysterious, but it's nowhere

  • near as chilling as this one.

  • A Cambodian family fled from the genocide to the United States in the 1970s, ready to

  • start a new life.

  • There was just one problem: the son started having nightmares.

  • Just like the beginning of many good horror movies.

  • The boy dreamed of being chased and woke up terrified.

  • We've all had creepy dreams about someone running after us, but I guess his were a notch

  • above the standard nightmare, because they freaked him out so much that he avoided sleeping

  • altogether.

  • Literally, he'd force himself to go days on end without sleeping.

  • He must have drunk a lot of coffee.

  • His parents were concerned, for obvious reasons.

  • They tried to coax him into sleeping, to no avail.

  • This kid was convinced that, if he fell asleep, he'd die.

  • From an outsider's perspective, it all sounds a bit melodramatic.

  • Maybe the kid needed some attention from his parents or something.

  • But bizarrely, it turned out that he wasn't overreacting.

  • No matter how much double Espresso you drink, you will eventually need to sleep.

  • Well, despite his determination, this boy was no exception.

  • One day, he fell asleep.

  • His parents were relieved, thinking they could finally convince him he was safe whilst he

  • slept and the demons from his dreams could never hurt him in real life.

  • Oh, the irony.

  • Rinse and repeatthe boy fell asleep, he had a nightmare, and he started screaming.

  • His parents rushed in to comfort himonly to find out that he'd already died.

  • Incredibly, his nightmare had killed him, just like the other hundred men from Laos,

  • Cambodia, and Vietnam.

  • It made the perfect plot for a horror film — a young child who sensed danger and logical

  • adults who refused to believe his absurd theories.

  • But how was it possible that a young boy could die in his sleep?

  • Surely there's a logical explanation that doesn't involve a demon like Freddy Krueger?

  • Investigators tried and failed to find a medical cause of the deaths.

  • They found some links with an irregular heartbeat, but nobody knew what the cause of the irregular

  • heartbeat was.

  • Since then, there have been a few more theories.

  • One explanation was that the refugees were exposed to chemical nerve agents used during

  • the Vietnam war.

  • It sounds mildly logical, but no doctors could find any actual evidence for it.

  • Besides, even if the idea made some scientific sensewhich it didn't — it failed

  • to explain why the nerve agent would only affect males and only during the night.

  • Another idea was that the night terrors were a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder,

  • provoked by the horrific experiences of the refugees and the unfamiliar world they entered

  • in the USA.

  • But again, even though this makes some sense, there was no proper evidence for it and no

  • explanation why females didn't also suffer from PTSD.

  • So, back to the drawing board.

  • Ever heard that old wive's tale that if we die in a dream then we also die in real

  • life, so we always wake up from nightmares a few fractions of a second before we're

  • about to die?

  • Sorry to disappointor maybe it's a source of reliefbut that's not true.

  • It's true that, when things happen in a dream, they can trigger us to have the same

  • physiological reactions in our waking state.

  • Kind of like when you're screaming in your dream then you wake up to find you're really

  • screaming.

  • Or when you urinate in your dream and then you wake up and realize youoh, come on,

  • please say it's not just me.

  • Basically, it's theoretically possible that a dream could trigger a physiological reaction

  • that ends with you dying.

  • When people die suddenly in their sleep, it's put down to Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death

  • Syndrome.

  • There's a nice piece of medical jargon for you.

  • Some academic studies think this phenomenon could be biological or genetic, explaining

  • why people of the same ethnicity, age, and sex died.

  • Also known as Brugada syndrome, the disease is actually the most common cause of natural

  • death amongst the young, healthy Asian population.

  • It's a rare heart rhythm disorder that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, meaning a loss

  • of heart function, breathing, and consciousness.

  • It can happen whilst people are awake, but is most fatal whilst they're sleeping.

  • Yeah, I know.

  • A rare genetic disease is kind of an anticlimax compared to a spooky grim reaper entering

  • kids' nightmares.

  • But we still don't know everything.

  • Since the peak in the mid and late 1980s, deaths from Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death

  • Syndrome, Brugada syndrome, or whatever else you want to call it, have decreased sharply.

  • Nobody can fully explain the decrease, so we can't rule out any funny business or

  • grim reapers quite yet.

  • Anyway, it's getting late.

  • Time to get some sleep...

  • Or, check out our videosscientists reveal how dreams can kill you in real lifeor

  • night hag, the demon that visits you in your sleep.”

A piercing scream wakes you up in the middle of the night.

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Actual Killer Dream Outbreak - Real Life Inspiration for Freddy Krueger

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/16
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