The Russian Sleep Experiment

Sleep Zombie?Back in the 1940s, a group of unethical Russian scientists performed a sleep deprivation experiment on a group of political dissidents that lead to a horrifying conclusion, or so the story goes. Is the story true or based upon a true story? Is it another object lesson on how a work of fiction can become urban legend? Lets take a look at the story of the Russian Sleep Experiment. 

The story of the Russian Sleep Experiment is a work of fiction that can be found on the popular horror microfiction site called CreepyPasta. The particular story can be found here or here. The story relates a tale of a descent into madness for the victims of the experiment, as well as a number of elements which strongly imply paranormal or supernatural influences. Go have a quick read of it.

At the time of this writing, a Google search for “Russian Sleep Experiment” will net several results in which people assert that the story is true or that it is based on a true story. There are also some interesting variants or modifications on the story, for instance the stimulant gas is named in some accounts as “Nikolayev” gas or that the title is sometimes listed as “Orange Soda.” The earliest instance of the story I can find was on the CreepyPasta wiki in December 2010. You can see it here (via the Internet Archive). The archive page shows that the wiki entry was created by “Ovalh3” reportedly from /x/. /x/ is the paranormal section of the 4chan site. Unfortunately, the trail ran cold for me there as 4chan is regularly pruned and not archived (most of the fan archives don’t go back far enough).

There appears to have been a spike in interest and activity in the Russian Sleep Experiment sometime last year (2013). I expect that this is the time at which the story made the jump from a work of fiction to urban legend. Around that time, Snopes created an entry for the story, in which they determine it is false.

Much like the phenomenon of Alexandria’s Genesis, the Russian Sleep Experiment serves as a good example of how fictional work can, given the right context and credulity of reader, jump from a story to perceived fact.

So, how do I know the story isn’t true? Just because it’s on a horror fiction web site doesn’t mean that it isn’t true, right? Sure. There are a number of elements of the story that strongly increase my suspicion that it isn’t true. Spoilers for the story follow, if you are concerned.

The experimental setup doesn’t ring true for a legitimate, even if unethical, experiment. The chamber in which the subjects were housed would be far more observable. There are no control groups. Part of the story hinges on the requirement that the subjects become unobservable for some period of time, so that the reveal of their state can have more impact. If the purpose is to observe the effects of sleep deprivation, why allow the subjects to “hide” for so long? The author had to cover for that by adding in the oxygen consumption meters, so that they could verify the subject’s life and activity.

Medically, very little makes sense or seems consistent with what we know about human physiology. Blood loss alone would have ended the lives of the subjects long before the conclusion of the story. I am highly suspicious of any stimulant, gas or otherwise, that could overcome the desire to sleep. Browsing the literature on sleep deprivation studies (almost all animals) shows that chemical stimulants lose effectiveness over time. The only methods that seem to work involve physical measures, such as the “flower pot” method for rat studies.

The conclusion of the story is where the author tips their hand. It is common among the CreepyPasta-style stories to link in demons, extra-dimensional beings, ghosts, or the like to kick up a story’s horror angle. The closing scenes strongly hint of the paranormal, either through some demonic side of humanity or the use of extreme sleep deprivation as a method to access other worlds. The subjects, by all accounts, become like intelligent, super-strong, zombies, as a result of their ordeal. Or maybe it was that mysterious gas…

Sleep has been, and continues to be, heavily studied. Extreme sleep deprivation in all animal testing has resulted, ultimately, in the deaths of the animals. It has been shown that humans will also die of sleep deprivation, through the rare disorder fatal familial insomnia. According to this article, the longest recorded time without sleep for a human is 449 hours, over 18 days.

Sleep is a fascinating subject and the focus of over a century of study. As a chronic insomniac and as someone with sleep apnea, sleep is a major part of my life. I don’t expect to become a hyper-strong super creepy pseudo-zombie if I miss enough of it.

Be well.

About Mike Weaver

Husband, father, skeptic, technologist, motorcyclist, hunter, outdoors-man, and evil genius. I am formally trained in computer science, physics, mathematics, and emergency medicine (paramedic, former).
This entry was posted in Paranormal, Urban Legends and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

106 Responses to The Russian Sleep Experiment

  1. Mikael says:

    Was not ready for that image, holy crap and hello nightmares

    • Alison Edwards says:

      Totally creepy. Mike, where did you find that?

      • Mike Weaver says:

        It was the featured image on several other sites which had a copy of the story, some of which were presenting it as “real”. I’m not sure of the original source.

        • Lazer says:

          This source of the picture has been confirmed, that of Joan Rivers during one of her many trips to the plastic surgeon. This one was taken just before liposuction.

          • PJ Revenant says:

            A friend of mine has that Spazm prop… the shaking motion of it is pretty lame but from the right angle in a black & white picture it sure gains a whole new level of scary lol

          • Sun4n says:

            Thank you Kate for this outstanding context!! The world isn’t half mad, except maybe the makers of that Halloween prop, yikes!

          • kayla says:

            We will never know if it was true or not. All the evidence seems false bc of things we already know but we don’t know much about this gas. It could have been like the bath salt incidents. I listened to creepypastas sleep experiment 2, where a therapist actually attempted this experiment at his house but with injections of adrenalin, coffee infusions, and electricshock therapy. The guy only lasted 8 days and he showed no signs of ripping his own skin off. So maybe that gas they used caused them to have a chemical imbalance I’m there brain to make them go insane on top of no sleep, or maybe it was all faked. Either way it’s stI’ll pretty interesting.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            Actually, we can be nearly certain this story is nonsense for all the reasons listed in the post: it makes no sense, it has not been supported by any other evidence (bath salts make people high; they don’t make people monsters), and, most importantly, we know it’s fake because it’s well established when it was written as a ghost story.

        • Savanna says:

          Hello I was curious where were these sites? It seems too real to seem fake

        • PJ Revenant says:

          Thanks for the correction… I thought it was Nancy Pelosi before she puts on her wig and makeup in the morning.

        • Michelle says:

          It’s a Halloween decoration called spasm google it

  2. Working In A Cop Shop says:

    That’s the scariest damn picture I’ve seen all week.

    Thanks, Mike!

  3. Keovar says:

    A video version of the story was posted on YouTube on 1 Oct, 2013. This may be part of the spike in interest for this story, as it wouldn’t be too difficult to clip the parts which indicate it was a CreepyPasta story and repost the video on an account that claims to be true, rather than one named “IReadCreepyPasta”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEwbfnCpKA4

    You’d have to believe in something like literal undead zombies to believe the story, as the severe bodily damage described in it would certainly be fatal. Infection alone would likely kill them, but the story mentions deep pools of blood and organs torn out of the subjects’ abdomens.

  4. Torchwood says:

    In the normal course of events, chronic sleep deprivation (particularly chronic dream deprivation) will progressively result in fatigue, short term memory problems, long term memory problems, hallucinations, paranoia, and, if it goes long enough, death. Most of us attend to the problem at the fatigue stage.

    However if you need a few additional nightmares, check the internet for pics of users of the drug krokodil (a homemade injectable cocktail that combines codeine, lighter fluids, gasoline, paint thinner, alcohol, and other ingredients.)You will start to wonder all over again how much truth there is to the Russian Sleep Experiment when you see the exposed bone and viscera resulting from krokodil use (only 2 documented cases in the US so far.)

  5. george says:

    I believe it. I was up on dope for 9 days one time then did some angel dust go
    t pissed and punched through a brick wall. I shattered my left ARM up to the elbow and broke 3 fingers and 7 bones in my right hand. But it took five policemen to stop me. It’s crazy what drugs and lack of sleep can do.

    • Mike Weaver says:

      While having an altered mental status, such as under the influence of certain drugs (PCP comes to mind readily), can allow a person to function past the typical limits of exhaustion and pain tolerance, it does not allow a person to function past the physical limits of the body. It will not, for example, allow you to hold things with the shattered hand or continue to walk with extremely low blood volume. There’s only so far that a body can be pushed by a malfunctioning brain.

    • cubas says:

      Lol george, you rebel.

    • toast says:

      No George, that didn’t happen. You were watching Cops and fell asleep thinking that was your reality. Next time get some solid sleep before you post.

    • Kole says:

      I had a brother in-law that took 6 cops to take down due to PCP. This story is definatly believable

  6. realistic thinker says:

    Conspiracy or not, who knows what kind of experiments have been going on in other country’s. People in the early 1900s were very sadistic and probably are worse off now. Many Americans had there own little studies on mentally handicapped patience or prisoners; witch ever way you look at it. And if the people of America can do this, well that should say something. Other country’s are not as conservative as we are; therefore, they do as they please with little restrictions, as far as experiments go…….

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Most countries have unethical experiments in their scientific history. That isn’t evidence that this is a true story. And there’s a lot of evidence that this is fiction.

      • So much for “realistic thinking”.

        • Israel says:

          Both Noah and Fernando misunderstood, realistic thinker was saying that regardless if this is a “conspiracy or no” that there might’ve been horrible experiments in other countries. I also agree that Americans are more conservative-moral than other countries. My impression is conservatism tends to focus on being moral more so than liberalism… I’ve heard too many times how liberals have a “be an evil person and do evil things” kind of mentality to fulfill their goals. A little off topic but I sort of felt like venting. Good comment realistic thinker.

          • Proud American says:

            Wow, possibly the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard. You really think Americans are more ethical? Attitudes like these are the reason why the rest of the world hates us. I’ll pray for you.

          • Raith says:

            Your ideas of Liberals and Conservatives prove you are still making one of the biggest mistakes of youth, – ‘believing people are what they say they are’ , instead of judging people by their actions. You have it bass ackwards. If someone asks you to trust them, you probably do. Look at the voting records for representatives, for a start

          • Noah Dillon says:

            None of that has anything to do with the topic of this post or of this thread specifically. No one is even talking about government. Someone said something about the national culture, but not about elected officials with voting records. And none of what anyone has said here says anything about this fictional story. What mistake is anyone here making?

          • Proud American says:

            I know it’s completely off topic. It was just so outrageous that I couldn’t let it go. I guess I can’t control my temper because I’m one of those evil people that does evil things to fulfill my goals. I don’t know why I even read these comments when they always devolve into someone’s insane political rantings, regardless of the original topic. It depletes my faith in humanity.

          • Uh, dude, America’s experiments are more moral? Check wikipedia for Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment & what we know of Dr. Sidney Gottlieb’s work. And I’m sure at least some of the folks involved were good Republicans–I almost never comment but this is the most ignorant thing I’ve read in awhile. Vent on Free Republic, maybe?

          • Kristin says:

            But you are aware that American doctors and military personnel contaminated multiple different water sources over the country both with LSD and poison, as well as the MK-ULTRA project, and the use of Agent Orange not just in Vietnam but in the United States by military personnel on civilians? Yea, the American’s of the United States of America are soooo much more ethical and moral when they conduct their science compared to other countries such as Russia or Germany or Korea or Japan. (heavy heavy sarcasm with the last line.)

          • Interesting comment kristen but ultimately irrelevant to the point. What the US does to its military ethically is irrelevant to what the old USSR did. The Russian sleep experiment did not happen. Not because of its ethics, because it never happened. It is fabricated and has no evidence. Even if someone puts forward the idea that it is impossible because it is unethical that is an irrelevant discussion. Since we know that sleep deprivation experiments have in fact happened on voluntary college students. It is likely to conclude that in countries that have no free press and history of secrecy and suppression we can assume ethics is not a barrier to this being real. The problem about this story is no evidence and good evidence that sleep deprivation doesn’t result in insanity.

          • Vasili says:

            If you think this is fake… Study this: Romanian “Pitesti Experiment”. You will be shocked about things and experiments that soviet cunts did on our people. You can be sure that everything happened there (Pitesti Jail) was real.

    • Tawnya says:

      I agree with us not knowing what people in other countries experiment. There’s the Nazi’s that developed meth to make them seem unstoppable. There’s also the Russian scientist Joseph Stalin who tried to create a hybrid army with half human half chimpanzee to make a better army.. So u never know what these crazy people did or will do for that matter.. But as far as the way they looked after 15 days is just asinine…

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Stalin wasn’t a scientist, he was a military dictator. There was no army of human-chimp hybrids. You can read or hear about it here: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4219

        Methamphetamine was invented in 1887, two years before Hitler was born, and was in common use before the Nazi Party was ever even imagined. It definitely does not make anyone unstoppable.

        Just because you don’t know what happens in other places doesn’t mean that nothing is known about experiments in other places. Furthermore, as is pointed out repeatedly in different ways: this was verifiable written as fiction on the Internet and the image is verifiably invented. There is no plausible scientific evidence that could be gained from this “experiment” and the whole story doesn’t make any sense when you think about it for more than a moment. Plus it ends with a spooky supernatural twist, which not only could never be recorded by the scientist characters, but also is only just a horror story trick. You don’t know what happens in other countries doesn’t mean this story is in any way realistic.

        • Vasili says:

          You are living in a bird cage man. You also have TV screens instead cage walls. I am from Romania. Things like this was REAL. You asking yourself why is not a scientist record about this? DO you think this kind of experiments are actually legal? Between 1950 and 1990 soviet scums proceed with this kind of experiments. Probably you ask yourself why in the hell would do they such things? Well if you are a stranger of communist ideology I can guarantee that if you decide to study you will change the way you’re thinking. Kind of experiments was actually a daily thing in ex communist block.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            What? No, I don’t imagine scientific experiments like this would be legal, but I imagine that like most of the rest of the Romanian state, the illegal abuses of power exercised by the government would be recorded, which they were. The Soviets kept pretty good records of their prisoners and their experiments and their torture. Asking yourself why someone would do something that’s impossible, implausible, pointless, and fictional is a useless waste of time. You might as well speculate about why the sun is purple. There’s no point since it’s not. The Soviets did horrible things. They tortured and abused people. Again: how do we know? Because they kept records. But they didn’t have wake-up gas that made people into devil-possessed fiends. Just because you believe in junk doesn’t mean I’m brainwashed. It just means you believe in junk. If you want to convince me you’ll have to provide actual evidence, not just “Soviets were horrible.” I know they were horrible. That doesn’t mean this story is real.

  7. brittani says:

    There is a real experiment done on sleep deprivation, but it’s not quite as dramatic but a bit more creepy. The guy ended up manipulating those close to him and his personality changed forever after the experiment was done. But he didn’t eat his own guts or scream his lungs out. Very dramatic.

  8. Sn6npenguin says:

    Russians are cool but not in the 40’s

  9. mike says:

    If its fake or not, my theory to call it that is that the poison somehow did not effect sleep but it was somehow able to allow the subjects to access the depper parts of the brain and was able to manipulate thir life copasity. If you seen the video on YouTube in the end it says they have hallways been around hiding or under the bed. An example of this is ‘ Me, Myself, and Irene. That’s just what I think so don’t start hating

  10. PJ Revenant says:

    Some creepypastas are sort of “meh” but this is one of the best they’ve ever run. When I watched the video version on YouTube it freaked me out. It was obviously fiction (I have a degree in human anatomy and physiology so I’m not one to fall for fantastical stories) but the way this one was written was off the chart. The cold, clinical, documentary style really boosted that “willing suspension of disbelief” that good horror and fantasy really need. I’d love to know the source of all the imagery they used in the video, too… that stuff was nightmare pie.

  11. M says:

    Because Americans are clearly morally superior to everyone else. How about applying some skepticism to your own perceived moral superiority. Ever heard of The Tuskegee Experiments? The CIA dosing people on LSD without their knowledge (and then black mailing them afterward)? Medical testing on infants without any sort of parental consent (never mind informed consent)?

    • Noah Dillon says:

      There’s no claim here that Americans are morally superior or that abusive, unethical experiments are unheard of. This article only asserts that the account of the Russian Sleep Experiment is a fictional story.

    • Mike Weaver says:

      I certainly make no claim on American moral superiority. Best I can tell, we’re just as prone to the usual foibles and vices as are any other members of humanity. You might wonder why the author set the story in Russia, though. I guess they needed a technologically sophisticated government which is seen as unscrupulous (though I cannot easily picture one that is scrupulous). I don’t know. It is nice to see that they chose a non-Nazi setting, though.

  12. Wolf says:

    Lets say its not true and it never happened… okay cool. Have you ever been three days without sleep? Things start to get interesting if you know what I mean. Go through college and youll know what sleep deprivation can do. Now lets say its true… this was around world war 2 yeah? Does no one forget how Nazis.. not saying they were to only ones, just the first thing that came to mind…. experimented and tested on people. Do you think they had control subjects? I doubt it. They just wanted to know. In a sick and twisted way they had these chemicals and drugs that could do stuff to you… make you not human. Is it so wrong that Creepypasta believes in the paranormal? What is normal? I certainly don’t know and quite frankly neither do any of us… Look all I am saying is be careful people. You don’t know what could be out there. I don’t know what could be out there. Russian or not this is something that could open your eyes… think of what your government could be doing to you.. right… now.

  13. Sky says:

    I did not need to see those pictures

  14. Tura says:

    The comments are interesting. Even though it has been clearly stated that the story is fictional, there are number of people still going to the ‘but isn’t it possible that…’ well.
    So by coincidence a writer guesses the details of a secret experiment 60 years ago? Or the writer has some undeclared access to secret documents (that s/he does not exploit, just modestly writes a horror story and posts it for people to read, free)? Or do we believe that s/he had telepathic contact with the test subjects – completely against what the author has led us to believe by publishing the story as fiction? Is all fiction then based on esoteric or secret knowledge of real things, or just some percentage? My brain is starting to hurt.

    • Sitonmyface says:

      Taking someones word for it as fake without question is just as stupid as taking someones word for it as real without question

      • PJ says:

        People aren’t taking it as fake “without question,” they’re calling it fake because 1) the medical aspect of it is beyond reality, 2) the story ends with supernatural ghostie elements, and 3) the pictures are from all different sources, including Halloween props, which kind of degrades the credibility angle. People are believing this because they want to, not because it has any foundation in reality. Yeah, the Russians were bad guys, we get it; there’s no need for campfire ghost stories to hammer the point home.

      • Mike Weaver says:

        In this case, the provenance of the story is reasonably well documented as being a work of fiction. There is no evidence that I am aware of indicating that the story represents a real event.

  15. anon says:

    I want to know where the picture came from. The picture is all over the internet under various stories – another version says it was from a camera some ghost hunters took to an abandon house and left behind. The ghost hunters were never heard from again and it was the last picture on the roll. The houses location was supposedly kept secret for safety reasons. So does anyone know the real story behind the pic?

    • PJ says:

      Which picture? If you’re talking about the uber-creepy grinning figure in the straitjacket on the bed, that’s a Halloween prop from Morbid Enterprises that was sold at Spirit Halloween stores.

  16. PJ Revenant says:

    If anybody wants to recreate that creepy grinning guy scene for Halloween, there’s still a chance… that prop that’s used in the picture (“Spazm”) is still at Amazon (tho I think there’s only a couple left)… it’s down to 95 bucks… just gray-wash it a bit to tone down the colors, build a little nasty backdrop and rusty bedframe and voila! — instant Russian Sleep Test Subject!

  17. Heinz says:

    I heard the story. Then I tried to search for gas based stimulants. You wrote: ” I am highly suspicious of any stimulant, gas or otherwise, that could overcome the desire to sleep.”- The first thing that comes to mind is methamphetamine of course. People have made incredible claims how long they have been awake on this stuff, but of course with sleep deprivation may come those little bouts of sleep that the person isn’t even aware of. Maybe some adenosine receptor antagonist like caffeine but without giving the nausea and heart palpitations when the doses are increased to counter sleep. I know, it is hard to imagine because adenosine itself plays an important role in regulating heart rate. When the sleep deprivation is being researched then the researchers are not interested in any side effects of the drugs that they might be using. So they are trying to make it as “natural” as possible and not use any drugs. There are of course many weak spots in the story, but those usually mentioned don’t seem that weak to me.
    0. The build up of the experiment. The experimentation rooms were built that way maybe because in Soviet Union people were often making important decisions and engineering designs without any insight in what they were doing. The engineers by the way had to design buildings without any knowledge about the purpose because everything was “need to know” or less than that. My mom had to draw plans and do the strength calculations for parts of factories. She didn’t know what other parts of that factory were planned, what factory was it or where it was going to be built. The need for a control group in a top secret experiment in Soviet Union? You must be joking.
    1. Ripping out persons own intestines. First of all it would be painful. The gas could have anesthetic qualities. Many stimulants are also anesthetic. Maybe it did have an influence on opiate receptors? The story claimed that opiates weren’t working on the test subjects anymore, maybe not only because they were stimulated but also because of tolerance? When a persons intestines are ripped out they die of shock(pain) but we still assume it was anesthetic. Septic shock – the air supply was controlled and it could be that it was mixed together on site leaving out the contaminants, and also what if the gas was also anti septic?
    1.1 Why weren’t the organs damaged? Even self mutilators stop at some point where it’s more painful than their threshold, consciously or unconsciously. Also many of those things are elastic in a way that it is harder to break with bare hands. Do people under psychosis mutilate themselves that severely? Here’s one:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151830/Man-stabs-throws-intestines-police.html
    And here.. hey I even found a science article! :
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23910838
    Little bit about self-enucleation:
    http://www.livescience.com/18693-eye-gouging-psychosis.html
    I bet there are lots of others.
    2. Blood loss. When not damaging the big blood vessels, it is likely for them to survive. I had a dog bite once, the flesh was out of the wound, there was blood but definitely not enough to cause significant blood loss. The big blood vessels are quite tough too, hard to break with bare hands, especially when its not the intention.
    3. They were able to put out a furious fight even with the injuries, probable malnutrition and low fluid consumption, sleep deprivation. It is a good point but it was a good doping they used too. Humans usually use something like 65% of their muscle strength when trying hard but what if this got altered too?
    4.The soldiers didn’t shoot the test subjects. They were considered cheap material, weren’t they? OK. maybe the soldiers were given orders to retrieve the test subjects alive to study them.
    5. Too horrible/inhumane of a experiment. In Soviet Union it was a common practice to experiment with political prisoners as long as they were still breathing.
    6. Now, the great zombie orator in the end? The guy was flatlining at times but then came out with these lines? Maybe it’s explainable with the moments of clarity that dementia patients sometimes have. Also dying people who have been fading away for months suddenly can become talkative (only in their first language, even if they haven’t used it a long time ). Their (now we’re talking about the zombies again) EEG was reported normal at times after all.. but this also goes under the weak spots (that I would think of). The contents of the speech might have come either from the fact that psychotic people often feel that they are impersonating a great and/or supernatural power, or maybe he was just trolling. Drugged, dying, sleep deprived, he just didn’t give a damn – maybe he wanted to fck the mind of one of the a-holes that brought him into this wonderful state. It was the only weapon he had left, he was restrained.

    Now the weak spots that I would find weak.
    1.The EEG I just mentioned, it shouldn’t been described as normal. It should have had either a lot more theta in it, because they were struggling to stay awake, or maybe more beta because of the stimulant? Here’s an interesting page about drugs and their effect on EEG.
    http://qeegsupport.com/drug-exposure-and-eegqeeg-findings/
    No sources or studies listed, but the author himself is an authority on the field.
    2. If the experiment was so new to the researchers, then how did they know how to adjust the dosage? The main problems with keeping person awake with a stimulant are that the person develops tolerance to the stimulant and also that the need for sleep grows stronger. So that larger and larger doses are needed each day.
    3. The experiment failed? Did someone really think that they could keep people constantly awake without turning them into zombies in a period of time? It seemed to work fine as a sleep deprivation stimulant. They weren’t even acting abnormal and psychotic the first days. Isn’t that a better result than with many stimulants with which people get agitated right away? Also the blood oxygen levels were high (something to do with Erythropoietin?) and this probably gives stamina and this is exactly what soldiers need. At the time when they were just starting to become crazy, they started to give up their mates trying to make deals with the researchers. Wasn’t such an outcome a wet dream of every cold war intelligence officer(KGB and CIA too, MKULTRA -remember?). In that light, we should have heard much much more about this gas.
    4. The soldiers were said to be special forces operatives. They were terrified? You know how Soviet special forces were trained? They practiced killing on animals. They should have seen a lots of blood and intestines before, probably torn out with their own hands. Also add the harsh environment – the constant abuse from their superiors and fellows… naah I wouldn’t believe it. They weren’t American housewives or something. It would be more believable if they were said to be ordinary men doing their compulsory military service. In Soviet Union it was an ordinary practice to throw compulsory servicemen into hopeless combat situations for example.
    5. The researchers were terrified? Firstly they were probably doctors, they had definitely seen human internals, at least in med-school. As they were also probably seasoned psychiatrists then they had also seen the most extreme cases of psychotic patients and the bodily harm done on the patients themselves and others.
    6. Why seal the place in? What for? The outcomes were a bit messier than expected perhaps, but it wasn’t a nuclear disaster.
    7. The researcher was allowed to wield a gun? Not sure about this. It was either a requirement or prohibited but no such thing as I work at the top secret project and I think I bring my own gun with me. Besides, I don’t remember pistols being allowed in civilian use.

    Wow, I have written quite a novel here. Got carried away a bit. Maybe I fall in love with this opinion of mine so that I also post it under the youtube video? Must be a lots of mistakes in here too, in grammar, style and content, but I am not going to waste more time on it.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Dude, none of this substantiates that ghost story. It’s just speculation based on flimsy, and mostly unrelated spit-balling.

      • Heinz says:

        Dude. Did I make a claim that I will prove that the story is true? What I did, is that I tried to analyze the criticism which wasn’t that unbreakable in my opinion. I also added my own criticism of the story, if you bothered to read.

  18. Jakub Mareda says:

    Where does the image come from? I came here from google being skeptical about this story. I now found the origin of the story – but many articles link this image with it which makes them look more real.
    Where did the image pop up from? Looks like some photo manipulation when I compare the head with the body.

  19. Arlo says:

    I’m not saying that I believe that this is real, but many of your reasons for it not being true are not reliable concluding points. For one, as long as there are points of observation, there is no necessity for a completely or more open environment, especially if an untested gas could leak out from a wall that was not as thick, (which as glass or clear plastic wall would have to be). Second off, for an experiment on a new medicine or solution, control groups are not needed because the test is looking at the solution’s abnormal effects. Third, if screaming and paranoia were sudden induced symptoms, human nature would provide wariness to enter the chamber. The fourth reason talking about the oxygen meters is not even a valid point because that could have been used as a testing method. And finally, the non sleep stimulant opinion can not be used to prove a point because it is a theory. I do agree with you on the blood loss point though, without blood, cells could not function, although they couldn’t without certain organs either, which the story said they did.

  20. Joey says:

    I totally love this. Thank you for putting it into perspective. You made me laugh too. Nice read. 🙂

  21. Kenny says:

    You’re all f*****g stupid for thinking that it’s fake just because CreepyPasta made a video where he did what? ONLY READ SOMETHING THAT HE FOUND!!! It doesn’t make it fake, it doesn’t make it true. But I’ve yet to see any points made proving that it’s fake. Plus, Heinz did the best job at making points as to how it could be proven real. And where does it say that it’s fiction? Unless the writer reveals himself with the proof it was him that wrote it, you shouldn’t believe anything you read. Especially when you don’t know what kind of gas was used, or what all is in the gas.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Why do you think that it’s real? There are far more pieces of evidence indicating that it is fiction than that it’s an actual account of some real event. And since you’re making the positive claim that a fantastical story posted on a fiction website is real, the onus is on you to provide evidence for its authenticity. One could easily say that we don’t know what kind of gas was used because the gas only exists in a short story and was invented by the author. We can’t reliably analyze the content of a gas that doesn’t exist in the real world.

      Please don’t come on here and shout at people about how they’re f-ing stupid just because you prefer to believe a horror story. It’s really over the top and unnecessary and a good example of fake outrage at its worst.

  22. trapzilla says:

    A guy broke the world record for staying awake for like a week and a half and he didnt go batshit.

  23. jessica says:

    I do believe that this is a true story an I love it, I’m also looking into #the harbinger
    Project. Go check it out*

  24. Lycanna says:

    This story is very creepy! When I first started reading creepypasta and found this one, this was and still is one of the stories that creeped me out. I normally don’t get scared easily and I even read creepypasta in the middle of the night, but this one I need to read in the day. Also the pic with it creeped me out. Whoever came up with the actual story is a genius and knows how to scare people. 🙂

  25. freekshow says:

    i the story he says this is whats in all of us just trying to get out i know this for a fact the evil that dwells inside of me is always trying to get out

  26. caleb Martin says:

    I think it very wrong for anyone to say this is or isn’t real. I remember hearing about this before there was an internet for the public. Think about what people have been capable of. the secrets of experimenting, the things people can do that that don’t remember when they come to or are blacked out. Does it not seem like there is something else running the body when these things happen? All good point. and whatever happened to anything that can be thought of can or will happen? I hope NOBODY EVER uncovers anything more about this, just incase It be true! To Know that lives in you every day. I for one understand a lil about transfer of energy and the balance of good and bad and how easy it is to do the wrong thing. all of this is s**t we should respect leave alone and do the best we can to Be the Good.!

  27. caleb Martin says:

    Sorry for the Typo’s. (sleep deprivation) it is after all 1;25 in the morning

  28. KhaosHeart138 says:

    The Russian Sleep Experiment has just recently been adapted into a Horror Novella → http://www.russiansleepexperiment.net – might be interesting to see what the backstory is.

  29. Karl says:

    This has now been adapted into a full-length novella – check it out http://www.russiansleepexperiment.net

  30. Dan says:

    The author fails to make a good case as to why it would be totally fake. It seems like he started with the conclusion that it was fake and tried to find whatever reasoning he could to support that theory instead of giving a full honest look to it. I think the ignorance of the author is at its highest when he says he’s skeptical about any gas or stimulant that could make someone not want or able to sleep. There are countless drugs in existence that do that and it totally makes sense that they would end up relying on the oxygen as a drug . The excessive oxygen was making them high and unable to feel pain and increasing aggression and insanity from being kept in the dark for days with just enough oxygen to significantly impact them but not enough to kill them. That would drive anyone crazy, including the author of this post, who failed to convince me it’s fake. I’m not convinced it’s true either, but you can’t go on it being fake by anything written here.

    • Mike Weaver says:

      I started with premise that it was fake because it is. It’s a fictional horror short story posted on CreepyPasta.

      The rest of the article is just me having fun trying to decide if it is even plausible that it might be real. I do not believe it is, you clearly disagree and that’s fine.

      None of this changes the fact that we know it is fake. It’s a work of fiction, nothing more.

      • danilko1 says:

        I haven’t seen anyone post this…

        When removing organs from the body, or even exposing the lungs, you would lose all ability to breath or speak. It would seem, based on the story timeline, they had spend a considerable amount of time, 24 – 48 hours in this condition.

        Lungs by themselves have no muscles. They are not able to breath in or out. They have to be contained in a chamber which expands and contracts. The diaphragm does this work for us. By opening the abdomen and removing the liver, and other components, and in one statement, the narrator indicates the lungs are visible. The chamber seal is broken. The lungs are no longer able to inflate.

        Also, I would think each person would do something different, but in the story they all did the same thing, It sounds like a ritualistic religious experience.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          Thanks for pointing out more inconsistencies and problems with this story. Unfortunately, I don’t expect its defenders to recant.

          One thing I find interesting is that many of them seem to claim that the story could be true simply because we don’t know all of what happened behind the Iron Curtain. But we know there are some things, such as what you’ve pointed out here, that are physically impossible, and which we therefore know CANNOT have happened. Very useful.

        • Excellent point Daniko, although it is possible to access the abdominal cavity and remove organs without collapsing the lungs. your 100% correct about the thorasic cavity causing complete lung collapse aveolar collapse and death. Unless they were on a bypass heart lung machine.

  31. Ivo says:

    Most of this is actually true. I live in the balkans, former communist country.
    A very good friend of my uncle was a top ranking KGB member and I asked him about this.
    Seeing as how there is no more soviet union, he decided to shed some light…
    He said that the russian sleep experiment was real.
    And while some of the details are exaggerated like the ripped out organs and the blood pool.

    The subjects did indeed tear off of their own flesh and scream for the gas. But no organs were ripped out, nor was the room filled with blood.
    They did indeed put a hell of a fight and kill a soldier in the process. Two subjects did undergo surgery, but one died. The other one survived barely. But he did make noises, noises that couldn’t be defined as speech. It was decided by top brass, that the remaining subjects were put under the gas once more, to see what would happen. As the subjects were put under once more, the noises stopped and soon after – they died.
    They had gone completely crazy. Degenerated from their human nature.

    After that incident, the facility was shut down and most records were destroyed.
    The whole creepy speech thing and shooting was fake.

    Still, nice spooky story.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Hi Ivo. My parents were confidants Gorbachev and Putin. I asked him about this and he said it’s totally bogus and that it’s a story that was made up by a fiction blogger long after the fall of the Soviet Union. He said that the story makes no sense and the supposed experiment would have been totally useless. He said people are willing to believe all sorts of stuff about history, especially when they don’t know very much about what life was like there and aren’t really interested enough to think through some of the holes in a story. Looks like the good friend of your uncle or whatever either made stuff up or you misunderstood, or he was playing a joke on you, or maybe you made up the whole thing. Or maybe you have some actual evidence you can provide…? до свида́ния!

  32. Polaris says:

    During WW2 POWs were subjected to some of the most horrifying medical experiments ever documented. It is common knowledge that a lot of the documentation was destroyed, so we will never truly know all of the horrors that went on. Many of these crimes were never brought to justice; they live on today only by stories and personal accounts. Japan participated in gruesome human experiments alongside Mengele in Germany. The Geneva Conventions were tossed out the window in Japan, so to speak. Many historical references consider the survivors of Japanese POW camps to have endured the same treatment as POWs at Buchenwald. Prisoners were not limited to slave labour and starvation, they were also subjected to biowarfare agents and medical experiments. The supposed time frame of this story is plausible as it was around the time if not during WW2.

    While this story is likely exaggerated, the points of origin may very well be based on truth. To put this into perspective, the Japanese government just acknowledged some of these atrocities in 2011 to Canadian POWs… The ones that were still alive that is, they waited 70 years to admit to their own public and the world that these crimes even happened. Now think about the non-existent transparency of the Russian government, especially at that point in time. While some of the medical facts are off, the original idea doesn’t seem too far fetched to me.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      There have been a lot of sleep deprivation experiments all over the globe, by governments, academics, and medical researchers. However, this essay seems to pretty concretely show that this experiment is a ghost story with no science in it whatsoever, and it defies any kind of rationality. The fact that medical abuses happened in WWII and behind the Iron Curtain doesn’t give any support to this story and doesn’t make it any more believable. It’s a ghost story written for the Internet.

  33. Destiny barnes says:

    I have read and seen a lot of creepy stuff in my life but as of now this is the creepiest. Google please share on people by email

  34. Bella says:

    The Guinness Book of world records’
    longest period of an individual staying awake was 18 days! … and the guy didn’t go crazy,
    which would lead me to probably conclude this story is not true. However if you want to take into consideration other factors such as the gas, and their detainment, along with their sleep deprivation perhaps they would go insane. The only question left would be the severe blood loss, but I’m no Dr and I won’t pretend to be, so I don’t know exactly how much blood loss a person can survive… And then of course if you believe in the supernatural this is all quite plausible. I suppose I don’t have a solid opinion on this just thought I’d mention the 18 no sleep world record as a reference for comparison. Perhaps we’ll never know, c’est la vie.

  35. Bugs Bunny says:

    Don’t forget the therapy is based quantum field energy. That’s where Qi comes from. Your aura force manipulates quantum particles using Z.P.E. We just having found the organ in the brain that is at the center of it all. @@ /s

  36. Waya says:

    To all communists,the Soviet Union isn’t such a great nation now is it.

  37. Trinity Lewis says:

    I’m extremely happy you explained this because I really did believe it. Matter of fact, struck a particular interest in it.

  38. allison says:

    hey this page is so cool i love this story so much that i did it for NHD.

  39. leroy says:

    i dont think this is real

  40. Isis says:

    This was obviously a myth that Russians used to scare people…

  41. Elaine says:

    Do you really think governments don’t do unethical things? I suppose the Holocaust is pretend. It makes more sense that they would, rather than they wouldn’t. You didn’t prove, nor disprove it occurred. I don’t know. I’m just saying.
    We neither confirm nor deny…

  42. Nathan says:

    Is it really real?

    • Noah Dillon says:

      No. It is a proven fake. You should read the article. It says why you shouldn’t believe this, starting with the fact that it first appeared on a fiction website.

  43. Robert W . Steiner Jr. says:

    Are Russians aloud to experiment on U.S. citizens inside of the U.S.A. ? They did change there name after all of those treaties where signed. Wouldn’t they be Governed by the Law of the Land that the experiment is in ?

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Yes. Experiments are governed by local laws and human experiments are governed by ethics review panels. I don’t know why the Russian government would want to experiment on US citizens. All people have the same biology. I don’t know what you mean by allowed. Like, can a Russian-born scientist do research at a US research institution? Yes, as long as they follow the requirements of local law and the rules of the institution.

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