The Russian Sleep Experiment


Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn’t kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month.

The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.

Everything was fine for the first five days; the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the 4 day mark.

After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and events that lead them to where they were and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they all seemed to think they could win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them. At first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself…

After nine days the first of them started screaming. He ran the length of the chamber repeatedly yelling at the top of his lungs for 3 hours straight, he continued attempting to scream but was only able to produce occasional squeaks. The researchers postulated that he had physically torn his vocal cords. The most surprising thing about this behavior is how the other captives reacted to it… or rather didn’t react to it. They continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream. The 2 non-screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pasted them calmly over the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped.

So did the whispering to the microphones.

After 3 more days passed. The researchers checked the microphones hourly to make sure they were working, since they thought it impossible that no sound could be coming with 5 people inside. The oxygen consumption in the chamber indicated that all 5 must still be alive. In fact it was the amount of oxygen 5 people would consume at a very heavy level of strenuous exercise. On the morning of the 14th day the researchers did something they said they would not do to get a reaction from the captives, they used the intercom inside the chamber, hoping to provoke any response from the captives they were afraid were either dead or vegetables.

They announced: “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.”

To their surprise they heard a single phrase in a calm voice response: “We no longer want to be freed.”

Debate broke out among the researchers and the military forces funding the research. Unable to provoke any more response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day.

The chamber was flushed of the stimulant gas and filled with fresh air and immediately voices from the microphones began to object. 3 different voices began begging, as if pleading for the life of loved ones to turn the gas back on. The chamber was opened and soldiers sent in to retrieve the test subjects. They began to scream louder than ever, and so did the soldiers when they saw what was inside. Four of the five subjects were still alive, although no one could rightly call the state that any of them in ‘life.’

The food rations past day 5 had not been so much as touched. There were chunks of meat from the dead test subject’s thighs and chest stuffed into the drain in the center of the chamber, blocking the drain and allowing 4 inches of water to accumulate on the floor. Precisely how much of the water on the floor was actually blood was never determined. All four ‘surviving’ test subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away from their bodies. The destruction of flesh and exposed bone on their finger tips indicated that the wounds were inflicted by hand, not with teeth as the researchers initially thought. Closer examination of the position and angles of the wounds indicated that most if not all of them were self-inflicted.

The abdominal organs below the ribcage of all four test subjects had been removed. While the heart, lungs and diaphragm remained in place, the skin and most of the muscles attached to the ribs had been ripped off, exposing the lungs through the ribcage. All the blood vessels and organs remained intact, they had just been taken out and laid on the floor, fanning out around the eviscerated but still living bodies of the subjects. The digestive tract of all four could be seen to be working, digesting food. It quickly became apparent that what they were digesting was their own flesh that they had ripped off and eaten over the course of days.

Most of the soldiers were Russian special operatives at the facility, but still many refused to return to the chamber to remove the test subjects. They continued to scream to be left in the chamber and alternately begged and demanded that the gas be turned back on, lest they fall asleep…

To everyone’s surprise the test subjects put up a fierce fight in the process of being removed from the chamber. One of the Russian soldiers died from having his throat ripped out, another was gravely injured by having his testicles ripped off and an artery in his leg severed by one of the subject’s teeth. Another 5 of the soldiers lost their lives if you count ones that committed suicide in the weeks following the incident.

In the struggle one of the four living subjects had his spleen ruptured and he bled out almost immediately. The medical researchers attempted to sedate him but this proved impossible. He was injected with more than ten times the human dose of a morphine derivative and still fought like a cornered animal, breaking the ribs and arm of one doctor. When heart was seen to beat for a full two minutes after he had bled out to the point there was more air in his vascular system than blood. Even after it stopped he continued to scream and flail for another 3 minutes, struggling to attack anyone in reach and just repeating the word “MORE” over and over, weaker and weaker, until he finally fell silent.

The surviving three test subjects were heavily restrained and moved to a medical facility, the two with intact vocal cords continuously begging for the gas demanding to be kept awake…

The most injured of the three was taken to the only surgical operating room that the facility had. In the process of preparing the subject to have his organs placed back within his body it was found that he was effectively immune to the sedative they had given him to prepare him for the surgery. He fought furiously against his restraints when the anesthetic gas was brought out to put him under. He managed to tear most of the way through a 4 inch wide leather strap on one wrist, even through the weight of a 200 pound soldier holding that wrist as well. It took only a little more anesthetic than normal to put him under, and the instant his eyelids fluttered and closed, his heart stopped. In the autopsy of the test subject that died on the operating table it was found that his blood had triple the normal level of oxygen. His muscles that were still attached to his skeleton were badly torn and he had broken 9 bones in his struggle to not be subdued. Most of them were from the force his own muscles had exerted on them.

The second survivor had been the first of the group of five to start screaming. His vocal cords destroyed he was unable to beg or object to surgery, and he only reacted by shaking his head violently in disapproval when the anesthetic gas was brought near him. He shook his head yes when someone suggested, reluctantly, they try the surgery without anesthetic, and did not react for the entire 6 hour procedure of replacing his abdominal organs and attempting to cover them with what remained of his skin. The surgeon presiding stated repeatedly that it should be medically possible for the patient to still be alive. One terrified nurse assisting the surgery stated that she had seen the patients mouth curl into a smile several times, whenever his eyes met hers.

When the surgery ended the subject looked at the surgeon and began to wheeze loudly, attempting to talk while struggling. Assuming this must be something of drastic importance the surgeon had a pen and pad fetched so the patient could write his message. It was simple. “Keep cutting.”

The other two test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well. Although they had to be injected with a paralytic for the duration of the operation. The surgeon found it impossible to perform the operation while the patients laughed continuously. Once paralyzed the subjects could only follow the attending researchers with their eyes. The paralytic cleared their system in an abnormally short period of time and they were soon trying to escape their bonds. The moment they could speak they were again asking for the stimulant gas. The researchers tried asking why they had injured themselves, why they had ripped out their own guts and why they wanted to be given the gas again.

Only one response was given: “I must remain awake.”

All three subject’s restraints were reinforced and they were placed back into the chamber awaiting determination as to what should be done with them. The researchers, facing the wrath of their military ‘benefactors’ for having failed the stated goals of their project considered euthanizing the surviving subjects. The commanding officer, an ex-KGB instead saw potential, and wanted to see what would happen if they were put back on the gas. The researchers strongly objected, but were overruled.

In preparation for being sealed in the chamber again the subjects were connected to an EEG monitor and had their restraints padded for long term confinement. To everyone’s surprise all three stopped struggling the moment it was let slip that they were going back on the gas. It was obvious that at this point all three were putting up a great struggle to stay awake. One of subjects that could speak was humming loudly and continuously; the mute subject was straining his legs against the leather bonds with all his might, first left, then right, then left again for something to focus on. The remaining subject was holding his head off his pillow and blinking rapidly. Having been the first to be wired for EEG most of the researchers were monitoring his brain waves in surprise. They were normal most of the time but sometimes flat lined inexplicably. It looked as if he were repeatedly suffering brain death, before returning to normal. As they focused on paper scrolling out of the brainwave monitor only one nurse saw his eyes slip shut at the same moment his head hit the pillow. His brainwaves immediately changed to that of deep sleep, then flatlined for the last time as his heart simultaneously stopped.

The only remaining subject that could speak started screaming to be sealed in now. His brainwaves showed the same flatlines as one who had just died from falling asleep. The commander gave the order to seal the chamber with both subjects inside, as well as 3 researchers. One of the named three immediately drew his gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes, then turned the gun on the mute subject and blew his brains out as well.

He pointed his gun at the remaining subject, still restrained to a bed as the remaining members of the medical and research team fled the room. “I won’t be locked in here with these things! Not with you!” he screamed at the man strapped to the table. “WHAT ARE YOU?” he demanded. “I must know!”

The subject smiled.

“Have you forgotten so easily?” The subject asked. “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 paused. Then aimed at the subject’s heart and fired. The EEG flatlined as the subject weakly choked out, “So… nearly… free…”

Original Author: Unknown

68 Comments on 'The Russian Sleep Experiment'

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  • Commented on May 9, 2013 at 3:09 am

    A very disturbing and realistic creepypasta. I enjoyed this one because of the thorough detail and suspension of disbelief.

  • Commented on May 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    it was easy to fap to.

  • Commented on June 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I read this months ago and I’m still captivated. What a twisted mind you have to be able to conjure up such dark detail. Truly wonderful.

  • Commented on June 21, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    This is definitely one of my favorite pastas. Wow, very well written. I also absolutely love how dark and morbid it is.

  • Commented on June 26, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Has science gone too far?

  • Commented on June 26, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I take stimulant medication whyyy

  • Commented on July 3, 2013 at 5:54 am

    This may seem sick and twisted to a lot of people, but I’d cherish the opportunity to preform this experiment for real, and document EVERYTHING… To talk to one of those test subjects… It would be Heaven… And it would instigate a serious discussion of the darkest and most inconceivable crevices in the soul and mind of the human being…

  • Commented on July 22, 2013 at 3:49 am

    it needs pokemon

  • Commented on September 4, 2013 at 4:17 am

    As twisted as it sounds I would love to conduct this experiment or simply be and observer. This is by far my favorite story its morbid,twisted,and gruesome.

  • Commented on September 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    A brilliant Pasta and one of my favourites. The idea of even doing such an experiment is almost as perverted as the result.
    Scary to think we all have that inside of us, somewhere…

  • Commented on December 20, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Whoa! That was wonderful ( giggles)… Hmmmm… Made me hungry.

  • Commented on March 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm


  • Commented on March 31, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    I am never staying awake for more than 72 hours again (I don’t fancy being nuts)

  • Commented on April 29, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    this is one of the scaryest creepypastas ive read

  • Commented on August 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    So dark, so creepy!

  • Shailoh Moonraiser
    Commented on November 2, 2014 at 1:40 am

    It may be the insanity talking.. But I’d rather be one of the test subjects….

  • Commented on November 21, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This is great. Definitely one of my favorite pastas

  • kenneth
    Commented on December 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    seen on youtube and just read it creepy yet amazing. i’m kind of hungry now.

  • Commented on January 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I loved this! I feel like it is morbid and dark, and VERY realistic. It scares me to think that might be hiding inside me. *shivers* It kinda sickened me, but that’s a good thing

  • Commented on February 16, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    This has and will always be my favorite pasta. Along with Bonus Room.

  • Commented on February 22, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Wow, this story gave me a chill down my spine for once. Nice job on writing this story.

  • Commented on February 27, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Wow. Amazing

  • Commented on March 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I had first heard about this in a creepy reading on YouTube. Let me say that it’s a lot better to read it.

  • Commented on March 21, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Could this genuinely happen to people if we stayed awake for that long?
    I watched the video on youtube which was this story and the picture attached really made the story some alive and its excruciatingly sinister yet it draws you in and i love the bit at the ending however, i’m going to have nightmares tonight!!

  • Commented on March 24, 2015 at 7:54 am

    oh shit, better go sleep 😀

  • Commented on April 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Oh shit is all I could say…… Great Pasta!!

  • Commented on April 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    OH MY GOSH IM TERRIFIED!! ;-; 123444/5

  • Commented on April 24, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I love this one. Its one of my favorite creepypastas

  • Commented on May 7, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    ^dude, what?
    and I found this story super creepy right up until that last line; then it was just lame

  • Commented on May 19, 2015 at 3:27 am

    This was the first ever creepypasta I ever read, and I have been in love with them ever since then. I love this – when I want to send this to any of my friends, once they read it, the first question they always ask me is, “Is this real?”

    When I first read it, I always wondered the same thing too.

    It’s just too good.

  • Commented on May 21, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    It’s painful how badly written this story is. Which is a shame, because the story itself is decent, up until that boring, cliche end. But the author has added so much unnecessary noise into here, (less is more, remember that) that they seem unable to keep their facts straight. For example, we start with five test subjects, one dies before the chamber is opened, one dies shortly after, and three are transported to a medical facility for surgery. Yet, four of them receive surgery.

  • Commented on May 22, 2015 at 1:46 am

    This is a good creepy pasta. But the way jt was worded could’ve been better. Other than that, good story

  • Commented on June 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    By far my most favorite

  • Commented on July 21, 2015 at 12:52 am

    This was the first creepypasta that I ever read and its one of my favorites. I personally think it should be made into a movie.

  • Commented on August 21, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I heard a video of someone reading this…I had to watch it I love this pasta.

  • Commented on August 27, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Check out this video I made on this story. 🙂

  • Commented on October 13, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    It is well written and has a significant amount of depth. 9 out of 10

  • Commented on October 13, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    i absolty loved this one

  • Commented on November 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    This is hands down my favorite creepypasta. Great story!

  • Commented on November 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    really love. it has a really good plot and is, well, awesome. love the fact that it gave me nightmares

  • Commented on December 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm


  • JeffDaKiller345
    Commented on December 26, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Oh g-god that was a SO lame lol XD

  • Commented on December 31, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Oh sh!t…..I haven’t slept in three days. 0-0 I’m think I need new pants. SOMEONE HELP ME GET TO SLEEP! I’M NOT READY TO BECOME FULLY MAD YET! I quite fancy looking at my dashing good looks in the mirror XD

  • Commented on February 8, 2016 at 5:43 am

    This is and will always be one of my absolute favorites right a long side Hand of God

  • Commented on March 8, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Now, this, is a story I fancy. A bloody good one.

  • Commented on May 2, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    This is the first creepypasta that got me coming back for more. Defintely a favorite. I just wish we got to see the scientists get there chance in the room.

  • Commented on June 5, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Wicked good pasta!

  • Commented on June 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    They are us in every way; when going to hide yourselves it comes out in a big burst of cell malnutrition and reduced blood flow decreasing the oxygen rate. It’s a pleasurable asphyxiation, an episode of paradise, but, take away certain key components and what is left contorts you to something you’re not into what you are. Nobody can honestly tell themselves they know their intents until it fully happens, can they?

  • Commented on July 12, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    I am never sleeping anywhere near russia or a hospital ever again

  • Commented on July 27, 2016 at 1:43 am

    By far my favorite pasta very good read and interesting storyline.

  • Commented on July 28, 2016 at 3:40 am

    This was a great read. I find myself randomly thinking about this story and come back to read it again. This would make an excellent book with some more added.

  • Commented on September 7, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Honestly, this one really scared my friends but it didn’t scare me. I had listened to it on a dare from a friend, and was captivated. This pasta was my introduction to all things pasta! A great pasta, I truly love it! 10/10 I could never undergo surgery like that! I am terrified of all things surgical!

  • Commented on December 6, 2016 at 7:23 am

    I heard this story like 10 times before and I’m still freaked out. 5 stars

  • Commented on December 8, 2016 at 8:31 am

    My cherry popper from here!

  • Commented on December 13, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    It’s a shame no one knows who wrote this thing. Ten outta f***ing ten.

  • Commented on December 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    i came in a seal once.

  • Commented on January 11, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Maybe this is why my body forces me to sleep so much.

  • Commented on February 24, 2017 at 8:20 am

    The creepiest thing is that I could see some experiment like this actually taking place. And you may just find yourself taken to be one of the unwilling subjects…

  • Commented on April 3, 2017 at 4:03 am

    This was the 1st pasta I ever read. It’s what got me hooked! Absolute classic!

  • Commented on April 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    this actually happened, and the photos are disturbing

  • Commented on July 10, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Awsome creepy pasta 10/10

  • memes
    Commented on July 26, 2017 at 8:33 am

    There is a novel which has a very similar concept to this. In which a woraqldwide epidemic of some sort or another occurs and ninety nine percent of the population become physically incapable of falling asleep. It was very interesting and I think those of you who liked this should check it out! I can’t for the life of me remember its title, though it had something to do with the eye. Sorry!

  • Commented on August 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Made an account just for this comment. Spoilers to follow, but the math is off (the only reason I gave it 4/5) Starts with 5. One dies before they open the chamber. One dies during the struggle to remove them. Leaving 3 for surgery. One dies when they put him to sleep on the operating table. Leaving 2. The mute who writes “keep cutting”. Leaving 1. Then the following paragraph starts “The other two test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well.”… So.. other than that, still gave me shivers! Good Job.

  • Commented on August 15, 2017 at 2:46 am

    wow this was the first story i have read on here. This one was real INTERESTING *grins* i thought it was a good one going to see what else i can find

  • Commented on September 3, 2017 at 8:27 am

    This should be made into a movie call it SLEEPLESS

  • Commented on September 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    what a great creepypasta i loved it and it reminded me that i need to sleep i really dont want to go insane

  • Commented on November 8, 2018 at 1:56 am

    This is one of my favorite creepypasta stories

  • Slenderman
    Commented on November 4, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    This was the first creepypasta I read. LOVE IT!

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