Yeti, Bigfoot, UFOs & aliens, rippers, blood rain – nothing of the sort terrorizes the residents of Kalachi village of northern Kazakhstan. It is something different, something that no one on earth can live without! It is the ‘sleep’. Even sleep can terrorize people and that’s pretty unbelievable! This alone proves that there is something wrong with mankind. Are we heading towards an impending doom? Possibly not and that this statement is nothing more than a deliberate exaggeration. However, there is no denying that at some point in time, human race and all the life as we know on earth will become extinct. It is just a matter of time. How and when that is going to happen is something we do not know but there is nothing wrong at looking upon the mysterious ‘sleepy hollow’ of Kalachi as glimpses of the imminent doom that awaits us!
People of Kalachi village (now referred to as the Village of the Damned) are terrorized by a mysterious sleep sickness that leaves behind very unusual side effects. So, what really is happening there? Simple! Many of the villagers simply fail to keep their eyes open. Put in other words, their brains shut down and they fall asleep – sometimes for hours and sometimes for days. And, this happens even in broad daylight. They just fall asleep with no plausible explanation. This has been happening for last few years.
Even weird, they don’t rush back to home when this sleep sickness attacks. They happen to fall asleep just wherever they happen to be at the moment when the sleepy hollow attacks. They may be on fields or on roads or may be driving. Reportedly, a bunch of school students fell asleep in September 2014 on the very first day of the new academic year.
This sleep epidemic of Kalachi is indiscriminate. It strikes just anyone (irrespective of age and gender) and anywhere it wishes to. There is not a single family left in the village where at least one family member has not been struck by this inexplicable ailment. No wonder the village is now frequented by experts from different fields. Toxicologists, radiologists and virologists have all flocked to Kalachi to understand the ailment but in vein. No one has the faintest of idea of what is causing this and they don’t have any cure for ailment.
While falling asleep for days with no apparent explanation is creepy, things take a more mysterious turn when these sleeping people wake up. They don’t wake up in normal state. When they wake up, they suffer from unusual side effects which include:
- Uncontrolled sex cravings: Men who wake up from this deep slumber are reported to wake up with an uncontrolled sex craving. They can barely eat or walk but they just need sex badly, so badly that they are all over their women as soon as they see them. So, it’s not unusual to see men wake up with tents in their pants and wanting to have sex right in the hospital right in front of doctors and nurses.
- Uncontrolled peeing: Yet another problem faced by the victims is their inability to control their bladder. In one reported case, a man peed in his pants and when the hospital attendants removed the pants of this not-so-conscious man, they noticed his manhood alive and craving for den.
- Uncontrollable and unexplained ranting: Another man woke up and started calling his nurses as prostitutes and whores. Weirdly, before the Kalachi drowsiness struck this man, he was known for impeccable manners. As if that was not enough, another man reportedly sprung out of his bed in hospital after waking up and immediately greeted the doctors with a Nazi salute and even greeted them saying, ‘Heil Hitler’. Not enough? Here is another one – a 60-year-old man after waking up moved around flapping his arms and crowing in a state where he imagined himself as a rooster. Some imagined themselves as zombies, some had this urge of feeling the hospital ward wearing just the hospital diapers.
- Unexplained Hallucinations: Affected children have different side effects. They all hallucinated. For instance, some reported of seeing a third eye on the foreheads of their mothers. Some reported of seeing monsters. One kid reported of his mother having an elephant’s trunk. Yet another saw flying horses and light bulbs all around him.
Many other victims reported vertigo, loss of memory and severe weakness. In fact, the side effects of this Kalachi drowsiness are diverse and in every sense weird. Doctors diagnosed those who woke up from the sleepy hollow and found that children suffered from toxic encephalopathy – a type of brain malfunctioning. Adults were found to have suffered from strokes. However with proper medical care, these people returned to their normal lives only to be attacked by the sleep sickness all over again.
160 people of the Kalachi village have been affected so far which is about one-quarter of the total population. Many villagers have abandoned their homes and settled somewhere else. Others who are still there are waiting for their children’s school term to get over.
The Big Question: What is Causing This Sleepy Hollow?
As the sleep epidemic of Kalachi keeps getting worse, scientists are getting impatient to find the true cause of the ailment.
Blame the radiations: Initially fingers were all pointed to radiation problem. In nearby Krasnogorsk is an abandoned Soviet-era uranium mine and people thought that it was radiation from the mine that was causing the problem. The state-sponsored Russian English-language television service named RT sent a crew to investigate the radiation levels in 2015 and found that 17 times higher radiation than normal as compared to 2014. Once this was broadcast, all blames were put on radiation. However, doctors and scientist discounted the radiation theory stating that the side effects of the Kalachi drowsiness and nowhere near to any known side effects caused by radiations. They even stated that sleepiness is never been found to be associated to with radiation exposure.
Blame the water: Some people said that it was infected water that was causing the problem. The complaint wasn’t taken lightly and several tests were conducted. Both water and soil were tested and nothing unusual was found.
Blame the microbes: It was not water, it was not radiation… then what could possibly cause the problem? Scientists tried to look at it from the point of viral or bacterial infections. Alas! Nothing of the sort was found and the microbes were declared ‘not guilty’.
Blame the air: With almost nothing left to blame, the experts decided to check the air to find out the true cause of the Sleepy Hollow. Air samples were gathered from the houses of those who were infected by the ailment and something was found! Scientists found abnormally high levels (10 times more that permitted levels) of Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the air samples. So, it is CO that is causing the problem? Possibly yes! However, nothing can be said for sure as of now. Experts are not sure where this excessive CO is coming from and unless that source is located, CO cannot alone be blamed for the trouble despite the definitive proof of high CO concentrations. One troubling question however is that if CO is to blame then why is it that not all members of a family are affected? Why only one or at the most two people are attacked by the Sleepy Hollow? Definitely, there’s more digging to be done.
Relationship with weather: Unless carbon monoxide is definitively found guilty, experts are pointing their fingers towards weather conditions. It has been noted that sleep epidemic is frequent when weather conditions are warm. The most disturbing weather phenomenon that has been found at Kalachi is that episodes of Sleepy Hollow are usually related with strange weather-related events like smoke moving down the chimneys instead of moving up. Okay that was creepy – really creepy!
There is no denying that the Sleepy Hollow is real but what causes this epidemic is something that is still hiding in haze. Either it is manmade or natural. There is an answer to the problem. It is just that we need to find the missing link and everything will become crystal clear.