The Russian Sleep experiment is one of history's most infamous urban legends or the worst sleep study ever conducted.

Sara B

There is a story floating around the internet, especially on YouTube, about a ¨Russian Sleep Experiment ¨; however, many feel that the story is just that, a myth, an urban legend, a creepypasta.

So is the story real or not? You can decide that for yourself. I know that many testing and hidden experiments were happening during the same time as this supposed study, some so bad that we wish they were urban legends. I hope this story is false, but after researching many horrible things, I now realize that people are sick and twisted, which would add to my curiosity about the human psyche.

And the legend goes:

It's 1947, and a group of Russian researchers wanted to study the effects of sleep on five prisoners. They want to learn what happens when you do not sleep for 30 consecutive days.

During this time, soldiers needed to be awake for battle; the Soviet Union wanted a secret weapon, and if they could find a way that their soldiers did not need to sleep, they could win the war. During this time, there were plenty of prisoners of war, and Stalin and Mengele were experimenting; why not do the same thing?

So as the rumor goes, they took five prisoners and placed them inside a gas chamber that would release a stimulant into the air; the prisoners were told if they participated and could make it 30 days in the room, they would be set free; naturally, they agreed. It was reportedly a military-sanctioned sleep study.

The test subjects had everything they needed to survive, food, water, and a bed, but no bedding. The stimulant slowly leaked into the chamber to keep the prisoners awake. The oxygen was also being monitored, and the scientists were listening to what was happening inside the room.

The first five days, everything was fine, the prisoners were talking, but the scientists noted on day 4, the conversations were getting darker, but nothing happened until after day 5.

After the fifth day, the subjects began to get paranoid and stopped talking to each other; instead, they whispered into the microphones in the chamber. Each person started to turn on the other, thinking they would win over the researcher if they told on their fellow prisoner. The researchers thought it was the gas's effects and continued monitoring the prisoners.

By day nine, some of the prisoners started screaming; one was yelling so loud that it is said that he physically tore his vocal cords. Then a second prisoner began to scream; the others ripped books apart and spread their feces on the pages and then placed them over the glass; then the screaming stopped, as well as any other sounds.

Still, the researchers watched and listened, and within three days, they began checking to ensure the microphones worked adequately, and they did. However, they thought it was weird that the five prisoners were not making a sound, but the oxygen levels still showed that they were all alive.

The oxygen levels being consumed were that of five people strenuously exercising, just without sound. On the 14th day, the researchers used the intercom to talk to the prisoners, to tell them:

"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."

The next sound they heard was a voice stating:

"We no longer want to be freed."

It confused the researchers and the military, and they decided that the door would be open at midnight on the fifteenth day.

On the fifteenth day, the chamber was cleansed of the stimulant, and fresh air was pushed into the room. It was then that they heard voices, and they were begging and pleading for the gas to be turned back on.

Instead, the soldiers went into the chamber to remove the subjects, and they all began to scream. The soldiers, once inside, discovered four out of five of the subjects were alive, there was no evidence of food eaten or touched past day five, and chunks of meat from the dead test subject were missing.

The other four subjects also had part of their flesh torn off their bodies. Their hands had exposed bone on their fingers, indicating they tore their flesh with their hands, and it was determined they were self-inflicted wounds.

As the four subjects were removed, they screamed to remain inside with the gas turned on and fought against those removing them. Finally, one of the subjects tore and killed one of the Russian soldiers after a subject ripped his throat apart. After the incident, five of the soldiers involved in removing the subjects died shortly after, either by injury or suicide.

When the subjects were finally out, one needed emergency surgery; however, sedating him was impossible. Even after being given ten times the amount of sedative, the subject fought, eventually bleeding to death from his injury. The others continued to scream to be placed back into the gas chamber.

The other subjects received surgery to repair their wounds without surgery, only a paralytic; when one of the subject's surgery was over, he was given a pen and paper to write, and he wrote, keep cutting.

The other survivors replied when asked why they injured themselves to the point of tearing out their own organs and why they wanted to be given the gas again.

I must remain awake.

So the researchers did not know what to do with the subjects; the commanding officer was consulted, and he wanted them placed back in the chamber, and the gas turned on, as he saw potential and wanted to see what would happen.

Before the two subjects went back in, they were placed on an EEG monitor and restrained. The researchers noted that one of the subjects would have intermittent brain death but would return to normal. And then, as soon as his head hit the pillow and he fell into a deep sleep, he flatlined, and his heart stopped.

Only one subject left was screaming to be placed in the gas; however, his brainwaves were similar to the other subject. Yet the commander wanted to see what would happen and put them back on the gas, even the one who died, along with three researchers.

However, at this point, one researcher did not want to be sealed in the chamber and drew his gun and killed the commander. Then he asked the last test subject what he was, and he said:

as an inherent evil inside the human mind that is kept in check by sleeping.

The researcher then shot him and the last breath of the subject, he stated.


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I share legends, myths, and bizarre history, sometimes news. Living nomadically since 2018, currently in Colombia.

Pasadena, CA

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