The human body requires between seven and eight hours of sleep every night in order to function properly. During this state of unconsciousness some of us snore, some twist and turn, others may wet the bed, but then there are those who get up and move around – sleepwalkers.
Thirty-seven-year-old Morag Fisher happens to be in this category of people. Normally she’ll get out of bed and wander about the house in her sleep a bit before going back. One night in January 2014, however, she stayed at her partner’s house.
Carl Muggleton found Fisher at the bottom of the stairs in a pool of blood. Her sleepwalking had led to a tumble, resulting in a fractured jaw, her wrists, a cheekbone and several ribs.
Paramedics only managed to wake her up when they were on their way to the hospital.
“Usually, I just wander around then go back to bed. I guess it was being in unfamiliar surroundings – my subconscious not knowing where I was going,” Fisher said.
It could have ended a lot worse for Fisher. Her doctor has already assured her that she’ll make a full recovery and should be able to return to work in about two months time.
Timothy Brueggeman, a 51-year-old electrician from Wisconsin, was not as fortunate when he took a nocturnal stroll in January 2009. He only wore his underwear and a fleece when he stepped out into the winter night. His body was found the next morning less than 200 meters from his house.
In 1987, Kenneth Parks, a 23-year-old man from Toronto, got in his car and drove more than 20 kilometers to his in-laws’ house. There he stabbed his mother-in-law to death and attacked his father-in-law, who survived.
Parks then drove to the police and said: “I think I have killed some people,” and only then realizing that his own hands were badly cut and in need of medical attention. Several flexor tendons of both hands needed to be repaired.
Rebekah Armstrong woke up on a summer’s night in 2005 around 2am to the sound of a lawnmower. She quickly discovered that her husband Ian was missing so she went downstairs to find out what was going on.
That’s when she found her hubby doing garden work in the middle of the night, butt naked. Rebekah wasn’t sure of what to do, but remembered that she’d read somewhere about the dangers of messing with people who are sleepwalking. She unplugged the mower and left him in the garden.
Ian eventually got back to bed and later in the morning when he woke up he wasn’t sure what to believe when his wife told him what he’d been up to. It wasn’t until he saw the state of his feet and the lawn that he believed her.