Quantcast

Medical explanation for Cajun Folklore known as 'Kooshma' - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Medical explanation for Cajun Folklore known as 'Kooshma'

Posted: Updated:
LAFAYETTE LA -

A medical phenomenon holds a special place in Cajun folklore. The phenomenon is known as "Kooshma".

It originates from the French word, cauchemar, which means nightmare in French. It's an encounter that Lafayette native Ethel Celestine says she has experienced.  

"It was like the devil," Celestine explained. " Our parents always implicated if we didn't say our prayers at night the 'Kooshma' would come and get us. "

Celestine is familiar with the dream. In Cajun folklore, it's a spiritual presence that visits a sleeping person.
     
Celestine describes it as a dark and evil presence. In the intense nightmare, people will find themselves unable to move or scream while sleeping, fighting to wake up. Celestine says Kooshma happens when you don't pray before falling asleep. 

People who have experienced the phenomena have described seeing an evil presence during the dream. 

"I've had friends say they've seen the little horns sticking out of his head," Celestine said. "Some said they've seen him dress in a little red devil outfit. It's  a dark presence. A really heavy dark presence. "

According to Dr. Bryan Lebean, the "Kooshma" is really a disorder called sleep paralysis. 

"The brain is awakening, but your body is kind of slow to the uptake," Lebean said. "It (the brain) has kind of fallen behind as far as getting your body moving. Your brain is kind of awake, but the body just isn't yet. " 

Sleep paralysis can be a symptom of other medical problems.

"It's part of a true medical disorder like narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea," Lebean said. "It's even tied into alcohol abuse and psychological stress which is why 50 percent of the population are going to experience it at some point in their lives." 

As for Celestine, she says she will say her prayers every night before bed to keep the Kooshma away.

"Once you said that prayer like 'Our Father' everything became calm," Celestine said. 

WEATHER
Power Doppler HD
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two arrested in alleged "dine and dash" incident

    Two arrested in alleged "dine and dash" incident

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 4:07 PM EDT2018-07-18 20:07:55 GMT
    Courtesy Scott Police DepartmentCourtesy Scott Police Department
    Courtesy Scott Police DepartmentCourtesy Scott Police Department
    One day after the Scott Police Department asked for the public's assistance in identifying two people who allegedly left a local restaurant without paying their bill, two women have been arrested.  Scott Police received several phone calls and tips about the identities of the two women, Scott Police Chief Chad Leger said.  Today, Scott Police arrested Markesha Living, 19, and Devona Living, 33, both of Lafayette after they turned themselves in, Leger said.  Both wome...
    One day after the Scott Police Department asked for the public's assistance in identifying two people who allegedly left a local restaurant without paying their bill, two women have been arrested.  Scott Police received several phone calls and tips about the identities of the two women, Scott Police Chief Chad Leger said.  Today, Scott Police arrested Markesha Living, 19, and Devona Living, 33, both of Lafayette after they turned themselves in, Leger said.  Both wome...
  • Selfies snapped on stolen cellphone used to ID thief

    Selfies snapped on stolen cellphone used to ID thief

    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:31 AM EDT2018-07-19 11:31:07 GMT
    Tommy Lee Beverly, Jr. / Shreveport Police Dept.Tommy Lee Beverly, Jr. / Shreveport Police Dept.

    Shreveport police are searching for a man who reportedly stole a cellphone at gunpoint and then snapped few selfies on the device that uploaded to the rightful owner's cloud.

    Shreveport police are searching for a man who reportedly stole a cellphone at gunpoint and then snapped few selfies on the device that uploaded to the rightful owner's cloud.

  • UPDATE: Family paid bill for IHOP dine and dashers

    UPDATE: Family paid bill for IHOP dine and dashers

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 3:31 PM EDT2018-07-18 19:31:49 GMT
    Courtesy: MGN OnlineCourtesy: MGN Online

    The identity of a couple is sought by police for a dine-and-dash incident in Lafayette. 

    The identity of a couple is sought by police for a dine-and-dash incident in Lafayette. 

Powered by Frankly

© KATC.com 2018, KATC.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?