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Russian Sleep Experiment Story

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on September 4th, 2013


Article circulating online and via email tells the horrifying story of an experiment conducted by Russian researchers during the 1940s in which five prisoners were kept awake in a sealed environment for 15 days. 

Brief Analysis

The story is fictional. No such experiment took place. None of the claims in the story are based on actual events. The story is a popular Creepypasta offering. Creepypasta describes a genre comprising short – mostly supernatural – stories that are posted by their authors to various online forums.


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…….. Click to read the complete story


Detailed Analysis

This story describes an experiment conducted by Soviet scientists in the 1940’s,  in which 5 Russian political prisoners were kept awake in a sealed room for 15 days straight. To ensure that the prisoners did not fall asleep, a stimulant gas was piped into their room.  The story goes on to describe in detail the quite horrific results of the experiment.

However, the story is purely a work of fiction. No such experiment was conducted. In fact, the story is a popular example of the type of offering known online as a “creepypasta”.

Creepypasta describes a genre comprising short – mostly supernatural – stories that are posted by their authors to various online forums.  Inevitably, some of the stories escape their original context and begin circulating via email, the blogosphere and social media posts.

As is the case for the Russian Sleep Experiment creepypasta, these out of context stories are sometimes mistakenly believed to describe true events.

The creepypasta wiki identified its author as “unknown”.  The story is available on Wikia and many other locations online.

In some postings, the story either includes the name “OrangeSoda” as part of the title or lists “OrangeSoda” as the author. However, it appears that “OrangeSoda” may have become associated with the story after a user with that name reposted it.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,