959. I once woke up in the night and heard spirits around me who wished to waylay me while I slept, but I soon became drowsy and had a miserable dream. I woke up once again and suddenly spirits who punish were present, which amazed me. They were punishing pitiably the spirits who had waylaid me while slept. They had clothed them, it seemed, with physical bodies, which were visible, and with bodily senses, and they were tortured, now with seemingly physical bodies, by means of violent and repeated concussion of parts, accompanied by pains caused by resistance. It was in the mind of those who punished to murder them if they could - hence their extreme violence. For the most part the culprits were sirens, who are described in 831. The punishing went on for a long time and extended to many more bands about me. And what amazed me, though they desired to hide themselves, all those females who had waylaid me were discovered. Being sirens they tried out many tricks to escape punishment, but could not. At one point they wished to retreat surreptitiously into an interior nature; at another to suggest that they were people other than themselves; at another to divert the punishment on to others by means of transference of ideas; at another to pretend that they were infants whom the tormentors would be punishing; at another that they were good spirits; at another angels; and many more tricks besides. But it was all in vain. I was amazed that they should be punished so severely, but I perceived that such behaviour as theirs was quite outrageous, for it is imperative that a person should sleep in safety. Otherwise the human race would perish. This was why so great a punishment was necessary. I have perceived that the same also takes place around other people whom they try to take possession of by waylaying them in their sleep, though the person himself is not conscious of it happening. Indeed unless a person is allowed to talk to spirits and to be with them by an inward sensory ability, he can hear nothing, still less see anything of the sort, despite the fact that everybody has such occurrences taking place around him. The Lord protects man with utmost care while he sleeps.