ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

mare (folklore)

A mare is a creature from folklore that is said to visit people while they are sleeping. This creature is not a friendly one, and it can harm people in their sleep. It is said to roam around at night, and when it comes across a sleeping person, it sits on their chest and causes them to have nightmares. Sometimes, people wake up feeling like they can't move or breathe, which can be very scary for them.

The mare is often described as a black or dark-colored horse or donkey. It has long, flowing hair and huge, glowing eyes. Some people believe that it is a shape-shifter and can transform into different animals or even a person.

There are different theories about where the mare comes from. Some say it is a product of people's fear and anxiety, while others believe it has a real-life basis in sleep paralysis, a condition where people wake up unable to move or speak.

To protect themselves from the mare, people have used various strategies, such as placing a broom or a pair of shoes near their bed or sleeping on their sides instead of their backs. Some cultures also have specific rituals or prayers that are said to keep the mare away.

While the mare is a scary creature, it is important to remember that it is just a story, and there is no evidence that it is real. If you ever have a nightmare or wake up feeling scared, it is always a good idea to talk to someone about how you are feeling.