A Tennessee woman found herself frozen in terror when she realized that she was unwittingly sharing her bed with a huge snake.
Christine Humphries, of White Bluff, Tennessee, woke up with a start at 2 a.m. on March 10 to find that a 3-foot long eastern ratsnake, also known as a chicken snake, was snuggled up to her, reports WTVF.
"I think I can mark that off my bucket list, not that it was ever there," Humphries told the station.
She called deputies, who found the serpent in her upstairs loft and released it into the woods without any injury to the snake or the humans. Still, the memory has left Humphries feeling uneasy.
"It gives me chills down my spine when I think about having a snake on my bed that was actually laying on me," she said.
Before she discovered the uninvited visitor, Humphries had been staying on her downstairs couch, as a storm was keeping her awake. Eventually, she went to bed when the worst of it had passed. When she first felt the extra pressure on her arm, she thought her arm had fallen asleep.
"I finally started dozing off because I was so tired," she recounted. "I woke up and thought that my cat had touched my arm but realized it wasn't cat fur a few minutes later. I reached up and looked even farther, and when I raised my head up without moving my arm, whatever was in the bed raised up also and it was a small head."
She then grabbed a flashlight, saw the creature and yelled downstairs for her daughter.
"I was in shock because I've never had a snake in my house," Humphries explained. "I've never even had a mouse in my house."
Though disturbed, Humphries said she has been trying to laugh about the unwelcome surprise. Some of her friends have nicknamed her "Snake Charmer" in the wake of her creepy discovery.
Eastern rat snakes are not poisonous and are classified as harmless, though they are constrictors and will defend themselves if cornered, notes the Virginia Herpetological Society. Some can grow as large as 6 feet long.
Humphries told WTVF that she thinks the reptile slithered into her house through a flood drain in her basement. She has looked outside her house for cracks or exposed pipes that the snake could have used to get to her bed. In the meantime, she has been sleeping elsewhere.