Toward the end of the 1940s, Soviet researchers sealed five prison inmates in an airtight chamber and dosed them with an experimental stimulant gas to test the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation. Their behavior was observed via two-way mirrors and their conversations monitored electronically. They were promised their freedom if they could go without sleep for 30 days.
The first few days passed uneventfully. By the fifth day, however, the subjects began showing signs of stress and were overheard bemoaning their circumstances. They stopped conversing with their fellow inmates, choosing instead to whisper compromising information about one another into the microphones, apparently in an effort to win the favor of the researchers.
Paranoia set in.
On the ninth day the screaming began. First one subject, then another, was observed running around the chamber screaming for hours on end. Equally disconcerting was the behavior of the quieter subjects, who began ripping apart the books they’d been given to read, smearing the pages with feces and plastering them over the mirrored windows so their actions could no longer be observed.
Then, just as suddenly, the screaming stopped. The subjects ceased communicating altogether. Three days passed without a sound from inside the chamber. Fearing the worst, the researchers addressed them via the intercom. “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones,” they said. “Step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.”
A voice from inside answered, “We no longer want to be freed.”
So basically the story is about five political prisoners taken in as a human experiment for sleep deprivation, reason for deprivation seems unknown but from the results of the test, it didn’t end so well for those people.
“The Russian Sleep Experiment” is an example of Creepypasta, an Internet nickname for frightening images and fictional horror stories that circulate virally online. The oldest version I’ve found was posted to the Creepypasta Wiki on August 10, 2010 by a user calling him- or herself “Orange Soda.” The original author is listed as unknown.