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Friday, May 18, 2007

The Old Hag

Imagine you are sound asleep suddenly awaken by an unseen force applying pressure on your chest. You try to scream, but your vocal cords are paralyzed by fear. You try to move your body, but you are unable - no matter what you do. You are absolutely horrified by the inability to breath/move and there is a sense that something evil is lurking in your room.

For centuries, individuals who have had this terrifying experience were believed to have been visited by a malevolent 'old hag' who sits on the chests of her victims, paralyzing them. Today, scientists attribute this phenomenon to sleep paralysis. In a number of cases this explanation is the answer for many. However, there have been incidences where individuals too scared to be alone have had loved ones stay with them to help them get through the night. They too then experience this horrifying phenomenon along with the sensation of being touched and spoken to.

A girl living in Ontario experienced nightly visits by the old hag. She began to have these encounters after suffering from a sever form of anorexia. At first, she herself believed her visitor to be a hallucination caused by her failing body. After nearly dying from her illness, she was able to recover. The visits, on the other hand, became more frequent and more threatening in nature. Convinced it was no longer a hallucination, she took her story to a television show dealing with the paranormal. They arranged for her to get the help that would rid her of this malevolent presence. The night before the intervention, she was attacked more than a dozen times along with the person staying with her. They saw black shadows moving about and heard strange sounds throughout the night. After a night of hell, she made it to the intervention the next day. A ceremony was performed on her where she felt as if something was being pulled out of her. As a result, she no longer needs to clutch her bedding at night in fear. After that day, she has not had any more visits from the old hag.

So can this worldwide phenomenon, that has been around for hundreds of years, be attributed solely to sleep paralysis? If so, how does one explain the family and friends of these victims sharing in their scary experience? How does one explain the experience the girl from Ontario had? If it is indeed the malevolent spirit of an old hag, what does she want and why does she choose to torment these individuals?

~Kat, wherever you are... I hope that you are well and your nights continue to bring you peace.~ Aura

13 comments:

Lesley said...

I have experienced sleep paralysis many time and never thought I was being abducted nor have I seen an old hag. I really dislike when people use sleep paralysis to try to explain away all strange experiences.

Aura said...

I agree. Something more seems to be going on here.

Anonymous said...

Out of the blue my 25yo Girlfriend started suffering from sleep paralysis on & off for months. It got to the point where I could tell it was about to or already was happening to her, each time I woke her She said it felt as if a dark evil being was in the bedroom & had been trying to suck the life out of her. Then one night it happened to me- scared the living shit of me. Its supposedly fairly common in younger kids & takes on various themes, But I have to say I have no explanation why we both at 25yo plus ended up with it virtually at the same time experiencing the exact same sensation, Very Weird & a little spooky.

mushroom4eva said...

i just watched the bio channel episode w/ kat and i googled her story and found your blog. her story is so disturbing and sad, i was looking for an update about her, i hope she is still sleeping soundly!

tonacolorado said...

Do you remember what the intervention was again? Chama..Charma...lol I can't seem to remember.

Aura said...

I believe the intervention involved a medicine man/shaman of some type.

Anonymous said...

Goodness... I was reading about this and couldn't find anything as interesting as this... a girl I knew from college once told me that in the Arab world (where she comes from) it is believed that it is a case of Djin -or evil spirit- attached to the individual. These spirits are made of fire or energy or something but supposedly they are like us but "weaker" since they don't have flesh or a visible body (being made of energy) anyway she said that these spirits can fall in love with human beings and develope jealousy or black magic can be involved where someone does horrible stuff and casts spells on the other for things like money or in search of specific response or answer... she says that prolonged stays in "dirty" spaces like the bathroom or the lack of hygiene can do the trick... since they are attracted apparently to the horrid things in life... being made of energy and having negative motives they are fueled by negative vibes according to her.... i know this doesn't sound half as convincing as how she put it... and though I am still skeptical part of me sort of believes her... just a bit... especially that she says that it only takes someone in positive and in touch with the source of the positivity to be able to rid of the old hag...

randomgirl said...

I think pretty much everyone has had sleep paralysis...it's scary stuff! I was watching a show on it once that said that people have a tendency to see something they are afraid of in sleep paralysis. When i would have it (it hasn't happened in along time) I would see a dark figure near my bed and it felt like it was sucking something out of me. And I couldn't move or anything. During sleep the part of the brain that makes us scared is also over active so this may freak us out a bit more than it should.

I've had feelings of somethign touching me, but never on my chest.

Some people accredit sleep paralysis for some reports of being abducted and visited by spirits, but I don't think we should be too quick to dismiss anything.

Anonymous said...

I've had several encounters in the past years...the last one just happened and got me searching for more on the internet.

Glad I already knew about sleep paralysis/ old hag/ false awakening before this started because I would've gone insane if I didn't.
I'm a rather rational/ scientific guy but I understand that this stuff can easily knock over somebody's beliefs because everything you experience - sounds, sights and even the sensation of touch feel so real.
Being paralyzed at that moment plus the sense of a strange presence makes this one of the most frightening things ever.

Over time my experiences have tended to become scarier, not every time but generally.
It started with distant sights & sounds, nowadays it's much closer meaning that I can actually feel it tapping me.
I should write all the experiences down sometime, already enough to fill a couple of pages.
Interestingly this never happens to me at night but only when I take a nap during the day, usually when I didn't sleep well at night.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
One night i was in a deep sleep and was awoken by alot of preasure on my chest. when i finally opened my eyes i looked straight ahead and seen the scariest thing i have ever seen . i seen what a thought was the devil .. i tried to scream and hit my boyfriend who was sleeping beside me but could not move nor could i speak . these things happen to me on a regualr bases now ever since that onenight, some nights worse then others. definitly the scariest things i have ever encountered..

Anonymous said...

The old hag syndrome we know has been reported for centuries. Now my experience with it and the over whelming sense of a manevolent spirit when not the old hag did not begin until taking opiate medication for an injury. For as long as I was on the medication I had the experience, which for me proved that body chemestry has everything to do with it. I believe the at its core is in the muscles in the ear canal flexing uncontrolably right before sleep. I caught onto this because I sleep with a fan and the fan sometimes sounded like a frieght train right before going into sleep paralasis. The cure for me. Ear plugs. It has stopped since using ear plugs

Rebecca said...

I don't know if this has to do with an evil being tormenting humans or what but I experienced it also as a teenager. I began waking up frequently by something sitting on my chest, and choking me. I would try with all my might to thrash my arms, scream for help, shake my head but I was paralyzed. I couldnt even move my lips, and I felt as if I didn't gain control of my limbs that it was going to kill me. I couldn't "see" anything tho on me, but I could look around the room so I knew I wasn't dreaming. I willed myself out of the state every time. Other times I awoke paralyzed without the pressure on me, but I was scared to death that something evil was in the room with me lurking about. Also another time I had an episode, the hag was not there, nor the feeling of danger, but I did hear a little girl's voice singing. I always wrote these episodes off as nightmares, but something more was happening I'm sure of it. The first time it happens to you, it will scare the living hell out of you. I just got out of the habit of sleeping on my back, if it is due to an "old hag", she cannot attack if you are not vulnerable on your back. I hope this offers comfort!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I used to see shadows at night when I was a little girl and along with it came a sense of not being alone...it was scary and happened frequently. I can sense energy in people and my environment. If a person has a strong energy I can usually feel their emotions and sometimes find myself acting like them.... I lived down the street from a graveyard and could sense something dark, not evil but not exactly nice either, everytime I walked by it. I was glad to have moved away because as being a little girl it scared me. However things got worse. In the new town I moved to, our new house was directly across from a cemetry. I was twelve then. At night I was awoken by scratching at my window, at first I thought it was just tree branches from a tree, but the tree by our house was on the other side of the house. I looked out the window and nothing was there. My two cats used to sleep in my back (I always sleep on my stomach) everynight...I don't know why....they just did. One night I woke up to the scratching noise again (it happenened a lot) my cats were on my back as usual and I shooed them off and fell back asleep. A short time later that night I awoke again to the sense of not being alone and it felt like the cats were on my back again, but I couldn't move. I looked over my shoulder but nothing was there. I couldn't yell or move and felt an eerie energy in the room. It lasted for about a minute. I woke up the next morning with little bite marks on each arm (looked like itty bitty fang bites) I shrugged it off at first but it happened more and more, for months. My cats would still sleep on my back but when they jumped off me and ran away I always felt that same presense and would be paralysed for a minute and always woke up with new bite marks on my arms or legs...always in the same spots. I used to spend a lot of time in our basement but one day I became terribly affraid to go down there. I tried once and felt something down there. I think it fed on me so much that it just moved into our basement. Even my brother felt eerie down there, but he has had no experiences. I even used to hear someone yell my name whenever I walked by the graveyard, but no one is near...I also see shadowy figures at night when I'm walking sometimes. I have been told I have certain gifts and to work on them to make them stronger (my senses I mean) but am a little afraid to, although I find myself drawn to the supernatural and its environment.
My question is:
1. The hag is the only explanation I can find for my attacks, but I read it happens when you sleep on your back...I sleep on my stomach always...does this mean that its another entity attacking me and not a hag?
I have had no other attacks since then that I can recall, but still hear my name called once in a while....