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Old hag



When I was a teenager, I had an experience that spooked the heck out of me. I woke up on my back in the middle of the night and felt a presence in my room. I then felt something on top of me. I could actually feel fingers wrapped around my shoulders and the weight of whatever it was pushing me down into my matress. I opened my mouth to scream for my parents, but couldn't get a sound out and I couldn't get up.

Almost as quickly as it came, it left and I got up. I didn't go to sleep again that night. I didn't know what had happened and didn't tell anyone until many years later. A girlfriend did some research on the web and told me I had an "old hag" visit. I know science calls this phenomenon sleep paralysis, but after reading the book Monsters, by John Michael Greer, I'm not so sure that sleep paralysis covers every case.

To this day, I'm careful not to fall asleep on my back.

Anyone else ever experience this?


Skilled Investigator
Interesting that it seemed or felt as if you were being pushed back into the matress. My Mom has...and excuse me if I spell it wrong, pernicuous anemia. She lay sick for a couple of months before they realized what it was, and apparently many die before they figure out what the problem is.

Mom swears to this day that she felt very sure she was going to die. She always mentions that at times she felt as if everything was getting dark, and that she felt as though she were being pushed into the matress, or sinking into it. I'd never heard anyone mention that til now.

My Grandfather, Mom's Dad, was sick for a few years with Parkinson's disease. We had a live in nurse who took care of him, as Nana had died some years earlier. As Mom and I came to his home one day, the nurse came out and was leaving. When we asked her what was going on, she informed us she was quitting.

She said that during the night, she heard wings flapping, and said it felt as if someone was standing on her chest, the wing flapping got louder, and suddenly left. She decidedly did not want to stay in the house. She at the time claimed it was my Nana, who didnt want another woman in the house. We couldnt convince her otherwise.

Years later, perhaps 2003 or 4, Mom reported an identical episode at her house.

Wierd stuff.


The old hag name came from long ago, before sleep paralysis was known. Unless you have physical marks, I wouldn't worry about it being a enitity.

I have either had MANY, lucid dreams that I was having paralysis, or I have actually had sleep paralysis. There's no way to know for sure between the two unfortunately. That I'm aware of that is. This happened A LOT back when I first started digging into Alien Abductions. I don't recall feeling anything choking me or sinking into the matress though.

I have talked with many people that have had similar experiences as you. Some see lights, others shadowy figures.

If you have suffered from "panic attacks", or anxiety, this can trigger, or manifest as sensastions like the old hag syndrom.

For what it's worth, it's nothing to be worried about unless maybe you have other weird occurences, that would indicate something of a ghostly, or perhaps alien presence.

Here's some good info. on related matters.
Hypnagogia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


It only happened the one time and I've never had any other paranormal experiences since (unless you include my ex-wife) ;D

So I'm not too worried about it anymore, but it did leave quite an impression on me.