The Old Hag who terrifies her victims – sleep paralyses – Steve Ramsey

The Old Hag who terrifies her victims – sleep paralyses

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Old hag syndrome is a phenomenon in which you awake from sleep unable to move. You seem to be awake, but your body is paralyzed. As if this wasn’t scary enough, these episodes are often accompanied by a feeling of an unknown presence in the room, strange sounds, and other mysterious manifestations. I have this 3 times in my life and it is the most terrifying experience I ever had. She was a demon like face ,ugly, very old, with old skin and scary looking eyes , had a tail and she was about 4 feet with tail . He mouth was like 3 circles of teeth , red eye, and had 3 fingers in each arm with one retracted in the back like a birds leg.

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In the classic experience, the victim feels that an old woman in sitting on his chest, rendering him immobile and laboring to breathe. She was very ugly I might add. Scary and old face talking in strange language sitting n my chest back in 1986.

To the medical world, the phenomenon is known as sleep paralysis combined with hypnopompic hallucinations. Those who experience the syndrome, however, are not easily convinced that what they see, hear, and feel is not real.

 Here are some of the scariest old had experiences readers have reported.

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It happened for the first time when I was 14. I couldn’t move, didn’t understand what it was. My most prominent time having to experience sleep paralysis was last year while lying in bed. I fell asleep pretty quick, but then woken up with the pressure of a hand on my right shoulder. When I could turn around, I saw the old hag! She had long, craggy gray hair, pale greenish face, long nose, and – creepiest of all – her eyes were all black. She smiled at me… then took off. That’s when I snapped out of the paralysis. 


One night I left my windows open to let the breeze in. I don’t remember falling to sleep, but I was paralyzed when I regained awareness. I remember seeing a black rain and could feel my body weighing five times its normal weight. I was sinking into the bed slightly. I turned my head and I saw what looked like an alien gray smiling at me.

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It wasn’t easy to move, but I slowly and forcefully crawled to the edge of my bed to fall off and hopefully wake up someone in the house.

I could feel its thoughts, as if they were connected to mine. I wasn’t supposed to be moving, was the emotion I felt from the being, but I did. I reached the edge, falling head first. When I hit the floor, I was awake in my bed face down, like I was when I first realized I was aware. My windows were still open and I could feel the breeze.

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I was sleeping one night when I suddenly awoke. The room was exactly as it was when I fell asleep. I couldn’t move or scream. I saw an old, scary lady standing in front of my window. She quickly moved to me and started choking me! it seemed like at least 10 minutes before she let go and disappeared. I then could move and scream. I was terrified and would no longer sleep in that room. 

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I remember hearing a roaring sound in my ears and seeing a shadowy figure standing in the middle of my room either saying my name and laughing or just watching me. It was so real. I refused to sleep as a child, but whenever I told my mum, she didn’t take me seriously… until it started chasing me. I could move at first and I would run round my room screaming and crying.

As I got older, it started to paralyze me and I couldn’t move, apart from my eyes. I switched rooms because I thought it was the room, but it started to happen in that room, too, but now it was a wolf-type figure and it was on my chest. I felt safer sleeping at other people’s houses, so I basically lived at my friend’s house over that summer… until it started to happen there! Since then it has happened almost every week – for 2 years

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I am 42 and first had a nightmare about a terrifying witch at the age of 16. She kneels on my chest and stares into my face, slowly getting nearer and nearer. I am completely terrified. She wears a black cloak and hood. Her face is like a witch and evil generates from her, surrounds me from her. Other times, I can be lying on my stomach and she will creep her hand up the back of my head, down my face, and hook her fingers under my top teeth and pull my head back. Other times, she will bite, sit on the bed, knock the door, call my name, and generally scare the crap out of me. How can anyone explain this? – said Jane.owen.

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  She strangled my girlfriend

  I was awakened by a screaming girlfriend. She had her arms up, as if she was pushing on something. Her eyes were open, as if she was awake. I called her name a few times and tried to shake her awake. Then her eyes closed and she went back to sleep. When I woke her up again, she told me she was fighting an old lady that was trying strangle her. I had no idea what it was, but I had this strong feeling telling me I should turn around and look at my girlfriend. As I turned around , I saw what looked like an old person’s face moving away from me. At that exact moment, my girlfriend let out a small scream and went back to sleep. So did I. This morning when we woke up, the first thing my girlfriend told me was, “I had a dream about that old lady again last night.” What are the odds that both of us would see the same person or spirit?

Why did it move away from me?

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In December, 2007, my wife and I were sleeping in bed when I knew or felt my wife was being attacked. I woke to find a shadow person on top of her, choking her! I jumped out of bed and shared several French profanities with it. As I moved toward it to confront it, it moved away into the wall. I turned to see my wife still choking and woke her. She stated that she dreamed that she was being choked by a person on top of her. Normally, you would dismiss it, but how do two people have a simultaneous experiences? She would later have a similar experience in the Army where her roommate woke to see a person choking her.


“Old hag” is misleading. To me she appears as a beautiful woman in a long flowing white gown and veil. At times the Grim Reaper accompanies her. It happens when I am on my back, just before falling asleep. Since the first occurrence, I’ve always felt that if she ever gets me under the bed…

I’ll be gone for good. She hovers across the room and slowly comes closer. The Reaper in the black, hooded cloak stands at the foot or side of my bed. I cannot move or speak, but can hear everything. The fear level is intense and stays with me past dawn.

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I have had various experiences of sleep paralysis. I’ve seen my bed covers pushed down onto my face, unable to move or shout. A female voice has hissed in my ear, bringing feelings of terror. Once I saw the old woman looking at me through my bed covers. She was gray and had an menacing grin. I started hitting the covers where this misty gray face was staring from. My wife woke up at this point and screamed, saying she saw the woman’s face, too. I think there’s more to it than just the scientific explanation. I think it’s part physical and part supernatural. I think our brains pick up a more expansive signal when we are between sleep and an awake state. 

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I was watching TV around 1 a.m. at my grandma’s house. My granddad was in his room asleep across from the room that my grandma and I were in. She was sleep as well. I heard a grunting noise, like someone was trying to yell for help, but was being choked. I also heard an old woman and a man laughing. I was afraid and awoke my grandmother. We ran to my granddad’s room. He was trying to wiggle himself free – and some old woman was sitting on him, holding him down. A bald man was sitting in his chair looking at us and laughing. We could slightly see through both of them, and we knew they weren’t human, but evil spirits.

We struggling with trying to free granddad, and the ghost thought it was so funny that we couldn’t touch her; our hands and arms went right through her to his body. The bald man stood up tall over us. He was angry that we tried to wake granddad. I turned on the room’s light, and the spirits rose up and disappeared. 

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I have been trying for about a year to induce sleep paralysis as a gateway to lucid dreaming. I heard about this phenomenon, but never experienced it. Tonight was the first occurrence. I did as I always do: Lie still on my back, staring at the ceiling, waiting for numbness to begin. It doesn’t. Instead, all the noise outside my window stops, as though someone muted the world outside.

I blink… and it’s there, on my ceiling. It just kind of floated downward, dragging its fingers down the wall as it did. The sound was sickening. It stopped when it was nose-to-nose with me, put its other hands (it had three other arms) on my chest, and just stayed there, staring at me. Its eyes glowed, cycling from a fluorescent purple to an almost arterial red. Then someone in the room next to me dropped something, and it just levitated upward into the ceiling. Its face was the last to melt away.

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A week ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of (I thought) my husband’s voice saying, “She has my hand.” He sometimes mumbles in his sleep, but it’s never coherent and hasn’t happened in a long time. I was lying with my head resting on his forearm, so I immediately opened my eyes and saw his hand wasn’t moving or anything. Suddenly, at the same time, an enormous pressure covered my face to the point that I couldn’t breathe or open my mouth.

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As this happened, I had the feeling of a hand pressing down on the top of my head and pulling my hair so hard that I felt physical pain. I began to scream, but couldn’t open my mouth for several seconds. Finally, the pressure stopped and it was over. I want to brush this off as a nightmare, but I can’t figure out why I felt pain when I was definitely conscious afterward, and my eyes were open the entire time. When I looked at my husband he was in a deep sleep. 

Thanks to stephen Wagner.

Steve Ramsey, PhD- Calgary – Alberta 

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