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Old Hag Or Just Exhaustion?


My story is not quite as remarkable and vivid as some of the others on this site, but for a long time I have had the question in my head if this was a supernatural incident. Retrospectively, it doesn't seem that scary, but when it happened, it did shake me up quite a bit. It happened in the current house I'm living in, including the same bedroom. I was in college at the time; this was in November or December of 1996. My room was on one side of the house while the only other occupants, my mother and her second husband, had their bedroom on the opposite side, and this only matters, because when the incident happened, I would have been more comfortable knowing that they are nearer to me, in case things escalate. This incident only happened about twice or three times, all within the same week or two week span and has never happened before or since, whether in this house or elsewhere. I did not see black swirls or angry old spirits, as many experiences report, however what I did feel was intense, if brief panic and fright, as well as paralysis. It always happened after midnight, anywhere from 12 to 3 am. It happened every time, as I was dozing off into sleep, my sleeping position did not matter, I do remember sleeping on either side when this occurred.

As I was dozing off, I suddenly felt a rush of what I can only describe as a "weird energy", like some entity passing through my body, almost to the point of me shivering, but not from cold, from the energy of whatever this was making contact with all of the molecules within my own physical body, as well as possibly with my energy field, describable almost as an interference between two opposing energy fields. This passing through was so scary though, that it completely paralyzed me and I was not even able to speak or scream, as much as I wanted to. My reaction of paralysis and not being able to mutter a sound does match the other hag syndrome experiences I have heard and read about, which is why I suspect that mine might have been a milder version of this.

All kinds of thoughts raced through my head for the few seconds to minute that it lasted, was this the ghost of a dead relative?, was it a transient ghost or spirit of any kind, or was it just exhaustion from having to get up early each morning as of having my new job?

If I remember correctly, after the second (and possibly last) attack, I remember running into my parents' bedroom and lying down on the floor near their bed with my covers and pillow, for "safety", mind you, I was around 22 years at the time, and otherwise not very emotionally attached to anyone, which tells you how freaky this experience was. The only logical explanation to this was, that I started a new part time job before classes cleaning offices a week or two prior, and for the first time in my life, I had to get up at around 3 am, so my circadian rhythm might have been disturbed, getting used to this new waking time, however there was an element about the incident to me which seemed wholly supernatural, beyond just having to get used to being up at early hours. To add to this the fact that my current job requires me to be on call 24 hours a day, thus my sleeping and waking hours change almost daily, but I have not had anything remotely resembling this handful of incidences back then. Any input is appreciated.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, dougquaid, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

dougquaid (1 stories) (1 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-05)
Thanks for all the responses, and BTW I'm a guy, not a girl, as I noticed a lot of people somehow assumed I was a "she" for some reason. The experience also happened only twice, within the same week over ten years ago, not recently or regularly. After all the responses, I would say it was sleep paralysis of some sort, trying to get used to the new hours of waking/sleep. I think saying it is demonic is jumping the gun a bit too far. As far as I know, demonic attacks are some of the rarest, and they manifest in more serious ways and circumstances. If it was supernatural, I would probably then say it was a wandering spirit of some sort, with no particular good or evil intentions. I did like the advice of keeping yourself happy or content in spirit and mind by reading or watching something comedic and uplifting, also with prayer (as with watching/reading something which makes you happy) it is the positive and unselfish thought energy that counts, not the religion or religious symbols.
CA_NJGirl (6 stories) (31 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-05)
As someone who is "sensitive" and has had actual encounters, I want to chime in here. What you describe sounds like either sleep paralysis or anxiety attacks. I have had both. In fact, when the stress levels in my job escalated, I had a series of night time "anxiety attacks" coming out of deep sleep and they sound exactly like what you have described. I thought I was having a heart attack at the time and I can see why someone would think it was a supernatural experience.

My advice if they start up again is to try to reduce your stress by taking vitamin B complex and make sure you get enough excercise during the day.

Hope this helps.
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-04)
key words in her account... New job and new waking hours...also, she did not see anything to lead her to believe an entity was responsible. Her desciption is very much like the sleep paraly experience I had this past summer. It can be frightening, and I can see how one might question the paranormal aspect of it. And, I believe it's the skeptic who keeps people honest here. Otherwise, every bad dream, every bump in the night, and every time a phone rings at 3 am (wrong #) would be marked up as "Paranormal"-- How can the scientific community take us seriously, if we auto. Assume every strange thing that happens in our lives must be "Demon" related? One must dismiss every other alternative, before looking at something as paranormal, wouldn't you agree?
ZiShu (281 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-04)
Pjod, why do you come on a paranormal site and try to use science to explain everything? This is definitely not a site for skeptics to point disprove others.
Worst case scenario is that she could of been possessed.
Satan wants us to believe that he does not exist, that's his best trick.
The more people try to deny and not protect their selves from his tricks and attacks, the stronger it gives him until things get to the worst state.
I want to ask you, how are sure about you of sleep paralysis? Sleep paralysis won't always be a demonic attack, however in the way she described it, it is more safe to say that it can be. She says there is something supernatural more than she can explain through her logical knowledge. When human instincts tell their selves they are endanger, they normally are. I experience the same thing she does, and I can literally see the culprit behind it. There are many others things I can do to prove to her that it is supernatural.
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-04)
Again, I see folks jumping the gun with their responses and suggestions.
Zishu, why do you say "You have a Demon?"?
Why would you even suggest a worst case scenario, when it could be something as simple as a case of Sleep paralysis?
ZiShu (281 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-04)
Not a single part of science can explain the supernatural.
You have a demon on you. It should not matter what position you are in. It happens around midnight, especially 3AM. Demons are the most active.
I know this because I've been attacked by demons all the time and still do, waking up paralyzed normally around 3am.
Demons paralyze victims to induce dread so that they can feed on the negative energies.
If you look around in the dark, you will see a shadow humanoid with possible red eyes, or a dark mist.
You have to pray before you sleep and ask for protection from God.
Shouting to God or praying during the paralysis can help as well.
God Bless
Tonith (1136 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-03)
College and a job with stress is not a good combination. It's not the cleaning of offices but the time change of getting up really early and then the stress of being on call. Maybe you are just juggling too much at one time. Get a job that doesn't have such weird hours and obligations.
Derek15 (3 stories) (16 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-03)
I have this same thing happen to me frequently, and sometimes I even SEE the entity and all of its horrifying physical attributes. No one knows for sure if instances like these are sleep paralysis, there could be several explanations for them. All I can say is, keep a bible near your bed when you go to sleep, or any religious/protection symbol of your choice, and if you feel worried or scared or have any sort of bad feelings before heading to bed, try doing something positive like reading a book or watching a funny TV show, because if it is a demonic entity attacking you, they cannot get to you when you are calm and relaxed. 😉
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-03)
Why do you auto. Assume this to be an attack by a spirit? Why can it not just be a case of sleep paralysis? What she has described, what with the major interruptions of sleep in her new work life, sounds much like the one incident of sleep paraly that I experienced myself.
Templar (1 stories) (24 posts)
14 years ago (2009-11-03)
What you experienced is a typical attack by an unclean spirit. They frequently attack exactly as you said, when your tired, weak or worried about something. You will feel the tingly sensation, as it enters your body. It is not always an unpleasant feeling, but the dreams it influences and the feelings it instills in your can be frightening if you don't understand it. In fact the Bible and Christ both address these unclean spirits extensively, to the ancient Hebrews and Christ it was common knowledge. To protect yourself, pray and keep holy symbols around, they have great strength.

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