The ‘Old Hag Syndrome’ has been experienced by people across the globe since the beginning of time. Scientists call it sleep paralysis and tell us it is a natural process that occurs during sleeping. To prevent us from injuring ourselves during the dream state, our bodies become paralyzed. Under normal circumstances, by the time we are fully awake, our bodies are no longer paralyzed and we can move normally.
Sometimes, they say, we can awake before our body has returned to its natural state and experience the frightening event called sleep paralysis. Many also report that an ‘old hag’ or some paranormal being is holding them down.
Under normal circumstances, I tend to agree with the scientific explanation – although no one has adequately explained the feeling of someone or something on your chest. But, things aren’t always as they seem. Take my experience, for example.
I had my first encounter with what scientists call sleep paralysis when I moved away from home and was living in a college dorm. I woke up one morning to discover I couldn’t move. After straining to move for several minutes, I was able to move my toes. Suddenly, I was able to move again and got up.
This happened several times a week for a while, until something changed and I had a more frightening experience.
Read about my experience (and the experience of a friend down the hall that occurred during the same time) in Is it Paranormal Activity or Sleep Paralysis