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Metaphysics & Psychology

Tales of the 'old hag' continue to endure

By T.K. Randall
October 11, 2016 · Comment icon 25 comments

An 18th-century depiction of sleep paralysis. Image Credit: John Henry Fuseli
A terrifying phenomenon known to cause paralysis and hallucinations at night is surprisingly common.
Have you ever found yourself in a half-waking state, either while falling asleep or waking up, and completely unable to move or cry out no matter how hard you try ?

Known as sleep paralysis, this distressing experience is thought to occur when a person is stuck in a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. The inability to move is thought to be due to the muscle atonia normally induced during REM sleep to stop us physically acting out our dreams.

To make matters worse, some people also experience hallucinations while paralyzed which can include seeing an ominous figure in the room and feeling a strong sense of presence.
In some of the worst cases, this intruder can be seen and felt physically climbing on top of the helpless experiencer, resulting in a crushing sensation on the chest and difficulty breathing.

This particular experience has also come to be referred to as "old hag" due to how often the hallucinated figure is perceived to be an ugly old woman shrouded in black.

Fortunately though, aside from being terrifying, sleep paralysis in itself is generally harmless.

Source: Live Science | Comments (25)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Chaldon 6 years ago
Sounds more like a case of false awakening. Your deion is completely implausible for a real event, even supernatural, and full of stereotypical ghost-story stuff. I think false awakening and sleep paralysis has something in common and often accompany each other, that explains why some people have hallucinations and others (like me), who's sleep is mostly superficial, never have those, as when the sleep paralysis begins it easily causes a full-scaled wake up, while for the others the brain begins to struggle between the sleep and the awakening. Another interesting aspect is that sleep paralysis... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Msoft 6 years ago
I’ve experience this several times in a life time. The most scariest time was when I was actually being haunted by a bad spirit after my dads death. I awoke to my tv being on laying on my stomach with my head turned and I could see a shadow figure of a man standing in my room. I tried to scream but couldn’t. It was very scary experience of my life. 
Comment icon #18 Posted by Denis2525 5 years ago
The invisible world actually exists, but people are not able to see it until they begin to develop spiritually, but the very concept of spirituality in our world has moved to theatricality and showmanship! And about the third forces, witches, demons and the like there is a great program on Allatra TV,
Comment icon #19 Posted by Denis2525 5 years ago
"Невидимый мир" -да . факты на камере показывают, что он скрыт в тени, Почему люди действительно боятся темноты и все такое!
Comment icon #20 Posted by Rlyeh 5 years ago
The invisible world is called imagination.
Comment icon #21 Posted by XenoFish 5 years ago
You mean the immaterial realm of the imagination and thought. 
Comment icon #22 Posted by Robotic Jew 5 years ago
Are you casting spells?
Comment icon #23 Posted by Desertrat56 5 years ago
@Denis2525  I want to know what you define as spirituality.  Can you elaborate? 
Comment icon #24 Posted by Desertrat56 5 years ago
Whats wrong?  You don't know how to read russian?
Comment icon #25 Posted by Robotic Jew 5 years ago
Nope. It looked like Wingdings to me haha

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