My Encounter With The Old Hag
by Mike from Gods-and-Monsters
(Portland, OR, USA)
Being the author and editor of a website covering mythology and the supernatural, one might assume that I have had many encounters with the paranormal that brought me to this point. The truth is, I've only had one. And I didn't even realize that it was supernatural or paranormal until recently.
As part of building Gods-and-Monsters.com I do a lot of research. I mean a LOT of research. There are simply more legends, myths, and stories than one person can reasonably handle, but I try my best. That said, I run into a lot of different tales of creatures and monsters and ghosts and such, but there was one in particular that truly affected me in a deep way.
I don't even remember how I came across it, but it was completely by accident. Somehow, for some reason, I came across an article about a myth called "The Old Hag". At first, I didn't think much of it until I read the article. To my utter shock, I had experienced this exact phenomenon once, and it scared the hell out of me. I had no idea that anyone else might have experienced the same thing until I found that article, then more articles, and more stories about the exact same thing.
Now, I realize that there is a chance that this was all a dream or perhaps a subconscious psychological phenomenon, but now that I know other people have experienced the same thing, I'm starting to feel more and more that it was completely real.
Here's my story:
I was in my sophomore year in college, at the University of Oregon. I lived with some friends in a newly built off-campus apartment building. It was the afternoon and I was feeling tired so I laid down in my room to take a nap.
Now, I lived with three other college-aged guys, so I always locked my door when I slept. Naturally, this was to avoid waking up with 'hilarious' phrases written on my face, or whipped cream in my hands, or worse. I am far too wary of the immature nature of the college male to get a proper rest without locking the door.
It was warm, so I layed on top of the covers and fell asleep.
I don't know how long I was out, but I think it was about an hour and a half or so. I remember suddenly becoming aware that I was asleep - that moment right before you wake up and switch over to "awake" mode. Except I couldn't wake up.
It was the strangest feeling. There I was, laying perfectly still, hands to my side, in my room, on my bed. But I couldn't move. I couldn't open my eyes or move my arms or legs or anything, but I knew I was no longer asleep. For a good minute or two I struggled to move, focusing my energy on just moving an arm or opening an eye, but to no avail. I was completely paralyzed.
I began to panic.
At this point I still couldn't see but I knew the layout of my room well enough that I could hear what was happening and create a vivid 'mental picture' of it in my mind. As I lay paralyzed on the bed, struggling to move, the door opened.
Keep in mind, the door was locked from the inside, but there it was, slowly creaking open.
And in she walked.
I don't know who she was or who she was supposed to be, but an old woman, hunched over with gray hair and long fingernails was very slowly walking toward me. Her face was wrinkled like she was 100 years old but she wasn't particularly ugly or anything. It was her eyes, though, that scared me. She was staring intently at me as she approached, smiling, almost giddy about what was about to happen.
My eyes were still closed, but I could 'see' her still. I felt a very evil, ominous presence coming from her. As she slowly and silently hobbled over to where I lay, I knew she had only bad intentions.
I struggled, violently now, to move. I knew I was in danger. I just had to move. But I couldn't. I couldn't budge, no matter how hard I tried.
In a moment she was right by my side, staring at my face with her wicked smile. She reached out with her arms and placed both hands on my chest. Then she turned her gaze to her hands and began to press down as hard as she could. I could feel my chest being crushed under the force as her angry smile grew in intensity and pleasure.
Then my eyes opened. And she was gone.
But I was laying in the exact same position, my room looked exactly the same as it just had, except the door was closed and locked. I began to get feeling back in my arms and legs, but it still took me a few minutes before I could get up off of the bed.
I told a couple of friends about it the next day, but one of them said that I was just 'sleepwalking'. It felt so extremely real, but I knew it must have just been a dream.
Fast forward about 10 years. I'm sitting here at my desk about a month ago doing some research when I come across an article about "the old hag". To my complete shock, what people describe is the exact same experience I had, with the exact same woman walking into their room while they (usually) napped in the afternoon, pressing or sitting on their chest as they lay there in a paralyzed and helpless panic.
The experience was scary enough, but the fact that such a random yet detailed event has happened in exactly the same fashion to people all over the world? That's even scarier.