Old Hag Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment


What is Old Hag syndrome?

The old hag syndrome is characterized by sleep paralysis. The condition is also referred to as night hag by others. The sufferers complain of an inability to move when most of their senses are working properly. There are some instances that they would complain of intense feeling of pressure on their chest. According to history, the said syndrome is derived from the belief of having an old hag or witch to do with the said phenomenon. This kind of belief is primarily triggered by some old belief and superstitions. Scientifically, the condition is associated with the alteration of the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep of the affected. Healthy individuals are not even spared of such phenomenon that it has been associated with episodes of wakefulness at night with hallucination tendencies.


Old Hag Syndrome Pics


Old Hag Syndrome Believed to be Caused by An Old Hag

The condition is proposed to affect about 30% of the total population. Others are in denial that such phenomenon occurred to them or cannot share the experience to others.

Symptoms and characteristics

The condition is believed to be affecting the REM sleep or the rapid eye movement. The characteristics of the condition are presented by the following:

  • Awakening in the middle of the night with the sense of complete paralysis taking over. There are times that the episode occurs right before sleep that the affected feels restricted in every movement.
  • Sense of panic is experienced by the affected but cannot move leaving the sense of sight, smell, touch and hearing is still intact.
  • Possibility of hallucinations are noted where the client senses flight from danger. The affected would speak of sightings described as someone stepping on their chest making movement impossible. They tend to associate the syndrome to be a paranormal experience rather than a psychological one.
  • Instances provide the client feeling that the episode was not real and interpret the experience as a dream.

Causes

The root cause for old hag syndrome is still in the process of finding out. There has been no exact explanation of the phenomenon. It has been proposed that the affectation of the REM sleep is one of the causes. Surveys according to many countries pointed out that sleep paralysis is somehow a phenomenon experienced by individuals even once in their life. The following are the said triggering factors for an episode of old hag syndrome:

  • Narcolepsy. This is a chronic sleep problem that is defined as increased sleepiness. Those who suffer from narcolepsy have a short time of REM sleep compared to most of the population. It has been reported to trigger such syndrome as narcoleptics tend suffer from muscular weakness.
  • Sleeping manner is also considered as a factor triggering old hag syndrome. Those who sleep in a supine position tend to be prone to such condition.
  • Stress can also be pointed out as a precipitating factor most especially when one sleeps in a new environment abruptly. Lifestyle changes and alterations are also considered to trigger such syndrome.

Treatment of Old Hag Syndrome

Treatment for old hag syndrome is not directed in eliminating the disease itself. The cure for the said syndrome is not yet known, as the exact cause is not definite. The treatment course for old hag syndrome is aimed to manage the manifestations and to avoid recurrence of the undesirable episodes:

  • Proper education regarding the condition should be rendered. This can provide awareness on the part of the affected thus assisting them in avoiding the risk factors associated with the syndrome.
  • Stress should be avoided.
  • Sleeping manner should be altered.
  • Medications are provided to clients. Usually a dose of clonazepam is provided to clients in assisting sleeping paralysis.

Prevention of Old Hag Syndrome


Prevention is possible with this condition. The sufferer should take note that awareness of the problem can assist in avoiding another episode of old hag syndrome. The affected should remember that having a stress-free environment can reduce the probability of having an episode. It is beneficial on their parts when they avoid taking stimulants before sleeping. Avoid eating too much before sleep and not drinking caffeinated drinks are good ways in averting old hag syndrome episode. Smoking should also be restricted before sleep time.



44 thoughts on “Old Hag Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

    • 27/01/2018 at 4:45 AM
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      thanx for the info and there’s one thing I have noticed if you leave the light on and sleep it does not happen. I have been going through a lot of this and its scary just a few minutes ago I had one lying on my tummy and I couldn’t even breathe and lasted long anyways also try and keep the windows closed early one more thing it also happens when I come home late .

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  • 15/11/2013 at 9:51 PM
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    now i understand fully ats been happenng to me since i was small….wen it hapens i jst relax myself n it goes away

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  • 24/12/2013 at 9:28 PM
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    I have had this problem for years, first I thought it was aliens then ghosts. But now I know

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  • 20/01/2014 at 11:30 PM
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    One of my frnds sufrd or s stl sufferin frm d disease….. want reccommendatns abot proper treatment

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  • 10/06/2014 at 7:29 AM
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    I had also suffer wid this disease. It was so horrible.

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  • 06/10/2014 at 10:11 PM
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    Apparently only people who can’t spell suffer from this affliction.

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      • 27/05/2018 at 7:04 PM
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        Put an empty liquor or wine bottle without the top near your bed or on a dresser or nightstand… The hag is scared of getting trapped in the bottle

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        • 27/11/2018 at 3:09 AM
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          My girlfriend suffers this. She barely sleeps due to this. And it’s breaking my heart to see her fight this. Where did you learn of this method and does it really work? Is there a spiritual basis for this? I will do anything to help her fight this. Please any information will be greatly appreciated

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          • 24/09/2019 at 8:14 AM
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            I have had this happen to me since I was about 5 years old. Sometimes I can make noise (without being able to properly use my vocal cords so I think it comes out like “uhhhhh”, but when my boyfriend is next to me and hears it he will nudge me hard to wake me. Sometimes I am stuck, I break out like I’m in a body cast, only to have it happen again (and again and again and….) throughout the night. Sometimes I have to completely wake myself up. Sometimes I see a shadow/ black figure, sometimes it talks (once it said “falling” over and over and when I woke I was on my back with my waste pushed over like someone pushed my waste from the side) but I try to stay calm and break it by forcing my body to move. Sometimes I have to try over and over, but eventually I can break it. The scariest thing is when no one believes me.

  • 11/12/2014 at 12:19 AM
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    I have lived with this owful thing that can’t be explained to any one who has never practically experienced it, and it makes you look stupid trying to explain some sensitive ,personal and painfull experience.mine started in 2002,reduced in 2013; and now its back.am not ready for it again

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    • 27/01/2018 at 4:47 AM
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      sleep with the light on and I promise this wont happen.

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  • 21/01/2015 at 1:26 AM
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    My name should say it all here folks.

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    • 04/08/2015 at 12:46 PM
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      Glad I am not the only one who was bothered

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      • 24/06/2018 at 8:47 PM
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        Me too😢😢😢😢

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  • 21/01/2015 at 1:27 AM
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    My name should say it all folks.

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  • 12/02/2015 at 10:54 PM
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    this may sound funny but i only experience when i masturbate before sleeping.so i think this is caused by brain fatigue.

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    • 20/02/2016 at 9:07 AM
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      The part of the brain that deals with fear is close to the part that deals with sexual arousal.
      A misfiring synapse can lead to a S.P. Episode to turn into a succubus/incubus attacks

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  • 26/02/2015 at 4:11 AM
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    I swear it’s the scariest shit and it happens frequently to me n the one I experienced last night was the scariest ..I felt like someone was literally on top email of my chest..n I don’t know if it’s a Co incidence but I always get

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  • 04/03/2015 at 1:19 AM
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    This happens to me at least once a month since the age of 10 and I am now 34. My husband says I start struggling and mumbling until I finally scream “No, Stop” I have tried to relax and ask why and who are you. However, it is so scary that I forget to calm down and ask.

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    • 13/06/2015 at 1:08 PM
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      Don’t fight it. The next time it happens, close your eyes and just take your energy to your big toe on your right foot and say ‘Wiggle you big toe’. Trust me it’ll help.

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  • 17/06/2015 at 9:19 PM
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    experiencing it almost every night and live with it. scary at first but get to live with it and starting to control my dreams and its amazing, even to the point that i want to experience it everyday

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  • 01/10/2015 at 11:24 AM
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    This happened me last night for the first time. It really shook me up. It felt as if someone was holding me down. I tried to call out for my son but couldn’t speak. Scary stuff! Thanks for the information.

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    • 18/11/2018 at 9:08 PM
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      same here it was like someone hold me down I was calling out no one could hear me iam so scared when I get it once it get myself out off it its hard for me to go back to sleep

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  • 13/02/2016 at 3:39 AM
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    Old Hag has hit me four times now. I can’t move and yet I know I am awake. I don’t know what to do. I am afraid to go to sleep at night. My husbin couldn’t hear me yelling for him I couldn’t get enough air to make my hollering loud enough. I bought a baby moniter and hope now if it happens again he will hear me.I am glad to share this and know I am not the only one who has had this.

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  • 27/03/2016 at 12:32 PM
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    It’s happened to me 2 times one was just 10 mins ago and I see the old hag and I try to call to my girl to wake me but can’t the messed up part is that both times I can’t move but she chokes me when I wake up I feel the pain on my neck like it really happened it scares the crap outta me

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  • 25/04/2016 at 6:58 PM
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    Very Interesting.
    But how do you account for those who awake next morning , covered in bruise’s and marks on their back and arms ?

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    • 16/11/2017 at 2:11 AM
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      i had finger prints on my arm and i got scared

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  • 14/10/2016 at 11:12 AM
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    I just experienced this and actually started hearing sounds as if my home was being broken into. It was a scary feeling because I could do nothing. But once awoken I realized it was me imagining things. I’m gonna try the wiggle the big toe thing. I have awoken 3 times out of this state tonight alone. Kind of dread going back to sleep.

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  • 10/12/2016 at 1:10 PM
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    Could this possibly be caused by something far more sinister? Such as a haunted place or person, or a demon that has attached itself to the victim….would be interesting to research if you believe in that sort of thing.

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  • 10/12/2016 at 1:17 PM
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    I have suffered from this several times throughout my life. The first one i can remember was when i was 18 (am 39 now). I remembered waking up in a panic feeling like i had been physically and spiritually attacked. I actually felt like my soul was about to be ripped from my body, it was evil and i felt totally hopeless, scared and violated. I felt a devil type presence around me. I actually wonder if this can be related to something far more sinister, such as demonic attachment or posession. It would be interesting to research if you believe in the supernatural, like i do.

    Reply
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  • 27/05/2017 at 3:44 AM
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    had one again last night. Old hag is starting to get all sexual on me. Just layed on top of me and molested me. I wiggle my fingers like crazy and it eventually snaps me out of it but I don’t like that old hag. I really don’t.

    Reply
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  • 04/11/2017 at 7:27 AM
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    hi my name is ray.. this has happened to me ..it’s not funny I am in my 50s ….when it happened to me I could not cry out for help. I saw her face. she was on me and chocking me. I was able to get out help help.. finally my wife awok and grabbed me. a black cloud rose up form my bed. I was ganging . I had red marks on my neck.. had my wife not spoken .. the old women would have killed me.. I told her of this.. and explained what she looked like.. I new nothing about this till we saw it on t.v. .. exactly the way I describe it to a tee. this is real .. I do believe Dominic.. this Is not the only time it has happened to me..

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  • 03/02/2018 at 3:31 AM
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    It happens to me on a regular basis. With time i learned to overcome the hag. It’s still terrifying, comes with a sense of real evil, and when i wake up i always have a feeling that someone was in the room. I am 42. To comfort myself, i hold my wife’s hand just before sleeping. During the episode, i am totally paralysed. With efforts i can hit back at the hag.
    Granted that this is a form of sleep paralysis with some possible neurological disorder but what i can’t understand is how people from all over the world and from different culture experience almost the same images and describe them in a similar vocabulary

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  • 01/04/2018 at 8:13 PM
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    i watched a show about the old hag house but i have never been there and that explaines every thing.

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  • 04/11/2018 at 6:53 PM
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    I wish I had a clear, concise answer as to how to stop these types of experiences. My husband began having this problem maybe a year or so ago..had always described it as being half awake and unable to move – said he’d try to call out to me but couldn’t physically so he’d try to communicate with me using energy/intent.
    I did not realize the gravity of the situation until my husband began shifting – his personality, demeanor, thoughts and even his appearance. Stress is weakening – physically mentally, emotionally and spiritually. After having the most stressful year come to a head over the past few months, and as a result, my husband and I currently living separately, these experiences have worsened for him. I am, by nature, a very logical person – however, I am too, a witch and have experienced far too much to brush this off as having purely scientific explanation. At this point, I am taking a spiritual approach and am recommending those who resonate with this idea and who follow some spiritual teaching do the same. I have read much about the lore on this entity and it is a powerful one. A once living natural witch who has become a demon entity. It attacks the spirit of the victim it is attached to which results in terrible physical manifestations until the person is left a hollow shell or even dead. Whatever your approach, be mindful that your thoughts and intentions are paramount in combating this. That, and relinquishing ALL fear and acknowledgement that she exists..once you have done whatever it is to get rid of her, never ever think of her again.

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    • 24/09/2019 at 8:23 AM
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      I’m an atheist. My “Christian” aunt told me it was the devil. Bullshit. I’ve seen shadows/dark figures- one said “falling” over and over and I woke lying on my back but curved as if someone pushed my hips from the side. One black figure sat right by my head, I could feel my head moved under its weight, and hissed at me in my face. I have never thought it was “evil”, and if it was, it hasn’t worked to scare me into church. I break through the paralysis as if it was a body cast. Sometimes I need to do it more than once. But putting a juju spin on it doesn’t help anyone.

      Reply
  • 14/02/2021 at 7:46 PM
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    I have a story about old hag. At list this is what I believe it was. I was 33 when this happened, back then I just written my bord exam and had to live with my parents. I just woke up one night to use a washroom. As I approached to the washroom door, I noticed a woman standing in a living room. She was old, overweight and completely naked. My first though was that it was my mom, I yelled something like “mom are you crazy. What are you doing?” Suddenly a small create came out from the her behind. It was maybe 3 ft tall, had a long sharp nose, a hump and one of creatures legs was shorted then the oner so every time it made a step the whole body would move in an unnatural way. To say they I was terrified would be to say nothing. I probably had first grey hair appear on my head after that night. I run back to my room and the old woman run after me. I leaned against the door but she was way to strong. She just push the door open so hard I though it will break. By that point the primordial fear kicked in. I was beating her as heard as I could and she never tried to cover herself from my punched, it’s like it was nothing to her. Then she said “Ella, I don’t like you anymore” and she grabbed me by throat. At that moment I woke up and she was there still but I couldn’t see her anymore. She had her hand on my throat for a good 4 or 5 second. During this whole time I tried to fight her. I was punching against the wall so head the clock fell from the wall. It wouk up my mom, who rushed to my room to see if I was ok. I don’t care what anyone say this woman was real I fought her for 5 seconds when I was awake. I never experienced a sleep paralysis, not even ones.

    Reply

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