“Old Hag Syndrome” has been around since the Middle Ages. It was thought that witches, or hags, would sit on a person’s chest at night and cause exhaustion, leaving you very fatigued the next day.
Old Hag Attack Symptoms
Have you been attacked by a hag? If so, you may have experienced these symptoms.
- Repulsive smells
- Ghostly footsteps
- Ghostly sounds
- Shadowy movements
What Is An Old Hag To Start With?
No one’s sure what the dark entity is. It could be a witch. Maybe it’s a curse. Perhaps a visitor from a dark dimension.
People claim they see a haggard old woman sitting or hovering over them when an attack strikes. Others don’t see anything other than a dark figure.
Old Hags can attack at any time of day but only if you’re sleeping. Opinions vary as to why that is. Some experts believe your psychic defenses are low. That makes you more vulnerable to an attack. Others believe your dream state opens you up to new worlds, dimensions or alternate realities.
When an old hag attacks, it can seem like a demonic presence. Of the symptoms listed earlier, repulsive smells (like rotting meat) are the most common. That’s only one common trait. The others, especially suffocation and paralysis, are unique to this ghostly entity.
Now, the speed of the manifestation can change based on the person. Some people will have symptoms gradually occur. It may take weeks for an old hag to appear. The hag will ‘play’ with its victim over this time. Fear helps ‘season’ its vicitm’s lifeforce. For others, all symptoms happen within 15 minutes.
Old hags are hard to predict. When it does manifest, it feels like someone put a cinder block on your chest, you can’t move whatsoever, and an Arctic chill sweeps over your body.
Protection From Attack
There are a few protection methods you can try. Not all of these will work, so try to find the best combination:
- Pour a salt circle around your bed (1-inch wide)
- Place a religious object at the head of your bed
- Sprinkle holy water in the corners of your bedroom
- Smudge your room with sage and frankincense
- Develop your psychic shields: Hags don’t want to fight for their ‘food’
Nowadays, doctors blame the phenomena on night terrors, stress, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and repressed sexual tension. However, they can’t really explain why it repeatedly happens to some people. People, who suffer from night terrors, have violent interactions. That is definitely not paralysis. Interestingly, atheists and agnostics rarely suffer from the syndrome. Anyway, modern medicine thinks these attacks are psychological in nature.
Note: Please don’t point these attacks towards Wiccans. This isn’t the case at all. Wiccans are not the witches noted in this post. They wouldn’t attack someone with magic.
Staff Editors (no date). “Sleep terrors (night terrors),” The Mayo Clinic, retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-terrors/symptoms-causes/syc-20353524
Raypole, Crystal and Alana Biggers (April 3, 2019). “Adult Night Terrors: Why They Happen and What You Can Do,” Healthline.com, retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/night-terrors-in-adults
Pacheco, Danielle and Dr. Heather Wright (May 20, 2021 – updated). “Night Terrors,” Sleep Foundation, OneCare Media Company, retrieved from: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/parasomnias/night-terrors
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about monsters in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.