Sleep Paralysis, Shadow People and Old Hag Syndrome - 'While You Sleep'

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Sleep paralysis is the term used to describe a state of paralysis that grips the body usually shortly after waking, but occasionally before falling asleep. Scientifically it is thought to be a part of the natural sleep cycle known as 'REM' (rapid eye movement). The human body excretes hormones into the blood-stream whilst sleeping in order to limit locomotion, i.e. to stop you getting up and wandering around in the night (a lack of this hormone is thought to be the cause of sleep walking, etc.). Sleep paralysis is thought to occur when the brain awakes but the body is still under the influence of these enzymes. These episodes are often accompanied by nightmarish hallucinations, and a heightened sense of helplessness and fear.
This condition of sleep paralysis is well documented and is often connected with the paranormal, in Vietnam it is known as 'Ma De - held down by a ghost', in China it is known as 'Pinyin - body pressured by a ghost', in Iceland it is known as 'Mara - Devil sitting on your chest trying to suffocate you', and so on, around the globe this condition is believed by many to be associated with some form of ghostly/demonic attack upon the soul. And you never know, scientists have been known to be wrong before...
Old Hag Syndrome - Sleep Paralysis
Old Hag Syndrome - Sleep Paralysis
While you sleep
“The good news is”, said the doctor, “is that your are neither crazy, nor are you possessed”, which is the kind of good news that one is always happy to receive, “it’s all very simple” the doctor continued, “although I do understand your concern, but it’s all very natural you see, a slight distortion of the natural cycle, often brought about by stress”.
I hadn’t felt particularly stressed, at least, not until after the first incident, “You see, it’s all to do with enzymes and so on, a defence mechanism of sorts” The doctor informed me, “It’s known as ‘sleep paralysis’, essentially the brain releases chemicals which shut down the body, to prevent you from attempting to live out your dreams whilst you sleep, in fact…” he continued, “it’s almost the exact opposite of sleep walking, in which those inflicted don’t produce enough of said enzymes to keep them suitably bed bound whilst resting. “The problem is that your mind is waking, whereas your body is not, essentially leaving you stranded somewhere between the conscious and the subconscious.”
It was good to know that there was a sound scientific explanation, ‘sleep paralysis’ I mused appreciating the solidity of the term, and the complete lack of nonsense it projected, because the first time I’d experienced it, I’d been terrified, and the second and third time; even more so.
Each time I awoke instantly enveloped by an intense feeling of unease, a strong sense of not being alone in the darkness that sent shivers pulsating through me, a primal instinct triggered within me that would have sent me fleeing like prey from predator, shook me, but was unable to preserve me, because I was completely unable to move.
I wanted nothing more then to run for the light switch like a child scared of the dark, I could feel something without eyes watching me, and then worse still, I could feel something without hands touching me, sitting astride me, pinning me down. My body failed me whilst my eyes and mind did not, I found my self staring into an emptiness that had taken on being, and could feel the face it didn’t have mere inches from mine, mocking me, as it pinned me down tight to the bed.
Like a man with no other salvation to call upon, I began to pray to myself frantically, not with lips, but inside of my head, and I’d never considered my self a religious man, until now, as I begged for God to save me from this terrible nightmare.
And then it was over, my body rejoined me, and I ran for the light, and whether I was saved by divine intervention, or merely awoke from a terrible dream I would find it difficult to say, but the first time wasn’t the last time, and after several more episodes such as these, I no longer slept in the dark.
And the light keeps me safe, it really does, and I laugh along with those I tell, a grown man scared of the dark, they laugh, and I laugh, because I’d rather laugh and be laughed at; then face that terror again.
‘The old hag’ some call it, and it’s known the world around, in Vietnam it’s called ‘Ma De’ meaning ‘held down by a ghost’, and in Iceland it is known as ‘Mara’ meaning ‘Devil on your chest’, and it’s as old as time itself. And if you’ve ever listened to anybody recall their experience, from little girl to hulking great giant of a man, the one thing they will always have in common, is the fear, still in their eyes as they tell their story.
But science is infallible, and if the good doctor tells me that there is nothing to worry about more than perhaps the need to get a little more exercise, and eat more fruit and veg, to drink less alcohol, and smoke less cigarettes, and above all to try and get a good nights rest, then it seemed reasonable enough to believe him, “Enzymes” I said to myself as I turned off the light and climbed into bed, “Who’d have believed it”.
I tried to scream, but I couldn’t, I tried to run, but I couldn’t, ‘its only enzymes… it’s only enzymes…’ I repeated over and over inside my head, but whatever it was sat astride me; it didn’t believe me. Absolute terror flooded through me, I was helpless to fight it, pinned beneath something I could only sense and couldn’t see, and then I heard it clearly, and wished that I hadn’t, “the good news is…” it said “is that you’re not going crazy”, “the bad news is….”,
‘Help me God, help me God, help me God, help me God...’
“The bad news is…” it told me, “is that we come for you whilst you sleep”.

Sleep Paralysis - Terror in the Night

Sleep Paralysis Documentary


  1. Yeah sure, it's all about enzymes! I was awake when all that mess happened?! Thanks for the explanation!

    1. I read what you said on the National Paranormal Association Web site.   I had a problem with this around 15 years ago.   I might have gotten it by taking a mirror and spray painting it black. I had found out later that these were used in black magic.
      I thought it looked cool and hung it in my house.  Soon after that the old hag started to appear.  I was told that cats can git rid of these things.  I got a cat that needed a home. A tuxedo young female  cat.  She was a very nice cat and i really liked her.  One night when  I was sleeping she was really acting up and it appeared she was fighting the old hag in my place while i could not move. I can't say for sure that the cat was responsible for getting rid of her.  But something was going between the 2 of them and now no more old hag. It's kind of funny the cat died and I got another one real fast. If you do not like cats maybe you can borrow one. I saw the movie “The Entity “ and it was very scary. I do not know what the old hag is. If I was going to guess. It is an evil spirit.

  2. ive been having sleep paralasys since i was 9. All this fear is futile. Its hard but relax into it rather than fight. Release all fear. and go for a ride. If you experiance this as i have for many years. Read conversations with god by neal donald walsch to understand how this reality actually works. and then read up on astral projection. (conversations with god isnt christian or anything) Be the best thing ul ever do. then you will actually appreciate these sleep paralasys moments

  3. Oh God this post freaked me out! lol. So during your episode the 'entity' said '...we come for you whilst you sleep', that's unbelievably creepy. I also suffer from Sleep paralysis and even wrote about my experiences on my Sleep Paralysis Hub, but I never had then speak to me! 'shivers...' i really like this post, thanks for freaking me out, gonna vote up!

  4. I have suffered with sleep paralysis my entire life....I am almost 30 now, and just got to a point which I let go of the fear, and left my body, I remember floating above my body looking back and seeing my body in the bed and then going down the stairs, where I encouuntered I a smallish woman dark creepier than neutral looking, dressed in shabby clothing drapey shabby dark fabric with prominent fingers I decided to ge back upstairs and when I turned my back to this woman she locked onto my shouulder and put her face right by my right ear (while gripping my shoulders very tight) she repeated 37 over and over to me...then I was back in my bed and struggling....although the encounter wasn't horrible, it definitly wasn't pleasent either

  5. Lulu, I would take that seriously if I were you. She may be warning you that you will be joining her once you turn 37.(death) or you may have a serious heart attack and go into the spirit realm and be trapped by her or something, what ever you do make sure you are prepared to leave this world when you turn 37 in one way or another

  6. The body secretes hormones into the bloodstream, not 'excrete'. Excretion is the removal of metabolic waste from the body whereas hormones are secreted by glands and act upon the receptors on target cell membranes. Hormones and enzymes are also different biological molecules. Hormones are biological catalysts. For example, the hormone implicated in the causes of sleep paralysis and sleep walking is melatonin (secreted by the pineal gland) whereas, separately, the enzyme hydroxyindole-o-methyltrasferase is involved in its synthesis.

    1. Holy crap! That video scared me to death and back! Thank you God I've never seen or had anything like that happen to me. But that part about people who just go to bed and die, really makes one think... I'd rather get hit by a bus!

  7. i just posted my comment to fb. but i feel a need to say something here also.. up until 2night. i have live in silence to these same experiences. i plan on making my own video. cause i have been having these experiecwes for 7yrs. and just to findly read and listen to other peoples experiences w/ this .. is freedom to me.. when this kind of thing happens. two main things happen. ur afraid to tell anyone cause u fear tht they will think tht ur full of poo. or ur going off the deap end.. in either case, u remaid silent. so tonight. i have been given my freedom back. and i cant wait to tell my tell of this OLD HAG SYNDROME and its real.. and the doctor or the xpert. can kiss my ass. it a real spirit. and at first it took me serveral attemps to say IN THE NAME OF JESUS. but now. it only takes tht one time to say tht. and its my advise not only to say in the name of jesus.. but add to tht,, by the name and ATHORTY. SORRY CANT SPELL IT. BUT IM SURE THT U KNOW..AND BY ME ADDING THE WORD ATHORITY. NOW WHEN THIS HAPPENS. HE LEAVES ALOT SOONER.. EVEN THOUGH HE'LL TRY MORE OFTEN. I HOPE U ALL SEE MY VIDEO THT I PLAN TO MAKE. OR CONTACT me at .

  8. Many of the posts around this topic describe a form of attack which from a human perspective seems that way. Everyone should understand however that these dark hooded figures (some may call hags) are feeding from our life force or energy. One comment described the person's back being sucked by one of them. The primary reason why certain people are 'targeted' is because you are beacons rich with energy. This energy is spiritual and can be both negative and or positive, drawn from the elements and others if you allow it. An abundance of negative energy seems to attract more attention from certain entities.
    Maybe this is what they are more familiar with or what is needed to draw from in order to maintain balance? Whatever the reason, In a perceived reality of horrible things, negativity can be difficult to overcome, but it can be done.
    Some have written about attempting to break free from the physical paralysis and in doing so, one's spiritual body or body part lifted from the physical body. Through positive prayer and meditation, one can learn to control spiritual energy and being to serve as a positive defense against future feasts by these hooded entities. One visited me 10 years ago. It began similar to many stories like this. It came from the corner by the door and floated right over my body with its black ragged cloak and disfigured face. My eyes were open but I was paralyzed. As the figure began consuming my energy which was visible at that time, I focused my intent and my fear subsided. Shortly after, my spiritual arm lifted out of my physical body and grasped the hooded figure's neck with the intent for it to stop and never return. Once I grabbed it, it immediately stopped feasting, eyes widened while jolted back and vanished. As soon as I grabbed it, my physical body became free as well. This was the last time I was visited by this hooded entity. This experience helped me further see the importance of positive spiritual development for myself and others and strengthen my connection with GOD and Jesus Christ
    It is important to surround yourself in divine light when meditating and understanding the flow.


  9. I have been facing this strange phenomena for the last couple of years.i encountered it last some fifteen days ago.i feel a strong presence of somebody else around me before i fall in to sleep paralysis. i suddenly become numb and struggle for breathing as if some body tries to strangles me.i try to scream but ends up just groaning. it starts in a semi sleep condition and when its pick i am fully aware of without any sleepiness.i never ever dare to open my eyes in fear of see something unusual which can really be frightening.