Old Hag Syndrome or what is scientifically known as Sleep Paralysis, according to skepdic.com, is a condition that occurs in the state just before dropping off to sleep or just before fully awakening from sleep. It is often characterized by inability to move or speak; a feeling of some presence and a feeling of fear but is associated with inability to cry.
According to the folklore, sleep paralysis is a phenomena that happens when a demon sits on top of your chest.
Sleeping in supine position, increased stress, lucid dreaming, and lack of sleep are just some of the things that may increase the likelihood of paralysis.
I’m not entirely sure that what happened to me was sleep paralysis but from what I’ve read on the internet, it was almost the same.
Okay, so here’s what happened.
I just got to the dorm after a tiring day from school. Nahiga ako sa kama and threw a blanket over myself since miniature flying vampires, aka mosquitoes, will surely disrupt your sleep. After a while, I knew I was already sleeping because I start to dream. I don’t know why but sometimes, I know that I am already sleeping whenever I start to dream. It’s like a signal. There were times when I would find myself thinking, “Ay tulog na ako, nananaginip na ako eh.” then lose consciousness.
Then bigla ko na lang naiisip na hindi naka-lock ang pinto ko. Ayoko ko kasi na hindi ko nala-lock ang pinto ng kwarto ko. Safety precautions ba. Tapos maya-maya, someone entered the room. I couldn’t see her face. But I knew that she was a lady. To be precise, it was a dark figure. It looked like a shadow. Pero medyo malinaw yung legs niya. I even saw the shorts she wore. Kamukha nung shorts ni “Patrick Star” sa Spongebob Squarepants. I don’t why but all I felt was fear. Sobrang takot. I was so terrified that the air were trapped in my lungs. I had read that in most sleep paralysis cases, the figure that people saw would be coming to them. Pero yung sa akin, alam ko na hindi ako ang habol niya. She was trying to get something from my desk. Kung ano, hindi ko alam. It was downright creepy. Nung pumasok na yung figure, I tried moving. My position on the bed was nakadapa. I tried getting up but I couldn’t. I tried to move my fingers but they only kept twitching. Sobrang panic and fear and helplessness, mayamaya, I woke up. Yung tipong biglang mulat ng mata na parang may gumulat sayo. Ang nakaka-ewan pa, in my dream, nakadapa ako. But when I woke up, I was sleeping in a supine position. I was sleeping with my back flat on the bed. My heart was also beating fast. When I calmed down, I drank water and tried not to scare myself.
Before I knew of sleep paralysis, I just dismissed that episode as a simple dream. Lagi naman din ako nagkakaroon ng mga weird na dreams. Add the fact that I was also very stressed out at school. I learned about sleep paralysis when I had read lucid dreaming. I was searching for the movie “Inception” and it said there something about Lucid dreaming.
I never had any dream like that again. And I hope that it would never happen again. That feeling of fear, anxiety, and helplessness. It was really creepy.