Saturday, May 21, 2011

Old Hag Syndrome

You wake up, and you can’t move, you feel an immense amount of pressure on your chest that makes it difficult to breathe, and you sense or see someone is in the room with you. It can be a frightening experience. 

This syndrome happens to about 15% of people during their life, it happens, at most, once or twice a month.

For years people have mistaken this experience as a physical encounter with a ghost because when it happens, you are fully awake, you can see, hear, smell and feel, so it is understandable why it feels like someone or something is holding you down. In essence, you are paralyzed. 

Today we know the real explanation for this phenomenon is called “sleep paralysis.”

Sleep paralysis happens when we come out of a deep sleep quickly. In a night of deep sleep, our bodies naturally put us into a state of paralysis so when we dream we don’t thrash about and hurt ourselves. 

During Old Hag Syndrome this is why people feel as if something is preventing them from moving—it is our bodies own paralysis mechanism still at work. 

Also when a person wakes to quickly, hallucinations can occur. This explains the smaller percentage of people who report seeing spirits.

I watched a ghost show recently where they were interviewing a witness who used to work on a remote lighthouse. 

His ghost story revolved around the fact that he would often in the evening be sitting on a comfortable couch watching television and would nod off-- then he would be startled by the sensation that something powerful was pinning him to the sofa.

I would have questioned him further about his experiences before pronouncing them paranormal in nature.

Happy Ghost Hunting!

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