Don’t Think of the Old Hag


It has been six weeks since my first sighting of the wicked old hag. I woke up in the middle of the night and went to roll over, but my entire body was paralysed. I lay there, scared and helpless, contemplating my predicament when I became aware of a presence in the room with me…a presence that I can only describe as pure evil.

I caught sight of a withered old woman at the foot of the bed. Her tall hunched frame was draped in a long dirty gown and wisps of filthy white hair hung from a balding scalp. I channelled all my energy into a desperate attempt to move, but my efforts were in vain. It felt as though I was being pinned to the bed by an invisible force. I tried scream out for help, but my words came out as jumbled whimpers. I could feel her claw-like hands on my legs and my arms as she crawled her way up my rigid body. A crooked smile revealed rotten teeth and her bloodshot eyes were callous and calculating as she stared directly at me.

Suddenly, I bolted upright in bed. I could move again and the room around me was empty. It was just a bad dream, I concluded. I took a few minutes to catch my breath and settled back to sleep.

A couple of weeks later I met an old friend for a drink and a point in our conversation reminded me of my dream.

“I had a scary case of sleep paralysis a couple of weeks ago,” I told him.

“Really? Did you see the old hag?” my friend replied.

An icy chill ran over my body. I hadn’t told anyone about the dream and there was no way he could’ve known what I’d seen. “How the hell did you know that?” I asked with disbelief, my voice quivering.

“I read about it some time ago,” he explained, startled by my reaction. “…A phenomenon known as Old Hag Syndrome where sufferers of sleep paralysis are visited by an entity, often in the form of an old hag.”

“You’re bullshitting me!” I said, incredulously.

He convinced me to look it up, and so when I returned home I typed the keywords OLD HAG and SLEEP PARALYSIS into Google. It returned pages full of results, some of which told of ancient folklore spanning different cultures; others told of personal experiences like my own. To some the entity took the form of an old lady or a witch, to others she looked more like a demon, but they all described the presence of overwhelming evil. Most chilling of all were the accounts in which the hag tortured and molested her victims as they lay paralysed and helpless.

I turned off the computer and tried to put it out of my mind. An eerie mood lingered in the room and I had a bad feeling that unless I could get her out of my mind, she was sure to pay me another visit.

That night I was woken by a piercing cackle and I lay paralysed as that tall and stooped figure emerged at the foot of my bed. She crawled under the covers and up my body before sitting on my chest and peering down at me. She ran her slimy tongue over her chapped lips and made slurping sounds. What transpired after that I cannot bring myself to talk about.

I’ve spent subsequent days browsing forums for answers…for a way out. I am neither religious nor superstitious and I don’t believe anything considered “supernatural”, but scientific resources offer no rational explanation for what I’ve been experiencing – just speculation and scepticism. In some cultures it is believed to be a demonic curse and the entity is brought to life through the power of suggestion. Most victims recall some kind of trigger that worked its way into their subconscious, such as a painting or a friend sharing their personal experience.

I’ve been telling myself, “Don’t think of the old hag!” But as we all know, the harder you try not to think of something the more that thought persists. The visions grow more vivid and traumatising the more I think of her. Some nights she violates me in unspeakable ways and I wake with bruises, scratches and bite marks over my body. Other nights I hear her ragged breathing in my ear and find her lying next to me, grinning and gurgling.

But I think I’ve learned a way to be rid of these visions once and for all. I must plant the thought into the mind of someone else and distract the old hag with a fresh victim. As selfish and cruel as I am to pass this curse on to someone else, I just can’t bare it any more.

Dear Reader, whoever you are, please forgive me!

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25 Comments on 'Don’t Think of the Old Hag'

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  • Commented on July 7, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Good story! The part I liked best was when you basically said that the creature had been around for centuries and you had the victim Google her. I don’t know if you were trying to take a classic creature and bring her into the modern era or if you were opening up the story for prequels either way, good job!

  • Commented on July 8, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Awesome job!

  • Morti
    Commented on July 8, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Man! this is sick!
    Well.. the idea is really simple.. But the ending froze my blood instantly.
    Good job! 🙂

  • Commented on July 9, 2015 at 8:17 am

    thats fvck I’ve dreamed about old hag after reading this, what does it mean’

  • Commented on July 9, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    The old hag…. Strange similarities to everyday movie writing. Entertaining

  • Ofelia
    Commented on July 10, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Thats happend to me before i even read this but it doesnt scare me im used to it i wanna touch it and everytime i try it dissapires

  • Commented on July 10, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    and now all i can do is hope i wont dream of her….

  • Commented on July 12, 2015 at 1:44 am

    It’s creepy o.o I never liked old hags anyways

  • Commented on August 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I love these simple topics in horror, especially how you plunged the reader into a haunted state of mind afterwards, very well written 10/10

  • Commented on September 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Wow, I really like this one. 🙂

  • Commented on September 14, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    oh god no, I am gonna have nightmares forever now T^T

  • Commented on October 12, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Great job!

  • Commented on June 7, 2016 at 4:35 am

    OMG Nice work! I was left speechless at the end when you passed the curse to the reader. 0.0 Scary stuff, man!

  • Commented on June 25, 2016 at 11:02 pm


  • Commented on August 16, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Thanks a lot, DW. 4/5

  • Commented on August 17, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Barely managed to fall asleep, didn’t see her though, thank god.

  • serialkiller
    Commented on October 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Hell if that old hag can deepthroat she can visit me every night she sounds like a freak yo

    Commented on November 9, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Loved this nice work 🙂

  • Commented on December 13, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    If it visits me I swear I’ll kill you. 5/5

  • Commented on February 6, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Holy crap, that was a pretty tasty pasta. The beginning was okay, but that ending was delicious.

  • Commented on February 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Just saying the fact that he tries not to think her name or say it kind of remindś me of the bye bye man lol… creepy 🙂

  • terrorize
    Commented on March 13, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I could almost swear the night after I read this I saw a shadow in my room…….

  • Commented on April 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    This is great delicious !

  • Commented on August 9, 2017 at 3:38 am

    Great story! 5/5

    I think I’ve had at least two encounters with this thing…

    My husband was working in South Carolina, near Charleston, late last year. I flew out to visit for Christmas. We went into Charleston one day and took a tour of an old dungeon there. We started talking with a couple afterwards and this is a real thing. People there are terrified of it.

    I had never heard of it before, but I had had a really strange experience months earlier. I usually wake up in the same position I fell asleep in, I don’t move around a lot in my sleep. Well he woke up one night and I was breathing really heavily, punching and kicking at nothing as far as he could tell. He said I was also muttering something but he wasn’t able to understand me. He was afraid to wake me up so he just watched me and it went on for about 45 minutes. The next incident happened not long after that, I was alone this time. I jolted awake and could swear I saw a dark figure at the foot of my bed, once I noticed it it came up onto the bed and towards me fairly quickly, I don’t know how I managed it, but I forced myself to move and it was gone just like that. The thing that bothers me the most is what happened the night my husband witnessed it, how am I to know if this keeps happening if I had absolutely no memory of it and he isn’t home

  • ITH
    Commented on December 22, 2017 at 8:49 am

    What if I passed it to someone else before sleeping? Other than that, nice pasta! 🙂

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