My, that sounds uplifting don't it?
I'm back from vacation and my vacation had only one shortcoming; it was too damned short! I hung out with my cousin and her wacky boyfriend. It's often been said that she and I are the light and dark versions of one another. She's light (blond hair, blue eyes) and I'm dark (Brown hair, brown eyes). Are personalities are similar as well. Not in the way that mirrors every fault you have causing you to despise the person for acting as a constant reminder that you are less than perfect and may be something worse but in the comfortable, chummy way. I can be goofy and honest, two things I have a hard time being, and she can be the same. We mesh well. We have a lot in common. More than I knew.
A conversation began and evolved into another thing entirely. From aspirations, then literature, on to religion and finally ghosts. Yes, I believe in ghosts. And yes I am painfully aware of how that belief contrasts the lack of faith I have discussed previously. Hypocrite, who me? Here's the thing, and maybe you'll laugh but I can live with that, I have experienced something called Old Hag Syndrome. And apparently my cousin has also.
Occasionally I'll awake from sleep and not be able to move, not a finger or a toe. It's damn near impossible to draw breath because there's something on my chest. Something holding me down and sucking the life out of me. It's fucking scary. Occasionally, when I have finally been able to draw breath, I let it out in a scream of sheer terror. When I told my cousin and her wacky boyfriend this (Ha! look who's calling who wacky!), my cousin very simply stated "That's the Old Hag". Who....what...huh?
Old Hag was described as a witch that rides the chest of her sleeping victim and sends him/her nightmares (oh yes, the nightmares). When the victim awoke, they would be unable to move or breathe. That's the Coles notes. You can skip around Wiki for hours finding all sorts of interesting variations (I did) but that's the gist. Science explains that when a person is sleeping, a function of the brain paralyzes them so they don't act on their dreams (mine's broken, I sleepwalk all the damned time, there's nothing like waking up in the middle of the night in the middle of the living room). If a person wakes before that function has been turned off completely they experience a moment of sleep paralysis. The modern explanation. A likely story.
I honestly can't tell you which I believe. The scientific explanation sure does sound pretty and when it's daylight, it's easy to accept. But if you've ever felt the Old Hag, you know the terror is hard to logically explain away.
Old Hag isn't the only reason I lean toward the existence of the paranormal but it's a big part of the whole. In my short life I've seen and felt some creepy shit, but I'll save that for another post. So, tell me; do you? Don't you? I want all the dirty details.