It is currently 3am and I am trying to clear my head - I can catch up on sleep another time; sleep is really the last thing I want right now, yet I really need it. I was visited by a Night Hag tonight….
I thought, there are two ways I could play this - I could blog about it from a personal perspective or I could write the about history of night hags and their phenomenology. I thought I would give both a go.
Me & Kathryn a few hours ago
I fell asleep with the hynagogic hallucinations of debating with Andrew Jones MP - in my waking dream he paid a visit to try and gain a photo opportunity, as he does. I was pleading with Andrew Jones MP to stop his voting habits of penalising the poor for having a bad run of luck. I was telling Jones MP about my friends who have died as a result of DWP Sanctions and he was not showing any compassion, mocking every fatality as if it was a personal victory.
Then, just an hour after nodding off - getting angry and angrier with Jones, I woke up panting - not able to breathe and completely disorientated. I was really confused as to where I was when I woke and then it took me a good ten minutes to settle, just as long for the fight or flight response to settle down - even after fifteen minutes, adrenaline was coursing through my body and I am hardly calming down.
The above text is what I believe to be a personal account of what it is like to be visited by a night hag, a dæmon from Olde Times who personifies sleep paralysis.
In Scandinavian folklore, sleep paralysis is caused by a Mare, a supernatural creature related to incubi and succubi. The mare is a damned woman, who is cursed and her body is carried mysteriously during sleep and without her noticing. In this state, she visits villagers to sit on their rib cages while they are asleep, causing them to experience nightmares.
The Swedish film Marianne examines the folklore surrounding sleep paralysis.
Either way - when I was visited by a night hag it was bloody horrific.