The Night Hag – Demon That Visits You In Your Sleep

It’s late at night and you’re having a pleasant
dream. Maybe you’re reliving one of your favorite
memories, or you’re having that dream where you’re a flying superhero again, saving the
world from destruction. Perhaps you’re a knight in shining armor,
fighting off a fire-breathing dragon- but not for the hand of a helpless maiden, because
this is the 21st century and maidens are more than capable of saving themselves. Suddenly though, your pleasant little dream
escape starts to turn dark. You get a growing feeling of dread and foreboding,
your nice fantasy slowly turns into a nightmare. You wake with a gasp, happy to flee from the
dark dream… but realize you’re woken into a real-life horror. You can’t move, you can barely breathe, and
no matter how hard you try your limbs refuse to respond to your commands. You lie in bed panting for breath, completely
paralyzed, and there in the darkness of your room you swear that you can see a vague figure. It seems to be watching you… smiling even… and then in a flash, it’s
gone and you can move your body again. You tear out of bed and throw the lights on,
but you’re all alone in your room without another person in sight. It’s estimated that about 15% of the population
has had an experience like the one we just described, and if you’re one of the lucky
ones who hasn’t, your time may be coming. For millennia this phenomenon, now called
sleep paralysis, has been associated with one particular evil being, a female demon
ripped straight from the pages of the world’s most ancient texts, and today known as the
Night Hag. According to science, this phenomenon is not
an evil demon visiting you and poisoning your dreams, or trying to kill you. Sleep paralysis is a purely natural phenomenon
that happens when you wake up but your brain hasn’t fully alerted the rest of your body
that it’s time to wake up. If you’ve ever watched someone else sleep…
then you’re kind of a creeper. Just kidding, but if you’ve seen someone jerk
around in their sleep, or perhaps watched a dog kick and paw and whimper as they dream
of chasing squirrels, then you’re well aware that sometimes our body responds to what the
brain is pretending we’re doing in our dreams. Scientists aren’t quite sure why we dream
in the first place, and the fact that less intelligent animals such as dogs and cats
do it means that it isn’t a simple byproduct of our greater intellectual capacity and ability
to imagine. Some believe that dreaming is the brain’s
safe way of working through troubling memories, or to give itself a break from the stresses
of real life. Others believe that dreaming is the way that
the brain processes information and helps it to learn from mistakes or develop new strategies
to past problems. Others yet believe that dreams are largely
meaningless, and are a random mixture of memories and imagination with no discernible purpose,
just something the brain does while in stand-by mode. What we do know though is that in order to
protect you while dreaming, the brain automatically paralyzes your body. That’s so when you’re thrashing around in
your dreams fighting off a grizzly bear with your bare fists, you don’t start throwing
haymakers in the real world, and maybe break your hand on a wall. Have a particularly vivid dream of running
a marathon and your body might start running in real life, straight off a cliff or into
a predator. Some people believe that the act of sleepwalking
is actually the brain failing to fully do its job properly and shut the body down. It’s clear then that this ‘sleep paralysis’
is pretty important for our safety, and the safety of anyone sleeping next to us. Waking up in the midst of sleep paralysis
however can be a traumatic and terrifying experience. The brain has accidentally forgotten to throw
the on switch to the other parts of your body, and so when you try to move you are unable
to. Because you have so little control over your
body, your breathing feels shallow and labored, and this gives the impression of a great force
sitting on your chest. Stuck in a waking state where the brain is
still partially dreaming, people have even described auditory and visual hallucinations
that appeared completely real to them- in fact some believe that sleep paralysis perfectly
describes the alien abduction phenomenon. That’s science’s answer at least, and given
the fact that it’s 2019 and we still don’t have flying cars, are you really going to
trust science? Of course not. Before the sleep paralysis theory, this phenomenon
was directly attributed to the legendary night hag. A demonic being who would visit men and women
and sit on their chests, infecting them with terrible dreams and draining their life force. What’s startling is that the night hag is
present in every single culture on earth, and the various qualities attributed to her
as shockingly similar. She is often described as a female figure,
some claiming she is a demon and others that she is a ghost, and she pins her victims down
and steals their breath. The night hag seems to have existed for as
long as humanity has been around, and she is mentioned in the world’s most ancient texts. She is generally believed to be Lilith, the
original wife to Adam who did not wish to be his second and left the Garden of Eden. Others believe that Lilith was never human
in the first place, and was in fact a demoness who preys on men and women alike. Whatever her real origin, she appears in the
Bible, the epic of Gilgamesh, and even the Dead Sea Scrolls. She is also featured prominently in the mystical
Jewish tradition of Kabbalah, and men all across the ancient world were warned to be
wary of her presence. Not just men though, as the vengeful Lilith
would often seek out pregnant women and newborn children and try to kill them in their sleep. In some traditions Lilith is even described
as having breasts full of poison instead of milk, which she feeds to newborn infants. The name Lilith is believed to be a derivative
of the ancient Sumerian word for Lilitu, which were female demons and wind spirits. Beautiful and seductive, men were nevertheless
warned to keep their distance from these temptresses, as they would often attempt to reproduce with
men and then kill them shortly after. Able to bear children with either humans or
animals, the night hag prefers to reproduce with men and then disguise herself as a human
to give the child away for adoption, returning later to transform its daughters into night
hags once they have reached puberty. In the Jewish Zohar, which is the foundation
for the mystical tradition of Kabbalah, Lilith the night hag is mentioned a whopping twenty
seven times. These depictions support the idea that she
was Adam’s first wife, but refused to see herself as subservient to Adam and rebelled
against God by showing him great disrespect. Saddened by Lilith, God cast her out of the
garden of Eden and then formed a new woman for Adam directly from his rib, as Lilith
had been made from the same dust as Adam had been originally. Given the traditional view of these ancient
cultures which held women in very low regard, it’s no surprise that Lilith’s refusal to
be subservient forever to a man was seen as evil. Christianity doesn’t believe that Lilith was
the first wife of Adam though, and certainly doesn’t believe that she was thrown out of
Eden for refusing to be subservient to Adam. In fact in the New Testament Jesus regularly
treated women as equals in ways that modern audiences don’t realize would’ve been shocking
and even alarming for the contemporaries of the authors who penned these books of the
Bible. This indication of equality from the son of
god indicates that the Bible’s Lilith couldn’t possibly have been the first wife of Adam
and the creation of a God who clearly didn’t see a difference between man and woman. Thus the brief mention of Lilith in the Old
Testament is likely a reference to the Lilith being a demon, and though she was not well
described in the text she would not have needed to be as every ancient reader of the Old Testament
would have immediately recognized the Lilith figure. One of the first documented mentions of Lilith
though comes from the Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2,000 BC. This Epic was the world’s first known superhero
story, and tells the story of a mighty warrior named Gilgamesh who performed many heroic
deeds. In one part of the story, the hero helps the
goddess of love and war cut down a tree in order to fashion a throne for herself, but
as the wood is split open they discover that it has been inhabited by a trio of evil spirits,
the serpent, the Zu-bird, and the demoness Lilith herself. In an epic battle, Gilgamesh defeats the serpent
and Zu-bird, but only manages to force Lilith to flee into the desert, unable to overcome
her. Sometime around 400 BC, Lilith once more appears
in another major historical work, this time the famed Dead Sea Scrolls. These manuscripts were discovered in sealed
up caves along the Jordan River and predate many books of the Bible. Here Lilith once more makes an appearance
in a hymn which was believed to be used for demonic exorcism. In this hymn the reciter attempts to purge
a victim of demonic corruption, naming Lilith by name. The Talmud, one of the world’s most ancient
religious texts and written between the 6th and 3rd century BC also mentions Lilith. Here she appears as a long-haired demon with
wings who could seduce men and have sex with them in their sleep, often undetected. Ancient religious figures even went so far
as to warn that men should not sleep alone so that Lilith would not visit, and possibly
slay them in their sleep. Leaving her mark across the ancient world,
Lilith also appears in the from of countless charms and trinkets all meant to ward off
her nighttime attacks. A limestone plaque dating back to the 8th
century BC is translated to read, “O you who fly in the darkened rooms, be off with
you this instant, this instant, Lilith. Thief and breaker of bones.” These types of charms would often hang in
the rooms and houses of pregnant women or newborn children, which were believed to be
Lilith’s favorite prey. Because she was seen as a sneaky predator,
it was believed that if Lilith found the charm she would flee the house, knowing that she
had been identified and possibly be discovered by its inhabitants. To this day people claim that they are visited
by nighttime demons, and despite modern explanations for sleep paralysis, some are not satisfied
that this phenomenon is purely natural. Many people still believe that succubus, female
demons which prey on sleeping men, and incubus, male demons who do the same to women, are
a very real phenomenon. Famously, a 1980s horror film called The Entity
tells the allegedly true story of a woman who was prey to an incubus, a male night hag. Doris Bither was a single mother living in
Culver City, California in 1978. She moved into a house but was warned by a
Mexican neighbor that the house was evil and she should stay away from it. Plagued by personal problems, Doris experimented
with a Ouija board and often used drugs and alcohol while trying to communicate with spirits. One night, Doris was physically attacked and
raped by an unseen entity, and the attacks continued happening over the course of several
months. Shockingly, they would even occur in front
of her children, who would later testify to the veracity of their mother’s claims. Stories about female and even male night hags
have been with us for millenia, and while science has a ready explanation for the phenomenon
of sleep paralysis, it falls a little short when it comes to physical sexual assault by
unseen beings. Yet was Doris Bither’s story purely fiction,
and if so, why did all of her children claim to have seen some of these attacks, or even
been on the receiving end of bites and scratches themselves? Is the night hag a real phenomenon, or is
Lilith and her coterie of demons nothing more than our overactive, fearful imagination? Until science can definitely disprove the
existence of paranormal forces, we’ll leave it up to you to decide. Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? Do you think the night hag story is nothing
more than the sleep paralysis phenomenon? Let us know in the comments! And as usual if you enjoyed this video don’t
forget to like, Share, and subscribe for more great content!

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