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Don't Let the Boo Hag Ride Ya

by Mac Childs 3 years ago
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Based on True Events

My wife and I had been married a few years when she had the first occurrence. We had both gone to bed about 11 PM, a little later than normal but neither of us had to get up early the next day so we stayed up and watched one of her favorite shows. I remember it was a particularly good episode of one of those ghost hunting type shows. We turned off the lights, got our little dog situated in between us, and went to sleep. Nothing out of the normal. Looking back, I would say that there was one thing that you might say was unusual, but it had been going on for a few months, so I didn’t consider it weird at the time. Every night around 3 AM, our larger dog that slept on a bed on the floor, would wake me up and beg to go outside. She had cancer at the time, so I assumed it was just that she was sick that made her need to go out way more often than normal at night. It was annoying, but as I said, it happened every night, so I never thought anything about it. You could almost set your clock by it each night.

This night was different. Around 2:45 AM, my wife woke up screaming. Scared me, and the dogs, to death. She sat straight up and started reaching out for me in the darkness. I comforted her… you know, the normal “it was just a bad dream” kind of thing and she calmed down. I asked what it was about and she refused to tell me, which I thought was odd, but it was so late I just let it go and went ahead and let the dogs out into the backyard to use the bathroom. It wasn’t until the next morning that she finally told me what she had gone through. She had woken up and was paralyzed. No matter how much she tried, she couldn’t move any part of her body. She couldn’t speak either, all she could do was open her eyes and stare out at our bedroom. But that wasn’t the worst part. As she laid there in the dark, she heard a voice in the room with us. She couldn’t make out what the voice was saying, only that it seemed malicious. This coupled with not being able to wake me up because she couldn’t move or speak, put her in a state of panic, as you can imagine. After what must have seemed like an eternity to her, she was able to shake off whatever was going on and that’s when she set up and screamed for me to wake up. It was terrifying to me just hearing it, so I can’t even begin to understand what it must have been like for her. She said she felt better after we talked about it and we both kind of went on with our day like nothing had happened.

The next night it happened again, pretty much exactly the way it had before. We had kind of joked about the night before when we laid down, but neither of us expected it to happen ever again; my wife wasn’t prone to nightmares or anything like that. We even tried to blame the TV show we were watching before we turned in thinking maybe it had put ghosts in her head. I go to sleep fast, so once again I was out and didn’t know it was happening. Like the night before, there was the paralyzed feeling and then the voice. This time the voice seemed closer, but she still couldn’t make out any words. Same as the night before, when she could finally move, she screamed out for me. Terrifying. I managed to calm her down, still convinced she was just having a nightmare, and we went back to bed… after I let the dog out.

It went on like this for about a week. It wasn’t every night, but out of seven days I’d say it happened at least four times. Each a little worse. We decided then that we needed to find out what was going on. We weren’t thinking ghosts or anything like that, we were considering what possible medical issues might be at play, so she went to see our doctor. The doctor let us know it was a fairly common phenomenon called Sleep Paralysis. It was a condition where, basically, the body was asleep, and part of her brain was… but part wasn’t. The result is the natural paralysis that occurs during sleep that keeps you from acting out your dreams, and your mind being in a waking dream-like state. The symptoms matched and it sounded plausible. She prescribed some medicine to help her get sleep faster, the idea being that if we could get her to sleep quickly there wouldn’t be a lapse of time between being awake and being asleep. No in between time was supposed to mean no voices and no paralysis. And it worked. For about a week.

When it started up again… that’s when the shadows started. She would go to sleep like normal, wake up to the paralysis and hear the voice, and then there would appear a shadow of a person in the room with us. Each time, as she came out of it and woke me, I would have to turn on the lights and show her that there wasn’t anybody in the room. Still, it was so real to her that she was convinced someone was there. And each night they… or it was getting closer to the bed.

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a skeptic; I want to believe. But I am definitely someone that needs to see proof. I always seek out a reasonable explanation… and we had one. The doctor had given us one. I just thought that maybe she needed to up the meds or change them out and the issue would disappear. But that wasn’t good enough for my wife. She did a lot of research and started chatting online with others that were or had gone through what she was. Most accepted the medical explanation and offered alternative solutions for better sleep. Some, however, offered darker explanations for what was going on. Much darker. Some of them used the term Hag or Boo Hag. I laughed at that. I had grown up hearing stories of the bent old hag spirit that was said to attack at night by sitting on their victim’s chest and suffocating them… they were supposed to suck the life out of you. My mother used to always keep a decorative straw broom beside her bed; that was supposed to be one way to keep the hag away because the straws somehow distracted the old spirit.

It was during the third week or occurrences, however, that I started to believe there was more at work here than her having an overactive brain during a sleep cycle. One particular night, we were both sleeping well until I was woken up by the customary scratches on the bed telling me the dog needed to go outside. It was 2:45 am. I slid quietly from beneath the covers and went to the back of the house to let her out. When she was done, I headed back to the bedroom and as I got closer to the door, I could hear my wife. She was kind of whimpering, like she was trying to wake up but couldn’t. It was happening. Just before I reached the door and prepared to intervene, she stopped. I pushed open the door to find her sitting straight up and holding her hand to her chest, struggling to catch her breath. I told her I was there, held her, and told her it was going to be OK. Then I told her that I had heard the voice too.

We were both freaking out now. It’s one thing for her to be experiencing a terrifying, but somewhat common, condition that caused auditory and visual hallucinations. But I had heard a voice in the room with her that night and I had been wide awake. She told me that this time the shadow had reached the bed and was climbing on top of her, making it difficult to breath. She looked over out of the corner of her eyes and I was gone. She thought she was going to die. What were we dealing with here? I thought, shared hallucinations maybe? They’re not unheard of… but something about this felt real to us both. Real and horrifying.

The next day I bought a wireless camera for the bedroom and set it up directly across from the bed. It had night vision and recording capability. We hung crosses and even laid a bible open on the dresser. I don’t know exactly what I was looking to catch on film or if any of the items would work, but at this point we were just trying to do something. Anything. So, we went to bed and I don’t think I slept a wink all night. Nothing happened. Nothing happened for nearly two weeks straight. We thought that maybe it didn’t want to be on camera or that maybe something else we had done had stopped it. Or we were crazy. Either way, we were hopeful.

It was little after 3 AM that night and I was woken up by our little dog, the one that slept on the bed with us. She had literally jumped on my chest and was trying to get my attention. It worked and when she realized my eyes were open, she turned to face my wife’s side of the bed and started growling. Her eyes were not on my wife, they were above her. I turned to see my wife obviously struggling. She looked like she was being held down and her breath was shallow like she couldn’t get a full breath. I didn’t know what to do so I set up and shouted at my wife to wake up. "Just wake up!" And then I shouted at whatever was in the room with us to just stop! "Leave her alone! Go back to hell!" My wife woke up and set up coughing with big streams of tears coming down her face. It’s trying to kill me, she said. I didn’t know what to do or say. So, I took her downstairs and we both slept in the spare room that night.

The next day we both called in sick to work and for the longest time we just sat there in the kitchen without speaking. Did last night really happen? We ate and when we had both built up enough courage we went online and viewed the footage our camera had picked up the night before. What we saw terrified us. We fast forwarded to the first movement that was detected by the camera. It was me getting up to take the dog out. When I left the room, the door slowly closed behind me. I did not close the door. Next, my wife starts to shake and move slightly, obviously in distress. You could hear her making the weak cries I had heard from the hall. Just then, part of the screen was blacked out like someone was standing in front of the camera blocking part of the camera’s shot. Then, the image cleared, and you could make out just the slightest impression on the bed, like someone or something small had set down on it. You could see the comforter and sheets move and shake and then it appeared to be on my wife. She was really struggling in the footage now. Our little dog was at the corner of the bed growling in the direction of my wife but just as terrified as we were. When I rushed through the door, there was a fast distortion on the recording like something was moving off the bed and out of the camera’s view. I turned the volume up on my laptop as high as I could at this point, listening for the voice we had both heard. It was just static throughout most of it, but right before I pushed open the door, there was a distinct female voice that could be heard on the recording. But, with my limited technology I couldn’t make out what was being said. Once again, we slept downstairs the rest of the night.

We didn’t stay in that house much longer after that. In fact, we moved as soon as we found another house. I sent the audio portion of the footage over to a friend that has a better audio set up on his computer to see if he could hear anything more than we could, but it really didn’t matter by that time. We knew what she was experiencing wasn’t simple sleep paralysis and we knew we needed to get away from that place as soon as we could. When we moved into our new house, we were sure to put a decorative straw broom next to the bed on my wife’s side of the bed. Old wives’ tale or not, we weren’t going to take any chances. And that, or the move (or something) worked because my wife hasn’t had any more occurrences since we got out of there.

About a week after we moved in my friend reached out to me about the audio file I had sent him. He apologized saying he’d been super busy with work and had just been able analyze it. Then, he asked if I was messing with him. I told him no and asked why. I hadn’t told him what the file was because I didn’t want his expectations to affect his results. He laughed and said he’d cleaned it up and would send it back to me. Then, he asked for me to never send it back to him again. I laughed, but I knew why. When we played the file, there was a lot of static like before until right as I came through the door; you could hear the female voice, this time it was much clearer.

She said, “breath” and “die.”

I was blown away. According to the old stories my mother used to tell me, the Boo Hag was a spirit that killed you by literally taking your breath away in the night. We deleted the file. We deleted the footage. And we always sleep with a bible next to the bed, right beside the straw broom. Oh, and as a side note, my dog stopped getting me up at 3 AM every night. She stopped when we moved out of that house.

About the author

Mac Childs

I fight the good fight. I still believe that good beats evil, everytime, and the good guys are humble and brave. Old fashioned? Maybe. Delusional? Probably. Just imagine if we all lived in that delusion...come on, join me here in the sun.

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