Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spooky Stories Two: A Strange Case of Old Hag Syndrome

The following story is backed up by many sources, including testimony from the victim himself. This has to be one of the freakiest cases of Old Hag Syndrome I've ever heard. For various legal reasons, the names of many people and places in the original story have been changed.

In the early 1990s, in a certain area of Louisiana, a group of property developers got permission to buy a parcel of land that was mostly a desolate eyesore. One narrow crumbling house stood at the end of the strip of land, and the landlord who owned this old dwelling, which was built in the 1870s, keenly accepted an substantial sum from the developers. It was what is known as a compulsory purchase deal. There was an elderly and sickly couple in the house, and they refused to move. The landlord warned them that the city inspector had condemned the house, and he alerted social services.

Days later, the old man was taken into care by two social workers and put into sheltered accommodation. The old lady was to gather their belongings and follow the next day. Before leaving, the old lady approached the landlord as he was talking to the one of the property developers - a 42-year-old man named David. The old white haired lady shouted: "Where's Agatha going to live now?"

"She's crazy," the landlord whispered to the property developer.

David asked the elderly eccentric woman who Agatha was. The old woman said, "Aggie! The very old woman who's lived with us for years. We asked her to move with us but she doesn't like the area where we're going to because there's a church one floor above the nursing home."

David didn't want to make a scene, and felt sorry for the old and apparently confused woman. He knew there was no such woman named Agatha at the condemned house, but he said: "Ah, don't you worry lady. Agatha can stay with me if she wants."

Laughter suddenly burst from the condemned and empty house. David looked at the landlord with a puzzled expression and asked, "Did you hear that?" The landlord nodded then said he had to be going.

David still felt uneasy as he arrived at his home. His wife Emma had left to visit a friend, so he found himself alone for at least three hours that evening. He put on a few classical CDs and opened a bottle of wine. He inhaled the aroma of the perfumed candles Emma had lit, then relaxed on his chesterfield, lost in Mozart.

Half an hour later he'd fallen into a light sleep. Suddenly, something was pressing down on his chest. At first he thought that Emma had returned and was teasing him, but when David opened his eyes he saw something that filled his entire being with terror.

A hideous old woman with a long hooked nose was pinning him down. David couldn't move. He was paralyzed. He tried to speak, but could only touch the roof of his mouth with his tongue. He couldn't cry out. The old hag smiled and revealed three decaying yellowed teeth. Saliva dripped from both ends of the woman's sickly sagging pink lips. Her face was a mass of wrinkles and her cheeks drooped down to her flabby jowls. Her watery eyes were yellow, and a mass of red veins encircled her faded bluish-grey irises. The old woman looked as if she was centuries old. Her claw-like hands undid the bun of greasy white hair and her locks fell down past her shoulder. In a horrible raspy voice she said: "You are a fine young man." She cackled as thick mucus dripped from her flaring nostrils.

David's heart felt as if it was going to explode. He kept trying to wake up from the nightmare, but he immediately realized that this was no bad dream - that he was wide awake. The old crone bent over and licked his lips with her nasty tongue which was mottled with white warts.

She said, "Ooh, I'll stay with you as your wife if you desire."

David finally managed to summon up the strength to move. He screamed out and the old woman screamed back in protest. David managed to lift his arm and he took a swipe at the gruesome figure, but the old witch was no longer on his chest.

He sprang up and saw to his horror that the shadowy figure of the old woman was now at the other end of the lounge. She wet her fingers and began pinching the wicks of the perfumed candles, extinguishing them, one by one. David turned up the light dimmer and saw the weird-looking old woman in the full light. She was crooked and bent over, and she grinned at him before disappearing.

David ran to his car and drove non-stop to his friend Alec, who lived three miles away. When he told Alec about being terrorised by the old hag, his friend assumed the wine had gone to his head. But David said he was sober and deadly serious. Alec asked him why the ghost of an old woman would choose to pester him, and David recounted his little run-in with the elderly lady at the condemned house asking about her imaginary housemate "Agatha."

He and the landlord dismissed the crazy woman, but was this ghastly Agatha taking him up on his joking offer to live with him?

Alec said, "I see, and you unwittingly invited the ghost into your place. It is a bit of a coincidence I suppose."

David said, "Please believe me, Alec. That thing is demonic. How do I get rid of her?"

"I don't know. Tell her to pack her bags," Alec replied.

"I'm desperate. " The image of the old hag's face was still burned in his mind, and he wanted to wash his mouth out again.

His mind went back to his encounter with the elderly lady and how she had said that Agatha refused to follow her to her new home since the facility had a church on-site. He turned to Alec. "Have you got a Bible?"

Later that night, David returned to his home. He sat in his lounge, enjoying the cozy fireplace and watching TV. He started to doze off when he saw something moving out the corner of his eye. He turned and saw the old hag, cowering in the corner of the room. Emma was due back any minute, so he had to act now.

"Are you Agatha?" David asked, picking up the bible.

"Yes. " The awful apparition hesitated. "Please be rid of that book, dear. Go on, throw it on the fire."

David stood up. "You're not wanted in here any more. Get out of my house. In the name of God, I order you to leave my home."

He hurled the leather-bound Bible at the grotesque vision and it vanished before the book passed through it. The old hag was gone, and he hoped for good.

David never told Emma about his supernatural ordeal, but she was perplexed when David came home the next day with five copies of the Bible. He placed the holy books in different rooms of the house.

Several days later, David tracked down the old couple that his development company had recently displaced. The home wasn't much better than the delapidated home they had just abondoned, and they looked just as sickly as ever.

David asked them who Agatha was, but the old people refused to comment. The old woman just smiled and said, "So you met her then?" That was all the old lady would say, and wouldn't answer any of his questions.

Thanksfully, David hasn't set eyes on the old hag since, but he was tormented with graphic nightmares about her for over a year.


delmer said...

I wondered if this was sleep paralysis as I read the story (I didn't click the link until I was done).

I've never seen an old hag but when I was younger, high school and college-aged, I'd sometimes wake up and be unable to move or yell. Sometimes I'd groan.

Once I saw a small figure run at me and jump on my back. He hit me in the ribs three times and I felt each blow. I was 22 when that happened.

BrianAlt said...

The brain is an amazing thing. It tries to reconcile everything that happens to it.

KC said...

Holy crap! I hope I haven't invited the old hag by just reading about her here.

kim said...

AWESOME. I love your October posts my friend.

Jamie Dawn said...

If I were David, after that encounter, I'd have scripture tattooed on my body.
What a horrid tale!!!
Hitonious to the max!!!!

My son gets in free of charge to the amusement park we have here in town. It is called Magic Springs, but during the month of October, it is called Magic Screams. I wonder if Agatha likes to visit?


David Amulet said...

I saw the old hag! But when I saw her, she was named Barbara Walters.

angel, jr. said...

Yikes...and now I'll have a nightmare.

Phats said...

Hey you're back!

These kind of stories really creep me out, but I love em. Hopefully you'll keep posting more especially with Halloween approaching

cube said...

I like creepy stories, but I won't believe something like this can really happen until it happens to me. I don't think I'm Agatha's type ;-)

Perplexio said...

As I was reading that, I literally felt a chill run down my spine. That's the first time that's ever happened from merely reading your posts.

the weirdgirl said...

I've had lucid dreaming with sleep paralysis before and it was nothing like this experience! I knew I was dreaming and I wasn't hallucinating anything horrible.

But honestly, if I ever did have a hallucination/nightmare as intense as this I'd probably feel like it really happened, too.

Besides, there are some mean old people out there... I could totally see a few going into haunting.

The Phoenix said...

Definitely a case of sleep paralysis, but it's got the "old hag" aspect to it for sure.
Scientists are boggled by this phenomon.

Across different continents and cultures, it's always this old hag that sits on them.

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