The Boo Hag: Sleep Paralysis Demon of the Carolinas
An artist’s depiction of a Boo Hag ripping off it’s skin. Photo: Villians.Fandom.
The Boo Hag is a witch from the Gullah culture that bears many similarities to the creatures commonly seen during sleep paralysis. Are they one in the same?
What is the Boo Hag?
A video describing the Boo Hag and their origins
The Boo hag is a witch from the Gullah culture: an African American ethnic group from the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. According to legend the Boo Hag is completely red and has no skin. The creature will steal skin from its victims, wearing them like clothes in order to blend in with the people around them.
The Boo Hag is like a vampire but instead of living off blood the creature lives off the breath of it’s victims. When going out to find a victim, the Boo Hag removes it’s skin and is able to enter homes through the tiniest of cracks.
The Boo Hag ‘rides’ a victim by hovering above them as they sleep and stealing their breath. The victim will not necessarily be aware that they have been the victim of a Boo Hag but may awaken feeling lethargic, out of breath and dizzy.
The victim usually experiences vivid and intoxicating dreams while being attacked by a Boo Hag. If the victim struggles too much the Boo Hag may decide to kill the victim and take their skin as their new disguise.
A Boo Hag can be stopped by finding where they store their skin while they are out, usually under the stairs, and filling the skin with salt an pepper. This will leave the Boo Hag unable to return to their skin and leave them vulnerable.
Similarities between the Boo Hag and Sleep Paralysis Demons
Most people have experienced sleep paralysis at least once in their lives. When we are sleeping our brains paralyze our bodies so that we can’t act out our dreams and hurt ourselves while we are sleeping.
Sometimes we wake up before our bodies have been released from the paralysis and this causes us to wake up and be aware of our surroundings but unable to move or speak.
During sleep paralysis it is common to see shadow people lurking in the corner of the room or to see a hag sitting on your chest.
The hags people often describe during sleep paralysis sound very similar to the legend of the Boo Hag.
Theories about the Boo Hag
The Boo Hag is possibly just lore expanded around people’s experiences with sleep paralysis.
It is also possible that a real paranormal entity exists that is only able to reach through into our consciousness when were are in a vulnerable state such as the state between sleeping and waking.
While it’s unlikely that a human witch is able to wear the skin of others and slip through keyholes it is possible that some paranormal entity is able to draw energy from people while they are sleeping. It is generally accepted that some paranormal entities are able to use human energy as a source of energy for themselves.
Do you think the Boo Hag is a real entity or just a sleep paralysis hallucination? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in the particularly unnerving story of the Demon Hag of Detroit or the Irish Sluagh.
Walking Sam: The Suicide Spirit of Pine Ridge
Walking Sam: The Suicide Spirit. Photo: Ranker.
In 2015 a spree of suicides took place in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some believe these were caused by an evil spirit called Walking Sam.
Who is Walking Sam?
An artist’s depiction of Walking Sam. Photo: Ranker
Walking Sam is known by various names, including “Tall Man” and “Stovepipe Hat Bigfoot.” He is a towering figure standing at seven feet tall and has eyes but no mouth, sometimes wearing a stove-pipe hat.
When he raises his arms, people can see the bodies of his past victims hanging beneath him. Walking Sam is said to call out to teenagers and try to convince them that they are worthless, urging them to take their own lives. Some believe that he targets young people because they are more vulnerable to his manipulations.
According to Native American legends, Walking Sam is an ancient being closely linked to “Stick Indians,” who are dark and shadowy spirit entities.
Kids grow up hearing spooky stories about these evil forces that haunt reservations and try to lure unsuspecting victims to their doom. They’re always followed by a creepy cloud of death that just hangs around them.
If you hear whistling, it might be one of these Stick Indians nearby. But if you follow the sound, you could get paralyzed, hypnotized, or even lose your mind completely.
If you disrespect them, they’ll hold a grudge and seek revenge no matter what. Some tribes are so scared of them that they won’t even talk about them, so we don’t know everything about these beings. But Walking Sam is supposed to be one of the most powerful ones.
There are those who believe that Walking Sam represents the pain and trauma that the Lakota Indians endure on a daily basis. Given the deep spiritual connection that the Lakota people have with their land and heritage, some see Walking Sam as a physical embodiment of this suffering.
The Pine Ridge Suicides
A video telling the story of Walking Sam
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is located near the Black Hills of South Dakota and is home to the Oglala Lakota tribe. It’s one of the largest Indian reservations in the US. Sadly, Pine Ridge has a sad past as hundreds of Lakota Indians were killed during the Wounded Knee Massacre.
It’s one of the poorest counties in the US. In 2015, a number of young people committed suicide on the reservation, and some people thought that supernatural forces like the legendary Walking Sam were to blame.
From December 2014 to March 2015, there were a staggering 103 suicide attempts, with nine of them being successful, and tragically, none of the victims were older than twenty-five.
The majority of those who died had used hanging as the method of suicide. Although there had been other clusters of suicides in previous years, this was the largest. As the community struggled to understand and deal with the crisis, some looked to traditional Native American beliefs for answers.
Lakota children are raised hearing stories about “suicide spirits,” “stick people,” and shadow people who try to lure young people away from their homes at night. These stories may have evolved over time, influenced by the popularity of Slender Man, into the figure now known as Walking Sam.
Walking Sam Sightings
During meetings of reservation officials, one of the topics that often comes up is Walking Sam. These officials advise reservation members to avoid walking on the streets at night as it would be an ideal time for Walking Sam to approach his victims.
Several residents have expressed concern and requested the police to keep a lookout for Walking Sam. Many residents have reported seeing his shadow and have shared their encounters with the police. Some residents have even reported hearing whistling sounds coming from nowhere.
Have you ever seen Walking Sam? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about Walking Sam you might also be interested in Diao Si Gui: Chinese Hanged Ghosts or La Ciguapa: The Woman with Backwards Feet.
Diao Si Gui: Chinese Hanged Ghosts
A Diao Si Gui or Hanged Ghost. Photo: Cryptid Wiki
According to Chinese legend, Diao Si Gui are the souls of those who took their own lives or were executed. These spirits may manifest as a body with a protruding, lengthy red tongue and attempt to persuade those who cross their path to join them in the world beyond.
The Legend of the Diao Si Gui
Diao Si Gui, or Hanged Ghosts can be created in two ways: when a person takes their own life by hanging or when they are executed by hanging as a punishment for their crimes.
The more prolonged and painful the death, such as by slow suffocation instead of a quick snap of the neck, the greater the likelihood of them becoming a Diao Si Gui.
These ghosts are said to haunt the vicinity of the location where they committed suicide and are often depicted with a noose around their neck, dangling feet, and long red tongues hanging from their mouths.
It is believed that one should avoid making eye contact with a Dio Si Gui as they may lure you into a hypnotic state and persuade you to hang yourself.
In some versions of the legend, if the ghost successfully persuades someone to hang themselves, that person becomes a Hanged Ghost while the original ghost goes free.
Other versions suggest that a Hanged Ghost is not limited to a specific location and can torment a person for days, gradually convincing them to take their own life. When the time is right, the ghost will appear to the person in a high place and lower a noose to them.
Stories About Diao Si Gui
In the Chinese Fairy Book by Dr. R. Wilhelm (1921), there is a story known as The Hanged Ghost, which tells the tale of a soldier seeking refuge for the night in an old, run-down temple.
While there, he witnesses a female ghost descending from the rafters, unaware of his presence in the shadows. Intrigued, he follows her to a farmhouse where he discovers the ghost urging a young mother and her child to hang themselves. The soldier intervenes, saving the woman’s life and causing the ghost to flee.
On his way back to the temple, the soldier takes the rope left behind by the ghost, but she appears on the road and demands that he give it back.
He refuses and wraps the rope around his arm, causing the ghost to transform and attack him. The soldier defends himself by flinging his own blood at the ghost, causing her to retreat. He continues his journey with the rope now part of his arm, unfazed by the encounter.
A video telling the tale of Diao Si Gui or hanged ghosts
Possible Explanations for the Diao Si Gui
It is possible that the legend of the hanged ghost came about as a way to help families come to terms with the unexpected suicides of their loved ones. It’s easier to believe that a loved one may have been manipulated in to killing them self by a spirit than it is to believe that they wanted to die.
Have you ever seen a Diao Sui Gui or Hanged Ghost? Let us know in the comments.
If you enjoyed learning about the Diao Sui Gui you might also be interested in the mysterious stain left behind by the body of Margaret Schilling or how the ghost of Teresita Basa solved her own murder.
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