1680s, "ridden by hags or witches," past-participle adjective from hag-ride (1660s); from hag (n.) + ridden. From 1702 as "oppressed, harassed;" 1758 as "afflicted by nightmares." An old term for sleep paralysis (the sensation of being held immobile in bed, often by a heavy weight, and accompanied by a sense of alien presence). A holed stone hung over the bed was said to prevent it.
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