I just read "Beating the Old Hag" in June, 2011 True Tales on your website. I have two similar experiences to share that happened to me in the last 45 days.
In both instances I was asleep in my bed in Dublin, Ireland. After reading about sleep paralysis online after the first incident, I could confirm that I, too (like many people who report this occurence), was very tired before falling asleep and was sleeping flat on my back.
In the first instance I found myself in the half-asleep, half-awake state where I knew I was asleep, but also that what I was witnessing was real. A huge black "mist" suddenly appeared in my room which seemed to take up about half of the room. Definitely huge.
I knew it didn't have good intentions, as well as knowing it was actually able to have intentions! I perceived it as an evil force in the form of a mist or a cloud. It didn't waste any time but positioned itself on top of me pushing me down into the mattress, causing me to feel completely paralysed. I remember thinking to myself, This is HUGE!
I panicked just a little, but within a matter of seconds I gathered strength to push it away from myself. The strength being my belief in my own superiority - to put it simply, I thought to myself, I can beat you.
And what happened next was quite amazing. I witnessed my own belief materialise into a bright light emanating from my body, somewhat like an aura which then pushed the black mist away. With that it disappeared and I woke for a second, but fell straight asleep, sleeping peacefully afterward.
The second incident happened less than a month later. This time it wasn't a huge mist, but many small black "beings" at the foot of my bed. Again, I could sense they were up to no good. My reaction was, There are so many of them!
This time I thought of another strategy to get rid of them. I don't even know how I came up with it. I didn't spend a split-second thinking or panicking. I just started "shooting" bright balls of light at them with my mind. They disappeared in a matter of seconds.
I am interested in finding out what sleep paralysis really is. I don't believe in the strictly medical explanation. I am also deeply thankful to whoever or whatever empowers me to beat this thing and hope it doesn't happen too often or, even better, ever again.