(Male, 30′s) I’ve been having trouble sleeping recently. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night worried about work or life. So when this dream started, it just felt like I’d woken up again. In the dream, I was in bed next to my wife and it was the middle of the night. What had woken me up was the sound of someone rummaging around in the kitchen which is just next our bedroom. It didn’t sound like whomever was out there cared or even knew there was anyone else alive in the house. It was the sound a leisurely ransack, knocking over a dish, banging into a pan. Why would someone break in to go through our housewares?
I was terrified to get up which is strange because I usually feel quite at home in my own house, even in the middle of the night. I looked to see if I could see the invader but the door to the bedroom was closed. It never gets closed. I thought, I should at least make some kind of noise so the invader knows there’s someone here. In the dream it was hard to move but I picked up a book and threw it at the door. It collided with the wall but made no appreciable sound. That should have been my clue that this was a dream. I picked up something else, a round tray and threw that. It also was silent. That should have been my other clue because that tray wouldn’t have even been in our bedroom.
Finally I decided to get up. My stirring woke my partner who was immediately concerned, mostly that I was awake yet again. I got up and opened the door. There was nothing. I went over to the kitchen. No one. I checked the back door and found it was unlocked, open. Outside was dark, but a clear empty dark. It was the Inky Blackness. I don’t know exactly what was so scary about it, but I was extremely glad there was a door between me and it.
I accused my wife of leaving the door open. We fought a bit then I looked at the door leading down to the basement. It too was dark. I turned the light switch on and it did no good. It was like a wall of darkness, of emptiness, hungry annihilating blackness. The Inky Blackness had gotten inside the house and had filled up the basement.
I finally woke up as I prepared to step into the basement, into that dark, just to see what was going on.
(Female, 40′s) It was the middle of the night in my dream, and I was not able to sleep so I woke up– that is, in my dream I was awake and the only one in the house
who was awake.
So I wandered around the house, being quiet so that I didn’t wake my sleeping family. I went into the kitchen, and I walked to the backdoor to open it and look out in the yard. I wanted to see what the weather was going to be like.
When I opened the door, I saw a huge menacing dog or wolf standing in the yard about 20 feet away from me. It was very dark outside, but the animal was an even darker black in the night. The opening noise of the door caught its attention, and now its gaze was focused on me. Its eyes were bright red; I could see the gleam of its big pointy teeth in its growling mouth. Its fur was ruffed up along its back so it was obviously an angry animal.
As I had opened the door, a broom had fallen into the doorway, so I knew I couldn’t just slam it shut and be safe. I would have to bend over and pick up the broom before I could shut the door, and that action would give the dog enough time to charge me if it wanted. Of course, after mauling me, the dog/wolf would get my sleeping family.
But the dog hadn’t yet made up its mind about attacking me.
Instead, we locked eyes across the short distance. Both of us stood stock still, having a staring contest. Time stretched on. I was too afraid to move at all.
Then suddenly, I blinked and it was gone. I hurried to move the broom and close the door.
I was sitting in bed, reading a book. It was night time and for some reason I had the window shade pulled back so the window was large and black reflecting the lights from the room. I heard a sound outside. I can’t remember exactly what it was but it made me think someone was out there messing around in my backyard. I was outraged and without a single thought I raced out to the kitchen and threw open the back door.
The whole back yard was pitch black but I could heard voices coming from over by the corner of the yard.
“What the hell are you doing back there?”
The voices replied jovially, ha, ha, nothing to worry about.
I flipped the switch for the porch light and without thinking I charged forward into the darkness. I had gone about four steps before I realized that the light had not come on. I was completely engulfed by the dark. I was also just a little disoriented because at that instant all the lights in the housee also went out. I became immediately aware of my vulnerability, standing in my back yard, with the backdoor still presumably wide open, surrounded by darkness with two or three different voices of mischief makers coming from just a few steps away. Their tone shifted to one of menace and mockery.
Startled, I woke up.
(Male, 30′s) I don’t normally have nightmares but I woke from this dream so deeply disturbed that I couldn’t go back to sleep. On the surface, it’s a simple story. I was at an amusement park of some kind. Maybe not one aimed exclusively at children. Maybe something more like a World’s Fair or an Expo or something. It was downtown in a big city but a city I didn’t know. The park was set aside from the city somehow, that is, it was it’s own world.
I had started out enjoying my time there with others, friends, acquaintances, I think even my wife might have been there too. But as the day wore on, I found myself alone. It was dark. The park was emptying.
I made my way between two areas, through what felt a little like a baseball field. As I crossed, I drew the attention of several beings. They appeared human, a gang. But the gang members were only superficially human. They were made of darkness, like compressed smoke. But they moved exactly like humans, almost like dancers in the sense of exaggerated, expressive gestures.
They moved quickly to surround me. I knew they were going to rob me so I offered to give them all the money in my wallet. I thought this was clever because then I wouldn’t have to replace my driver’s license, my credit cards, etc. (I suppose I was only giving my assets, not surrendering my identity.) I opened my wallet and pulled out many bills. Then I reached in again and there were more bills, including at least one $50 bill. I never carry such large denominations. The cash distracted them and I was able to slip away.
When I got away safely, I discovered that I had left my jacket somewhere, a lemon colored jacket that I quite liked – even though I don’t actually own such a jacket. I had also left my camera somewhere. When I realized that I had lost my camera and with it all of the photos I had made, I collapsed and had to support myself on a trash can. How was I going to get home? Where was I?
“…We came across an old church yard with a tall iron work fence and we thought we’d be safe there…”
“…They had brought blankets and pillows and made beds in the long hard pews…”
(Male, 40′s) I was at home. Most of the time when I dream about houses that are supposed to be my home, it’s not really the house where I actually live. But in this dream, it was really my home and what’s more it looked like it does right now. This is remarkable because much of the furniture was moved around recently. I was in the front room. I was looking out the front window. It was night. A very large panther walked down the side walk and it saw that I noticed it.
The panther was huge, svelte, sleek muscles, serious expression on its face. It took a couple strides and then made a bounding leap at the front window. The glass in the pane didn’t break but it sort of bowed inward under the blow. The panther bounced off back into the night.
“…nearly a dozen household pets from the neighborhood, all dead and bloody…”
I looked out the smaller window by the door. At first I thought I saw a mass of curly auburn hair but when I looked again, it was just a Christmas wreath hanging on the door. What really caught my attention though was what was on the lawn. Scattered across the front yard were nearly a dozen household pets from the neighborhood, all dead and bloody. It resembled the empty beer bottles in front of a frat house after a party.
One of the cats nearest the door wasn’t dead. It was only maimed. It stared out at me, pleading with me for help but I knew if I went outside, if I even opened the door, that the panther would attack me. The panther was trying to lure me out.
(Male, 40′s) Unbelievable dream, maybe not a nightmare but a dark dream. Really dark.
“…if I stopped I’d likely be hit by another car and end up like the bits of wreckage….”
I was driving down a gravel road, a familiar gravel road, one that’s kept in pretty good condition usually. I know this road. I was in my car, the familiar car that I drive every day. It was night and it was raining. Visibility was horrible but as I said this was all pretty familiar territory. But the road started to get extremely bad. Not icy or slippery but there was junk on the road. Bits of cars and things. Like something that looked like the entire undercarriage of a car that had just dropped off. I could swerve around them because they just kept popping up in my headlights. But every time I ran over one of these things, the alignment on my car would go just a little bit more skewed. By skewed, I mean that the car was pointing a good 20 degrees to the right different from where the car was actually heading. I couldn’t see where I was going very well because the windsheild wipers only cleared the glass in front and I was headed in a much different direction. I kept running over things, on one side then the other. By the end of the dream, the car was facing exactly perpendicular to the road, a full 90 degrees. I was still somehow able to control it by turning the steering wheel. Don’t ask how the wheels must have been moving. All I knew was that I had to keep going, that if I stopped I’d likely be hit by another car and end up like the bits of wreckage. And I knew that there were pretty steep ditches on both sides of the road so I had to be careful not to go into them. But I really couldn’t slow down either because I had to get somewhere. But I couldn’t see anything. I had to look out through my side window because that was the direction the car was heading. I finally decided to roll down the window but all that did was let in the stinging spray of icy rain. It bit into my face and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. So I closed them. And I woke up.
(Male, 30′s) I sent you a nightmare a ways back that felt like this dream or at least I think I did.
It was a weekend and I was trying to avoid seeing my Mother who at least in the nightmare was a nagging hypochondriac. So me and a buddy get in the car and drive up to visit my Grandmother. This is creepy thing number one because my Grandmother is dead.
We get there and Gramma welcomes us in but there is strangely very little furniture in the house. Then there’s a knock at the door and Gramma tells us we have to hide in the basement and not make much noise. At the door are a couple of my aunts and uncles as well as my mother. They’d gone out on a singing excursion, sort of showing up places and singing songs, kind of like Christmas carolers except it wasn’t winter and they weren’t singing carols.
My buddy and I go down to the basement and Gramma locks us in. It is dark but we can still see quite a bit from the light coming in by the side windows. The walls are a rotting brick, red brick that’s powdering away to dust. The basement also feels MUCH larger than the house above. We hear something skitter across the concrete. We investigate. There is this huge cut of beef, already roasted, like the kind you sometimes see at fancy buffets but this huge roast is just sitting on the floor of this filthy basement. It is all dried out and what’s weird is that it’s been nibbled and chewed at. I tell my friend that we need to get out of here. We slowly move back to the stairs when we hear more skittering. I bend down close to the ground to look under neath the random pieces of furniture. I see at least three creatures, a squirrel, a ground hog and a cat. All are extremely ragged and mangy. Their fur is grey blotched with white. For some reason, I know they’re cannibals maybe because they’ve been eating the dried beef.
(Male, 40′s) Bruce is out of town for some reason, so I decide to go see a movie alone. I drive into Detroit in a long black luxury sedan of some kind. The movie is long, a kind of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it gets out late. As I leave the theater, some kid with a straw spits a soggy wad onto my windshield. As I turn out of the lot, I’m suddenly on foot. No problem. I know I have to walk a few blocks to the highway to catch a.. or to where I parked..? Whatever. But I’m walking in the late afternoon sun through a grassy back alley. Broken concrete slabs and tall abandoned condos with narrow streets to my left.
…This particular clown is tall, about 7 or 8 feet. Dressed in a white outfit, billowy collar and stovepipe hat. But his eyes are strange…
No one is around. I pass a street, and walking towards me in the middle of the road is a clown. This must be Detroit’s famous Clown-Town, I realize. I didn’t know I was so far South. I should have known by the graffiti. This particular clown is tall, about 7 or 8 feet. Dressed in a white outfit, billowy collar and stovepipe hat. But his eyes are strange. They’re perfectly round and large, like white tennis balls. Black dots in the middle like they’ve been drawn on with a marker. There’s no one else around, yet he’s performing. His step is light and he skips every other step or so. He’s looking side to side, waving and nodding to unseen crowds. There’s no sound but the highway hum ahead. I move on. Behind me I hear the scuff of someone walking, skipping. I look back and Stovepipe has turned the corner. He’s behind me waving with his hand high in the air. He stops and there’s and tumble of color and cloth as another clown cartwheels out from a hedge Stove pipe catches his ankles and slows him. They both pantomime a happy greeting and then turn toward me. I start to feel like I have a long way to go before the safety of the on-ramp. I don’t know why, but I’m nervous. Clowns have never been seen to leave the few blocks the city has reserved for them before, but these two seem pretty mobile- and coming up fast. Also, it’s never been reported that our clowns have ever hurt anyone. I’ve never heard of it anyway. Still. On the next block there are two, no three more happy, skipping, staring clowns heading my way. Then the dream logic, the feeling that this is all an everyday situation falls away. Stovepipe is taller than any human I’ve ever seen and his unblinking eyes are just dry balls of plastic. I’m outnumbered and I can’t seem to get any faster than a stroll. The clowns are up to about 8 now, and still completely silent, still coming after me. I try to drag myself along the pavement and to get moving faster. The air is like water and I’m fighting the current. I find that I’m laying on the cement, trying to crawl away. My hands feel gravel and glass, and grass in the cracks of the sidewalk. I hear the horrible scuffing of a dozen big shoes just over my shoulder.
(Male) This was perhaps more just a strange dream or perhaps just a strange thing that happened while I was dreaming. But I was visiting a friend in some downtown area. My guess is that it was Toronto. It was evening and we decided to go out and hit some of the night life so we exited the skyscraper, crossed the street and started walking down the steps into the subway tunnel. It was so much fun to see this person – whoever it was, I don’t even remember if the person was male or female or if it was someone I actually know – but it was so much fun and it felt so comfortable to be with this person that we were laughing and joking as we descended into the subway.
…And we didn’t really notice that there were absolutely no lights on in the tunnel, that the subway was totally pitch black…
And we didn’t really notice that there were absolutely no lights on in the tunnel, that the subway was totally pitch black. It wasn’t until we got down to the bottom of the stairs that we sort of realized that the lights were out. And at that point we also realized that we were surrounded by people screaming, men and women screaming at the top of their lungs, in terror and in pain. I woke up from the dream at this point and felt the pillow under my head BUT I STILL HEARD THE SCREAMING for probably a good 4 or 5 seconds. I knew I was awake. I sat up in bed and looked around and only gradually did the screaming disappear. Weird, eh?
(Male) The dream took place after a small scale uprising of zombies. Yeah, yeah, I know exactly where the dream came from. I was watching a stupid zombie movie the day before I had this dream. But the zombie uprising was very localized and contained. Even though there were zombies stumbling around, it really hadn’t disrupted society too much. At the most, the zombie attacks had thinned things out so the town had a slightly under populated, slightly run down feel. Oh, and everyone carried rifles with them where ever they went, just casually slung over their shoulders. In the dream it was the middle of the night and for some reason I needed some cash, so I ask everyone in my house if they want to go for a ride up to the bank. (Cash machines still worked. Heck, money still had value so it wasn’t a ful-scale zombie apocalypse at all.) Everyone in the house was still up even though it was the middle of the night. I didn’t get the sense that they were keeping watch, in fact, I think my son was playing video games. My daughter agreed to ride along with me. It was a nice summer night, not yet too hot. There were a few people out on the streets and heck, there were a few zombies out on the streets too. Just a good night for a walk… though all things being equal, I’m glad I was driving a car. There were no street lights though, now I think about it. The only illumination was from advertising, or signs in shop windows. I drive in the bank parking lot and it’s pretty safe because there’s a large parking lot and it’s entirely empty. I get some cash out of the money machine but as I’m getting back to the car, I see a zombie shambling toward me across the parking lot. It’s no big thing. I take my rifle off my shoulder, steady it against the hood of the car, take aim… and miss. Miss completely. I shoot again, very carefully lining up the shot. Again a miss. It’s getting closer and this shouldn’t be a big thing. It’s a rifle and the creature is maybe 20 feet away. I miss again and I’m scared because I’ve let the thing get so close I don’t think I can get in the car and drive off before it attacks. I’m afraid for my little girl because she’s in the car with the window rolled down and likely the zombie will get her first. Just then I woke up.
(Male) I was in prison but a weird prison, an ancient European kind of prison, dark, inhumane. It was a tower that was partially submerged in the ground. Prisoners entered through the top, through a door in the roof and walked down a spiral staircase to their cell. The cells were all wedge-shaped because the tower itself was circular. The walls were stone, thick, dirty stone with a very small window slot cut about eye level that let in air. The place must have been built when people were shorter because my head grazed the ceiling of my cell.
But none of this was the really terrifying. There were no other prisoners, at least none that I could see but as I walked down the stairs I heard the sounds of others in the cells. Furthermore, the cells didn’t lock at least not at night. This was to allow prisoners a chance to shuffle down to the very bottom of the prison to where the bathroom was. As I descended there, I found it harder and harder to breathe. There were no windows because this floor was underground. Down there was also the warden’s office, a thick wooden door with the word “Comando” carved in it. The sense very much was if you offended the other prisoners then they would be the ones who punished you. I told myself never to use the washrooms in the middle of the night but even then I realized that nothing would stop the other prisoners – who let’s face it were ghosts – that nothing would stop them from coming into my cell whenever they wanted and brutalizing me however they wished.
…”We were living in this sprawling country farmhouse and had invited the neighbors and basically everyone we knew who were still alive for a potluck.”
(Male, 40′s) I was on a personal pilgrimage to see the Southern Cross (a constellation that only can be seen in the southern hemisphere) and I was in some strange port of call. There were tiny, winding streets. I couldn’t speak the language and furthermore, I couldn’t even identify what KIND of language it was. There were small open-air shops selling all sorts of things, all packed one against the other. I was hungry but I couldn’t even discern what was food. I was also dragging along an immense suitcase made of soft brown leather. The suitcase had straps like an old-fashioned suitcases. It wasn’t very heavy but it was quite awkward to get through the crowded streets.
…Very soon I started to think it was the wrong ship. In fact, it felt dangerously wrong…
Finally after a long wait, I boarded a ship. Very soon I started to think it was the wrong ship. In fact, it felt dangerously wrong. First of all, no one other than the crew were allowed below deck so the deck was crowded with people all carrying luggage. But then it became evident that there there was a particular family on deck that everyone else seemed to be consolidated against. The family — a mother, father, two children and a grandmother — didn’t seem to notice the glares, the staring, the random shoving and malicious elbows. No one else other than this family were being jostled so consistently, so violently. I also noticed that others in this crowd were taking notice of me, concerned that I might be a witness to what was about to happen. The ship moved very very slowly. We had barely left port. It had turned night but I didn’t dare take my eyes off the crowd to look up at the stars. The ocean was an inky black. The crowd pushed the grandmother to the ground. Still the family didn’t realize they were in danger. I couldn’t warn them because I didn’t know the language and even if I could, I’d just be putting myself in danger too. But I was already in danger and it wouldn’t get any better once we reached the open sea. So before we had entirely left the bay, I grabbed my suitcase, which I somehow knew would float, and I jumped overboard into the black, black water.
(Male) This is going to sound funny I’m sure as I tell it but as a dream it was pretty intense. I was going out to the garage of my parent’s house. Which is strange in itself because they haven’t lived in this particular house for probably 15 years but it was the place where I grew up. I opened the big garage door and I was rather amazed that the place was, relatively speaking, pretty clean and tidy. There were still all sorts of strange things hanging from hooks on the walls and there were boxes stacked on top of each other off to the side. But there was clearly enough room to get a car in there and that was definitely not the normal condition of the place.
I mean, you could have gotten a car in there except that set up right in the middle of the garage was a ping pong table. I stepped inside to investigate but it was extremely dark inside. Luckily there were probably a half dozen bare light bulbs hanging down over the table. I yanked on their pull cords one by one and they each turn on but each bulb is really dim and doesn’t illuminate much. It almost seems darker with the lights turned on than when they were off. I stepped outside the garage to find someone to play ping pong with and when I step back in, all the lights are off. I tried pulling the cords again and they were all dead, all burned out. And at that point I’m standing right inside this entirely pitch black space looking out at the dark grey twilight of the big garage door and I hear, behind me, all around me, this low rumbling growl. It feels sort of like I’ve stepped into the mouth of some enormous monster thinking it was a cave. I realize in a flash – and this didn’t seem that strange within the dream, oddly enough – “Oh, the old garage must be possessed.” Not haunted but possessed for some reason. So I get down on my knees and start performing, get this, an exorcism ritual – like I’d know how to do one of those, right? – And in the dream, I’ve got this really commanding and authoritative voice. And I somehow know exactly what to say. The garage starts to shake around me, dust and leaves falling on me from the rafters but I keep concentrating, keep talking and then suddenly a great surging wind gathers up around me and blows out the garage door. That’s when I woke up so I never did get to play ping pong.
(Male, middle-aged) The first part of the dream involved a picnic I was having with some people who were supposed to be my family. There was a “wife” and two “children” though these people in my dream really aren’t my actual family. We were having a picnic in the backyard of our house, which again doesn’t resemble the house I live in at all. This house was a ranch style house in a large subdivision of ranch style houses. We were having our picnic back by the very edge of our property line were there were some trees and bushes — otherwise the yard was just plain, boring green grass. The picnic was taking place at dusk if not evening.
…I didn’t belong here…
We remembered something had been left inside in the kitchen so I volunteered to get it. I wasn’t able to reach the back door –which was a sliding glass door– I wasn’t able to reach it because two immense dogs were in the way. They were white with coarse black hairs in their coats like huskies though their shoulders were probably 4 feet off the ground. They were guard dogs protecting the house from intruders and they were the only things in the dream that realized that I didn’t belong here.
(Female, 40′s) This isn’t a dream I had but one my daughter had when she was 3 or 4. She woke me up crying in the dead of the night so I went into her dark room. It’s always a little dangerous walking through a kid’s room in the dark because you don’t know for certain that everything got picked up before bedtime. There could be things to trip over. Usually I could get her to go back to sleep by rubbing her back and humming but she was really disturbed this time. I told her that maybe she’d feel better if she told me what the dream was about. She said she had dreamt she had a cat. I said that that sounded nice. But then she described the cat. Somehow it had been turned inside out so all of its bloody muscles and organs were on the outside. The idea creeped me out so much I couldn’t walk across that dark room again. I got in bed with her and slept there ’til morning.
(Male, recurrent dream since childhood) It starts with a Staircase, usually leading downward but at least once the Staircase lead up. Usually but not always the Staircase is hidden behind a secret passage.
The Staircase goes on and on ’til it ends at the Door.
One time, the Staircase was at my Grandmother’s house and I discovered it with my identical cousin (someone who incidentally doesn’t exist in waking reality) We chased each other down the stairs, flight after flight, laughing until we found the Door.
Another time the Staircase lead to a small room, a bombshelter done up like a swanky 50′s-style cocktail lounge – one with cinderblock walls and an extra low ceiling. The Door in this instance was round.
When I open the Door, as I always do, I am confronted with opaque black, a dead silence. There is the sense of space but it is a blank space, an empty void.
Once the Staircase lead upward and the doorway looked like it would lead to an attic. When I opened it with the pull cord, there was that sickening emptiness again. But as I stared at it, a tiny black spider emerged, suspended on a thin black web. That was almost worse because something from the dimensionless void “over there” was coming “over here.”
When I’m confronted with that dimensionless void I can’t go backward or close the door, but I can’t go forward either.