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 haven’t had a scary dream in ages but this one really shook me up. I was alone in my house and I knew I wasn’t alone. I could hear someone upstairs, probably several people. They made the sound of Lincoln Logs being thrown together. Lincoln Logs were a toy I had as a kid, basically notched wooden sticks that you could build log cabins. I don’t know where I got them because they were a lot older than I was. But they had this really distinctive “tonk” sound, like tiny wooden logs, a little bit like a wind chime. Did I mention that I knew the people upstairs were here to kill me?
I tried calling the police but only got an answering machine. Then I realized I could just run out the front door. A strange thing happened then because I was outside the house where I grew up, not the one where I live now. And I was still carrying the phone, or at least the receiver of the phone. It didn’t matter how far down the street I ran, I could still hear the sound of those Lincoln Logs rattling around.
Then I was back in the house. I tried calling again and I just hit the answering machine. I had a message from my wife and daughter who for some reason were out of the country at a LAN party. And there was a message from the police saying they’d caught the people who’d stolen my bike (or was it my motorcycle?) they were only able to identify it from the serial number. They couldn’t give it back because they were still identifying the fingerprints and body parts (!!) they’d found with it but they listed out the names of the four people they’d apprehended. I then realized that there must be four people upstairs coming to kill me since they were mad I went to the police about the stolen motorcycle. Or something like that. I tried to escape the house again…
And I woke up terrified and for the first couple seconds even after I was awake I still heard those Lincoln Logs rattling.
(Female, 40′s) This nightmare was obviously modeled on *Groundhog Day* or *Run Lola Run*, but scarier and bloodier.
I was sitting in a room with my husband and 4 other people. The other people were not real people from my life, just dream characters. We were sitting and talking at a round dining room table. Then there was a knock on the door. One of the men stood up and answered the door. A tall man dressed in a black officer’s uniform came in the room holding a gun and shot him dead, immediately, for no reason we could see. Then the man with the gun herded us out of the room and down the hallway, where there were more soldiers. A woman from our group tried to run away, and she was shot and so was another man. There was a short old man who started laughing then and said to the officer, “See, I told you it would work!” I realized he was on their side. “We don’t need you any more,” said the officer as he pulled the trigger and shot the old man. They led my husband and I out into the forest, and I knew any minute we were both going to die.
Then I was back at the first scene of the dream again, everyone alive and sitting at the table talking. I looked around, worried and nervous, but the other people in the room continued their conversation. I said, “Something terrible is going to happen.” “Why would you say that?” my husband asked. Everyone looked at me, curious. Then I realized that I was the only one of the group who knew what was going to happen next. “Someone is going to knock on the door. Don’t answer it!” But when we heard the knock on the door, the man stood up and answered it anyway– just like before. And was shot by the officer. And the action went on.
Then we were back at the first scene again. This time I knew I had to be more assertive. “If you don’t do what I say, everyone will be dead in 10 minutes.” I pointed at one of the men. “Go lock the door. Don’t let anyone in!” “She’s crazy,” said the old man. “Don’t listen to her!” I told my husband and another guy to hold him down. There was a knock at the door, and the old man kept shouting, “They are in here! They locked the door!” Shots were fired at the door knob and the officer strode into the room…
Then the first scene again. I stood up. I said to my husband, “He’s a spy! Knock him out!” pointing at the old man. I don’t know why, but he believed me. He stood up and grabbed a chair and hit the old man over the head, knocking him out. “Turn off the lights and hide!” But still the knock and the shots and the man with the gun…
The first scene over again. But this time I pointed to the knocked out old man and said to my husband, “Kill him now.” My husband and another man beat in the old man’s head with chair legs. Thud, thud, crunch, crunch. “Everyone grab a chair leg. Arm yourselves. Smash the light bulb. They will be here any minute.” We waited in the dark for them, armed and ready.
One of these times we were going to get it right and survive.
“…I looked at the wallet of a soldier I had killed earlier in the day. I was an assassin! …”
“…non-stop all day and all-night there were strangers coming in…”
(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) Strange dream, really violent but most important it was really detailed and vivid. Strange flashbacks to the past.
“…Here I am talking like I’m a big tough guy..”
It took place on the street where I grew up but sort of in the present day. Literally on the street, not in the houses, though I was living in one of the houses. It wasn’t the house I grew up in and in fact there were no houses like the one in my dream on this street. I had met up with a friend I knew from 20 years ago. It was in the afternoon and he said we should go someplace and get lunch. He was going to drive but I just wanted to make sure my door was locked and that I should pick up a hoodie.
When I went back to my house, which was a ranch style house, very modern with its entire yard a cement slab, I found that the side door was not only unlocked but open. I kicked it open and said, “OK fuckers. Come on out.” (Here I am talking like I’m a big tough guy.) I could see someone sitting at my computer which in the dream was one of those cute little iMacs from years back, the ones that were candy-colored. This guy stands up and he is a physical double for Lurch, the butler from the Addams Family TV show. He’s wearing a flannel shirt with a brown plaid pattern. He advanced on me and I grab him by the front of his shirt and sort of catapult him over top of me. He lands in a pile on the cement but gets right back up and charges at me again. Again I grab him by the front of his shirt and this time I toss him down a short flight of stairs that must have led to the basement. This time though as he’ll getting up I slip off one of my shoes and hit him repeatedly in the face with my heel. He goes down and out.
Like an idiot, I rush inside the house to find the other guy that I just *know* is there. I open the door to my kitchen and there he is. And this guy looks like Bruce Lee. Well, to be honest he looked like Bruce Lee if he lived to middle age and put on a few pounds. I mean, he still looked dangerous but he just looked a bit more manageable. But for some reason I can’t understand, this Bruce Lee guy decides to shoot at me. He’s got some kind of hand gun that apparently has an inexhaustible supply of bullets but that isn’t very powerful. I’m able to hide behind a wood door and not get hit. Then I hear him kick out a window and I look just in time to see him diving out this window. I go after him and again he starts shooting at me. So with my legs dangling out of the window, I kick him. And at that point I wake up.
As I write this down what’s striking are all the pop culture references. I really want to go back and watch “Enter the Dragon” now.
“…And he jumped on the intruder and slashed at his throat…”
(Male, 30′s) A buddy of mine told me this dream. He’s a ceramicist, an artist who makes pots and jugs and cups and that kind of stuff. In his dream he had just finished making a vessel with this beautiful shino glaze. (I didn’t ask him for particulars but I looked it up on-line and a shino glaze is supposed to be an exceptionally warm and rich glaze, one that’s rather difficult to pull off flawlessly.) He’s always telling me about how deadly some of the chemicals are that he works with. Radioactive. Poisonous. Even the clay itself turns into a fine powder that collects in his lungs and will eventually kill him from cillicosis.
In his dream, an intruder broke into his house. So my friend smashed this vessel with the beautiful glaze and he took one of the larger fragments, one with a particularly sharp edge. And he jumped on the intruder and slashed at his throat. The pottery shard tore into the intruder more effectively than a knife; it hacked him open. He just went limp, dead in my friend’s arms. I asked if there was any blood and no, the particularly odd thing was there was an almost entire absence of blood.
(Male, 50′s) This nightmare woke me up out of a sound sleep. I swear I was screaming, or at least trying to scream. When I woke up, I could have sworn I had just heard myself yelling out in a small, muffled voice.
In the dream, I’m at home with my wife and my daughter who must be home for the holidays or something. It’s night time and we’re getting ready to head off to bed. We’re all sitting on the couch in the living room, laughing, having a good time. Then there’s a knock on the front door. It’s really late, like the middle of the night and my wife and daughter don’t think we should answer the door. But I thought that someone must be in trouble to knock at the door so late. So I get up and I flip on the porch light to look out and see who was there. And damned if the porch light is out. So I open the door and there’s no one there. I speak out like I’m a tough guy or something and I say “OK step out where I can see you.”
And this huge man steps out of the shadows and with one or two strides, steps into the house. He’s broad and tall, like he’s just been scaled up in all dimensions. He’s got one of those cliched “bad guy” mustaches from the 40′s and he’s we’re a fedora and a trench coat like a black and white movie. He steps easily into the house and reaches out and wraps his hand cleanly around my throat. While he’s grabbing my throat, he lifts me off the ground effortlessly, with a smile. I try to yell, to scream and of course, I’m being choked so not much actual sound comes out.
I woke up trying to scream.
(Male, late 30′s) I was visiting the church that I attended while growing up. I was there with my wife but it wasn’t a Sunday morning. It was a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday afternoon. We were in the basement which was traditionally used as a large recreational area. It was entirely dark. On the floor every foot or so were piles of fabric which we figured were child-sized sleeping bags — probably hundreds of them. We figured the church youth group had a sleep over. But where was everyone? Most of the sleeping bags seemed empty but the room was also filled with that hushed sound of slow breathing, like all around us, people were sleeping. We tiptoed through the area and gradually came to an area where there were adults. They were mostly very old and very awake and for that matter, pretty mean. They said “Who are you?” “We don’t recognize you” and “You don’t look Methodist to me.” I explained how I had attended this church as a child, how my father had been the choir director but they must have called the police. As we were leaving, a police car arrived. I raised my hands and turned to face the policeman and I saw he had a rifle aimed at me. He must have been startled when I turned because he shot a bullet clean through the palm of my left hand. I looked over at it and thought to myself, “That son of bitch just shot me” and while and I looked at the blood coming out of my hand, the police man shot me again in my right hand. I don’t remember the pain so much as the force of the impact and then the sense of the tissues giving way and being torn aside by the bullet. Finally, the policeman shot me in my belly and I woke up.