(Male, 30′s) I was dragged down a flight of wooden stairs. My shoes made a thump thump thump as they hit each stair, like a drum. I was supported somehow under both arms but the stairs were too narrow to have someone walking on either side. When I realized where I was, I was in my basement, or at least what what supposed to be the basement of my house. We’ve just finished remodeling it into a kind of rec room but this wasn’t cozy. It was more like a workshop, one that had been turned into a torture chamber.
I stood on top of a small box, like a milk crate. I think I may have been tied. Underneath my throat was a hacksaw blade. I think the idea was that if I relaxed, it would start to cut into my throat.
But as I “woke up” in the dream, the blade was less tight. I think I was supposed to be forced to stand on my tip toes, but I was able to stand flat footed.
My torturer turned to look at me. I was supposed to recognize him, I had that sense, but he was no one I knew. I told him that I’d tell him whatever he wanted to know. He said he knew that was true. But that didn’t seem to be of interest. He was more afraid that I’d say what I already knew, that I already knew some horrible secret that shouldn’t be revealed.
I let my mind wander so as not to add to the torture. I knew this wasn’t the first day that I’d faced him. But was it the second? The third? I tried to come up with a technique to remember, to keep myself from going crazy. I looked at the walls. They were covered in shelves of junk. There were two metal cans, like one would use for paint. I told myself to remember that those two cans meant it was the second day or the second session. The next time I was brought before him, I’d look for three of a kind. I kept focused on that idea. The knots around me gradually grew looser.
Eventually, I was just in my bed, awake.
“…If he started to freak out, the wolf would go crazy and it would all be over….”
“…what is important is what we do inside the prisons where we find ourselves. (I feel the vomit rising in my throat at I type such odiously cheap and optimistic sentiments.) …”
GrimGnome notes: “I always love to hear nightmares from this particular guy due to the overwhelming joy that these weird dreams give him. It’s obvious from the way he tells them. He’s always got a fantastic dream and he has absolutely no inhibition about sharing even the strangest ones. Like this one:
…the procedure was extremely painful… and cold!
(Male, 30′s) “For reasons unknown, I had to fake my own death. And things had gone pretty well up until the point where I had to prove I was dead. The proof, however, was that my wife had to give me an enema of embalming fluid in front of witnesses. The enema was delivered in his huge syringe. It must have held gallons and gallons of fluid and the embalming fluid itself was fluorescent blue like antifreeze. It was also freezing cold. The procedure was extremely painful and cold and I think I even was screaming at some points but somehow it convinced the witnesses that I was really dead.
Or at least mostly, because there was some lingering suspicion. So my wife and I figured that it would look more believable if she got married to someone else. We chose a guy I’ve known since childhood and who is also currently a co-worker of mine. So the dream ended with me dressing up in a disguise to go attend my own wife’s wedding.
How about THAT for a dream!”
(Female, teenage) In this nightmare, I was one of several people who were being held hostage and tortured by this evil creature that strangely enough looked like Sarah Michelle Geller, you know, Buffy? She was holding us hostage in this town house surrounded by other houses. We could see other people living their lives and having fun next door and they probably would have been able to notice that we were being tortured if they stopped to look closely enough. Someone next door saw me through the window and waved. I waved back and I dared to walk up to the window and I talked to this person through the window. Then the Sarah Michelle Geller-creature noticed me and came over. She threw a hand-grenade out the window at the family I was talking with. It was some strange kind of hand grenade that only blew up the people and left everything else standing. Once they were killed, the Creature moved us all next door into their house.
…I was one of several people who were being held hostage and tortured by this evil creature that strangely enough looked like Sarah Michelle Geller..
There was a pool in this area. One of the people who was trapped with us was a little girl. She jumped in the pool and started splashing around. All of a sudden a dog, like a terrier, came up out of the water and started pulling her underneath. We all rushed over to try to pull her out but the harder we pulled, the larger the dog grew. It eventually became as large as a bear. It tore her apart and pulled her under. We yelled at the SMG-creature, why did you do that? “Because she was having fun.”
There was a bowl and for some reason I thought that if I could fill this bowl with water from the pool, I would be free. So I started walking over to the pool, dipping my hands in to get them wet and then walking back to the bowl and shaking the excess water off into the bowl. All without drawing attention to the fact that was what I was doing. But one time, when I returned to the bowl, the sides of the bowl had grown incredibly tall, far taller than me. I sat down, depressed. Then I looked down at my hands and I saw that my index finger had been chopped off, raggedly, at an angle. It was bleeding but it didn’t seem to hurt. The creature laughed, “You won’t be able to fill up the bowl now.” She was holding a metal spatula, like the kind you use on an outside grill. It must have been especially sharpened or something. Then one by one she cut off all my fingers. There was nothing I could do to stop her.
(Male, 40′s) I was watching a DVD of a television show. Actually I was trying to watch a DVD of a television show, some kind of situation comedy or something, but the disc kept skipping. In real life my DVD player often skips or stops playing all together but this DVD kept skipping from this brightly lit sit-com stage to this really dark footage that was clearly out of place with the TV show. The TV isn’t hooked up to cable so it’s not coming from there. It must be somewhere hidden on the disc. The footage is a medium shot of a human form wrapped head to toe in dark grey burlap and then bound with thick ropes. The person is still alive because they’re flailing, slapping the concrete floor like a dolphin on dry land. And another thing is that the burlap is soaking wet. It’s shiny and it makes a slapping sound as the figure moves. For some reason, I know enough of the story line to know that this person has just been pulled out of a torpedo tube, “rescued” into the submarine… but then again no one seems in much of a hurry to undo the ropes and unwind the burlap. Some rescue. There’s no one in the footage though, just this figure struggling alone. The image will fuzz in and out to the sit com with a lot of static. This footage interrupts the sit-com so much it’s really starting to disturb me so I get up and I take the disc out so I can clean it, maybe make it go away. The disc itself is deformed, like it had been melted and then smeared down a plate or something. I don’t even know how it could have fit in the DVD tray.
(Female, 40′s) My oldest, most disturbing nightmare
There are three characters in this dream. There is a little girl of 3 or 4, who is sitting in her highchair at a dining room table. There is the mother, who is in the bathroom out of sight, getting ready to go somewhere; the mother never appears in the dream but she talks to her little girl while she is putting on her makeup and doing her hair. There is also the invisible Monster. He is sitting at the table. The mother doesn’t know he’s there. My perspective shifted back and forth in the dream. Sometimes I was the little girl; sometimes I was the audience watching the scene.
The Monster sits at the table, next to the little girl, and he has a toolbox. She knows he’s there, of course. She can see him. He whispers to the girl and only she can hear his voice. He asks, “Do you want me to make you pretty so you can surprise Mommy?” The little girl nods enthusiastically.
The Monster opens the toolbox, which is full of sharp things: scissors, knives, razor blades, pieces of metal, broken glass. He takes the scissors and chops her hair off all raggedy, all over her head. Then the Monster picks up a big piece of broken glass and jabs it slowly and purposefully deep into the girl’s arm. He leaves it sticking out, and blood begins to drizzle down her skin. He admires his work. Next he takes 10 small squares of metal and slowly pushes one under each of her fingernails. He uses each of his tools to poke and cut her face and arms, and she bleeds from her fingers and arms and cheeks. The box is full of things to hurt and torture her with, but he keeps telling her how pretty she looks.
In the last scene of the dream, the Monster tells the little girl that they are finished and asks if she is ready to surprise Mommy. He lifts the bloodied little girl out of her highchair and sets her on the ground. She toddles off to show her mother, saying “Mommy, mommy, look at me!”
And then the mother screams a long, loud, horrified scream.
I had this nightmare a long time ago, when I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10. It scared me terribly when I had it, and it scares me to think of it still. The thought that nightmares are stories that come from somewhere inside one’s head really doesn’t comfort me. I can’t figure how I came up with this.
(Male, 44) This may not sound too scary but the mood woke me up from a dead sleep.
I was sprawled out on the floor of my living room watching TV, which is strange in itself because I haven’t had a TV in years and I was playing with my pet cat which is also strange because I haven’t had a cat in, well, decades. If it matters, though the living room looks exactly like it does now.
On TV was an episode of the X-Files. Scully was walking across a pitch black courtyard with another woman. The other woman had blond hair if it matters. They were looking for Mulder but had no leads. The two women were having that typical X-files conversation about science vs. intuition, except the blond woman was a psychic, far more extreme and out there than Mulder ever was. She kept mentioning how she was picking up strange vibrations as they were walking, supernatural disturbances. These vibrations meant something was going to happen, something significant, possibly very dangerous. Eventually the psychic stopped walking and said “I can’t believe you can’t feel these vibrations too.” At that moment in the background between the two women a light flared on in a second story room to reveal Mulder bound in thick brown leather straps. I don’t know if he was actually hanging from his throat but it was clear he was in some kind of immediate danger. The women didn’t notice him but rather continued talking.
What was strange was that through most of the scene, the cat I was petting was calm and relaxed. But as soon as the psychic started talking about the strange vibrations she was picking up, the cat kept getting more and more agitated. She walked up and down over my lap, kneading her claws into my legs and into the rug. When the psychic stopped and said “I can’t believe you can’t feel these vibrations too,” the cat stared up at me and her hair all stood up on end, not soft like it was a puff ball but sharp and bristly like it was preparing to defend itself against some danger.
(Female, I was 4 or 5, this is my oldest nightmare) I had to go downstairs since my family was down there. Our basement was pretty bright for a basement, but the stairs were steep and, on one side, there was only half a wall since the staircase opened into the basement. Being small, I had to move to the other side of the stair to hang on to the rail because the open space was threatening.I had to go downstairs but I was afraid. I was the only one who seemed to know about the monster who lived there. He lived in the space above the acoustical tiles that we’d recently installed. He was obviously very light-weight and he didn’t seem to bother anyone else. When I went into the basement, however, he’d catch me. Then he would poke pieces of scrap metal into my ears and I’d wake up crying with an earache.