Nightmares/Scary Dreams, What's Yours?

  1. One night I had this animal looking thing...more like a black dog with legs and arms like humans grab me and I ran outside with this creature on my back screaming "God Save Me". Next a firetruck comes down the street, hands me a jacket. I try to put it on but it did not get rid of the creature so I handed it back to the fireman. They drove off, and I ran across the street with this animal on my back. I started pounding it on the yard, then woke up. It was wierd because it seemed so real. Do you have any unusual dreams or nightmares?
  2. jcsd
  3. Last week I dreampt I came home to find an old housemate who'd been evicted had wandered back in and began acting like he still lived there. The other new housemates were not sure if he really did untill I came home. I found him at the stove cooking, using all other people's food and pots and pans. I yelled at him for that and he said his stuff would be arriving later. I said it had better not since he didn't live there anymore. I woke up as I started yelling at him to just leave immediately.

    After I woke up I was baffled because though I "recognised" him in the dream, in waking reality he wasn't anyone I'd ever met or shared a house with. Somehow, though, I think the dream grew from a fear of living with people who completely don't understand boundaries. It doesn't sound frightening, per se, but was actually a very upsetting dream.
  4. One time I had a dream about giant spider attacking me and ever since that I have arachnaphpbia.
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    That is a very intense, meaningful dream.

    I will never forget a dream I had in the eighth grade. I was walking along the muddy school yard, trying to get to "the shacks", temporary trailers that were set up on the lawn to house additional classrooms.

    In my dream, this kid I'd never seen runs up to me and starts stabbing me in the chest with a large knife. I must have had the same dream 4 times in one night.

    The next morning, it had rained. I was holding my books in front of me and walked looking down to try to avoid stepping in large puddles, when suddenly, I walked straight into a guy. I looked up into his eyes and we both let out a startled gasp and turned and ran. He was the guy that had tried to stab me in my dreams all night, he apparently was just as afraid of me. I will never forget looking straight into the face of my murderer, although it was a dream murderer. I have no explanation for what happened.
  6. That is very creepy. I wonder if the guy was dreaming that you were trying to stab him.
  7. JamesU

    JamesU 713
    Gold Member

    :surprised :surprised so twilight zone-y!
  8. Had you ever seen him before? Was he an eighth grader, too?
  9. I've realized since posting it that it has a factual basis in two incidents I'd forgotten about. The "former housemate" actually was a kind of compaction of two guys who were friends of housmates at two different places. In both cases these housemates let their friends wander around the place when they weren't there and I had found both of them helping themselves to my and other's food. These incidents were years ago, and I'd forgotten about them.

    In addition, at one house, there was a character who moved out who actually did come back a couple/three times to tell us he was ready to move back in as soon as there was a room available. His attitude was that this was a sort of right he had as a former housemate, as if he had a special spot that was his to take. I found that very irritating since he'd moved out suddenly and left us scrambling to find a replacement to make the rent.

    So, these three guys were compacted into this one in the dream.
  10. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    For years I had nightmares about being attacked by a large wicker chair. To the best of my knowledge this has never actually happened.
  11. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,195
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    Very eerie. :bugeye: I hope you don't mind if I try my hand at some possible (non-parapsychological) avenues of explanation.

    One possible explanation might be that the person you were predisposed to 'see' your dream murderer on this occassion. The dream sounds quite vivid and upsetting, so you may have been in some emotional distress on some conscious or unconscious levels the following morning. On top of that, the following morning you found yourself in the same context in which your dream occurred, which surely was picked up upon by conscious and unconscious cognitive appraisal mechanisms-- so you may have had some expectations of/alterness to danger in general (and perhaps more specifically, danger relating to the dream events) and an abnormally sensitive predisposition to react to startling or unexpected events in a fight/flight manner.

    When you bumped into the person, given your likely cognitive and emotional state at the time, it's no surprise that you had a fearful, fleeing reaction. The unusual thing is that you remember this person looking just like your dream murderer. A number of factors could have been at play in determining this experience:
    1. Brief encounter-- since you bumped into this person unawares while looking at the ground, and soon ran thereafter, you might not have gotten as sharp or complete of a look at him as you thought;
    2. Priming effects-- the morning walk was similar to the traumatic dream, so you may have expected/been predisposed to completing the pattern on some level of processing, whether it was really warranted or not;
    3. Memory effects-- memory is not a perfect, passive recording; it's constructive and malleable. In particular, memories pertaining to highly emotional/traumatic experiences are susceptible to poor/incomplete encoding during the experience and alterations/distortions upon subsequent retrieval. Given that this was at least a mildly traumatic kind of experience, the effects of (1) and (2) on the encoding and subsequent retrieval/reconstructions of the memory may have been magnified.
    4. The dream image of your dream murderer also may have been retroactively subject to (2) and (3). Assuming you did get a good and accurate look at the person you bumped into, your memory of what the dream murderer looked like may have altered in some way to match what the actual person looked like.
  12. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Wicker chairs are nocturnal, and they attack one while asleep. :biggrin: You probably weren't aware of it.
  13. Yeah, bumping into someone usually requires a large amount of distraction from your forward path, in this case concentrating on avoiding the puddles. To be startled out of that concentration by bumping into someone the morning after you've, four times, dreampt of being rushed up to and stabbed could easily throw your mind back to the dream and cause you to flesh out the face of the person you bumped into as the person in the dream, or to modify your memory of the dream to fit the person you bumped into.

    The other possibility is that she actually had seen this guy at least once before. If she'd seen him, for example, acting in a way that seemed disturbing she might have pushed him out of her conscious thinking untill he came back up in the dream.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2006
  14. I don't get any scary dreams, sorry for those who do.
  15. dav2008

    dav2008 622
    Gold Member

    The only scary dreams I have involve me running away from someone.
  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree with all of your scenarios.

    I could have seen him before, but didn't remember. His reaction could have been in direct response to my reaction. (If someone bumps into you and screams in terror, it would be natural to yelp and bolt in the opposite direction).

    We had over 2,300 kids in our school. I don't remember ever seeing him before or after this incident, but that doesn't mean I hadn't seen him at some point.
  17. JasonRox

    JasonRox 2,303
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    I'm lucky to be able to just wake up when I'm dreaming.

    I'll never forget the dreams of when I drowned and fell from buildings. Crazy!
  18. sleep? what's sleep?
  19. I just go on PF when I feel sleepy, then go back to school.
  20. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,195
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    A couple of nights ago, leading into a big test, I had a dream where this dog kept biting my hand and I had to pry its jaws open to get it off each time. I hate those kind of dreams. :devil: And I hate dogs. :devil:
  21. Alkatran

    Alkatran 944
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I can always breath underwater when I'm breathing. But I have to "try" or it won't work. :rofl: I'm always worried I'm not actually dreaming and I'll drown.

    I've definitely woken up in a cold sweat over dreams that, in retrospect, weren't really that scary.
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