Dying in Dreams
This new list has dreams in which you experience death, plus a few near-death experiences like The Mimi and Stay of Execution, and dreams anticipating your own real death, like Lincoln's assassination dream and Perpetua's Last Dream.
This list should firmly disprove the old Euro-American folk myth that the shock of dying in a dream kills the dreamer in bed. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I've found death quite liberating. I highly recommend dying several times, till you get the hang of it.
Why such a specialized list? The list of dreams about death was getting huge, so it's now split into four reasonable-sized ones:
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|APOLOGETIC OGRE: by Wayan; 1990/3/1, a nightmare.
I hop on a bus in mythical Greece, and this woman's guardian angel acts racist. OK, I'm an ogre. So?
CAUTION: ANOTHER HANDGUN TRAGEDY
|ASTEROID STRIKES: by Ben Bamber; Sept.-Dec. 2001, 4 dreams predicting 3 meteor strikes
I witnessed strikes in Brighton and Devon through the eyes
of others; but I felt the Cheltenham impact in my own body...
|ATLANTIS: 2: REPRIEVE; c. 1993 by Mark Doty; dream-based elegiac poem, one of six
I dream the AIDS epidemic was all a dream. But my lover dreams of the tunnel of light ahead...
CAUTION: AIDS DEATHS
|BLUE SOUP, NO SPARK: by Wayan; 1985/6/1, an epic dream on outgrowing God
A visit to a world where they fear blue soup ends in death and resurrection, so I'm pissed at my boss--God.
CAUTION: DEATH, REBIRTH, SACRILEGE... JOB BURNOUT
|BROKE LIKE GLASS: by Katherine Mansfield; 1919/12/15, a warning-dream.
A long terrible shiver, and my whole body broke like glass. I may live months, but in that dream I died...
|BROKEN GLASS by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of working to death.
Helping out talking animals until I'm exhausted, I suffer a fatal accident. What am I being warned of?
|BRUSHWOOD BELLY: by An the Black; Easter 1003, a bizarre predictive dream.
An dreams a scary woman pulls his guts out and fills him up with brush! He wakes, gets gutted in a feud, and then...
CAUTION: BLOODY VIKINGS!
|BURN: by Sierra Loucks; 1990?, a five-year-old's nightmare
I was at the beach with my friends. It was fun. But gradually they were
laughing at me, not with me. Then they picked up burning sticks...
|THE CHIANG-SHIH: by Julian Garberson; 2004/8/23, a surreal Han Dynasty nightmare
A vampire wrestler on the Throne of Heaven pins me. Visualization and prayer don't free me--in fact, they get me killed...
|COUNTERSUE GOD: by Wayan; 1995/8/5, a sacrilegious dream.
God flames me for putting pagan stuff on the Net, and we end up suing each other. Then the riots begin...
CAUTION: HITMEN AND HERESY
|CROSS THE BLACK RIVER ONE DEATH AT A TIME: by Wayan; 1990? Astral landscape
Buddhism is a 12-step program; it has its pitfalls for those of us who already detach all too easily...
|CRUSHED BY NETLEY ABBEY: by a Mr Taylor; 1704? A warning dream.
A English carpenter named Taylor demolishes Netley Abbey despite
dreams warning he'll be crushed by stones falling from a window...
|CRYPTOMNESIC TROLLEY: by Wayan; 1991/4/22, a lucid dream of a suicidal experiment.
To prove I really am lucid-dreaming, I let a streetcar run me over. Mm, crunchy! Then I find out...
CAUTION: DON'T TRY THIS AT OM...
|CUBIST CHARLIE BROWN: by Wayan; 1977/4/1, a cubist nightmare.
We're Cubist cartoon characters, trapped in a strip gone mad. But my dad stays calm! Too calm...
CAUTION: SEAS OF BLOOD... OR IS IT RED INK?
|DEAD OR ALIVE? by Nancy Price; 1948, a surreal, poetic dream from the borderzone
Troutmet the moon-pigeon, Burtra the blackbird, a talking acacia,
my dead father and my dead gardener all give me afterlife-advice...
|DEAD RIGHTS! DEAD RIGHTS!: by Wayan; 1983/10/1, a dream of the other side.
I die young, to get it over with, like chickenpox. As I slowly revive, I face bias against the dead. So..
|DISEASE OF THE HEART: by Virginia Woolf; 1929/11/2, a false diagnostic dream--or is it?
I dream I have just six months to live. I go through a dozen phases and moods, preparing for death...
|DRACULA'S SANDWICH: by Brenda Ferrimani; 1997/8/22, a death/rebirth nightmare-painting
Dinner with Dracula goes well, considering, except for the mayonnaise. But suddenly I'm drowning!
No one sees or hears me. Am I a ghost, am I dead or alive? And how would anyone notice?
|DYING ONCE, DYING TWICE: by Walter de la Mare; c. 1920?, two dreams of death.
My only chance of life and freedom is to leap. He raises the gun and fires.
I'm flooded with a soundless explosion of light...
|EDITH KEELER: by Wayan, 1975/10/8, an incubated dream giving multiple answers
I asked my dreams to show me my Shadow--what I deny. It showed me at least FIVE! And in every
time-branch, a runaway truck crushed me--the Truck of Ideology. Not that I seemed able to avoid it...
CAUTION: RECURRING DEATHS
|ENTER, NERO!: by Emperor Nero; c. 58 AD, a series of guilty surreal nightmares.
After murdering his mother, Nero dreams he's losing control: ships drift, statues chase him, and his own tomb says...
|A FACTORY FIRE: by J. W. Dunne; 1900, a detailed predictive nightmare.
Dunne dreamt of a fire so smoky it killed people on a balcony in open air! Then came the evening news...
|FEVER DREAMS: by Wayan; 1993/9/8, a set of wild feverdreams.
While my body expels a kidney stone, weird scenes happen on the astral plane. At least I get to dip the pope.
CAUTION: PAIN, PEE, POPE
|FUNERAL FOODFIGHT: by Dan Schmidt, art by Jesse Reklaw; pre-2000; a revenant dream
As they lower me into my grave, mourners don't throw dirt but--cottage cheese? I toss it
back, starting a huge foodfight. I climb out to join the fun. Only the poor pastor looks lost...
|THE GENERAL: by Wayan, mid-December 1975, a nightmare warning of real danger
I'm a child in a Latin American city who's murdered on the street. Then I'm my brother,
seeking my own murderers. I find the General behind it! Unfortunately...
CAUTION: DYING. DYING TWICE. AND THEN NEARLY AGAIN, AWAKE...
|GOSPEL GIRL: by Wayan; 1986/11/17, a stubborn dream.
I'm a girl in a desert who God tells to preach a new gospel. But the locals, unlike ancient Rome, have guns...
CAUTION: VIOLENT MARTYRDOM AND A KID WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT
|GUILLOTINE: by Louis Alfred Maury; 1865, a dream researcher's own famously inexplicable dream
They led me to the guillotine. As the blade struck my neck, I woke to find my headboard had broken loose and fallen on me...
|HE LOOKED SOURLY: by John Dee; 1582/11/24, a mage's dream of dying, and after.
The foremost wizard of Shakespeare's age dreams he's dead. They're burning his books, but that doesn't bother him...
|HELL I SUPPOSE: by Rick Veitch; pre-1995; a dream with a rockin' sense of sarcasm
I'm gloomy about the state of the world, but my alter ego cheerfully explains we're dead and in
Hell--as a demon train rolls up with Elvis Costello on the roof singing "This is Hell I suppose"...
|HYDROGEN INITIATION: by Wayan; 1981/1/6, a shamanic nightmare.
I'm an initiate in a Sung Dynasty monastery. But I have no idea how far the hazing can go...
CAUTION: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
|I AM A BIRD by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of another life... well, two.
I live as a small falcon, glad I'm no longer human. But when that life ends...
|I DIED AND WALKED AMONG THE LIVING: by Starvibes, 2013/1/4, a warning dream?
My little daughter and I hardly notice when a truck kills us. Unseen, I calmly observe the alarm of the living...
|INCREMENTAL HEAVENS: by Wayan; 2016/9/5, a reincarnation-frustration dream, baffling then. Not now.
I keep getting reincarnated in dull heavens where all is blocked by know-nothings. After the 2016 election...
|JUST BEFORE 9/11: by Patti Viscardi; 6 AM 2001/9/11, a predictive nightmare
I was on a plane... It was almost graceful, the plane actually entered the building before everything dissolved into flame...
CAUTION: DEATH. DEATH TWICE.
|KICK HER: by Wayan; 1994/8/9, a gameshow nightmare.
I'm a blonde gameshow bimbo. Each week, I'm beaten up. Ha ha ha! But my bruises are real. At last, I...
CAUTION: GAMESHOW FROM HELL
|LET THERE BE LIGHT by Nancy Price; 1948, a nightmare of helplessness
Snakebite! I'm hooked to a health-monitor. If a red light comes on, I'm doomed. But voices start whispering...
|THE LIBRARY: dreamed between 1976 & 1982 by Audrey Niffenegger; an book-inspiring dream
I die. But then I find a door in my grandmother's pantry leading to a beautiful library...
|LINCOLN'S ASSASSINATION DREAM: by Abraham Lincoln, ca.March 31 1865, a predictive nightmare.
Lincoln dreamt his body was lying in state in the White House. A guard said he'd been assassinated. Two weeks later...
|LOVE OF MY LIVES: by James Lyon; 2014/5/25, a life-spanning dream.
I live two complete lives with the same woman in my dreams, then wake up next to her...
|LUCID LIMITS: by Wayan; 1990/2/13, a lucid nightmare. Yes, they're possible!
A nightmare. I go lucid as the bullets tear through me. Yet I go on with the dream! Why?...
CAUTION: NIGHTMARISH VIOLENCE
|METEOR OR STAR?: by Wayan; 2007/9/17, a dream of uncertainty
I'm an anima. But we rarely walk the day-world for long. When will I fade? Ignorance isn't bliss, it's paralysis...
|THE MIMI: by Robert Moss, 1955, a dream of another life
As a boy in Australia I briefly died on the operating table. I found myself living among the Mimi,
spirits living in rocks. I grew up, grew old, died--and woke up nine years old again...
|MY RITUAL BEHEADING: by Jenny Badger Sultan; 1996/3/24, painting of a nightmare
We stood meekly in line to be beheaded. I tried to accept my fate and commended myself to God... CAUTION: READ THE TITLE!
|NEW BODIES: by Dreamy; around 2007/1/25, a transformation dream
My best friend and I qualify for new bodies. The new me is taller, but poor Ken may take years adjusting to his new...
|THE PEAK WHERE I DIED: by Wayan; 1983/1/16. A dark dream-comic.
I froze to death trying to climb an icy peak. But I try again, and this time,
no holds barred. Wow, am I selfish! But alive...
|THE PERFECT MUSICAL GENIUS: by "Agnes"; before 1922, a Romantic romantic dream.
I'm to be martyred. I ask if the man I love can strangle me. Yes! I say farewell to our hermaphroditic genius baby...
|PERPETUA'S LAST DREAM: by St Perpetua; 203 A.D., a flying, sex-changing, defiant dream.
Facing death the next day in a Roman arena, Perpetua dreams of the spiritual duel behind the physical one...
|REBEL OWL: by Wayan; 1971/10/9, a dream so mysterious it mystified its inhabitants
My city's invaded and occupied. I become a gigantic Owl and fight with impossible stamina.
But in the end I'm dead, stuffed, on a museum wall. Can I let go NOW?
|RED LIGHT by Nancy Price; 1948, a predictive dream of the past!
I'm in my home town, but at two times at once! Murderous boys explain why: I died here in 1861...
|RORAIMA JUMP: by Wayan; dreamed 2016/9/18, a surreal dream of deadly outrage
I'm a Brazilian in the Olympic waterfall-jumping finals. The Russian & American cheat--threaten my family.
I snap! Fight recklessly, knocking them off their ropes. We all tumble down the cliff...
CAUTION: BULLYING, VIOLENT REVENGE
|SEARCHING FOR THE DEAD: by Acucena Q., 2007/3/4, a puzzling quest dream.
I search rivers and lakes around the world for someone dead. But the living I meet act as strange as ghosts...
|SHOVED OFF A CLIFF: by Wayan; 2017/9/7, a nightmare-warning (I'd asked what to do next).
Atop a sea-cliff, I meet a young couple in love. One look at me and they
push me off! When I see I can't save myself, I try to take them with me...
CAUTION: NIGHTMARE BARING UGLY TRUTHS
|SNOW by Nancy Price; 1948, a false-waking dream about living vs survival
Lost in the snow, I must give my baby to a stranger or let my dad put him in a box, safe, forever...
|A STAY OF EXECUTION: by John Lee; 1885/2/22, a miracle-predicting dream
John Lee, sentenced to hang, dreamt he walked to the scaffold but the trapdoor stubbornly stuck.
He woke, told his jailors the dream, walked to the scaffold, and...
|STEAMROLLER: by Richard Wilbur, late 20th Century; an embarrassing dream.
As the steamroller flattened me I became quite a lovely stained-glass window...
|TAROT: DEATH (Resurrection): by Wayan; Tarot card, 3x5", summer 1979.
So you die, and to your secular surprise, your soul metamorphoses into...
|THEATER HOSTAGE: by Christine M, 2002/10/22, an apparently clairvoyant dream
Gunmen held me hostage in a grand hall; at last they shot me. Next day: the Moscow Theater hostages...
|TIMESHOT!: by Wayan; 1999/1/2, a warning dream.
I provoke a shooting! Wandering through time, I forget how much some cultures fear witches...
|TO HELL: by Katie Hofgard; 2003/4/19?, a nightmare of loyalty
I loyally served a demon who punished me until at last he sent me to hell. And STILL I didn't rebel...
CAUTION: BLOODY ABUSE
|THE TORTURER: by Wayan; 1997/7/13, a predictive nightmare
A free-lance torturer chooses me for his victim. He has the right. I bluster, but when I fall asleep at last...
CAUTION: NO PAIN, BUT GORE
|TWO DEATH NOTICES: by Vladimir Nabokov; 1939/6/9 & Oct. 1945, two apparently predictive dreamlets
Khodasevich (1939): I dreamt a call announced my friend was dead. Really he was still alive--but not for long...
Sergey (1945): My brother died in January but the news took months to reach us. Just before it did, I dreamed...
|TWO GUILLOTINES: by Vladimir Nabokov, 1973/1/9, a sustained hypnogogic delusion
Half awake, Nabokov interprets shadows as guillotines and believes he and his wife will be executed...
|THE VIDEOGRAPHER'S APPRENTICE: by Wayan; 165K, 1994/7/29, a predictive/warning dream.
Blondie Wiggle builds a Video Igloo. But I'm allergic--TV kills me! A BAD omen for our video project...
CAUTION: TV KILLS (BUT YOU KNEW THAT)
|THE WEED: by Elizabeth Bishop; before 1946, a dream-poem on death/rebirth
I was dead. A weed grew from my heart; then two streams poured out--not
water or blood but experiences. I asked the weed what it was doing, and it said...
|THE WHEEL by Nancy Price; 1948, an early, intense dream of Future Shock.
Lost in an industrial maze, my memories hopelessly outdated, I resign myself to the Wheel...
|A WORK OF ART: by Carla Young, early 1970s; dream painting and story
I'm to be beheaded. Guards chant "It's important to enjoy what you're doing."
I know my spilled blood will create a work of art...
|YES, YOU CAN DIE IN A DREAM; 1998/12/12 by Anonymous #37; a nightmare
I was fatally wounded in a Star Wars battle, so I shot myself in the head.
For a solid minute, there was nothing but blackness...
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