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Nightmares

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A list of great nightmares. CAN nightmares be great? Even, in a weird way, enjoyable? My own dreams suggest that some nightmares (not all) come just to give your glands a workout--an idea first proposed by trance channeler Edgar Cayce back in the 1930s. In these nightmares, the content is essentially artistic, not symbolic--for the content isn't the point--your panic and outrage is. Nightmares can do for your feelings what hot peppers do for your digestion--stimulate like a tonic. Why shouldn't emotions (and the hormones that drive them) need a workout just like muscles?

A suspiciously high proportion of my worst nightmares appear around Halloween, suggesting my unconscious sees some nightmares as play. Terrorizing my ego for fun, not health! Though some of these practical jokes have serious points I get only later when I wake.

Yet another group seems genuinely symbolic of my inner fears, the classic "issue" dreams of Freud and Jung. But they aren't just expressing pressure, blowing off steam. Often these nightmares explore those fears intelligently, analyzing strategies. There can be serious thought behind the horror... and hints at solutions.

Not all, though--still others seem to be surprisingly simple, practical warnings: "Fix those brakes, stupid, or you're gonna DIE!" More recently I've had some that seemed simply inexplicable on waking but turned out to be predictive. For lack of better explanations I label them psychic--whatever that means. They're not just picking up subliminal danger signs; some show details of remote events. You tell me what to call that but ESP.

And a few recurrent nightmares (mostly in childhood) that I took as symbolic turned out to be fairly literal memories I was only able to verify years later through archives and interviews.

All in all, my view of nightmares has broadened steadily over the years. They don't necessarily mean trouble, though I think recurring ones about imminent danger should be taken seriously--and literally. Dreams can be psychic, and nightmares can be warnings. Don't get trapped into any of the current boxes: "What deep inner conflict does this symbolize?" and "It's just a dream. My shoes are NOT carnivorous!" and "It's a warning to change my flight, that plane's gonna crash!" Each approach is valid for many nightmares--but not ALL. Usually, you know in your gut if a nightmare's a warning or not--but these one-size-fits-all models of dreaming interfere with your own good sense!

RELATED TOPICS: general dreamwork - false waking, and dreams within dreams - dreams about dreaming! - recurrent dreams - shadow figures - bullies and threats - topdogs: cops, authoritarians, and rule-enforcers - saboteurs - warnings and advice - fear - shyness - guilt - self-defense - assertiveness - death - violence - monsters - You Are Lunch!: man-eatin' dreams - hunted! - disability and deformity - madness - dream diseases and dream surgery - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.



THE ADDICTION: by Wayan; 1988/1/26, a thoughtful nightmare
I'm addicted to faraway trains. I quit cold turkey, but I shake the house down! Junkie poltergeists...
CAUTION: DRUG ADDICTION. SORT OF.
ADRENALINE HALL: by Wayan; 1992/2/3, a useful nightmare.
A hall designed to give your fear-glands a workout, because muscles aren't the only thing to buff...
AELFWINE: by Wayan; 1997/12/4, a dream on dreams.
I meet the Child who Dreams the World, go to a lucid-dreaming party, and find the Body under the Bed...
AIRPLANE DISASTERS: by Jack Kerouac, early Aug? 1954, a helpless-witness nightmare
An indestructible camera relentlessly shows me what passengers feel on every crashing plane...
CAUTION: PAINFUL READING
ALL HALLOW'S EVE: by (Mrs.) D. M. Barrett; 1904, a psychic dream
I dreamt ghosts visited us, and for each scream, a relative would die.
Two of us cried out. That morning the first letter came...
ALONE IN THE DARK IN THE WILD: by Wayan; 1980/7/24, a vision-quest nightmare.
A nightmare of a killer who I let torment me because it's better than being alone...
ALPINE GUINEA PIG & SEXLESS CHILD, or, I'M EITHER A GREAT MOM OR A TERRIBLE MOM:
by "Veronica Franco"; 2006/8/19, a dream of penned creatures and those who love them.
Alpine deer-hamsters, pigs, birds, children, even fundamentalists' daughters grow up and want to fly free...
ANDROMEDA: by Wayan; dreamed 1987/12/30; 14x17" crayon portrait
I dream of the legendary maiden chained to a rock, and the dragon--but they weren't as advertised...
CAUTION: NUDITY
ANGELS AND SHARKS: by Wayan; 1975/10/11, a surreal warning dream
I was an angel slipping through matter, who, like a shark, needed to
keep moving to breathe--stop and I'd drown in the world, lose myself...
ANGERHELM: by Wayan; 1994/11/11, a reassuring nightmare.
In one long night I hike out of Frustration Hell, to Inner-Freedom Heaven...
ANNE GOT LOST: by Anne's friend; 1936, a warning dream wisely acted on
She was headed for a rock wall. The brakes faded; she smelled burning.
Then she woke. Her friends laughed, but she asked a neighbor what to do if...
ANTI-LUCID FLIGHT: by Wayan, 2016/8/30, a friendly nightmare begging me to go lucid. Do I listen?
I fear falling? The drop increases. Want a softer surface? The rocks turn to dirt, then water.
Want help? Here comes a flying dolphin. Oh, but I'm not dreaming...
THE ARMS POLICY: by Wayan; 2000/4/7, a nightmare.
The government has a harsh policy on armed dissidents. Not the kind of arms you think...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
THE ARMY ORGY: by Charles Scoy; late Sept. 2008, a recurrent nightmare that changed
An Army nightmare suddenly changes--my enemy kisses me, & we start doing every kind of sex...
CAUTION: GAYS IN THE ARMY? DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL!
THE ARTERIA: by Wayan; 1994/5/24, a raw, personal tale of three nightmares.
Hypnotherapy provokes nightmares of body-part shops, secret libelers, and madmen in space...
AT A BIG 'SWENSON' PARTY: by Jack Kerouac, mid-Sept? 1953, a nightmare on need
A lovely pecan pie, but the guests are cutting pieces, dropping them, hands trembling
in growing hunger desperate the dark voracious guests fighting now to freeload...
CAUTION: NOT ABOUT PIE
AURALESS: by Wayan; dreamed 2017/5/14, a sex nightmare about perfect normality
I'm in bed with a movie star, and it's awful. Why? Because I can only feel
her with FIVE senses--the sixth is missing! So disorienting it's creepy...
CAUTION: NIGHTMARE, BAD SEX
THE AXE OF DEATH: by Catherine McDiarmid Paton; c. 1830, a grisly predictive nightmare.
She dreamt Death attacked her but her youngest kids bravely fought back--and died. 3 months later...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
BAND-AIDS: by Bagheera Pardus; c.1985, a lucid re-entered nightmare turned to joy.
Giant snakes chased me. I go lucid, turn & slay one. As I woke, the snakes cried. So I re-entered...
CAUTION: SNAKES, BEHEADING, REHEADING
BARN BURNING: by Denise Levertov; 1929?; a childhood nightmare
I'm in a barn full of peaceful animals lit by a golden glow. And then they all blacken, crinkle, and corrugate like burnt paper...
BAT AND UMBRELLA: by David Small; c. 1960/3/1, a nightmare exposing deadly child neglect
I'm an orphaned bat in an alley in a storm. I mistake a broken old umbrella's ribs & flaps
for... my Mom! I unfold Mom, and discover...
CAUTION: LIFE-THREATENING CHILD NEGLECT
BEAST BIRTHS: by Wayan; 1989/9/19, a dream of family secrets.
My family has a hidden gene for incest--and griffins. When I bring the family skeleton from the closet...
CAUTION: MENTIONS RAPE, INCEST
LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI: by John Keats, April 1819, a sexy nightmare poem
A knight falls in love with a fey woman, until her previous victims warn him in a nightmare that she is...
CAUTION: GOTH TO THE MAX
BERRY DANCE: by Wayan; 2009/12/17; a nightmare turns to go-go-dance
My kidnappers were desperate: no jobs. I fled them down the berry chute, to the underground
strawberry factory where engineers in go-go boots did the berry dance. And the berries...
CAUTION: STRAWBERRY FETISH
THE BIG CRUNCH: by Wayan; 1979/5/9, a cosmic nightmare.
I'm a girl being stalked. I get drastic--scrunch up the universe & shake it out! And is THAT enough?
CAUTION: ANXIETY, GUILT, POSSIBLE APOCALYPSE
BIKE FROM A BOMB: by Wayan; 1981/3/14, a bikemare.
Idiotically, I bet I can escape an atomic bomb on my bike. Maybe if I ignore stoplights...
CAUTION: IRRESPONSIBLE WEAPONS USE
BIRD CRASH: by Emily Joy; 2007/3/12, a set of didactic nightmares
Such pressures there are on the sick to act well! I implore you, ignore them all...
CAUTION: EXPLODING TEACHER
BLACK WINTER: by Jeff Knabel; 1997, a dream-song from a possibly predictive nightmare
I dreamed a large meteor had struck the Earth. I found my Dad just as the shockwave hit...
CAUTION: APOCALYPSE
BLESS MY PHOBIA: by Wayan; dreamed 1992/8/15; story + silk painting.
I was Eve's guardian angel the second time round, and I blew it again. But this time, it came out right....
CAUTION: BREASTS AND BEASTS
BLIND ANCESTORS: by Wayan; 2007/8/6, a nightmare poem about all of us
As we’re working, blind Ancestors come smash our homes--& we all see zombie vandal relatives as normal...
THE BOAT IS SINKING: by Mrs Griffiths; 1734/8/6, a recurrent warning dream
Mrs Griffiths has the same nightmare three times before she asks her nephew to skip a fishing trip...
BONES DON'T LIE: by Emily Joy; 2006/12/13, a gruesome nightmare on guilt.
I know I'm a murderer; what isn't so clear is what I killed and why...
CAUTION: DISMEMBERMENT, GUILT, DREAD
BREAK-IN: by Althea; 2011/4/21; a psychic warning dream
A thief was breaking in. I tried to flee, but my dad got in the way. Woke up, went out to my car, and found...
THE BURBS: by Wayan; 1990/7/1, a true-story poem.
A perfectionist gardener builds perfect planterboxes while his seedlings starve. And so I left the burbs...
BURMA SHAVE: by Wayan; 1982, a poem on dreams.
If you dream, don't drive. If you drive, don't dream. A public safety message from the other world.
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...
CAUTION: GRUESOME
BURN THE EGGS: by Wayan; 2008/1/20; a magical advisory nightmare with 15 sketches.
Fighting an abolutist theocracy, my dragon-soul burns the
church's dragon-nursery. The cost is terrible: a black vortex...
CAUTION: ROMANTIC THREESOME GETS BURNED
BURN HIS TREE: by Emily Joy; 2007/2/7; two linked nightmares on art
Malevolent artwork terrorizes my baby and me! What's to be done?...
BUT AS YESTERDAY by Nancy Price; 1948, a dream of being sacrificed
Our gods demand sacrifices. I let Mother mutilate me so I'd be unfit. But the priests turn out to be blind...
CAUTION: YOU CAN FEEL PAIN IN DREAMS
BUTLER'S CROSSING: by David's father; 1941/8/24, a (heeded or unheeded?) warning dream
He saw a vehicle coming toward him at great speed. The light was so bright it blinded him. He screamed...
CAT WITH A KNIFE: by Wayan, 2000/6/24, a nightmare of a Jungian Shadow changed by patience
A guy threatens me with a knife. I sit on him and wait patiently.
Slowly he turns into a huge black cat! I set him free in a garden...
CHANDELIER: by a Washington mom, pre-1961, an absurd, lifesaving dream
I dreamt that at 4:35 AM the chandelier over our baby's bed fell, crushing the baby to death. I woke and...
CHEAPSHIP!: by Wayan; 1996/8/6, a nightmare on my own stinginess.
I'm a crewman on a ship that's falling apart, and I do mean that literally...
CHRONOPHOBIA!: by Wayan; 1993/7/10, a physicist's nightmare.
I find myself driving a speeding car down a freeway--in reverse. And I don't mean the gear...
THE CHUTE: by Wayan; 1993/11/10, a dream transforming fear.
I'm warily crossing an avalanche chute in winter, when my worst fear happens. Then the slide speaks up...
CLOUD WAR: by Wayan; 2012/12/22, a dream of eco-apocalypse on the darkest day of the year
Clouds wake up. Maybe they were always aware, but now they're aware of us. And rage against us all.
Oh, humanity'll survive. But easy times are over...
CAUTION: PARTISAN INTERPRETATION
COSMOLOGIST: by Wayan; 1994/12/2, another physicist's nightmare.
A mad gunman breaks in and shoots at me, but I start him talking, and learn what's eating him...
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
CREEPINESS: by Scottopic; 2001/11/30. A hypnogogic nightmare.
I'm in bed sleepily petting my cat, when I see my cat across the room! What's on my legs? It's big.
My cat chases it off... through the wall? My room is sealed. Where did it come from, where did it go?...
CROCODILE DREAM: by Ellen Frank; 2015/10/5, a nightmare-poem on recklessness
Closer I edge to admire their scales, the glint of their teeth, and shape of their tails. They cast a strong spell...
CRUSHED BY NETLEY ABBEY: by a Mr Taylor; 1704? A warning dream.
A carpenter demolishes a ruined abbey despite dreams he’ll be crushed by stones falling from a window...
CRYSTAL AND GUNSEL: by Wayan; 1997/7/2, a nightmare--psychic or not?
Gunsel kills my friend Crystal in a flaming aircar crash. But that's not enough--he comes back, and...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
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?
CYCLOPS, or, THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYER: by Wayan; 1993/8/24, a spiritual nightmare.
In the far future, I relive Odysseus' tale. To save my life I must give up realistic hope, and focus on...
CAUTION: CANNIBAL MONSTERS
DAD SMASHES COPCAR: by Wayan, 1977/5/26, a warning dream physically enforced the next day
My dad drives recklessly, hits a copcar hard, smashing our front end. I wake
knowing it says "Kay's a batterer. Leave her or I'LL be smashed." That day...
CAUTION: NIGHTMARE, BATTERING ISSUES
DARE: by Catshall; c. 2013/6/13, a haiku on an incubated nightmare
I challenged my dreams to hit me with their worst. And they did...
DATE GHOST: by Wayan; 1983/11/26, nondream surreal painting of a shyness fit
I tried to date a nice young butterfly but was stopped by a monster who was... my own wings?
CAUTION: UNDERAGE BUG
DAWN'S DIVORCE: by Dawn Z; 2002/3/1-21, an outrageous dream sequence
While going through a painful breakup, I kept having sexy, lucid, psychic dreams...
DEANNA ON THE MAYAN STEPS: by Wayan; 1992/7/8, a nightmare poem.
Deanna Troy and I meet an alarming man atop a Mayan pyramid. Who will be the sacrifice?...
DEMON BUDGETING: by Wayan, 2011/9/27, a nightmare on letting things blow over
A demon invades our police station, takes over our captain and lieutenant, and pushes them to fight.
But I know demonic possession can't last long. Our copshow's special effects budget is too limited...
DESERT SLAVERS: by Wayan; 2015/5/29; a grim dream replayed a bit better
A gang of slavers catch my family. I flee on a bike but it breaks down. Stranded. Replay! This time I have a gun...
CAUTION: GANG, SHOOTING
THE DESTRUCTION OF HAWAI'I; 2004/9/2 by Anonymous #37; a short apocalyptic nightmare
I was a small boy living on Oahu. Out my front door I saw a 20-mile-tall wall of flames stretching across the horizon...
MY DEWCLAW: by Wayan; 1997/6/30; dreams within dreams within dreams
Body after body is peeled away revealing truth inside truth...
CAUTION: GROTESQUE
DIAGNOSTIC BATTERY: by Wayan; 1988/4/20, a nightmare of backstabbing that came true
My sister & her new guru tests me psychologically--only it looks like a test to destruction...
CAUTION: EMOTIONAL CRUELTY
DISSECTING PESSIMISM: by Wayan; 1997/4/14, a stubbornly educational nightmare .
A serial killer stalks our office, and our bosses deny it. When we defend ourselves, things turn weird...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
DOCTOR VENTRIL: by Wayan; 1978/9/22, a nightmare where I'm the nightmare.
A doctor lures me into his office. What he turns out to be scares me less than how I defend myself...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE, ARACHNOPHOBIA
DOCTOR WHO AND DEATH: by Wayan; 1984/6/30, a hopeful dream of betrayal.
Dr Who, that BBC perennial, allies with Death. An alarming turn-around! What's he up to?
CAUTION: NICE ALIEN GOES BAD?
DONE FOR: by the Reverend Francis Kilvert; 1872/10/14, a nightmare within a nightmare
I dreamt a friend poisoned me. I "woke" and slew him in fury. But guilt gnawed me. I confessed and was due to hang...
CAUTION: NOT A CALM GUY
DON'T CRY, IT'S ONLY A DREAM: by a Massachusetts mom; pre-1961, a dream not predictive but telepathic!
As soon as I gave birth I had a nightmare my brother would be in a serious auto crash. When I warned my mom...
DON'T GET UPSET: by Wayan; 1996/4/10; a warning-nightmare comic (small screen, slow loading? Illus. text)
A mob chases me chanting "Lyin' Wayan!" I get dizzy, fall off a bridge, and wake. Then comes REAL trouble!
CAUTION: FATAL FALL
DOUBLE DREAM: by "Anonymous #23 & 24"; pre-1963, two linked false-predictive dreams
Mother & daughter both dream Mum runs over a little girl. Next morning she
spots the girl in the road--warned, she swerves. But bystanders see no child...
DRAMA IS HELL!: by Thomas Hood; 1824?; a comic nightmare
When my first play failed, I tried to console myself by reading Paradise Lost.
But drama and devils don't mix...
THEIR DREAM HOUSE: by Wayan; 1986/1/1, a New Year's nightmare.
A house with a fire-ghost infestation. Worse than termites! And the ghosts tell me it's my fault....
DREAM ON DREAMS: by Wayan; 1994/5/31, a dream in a dream in a dream.
I'm the composer Schumann, till a nightmare jumps me and I wake. And wake. And wake...
A DREAM SESTINA: by Donald Justice, late 1950s? A nightmare-poem.
"But what is wrong with my friends' faces? Why have they changed that way to wood?"
DREAMKU, APRIL 2007: by Roswila; various dates up to April 2007; 30 dream-poems--mostly haiku
Dream haiku laid out like a calendar. Roswila's favorite is the pirate, but mine is the were-salamander...
DUCK HUNT: by Craig, age 4; 1950/11/18, an ignored predictive nightmare
"I dreamed you were in the water, Daddy. You kept trying to come out of the water to me..."
EBON EBON THALUD: by Samuel Coleridge; 1800/11/28, a nightmare struggle leaving physical traces.
Ebon Ebon Thalud, a woman blended with darkness, tries to gouge out my right eye. I wake screaming. My right eyelid...
EDITORS: by Gavin Ewart; late 1970s, recurring nightmares of censorship.
My new editor starts rejecting my poems. My new new editor rewrites them for me. I feel lucky not to be arrested...
EEL TOWER: by Wayan; 1981/4/23, a dream of longing.
I dreamed living in a body of flesh is like being trapped on a sinking cruise ship...
CAUTION: NUDITY (but she's just crying, not giving that guy a blowjob, okay?)
ENCHANTED GLASS; before 1983, by Charles Gullans, a recurring nightmare of shapeshifters done as a poem
Their bodies shift, and alter. Antlers sprout... much has been taken, and something terrible is grafted...
CAUTION: RAMPANT PHILOSOPHY, HUMAN SUPREMACISM
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...
EVERLASTING AND PERPETUAL NIGHTMARE: by Shawn King; c. 2009/2/10; two bits of a lifelong nightmare
Lucifer throws firebolts from a Montreal tower; monsters stalk us; next comes the flood...
THE EXPOSURE OF HUMANITY TO THE VACUUM OF SPACE; 1999/6/5 by Anonymous #37; a brief apocalyptic nightmare
One patch of the night sky had a huge number of stars compared to the rest; there was no atmosphere in that portion of the sky...
EYELASH GUY: by HareTrinity; 2003?4?5?, a fortunately nonrecurring dream
A coach-driving vampire seemed kind of cute until he raped me. If that's even his real face...
CAUTION: LANGUAGE, VIOLENCE
FACE-BEETLE: by Wayan; 1982/2/13, a nightmare with career advice.
A monstrous Kafka beetle grows gradually out of my face. And it's a MESSAGE...
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...
FAKE IT!: by Electra Johannes and Patagia; 2007/9/22 and 2007/9/23, linked dreams.
Patagia dreams she fakes a Hindu rite, causing Electra to dream she fakes leadership in a refugee band. But are they faking?
FALCON AND FÜHRER: by Miriel; 1985/7/31, an epic flying/transformation dream
A mysterious "Führer" hypnotized all my companions. So I become a human-sized falcon and hunt him...
FALL INTO FEAR: by Brenda Ferrimani; 2001/9/12, a 9/11 nightmare transformed by lucidity
I’m falling into endless darkness. I feel like screaming, but then I remind myself I’m dreaming. “What is for me here?” I demand. “SHOW ME!” I begin rising toward the stars. Huge metal discs with alien writing rise with me...
A FAMILY ALBUM: by Wayan; 1981/3/9, folio of nightmarish dysfunctional family.
A series of family shadows, as I saw them then. These scenes are NOT literal, do I make myself clear?
But the tensions they show were very real...
CAUTION: GRIM! SEXUAL VIOLENCE, INCEST, MUTILATION
THE FEARFUL INSECT by Nancy Price; 1948, an episodic circular nightmare unified by a leitmotif
A bug with a horse-skull face reappears all through this nightmare of betrayal. I only know I feared it...
FETAL PAUSE: by Wayan; 2008/8/31, a nightmare-poem, Dreamverse #17
As I write a sad sex dream, a madman curls up fetally in the road outside my window. I'm slow to call 9-1-1, and...
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
FINALLY I'M AN OLD WHORE: by Jack Kerouac, Jan/Feb 1953, a burnout dream... or his fears for the future
Finally I've turned into an old whore... a silly Jack Kerouac whore with that same old tired old gasafaycagoo...
FIRE-CATS: by Wayan; 1981/10/10; twin dream-poems on over-discipline
For mere disobedience, I EXECUTE a forest-fire-fighting cat! So next
I'm trapped in a security-obsessed job; how do I like it? I flee...
FIRST NIGHT IN FIJI: dreamed May 1980 by S---; an unheeded warning dream
Far from home, about to wed a man I barely knew, I dreamed I was a lion in an open cage I dared not leave...
FIVE HOUNDS, FIVE DEFENSES: by Wayan; 2015/9/18, an explicit advisory dream
Five agents hound me. Literal hounds--in trenchcoats. They stand for my five worst life-troubles. Luckily,
they can't cooperate--they're from rival agencies! And the dream spells out what works against each one...
THE FLASHBACK: by Wayan; 1985/11/28, a dark dream-farce.
I'm a monster working in a shopping mall in Stockton, California, when I smell smoke...
CAUTION: FILM NOIR SEX
FLIGHT, MARGARET, MOUSE, DOG:Paul Nash, dreamed 1895-9 + Feb. 1913; art by Dave McKean
As a child, landscape artist Paul Nash dreamed of flying over the countryside
of southern England. But he was threatened by the legendary Black Dog...
FRANKLIN'S NECK: by a dying Kansas grandmother; 1953/7/5, an unheeded warning nightmare
"Oh no" she moaned. "I don't want Frankie to go to that camp. He must not go there." She began to cry...
FREDDY KRUGER'S POLITICS: by Wayan; 1992/8/20, a dream of... ambition?.
Freddy has plans for me and Telly Savalas's daughter... but what can he lure us with? What do we want?
GARDEN OF SWORDS: by Louis MacNeice; 1937, a dream foreseeing World War II.
I'm at a garden-party when They attack. I flee through a garden of swords, but a guard with a bayonet...
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...
THE GIRL IS ARMED: by Wayan; 2009/1/28, three diagnostic/advisory dreams.
An abused girl survives grotesque situations to become a job/health counselor with a talking sofa...
CAUTION: BUTT-SNIFFING GIANT
GITANA AND REX AND KIT: by Wayan; 1988/12/11, a comic nightmare.
My friend Gitana has a grim view of men--a view that materializes, and starts chasing us...
CAUTION: BURGER FRANCHISE DEMOLITION
THE GIVE-AWAY: by Wayan; 1982/6/7, a career nightmare.
My parents pray for my success, and arrange a great learning opportunity for me. Really.
A GLUM BAR: by Wayan; 2000/4/12, the quietest of nightmares.
My house is a bar that never closes. You know what a gay bar is. Well, we're the opposite: a....
CAUTION: BAD VIBES
GOAT DARE: by Wayan; 1984/8/22, a sex nightmare.
A girl and I climb a half-built tower to get some privacy. What can we do before my nosy parents find us?
CAUTION: SEX, HUMILIATION, FAMILY VALUES
GODEVILLE: by Wayan; 2013/9/1, a nightmare of that Old-Time Religion
I'm at a vaudeville for gods. They strut onstage. Cthulhu the squid-god nearly tramples me! Then Cthulhu gets horny...
CAUTION: GROSS GOD, GROSS GOO
THE GRALA: by Eugene Jolas, c. 1934, a nightmare written as a surreal prose-poem
I was having dinner with friends when I saw on the wall a huge skullbone
spider. But I lost the word for spider, and my friends seemed not to see it...
GRAVESTONE: by "Miss S."; late 1930s-1946, a recurring clairvoyant/predictive nightmare
I'm walking up a churchyard path. My hair clings to me, damp. Horses wander. I'm drawn to one graveside...
THE GREEN GODDESS: by William Archer; 1919/9/1, a playwriting-idea dream that paid off
I was held hostage in India by courteous revolutionaries who avoided spelling out that we were soon to die...
THE GRIFFINS' LESSON: by Wayan, 2018/6/1, a pair of predictive dreamlets
I live through two teens' nightmares, then "wake" with them to find they were drugged by a third party! Why?
Then I'm with a wagon-crew of cheerful flirting griffins & talking horses who pull a cart made of grammar or logic.
Six days later, I see images from both dreams on TV!
CAUTION: CREEPY, THEN SAPPY, THEN FREAKY
GUILTY! (Around #3): by Wayan; 1998, digital sketch of recurrent nightmare.
I tried a Redon theme: huge, floating eyes. His are scary, but mystical; mine came out as guilty terror...
HAND ME THE MATCHES!: by Wayan; 1984/9/25, a predictive dream.
My sisters and I try to kill kidnappers by setting fires. Dumb, huh? The next day I fight a virus--with fever!
HARPY: by Wayan; 2000/6/2, a stylized nightmare
Day: my dad's paralyzed, and my car's stolen.
Dream: a harpy made of steel, like a living Calder statue, holds three girls hostage...
HAWK AND CAT: by Wayan, 1981/6/2, a dream of ethics and terror.
My best friend is a cat. Problem is, I'm a rare hawk--a Cat-Eater. I never, ever would, but...
HEADING FOR A FALL: by Wayan; 1993/11/2, a dream of drastic shortcuts.
I crash my car on the way to therapy. I ask my dream why. And it tells me! Deliberate, but not suicidal...
HELL-BOUND TRAIN: by Franz Jaegerstetter, summer 1938; a political dream
I was ordered to join Hitler's army. I dreamt a booming voice proclaimed, "This train is going to Hell!" So I...
HELL HALL: by Anonymous #3; c.1920?, a dream of initiatory cannibalism
A revival meeting goes bad--suicides, 'long pig', a hell-pit. If you sup with the devil, carry a long fork!
HELPLESSLY LUCID: by Alder; 2007/6/23, a lucid dream in which I’m powerless!
I’m a homeless elf. We’re a persecuted minority group. I know I’m dreaming and try to change it but...
HER HAND ON THE MANTEL: by Frederick Greenwood; before 1894; a disowned predictive dream
Greenwood dreams he finds a severed hand on a mantelpiece. The next day
it happens! But he sees no moral, so he dismisses it...
THE HERBIVORE'S EXCEPTION: by Wayan; 1999/12/6, a dream of snapping.
A beautiful herbivore suddenly eats one of its friends! Bloody. Who or what is this warning me about?...
CAUTION: YUCK, MEAT REALLY IS MURDER
HIDE THE LIST!: by Anonymous; c. 1550, a recurrent warning dream.
A London Protestant dreamed Bloody Mary would find the congregation's member-list and burn them all...
HIS MINE: by Wayan; 1985/12/2, a wild dream epic.
I'm a hobbit seeking Henry Fonda's haunted gold mine, but I end up in a showdown in a shaman's bar...

HITLER'S GETTING CRISPR: by Jennifer Doudma; fall 2015, a nightmare on CRISPR by one who'd know
It was Hitler. He had a pig face, and he was taking notes. He said
'I want to understand the uses and implications of this amazing technology'...
THE HOG AND VIBRATOR SHOW: by Wayan; 2014/11/7, an obscene comic nightmare
The gameshow has two old men humping sextoys on the floor as the audience
watched. That wasn't the gross bit. It was when they released the hogs...
CAUTION: OBSCENE GAMESHOW
HUNG BY ELDER: by Wayan; 1997/7/30, a nightmare.
A disowned heiress and I sneak onto the family estate, but they'll go pretty far to hide their skeletons...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
HUNT OF THE UNICORN: by Wayan; 1989/5/18, an overlooked psychic dream.
I marry, just to get into a clannish world where I'm seeking symbiotic unicorns. I end up fleeing...
Next evening, a TV movie--Goldie Hawn marries into a clannish world and ends up...
HUNTERS' FIRE: by Wayan; 1997/9/8, a nightmare that may be a memory.
I'm an orphan shot at by hunters. They shoot my sister! But no one believes me...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
I CAN'T JOIN THE TRIBE: by Wayan; 1997/8/12, a nightmare on madness.
After the eco-crash, I try to join a tribe in the jungle that was Oakland. But they reject me, for good reason...
I LET RATS: by Wayan; 1994/4/22, a nightmare on appeasement.
A bold rat comes right up to me. I don't want to provoke it, so I stay quiet. And let the rats...
CAUTION: UGH!
ICERINK: by Wayan; 1980/8/23, a warning dream.
Psychodrama seemed like a way to meet cool people. But when I dreamed they were ice-skating rioters...
THE ILL-FORMED TALE: by Wayan; 160K, 1981/4/7, a wild dream anti-epic.
To reach the Peak of Happiness on the Isle of Dreams, I must pass four Perils--but they're all backwards...
CAUTION: RELIGIOUS NUTS, KNIVES, NUDE ALIENS, BACKWARD PLOT...
IN A REHEARSAL ROOM: by Wayan; 1982/10/20, a sexy dreamlet on shyness.
I dreamed my fears faded like ghosts, as we made love in the rehearsal room. But invisible is not gone...
CAUTION: UNDERAGE SEX
IN EL RIO: by Wayan; 1994/5/14, a singles nightmare.
My family runs a bar. I walk through, after hours. Who are all these silent figures?
CAUTION: UNHEALTHY READING FOR SINGLES
IN THE STAR; 1988/9/12 by Wayan; an epic, out-of-body, intrastellar quest-dream
I tour the heart of a red supergiant, where dreaming souls explore
their fears and heart's desires, unconstrained by solid matter...
CAUTION: SWEDENBORGIAN VISION, UNICORN NUDITY
INANNA'S RIVER OF BLOOD: by King Sargon I; c. 2335 BC, a call-to-greatness nightmare
Sargon, a delivery man, dreams the Goddess drowns the King in a river of blood. He wakes and tells the King...
THE ISLAND FURIES: by Wayan; summer 1975, a dream of self-control.
When warring Greek isles kill a peacemaker, her three best friends start a vendetta! But she wanted peace...
CAUTION: HATE NURSED TOO LONG
IT'S A DEAD MAN'S PARTY: by Wayan; 1988/10/18, a nightmare of identity.
I find myself at a creepy party supporting a dead man who's running for office. And am I Dan Quayle?
CAUTION: HORROR BEYOND HORROR. YOU ARE DAN QUAYLE.
J.F., T.B. AND ME: by Dream Junkee; 2008/1/24, a lucid nightmare-comedy
Lucid, I summon a sexy literary character. But he tries to take over my personality and make it his lucid dream...
JASON: by MariNaomi; 1989, a romantic-warning nightmare
The Mummy chases me, then unwraps his bandages to show the mutilated face of my boyfriend.
"I'm getting out of jail!" he says. Then the phone wakes me. My boyfriend. He says "I'm getting out of..."
CAUTION: CODEPENDENCE, MUTILATION, GUILT AND GRIEF
JUNG’S PREMONITIONS OF WORLD WAR I: by Carl Jung, 1913-1914; five ignored warnings.
Jung was told in dreams and visions that Europe would soon drown in blood. But he just couldn’t believe it...
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.
THE KEY IS HERE, BUT BEWARE; 2012/3/8 by Eleanor; nested nightmares of enlightenment
The moment I find the Key, I'm possessed! I wake to find it's just a nightmare. Only who's broken into my house?...
CAUTION: DEMONIC POSSESSION & EVERYDAY PSYCHOPATHS
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
KITTY WANTS TO DIE: by Wayan; 1981/11/9, a nightmare baring a side of me ready to DIE to avoid stuff
Kitty, exhausted, stops fighting what's inside her, and lets herself die.
Crystalline alien worms burst out, growing till they loom over the spaceport...
CAUTION: ADDICTION ROOTED IN AVOIDANCE
THE LABORATORY UNDERGROUND: by Anna Kingsford; 1880/2/2; an animal-rights nightmare.
I find myself in a vault with tables where half-dissected animals writhe. Hidden in each was a human shape...
CAUTION: GRUESOME
LAMPREYS: by Wayan; 1974/6/27, a dream of assimilation
Pretty much everyone in my school is a bloodsucking alien, but, come to think of it, so what?
CAUTION: SEX, VAMPIRES, SEX WITH VAMPIRES, BUT NICE VAMPIRES
LBJ OR WOODROW?: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; July-Sept 1955 and Feb-Mar 1968, recurring paralysis dreams
From the neck up I was me; from the neck down, Woodrow Wilson in his old age, paralyzed.
My presidential aides divided up my duties, and ignored me...
LBJ SHACKLED: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; c.1962, a nightmare foreseeing his presidency
I started to get up from my chair, but I couldn't move. I looked down at my legs
and saw they were manacled to the chair with a heavy chain...
LBJ'S CAGE: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; May-June 1924, recurring teenage nightmares
I found myself in a cage, with only a bench and piles of old books. A mirror showed
I was old and twisted with speckled skin. In horror I said "I must get away"...
LBJ'S RIVER NIGHTMARE: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; Feb-Mar 1968, a nightmare on political paralysis
I was trapped in a river, trying to swim to shore. But I was in a powerful eddy. No matter which way I swam...
LBJ'S STAMPEDE: by Lyndon Baines Johnson; 1913-14?, a childhood nightmare anticipating a presidency
As a boy I dreamt I was trapped in a wooden chair, paralyzed, as a stampede
rushed toward me, just as my grandmother was paralyzed and chair-bound...
LEARN TO FLY: by Hexx-Kitty; 2006/7/15, a nightmare image.
This big red rabbit in a straitjacket was chasing me through a big gothic mental asylum. Scared me silly...
THE LEMON SEA: by Wayan; 1982/2/22, a dream warning.
I wake up as someone else. I go through her working day, till Captain Kirk comes to take me to...
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...
LINCOLN’S ASSASSINATION DREAM: by Abraham Lincoln, ca.March 31 1865, a predictive nightmare.
Lincoln dreamed his body was lying in state in the White House. A guard said he’d been assassinated. Two weeks later, he was...
LITTLE BAD DREAM CHARM: by Kathy Fagan; 2001? A slip-filled dream-poem
Half asleep, I scrawl a nightmare of trying to rescue gasping boyfish, but my dreamwriting goes wrong too...
THE LONGING TO BE SAVED: by Maxine Kumin; 1980? a poem based on recurring nightmares
I save our horses from a fire, but they run back in. Then it's my family I must save from themselves. At last, it's my turn...
"LOOK IN THE WELL!": by Elizabeth Harcourt; 1777/9/15, an unheeded warning dream.
Elizabeth tried to tell her dream, but her husband didn't listen. When his dad didn't show up for dinner, it was too late...
THE LORD CHANCELOR'S NIGHTMARE: by Gilbert & Sullivan; 1882, a comic song-lyric on insomnia
The Lord Chancelor can't sleep, and when at last he does, he drifts through nightmares full of baby lawyers
and potted tradesmen sprouting fruit, and cutthroat corporate scheming. But that's Victorian dreaming!
LOUSY DREAM: by Jack Kerouac, early Dec? 1952, a rage-filled nightmare
In America the woman has the Police State Telephone in one hand and My Child swathed in
incredible bills in the other... Ah, Kafka, you never had it so good...
CAUTION: LANGUAGE, MISOGYNY
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
THE MAD DATER: by Mark Varitz and Wayan; 1996/10/29, linked (telepathic?) nightmares.
Always ask permission to throw rocks at your date. No, not those big ones! Where's the nearest hospital?
CAUTION: SURREAL DATE ABUSE
THE MAN-EATER: by Carl Jung, 1879; a precocious formative nightmare.
Jung (at age three and a half) sees a terrifying god deep underground, and is told “That is the man-eater!”...
MARE PASS: by Wayan; 1999, crayon sketch of daydream or hypnogogic image.
Climbing a meadowy pass between wooded spurs, I found I'd been climbing a mare's mane...
MARTIAN AIRLOCK and JAGUAR MASK: by Wayan, 2015/6/22, twin shamanic near-nightmares
Jaguar Mask: a were-jaguar stuck in human form asks me to sew a new jaguar face on."But won't it hurt?...
Martian Airlock: I'm suitless on Mars. Freezing, choking, I dive into an airlock & slam the switch--but it's sabotaged...
MATILDA, or, HITLER'S GIRLFRIEND MULTIPLIES: by Wayan; 1998/10/1, a dream of math and courage.
I'm Hitler's girlfriend. Not Eva Braun, just me--gentle, weak, thrown in among killers. What can I do?
THE MELTING POT: by Wayan; 1982/7/30, a nightmare on fitting in
They were swimming in the glowing, molten pool of the Melting Pot, and beckoned me to join them...
CAUTION: SUICIDE SOUP?
MEMORY SNIP!: by Wayan; 1999/5/15, a dream on the cost of kindness.
My friend Mark does something I thought impossible: removes a snippet of my memory. Disastrous!
CAUTION: VIOLENCE... SORT OF
MEOPHAM AIR DISASTER: by G.H.M. Holms; 1930/7/18, a surreal predictive dream
Suddenly, out of the clouds, a man came shooting down, head first, at a terrific pace. He landed on his head with a sickening...
CAUTION: GRISLY
MINOR SURGERY: by Wayan; 1999/2/25, a dream misinterpreted.
A man goes in for minor surgery and wakes up changed. I feel creepy, but for all the wrong reasons...
MINOS, EAQUE AND RHADAMANTHE: by James Joyce, c. 1934/7/8, a short, precise, predictive nightmare
Joyce, in Paris, dreamed he was attacked by three madmen, Minos, Eaque and Rhadamanthe. Three weeks later,
a madman mailed explosive packages around Paris--signed Minos, Eaque and Rhadamanthe, the Judges of Hell...
MOM THE ALIEN: by Wayan; 1981; a nightmare on family
Many kids anxiously dream their parents aren't their real parents. I dreamed my parents ATE my real parents...
CAUTION: HUNGRY MONSTERS
THE MOUSE: by Paul Nash; Feb. 1913, surreal bedtime experience triggers surreal nightmare
We save a mouse from a man who claims he eats them. Later I dream I am the mouse...
THE MOUSE BANNER: by Wayan; 1986/9/4, a dream fable.
I'm a mouse with a protest banner saying "FREEDOM!", having a slight argument with a cat...
MOUSE WORKOUT: by Eric, ca. 2005/9/28, a nightmare for my own good?
I'm a mouse trapped and tortured in a maze/machine who gets killed four different ways at once...
CAUTION: OW, OW, OW, OW
MULTIPLEX: by Wayan; 1987/1/9, a dream on multiple dreamselves.
Inside my brain's a fractured legislature--a hive-mind where all de beez disagreez...
THE MUMMY: by Wayan; 2003/10/13, a Rarebit Fiend nightmare.
A horror film and Rick Veitch's dream-comix provoke a nightmare
warning me that guilt about my dad is wrecking my life...
THE MURDERS: by four Wayans! 1971/7/14; a family has simultaneous psychic nightmares.
Nearly everyone in my family dreams of a mass murder as it happens nearby. But my dad's sure it's his own
evil id, and my mom clams up, and my sister forgets. And me? I doubt the whole thing for ten years, until...
CAUTION: NIGHTMARE VIOLENCE
MURDERS IN HAYWARD: by Anonymous #5; c.2002 or 2003, a psychic nightmare.
I dream I live in Hayward, California. One day my family's murdered. Years later I find that dream-street is real...
MY LIPS ARE SEALED: by Wayan, 1989/6/3, a moody, psychic, epic, two-part dream.
I'm a Romantic poet who defeats the curse of the fountain, to marry; but when our daughter's grown,
a new curse strikes me mute, paralyzed. And I mistake this for old age!
Then, in real life, my dad wakes up from a nap paralyzed...
MY MOTHER'S CLOSET: by Rachel Hadas, c. 2000;
a dream-poem provoking a 2008/9/16 dream by Chris Wayan
I was in my mother's closet, trying on her outfits, and trapped in Hamlet, too...
NAIAD AND GOD-DOG: by Wayan; 1980/11/7, a manipulative dream-tragedy.
I love a Naiad who's lost her God. Tragedy strikes us. I'm devastated till I meet the aliens who explain...
THE NEPALESE DROP: by Wayan; 2000/4/20, a predictive nightmare.
I climb a crumbling slope to a cliff with a Himalayan view; I slip, and no one lifts a hand to help as I...
A NIGHT ON MOUNT DIABLO: by Wayan, 1984/6/8, an allegorical four-phase dream.
I'm attacked by a narcissist firebird, a rabid rattler-manticore, a masochist bear, and a sexless succubus...
CAUTION: INEPT DEMONS
NIGHT MARE: by Wayan; 101K, 1991; digital painting inspired by a friend's dream .
I dreamed I was a feral mare: gentle, affectionate, sensual, but gone wild, wary of being tamed again...
THE NIGHTMARE EFFECT: by Emily Joy; 2006/12/14, an anti-nightmare.
My own fear creates a field of time/speed distortion; can I use it against my attackers?
NIGHTMARE TRANSUBSTANTIATION: by Wayan; 2015/2/10; a gross-out but predictive nightmare
I'm in a basement, forced to enact a ritual where I must mate with, then FEED on, a flayed creature...
I wake shaken, open a random book--and it describes the ancient Celtic rites of Epona...
CAUTION: BESTIALITY, MATE-DEVOURING
NOT OUR HAWAI'I: by Wayan; 2008/8/20, a dream poem; Dreamverse #10
My sister & I swim round a weirdly shrunken Pacific, until, near Fiji, we blunder too close to the drain...
THE NOTE: by Wayan; 1976/12/31, a psychic nightmare.
On New Year's Eve, I dream my college no longer welcomes me, and wake to find it's true...
ORDEAL BY INFRASTRUCTURE: by Wayan; 1987/11/22, a Clintonian dreamtale.
I want to join the inner circle of America's political elite. But to do that I have to survive the Ordeal...
PANIC ATTACK IN MY SLEEP; 2012/1/11 by Rainier Mathee; a nightmare on every level
No work, no friends, no lover. People power-drill their own skulls. My uncle's going insane. And when I call 911...
CAUTION: BLEAK
PEGGY’S CAKE: by Jenny Badger Sultan; l998/10/26 , a nightmare plus surrealist painting.
At a party I meet a friend I thought was dead. She’s become a small talking rabbit made of cake, and I...
CAUTION: UGH
MR. PERCEVAL'S MURDER: by John Williams; 1812/5/2-3, a recurrent predictive dream.
Thrice I saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer shot in the House of Commons. I nearly went to London...
THE PLAGUE-CURE: by Wayan; 1996/1/1, a diagnostic dream that worked.
After weeks of headaches I dream of a fatal, mosquito-borne plague.
Humanity looks doomed till my friends devise a folk remedy...
THE PLOWSHARES PROGRAM: by Wayan; 2017/11/12, a feverdream reminder of technofailures
Looks like this underground nuclear test will leak. Minutes from detonation,
we flee up the spiral stair and out across the sand. Can we run far enough in time?
POLE OF THE EMPIRE STATE: by Wayan; 2002/3/26, a 9/11 nightmare about... suspension?
I find myself clinging to a pole as tall as the Empire State Building. Can I slide down
without falling? Or burning from friction? And... what's down there?
THE PROWLER: by Wayan; 1997/2/4, an illustrated dreamtale.
My sister hears a prowler. I go out blind in the dark, and learn she's right. But what a strange intruder!
PULLED UNDER: by Wayan; 1976/4/15, a nightmare.
One by one, we're pulled under the water, the earth... eaten. That's the fate of all flesh. And we're flesh.
CAUTION: HORROR
A PULP MYSTERY: by Wayan; 1997/5/7, a nightmare.
A detective talks all his suspects into suicide. But they still bury me in wood pulp and beat me to death...
CAUTION: BAD POLICE PROCEDURE
PURSUED, I RAN INTO THE BARN: by Dorothea Tanning; 2003? A nightmare-poem
A monster's out to eat my dog--and maybe me. We get cornered in the barn...
QUIT THAT LAB!: by Wayan; 1999/5/2, a deductive nightmare.
I'm working alone in the lab at night, when the lab gear wakes up and tries to kill me...
QUOD VITAE: by Rene Descartes; 1619/11/11, three mystical dreams.
In one night Descartes had three dreams convincing him he had to change the course of his life...
R101 AIRSHIP CRASH: by R.W. Boyd; 1930/10/3, a predictive dream
A large airship crashed onto a hilltop and burst into flame, silhouetting people who tried to escape, but...
RAIN OF WOMEN: by Wayan; 1999/6/11, a warning nightmare.
Women rain out of the sky. People shrug "Suicides." I don't believe it--and what if one falls on me?
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
RATTLER BANQUET: by Wayan; 1993/1/29, a pointed nightmare; it leaves punctures!
My parents invite me out to dinner, but there's a rattlesnake under the table,
and my mom chases it up my leg. I wake to find two holes in my knee...
RAZOR GHOST: by Wayan; 1974/5/5, a nightmare posing a problem.
A man slowly walled in by neighbors till he died, is now a mad, murderous ghost.
And he's me! Can I exorcise MYSELF?
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
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?
CAUTION: WAR
RECURRING SCHOOL NIGHTMARE: by Julie Doucet; July 1995, a dream of... oh, read the title!
Trapped in elementary school, Julie is forced to study the alphabet
until she declares "I'm a professional cartoonist, goddammit!"...
THE RED SPHERE: by Madeline; 2006/12/13, twin (diagnostic? psychic?) nightmares
Calmly, I watch a girl trapped in a lab try to escape, and die; and watch a man lose his head to a hungry thing...
CAUTION: GRUESOME
RESCUE FEVER: by Wayan; 1994/2/3, a dreamtale on rescue fantasies.
A refugee girl crawls into my bed. We become lovers. I protect her. But over time... am I holding her back?
CAUTION: ABUSE? OR NOT?
RIB-CRUSHER: by Robert Southey; 1823/10/5, a nightmare leaving traces
I was in the grave. Worse, a living skeleton was trying to crush my ribs. Though terrified, I fought back, and...
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
RUNAWAY MOONS: by Wayan; 2011/4/6, an absurd nightmare poem
New moons appear. I try to mash them into a spare Earth, but botch the orbits.
So now, runaway moons rumble down a steep San Francisco hill...
CAUTION: ALWAYS SET PARKING BRAKE
RUNNING BIRD: by Alder; 1953, a kinetic nightmare with double selves.
I'm a flightless bird hopping down a line of marble columns rising from the sea, as they topple behind me...
SADDLED WITH AUTISM: by Wayan; 1999/10/1, a dreamtale.
I'm autistic; a TV host encourages me and another autistic kid to have sex on the air...
CAUTION: UNDERAGE SEX ON NATIONAL TV; SERIOUS FINGER-POINTING
SATANIC LION’S WARNING: by Eldon B.; 2007/1/19, a nightmare with poltergeist activity
I fled a demon into a shadowy construction zone where an even worse telepathic lion-devil
lured me in with soothing flattery. I woke shaking--and then things in my room began to move...
CAUTION: DEMONS, POLTERGEIST PHENOMENA
THE SEA WOLF'S BRAIN: by Wayan; 1999/11/21, a psychic dream.
For years the Sea-Wolf enslaved me. He said I had to fight him and win to be free. I'm ready at last...
SECRET SCREEN: by Wayan; 2018/4/19 and 2018/5/16, three linked dreamlets of escape
A friend nags me to be lookout as he steals a cult's papers. I know it'll end in murder, but foresight paralyzes me!
In a videogame that keeps freezing unplayably, I find a button calling up a secret screen of second chances...
I'm lost in a grim basement, but two kids show me a cobwebbed glass door you can walk through like air...
THE SECURITY GUARD: by Wayan; 1994/12/30, a nightmare on anger.
A crazy security guard with a deadly squirt gun kills freely over and over, for the cops keep paroling...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE
SENTENCED TO CHEESE: by a Birmingham physician; early 1850s? a classic subliminal nightmare
One night as I slept over a cheese shop, I dreamt I was trapped in a huge cheese, as a rat-horde gnawed...
CAUTION: YOU ARE LUNCH
SEPTIC: by Steve (age 6), pre-1961, a recurring predictive nightmare
For three weeks he wakened screaming in fright; he said he "fell in a hole." Then, one snowy day...
SET ON FIRE: by Wayan; 2017/10/15, a dream on reckless stupidity
Yuppies with a lighter set me on fire--not even out of malice, just idly.
I'm a shaman, I can survive it, but I'm not immune to pain...
CAUTION: NIGHTMARE, UGLY POLITICAL COMPARISONS
SEWING ADVICE FROM CANNIBALS: by Elias Howe, 1845, an inventor's helpful nightmare.
His sewing-machine design failed--until dream-cannibals caught him & jabbed him with weird needles...
CAUTION: OUCH!
THE SHADOW OF LIBERTY: by Wayan; 1989/7/8, a comic nightmare, possibly telepathic.
My sisters get bored with the game of power, so I watch TV--
until it melts, and a terrifying giant rises to chases me...
SHAPESHIFTER FEVER: by Wayan; 1989/1/30, a dream poem.
A summer love affair with a shapeshifting alien turns awkward when she gets a high fever, and...
CAUTION: UGH!
SHARPSHOT: by Wayan; 1977/4/3, a surreal poem of a warning nightmare
When I was being battered, I dreamed where it would end
if I didn't leave: dead wife, shot husband...
CAUTION: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
SHE CRASHES AND BURNS: by Wayan; 2005/5/7, a diagnostic nightmare.
I ask my dreams how to find love. I dream of a 1920s bohemian girl
teasing stuffy folk. But her pranks turn dangerous, then deadly...
SHOCKWAVE: by Wayan; 1996/7/27, a predictive nightmare.
My childhood home explodes into a vast pyroclastic cloud that comes boiling toward me, miles away...
CAUTION: DOOM
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
THE SMILING SHAW MACHINE: by W.B. Yeats; 1894/4/19, a nightmare about popular success.
After Shaw's Arms and the Man eclipsed my own play The Land of Heart's Desire, I dreamt I was haunted by...
SNOT-BIRD FORGERY!: a dream by Samuel Pepys, 1667/6/29, & a nightmare by Thomas Macaulay, c.1857
Samuel Pepys dreamt of kidneystones, pee, come, & snot--or did he? Thomas Macauley dreams his niece confesses...
SOME THINGS ARE DARK: by Edna St Vincent Millay; 1948??, a poem narrated by Nightmare
Millay, suffering from nightmares, decides to speak from Nightmare's point of view...
SPIRAL LAUGHTER: by Alder; 1953, a child's feverdream
The world is a whirlpool, a black and white spiral pulling me down toward a black hole, and it’s laughing...
SPORECOUNT: by Wayan; 1990/1/5, a dreamtale on patience through change.
I'm a hot archeology student till I open the wrong tomb. A plague
turns us into green moldy monsters--at first...
CAUTION: DISEASE, DEATH, GRIEF, SHAME
A SQUARE IN THE HAND: by Anna Kingsford; 1887/4/12, an epic dream with an end-twist
I'm a French revolutionary facing the firing squad. But palmistry predicted I'll be strangely saved...
A STAB OF ANGER: by Wayan; 1997/5/24, a Jurassic Park dream.
By a midnight lake, I comfort an abused girl in the mud. But two figures with long knives loom...
STALAGMITE VALLEY: by Maude Meagher; 1902?-07, a recurring childhood dream.
I found myself on a stone pillar in a valley. Invisible people sat on other stalagmites, but my voice didn’t reach...
STARFISH: by Marc Ian Barasch, c. 1985; a multileveled, doubly predictive dream
A sacred starfish piloting a Cessna plane survives a crash. But can it survive a boy's clumsy rescue efforts?
STAY ON THE SIDEWALK: by a Utah boy, pre-1961, a flawed warning nightmare
He said "Oh, Mom, I had a terrible dream. A car ran me down."
I said we could not live by dreams or we live a life of horror...
A STIRRING FAILURE: by Robert's wife, pre-1961, a precise predictive nightmare
I dreamed a small plane crashed and burned, but also how the pilot
might be saved. I asked my husband to direct the firetruck...
STOP ME!: by Wayan; 1994/2/22, a nested nightmare.
I kill with an angry wish! I hide the bodies, but secretly pray someone'll catch me before I snipe again...
CAUTION: VIOLENCE, GUILT
STORM OF HUGE RAINDROPS: by Albrecht Dürer; 1525/5/30, watercolor of a size-nightmare
The first drop struck about four miles away, with terrific force and thunder, breaking and drowning the land...
THE STROKE: by Lesa; 2005/6/1, a predictive dream
A vivid nightmare that turned out a week later to be devastatingly true ...
THE SUPERCELLS; 2005/3/4 by Anonymous #37; nightmare of a pointless eco-coverup
Multiple tornadoes touched down in the fields, but the farmer's wife sewed
in a rocking chair, oblivious. I moved to warn her but my lieutenant said...
SURRENDER TO THE WHITE BUFFALO: by Kathleen Sullivan, 1970s?; a nightmare turned shamanic
A gigantic herd of buffalo stampede toward me. I panic, then surrender in peace to what is surely my death...
THE TAKEOVER: by Lee Olivier; 2004/6/28, a triple diagnostic nightmare
An alien is taking over our world, and I feel so helpless that even when I wake I want to just forget the dream...
TARTAN ACID SPIDER TORPEDO: by "Thomas Mountain"; 2008/1/31, a cliffhanger dream.
I get speared by Irish warriors, slipped an LSD dose, chased by giant spiders, torpedoed--hey, I'm not bored!
THE TELLTALE HEART: by SAO (Shawn Allen O'Neal); 1970s, ominously prophetic nightmare
High up a scaffold, I was beating the chaff off a huge seed, unable to stop. I was beating my own heart...
TERRIBLE HORSE: by Louise Bogan; 1941, poem of a healing dream
A stallion reared to strike me. He was all the fear and rage I’d repressed... A woman said “offer him...
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...
THYROID: by Marc Ian Barasch, c. 1985; a set of life-saving diagnostic nightmares
In 1985 I was flooded with nightmares about heads and necks. They had an unparalleled intensity...
TIMESHOT!: by Wayan; 1999/1/2, a warning dream.
I provoke a shooting! Wandering through time, I forget how much some cultures fear witches...
TIME WARP: by "Erwre Qerwgeqwr"; 2010/2/5, a nightmare recurring 4 times in one night
A timewarp started to swallow my house. It looked normal outside, but everyone inside was in a trance...
TIME WITH A NIGHTHEAD: by Barbara Gordon Paine; c.1960, a nightmare-poem on overconfidence
A toy's delivered, unasked. A jumping jack. It tries to eat me! I defeat it but then peer in the box to be sure...
TIN FISH: by a ship engineer's wife; 1914-1918, a precise lifesaving dream
I dreamed my husband's ship headed for India, but a 'tin fish'
sank it with just one casualty--him. I rushed down to the dock...
TORTOISESHELL GUILT: by 'Monk Eye'; 2014/9/9; a nightmare on spaciness and its risks
I was enjoying an evening with this generic guy. Although there were two cats
as big as bobcats in the room, I let Poodle, my tortoiseshell, in...
CAUTION: GRUESOME CATFIGHT
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
TRICERATOPS, or, THE GUY WHO SCRIPTS MY DREAMS: by Wayan, 1982/8/24; a dream on dreams
Stuck in a horror movie, I get to meet the triceratops-headed monster
who scriptwrites all my nightmares. But he's open to suggestions...
TRI-GUARDIANS: by Wayan; 2005/8/5, a stalking nightmare that peels away layers
Three men follow me. But they're not men; they fly. They shapeshift into teenage archeologists...
then into pure energy-beings! "We don't care about you; we're watching another entity
you let into your dreams." Wait--I've got FOUR foreign entities stalking through my psyche?
CAUTION: ALARMING, IF TRUE
TURNABOUT: by Henry James; 1870s or 80s; a nightmare reversed by sheer courage.
A night-fiend strove to open the door I held shut between us--
until I realized I too was terrible, and opened it to find a great...
CAUTION: THE DREADED PROSE OF HENRY JAMES
TWAIN’S BROTHER: by Mark Twain, 1858?, a premonitory nightmare.
Twain saw a coffin with white and red flowers. Inside lay his brother Henry. A few days later the riverboat Henry worked on exploded...
UNCORK A SUB GOD: by Wayan; 1998/8/11, a cryptic warning dream.
Exploring a sunken sub, my buddies salvage a something ticking. Toss it back, but it won't stay sunk...
VAMPIGS AND SMILES: by Wayan; 1991/12/9, an advisory dream.
Our landlady was a friend, but she broke our rental agreement. Talk, compromise, or rent strike?
THE VENDOR: by Georges Perec; July 1971, a nightmare of societal amorality. Dream #77
I murder my wife. I try to sell her body as meat to a firm that'll turn her into wine.
But the transubstantiation has already happened, and the paperwork's undone...
CAUTION: GRISLY
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)
VOW, CHOP, DOOR: by Wayan; 1997/1/26, a psychic dreamtale.
I make a weird vow--while I absent-mindedly slice up other people's cars! The next day...
CAUTION: DREAM VANDALISM
VULTURE PEOPLE: by Jack Kerouac, 1962, a gross-out nightmare--and a warning?
The vulture people are fucking in the city dump. I end up their guest, given putrid food
in their cold stinking house of rancid grease. I'll become a vulture too...
CAUTION: UGH!
WAR IN THE RING: by Bruno Oliveira; May 2011, a happy nightmare
War, monsters, plague and bombs are just thrills spicing up
this city rising from a tropical sea on an alien world...
WASP: by Madellyne Waugh; 2010/4/22, a punning dream on... guilt?
A giant insect chases me around our gym. A girl tells me it's harmless but I'm sure it's a...
WHERE'S MY MUM?: by Pauline Ramsey; 1972, a long-term predictive nightmare.
I find my mum under my bed, unconscious, her head cracked. And I wake knowing it means she’ll lose her mind...
WHIPPING NIGHTMARES: by Jamie Sawyer; 2014/9/3; non-lucid yet lucidlike dream
Attacked on the ground, in the air, even in space, I fight back effectively.
Not lucid, yet in my dreams I now have real power...
WHITE-FACED: by John A. Symonds; 1861/7/3, a mutation nightmare
My face was leprous white like parchment; my eyes shone with
a cold blue eerie light. I shrieked "Papa, don't you know me?"...
A WHITE-FACED MARE, 29 YEARS LATER: by an Iowa grandma; 1918, a predictive dream
My grandmother dreamt a white-faced black mare trampled me in our orchard.
We had no such mare. But 29 years later, I boarded a man's two mares...
WHO IS OUTSIDE MY WINDOW?: by Krista G.; 2008/6/25, a recurrent false-waking dream.
Someone's prowling outside my window. I'm paralyzed in bed, but I force myself into action...
THE WILD HUNT: by Carl Jung; Sept. 1922, a clairvoyant dream hinting what death is
A huge wolfhound tore past me. My blood froze. The Wild Hunt was carrying off a soul...
WILDERNESS OF VIRGINIA: by Jack Kerouac; around Oct. 1, 1953; a capitalist nightmare
I feel horrified--how publishers will batten on the sufferings of junkey musicians... unbearable...
WIRES: by Wayan; 1957-1963, a recurrent childhood nightmare resolved by drawing, Dec 1999
I was bodiless but trapped. All I could see were these moving wires. Whenever a knot drifted by...
CAUTION: MADNESS, TORMENT, TELEPATHY, SEXUAL REBELLION
WITNESS: by Patagia, 2006/2/16, a poem of a redemptive nightmare
A woman I had wronged set her pit bull on me! Hand in its jaws, I gave in, and we both began crying...
THE WORM: by Emily Dickinson, mid-1870s?, a nightmare-poem
Emily Dickinson ties up a worm she mistrusts. Bad move! It grows into a talking snake with a score to settle...
WORM WIZARD, or, TITMAN'S CHAIR: by Wayan; 1997/4/23, a dream of bamboozlement.
In the castle of a wizard who's a were-worm, I let myself become
my businessman-friend's chair! Generous, huh?
THE WRAITH OF KHAN: by Wayan; 1982/6/2, a dream on brains
I'm being stalked by Ricardo Montalban, playing Khan, from Star Trek. Why? Oh, I know why.
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...
"YOU'RE INSANE": by Wayan; 2000/5/26, a nightmare warning I've been misjudged
DAY: My dad's sick; my mom nags me to visit, though hospitals endanger me (weak immune system).
DREAM: My parents say "You're insane. We must take control of your life." So I divorce my family...
CAUTION: UGLY FAMILY VALUES
ZOMBIE RUSH-HOUR: by Wayan; 1993/12/14, a predictive nightmare.
I'm in an apartment co-op in Silicon Valley where people share their skills--till rush hour begins...


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