Stand still while I bludgeon you with a series of sudden blog posts after a prolonged silence…
In this post, we continue to explore the recurring denizens of my nightmares. We’ve explored the Black Dog, the Bears, the Snakes, and Xenomorphs. This time we’ll look at one of the most fearsome of the recurring denizens, and then something less tangible.
My father had no qualms about letting me watch whatever the fuck I wanted as a child as long as I watched it with him. I had to look the other way when boobs were shown or there was sexxy time on screen, but when it came to violence, I was just told that “that’s not real.”
Cue the following films: American Werewolf in London, Wolfen, and The Howling. Now, by the time I watched these movies I was already well into my recurring Black Dog dreams, and while I don’t remember having overlapping dreams of werewolves and the Black Dog, I feel it made my dog dreams worse (especially Wolfen).
After I defeated the Black Dog in my nightmares, the Werewolf nightmares started. The Werewolf was never in human form—in fact, it was only suggested that the creature was a werewolf because of its exact similarity to the creature from American Werewolf in London. It could just be a really horrible wolf that only appears during the full moon.
Where the Black Dog inspired fear and would sometimes taunt me, the Werewolf would just brutally maul me to death instantly if it caught me. It always caught me if I stayed in the dream long enough. Like most of my Black Dog nightmares, the sequence would usually start rather normal and the Werewolf would factor in later in the dream as it mutated into nightmare. Sometimes there would be hints—savaged bodies, howling in the distance, the full moon rising. Sometimes it just instantly became a Werewolf nightmare.
To have a Werewolf nightmare through to the end meant death, always, it never varied. It initiated lucidity sometimes, but it didn’t matter. I could say to myself “This is another stupid Werewolf dream where I die” and I couldn’t do a thing about it but wait until I was shredded alive. The Werewolf is just raw violence, every time without fail. There were times I would wake up before it arrived, but it was rare. Mostly, I woke up as I died in the nightmare.
I still occasionally have the beginnings of this nightmare, but it has been a long time since I’ve been killed by the Werewolf. As I chronicled in a post a few weeks back, I felt the presence of the Werewolf in a regular dream, but it never appeared.
There was one variation of dog/wolf dreams that I connected to the Werewolf in my early 20s. I dreamed that I was a wolf fetus still in the womb of my wolf mother as she hunted with her pack. These wolves fed on humans, and I remember vividly floating in a sac and seeing human blood pour in from an opening as I lapped it up like a dog. After waking, I had this feeling that it was a prequel dream, and that I was in fact the Werewolf from my nightmares all along.
A number of us dreamers have a sleep paralysis nightmare or two to share. Some people call the responsible entity their “sleep paralysis demon”. I guess I have one, too.
Up until a few years ago I had never had a sleep paralysis dream. Several of my exes have had them, and one of them swore that her dead father was her demon.
In my life, I have rarely lived by myself for very long. I have a history of attracting women that fast turn into roommates, whether they are on the lease or not. During one period of time that I had been living alone for about a year, and without a girlfriend or even a fling, I had a dream that I woke up and saw a small boy next to my bed. His face was blurry, but he was wearing a horizontally striped shirt and shorts.
There was a pause. I didn’t feel fear, just mild confusion. I felt myself about to ask why he was there.
He then put his hand over my mouth and I began to suffocate. I felt my entire body freeze up and I felt myself wake out of the dream only to find that I couldn’t breathe or move in real life either. The entity was still next to me and had turned to shadow—a shadow which was growing to engulf me and the entire room. A sound like someone scraping their nails across the low end of a piano’s strings assaulted my ears and I wanted to scream, move, anything.
And then finally I woke up. I knew I was really awake because my alarm was going off, only the thing was still there, and I still couldn’t breathe or move. This time it was pressing down on my mouth and I felt my lips being cut by the teeth underneath. The shadow was enveloping my vision and all turned to black as my lungs screamed for air.
And THEN I woke up. The alarm wasn’t going off—that was just a trick to sell the “waking” bit. My cat was peeking around the corner of the doorway at me, looking as if he was saying, “You ‘right then, mate?”
I was not. I didn’t go back to sleep that night.
The feeling that this particular entity evokes is a recurring one. Though I’ve only seen the boy once, the shadow thing has always been a denizen of my dreams.
I had a dream when I was younger that I was alone in the house and my parents were mysteriously missing. I methodically checked each room looking for them and verified that their cars were still in the driveway. When I went out to the garage, I noticed the utility room light was on. As I stepped out to go see if they were there, I saw a shadow cast from something in that room. Now, rationally I might think it was my parents, but I immediately knew it was something sinister. It was this thing. The sound was there—that nails against piano string sound.
This thing, that I can only really call The Demon, has made its way into my dreams in many forms. Sometimes, it is just shadow. Sometimes, it is an evil man shape. Sometimes, it’s just the sound.
Since that initial sleep paralysis dream, I’ve had more and more. I also have those quick take dreams where you just doze off for a 3-second nightmare and jerk awake. It’s there in those 3 seconds. It IS those 3 seconds. It’s the falling sensation. It’s the black thing in the doorway that’s pitch black. It’s the dark spot in the trees. It’s the slimy shine under the bed, or the car, or the house.
It has no real form. It is fear as substance.