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Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you ever had a dream, or a nightmare, that stayed with you for life?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36037points) June 17th, 2014

Rick and I rented a cabin for 3 days, over the weekend, right on the Arkansas border. The cabin had a feeling of remoteness about it because it was set in the woods up on a hill that was close to qualifying as a mountain. Rolling hills were covered in pine and oak trees, as far as you could see. The hills in the distance had a smoky, bluish mist about them. It was beautiful.

That first night I was SO tired from the long drive and all the packing and planning that I couldn’t wait to go to bed. Crawled in bed alone at about 10:30, with a feeling of sweet relief. The bed was positioned under a window, which I had opened to catch the breeze. I could hear the breeze sighing through the trees. It was awesome.

I assumed I’d just go straight to sleep, and I did. Except as I was drifting off a sudden feeling of sheer terror and horror would come over me, like a black shadow moving between my eyes and my eyelids, and I’d be snatched out of my sleep. It caused me to jerk awake, as if someone, or something, had physically yanked me away. This went on and on, at least 5 more times, until I was just left lying there, exhausted but wide eyed, staring into the darkness, which was almost impenetrable.

I got up and checked the time, thinking maybe I’d actually gone to sleep but didn’t realize it. It was only 12:30, so I knew that I hadn’t.

I went out on the front patio to smoke and ponder this nameless terror that kept jerking me awake. I was looking out toward the woods. It was so dark you could only see the silhouette of the trees, thanks to a full moon, and see the gentle motion as the wind sighed through the branches and leaves.

I couldn’t see any of the other cabins. Couldn’t hear a sound. It was as though I was the only person on the earth, all alone…...
Suddenly I remembered something. My blood just froze. I jumped up, ran into the cabin and went back to bed next to the reassuring warmth of my husband. I was trembling.

It was as though the fact that I had put a name on the horror caused it to go away. It left me alone after that, and I was able to actually go sleep then. Until 5:30 a.m. when I woke up, got up to go to the bathroom and promptly ran my face, nose leading, into the door jam. SHIT THAT HURT!!! But that’s a different story…


I was the oldest of 3 kids, all girls. I was always expected to take care of them, for as long as I can remember. When I was 5 my mom would turn me and my younger sister, who was only 2 at the time, loose outside and I was expected to take care of her. (The fact that there was an unfenced canal that came off of Tampa Bay, in our back yard, that rose and fell with the tides apparently didn’t faze my mom at all! One time my sister fell off of the sea wall. Thank God the tide was out. I ran screaming to the house, because I couldn’t help her!)

When I was 16 I had a nightmare. I dreamed my mom, my two sisters, ages 12 and 11 then, and I were all alone in this cabin in the middle of some dark woods, on a mountain, in the middle of no where. The cabin was all by itself. My Dad was not in the picture, he wasn’t there. It was just me, Mom and the girls. It was night time and very, very dark.

I was standing in the doorway of the bedroom, where my mom and the girls were sleeping in one bed. The bed was under a window. I could hear the trees sighing in the wind.

Then I heard a scritching sound. Scritch, scritch scritch on the window screen. Suddenly this huge, hairy, clawed hand ripped through the screen and reached for my mom and the girls.

Suddenly I found my self in another part of the cabin. I couldn’t see them, but I heard my youngest sister scream. I don’t know how I knew exactly who it was, but I did. And that scream….it sends chills down my back to this day. I have never, ever heard a scream of such shear horror and terror in real life, not even in the movies, and I hope I never do hear one. I will not forget that scream.

I jerked awake, trembling and sick, frightened and panicked. I actually went and crawled in be with my parents. I was almost a grown woman and I crawled in be with my mommy and daddy!
I never, ever forgot that dream and will never forget the scream.

You can say, “It was only a dream,” and it was, but the feelings were very, very real, and very, very horrible. Terrible.

Sitting on the patio at the cabin the other night, I suddenly realized that the cabin, the bedroom, the position of the bed under the window, everything was an exact replica of the cabin in my dreams. I almost threw up at that point.

But once I recognized it, the terror left me, and it didn’t come again.

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29 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Yes, and though I am no longer a believer in any sort of existence after death, I am almost convinced that through a dream I had about 25 years ago, my godmother must have somehow come to bid me farewell before she was killed in an accident the next day. No matter how much I have tried to give it all an explanation, it is too precise not to be true. I don’t want to go into it too much beacase to this day it affects me to the core!

Mariah's avatar


They weren’t too long ago yet, but I don’t imagine I’ll ever forget the nightmares that Vicodin gave me. The most memorable of which involved watching my classmate’s skin peel off in vivid detail.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ZEPHYRA Tell me about your dream!

@Mariah Ewwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

majorrich's avatar

I regularly still have nightmares of a very close call I had when I was in the service. We were directed to Panama to extract some assets and he/she/it wasn’t at the spot it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a touch-down and go mission. We had to get out of the aircraft and do a hastily organized sweep search to find the asset. By the end of the search, the asset had found it’s own way to the aircraft and we encountered resistance. And there were casualties. My first and only. I relive those seconds of abject terror and luck that I am here to tell my sketchy story.

qwertzicle's avatar

My dream is kind of a double dream… There is a clock ticking and I lay awake in my bed. A door opens and smoke pours into my dark bedroom. A black, robed figure steps through the door and “floats” over too the side of my bed. He leans over me and then I wake up from the dream, its morning and I’m late for school but I manage too say “Not again. I hate that dream.” As soon as I say that, the black figure “floats” up too me and I scream at the top of my lungs. By that time I am awake in real life.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a d..r…e….a….....m.

syz's avatar

I had a recurrent dream as a kid that still distresses me to think about.

tinyfaery's avatar

Oh, gawd yes. The gist was the devil came to get me because he wanted to retire and I was supposed to take over. The devil looked like the devil from Legend. There is a lot more, but I’m too lazy to type it here.

I still remember every bit of that dream. I must have been about 16. Hell wasn’t that bad.

Seek's avatar


sorry, mama

Yes, I remember several dreams from when I was a youngling. Some of them quite vividly.

One involved me going swimming with my grandfather (who died when I was 18 mos. old). I might have been four or five at the time. I know I didn’t know how to swim yet. We were swimming in a lake, and there turned out to be piranhas, which ate my grandfather and then came after me.

Another was from when I was 6 or 7. Main Street in my town was 4 blocks away from my house. I used to ride up on my bicycle to buy toilet paper and stuff at the corner store. In the dream, I had ridden up and all the buildings were on fire, and there were balls of fire raining from the sky. A big telephone pole fell down right in front of me. I turned around and started running back to my house. A black car pulled up next to me and the door opened, and inside were the Ninja Turtles and Casey Jones (as played by Elias Koteas). They told me to get in, that we were getting away from here.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Just a terrible auto accident in a yellow sports car.That re-occurred over a three month period of time 45 years ago, will not drive a yellow sports car.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It took you 4 hours to post that, @Tropical_Willie?!

Don’t blame you!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think my dream may have been triggered by watching The Legend of Bogy Creek, actually.

Pachy's avatar

A dream I had about my dad not long after he died has stuck with me over 40 years. It was an amazingly instructive dream about my relationship with him.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I was on my head in a roll-over in a left handed turn.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Would love to hear more about your father dream @Pachy.

dxs's avatar

Ahh such a lovely thread to read before bed!
@Dutchess_III I think I missed something: where did you come across this cabin in real life? Was it the cabin in the first description and was it before or after the second dream?
That description scared me. I hate the feeling on remoteness. I wouldn’t be able to sleep in that cabin. I’ll never be a country person I swear…city life for me with everyone & everything nearby.
I wish I could think of a recurring dream, but I don’t even remember my dreams. I’ve definitely had nightmares, but can’t recall even one specific dream! Usually mine involve me being separated from groups.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

OK, now I remember. The nightmare was a very very vivid dream, in color, from back when I was 8 or 9. I was at the local school and we were playing in the yard when we were suddenly attacked by WWII fighters. They strafed the grounds all around us.

And then one of the fighters has me in its sights, and dives down, firing madly…

And I don’t die when the bullets hit me. I might as well be

So the nightmare became a very good dream.

anniereborn's avatar

I often have some variation of trying to get help during a crisis by using a phone. The phone either doesn’t work (it has a dial tone, but when I hit the numbers nothing happens). Or I keep forgetting the number I need to call. It is terrifying and panic sets in.

This is VERY easy to decipher from an incident that happened when I was 8. My father passed out from drinking when he was babysitting me. I thought he was dead. I tried to call my mom at work for help but I couldn’t get ahold of her. (this was loooong before cell phones)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@dxs The cabin is a cabin at Lake Wister State Park in Oklahoma. The terrain and stuff was more like Arkansas or Missouri though. It was just about 5 miles from Arkansas. We stayed there over this last weekend.

I had the dream years ago, when I was 16. I just kept having this awful, scared feeling the first night I tried to sleep in the cabin this past weekend. It finally hit me that the cabin we were in last weekend was just like the cabin I saw in my dream, decades ago, where my Mom and sisters were attacked by…..something. Some monster.

As I said, I think the dream was triggered by me watching The Legend of Boggy Creek. “The Legend of Boggy Creek is a 1972 horror docudrama about the “Fouke Monster,” a Bigfoot-type creature that has been seen in and around Fouke, Arkansas since the 1950s.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I still remember that dream. It’s one of my favorite ones and I would like to dream again if I could. It was heavily influence by a movie I saw before bed.

In that dream, I was a male private investigator. My client was a very unusual one: my mother (no, not my real life mom. It was an old woman in her 60s or 70s and claimed to be my mom. I don’t know why I accepted that fact in my dream like I already knew it long ago). She asked me to look over her house as she had a feeling someone was watching her. Her hunch was true, and I found someone stalking her house at night. I got some clue from that jerk and went on investigate.

On my way I befriended with a big muscled guy and a small Chinese-like guy. They aided me in my investigation. I couldn’t remember the investigation in details, but it seemed that “mom” had been involving in some shady business in the past and now someone was after her. There were a point when “mom” asked me to stop my investigation and let her deal with things all alone but I refused.

And here is the part that I remember the most (and has the biggest impact on me): Somehow I figured out that “mom” was going to be killed soon. I asked my two friends to watch over her, while I drew my own plan. At night I was suddenly ambushed by a group of men-in-black. I found them back and won (probably), but I was also seriously injured. I got on my car and went back to mom’s home to retreat. When I came back, the Chinese guy greeted me with a panicked face and told me to go in immediately. I went in and saw, to my horror, “mom” lie on a pool of blood. The big guy was knocked unconscious. The Chinese guy called a doctor. I was treated that night, but it was too late for “mom”. I still remember that final scene: I held “mom” in my arm and sworn revenge, the big guy looked at me with an apologetic face and the Chinese guy whispered some “requiem” line for “mom”.

I woke up at that point. Man, I want to dream more. I still don’t know what happens next.

rojo's avatar

No, I will occasionally have a vivid dream that will stick with me for a few days but then “pfffft” it is gone.
But, I sometimes wonder if the deja vu I seem to experience quite frequently is not dream related.

Unbroken's avatar

Blood on my bedroom floor repeatedly. Sometimes covered sometimes footsteps leading to the window i was 11. Repeated dream for a year. Didnt figure out the meaning until years later. Within that period i changed from minimalist with lists of items and me getting rid of things once a month i hadnt used to covering my floor with everything i could find.

It was guilt. My sister was brutally raped by a guy i had helped her go see. She went straight from the hospital to grandmothers house and i didnt see her for a year.

At about 6–9 i dreamed i was a witch a lot performing rituals on the beach by a camp fire. My dad always said i was stubborn and stubborness was of the devil. And he quoted something about not suffering a witch to live.

I had a dream when i was pregnant about two snakes. One big one little both males and poisonous. I was convinced i wanted them but couldnt take care of them yet. So i stuffed them in the freezer but i had to chain it and no one could use it. People would come over and open it and angry snakes would pop out it got more and more dangerous. I was so upset.

That one was obvious i felt too young and unprepared to settle down. But i loved both and panic of having to choose what to do that neither of them would wait for me to be ready….

A house with tunnels and secret rooms in which i hid. I dreamed this dream from earliest memories until i left my parents. It was finding a safe place to be myself but always being afraid of being discovered or chased. There were more but these are the clearest of the oldest.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Well, as I slept, I felt a kind of weight on my chest and saw my godmother dresses in the most brilliant white and so vivid I felt she was right the, the dialogs still ring in my ears. She gathered my family members and me and we sat on the grass having a picnic. During the dream I felt paralzed, I couldn’t move, something was pushing down on me. At some point, as if in a great hurry she jumped up off the grass and said she had to leave and that we had o stay there. She refused to stay longer saying she had to off on a trip. I got up to see her off and she motioned me to remain seated. I can’t explain how vivid and loud this dream was. She turned around and went walking up the slope waving and smiling. I got up and shouted that she should stay a bit more, but she said walking further off that there was no other way she could stay. She walked and waved till she was out of sight leaving us all wondering why she wanted to leave so urgently. As soon as she disappeared the weight lifted off me and I woke up feeling so deeply sad. The next day we got the news. For about a month after that I kept feeling that weight/pressure on my chest when I slept. Still can’t explain that one!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ZEPHYRA That gave me chills. I like the phrase “how vivid and loud this dream was..”

What did she die from?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Apparently she was hit by a car in an underground parking, don’t know exactly how it happened.

LornaLove's avatar

Ugh! I have insomnia it is creepy around here this hour. I have to say though @Dutchess_III you write beautifully. Your dream sounded super creepy. I’ve had a couple I will never forget. I realize that some dreams are manifestations of anxiety, but really, yours sounds more than that. I had a few that sound more than that. If that makes sense.

In fact, years later I saw something I dreamed about (and never forgot) replicated, kind of, in the movie Hostel.

Crikey, us human beings are strange and our brains are even stranger. Great questions and look forward to more answers and people sharing their oddest dreams.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think mine was a combination of several things. One is that I felt so unutterably responsible for the kids, and starting to feel responsible for my Mom because she was so unstable.

I knew their marriage was falling apart (hence Dad not even in the picture in my dream.)

My youngest sister was falling apart, starting to act out in bizarre, hurtful, worrisome ways that left everyone in tears.

Then, of course, just had to watch The Legend of Boggy Creek.

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