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Dream Interpretation/Recurring dreams about aggressive entities

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Question
Hello, I would be grateful for some quick insight about recurring dreams I've been having.

I've basically been having two types of recurring dreams at least once every month for quite some years now, they both involve some sort of aggressive entity in my house.

The first one starts with me waking up alone at night in my house (I live alone in a small apartment). What's striking from the start is that I "recreate" the house layout perfectly: there are no "blurry areas" like I have in other, normal dreams, everything is there as it was before I fell asleep. It's dark, no lights on, but somehow there's enough light for me to observe what will happen next: usually, I feel a negative presence from the start, it's like I know something bad will happen. The fear is so overwhelming, I get goosebumps as I'm typing.
Usually what happens is either I hear steps coming from the kitchen (which is adjacent to the living, where I sleep), or something having a human form appears near my bed. I am almost paralyzed by fear, knowing that I don't have an escape route (the hallway is blocked by the entity coming from the kitchen, or the entity in front of my bed). Somehow I also know that if I run it's futile, they're inhumanly fast.
The entity near the bed will look at me, as if waiting for any sign of reaction on my part, but attacks me irregardless after a few seconds. Every time I dream this, I try a different solution, either trying to run or somehow defend myself or hit it. The worse scenario is when i attempt to hit it: I usually attempt to knock it down by kicking it in the head, but it reacts so fast, makes a screeching noise and bites my foot as it was just about to kick its head. I never wake up just after the attack, but stay in the dream for it to hurt me. I feel my flesh being torn and warm blood on my foot as if it were real. I usually wake up half-way being "killed" in the dream.
In the other scenario, it's usually a smaller, child-like human entity that comes from the kitchen. It will always try to chase me with the same inhuman speed. This dream type is far less gory but I still end up dead somehow.

What do you make of these? I'm not a big horror buff, I don't watch horror movies often, but I'm usually most affected by zombie and possession/poltergeist movies. Is this just a case of being overly impressionable by these types of movies? There's something so vivid about these dreams that scares me most.

I also dream about being chased by zombies, but I've manage to correlate these dreams with periods of high stress - guess I identify the tons of small problems with zombies. On the other part, the dreams described above seem to happen regardless of stress periods or anything of importance happening in my life.

Thank you so much, any input would be greatly appreciated!

Answer
Hi Alex,

Your experiences sound really terrifying!  Since you asked for a quick response, I will give you a few very quick thoughts now and come back with a more detailed anayisis later.

My first thoughts are that your dreams sound very very similar to a sleep paralysis or hypnagogic hallucination experience except that you don't feel like you are awake at the time.  Sleep paralysis happens when a person wakes up but is still affected by the normal paralysis that occurs during REM sleep.  During this time, many sufferers can hallucinate an often evil being in their bedroom or experience an attack while they lay in their beds.  Often, as in your case, there is a sense of a evil presence before it is seen.  

Try googling "sleep paralysis" or "hypnagogic hallucinations" and see what you think.  There is a wikipeadia article which might be a good place to start but also, there are many accounts on the internet of other people's experiences.  Obviously you seem to know that it is a dream and you don't seem to feel like you are awake during the experience, but the description of the dreams sound really typical of sleep paralyisis or hypnagogic hallucination so it might e related to this.

I have lots of theories about zombie dreams too which I will share with you in the next day or two when I have more time to write a more detailed response.

Hope this was helpful and talk to you soon.


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Hi Alex, back again,

On the subject of sleep paralysis,here is an article which describes a typical sleep paralysis experience which you might find interesting.  http://www.dreamsnightmares.com/sleepparalysis.html

There is another condition called "hypnagogic hallucinations" which can occur with or without paralysis - and this sound more like your experiences - but there is less information out there on it.  

If you are interested, a good book on the subject written by a sufferer of sleep paralysis is "Sleep Paralysis: a guide to hypnagogic visions and visitors in the night" by Ryan Hurd.  While your experience is not "paralysis" the experience is very similar and you would probably benefit from some of the suggestions.  It has lots of practical suggestions on what to do while having a sleep paralysis episode to try to take control of the situation.  

Some simple suggestions he makes if you find yourself in sleep paralysis include: 

Don't fight back - try to go with the flow
Wiggle your toe, or try to clench your fist (this suggestion is more relevant for sleep paralysis sufferers)
Focus on your breathing as a way to calm yourself
focus on love - think of someone you love and admire and focus on them

Not fighting back and projecting love might seem counter intuitive in such a situation.  However, the theory is that all dreams are a creation of our own minds, and we can learn to at least partly control them if we have enough awareness.  This is a skill called "lucid dreaming" which you might want to look into.  So basically, if you think something in a dream, you can make that happen.  This would explain why the dream gets worse when you fight back - because your dream is feeding on and reflecting back your emotions.  If you are able to reflect on more positive emotions while in the dream, then this -theoretically - will be reflected back in the dream itself - the evil force might disintegrate into something less scary.

If you are having recurring dreams about zombies, the message is probably more involved than being about lots of small problems.  There may be an underlying issue that gets triggered by the small problems.

For a metaphorical analysis of zombies, zombies were once living humans with a soul, but became infected by the zombie virus.  The original person has basically died.  There is no soul, the flesh is rotting, but they still walk around and cause destruction.  Dreams about death are often to do with something ending in your life.  For example, people who have just left school, changed jobs, or ended a relationship often dream about death.  In your case, the zombie is "dead" but still living.  

So the zombie might symbolise something which you are still involved with in your life, but your heart is just not in it, or you wish you could get out of something or stop doing something in your life, but for one reason or another, it still continues.  For example, people who have dreams about zombies might be working in a job they really hate, but find it difficult to quit because of financial reasons, they might be in a relationship where there is no longer any love, or they might have problems with addiction.

If you are running away from the zombies in your dreaming, it might mean that you are avoiding facing up to what is really bothering you.  If you feel like you are just going through the motions of some aspect of your life, then this is probably more what the zombie dreams are about.  Often, the things that happen in the day or two before the dream can trigger it off, so the small problems might be related to this underlying feeling.

While I have interpreted a few dreams about zombies, I haven't had much feedback to confirm or otherwise this theory, so if it doesn't seem to fit with your life, then it probably isn't quite right - so just take it with a grain of salt.

If you want to send me a more descriptive account of a zombie dream you've had recently, this might help to figure out exactly what it is about, because often there are subtle clues in dreams which can help. (I would also really appreciate to opportunity to get to the bottom of this zombie symbolism!)

In the meantime, I would be more than happy to answer any follow-up questions you might have.  (My profile says I am currently unavailable, but I still accept follow-up questions.). if you have any feedback or comments, that would be great too.

Take it easy.

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