People Share Their Most Vivid Recurring Nightmares
Growing up, my favorite cartoon was ThunderCats. Oddly, the ThunderCats are also the subject of my oldest recurring nightmare. My friends and family all know about the nightmare, it comes up quite often because they think it's so ridiculous. If you're into dream interpretation, grab your popcorn. Here we go.
The dream starts at a simple picnic in the park with my family. I'm sitting at a table across from my mother and happily snacking away. Then I notice something a little strange about her. My mom's eyes are normally an almost-alien shade of pale green, but they start to look yellow and she's just staring at me a little strangely.
It makes me nervous so I tell her I'm going to go for a walk and I walk away through trees. I can hear her behind me, and I'm filled with an increasing desire to run. "Relax" I tell myself ... and then I turn around. My entire family is standing, pacing at the treeline like hungry impatient animals. Also they have tails. They're slowly morphing into ThunderCats and in my dream I know once they're fully transformed they're going to eat me.
I book it - except even in my dreams I'm fully aware that I'm build for cuddles, not athleticism ya know? So I'm struggle-running through the woods when the ground under me starts to change from soil to sand. The trees disappear and I'm suddenly running through a desert with the full ThunderCats squad (my evilly transformed and very hungry family) chasing me down.
I know if I get over the top of the pyramid I'm safe. I've never gotten over it. Right as I get to the top, my mother/Cheetara snags me by my ankle. I can feel her claws slice into the tendons and her power is bone crushing. She drags me down the stairs and flings me towards my father/Panthro. He tosses me onto the sacrificial altar of the step pyramid and uses Lion-o's sword to stab me in the heart.
And then I wake up.
Reddit User @dillybilly17 asked:
Turns out I'm not the only one with a strange recurring nightmare - but I may be the only person who has one about the ThunderCats because they didn't come up not once. Here are the most popular responses.
I was maybe four at the time, it was right after my baby brother was born. I dreamed that my parents drove us to the park and abandoned me when a t-Rex attacked! And so I ran after them and got back to my house. And they were loading up the minivan without me.
And they flew to the moon, to escape the dinosaurs still without me!
So I ran back to the park and ran into a preschool friend, his family also abandoned him I guess, and we used the carousel, like the ones were you run to spin it and hop on, to go to the moon! But the t-Rex ate us!
Then I "woke up" but was still having a night terror so when I walked downstairs to climb in my parents bed I saw a giant step in front of the bank of windows and leave a giant footstep! It shook the whole house and I looked for it for years.
Beckoned By The Wolf
I remember this from when I was a young boy, about twenty years ago now. I also had this dream recur many times as I grew older for several years. In the dream I'm journeying through a frozen wasteland until I come upon a large, decrepit castle. The dream starts outside of the castle, but somehow I know I've been traveling for a long, long time. Outside of said castle is an enormous timber wolf, but it doesn't attack me, or cause me any fear. It simply paces in front of the drawbridge, as if to beckon me in.
I approach the gate to the castle and the wolf runs off. I open the gate and am inside the foyer of the castle, surrounded by two spiral staircases leading upwards. Everything in the castle is white, much like the cold winter of the outside world. I take a few steps forward, and I fall through the earth. The ground doesn't give way, and there is no trap door, I just phase through it, falling into nothingness. Then, after falling for what seems like hours into an endless abyss, I wake up.
It may not be very "scary" or truly embody what most believe a "nightmare" to be, but it gave me an unshakable sense of dread every time it recurred, especially at such a young age. And even then, knowing what would happen each time, my psyche reacted as if it were happening for the first time, every time. I haven't had the dream in many, many years, but I'll almost assuredly never forget about it.
I've had a recurring nightmare my whole life that the ocean rises and everything ends underwater.
I remember having recurring nightmares of a giant rigidly smiling face rising slowly up behind something (a fence? A hill) gradually becoming visible. I couldn't have been older than 4.
Don't Look Away
I've had nightmares where, for some god forsaken reason, every sound, light source and living thing around me is cut off completely if I look away from it.
For example, I would be in a dream sitting with a friend. If I looked away from that friend, for even just a moment, they would disappear. Not leave, just like - not even exist anymore. The lights will have gone out, and nothing- including any attempts to speak or make noise- will have a sound. Like suddenly snapping into a whole other dimension of nothingness.
Oh, and every time this happens, the only light sources are things like static TVs or a single candle/light. I'm always semi-lucid and trying to wake up. The whole thing is a recipe for disaster.
Worst part is this dream is re-occurring. I haven't had one like it in a good while, though, knock on wood.
My recurring Christmas ax-murder nightmare. I only have that dream when I spend the night at my grandparents' house and I've been having it for 20 years. That house has always creeped me out.
I had this recurring dream for some time as a kid. I was in the playground area in the back of the church I grew up in with my friends, everybody sitting in their little wooden chairs making drawings on the equally wooden tables. Everything seems normal, until someone screams "dog!" and I turn my head and everybody's gone. Then comes a not so big dog, I recall being white and a little furry like a poodle mixed with something else. It's only me and him. Then it jumps at me and starts swallowing my hand, then my arm up to my elbow. I scream and push its head, and my arm comes back like in the cartoons.
Diagrams Made With Blood
I was constantly on the move in my grandparents house, like rushing around. I could hear family members' blood-curdling screams and then I would find their bodies in pieces nailed to the wall with diagrams made with blood.
When I woke up, I would often see the bathroom door opened because someone had to use the bathroom at like 2 in the morning.
This dream has become a scar in my memory. It can fade but it's still visibly there.
The Catcher Train
When I was younger I had recurring nightmares about a tractor. It wasn't a normal tractor, though. It was hauling 3 trailers behind it. I called it "the catcher train."
The catcher train wasn't a recurring nightmare, so much as it was a recurring character. It never had it's own dream, it just popped up in other dreams. I would be having a totally normal dream and then I would see it. Sometimes it would toy with me and let me catch little glimpses before it finally came for me. When I finally fully saw the catcher train, it would make the most unnerving sound.
I grew up next to a farm, which had elk and cows. It sounded like an elk being murdered with a lawnmower, mixed with metal. Look up elk calls, they're disturbing enough on their own. Anyway, after it made the sound it would then drag me into the grill of the tractor by some unseen force, and I would wake up.
I had a recurring nightmare where my mom took me to a "factory" where you put your kids on a conveyor belt and they came out the back in boxes to be shipped off to other families/places.
Minimum wage is often paid by some of the most physically and emotionally intensive work—service industry jobs. Having to work in a hot kitchen all day or deal with irate customers while being paid less than you need to survive is not exactly the best situation to be in.