29 People Describe The Terrifying Dreams They’ve Had That’ll Make It Hard For You To Fall Asleep Tonight

Nightmares plague us all. If you think yours are bad, wait until you read through a Reddit thread or two. People have experienced some intense shit. Here are some of the creepiest dreams found on the site.

iStockphoto, kparis
iStockphoto, kparis

1. A woman sat on my chest as she ripped out her guts

I am not sure if this counts, but I used to get really bad sleep paralysis. I have an old wooden rocking chair in my room. One night my eyes fluttered open and I was laying on my back, with my head turned towards that chair. On that chair there was a woman crying her eyes out staring directly at me as she pulled out her insides. Her skin was a pale-grey color, and she had blonde hair. She just stared at me. I was scared shitless. I tried closing my eyes, and then I felt a pressure on my chest (common in sleep paralysis). You guessed it. She was sitting on my chest pulling out her innards all over my chest while crying. I actually wet the bed. I was 20.

2. My daughter fell in the water, so I jumped in to drown with her

I had a dream where my 3 year old daughter and I were standing on a dock on a lake when she slipped off and fell in the lake.

She sank like a stone. I immediately dived in after her, swimming straight down to try to catch up with her.

I remember her looking up at me, reaching up to me, opening her mouth and trying to scream. I remember seeing the bubbles from her mouth drift up towards me. I was swimming downward as fast as I could, while trying to grab her arms, her pigtails, anything.

I remember reaching the point where I knew that even if I reached her, I would not be able to make it to the surface. I was resolved to not let her die alone. I keep swimming down.

For all my efforts, she was sinking away from me faster than I could swim toward her. I watched her slip further and further away, the image of her growing blurrier and blurrier in the murky water.

And I wake up. I immediately ran to my daughters room and pick her up and hug her. At the time, I was in the process of separating from my then-wife, so to me there is no great mystery surrounding the meaning of this dream.

3. I was decapitated by a blade

I was sentenced to death by decapitation for an unspecified crime. It didn’t phase me that much, I was being all macho and Braveheart and shit, right up until the point where they put my head on the block, and in that moment it suddenly became real. There was this fucking wave of absolute terror, by far the most scared I’ve ever been in my life. Then the blade came down, and there was nothing for a while. Next thing I remember I was walking around this fictional town really carefully, trying to keep my head balanced on my stump.

I barely ever remember my dreams, but this one was vivid as fuck. Still creeps me out when I think about it.

4. I tried to commit suicide again and again

Had a dream where I was carrying around a large green gem. Every time I came to a choice, I’d look through the gem and it’d show me many outcomes and I’d pick which outcome I’d use.

Slowly, my choices became more and more morbid. At one point I was at a crosswalk and looked through the gem and saw myself hit by a car, or slip and break my neck. I decided to try and run away from it, and every choice from then on was death or painful death.

Eventually I ended up in a grey/pink area that I slowly realized was just every possibility of anything that could kill me, blurry and faded. I eventually found a gun and tried to shoot myself just to end the madness, but every time I pulled the trigger, I’d see my corpse fall in front of me, but I’d still be okay. After the third attempt, I freaked out over the three dead me’s at my feet and gave up.

After a while, I remember just sitting down in a chair and slowly fading into the background of all possibilities.

5. A bomb went off and killed everyone I ever knew

Standing in my living room, looking out the window, and I see a nuclear bomb go off near the horizon. I lived with 2 of my sisters, so I started to run around the house, telling them what had happened. After a minute or so, we felt the blast wave go through us, and we thought the worst was over.

Then another bomb went off, this time a little closer. The blast wave hit us sooner, and I remember my skin feeling like I had horrible sunburn. I thought to myself, “This is probably what it feels like to be in a microwave…”

We lived on a cul-de-sac, and our neighbor and two of his sons were standing in the road. We walked up to them as another nuclear bomb went off within a few miles of us, and I looked at the neighbor and said, “When are they gonna stop?” He hauntingly responded, “When we’re all dead.”

Then the blast wave hit us, and the dream was over.

6. My brother accidentally mutilated himself

Hanging out with my family in the living room. My brother (who has a very short buzz-cut) leaves the room, saying that he’s going to go shave his head with the belt-sander in the garage (it made sense in the dream). A few seconds later, a fine red mist starts spraying from the ventilation duct in the ceiling, followed shortly by blood dripping from the vent and soaking through the ceiling in a line coming from the direction of the garage. My parents and I rush over to the garage and throw open the door, just in time to see my brother, whose head had gotten caught in the belt sander and most of his face sanded off, get thrown forcefully sideways by the force of the sander into the bandsaw, which quickly decapitated him (and also cut off his hand). His body kept standing, stiffly twitching, as his neck and arm stump spurted blood and sanded face bits into the dust collection system, which had been distributing the gore into the rest of the house’s ventilation system.

At which point I woke up in a cold sweat and had to resist the urge to call my brother at 3 in the morning to make sure he was ok. I can still remember the smell of the blood as it started misting through the vent, and that sickening, stomach-sinking feeling as you know something has gone horribly wrong and you’re already too late.

7. I was surrounded by monsters

It was actually a two parter (three if you count the dream within a dream) when I was 12. It wasn’t even scary as a dream, more because of the implication.

Night 1: It started out normal enough, I was walking trough the desert and out of nowhere my mother shows up, desperate to tell me something. I listen, and she begs me to wake up, this is a dream, please, open your eyes and wake up, so I did. I was confused when I actually woke up, and went back to sleep (don’t remember other dreams that night).

Night 2: Same premise, I was walking through the desert, but no mother to be seen. I then remember what she told me: if in a dream desert, wake up, please, wake up. I open my eyes and wake up, in a medieval prison guarded by some sort of monsters. Naturally, I am scared, but the people in that prison were terrified. Telling me this wasn’t supposed to happen, and that I should please go back to sleep and wake up in my room. It took a while for me to get to sleep (being in a prison and all) and the longer it took, the more terrified they became. Eventually I went to sleep and woke up in my room, but I still wonder if that dream was trying to tell me something.

8. A troll slit my mother’s throat

I was 4. I was being chased through my elementary school campus by a knife-wielding troll (The kind that had the colorful hair and the jewel in their belly button). He was 6 ft tall and had the knife to my mother’s neck. He laughed menacingly and it echoed down the hall at me and then slit her throat. He held her head in the hair, her decapitated body twitching on the ground. He dropped her head and started toward me. I turned around and ran as fast as I could. I felt a hand grasp my ankle, and I woke up. That was nearly 20 years ago. I still think about it more times than I’d like to admit.

9. I had in-depth conversations with dead people

I had the weirdest dream a few months ago. I was in this living room with a bunch of people (hipster-ish I guess) with these old couches and rugs and an old beat up coffee table. Pretty normal room, except it was a fucking morgue. One whole wall was covered in those cabinet things they put dead people in, you know, the metal ones? Except they weren’t metal, they were glass or plastic or something you could see through. The rest of the walls were bare concrete.

These hipsters and I were just having a normal conversation. There were coffee cups on the table and one of them was playing with a Rubik’s (sp?) cube. At random moments in the conversation, some of the drawers on the wall would fly open and these dead people with majorly fucked up, bloody faces would join the conversation.

Then the guy with the Rubik’s cube was trying to fit the cube into one of the coffee cups, with a smile on his face that faded as he noticed the cube wouldn’t fit. Similar to a two year old playing with those boxes with shapes and pegs. He threw the Rubik’s cube and it bounced on the table and nailed me in the face. All of them started throwing ceramic coffee cups at me, and once those were all gone they forced me to pull out all of my hair in small handfuls. All of the drawers on the wall rushed open once I was done, and the dead people started eating my hair.

It might not sound that creepy, but I woke up screaming and terrified.

10. I scratched open my chest to remove my heart

I have a reoccurring dream where I claw into my chest with my fingernails until I can rip my heart out. Once I have my heart in my hands, I eat it and feel it still pulsing as it slides down my throat. Then I cradle the hole in my chest until I wake up. The entire dream I’m always crying and screaming, but filled with the most savage desire to eat my heart. It’s so strange, and I always wake up with scratches on my chest. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it!

11. I experienced Inception

After this nightmare, I couldn’t sleep for a week. When Inception came out, my friends and I joked that Hollywood stole my dream and made it into a movie.

It is night and I am running through the canyon behind my house. There is black vegetation looming around me on either side of the path, which faintly reflects the whiteness of the moonlight. The stark contrast of the light and dark emphasizes the impossible straightness of the path. I am running and running when suddenly I am stopped in my tracks by her. Now everything is dim except for her. She is glowing, mysteriously white, beautiful, and terrifying. She smiles. I am running away and running away, until…

I wake up in a cold sweat. It was just a dream. It is still dark, but I decide to roll over and get out of bed. I scream. She is there, standing above my bed. Smiling. I dash out of my room, down the stairs, out the garage, feet pummeling asphalt as I run down the road away. But then, she is there in front of me again, smiling. Scared out of my wits, I stop and…

I wake up in a cold sweat. It was just a dream. It is dark, but I decide to roll over and get out of bed. I scream. She is there again, standing above my bed. Smiling. I dash out of my room, down the stairs, out the garage, feet pummeling asphalt as I run down the road away. But then, she is there in front of me again, smiling. Scared out of my wits, I stop. She glides away and begins to smile at and talk to a group of my friends on the side of the road. I try to scream at them and…

I wake up in a cold sweat. It was just a dream. It is dark, but I decide to roll over and get out of bed. I scream. She is there again, standing above my bed. Smiling. I dash out of my room, down the stairs, out the garage, feet pummeling asphalt as I run down the road away. But then, she is there standing with my friends, smiling and talking. I try to warn them, but she turns to smile at me and…

I wake up in a cold sweat. It was just a dream. A long, disturbing dream, but just a dream. It is dark, but I decide to grab my laptop and talk to a friend about this. I almost expect her to be there, but she is not. I start up my laptop and then begin chatting with a friend, asking if he knows anything about this sort of creature. He says he has these dreams too, but it is a different person, a smiling boy that befriends his friends. Oh no, this is real? She and he are both some sort of real vampire? What the hell do I do? Then I remember, the girl is real and I know her. Maybe she can help. I start chatting with her, and relax. They were just disturbing dreams and I am probably just overly stressed from school. She comforts me and asks me if I can pinpoint the cause of these dreams. I ponder this for a bit, and remember that this seems to have all began when my mother hung up a mosaic of a house above my bed. I speculate that it might have inspired these dreams. I snap a photograph of it and send it to her, asking her what she thought of it. She does not respond for a while, but after a long pause, she asks, “Why do you have a mosaic of my house?” My head spins. Mouth agape, my head whips back to the mosaic. I whimper. There is a small figure in the doorway of the house. It was not there before. Chilled to the bone, I scramble out of my room and down the hallway, only to be confronted by the same damned mosaic. I scream silently when I notice that the figure is slightly larger and closer. I keep running, but my house is now a maze, and every corner the mosaic appears. Every time I nearly run into the mosaic, the figure is nearer, more threatening. I am at wits’ end, on the brink of losing my sanity out of sheer terror. I halt dead in my tracks in front of another wall, and now the figure is life-sized and looming in the mosaic. The figure moves. It leaps out and…

I wake up screaming and crying.

12. My family member’s deaths were shown in eerie paintings

I had a dream once, where my family and I was hanging out in a workshop. We were making all sorts of stuff out of wood and suddenly my uncle asks me to come with him to the other room. When entering I see bizarre paintings of dead people everywhere. One particular had a saw in her throat and thats when I notice, that my mom is the woman in the picture. All of the sudden I see all the pictures are of my family members. I run back to the old room and see my entire family lying dead in the exact same positions as in the pictures. I turn around and my uncle is standing holding a picture of me with a saw ind one hand and his head in the other.

13. I was struggling in the water

Everything would be dark at first, then I’d notice that my hair was covering my eyes, because there were strands floating above my face in the water. By the time I realized I was underwater I couldn’t do anything, and my mom would grab me violently and suddenly, which seemed to wake me up. This was a recurring dream and I was honestly convinced my mom wanted to kill me for years.

14. A little girl died in my arms

When I was around 14 years old I started having these short reoccurring dreams of me in front of a temple, sitting cross legged with a little girl in my lap. Everything was in black and white, and she was a small white girl wearing a white dress and had long black hair. She looked so innocent. Somehow in the dream, I knew she was slowly dying in my arms. The reason why this creeps me out a little, is because I kept on having this dream, only every time I would have it again she would creep closer and closer to death. The worst part is that I had this agonizing feeling that there was something i could do about it, but I had no idea how to stop it. Eventually I had the dream where she finally died in my arms and then the dreams stopped. I still feel like I failed her.

15. I was fighting in a brutal war

I have had a dream where me and a friend were in ‘Nam. I watched him get hit with a bullet in the chest, and then held him in my arms as he died.

16. I found chopped off penises in my room

I dreamed I was browsing reddit on my living room table when I noticed two chopped off penises near my external HD. I wasn’t sure they really were penises or fingers (yeah) so I asked my brother and, laughing, he told me they really were the penises he chopped off of his friends. Then I lost my shit and started yelling at him and crying, until I choked myself with crying and couldn’t breath anymore.

Then I woke up.

17. I held my sister’s bones in my hands

This was more than 10 years ago but I still remember it. Basically, I’m sitting on an empty bus (aside from the driver), holding a potato sack which contains my sister’s bones. The bus just drives around while I sit there, crying.

18. A malformed lump of flesh sat on the bed with me

I walked into a room and there was very little light. On a bed, a naked body and where its head was supposed to be there is a rather big, malformed lump of flesh. It moves all disorderly with each breath and I notice hairs growing from it vaguely resembling a hairline. At the top of this pile of tissue and bulbous features, viscous liquid coming out of an orifice: mouth and nose have their exits somewhere inside that hole. This person breathes through this, and at the same time salivates in this cavity. The smell of stale saliva, mucus, urine and feces is unbearable.

Which each breath, bubbles followed by a gurgling guttural noise almost hinting at the existence of vocal chords. I sit next to this body and somehow I know this is my father and that he is suffering greatly. All I can do is scream until I wake up.

19. The shadows drove me mad

I was 7 at the time I think. The dream is so vivid and scares me to this day.

I am laying in my bed trying to get to sleep. I look around my room and realize that the shadows look a bit strange. They were slowly moving across my wall. As soon as I notice the shadows moving they start to move faster and come off the wall. I feel something tugging at my feet. Three small toddlers climb up on the foot of my bed. They have glowing yellow eyes. In unison they open their mouths and let out a high pitched scream and pull me off my bed. As soon as I hit the ground I woke up.

Another one happened about a month ago. I was on my way to the bathroom and I open up my cabinet. As soon as I shut it I hear a very high pitched scream like the one in the earlier dream and I see in the mirror that the bathtub behind me is filled with blood. There is a little girl standing in the middle of the tub holding a knife. When I have a dream like this it always ends with me slowly falling towards the floor and everything gets very slow and distorted. It’s almost like passing out in slow motion. I don’t get much sleep because these dreams happen at least once or twice a month and are random.

20. I was trapped in between wires

I remember being entangled in what seemed like millions of smooth, shiny wires. Completely trapped. I remember the panic of being trapped set in. Very remnant of claustrophobia. Then it hit me, I felt like every thought I was having was being screamed at me, but inside my own head. As if someone had turned the volume of my thoughts up full blast. It was one of the most unsettling, worst feelings I have ever had. It really is hard to explain.

The thing is that once I woke up, whatever this was persisted for a while. I can best explain it through analogy – it was as if normally my thoughts are just a guy, talking calmly and quietly, but in the dream and shortly afterward it felt like this guy was screaming at me.

I don’t mean to say that there’s a man inside my head who tells me my thoughts or anything. That’s goofy. This is just my best way of explaining. It has since happened a couple times without the dream causing it, and I have yet to find out what it is or why it happens. All I know is that dream has stuck with me for over 10 years because of the unexplainable, terrifyingly awful feeling that came with it.

21. I met Beelzebub, the fallen angel

My buddy and me are driving through the forest in his old blue Chevy Caprice. There’s a clearing on a hill facing us to the left in the shape of a devil head, with a road on its right splitting in two just before the very top. We reach our campsite, which is full of tenters, but we keep going past it and drive up a hill. At the very top, we hit a big root that’s sticking out, and make a complete flip, airborne, and land on all four tires. We do it again, and land. Then, a bunch of people start piling into the car, and force us to do it again. We do, but because of the weight, we land on the roof instead… Dirt, leaves, branches, and debris starts flooding the car and I suffocate. I die.

I wake up. I’m laying in my bed on my right side, with the wall to my back. It’s dark, no lights on, but I can sense my bedroom around me and make out rough shapes. I suddenly hear, maybe 20 feet behind me, three pairs of footsteps, walking parallel to my spine, from the direction of my head to my feet. They sound like people or beings walking in boots down a cold corridor, echoing and reverberating through my bones with every step. I realize how cold I am. The first two pairs of footsteps pass by me, and the last stops behind me, 20 feet behind, and turns toward me.

I feel him. It’s Beelzebub, Lord of Flies, one of the three fallen angels. He sees through me, at my hollow body, sees my every hope, my every dream, wish, love and conviction, and he starts laughing at its insignificance. His laugh is an empty, echoing laugh, empty as I feel. His blackness overwhelms me, shatters my fragile soul, blows through me like a dark wind.

Then I wake up.

22. My family was murdered in front of me

In a log cabin with my family giant crazy person shoots everyone in the face with his gun except me. My families blood and flesh splattered on my face and legs.

23. A bee killed my brother

Bee flew up my brothers butt, stung his rectum. He then proceeded to explode all over the room. This is the only dream that has every truly stayed with me. I fucking hate it.

24. Creepy clowns invaded my dreams

When I was sick with the flu I had a high fever and kept having dreams of clowns sitting in the dark in my living room, there was about four of them all sitting on our sofa and they would just laugh menacingly at me over and over. No matter what I did I would wake up from the dream and go back to sleep to dream of them again.

It didn’t help that my mother collected little clown figurines.

25. I found my sister in a weird wasteland

I was walking through a wasteland (think fallout, but this was long before fallout existed), and there was a dark green hue over everything. Matter of fact, there was not much other color apart from black.

I was with people, but I didn’t know who they were. There were two of them. We went into a destroyed building and walked into a room. You could tell that there were once large floor to ceiling windows. There was now just the twisted window framework.

In front of the framework, crouched down, was a person with their back to me, seemingly looking out the window hole. I walked up to them and felt that I knew them. I was starting to feel happiness and relief that I had found this person.

Everything was in slow motion as I reached out to touch their shoulder. Not super slow, but like I was in water. The second I touched their shoulder, everything sped up to normal speed and the person spun around, looking me right in the eye.

With their eye. An eye that, instead of having a pupil or iris or even whites, had a spider. A fucking black spider, surrounded by green where the whites would be. I jumped back and woke up with a yelp, breathing heavily.

I realized that the person was my sister. This dream has vividly remained in my memory for nearly 20 years.

26. My father murdered my mother with a broken beer bottle

When I was a child, like 10 or 11, I had the weirdest nightmare of my lifetime.

My father (who is not violent at all in real life) killed my mother with a broken beer bottle. The blood went all over the floor, soaking the ground and then promptly mutated into an enormous roll of red liquorish.

It had the mouth of a shark, and tiny wee legs, and it chased my Father around the house for ages, eventually catching him and ripping him to pieces.

Safe to say, I never touched red liquorish again.

27. I felt a hand grab my ankle and drag me off the bed

Lying in my bed looking at my curtains (as I tend to do when I’m trying to get to sleep, so I believed I was awake) when I hear something walk into my room and slide it’s hand under my duvet from the bottom of my bed, it wrapped it’s hand around my ankle and started to drag me from the bed. I screamed so loud in the dream I woke up screaming in real life.

I probably shouldn’t have watched ‘The Fourth Kind’ right before I went to bed.

And my parents waited until the next morning to say, “Oh, thought I heard you shouting last night.” Nice to know they’ll rush to help if anything serious happens…

28. Phoebe shaved off her skin

I had a dream that Phoebe off Friends was shaving her skin off with a potato peel and laughing at me. It was so scary, I woke up sweating.

29. Shapes chased me around

Shapes chasing me. (Like triangles and squares and shit.)

I can actually feel my chest get heavier and shit, wake up in cold sweats.

Shapes… Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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