A few years ago, I was on a mission trip to Costa Rica with my church. We went to help “plant” (or build) a church in Moreno Canas, a poor small town about four hours from San Jose. It was told to us that the town was founded by a witch doctor. Whether or not that was true, witchcraft nevertheless was practiced by much of the town and had a pervasive influence in its culture.
We arrived at the hotel where we would be staying. The dreams (visions?) I had that night would give me nightmares for the rest of that year.
My first and scariest dream was about darkness. I remember feeling the kind of tingly feeling that you get when your foot is slowly waking up, except I felt it for my entire body. I couldn’t see, but I knew there was a presence there in my dream. I didn’t hear any words, only a soft groaning “UHHH.. UHHHHHHH…” It was the darkest darkness and most hopeless hopelessness I had ever felt. My dream flashed then to a ragged woman with no face and wild black hair, who was in our hotel bathroom. Her very presence felt evil to me. (My showers were very, very quick that week).
Then came the little girls. There is a sensation which some call “scissor lock,” but the more technical term would be “sleep paralysis.” I was awake enough to know that I was awake, yet my body couldn’t move. I was in bed in my hotel room. Suddenly, a dozen little girls came in. They might have been 8 or 9 judging by their size. I couldn’t see their faces because they were all cut up, but they were in white dresses that were ragged, dirty, and bloodstained. They had small knives and were going to slash my throat in the bright morning sunlight. Then they were gone. The room looked exactly as it did a split second ago, but without the girls.
I have told this story many times, and faced many different reactions. Some say it is “spiritual warfare” — that is, that Satan, who was the darkness, was threatened because we were doing the work of God. Others say it was the malaria pills I was taking that caused me to be loopy. Still others say that it was my imagination, since I knew that it was a witch town.
I personally think that it’s all three – if Satan can trick a woman into eating an apple through a snake, or possess a hundred pigs to leap into the sea, it’s plausible that he can use dreams and pills and imagination too.
I also think it’s irrelevant. Whether it’s one, none, or all three theories, God loves me and has saved me. With God, I will never lose to demons.
To that end, I’ll end with my last major dream:
The next night, instead of a darkness dream, I had a light dream. My body went tingly in the same way, except I was covered in light.
There was a calm lake, and the sun had a light so bright that if I was in reality, I would be blinded. There though, I was able to just admire that beauty. I had never seen something so white. Instead of the wordless groaning, I heard a voice tell me, “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”
I then had dreams about the faceless woman and girls, but they were less intense. The same way kids have nightmares about scary movies they remember, I think I was just having nightmares about them.