Nightmares are something I can often enjoy, especially if the themes are supernatural and not something to do with being sans pants in public or unable to find a staple as the office fills with flying papers. I have a tendency to realize, on some level, that the situation is a dream and enjoy the ride if it’s something creepy. I think they call that lucid dreaming. Whatever it is, it can be fun even if the dream is a little dark in nature.
Last night was not the fun kind.
What I can remember is that I was in a home that I knew to be haunted by several entities. The dirt floor cellar was the apparent nexus of activity, with the home’s living tenant claiming that a host of particularly twisted and gruesome scenes played out at all hours of the night and day. Sadomasochistic, “Hellraiser”-grade chicanery had left this person–a man in his thirties or forties whom I don’t recognize from real life–in a state of terror and desperation.
We were there, presumably, to investigate and perhaps help put an end to things. I don’t know that for sure any more than I know who “we” was. I got the sense I was there with a small group of people but I don’t know who they were. Nor do I know what made us all think we had any business dealing with violent poltergeist activity. Dreams are like that. They don’t make sense.
Some scenes are now a blur to me but I vividly remember our group deciding that it was a lost cause and it was time to leave. The sense was that we were not prepared to deal with whatever entities were involved. I was being urged to join my companions who had already made it to the front door when I abruptly and defiantly turned back.
Yes: just like the dumb one in the movie.
I stormed down the cellar stairs and started to walk to the middle of the dingy room. As soon as my foot set down on the dirt, I felt it. Something down there–a presence looming dead center of the dark space and moving toward me. I turned my head and saw it.
An amorphous column of swirling, dark colors–predominantly reds, browns and black–roughly the size of a man but slightly taller than me. It approached me very rapidly, floating directly toward my face. As it did, I saw a momentary flash of an image.
Just below the top of the column there appeared a face. It was part human but elongated with a mouth that resembled more of downward pointing muzzle and an upper lip that was split like an animal’s. The eyes were feral and dark. The entire face was framed with wiry, black hair. Two distinct horns protruded from the top of its forehead.
I recognized him instantly both by his appearance and by the feeling of intense dread that came over me. I remember wanting to turn and run, but I didn’t. That was the most frightening part of this dream. Instead of turning to run, I felt an invitation to stay, and I did. The last thing I remember was thinking, “Let’s see how bad it really is…” and then turning my back to this being and taking a step backward into it. Then the dream ended.
I’m not a religious person. Nor am I a psychiatrist. I can’t speak to what any of this means or what I’ve unwittingly revealed about myself by sharing it. All I can say is that it frightened me as much as any nightmare I had as a child ever did.
Okay, maybe I did enjoy it just a little bit in hindsight…