In Dreams

Yesterday, my dad told me about a dream he had where Joan Rivers came to him in a sparkling white dress and told him to remember things.  This is weird on several levels, mostly because my dad was not a fan of Joan Rivers (he’s not really a fan of anyone).  But he often has really weird and oddly descriptive dreams.  I guess I inherited that from him.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had really exciting and sometimes really terrifying dreams.  I still remember a dream I had when I was three years old.  My parents left me in a haunted house with an evil witch, a caged lion, and lots of other kids all locked in this big room.  I ran throughout the house, asking everyone where my parents were.  The witch laughed and told me they’d left me there and I’d never see them again.  I ran out into the night just in time to see their taillights driving away.  Apparently, I was crying in my sleep, because my mom and dad came into my room that night and tried to wake me up and ask what was wrong.

Other childhood dreams were just kooky.  Once, when I was about five I guess, I was getting over the stomach virus and I dreamed that a giant Macaroni noodle with purple spots and an evil face was chasing me around town.  I woke up screaming.

As I’ve gotten older, my dreams seem to have gotten less whimsical, but are still just as weird and stressful.  I’ve been told I’ll eventually grow out of remembering them, but if I’m like my dad, and in a lot of ways, I really am, that’s not going to happen.

I guess this is on my mind now, because after another night of restless and exciting dreams, I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all.  Unlike most creative minds, I have absolutely no problem sleeping.  In fact, I sleep way more than I probably should, 9-10 hours a day.  I used to think that was just my body’s normal sleep pattern.  Now, however, after that talk with my dad and a little bit of internet research (always reliable), I’m beginning to wonder if maybe my active subconscious has something to do with my tendency to oversleep.

In all honesty, I could probably write short stories based on some of the creepy dreams I’ve had.  In fact, I included two of the scariest dreams I’ve ever had into Between Worlds, the sequel to Cemetery Tours.  I featured another of my dark dreams, though that one was actually pretty cool, in Cemetery Tours.  Of course, I changed them up a bit to fit the stories, but I kept in the parts that made them really creepy.

I wrote down one dream that I had over the summer.  I was going to share it here, but my sister told me it was too weird and that everyone would think I was sick or something.  But since we’re on the topic, I’ve decided to share it anyway.

It was like I was watching a movie.  The first scene opened with a young sickly looking man and his wife.  She was very pretty and had short brown hair, cut to her ears.  I knew immediately that the young man was very, very ill, probably dying.  His wife worked as a nurse, and she was clearly exhausted from long shifts and caring for her husband.  

In the next scene, the husband was taking a walk around the park, when suddenly, he collapsed and began bleeding out of every orifice.  It was some sort of blood cancer.  His wife was appeared out of nowhere, holding him and crying for someone to help her.  A crowd gathered.  One of the onlookers was a tall, shadowy man.  He had no distinct ethnicity, but his hair was long and dark and tied back in a ponytail.  

He spoke to the dying man and said, “I can help you. Do you want to be saved?”

“Yes,” the young man gasped.

In the next scene, he was healed and happy and getting ready to go back to work.  His wife was happy and looking much healthier and more refreshed than before.  But both knew that it was only temporary.

Before long, his symptoms returned.  His time was running out.  

The man with the long dark ponytail appeared again.  He said, “I can cure you.  I can take this disease away from you forever.  Is that what you want?”

The young man said, “Yes.” 

The shadowed man raised his hand and immediately, the illness left the young man’s body.  Then, the shadowed man turned and, for the first time, acknowledged me.  Before I could do or say anything, he clasped his hand over my mouth.  

“It’s hers now,” he said.  In exchange for curing the young man, he’d given the disease to me.  I was going to die.  Maybe not immediately, but soon.  

The young man looked at me, horrified.  I knew that he was feeling guilty that I had to be sick, but I also knew he wasn’t going to go back on his deal with the devil.  He let me take the fall.      

Albus Dumbledore has a great quote: “For in dreams, we enter a world that is entirely our own. Let him swim in the deepest ocean or glide over the highest cloud.”  I guess my world is a little more disturbed than I would prefer it to be.  Maybe one day, I’ll get to the point where I can swim the deepest seas or learn to fly.  Until then, I guess I’ll continue on my own twisted adventures.


I have weird dreams.  I always have.

When I was five, I had a dream that a giant macaroni noodle monster with purple spots was chasing me around the mall at Christmastime.  It eventually followed me back to my house, jumped out at me, and I woke up screaming.

A few years ago, I dreamt that my high school class took a field trip to a train amusement park.  All the rides were trains, you moved around the park on a train, you stayed in a train, it was kind of neat.  Then I woke up and completely forgot about the dream.  Until about a year later, that is, when I dreamt I was showing my best friend around the same train amusement park and telling her all about my high school trip to that same place.  That was strange.  How did my subconscious remember what my conscious mind had forgotten?

What really weirds me out is when I can feel what’s happening to me in my dreams.  For example, I’ve had several dreams about tornadoes.  Even though I’ve never experienced a tornado personally, I can always feel the pressure in my head and my ears whenever one is around in my dreams.  Another time, I dreamt I was shot in the back and I could actually feel my lungs filling up with blood.  I’m not sure what was going on there.  Just the other night, I dreamt that I was dying of cancer (probably because I’d been up late rereading The Fault in Our Stars).  Death, in that dream, was actually a very peaceful process.  Hazy and grey and relaxing.  I could feel my loved ones around me and I remember whispering, “Wait for me.”

Last night was probably one of my weirdest dreams of all.  It started off in the house of someone I’d known in college.  Then there were dinosaurs.  Then aliens.  Then an escaped serial killer.  Then a satanic ritualist.  Then zombies.  It was pretty much everything that scares me in one horrifying dream.  On top of all of that, I had no idea where my camera was.  Then, at one point I had to search all over for something to kill zombies with because they were marching down the street, and the best I could come up with was a bowling ball.  I don’t think I’m what you’d call Zombie Apocalypse Material.

One day, I think I’m just going to sit down and rewrite every dream I can remember.  There’d be a lot.  I can’t tell you about the scariest dream I’ve ever had, because I actually managed to rewrite it into Between Worlds, but after it’s released, I’ll be able to tell you.  It’s one that I’m certain I will never forget.

What’s been your weirdest or creepiest dream?


The Wind Chime House

One of the coolest dreams I ever had was about a brick house on a hill.  It was around dusk and I was seeking refuge, from what I don’t remember.  I just knew it would be the perfect place to seek shelter.

It was a very modern house with large windows of every shape and a red shingled roof.  Inside, immediately to the right was a large spiraling staircase that stretched for several stories.  There, in the center of the staircase hung the first wind chime.  It was the largest wind chime in the house, at least fifty or sixty feet.  Silver chimes hung in a circle and in the center of the chimes hung a stunning crystal the size of a bowling ball that cast rainbows on every wall.

To the left of the staircase was the living area.  A fireplace and mantle sat across the room, facing the front wall.  Statues of faeries, dragons, and other mythical creatures sat on the mantle beneath a giant ceramic clock.  The tiles of the clock were mostly several shades of yellow that formed a Celtic sun with blue and green background designs.  Several wind chimes, ranging in size from a few inches to several feet long, hung from the ceiling.  The one I remember the most hung right next to the window.  It’s longest scarlet chimes were at least four feet long.  Another wind chime was made of purple and silver spirals.  Bronze butterflies made up the chimes of another.  Sunbeams poured through the open windows, casting a faint glow on everything it touched, and even though there was no wind, the chimes sang in perfect pitch.  Everywhere I turned, wind chimes of every size, shape, and color.


I can only guess my mind modeled the Wind Chime House after this wind chime building at Scarborough Faire.  One day, I’d really like to write a story about it.

I love my dreams.  Well, most of them.  Some of them are actually really disturbing, but ones like The Wind Chime House make it all worth it.  One of my goals in life is to master the art of lucid dreaming.  Although I’m not there yet, I’ve gotten better at saving myself from unpleasant situations.  Several of my nightmares involve a highway that is hundreds of thousands of feet in the air and I always end up driving off of it.  It’s usually about that time when I think to myself, “I don’t want to be here anymore,” and the dream changes.  Last night, I had an extraordinarily creepy dream, even for me.  I dreamt that my entire arm was covered in spiders and they were biting me over and over again.  Now, I’m not scared of spiders (usually), but there were so many of them and they were so gross and they kept biting me and it actually really hurt, so I thought to myself, “Okay, time to go back,” and I immediately transported to a different dream.  However, my arm and hand were still bright red and stinging from all the spider bites.  How weird and how cool is that?  That we can feel pain from something that isn’t even there?

I’ve managed to lucid dream a couple of times.  Apparently, I’m not very ambitious, because every time I figure out that I’m dreaming and that I can literally do anything, all I ever want to do is fly.  I fly everywhere.  I even once stopped to gloat at a little kid in my dream that I could fly and she couldn’t.  Wow, way to be a jerk, dream self.  The one time I ever did anything other than fly was plan out a romantic date night with Ben Barnes (aka Prince Caspian from Narnia), but the moment he showed up, I sent him away to change shirts and I woke up before he came back!

WHAT THE HECK, BRAIN?!  Why would you DO that?!  You get Ben Barnes, you KEEP HIM!  You don’t just dismiss him because he’s wearing the wrong shirt!!!

I was so mad when I woke up from that one.  It was also the last time I effectively lucid dreamed.  I’m hoping that the fact that I can somewhat control the bad stuff in my dreams means I’m getting closer to achieving overall lucidness.

There have also been moments in dreams where my dream self will remember dreams that I’d had months earlier, that my conscious self had forgotten.  Those are weird.  My most recent one I had, I was at this train-themed amusement part with my best friend.  We were on the train that you had to take to get there and I was showing her around and telling her about the trip that my high school class and I had taken on that same train to that same amusement park.  I’d had that dream about my class at least six months or so earlier and I hadn’t thought about it or remembered it until I woke up the next morning.  It’s almost like existing in two separate worlds.  My conscious self remembers what goes on during the day, my dream self remembers what goes on at night.

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I’ve also had dreams where, honestly, I don’t know what I’m thinking.  Well actually yes, I know exactly what I’m thinking, and it pretty much just proves what a truly um… terrible and paranoid individual I am.  I think I’ve already shared the stories of whenever I dream about zombies, I lock myself away in the safest room and leave everyone else (including my blind friend) to fend for themselves.

I’ve also had dreams where I’m about to undergo surgery to have one of my legs amputated.  Oddly enough, I never care that I’m about to lose a leg.  I do care, however, that I have to be put under anesthesia and if there is one thing I hate in this world, it is going under anesthesia.  I’ve only been under once and it was like waking up from being hit by a truck.  It was the worst feeling ever.  I couldn’t focus on anything, everything had a fuzzy white boarder around it, and I had nausea radiating to my kneecaps.  I.  Do.  Not.  Like.  Anesthesia.  As it turns out, my dream self hates it just as much as my conscious  self because it’s all I can talk about to my doctors.

“Now, are you sure you gave me the anti-nausea stuff?  Because I hate anesthesia.  I always feel so sick after.  Remember, I want that medicine.  Please, please don’t forget it.  Will you just like, inject it into my IV or something?  Can you give me a high dose?  I really don’t want to be nauseated.”

Seriously, I might actually be a crazy person.

There are a few of my more disturbing dreams (AKA the ones involving bodies and moldy caskets and demonic cemeteries) that I’ve actually incorporated into Cemetery Tours and its sequel.  I’ll probably write a post about them someday, because they’re actually pretty good and really creepy.

However, I really wanted to end this post on a bright and happy note.  Now, I know leg amputations aren’t exactly bright and happy.  That’s why I’m including some more photography, of flowers that remind me of my prettier, more lighthearted dreams.

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Enjoy, everyone!  Talk to you tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

All photographs Copyright Jacqueline E. Smith EXCEPT the one of Ben Barnes.  Sadly, I do not know him.