It wasn’t the first time I’d dreamt of death or fear. It definitely wasn’t the last time either, but something about this instance struck me and struggled to leave my thoughts. In the two years since I’d had the dream I still had not forgotten a single detail and I can not sure if it was because the dream was so vivid and realistic, or if it was because it was so troubling.
Granted, everyone’s had dreams they did’t like. You might have woken up in the early hours of the morning in a cold sweat, gasped for breath with your heartbeat in your ears. Sometimes you might have calmed down after a minute and then went back to sleep.
This was not one of those nights for me.
On a normal night I laid my head down, closed my eyes, entered the near-dead realm of sleep, and then later I woke up.
Instead, I was outside a secluded house. It was night and only the lights from the house illuminated the plain landscape.
Stepping toward the lush, dark green front yard, I notice a series of assorted items set out on the curb for the morning garbage collector. Among them were a the trash cans, a trunk, and a large, outdated paper cutter with a long, narrow blade.
The blade was loosely connected to the grid-lined base. I removed the bolt securing the blade to the base and wielded it in my right hand, gripping tightly as I walked to the house.
Oddly, it seemed to be the only home on the block or even in the neighborhood, but I paid that little mind as I approached the front door. Rather than knocking, I swung the paper cutter into the door, cracking the wood. I swung repeatedly, bashing the door in in a The Shining –esque manner as the family inside scrambled upstairs to the next floor.
Through the soon to be shattered door, I saw it was a single father and two young daughters who climbed their way up to the next floor. I didn’t recognize their faces, but they all had brown hair; the father had more of a dark chocolate hair color while the two daughters were closer to brown-blonde. They were all dressed in their sleepwear. They were all so helpless and fearful.
Finally, the door broke loose of its frame and I rushed into the home. I did not shriek or yell for the family like you might picture from a horror movie, but instead I remained silent as I ascended to the second floor. But by the time I reached the second floor, the family already moved onto the third floor of this massive home. As I chase after them, I knocked over small furniture and household items that got in my way. Regardless of the obstacles I remained persistent in my goal: to murder this family in cold blood.
I reached the top of the final flight of stairs only to come face to face with yet another closed door. Initially, I flung my body against it attempting to grab them, but to no avail. I shattered this door too with my paper cutter as I burst into the room with intense tenacity and fervor.
The curtains at the other end of the room blew with the wind. The window was open and they must have climbed out through it. I ran to the window to find they had leapt from it onto an awning. They were barely climbing off it into the back yard by the time I approached the windowsill.
I threw myself through the window down to the canopy below which shuddered and cracked louldy under the force of the fall. I jumped off into the yard with twice the speed of the family and I was gaining on them. The damp lawn seemed to be more troublesome for the family to traverse than myself. The father was too far for me to catch up with, but the daughters… they straggled behind; especially one in particular.
I sprinted forward, reaching my hand out intently.
I am about to get them.
And then I woke up. My heart was pounding, my breathing was labored, and my mind was trying to comprehend what had just happened; what I had just dreamt? I couldn’t seem to understand any of it, but what I did know was that in the dream I was dead set on murdering that family. I felt no fatigue; no loss of persistence or aggression throughout the dream. I had one goal and I was going to accomplish it at all costs.
Dream websites will tell you that dreaming of killing someone is a sign of anger towards that person. But I didn’t recognize the family; not even a little. Other sites claim that dreaming of strangers represents suppressing aspects of yourself. Some will even tell you the dream was a sign of underlying aggression that was pent up and waiting to be released.
None of these theories are based in fact. There was no scientific evidence of dream meanings for any of these. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if these are right.
After all, I liked to believe that I am a good person. I tried to do right by others. How could I ever think of harming anyone? How could a dream like this even happen?
Was I actually an aggressive, angry person inside? Was there something wrong with me? Was I mentally flawed or broken? These are questions I had to ask myself.
This dream came at a very dark point in my life. My depression and anxiety were at an all-time high. My mornings were spent lying in bed; my afternoons were filled with panic and self-doubt, and my nights were restless. And yet despite all this, I was fixated on this dream. There had to be more to it than just random chance. Otherwise, why would I have such a vivid and vicious dream?
I couldn’t say that there was any solid scientific evidence conducted on dream interpretation, although searching for meanings seemed like the right thing to do. After I looked back on the dream, I started piecing together all the meanings from the articles I read.
I thought that maybe, the dream was signifying something more positive. Maybe the websites were partially right. Perhaps my depression and anxiety were repressing the real me. I didn’t like the way I was living; miserable and anxious. So maybe there was pent up anger towards myself for falling into such an awful state in life. I can’t be know for sure, but it was a happier thought at the time and it helped me work through this concerning dream.
Kyle Frost is a senior undergraduate student at York College of Pennsylvania currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. He is also a co-founder of a political/philosophical/satire website, Deeply-Political.com. When he isn’t writing, Kyle enjoys painting, sleeping, and speaking in the third person. Although, he does the latter much more than he really should.