I’m sure everyone out there has bad dreams. I’m sure there’s a few people who have recurring nightmares, too. And I’m sure that some of them are bad enough to make you jerk awake, trying to scream but not able to find enough air to do so, or otherwise being rendered mute.
I have a few. And some that cover all three categories.
I’m just posting this to get it out of my system – for a while, anyway; that’s the fun of recurring nightmares, they always come back, right? – so expect it to be a little rambling and probably not particularly sensical.
As for why it’s the “Amityville Dream,” I have no bloody idea. I’ve always called it that, despite no apparent relationship to a certain town in New York or any of the films and books which claim to detail events that have unfolded there. Perhaps it’s some weird cross association, haunted houses = Amityville or something. I have no bloody clue.
Anyway; in the dream, I’m in a house. A fairly nice house. Couple stories tall, hardwood floors. I’m wandering around, feeling vaguely uncomfortable, when I come to a little L-shaped hallway off to one side. For no apparent reason, I really don’t like this hallway. My skin is crawling, my eyes are watering, I can feel a headache coming on. Then something comes around the corner. It’s taken a few different forms – sometimes an animal, sometimes a disembodied hand, sometimes just a wispy or shadowy shape – as the years go by, but there’s two constants: One, it always seems relatively innocuous. I mean, yeah, a disembodied hand is kinda freaky, but it’s not like it’s a rotting corpse hand or tipped with claws or anything. Coming from someone who’s dreamed there was a McDonald’s walkup that served human flesh and Viagra in the back room of his workplace a couple times, a hand isn’t all that freaky. And when it’s an animal, it’s always a small cat, a little dog, a hamster, a ferret; something normal. No tigers or elephants or even wolves (which I’d still consider to be normal, but then I’ve had odd dogs over the years.) Second point, it quite literally scares the piss out of me.
Ever tried to scream but can’t? Like, every part of your body is straining to let that scream out, and at best you get a little teakettle whistle, but more likely your chest just clamps down and nothing at all comes out? Yeah. That’s always what happens when I see whatever it is this time come around that corner. In the dream, my mouth goes numb. I can’t talk. I try; some part of me wants to go all Exorcist on it; “The power of Christ compels you!” But what comes out is, at best “ee uhh o ssst mpls ooooh!” Somehow I know that if I can beat the numbness and say it properly, I’ll be safe. And each time I try, I get a little closer to it, but whatever came out of the corner is also getting a little closer. And a little closer. And a little closer.
I never manage to say it. The thing of the evening always reaches me first. And when it does, I wake up, typically trying to scream and not managing it, and sit there shuddering and shaking for at least an hour afterwards. I don’t know why.
Anyway. That’s my little weird phobia-of-the-day; if anyone’s got any insight into what it means, feel free to share. Or if you’ve got some weird little niggling recurring dream that you feel like inflicting upon others, feel free to drop it in the box below.