Dream Log: A Shadow Nightmare

I like hearing people’s dreams and looking at my own. This is an account of a dream I had a few days ago. What’s interesting to me about this dream is that it is an identical dream to one that I had many months ago. I seldom have repeating dreams so I am paying special attention to this one.

The dream is set in an abandoned school. The school is made of red bricks and the architecture is typical of 1960s Australian government schools.  The weather is warm and sunny. There’s nothing wrong about the school or its grounds. The plants are all healthy and the garden well kept. The buildings are all open, and myself and my three companions are free to roam about the buildings and the grounds. The only clue that something sinister is going to happen is that there is no sign of any other people anywhere. I don’t recognise any of the three companions I have in the start of this dream, but they all feel familiar to me. I know two of them are female and the other male. We’re all around the same age: between 25 and 35.

It starts to get dark and we decided to sleep inside one of the classrooms at the school. For some reason I decided that I would like to sleep inside a cupboard. I wrapped myself up in the blanket and curled up inside the cupboard while my companions sleep out in the open. I woke up during the night to see these humanoid shadows walking around the school. They are attacking my three companions. I closed the cupboard door and peeked at the carnage through the gap in my blanket and the cupboard. When each of my companions is attacked by a shadow their flesh starts dissolving away exposing flesh and bone. Yet their blood does not flow out. Instead they look like they’re simply being eaten like they were human sized jelly babies without any bodily fluids to spurt out of them.

I closed the cupboard door and waited until sunrise. When the morning comes I snuck outside and there is no trace of my companions nor the shadows that consumed them. I feel lonely and afraid as I walk around the school. It’s another bright and warm day, I concluded that the shadows can’t hurt anyone while they there is light.

Around midday approximately twenty people arrived at the school. I don’t know these people and they start questioning me and why I am there. I explain that I was looking for shelter here at the school and that my three companions were eaten alive by shadows the night before. I beg the people to leave and not stay at the school but they begin moving in immediately. They want me to stay with them and assure me that I will be perfectly safe with them.

As it begins to get close night time there are dark sections of the hallways and classrooms. Inside these dark sections one can clearly see this shadow creates. They look like silhouettes of people, but slightly translucent while darker than the darkness they stand in. They are trying to break out of the dark areas and into the light areas where we are standing. However, the light does seem to prevent them from materialising. At one point I am looking down a dark school corridor and I can see a shadow of a person walking along it towards me. Someone shines a torch light on it and it disappears completely.

However, it is soon completely dark and the few torches we have aren’t sufficient to completely light up the room. In the dark corners of the room we can see shadow people standing there trying to break out and attack us.  In the corridor outside there are several shadow people pacing up and down looking at us through the windows.  The torches started failing and people were getting attacked and eaten alive by these shadow creatures. There was utter panic and pandemonium as the torches are failing one by one and people are dying everywhere. I saw a shadow figure coming straight for me and I woke up.


Dreams that contain a shadow in them are of particular interest to me. According to Jungian psychology these shadows represent repressed parts of our personality that we reject or invalidate. The more we hate ourselves, the stronger and more powerful our shadow self becomes. What interests me about this dream is that it featured many people being eaten alive by shadows; potentially their own shadows? This strikes me as being symbolic of a person’s self-repression killing themselves. I see myself in this dream as trying to warn people about the dangers presented by these shadows because I have seen three of my friends destroyed by them. However, I am not taken seriously. This actually accurately reflects how I have often felt: having perception of dangers other people don’t take seriously. As a therapist this is a common dilemma that I have.

The buildings and school remind me of a place I toured when I was around 10 years old. It no longer exists except for a handful of the original buildings. This place was a state ward for orphaned children. It was not a nice place. I remember there being a bath house: it was a room with about five baths on each wall. There were rings in the wall on each side where chains were once attached for chaining disobedient children into the baths. Such was the quality of government parenting apparently! I remember feeling scared of the place at the time after this was explained to me, thinking it must have been a haunted place to have once been full of children suffering like that. So it seems fitting that this facility should be present in my dreams.  It also suggests that perhaps those shadows were souls from the past angry with how they were treated in that school/orphanage?

Since I have had this dream twice now, I am curious to see if I ever have it again.


Author: philosophicaltherapist

I am philosophical therapist based in Australia. However, I offer Skype services for people who live in regional districts, or internationally providing the time zones do not clash. In my practice I emphasise honesty, self-knowledge, curiosity, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, compassion, empathy, respect for emotions, and understanding how key relationships work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: