In the tradition of the Nightmare Project, the Nightmare Archives will attempt to catalog the darkest recesses of the human psyche.


The how of our project is quite simple. We provide a vehicle for visitors to share nightmares, experience the nightmares of others, and exchange ideas about these troubling dreams. For our purposes, "nightmare" means a dream you, the dreamer, considered significantly frightening or disturbing. We are looking for the dreams that made you wake with a start, that caused you to leave the light on, that made you think twice about going back to sleep.


The why of the project is a bit harder to explain. We believe the nightmare, the "bad dream," is the distant scream of the deepest, most hidden recesses of the human psyche. It expresses not only our worst fears, but the primordial fears of humanity. And, as we all found out the hard way, those fears go well beyond what we know to be real. Our moment of terror may involve a serial killer or a plague of spiders, but it is just as likely to feature a monster under the bed or ethereal spirits rising from the grave.

Nightmares hit us like a sledgehammer and quickly diminish, but never go away completely. They linger forever, reverberating in our minds, echoing our vulnerabilities, humbling us with the realization that we are not completely in charge, that there are things in this life that we can neither conquer nor control. The nightmare tells us that our happy, serene lives can be ripped away at any moment. It taunts us with the suggestion that the world is not after all an inherently benign place, that evil just might triumph in the end.

Dreams, Good and Bad

You may wonder why we chose to concentrate on just the bad dreams. Couldn't we learn as much from the pleasant ones? We doubt it. In our experience, the "good" dreams tend to play out as a set of unrelated images and happenings, senseless but otherwise unremarkable. They are much less likely to be remembered, and they almost never have a lasting impact on us. A nightmare, on the other hand, is laden with drama, theme, purpose. It is a story, perhaps short and simple, perhaps fully developed. There is good and bad, conflict and emotion, danger and suspense. It demands attention. And when we think about it later, in the light of day, we can't help but feel there was a message in there, perhaps a warning.

But having said all that, we must confess that there is another, less academic reason for focusing on nightmares: they are creepy, and we like that. If you are still reading, you probably do too.

Come Join Us

Ever since the first dream was dreamt, humans have been trying to discern the meaning of these obscure night-messages; but eons of probing have yielded more questions than answers. We hope that by sharing our nightmares with each other, certain patterns or themes will emerge, allowing just a bit of light to sneak into those dark, forbidding corners of the subconscious.

We hope you will join us on this journey.

Submit your Nightmares 

Or read submitted nightmares in the The Library