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
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
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.