#27 Dream of Being Kidnapped by A Stranger – Meaning & Interpretation

Dreams are our subconscious way of integrating all the input we acquire throughout our days, and also help us to work through emotions, decisions, or other issues that we may not be able to face head on while we are conscious and awake.

Some dreams may put us in terrifying situations that would traumatize us in real life. But even these frightening dreams do not always hold negative meanings.

For example, dreams about kidnapping can mean a loss of a sense of security and trust, but they can also be interpreted as a newfound freedom. It helps to pay closer attention to the details of the dream to understand it better.

Some meanings for kidnapping in dreams can be the following:

  • Loss of security
  • Loss of identity
  • Loss of home, family, friendship
  • Loss of familiarity
  • Losing or gaining trust
  • Wish for freedom
  • Wish to be seen and heard
  • Starting a new life
  • Facing an unknown
  • Stepping into your power

Kidnapping in dreams, unlike in real life, does not always signify an act of violence. It can also mean a retaking of freedom depending on the other details of the dream.

A Deeply-Seeded Fear of Loss and Separation

The the most obvious interpretations of kidnapping in dreams is a fear of loss. Whether you are being kidnapped in your dream, a loved one is being kidnapped, or you are the kidnapper yourself. On the surface, it could point to a sense of helplessness to keep in control and a want to remain in control.

Historically, family and tribal groups around the world protected those within their tribe from being kidnapped from other rival groups. Being kidnapped meant being stolen away and separated from your tribe, your family, your identity, and being ripped apart from everything familiar and gave your life meaning.

For the tribe, someone being kidnapped meant a loss of a family member, the loss of someone who had a role to play in their daily life not only on a personal level but as a community working together. The loss of even just one person in the family created an imbalance in the system that helped the tribe survive.

And for the group that did the kidnapping, it is a show of power over others, gaining a new tribe member who will add to their resources and their own survival in the long term.

This fear of being separated from family by a rival group has been passed down through the generations and kidnapping still holds the same sense of powerlessness and loss in this modern world that doesn’t necessarily work in tight-knit family and tribal groups anymore.

Who Dreams about Kidnapping

Dream specialists say that dreaming of kidnapping is quite common. All of us have had moments in life when we felt powerless, at a loss of control, and to varying degrees, had our freedom taken away.

As children, this loss of freedom can felt when a parent or caregiver did not allow us to play near a pool. Although it is for our own safety, we did not interpret it as so when we were young children unable to see unknown dangers we haven’t experienced yet.

And so we feel a sense of being blocked and controlled by someone bigger and louder than us instead of understanding the care and love behind their reasoning. Children often start to dream of being kidnapped starting at eight years old as their sense of independence and autonomy from their parents begins to grow.

In our adult lives, the loss of control might be felt while we are driving and another vehicle suddenly cuts us off, or when a supervisor at work berates us.

We only feel our own experience of the situation without necessarily understanding the reasons behind the behaviours of those who put themselves in positions of power over us. These everyday examples of feeling powerless may get replayed in the subconscious and may manifest as a kidnapping dream.

People who are introverted and conflict-avoidant also report more instances of being kidnapped or someone they care for being kidnapped in their dreams.

To be able to better interpret and understand the meaning of these kinds of dreams, it is worth to go deeper into the details of the dream such as who the kidnapper is, who is being kidnapped, how did you feel while the kidnapping was happening, and even if you are the kidnapper yourself.

Different Dream Interpretations for Kidnapping

You are being kidnapped in your dreams

If you are being kidnapped in your dreams, it could mean that you are feeling loss of control and freedom in your daily life. Perhaps you are a generally shy person and unable to voice your true opinions or stand up for what you believe in. You could be needing to voice something but are afraid of any conflict or arguments that will arise from it, so you repress your opinion instead. This blockage may play out as a kidnapping story in your dreams.

This kid of dream also rises up often in those who are often frustrated in real life whether they are introverted or not. Frustration and powerlessness and generally feeling not in control of your life can make the same fears about the loss of security, identity, familiarity, and freedom as a kidnapping does and therefore manifests as this kind of dream.

The kidnapping dream is your subconscious’ way of revealing to you these emotions that might be repressed, or they could be helping you find resolutions to the real life situations causing you frustration and find ways to deal with them more gently so when you wake up, you will be able to approach life with clarity and better judgment even in frustration.

The kidnapper in your dream is someone you know

If the kidnapper in your dream is someone you know, this could signify that the person is the very one you are having conflict with. But sometimes it is not so literal. Be aware of any feelings you have towards this person in your dreams and who else in your life do you experience those same feelings with.

People we see in dreams, whether they are people we know in real life or not, are often characters and archetypes of other people and situations so it’s important to go beyond the symbol and explore the meanings more deeply.

The kidnapper in your dream is someone you don’t know

In this case, it could mean a literal translation of having a sense of being overpowered and controlled by that person in real life. Or, again, by examining the emotions that rise up in your dreams towards this person, it may represent another person or situation that is making you feel powerless and hopeless.

On the flip side, if you are the kidnapper in your dream, it could be a wish-fulfilling fantasy of taking back your power and control over another person who has blocked your or shut you down, or putting a messy situation in your life back in order.

Your dreams are a way to practice being more confident or reclaiming your voice so that when it’s time to do so in real life, you are more readily able to do it because you have already played it out in your subconscious.

Facing Freedom and the Unknown

Yes, being kidnapped in dreams can seem negative on the surface, but as a subconscious symbol, it can also signify that you are going through a major shift in your life where you are taking back your freedom and power to control your own life.

Perhaps you are entering a new phase of your relationship with a partner or marriage that moves you away from your identity as a single person who was part of one family group or community and moving into a new identity as a married person who may start a new family.

Some people who dream of being kidnapped but don’t fear their kidnapper or the situation, perhaps developing Stockholm Syndrome in the dream, may be going through a phase in life where they are coming into good luck or abundance.

It might be a promotion at work, a newfound hobby, a successful business venture, a purchase of a new car or house – all of these are positive experiences in real life but also have an underlying unknown which is manifested as a kidnapping in the dream world.


A kidnapping is one of the most terrifying and traumatic experiences you can have in real life whether you are the abductee, a family member, friend or acquaintance is the one who is taken away, or even watching about kidnapping in the news.

It is a genuine fear that has been passed down through our DNA through generations. But when we sleep, dreams of being kidnapped or kidnapping someone else can point to other areas of our lives that need resolutions or just need to be acknowledged by the dreamer.

On the whole, a kidnapping in a dream represents freedom – either the loss of it or the gaining of freedom. So if you have dreams about kidnapping, take note of the details around the event and the people involved in the dream, and you will be able to find the true meaning of kidnapping in your dream.

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