Dreaming about ghosts is never pleasant in most cases. Often times the dream is a nightmare and usually makes you wake up shaking in cold sweat along with strong feelings of fear. Most people wake up and even feel afraid of their surroundings. They look around in fear expecting to see the ghost(s) they saw in their dream.
Table of Contents
- Reasons Why We Have Ghost Dreams
- Common Dreams About Ghosts
- How To Interpret Your Ghost Dream
- How To Prevent Ghost Dreams
- When Is It An Actual Ghostly Visitation?
- Ghost Dream Examples
Reasons Why We Have Ghost Dreams
The above examples show that ghost dreams are not just for kids with overactive imaginations. Most adults and teenagers get them every now and then. There are many reasons why we experience ghost dreams and some of them are as follows:
- Boozing Before Sleeping
You might have gone on a drinking binge in town and came home very drunk then went straight to bed. Alcohol according to many sleep experts is a great cause of nightmares.
The booze will suppress the rapid eye movement which happens a lot when we dream and as the body absorbs the alcohol, dreaming comes back and often times the dreams become intense nightmares.
The alcohol will also relax the upper airway and might cause strain when it comes to regular breathing. This will create a situation where you dream of a drowning, being chased or feeling suffocated.
A story then creates itself around the situation where you dream that a ghost is suffocating you, drowning you in the bathtub or chasing you.
- You Are Sleeping In A New Place
You might be sleeping in your friend’s home, a hotel or even at a campsite. A change in setting has been known to cause anxiety and when such an element of confusion finds its way in your dreams, you shouldn’t be surprised when a ghost features somewhere there.
You might wake up more in the middle of the night because your sleep is being disrupted by nightmares featuring ghosts.
- You Ate A Late Dinner
When you eat your dinner late and then sleep immediately, you might experience some sort of acid reflux which might disrupt your sleep. You might experience discomfort which disrupts sleeps and results in nightmares. Do not be surprised when you dream that a ghost has entered your body and rolling in your stomach.
The discomforts from the heavy dinner you had late which the body is trying to digest can result to a story where the ghost is squeezing your stomach or passing through your stomach to the other side behind you. They are spirits, after all, anything is possible.
- You Are Under Great Stress
You might have gone to bed with worries of all your problems weighing heavily on your mind. You might have pressure at work, heavy financial problems, a serious illness or other forms of stressors.
Do not be surprised when a ghost(s) visits your dreams in different forms. The ghost could be of people you knew who died or simply scary ghosts unknown to you.
- Read more: 15 Dreams About Demons
Remember stress and anxiety can come in various forms, from everyday things like moving to a new location, changing duties at work or school, failing at something, to more major life-changing things such as divorce, the death of a loved one or even the loss of a job you have been working at for many years.
- A Bad Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your back has been known to cause sleeping disturbances and a high possibility of nightmares. Sleeping on your back will cause your airway to be less stable and highly likely to collapse.
The need for adequate air during your sleep might cause you to feel suffocated, hence the scary ghost imagery in your dream. A change of sleeping positions might help you avert the bad dream.
- A Past Traumatic Experience
A past traumatic experience often results in a recurring of your ghost dream. You might have experienced a horrific live event which is causing you to have a recurring ghost dream.
It could have been someone close to you dying, or a deadly accident where people died in mangled car wrecks for example.
You might dream of yourself at the scene several times and see the ghosts of the people who died. You might also be seeing the ghost of this close loved one who you witnessed their death.
Such ghost dreams re-traumatize the dreamer and often make them feel like the horror is happening all over again but this time with the ghosts in the scene.
Seeking therapeutic treatments for such a case is often the best way to help the dreamer stop the horrifying ghost dreams.
- A Past Mistake Haunting You
You might have done something bad in the past which you feel guilty of. This mistake(s) could be haunting you during your waking time and then haunting your dreams as ghosts.
The problem could be a bad past relationship that led to great negative consequences, an incomplete project that you felt you should have completed.
The best thing would be to let bygones be bygones if you can’t change anything and find peace in your life. Freeing yourself from the regrets and past ties is the best way to have ghost-free and sweet dreams.
- You Feel Disconnected In Your Life
Something that you like a lot might be out of reach and you might no longer have access to it. You might also be feeling disconnected from your current world and simply going through the motions with no zest for life.
Dreaming of ghosts could be the wakeup call that you need to see things with greater clarity. It could also be a time for you to do away with the old way of doing things and embracing new ways of living, thinking and acting in situations.
- You Watched and Read Ghost Content
If you read too many ghost novels, watched too many ghost movies then why wouldn’t your dreams have a ghost in them.
Your mind could have been reeling from the thrill of the ghost content you exposed yourself to and you went to bed thinking nothing else. The dream that followed is highly likely to feature ghosts.
- You Are Obsessed With Ghost Things
You might be watching, reading and researching on all things ghost. You might even be visiting allegedly haunted places and hoping to see a ghost.
Watching all paranormal documentaries and even ghost images on your walls. If that is the case, then your dreams could be recurring ghost dreams, where you met ghosts and made your own paranormal documentary.
If ghost hunting isn’t your full-time job and you aren’t a professional researcher on the science behind dreams, the best thing would be to get a life and stop obsessing over ghost things.
- A great fear Of Ghosts
You might also be suffering from phasmophobia which is the fear of ghosts or the unknown. You might be so consumed by the thought that your home might be haunted and this might affect the state of your life. If this is the case, you could experience panic attacks and recurring ghost dreams as a result.
- Medications and Drugs
There are medications and drugs especially those that are known to influence neurotransmitters, that could affect your dreams and cause you to dream about ghosts which fall under the nightmare category. Antidepressants, barbiturates, and narcotics can contribute to your ghost nightmares.
It is also advisable to withdraw from drugs that affect REM sleep especially if your ghost nightmares are recurring. If after the change of drugs, your ghost nightmares still come, seek advice from your physician.
- Severe Depression
People suffering from severe depression and a negative attitude have been known to experience nightmares featuring ghosts more frequently.
There was a recent Finnish study which proved that 28 percent of depression patients reported frequent nightmares compared to those who weren’t experiencing depression.
According to numerous studies, adults with personalities such as alienation, emotional estrangement, and distrustfulness are highly likely to have chronic ghost nightmares.
It has also been said that people with thinner personality boundaries and higher creativity are also highly likely to experience nightmares.
Common Dreams About Ghosts
There are common ghost dreams that people experience and from them, people can get various interpretations. Some of the common ghost dreams are as follows:
A Ghost Passing
You could dream of seeing a ghost passing in your dream. This could be an indication of your fears. Ghosts often visit during periods when you are stressed and failing at something you desperately want to achieve.
The ghost dream could be a message for you to change your ways or methods and stop trying too hard to reach something that is clearly out of reach.
You might actually be knocking at a closed door and all your efforts might be leading you further to the path of destruction. Consider looking elsewhere or changing a few things in your life.
You Are A Ghost In The Dream
When you dream that you became a ghost in your life, this could be an indication that there is a situation or someone in your life that you want to escape.
Take stock of your life and look if there is something or anyone that makes you feel like you want to run. It could be that smothering relationship, demanding job, family or the great expectations from your political or social circles.
If that is the case, then the best solution should be facing the situation and letting everyone know how overwhelmed you feel. Communicate to the relevant parties on how you wish things should be to relieve yourself of the stress.
You Touch A ghost And It Vanishes
When you dream that you are touching a ghost and it vanishes, this could be a sign that you are making a great effort in dealing with your repressed fears and painful memories.
However, it is also an indication that you are still not ready to confront your fears head-on. In such a case keep working on dealing with your fears.
Being Terrified By A Ghost
This might be an indication that you are under pressure to do something that is going against your moral code and it is scaring you.
You could perhaps seek advice from someone you trust or strongly resist the temptations even if the consequences of refusal to do this wrong thing are dire.
A Ghost Is Haunting You
This could be an indication that your past issues are affecting your current life. It could be time to let go of the past and use the past mistakes as lessons to help you make better decisions and move on with your life.
Deal with everything from the past that is currently affecting you. If you have to travel to that place you lived in, in the past for you to get closure then, by all means, do it and move on with your life.
Ghost Chasing You
If you dream of ghosts chasing you to kill you, that could be an indication that you are now ready to face your worst fears. You might be feeling tired of being held back and want to move on to better things awaiting you in the future.
Face your fears head on and deal with them even if it will cause disgruntlement from those around you. It is definitely time to put all your fears aside and think of yourself and the truth no matter how much it hurts.
A Ghost Of Someone Who Died
When you dream of the ghost of someone who died, that could be an indication that you are in danger. Be careful of strangers who want to work with you in any way. Take your time before making commitments to avoid making great mistakes.
This dream could also mean that you feel guilty about your dead friend or relative being dead or you might have had a strained relationship or an unresolved issue with them when they were alive.
A Ghost Of Someone Who Is Still Alive
This is a very unusual dream, but then there is nothing normal with ghost dreams or most dreams for that matter.
This could mean that this ghost of this family member or friend who is still alive is an indication of how they might be negatively looking upon you. They could be going against you and might be planning malicious acts against you.
A Ghost Talking To You
Such a dream could be an indication of your fears about death or you dying. Note how the ghost is talking, is it frightening, or talking in a normal conversation? It could symbolize that your fears have stopped being a big deal in your life.
A Friendly Ghost
This could be an indication of your loneliness and need for a close friend. Your life might revolve around work or school and you don’t have any real friends.
Your friends could be only those ones on social media or simply non-existent. You need companionship but don’t have any social life. The solution would be for you to get out more and try and make friends.
You Are Chasing A Ghost
If you are chasing a ghost in your dream, then this could be an indication that you have full control of your fears and the obstacles in your life. You might be in the best position to get rid of them and actually have the ability to do so.
Look at all the things that frighten you and think of ways that you can quickly remove them from your life now that you know you can and are no longer afraid.
How To Interpret Your Ghost Dream
You can interpret your own ghost dream by getting as much detail as you can about the dream. The following steps might make it easier.
1 – Think about every element in the dream and ask yourself questions like, what is a ghost? Do you believe in ghosts? When and where did you last hear of ghosts? It could just be a dream, but then vivid dreams like those often times happen for a very good reason.
2 – Think about how you felt about your dream experience. In your waking life, what gives you that feeling you experienced when you encountered the ghost in your dream. Be as honest as possible in your answers to yourself.
3 – If your ghost dream is recurring, you could ask yourself, which nights the ghost dream happens and if there is anything that has been different during the day that might have caused that dream. Note the things that happen on those days that the dream occurs and from there on you can tell why the dream keeps coming.
4 – Lastly, put the associations together. If ghosts make you think of Casper the friendly ghost and you get an excited feeling in your stomach then maybe you should be anticipating great things that would be happening.
If on the other hand ghosts make you think of the ghost bikers, knights, haunted house and other scary stuff try to establish a connection between your dream imagery and real life because it is always there and has to be the key to what the dream is telling you.
How To Prevent Ghost Dreams
Controlling what you dream is still a mystery to many and the few theories at play have worked in some cases and not in many others.
For many dreamers, ghost dreams are not really a major issue until they start waking them up frequently or keep recurring.
No one wants to have terrifying ghost dreams unless they are the kind of people that get an adrenaline rush from fear.
With majority not liking nightmares especially ghost dreams which could be the most terrifying, outlined below are some of the things you can do to prevent yourself from having ghost dreams.
- Practice good sleep hygiene.
You cannot completely prevent ghost nightmares or other bad dreams from happening, but you can set the stage to ensure that you sleep more soundly and feel well-rested.
Good sleep hygiene means ensuring your habits before bed and your sleep environment is perfect for quality rest.
Your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet. There shouldn’t be any light sources like TVs, alarm clocks or even nightlights that are too bright.
If you have to, you can use white noise machines or earplugs to help drown out any bothersome night noises like howling winds, night creatures, traffic and so on.
When it comes to sleep habits, ensure that you observe regular bedtime and wake time always as a great way of supporting your internal clock. Don’t take substances like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine because they can hugely affect your sleep.
Avoid such substances before bedtime and have only light bedtime snacks without any spices or foods that could cause indigestion and discomfort.
- Talk about it or write it out
If your ghost dreams are making you uneasy and you are afraid of even going to sleep, talk about your dreams with a therapist or with a trusted friend or in a support group. You could even write the dream out if it makes you afraid after waking up.
- Deal with your daytime stressors
Poor sleep is often associated with high levels of stress. Therefore, if there are areas of your life that are contributing to stress or fear, it is better that you deal with them.
Do whatever it takes to combat your stress as long as it is a positive thing. It could be warm scented baths, relaxing music, yoga, reading, exercising and other techniques that will help you.
Try and find solutions to the problems that are causing you stress. Seek counsel from someone you trust, it could be your religious leader, trusted friend, family member and so on.
As you deal with your daytime stressors avoid the common nightmare fodder like movies about ghosts, death or violence or watching unsettling news broadcasts.
- Play good video games
The process of desensitization, fighting and winning that is often associated with video gaming has been known to carry over to the dream world.
Look for good video games with less violence and they will stimulate your mind and make you less stressed.
- Get professional help
In some instances nightmares can become more than occasional disruptions and eventually lead to a great source of sleep anxiety.
Nightmare disorder is a medically recognized sleep problem because it disrupts sleep, causes bedtime anxiety and affects daytime behavior.
Be bold enough to seek help because there is nothing embarrassing about experiencing terrifying ghost dreams. Remember if they affect you so much they will have a negative impact on your waking life.
- Treat any underlying disorders
You could be experiencing these ghost dreams because of an underlying condition like narcolepsy, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome or REM disorder.
When you get treatment for these conditions the nightmare frequency might reduce and you will have less terrifying dreams. Consult your doctor and agree on the treatment option that is ideal for you.
- Consider Imagery Rehearsal Treatment
This is a form of cognitive therapy that is known to be very effective in helping reduce tarrying dreams. If your ghost dreams have reached levels that make you afraid and jumpy even in your waking life, this form of therapy might just be right for you.
With this form of therapy, a patient is encouraged to think of a different ending to their ghost dreams. They are especially encouraged to imagine a more pleasant or satisfying outcome before they drift off to sleep.
A good example, if your recurring dream involves this ghost chasing you then towering over you to finish you off and just when it is about to finish you, you wake up screaming and sweaty.
You could imagine an alternative ending of the dreamlike, the ghost chases you and when it reaches you it says, “come on buddy why are you afraid? let’s go have a drink at your favorite joint, my treat and from now on I am your guardian angel”
You could imagine many great alternative endings of the dream and with time the ghost dreams will turn into pleasant dreams and eventually disappear altogether, replaced by beautiful dreams.
During the therapy session when a patient is asked to imagine these alternative endings to the dream, they are usually asked to do this orally, write down or draw the alternative ending of the dream.
- Think Pleasant Thoughts
When drifting off to sleep, consider thinking happy thoughts of things that you like. Imagine yourself as the world-class businessman making headlines, or you vacationing somewhere exotic, like the Maldives for example.
When you think pleasant thoughts about yourself, you will not only keep ghost dreams and other nightmares away, but you will begin working towards achieving your dreams of greatness.
- A Gemstone For Protection
Gemstones have mystic properties and if you believe in their power it could work positively on you. An amethyst gemstone, for example, is known to have the mystic power to help you forget about unpleasant thoughts and focus on the positive. Wear one as a pendant both in your waking and when sleeping and the ghost dreams might just be less terrifying.
- Remind Yourself That Dreams Are Not Real
The ghost dreams might seem real in your dreams and the fear you feel even in your waking life is real but just remember that the events in your dreams are not real and cannot happen in real life.
Calm yourself down, have a huge smile on your face as you get ready to enjoy yet again another beautiful day.
- Think Of All The Great Things That Have Happened In Your Life
Look back at all the accomplishments that you have made in life. You have a beautiful family, you graduated with honors, are in a great career or running a successful business, living in a beautiful house which you remodeled yourself, the great friends in your life and the lovely city or countryside that you live in.
Think of all the wonderful experiences that you have had and forget about the stuff of your dreams. The more you think of these great things that have happened to you, the more your dreams will be more pleasant and the wonderful events might just happen again in a different way.
- Find A Roommate If you Live Alone
Sometimes living alone could also contribute to you having ghost dreams. If you had a roommate and knew they were nearby, the feelings of loneliness would be less and you would sleep easy at night.
If you wake up screaming, at least there will be someone there to bring you warm milk or give you water and sit with you and talk. If you are screaming in your sleep, at least there will be someone who will wake you up and tell you that it is just a dream.
This will work in your favor only if you find a roommate who is understanding and won’t freak out when you are having your ghost dreams.
- Pray About It
If you are religious and even if you are not but believe in some kind of deity, you could pray in sincerity as you offer your supplication before your deity.
In this case, the request would be to help you have peaceful nights and keep unpleasant recurring ghost dreams at bay.
Prayer does change situations and taking time and saying a prayer before bedtime will help a lot in giving you those lovely dreams and good night’s rest.
When Is It An Actual Ghostly Visitation?
Actual vivid dreams of seeing a ghost coming to you with a message have often been narrated. Some of these dreams make sense while others are too absurd and are far from making any sense.
Many dreamers have experienced ghostly visitations in their dreams and in such cases, the visitation dream is not a creation of the subconscious.
A ghostly visitation will hardly occur when you are awake because it will no doubt freak you out, though some people have said they have experienced such visitations; paranormal investigations, however, usually reveal that such events were hoaxes of some sort to create a buzz and excitement.
A ghostly visitation usually occurs when you are in the dream state because that is the state that your mind cannot question the presence of a spirit especially if it is a person who has died.
Your mind in the dream state will simply accept their presence hence the feelings of real fear or joy that you experience in the dream.
Ghostly visitations are usually different from regular dreams and here are the signs that will let you know that it is a ghostly visitation.
- It Feels “Real”
The ghostly visitation will be very vivid and feel real complete with all the real emotions. You will feel gratitude, assurance and joy or love in your heart after you wake up. Afterwards, you will still experience the dazed effect of the dream as common with true ghostly visitations.
- You Will Not Forget The Dream
A true ghostly visitation is unforgettable which is very unlike the regular dreams. You will remember the ghost dream in full details, down to the nitty-gritty.
You might even remember a detail as small as the color of the nails of your ghost or the outfit you were wearing in the dream, and if there are any numbers, you will remember them as well. You will also likely to remember this dream years after it happens and probably for the rest of your life.
- The Message Is Usually Clear
Ghostly visitations are usually for the purposes of delivering messages. The spirit visiting you will clearly point out and convey their message. The dreamer, in this case, will fully understand the message and know what is expected of them.
Sometimes the ghost might speak out the words or the dreamer will just understand the message telepathically without any word exchange in the dream.
- Short and To The Point
Ghostly visitations are usually not long and drawn out. They are usually very simple and straight to the point but at the same time incredibly powerful and real.
If someone tells you a long drawn-out ghostly visitation dream, then it wasn’t really a visitation but one of their regular dreams. The message whether a warning or a reassurance is usually short and straight to the point.
- You Don’t Have To Ask Whether It was
When you experience a ghostly visitation dream, you will straightaway know that it is what it is. If you dream it and then question whether or not it was a visitation, then it probably wasn’t.
You will firmly feel and know that it was a visitation just from how you will be feeling after waking up. Often times the feeling is usually of calmness and happiness unless the visitation was a warning which might make you feel a little disturbed.
- It Is Not A Nightmare
A ghostly visitation, as much as it sounds scary isn’t supposed to be scary. It usually leaves a feeling of assurance, joy, love, and satisfaction in the knowledge received even if it is a warning.
It could be a ghost of someone you deeply cared about who died coming to assure you that they are at a better place or deliver a message of love.
If you wake up screaming, or afraid from the ghost dream experience even if it involved a loved one, then that is a nightmare pure and simple bred from the issues that you are dealing with in your waking life.
A dream about a ghost is a common occurrence but it gets to unhealthy levels when it recurs a lot and starts affecting your waking life. However, as seen above there is a lot you can do to prevent the dreams from occurring or cope with them.
If you feel you need an interpretation for the dream, then examine all the angles as you should, look at the ghost dream in detail and examine every aspect of your life to see if there is a connection.
If the message is negative always take time and don’t overreact and make major decisions. However, if it is positive embrace it and make the best of your unusual ghost dream.
Ghost Dream Examples
- I was walking through the hallway of my home checking on the kids making sure they were all tucked in bed. I had just finished and was walking back to my room when sudden wind rushed past me. I started shivering and then saw a transparent ghost of my next door neighbor who died last year standing at the end of the hallway beckoning at me to come. I tried to run but the ghost came closer and all of a sudden the hallway was filled with ghosts that were moving towards me and surrounding me. I woke up screaming.
- We had just finished practice in the field but I stayed longer to practice some more while my teammates went ahead to the locker room. I finished practicing and started walking towards the locker rooms then noticed the whole school was deserted and I was the only one. I went to the locker rooms quickly to change and noticed that it was getting dark. As I entered the room I could see ghosts of my friends and my gym teacher all standing and waiting for me. I just knew that they wanted to make me a ghost too and I screamed and screamed….and woke up.
- I was seated on the park bench on a sunny day reading my book and enjoying the fresh air of the park when suddenly I saw this beautiful girl who was walking towards me. I dropped my book and started staring at her. The way her hair glowed in the sun and fluttered from the gentle breeze. Her eyes were a beautiful blue and her skin was white. I sat there waiting for her to reach me but she just kept coming and wasn’t reaching me, I stood up and started walking towards her, then I woke up.