Worst Nightmares

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

It’s scary October, which means it’s time to look at those things that haunt our dreams.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Awesome topic, loved it! Not so much liking the fact that I will probably have a hag dream in a maze roomed house with a girl who dumped me after we survived an airplane crash, but other than that, loved it!

  2. I don’t have a top 5, but if I stopped at made one up, I know what 2 of them would be. And they both happened on the same night, and they are both already mentioned on the podcast.
    I had started taking melatonin to help with m sleep problem. One of the side effects of melatonin is vivid dreams. Also anxiety and according to one side, it might slow the heart rate. Since I had mild chest pain when I woke up in the middle of the night, I was afraid I was having a heart attack do to the melatonin, which terrified me. Somehow I managed to fall asleep again, but woke up again and I could not move. Immediately I thought I did have a heart attack and that I was dead and that’s why I couldn’t move. Except then I woke up. it was morning, I slept in. My wife must of gotten up and gotten the kids awake because I heard them in the living room. When I head out there, My youngest son who was 3, was jumping on the sofa and he fell over, hit the edge of the end table and broke his arm. So I grab him and try to find the wife and she’s no where to be found. I go out to drive him to the hospital and the car isn’t there. I figured she must of taken it and gone out somewhere. While running around in a panic I woke up and realized it was still 3am. I spent the rest of the night laying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling. I have not taken any more melatonin since.

  3. Frederick aka Darth Macho on

    Great episode, with great stories from everyone on the cast, but Stephen topped them all with his airplane dream. Very thought provoking.
    I have many recurring dreams, some of which overlap with ones mentioned on the show. Here’s my list:

    5. The School Anxiety Dream: I’m actually grateful that the cast put a name on this dream I’ve been having for years. Sometimes it’s college, sometimes it’s high school, rarely it’s all the way back to elementary school, but it’s always the same dream, which is that the end of the school year is rapidly approaching, I’m not prepared for the big tests coming up, and I’ve missed too many, or all of the classes, and I don’t know what to do.

    4. Former Job Dream: I have this one fairly often. I’m in my old workplace (retail) and I don’t remember when I started working there again, or for how long, and if I’ve been getting paid, but here are the customers right in my face, and I don’t even remember how to use the cash register. I hate this dream, because it carries an air of utter defeat, and I have it fairly often.

    3. Falling: I’ve had many dreams in which I’m falling from great heights. They’re always vastly different, but always contain the common theme, which is a very real sensation of falling. I’ve hit the ground in most of them, and always wake up at that point, proving that you can die in dreams.

    2. Possession Dream: This could be number one, because it’s always very traumatizing, but I haven’t had it in years. They started when I was a kid, after seeing the Exorcist at a very young age. Growing up Catholic, I truly believed that what happened in the movie was real, so I was convinced that someone in my family would become possessed by the devil. I had many realistic nightmares about it, and usually it was my mother that was possessed, but not always.

    1. Dream within the Dream: These are always the worst of the worst, and have on occasion involved possession, but not always. In all of these nightmares, something truly horrible is happening, but then I wake up, realize it was only a dream, and then suddenly the nightmare comes true! The reality is, I’m still asleep, and still dreaming, and at this point I usually try to scream, but I have no voice, so panic sets in as things get worse. I’ve actually woken up screaming from this one, but no one was around to hear. That was the worst nightmare ever, though I don’t even recall what scared me, just the sensation of horror.

    Looking forward to the next podcast! I’ll be sure to post again after that one.

  4. I’ve had lots of nightmares before but, thankfully, i never really remember much of them after i have had them. The only nightmare i can really recall is this.
    I’m laying in bed, up way past my bedtime, and i see a light come on in the hall, so i hide under the covers so no-one will know I’m up. I hear the door open, then suddenly the covers are pulled back and I’m staring at, for want of a better term, a ghostly version of Rolf Harris, with creepy carnival music. i start screaming but he just laughs and gets right up in my face. when i manage to pull the covers over me i wake up screaming.
    I remember explaining it to my mum when she ran in to see what was up and her just laughing at the idea as she tries to calm me down.

  5. Ooo…great topic. And great nightmares.

    My Top 5 Nightmares would be:

    5. Like the others, something bad happening to my kids or my wife.

    4. A dream I had when I was very little where I was sailing with a friend. He fell overboard and grabbed his hand to pull him back up. In doing so, I fell into the water myself and went underneath the water. As the bubbles slowly stopped rising, I woke up.

    3. Being chased around a weird MC Esher type house by a guy who looked like Richard O’Brien from Rocky Horror and Dark City. He was chasing me around with a flamethrower. I remember waking up just as he turned a corner and I saw the gout of flames coming my way.

    2. Dreamed I was riding a Big Wheel around a construction site and somehow woke up a next of glowing blue scorpions. I thought I ran away, but one found me and stung my foot, causing it to turn grey and shrivel up. I actually woke myself up running in place trying to get away.

    1. The big one: a dream I had when I was very young. I dreamed I went to a zoo that had a shark in a pool with no railing. When my dad wandered off to get drinks or something, I fell into the pool and the shark, which was a talking shark, proceeded to explain to me how it was going to chew off my arms and legs. It did that, and then pushed me out of the pool. My dad came back and didn’t notice I was an armless, legless stump and just took me home. It sounds dumb now, but that one scared me for days back then.

  6. Loved listening to your nightmares. When it started happening to me, I was surprised to find out how many people had episodes of sleep paralysis. I don’t often remember my dreams, but most of the ones I do have sleep paralysis in common. Here are my top 5 nightmares.

    5. My dad and I were riding 4 wheelers in the desert having a blast. The desert floor fell away and we were both falling. Turns out the desert was the top of a plateau. After what seemed like forever I saw a tree with the plateau in the background and I was impaled on it. I can only assume I was looking through my dad’s eyes as I don’t know what happened to him. Only dream I’ve ever seen myself dead.

    4. I don’t often have dreams about my family, but one scared me quite a bit. The world was being filled with green noxious gas and I was unaffected by it. I was miles from home and when I got there I was just in time to see my entire family die.

    3. Now starts the dreams where I had sleep paralysis. I was sick one day and was alone in my apartment. I thought I woke up, but when I tried to get up I couldn’t move. Then I noticed a military nurse ghost sitting next to my bed then she put a warm cloth on my forehead. There was also a ghost soldier standing at the end of my bed looking on solemnly. I wen’t back to sleep and woke up a couple hours later. I was too sick to be scared at the time, but now that I think back on it, it was pretty freaky.

    2. Another sleep paralysis dream. I stayed up late one night playing video games and to avoid waking the wife I decided to fall asleep on the couch. I layed down and dosed for a second but thought I should get up and go to the bathroom first. I tried to get up, but couldn’t. Then three scary witches appeared flying around the room swooping down when they got near to me. The whole while they were laughing and shrieking that they wanted to eat my face. I was terrified and started screaming. Eventually I realized it was a dream and the screaming woke me up. I then went to the bathroom and proceeded to go sleep in my bed chancing waking up the wife.

    1. Another sleep paralysis dream, but I’ve had this one more than once. It happens on nights when I have trouble sleeping. On most of them I don’t even realize that I’ve fallen asleep. My head starts buzzing and I see a figure coming from the other side of the room. As it gets closer I can tell it is the Grim Reaper. As he gets closer my head buzzes louder and I get a strong sense that if he reaches me I won’t be able to wake up….ever. In every dream I try to scream and do anything in my power to get away, but can’t move and nothing comes out of my mouth. Eventually I break through and wake myself up, but never until he’s almost at the bed side. The last time it happened I accidentally hit my wife as I didn’t realize I had woken up and I was still trying to get away.

    So there ya go, my first post on the Major Spoiler’s site, and I think I’m going to have nightmares because of it.

  7. Oh how I gonna regret doing this…
    I don’t think I can do a top five, but here are some of the most disturbing dreams I’ve had.
    1) Bad things happening to my little niece. I don’t remember the details, and I don’t want to remember them. I just know it was awful.
    2) Probably my most recurring dream. I’m in high school again (a few times it has been college as well) and everything seems perfectly normal until I suddenly notice I’m not wearing shoes or pants or anything from the waist down. The moment I notice that I start panicking and desperately try to cover myself, until I realize that I have been mostly naked for several hours already. Then I wake up. It can sound silly, but I freak out every time.
    3) A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed that I woke up early in the morning and my boyfriend was gone. I looked around the house and all of his things were gone as well. It took me several dream-hours of not knowing where he was until I realized he had left me and he wasn’t going to come back. I woke up crying that night.

    Finally, I must say that Rodrigo’s ‘clone’ thing is the most scary thing I’ve heard!

  8. This is one I have that I also expected to hear from Matthew…

    Having worked in television on and off for many years, I have the missing tape/advancing red line dream frequently.

    Back in the old days when TV was all tape based I used to have this nightmare where I know my commercial break or show is imminent, but I cannot find and load the proper tape in time. In recent years this has mutated into the advancing ‘missing media’ red line in a playlist that shows me that my program is not available for playback from the media servers.

    In the dream, no matter how fast you work you can never get the material ready in time for air.

  9. Unfortunately, i tend to have dreamless nights (or fortunately, judging by the numerous nightmares you all seem to be having).

    I did have a recent vision of my computer table turning into a weird satanic altar, but nothing much other than that… Oh! I also had a dream where my family members turned into zombies, and i had an extremely visceral experience of stabbing my oldest sister in the neck. I know, i sound like a psychopath, but hey.


    I am glad I don’t remember my dreams usually and after a day or two I don’t recall them.
    One dream I do remember is going to my door late at night and a lady ghost bathed in blue goes by and that’s all I remember I didn’t wake up but I did recall in the morning.
    I occasionally right before I go to sleep have the there’s I think I saw a human silhouette and that creeps me out for a few minutes till I get to sleep.
    Now I’m going to be terrified I’m going to have the hag dream.

  11. Well guys I got a good list this time as well. I need to check if I’ve put up my other ones up using Facebook. I would so much love to run a Call of Cthulhu game for you guys that would be so amazing. Or just listening to the group play that and the horror coming out in all its glory

    On the topic of dreams
    You cannot feel pain in a dream. You cannot read in a dream. When you are fully lucid in a dream you control the dream
    Simple facts dealing with dreams that apply too everyone and saying otherwise is a lie


    #5: I have a different sleeping condition. Specifically I sleep walk… now follow this up with waking in a dream think oh I just woke up from a dream well sleepwalking… Now you can start too see how this goes poorly. Its not I’m awake and moving its I’m asleep and sleep walking too were I’ll wake up but its not were I’m going in the dream and I can see a figure walking a route. Maybe its the route I took too were I ended up I don’t know but he always nods to me with a curt bow of his head. And that is it then I wake up

    #4: Falling just the endless blackness of something as I continue to fall, and fall, and fall. Never ends in sight or beginning to this endless fall just a fall. No one around nothing to know how and why just falling

    #3: My major is in Criminal Forensics. I am fascinated by the criminal mind. The inner workings of how we build these crimes. The details, plans, and work put towards them. I”m fascinated by that idea of seeing these well put together schemes, ideas, and general criminal intent. I want to know the whys, and hows. Take what looks like chaos and create a symphony. Too know what they know and turn what is the one way they can hide into a spear to destroy it.
    To turn that criminal thought on them.
    My nightmare is simple, its a voice. I’m doing a case after I graduate, we analyze it, it reminds me of one case I studied, then another, then another. In the back of my head the voice is whispering just softly;
    “You already know the answer”, and it continues as we diagnosis this case and it turns cold it dies so quickly and so effectively that it must be murder but we have nothing. Then another, then another and the voice rises in volume saying the answer.
    It then clicks together why, and I wake up… I know who and I know how in the dream but in the real world once I wake? No I’ve lost it and I don’t know what I say as the voice and I speak it together, who the killer is
    Its just a fear of an answer to a question because the not knowing terrifies but the answer could always be worse

    #2: I had a dream I was shooting needles at people, I knew the needles had something in them good but the people that I shot with them kept crying out as though they had been given Ebola. I knew they were safe but felt as though they had all been told something different… I was woken up by the last person I shot screaming.

    #1: As mentioned I sleep walk. Or used to, I have slept walked 9 times that others have realized I was sleepwalking or been around for it.
    I feel alone, looking for others and unable to find anyone. No one anywhere and it keeps going, and going. I look high and low then. I found someone, no they are something my mind tells me to go but the nightmare tells me to stay. And the dream grows worse alone and trapped to hunted and pursued but I’m producing no motion no nothing I’m trying to move and cannot then things get blurry I hear something and I wake up

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