Just found this film by Dale Green.
This is weird: I decide to check in with my hibernating night-terror blog to moderate some spammy trackbacks, and I find this draft entitled “Dreaming of turtles…” in the post list. There is just those words: nothing else, and I don’t remember writing them. I vaguely do remember dreaming of turtles – lots of them – insfesting my bed one night. I must have written the draft title, half awake after fighting hordes of turtles, and then thought better of it.
In any case, the turtles will remain a faded memory. There really is very little I can tell you about them, except that they live for a very long time and will eventually get you, just not tonight…
Ok, full disclosure: I suck at blogging, so sometimes months will go by without any posts. sorry about that. I started this blog for many reasons, none of which I now remember. It seems like such a long time ago: such a lot has happened since.
When I started this blog it was winter and I had been on sick leave for depression for a week. Learning how to make a WordPress theme and blogging about night terrors seemed like a great idea, since I already had the domain and hosting. I was also sleeping terribly, spending most nights haunting the net, not daring or wanting to go to bed and having multiple night terrors when I finally did.
The only problem with the blogging plan was that after describing a few of my nightmares, the subject was kind of exhausted. So was I. I had truble concentrating for long enough to write anything, and spent my days listlessly watching tv.
Now, three months later, things are better. I’m still not back to working full time, but things are less bleak and I’m also sleeping a lot better. That may be bad news for a blog about Pavor Nocturnus: no juicy accounts of recent unspeakable horrors to blog about.
That said, I do enjoy writing, and the subject of night terrors is interesting. I’m sure there will be long periods of radio silence on this blog, but every once in a while something will get found, written and posted. So tune your dreamcatchers to my feed for intermittent transmissions of stuff sort of related to night terrors.
I have recently been spared visits by The Sisimizi, but they were a common source of nightly terror a while back. The Sisimizi are a breed of malevolent and very tiny insects that infest my bed, crawling around and infusing it with nanoscale stingers that burn and paralyse. My wife often reminds me of an episode where I sat in bed, frantically trying to brush the critters from the sheets, speaking incoherently (as I usually do) about nano-insects.
Small insects don’t sound all that bad, compared to demons and snakes, but the nano-dreams are terrifying in a different way. Imagine being assaulted by a clingy mist of soot that moves like a seething mass of toxic intelligence. Then imagine this horde biting and stinging you as you lie helpless in bed.
I wonder if there are others who dream of The Sisimizi?
Dreams are weird things, especially slow-wave nightmares. My typical night terrors are closer to hallucinations than to REM-dreams. Instead of entering a dream-land, the dream-land comes to me where I lie barely asleep in bed. I am not transported elsewhere, like in a normal dream, instead my room and bed are augmented – or perhaps infested – with sensations and dangers that are completely integrated with the surroundings. These are hallucinations seem very real, and are impossible to shake off while the terror lasts. They fade quickly when I finally wake up, adrenaline pumping, but often return several times every night.
The door to the room will slowly open. A shadow in the corner of the room will coil itself and crawl menacingly towards the bed. A fold of the blanket will wiggle slightly, then stiffen and flail like a not-quite-snake under my cramping hands as I try to restrain it. The walls will flex like membranes, finally giving in to the clawlike limbs that force themselves through. Nano-insects will crawl under the bedsheets like hordes of black graphite motes, slipping into every crevice, choking, poisoning.
All of this seems so real in the moment, so plausible and utterly horrifying. My body will retch and resist, my heart will pound. Sometimes I mount a futile defense, finding high ground on top of a pillow floating in a sea of terror or by retreating, flailing and screaming, to the safety of the bathroom.
Man, do I feel silly when I wake up. Silly and exhausted.
One of my favourite web comics, on the subject of nightmares. As usual, pretty darn good. Go read it!
The Scariest Story by Allie at Hyperbole and a Half
Sometimes when I’ve had a bad dream I find it hard to go back to sleep. I’ll wake up in the livingroom, clutching my soaked bedsheet, confused, adrenaline pumping. One late night I made this little … song? I make lots of throwaway snips of music, but for some reason I saved this one under the name “Pavor”.
Gabriellas vision is terrifying because it feels so familiar. I especially like the sound, and the real-yet-not feeling of the film.
I’ve had pavor for as long as I can remember, but I only learned that such a condition exists a few years ago. One of the first things I found when I started googling was this film on YouTube.
This is very much like my own night terrors: I often use my blanket to protect me from whatever is attacking me — unless my blanket has not suddenly become my enemy, in which case I’ll find myself trying to strangle it or throw it to the floor.