Ghosts Dreams: The Good
and Bad of Ghostly Visitations in Our Sleep
By Dawn Colclasure
On the day I gave birth to my oldest child, something out of the
ordinary happened: I saw the ghostly image of my grandmother sitting
next to my hospital bed, smiling. For the first time since she’d passed
away eight years previously, I was seeing her spirit right in the same
Up until then, following her death, I’d grown accustomed to seeing her in my dreams.
It’s not unusual for someone to see the ghost of a loved one in their
dream. The dreamer knows they are dreaming, and they know the person
who they see in their dream. It could be a departed loved one, a
friend, or even a beloved pet. For years, people have been visited by
ghosts in their dreams, and, often, the dreams offer comfort during a
time of grief.
For New Zealand resident Vanessa, however, the ghostly visitation in
her dream was a little out of the ordinary. Her grandfather died
suddenly several years ago, and she recently shared an experience that
followed his passing. “For months afterwards, I had a number of dreams
that he was talking to me, trying to tell me something,” she explains.
“To this day I'm not quite sure what it was. It seemed like, in the
dreams, I wasn't really listening. I think I was too freaked out with
the thought that he was dead but talking to me! The dreams just stopped
a few months after he died and I never had another one.”
Richard Hanf, who hails from New Jersey, also has a “ghost dream
visitation” story to share. “My grandfather died, leaving my poor old
grandmother alone. Weeks go by turning into months, and she is
still doing poorly, taking the loss of her husband very badly. So
one day she is sitting on a bench in front of her apartment building,
when a friend of hers comes by. They start talking about how
badly she is feeling when her friend says that she will drop by later
with a book to read that she is certain will help. And so she
does and my grandmother reads a little in the book each day.
Well, one day around a week later, my grandmother has almost finished
the book, and falls asleep while reading it. She dreams about my
grandfather and he is talking to her. He tells her that he is
fine and not to worry about him any longer. He says he no longer
wants her to feel badly and says by the time it is her time to join
him, he will have made a place ready for the both of them. He
promises to prove all this to her by promising to send her a present.
My grandmother is sleeping soundly in her chair with the book on her lap when she is awakened by a knock on the door.
It’s her friend who has come to take her book back. My
grandmother tells her friend that much to her surprise she actually
does feel better, but says nothing about the dream. As the friend
turns to leave, she reaches down into the shopping bag she is carrying
and pulls out a statue. She hands it to my grandmother and says,
‘Here…take this…I want you to consider this a gift from your husband!’”
For some, the idea that a ghost can visit our dreams is hard to
believe. We don’t exactly prepare for sleep hoping that we’ll see our
dear lost Aunt Peggy or that we will be briefly reunited with a
four-legged companion, but those dreams can and do happen. On the other
hand, psychologists are well aware of how a person’s fears, regrets and
pains can manifest in our dreams, and that they can appear to us as the
“ghost” of a departed loved one. For this reason, it often happens that
someone will look at a ghost dream and deduce that it is the dreamer’s
regrets or fears taking the form of the ghost.
Still, believers are quick to point out that such “ghost dreams” have
included information not previously known to the dreamer (such as a
favorite article of clothing the lost loved one wore or a name),
thereby cancelling out the suggestion skeptics like to give that “it’s
In fact, Martha Jette (http://www.freewebs.com/paranormalbooks/,
http://www.boomers-write.com/), author of the books Glimpses: True
Stories of the Paranormal and Talking to My Angel, is aware of many
stories involving ghostly activity in dreams. "When we sleep, our
astral body/spirit often leaves our physical body,” she explains.
“Sometimes, another person who is awake, may see that person's 'ghost,'
so to speak, and think they have passed over."
In the July 13, 2008 issue of her newsletter, “Glimpses of the
Paranormal”, Martha ran a story where a man dreamed he saw his sister,
who'd died in a vehicle accident. This took place shortly after the
family sat down to watch a commemorative DVD, which was made by the
funeral home. According to the story, “Lisa came to me and told me it
was a great family visit,” said Rick. “She was there the whole time and
she especially enjoyed spending time with Tygue.”
Unfortunately, not every ghostly visitation in a dream has been a
positive one. Some people have reported being "attacked" by ghosts in
their dreams, or while in a sleep state. While skeptics are quick to
term such episodes as "sleep paralysis" and prescribe due treatment,
for some, this doesn't solve their problem. There are ways to deal with
1. Realize it is only a dream. You are able to make anything happen in
your dream, including waking yourself up. If you are too distraught or
weak to awaken yourself, try to do something in your dream that would
normally attract someone else's attention. For example, if someone is
sleeping in the bed with you, try waking them up in your dream.
2. Get a better handle on your dreams by reading the books Lucid
Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge AND. These books are immensely helpful in
understanding sleep and the dream state. They will give you methods to
having better control over your dreams.
3. If possible, say, "In the name of Jesus Christ, leave me alone!"
Some people have stopped their attackers when saying this and their
dreams ended. Another thing to do is hang a crucifix on the wall near
the bed. This, too, has proven to be helpful.
4. Try to reason with the attacker. If the attack is not too violent,
try to confront them and ask them why they are trying to hurt you. Try
to resolve the anger or fears in this dream to thwart the attack and
bring the dream to an end.
5. If all else fails, try seeking the help of a
dream specialist. If you can't find one in your neighborhood, visit
forums on the Internet and ask around.
As with all dreams, however, the true meaning behind the ghostly visit
depends entirely upon the dreamer. If the ghostly visitation in the
dream offers comfort or guidance, the best thing to do is to look past
confusions and doubts and take the comfort for what it has been given.
As Martha says, "Those who have passed over often come to us in dreams
because it is a much less frightening experience for us than if they
showed up standing beside our bed. They don't want to scare us that
way, but simply want to pass on a message or let us know they are all