The zombie dream

Posted by Cory Casciato On March - 16 - 2009

dreamimgI had the zombie dream last night, and that seems as good a reason as any to address it here on the site. See, I’ve been having variations on the same zombie dream on and off for close to fifteen years now. I’m fairly certain it started shortly after I saw Dawn of the Dead, which was shortly before I turned twenty. It’s something I’ve discovered is remarkably common among my male friends, especially (but not exclusively) those who are deeply interested in zombies. I’m sure there are women that have the zombie dream, too, I just don’t know any of them.

The dream is usually some variation of the apocalyptic zombie scenario. Zombies run amok everywhere, and I am left alone, or nearly alone, to battle the undead hordes. These dreams are not nightmares, not for me at least. To the contrary, I find them both fascinating for their symbolism and entertaining for their sheer zombie awesomeness. Indeed, I have no doubt that they have played a major part in my obsession with all things zombie. For whatever reason, my brain has latched on to the image of the shambling, animated dead as a vehicle for any number of subconscious desires, fears and impulses.

In the dream, I am always fighting valiantly and unceasingly against the living dead, but there is always the grim certainty, just as in most zombie fiction, that eventually I will fall and be consumed. In my own analysis, I’ve determined that the zombies frequently play the part of inexorable external forces working against me. For example, while I was in college, I would have the dream with some frequency around the time of finals. I have also had it at tax time, before a big project at work is due, etc. At other times, the zombies themselves aren’t necessarily the focus, but simply acting as a foil for other impulses — for example, the last time before this most current time I had the dream, the main anxiety in it was about not being able to reach my daughter, who was on the other side of town during a major zombie outbreak.  Not coincidentally, this was right after she went to stay with her grandparents for a while. In other words, like many a filmmaker working genre Z, the zombies were but symbols of something else.

On the other hand, I occasionally have it at a time when I simply am thinking a lot about zombies. Last night, for example, I was thinking about them right before bed and actually hoping I’d have the dream. I was also trying out melatonin to see if it would aid my intermittent insomnia, and I’ve heard it can contribute to vivid dreams. In any case, I love the zombie dream and I hope I keep having it — honestly, the one thing that’s a bummer about immersing myself in zombie media is it tends to reduce the frequency of how often I dream zombies. If anyone cares to share, I’d love to hear about others’ zombie dreams, including what you think it might mean to you.

111 Responses to “The zombie dream”

  1. Jasmine says:

    I often have a zombie dream and its always very similar ive dreamt this over 100times im always running away from them and barricading myself inside a house im worried about my family and dogs these dreams are very strong and I can remember most of them very clear from the start to the end I often wounder if anyone has asked anyone professional as to wot they may mean.

  2. Sky says:

    It’s weird that you mention your alone when you have these dreams. I’ve been getting these dreams for about a year and I’m always with relatives. Usually I never see the zombies but the dream is myself running around trying to find adequate shelter. I then have to lock everything and try to make sure things are secure. My family members and people i’m with are going around unlocking things and in the dark turning on the lights, making noise etc…. I constantly wake up screaming not in fear but in frustration. I have no idea what this all means but I still have a love and fascination for all things zombie. Any ideas what this all means???? :)

  3. BUTTERFLY says:

    I just had a zombie dream last night. They we’re outside some wierd house that I was in. I had some family in the house and a few strangers. We saw someone outside and decided to let them in. They left and we let in a few animals. The stranger we let in earlier came back and got inside somehow. He let in a zombie. I met the zombie coming up the stairs and had to kill it. I took the zombie downstairs to clean the hose out and I see the animals downstairs (horses, zebras and stuff) grazing as the back of the house was open. Any zombie could have come through but they didn’t.. It was sunny and bright in the back of the house. i gave the zombie body to the home to wash it away and someone said it was Michael Jackson. Wierd right? I know… So wierd. Michael Jackson as a zombie? Was I listening to his music or watching a zombie flick? I always watch zombie movies, however had not listened to Michael Jackson is quiet a LONG time. WIerd. Nonetheless… Makes me scratch my head.

  4. Mary says:

    Hello! I am a 29-year old woman, and I too have been having zombie nightmares/dreams since I saw ‘Dawn of the Dead’. Sometimes they are truly frightening and gory, sometimes mostly comic (one was start to finish, looked entirely like a Simpsons episode), and others are mostly boring (packing for zombie evacuation, drudgery of trying to schedule dinner parties- which neighbors will still be alive, cooking and laundry in rolling blackouts resulting from zombie infestation). As in many of my dreams, I am often not corporeally there, which is nice when the main character gets eaten. I’ve noticed the dreams are craziest and vividest and most frequent when I’m stressed or pregnant.
    The thing is, I don’t like zombies.

  5. Zwoman says:

    I had zombie dreams since i was little. in the last one i had i was with Daryl from TwD then we entered a tiny group. There were strangers and and two classmates who i can’t stand. we were in the basement of a big house where we kept our food and ammo.at first i saw that it was a window in the basement and two walkers were watching us through it. i yelled at them to cover that fuckin window. they covered it and then i started to teach them all i know(from movies). that was when me and Daryl became their leaders. After a week i don’t know why,one of the girls i don’t like in real life went outside and Daryl saw her running from three walkers. when i looked outside that girl climbed a tree but she couldn’t stay there forever. (how stupid can you be to go outside without a gun or at least a knife).so me and Daryl went to save her ass but when we opened the door a zombie jumped on Daryl. (it was a big damn zombie). I shoot the walker, helped Daryl and we went to that tree. but there was nobody. we searched for her and for my horror we found her a “bit” changed. i woke up exactly when i killed her.

  6. Zomboy says:

    I just woke up from a very weird dream, of living and surviving in a world ran by zombies…but it wasn’t the overwhelming numbers that was in this story, actually there were few zombie hordes. So that’s what my challenge was, where they could be, and it was ultimately up to me (and I had a partner I was looking after. he was missing pieces of his brain.) to move ahead to scavenge whatever we could to help us along.
    We hung out on the roof tops of a sub-urban neighborhood. We were on a unstable roof, we hit a weak spot he started to jump…I fell, lived, That’s when I found out I was really dreaming. Popped in a load of melee weapons and we moved on to a trailer where we found a good amount of food.

    I then ran into a lot of the people from my past. then I had to get up cause I had already went back to the dream after multiple awakenings. Lol.

    Another one I had about 2 weeks ago was about hordes chasing me and 3 other people…I told them to get into the building we were passing as we were being chased but this building was boarded up. but I managed to find a quick way in.

    I hope this one was, okay? It’s not the easiest to make visual of the exact dream you had. Just let people see what they’d want to see, or would see. :)

    But anyway, I interpreted that lately, I’ve been facing more challenges again for about 2 weeks. So the first zombie dream I had was the beginning of my thoughts going out looking for a change, and then after the rough 2 weeks of figuring out certain things I’d make a change I was subconsciously fighting in a zombie apocalypse and these last few days have been awesome! maybe that’s why this zombie dream had little to no zombies, rather my surrounding were a challenge.
    And, I’ve been thinking about DayZ the standalone game for PC C:

  7. Katie says:

    Hello! I would like to share my zombie story with you… My dreams aren’t recurring as much as they are like a saga… Each dream has the same main characters but they are progressive… The first dream I can’t really remember but I do remember waking up just before dawn and being terrified of zombies coming through my dining room windows and front door… the second dream I was at a theme park with my son and we were going ride to ride.. we were on the roller coaster when the zombie attack happened we kept going around and around but then suddenly the roller coaster was a train and we were arriving at the train station. They told us we couldn’t get off the train there and to continue North to a safe house.. Right when the train took off, I removed my shoes and the Zombies got on the train somehow so we had to jump off and we ran… then next dream we were in a compound post apocalypse.. it was run down and in the middle of winter. I remember looking out the window at the snow and wondering if it was over or if the zombies were hibernating. I feared for spring.. I wake up one morning and the alarms are blaring so I run to the only safe room left in the compound ..as I am running I look out that same window and there they are!!! They were running right towards the compound..so I get to the safe room where there is a strange mechanism… there are 10 twin size beds in the air that are controlled by a remote that my husband has.. apparently in the dream zombies can’t climb. the remote brings the beds down to floor level and then raises them back up so it’s safe to sleep. We have to sleep in shifts. Out of nowhere we hear the thrashing and banging of the zombies and we know it’s only a matter of time before they get in. I don’t watch zombie movies.. I used to be obsessed with scary movies until I had my son and then every time watching them since I have had awful nightmares. so I avoid them now… Not really sure why I’m having these nightmares. It might not sound scary but the experience and the fear is so real and I’m sure I’m missing some of the scary crucial details of the nightmares but, I wake up sweating and terrified, unable to fall back to sleep.

  8. Jess says:

    I always have dreams about zombies pretty much everyday. But usually instead of fighting them I’m running from them. Once I had a dream where I was running away from them in a concrete room with stairs and I kept trying to find my way. Then there was an underground passage on the surface after I got out. Another time I was running from them at the school I was at and then we went to a friends house. Last night I had a dream that I locked myself in a room where they were surrounding us and they were in the room. Another time, the only time I recall being bitten, I was in my back yard with my parents and then I was bitten in the wrist. It hardly hurt but I slowly started to fade away and dropped to the ground while (without succeeding) telling my mother to run away. Eventually I got up and I still remembered her for who she was and I could talk but I couldn’t control the fact that I was trying to bite her. Sometimes I think if it’s a sign of the apocalypse or sometimes I think it has a deeper more psychological meaning or maybe I just need to lay of the minecraft and the walking dead. I never have these dreams as nightmares. They don’t alarm me. Thoughts??

  9. Janice Teo says:

    My dream was about me and my family living during a zombie apocalypse. Governments are still in control but several rich independent businessmen have banked on the situation leaving normal family like us poor. One day they gather communities in a large stadium to show us that they had found a way to tame all the zombies. I remember feeling very afraid that the zombies might just be a small part of the population and wanted to leave for the safety of my home. However we are not allowed to until the programme ended.

    The scariest thing was that it was so packed, if we were sent in to die or a zombie runs loose there will not be anyway to escape.

    Finally they open a shipping tank and it was filled with neat rows of zombies who stood still like they were in an army squad.

    They ended the “performance” with a song and after the song, somehow I knew it was the end and I rushed out still feeling very defensive and afraid that something might pop out.

    The next day, I saw a man selling an old lady some special milk powder that he said was from the government. The back of his head was bleeding like all zombies do. I also saw a much hated famous businessman who got rich due to the zombie apocalypse walking pass alone. Then the dream ended. It was like a movie.

  10. Alyssa says:

    Welp, my name is Alyssa, and zombies are my passion. Ever since I started watching the Walking Dead, I have a zombie dream almost every night, in which I am either alone or in a small group. Last night, the apocalypse had just started and nobody but me knew it, so I had a jump start. And I had to shove a screwdriver through a zombies head. (I’ve had to kill them in some pretty crazy ways before) Anywho, my dreams are absolutely awesome, and I love it so much.

  11. Destiny says:

    I have had 1 zombie dream that comes back every 3-4 years for some reason. It’s never during a stressful time- it’s just random. Then, last night, I had a new zombie “dream”. Actually, they are more like nightmares. It seems like in my dream (the newest one) that I’m playing a game with zombies then the next morning I find zombies in a random town. But they aren’t always attacking me. I escaped to a church by stealing a car and then I drove around like a crazy idiot trying to avoid the zombies. For some reason in my dream they can’t climb so I have a bed somewhere high and enclosed. I always wake up right when I would wake up in the bed. Don’t know what this means (duh).. And I am very confused and a bit scared because of this most recent “dream”

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