The scariest thing you can think of

I get this weird nightmare kind of thing. Not often; probly happened half a dozen times in my life. Happened last night.

It’s this sense of overwhelming dread and fear. Completely non-focused, no particular object or subject. Just, it’s like the fear centers of my brain have put tweaked to eleven for no specific reason.

Sometimes it takes on a weird physical/non-physical manifestation/non-manifestion: I get a kind of image in my mind, though not really visual, of huge concentrations of materialized/non-materialized fear. Like, invisible ectoplasm or something; it’s there but it’s not; it’s physical and real but it’s not. The most visual it ever was was the first time I remember it happening. I was a kid of maybe 8 or 9 and I had a fever. I woke up in bed and the room was full of these huge soft heavy slabs of cloudy gray-beige dread. I woke into this world of physical dread and fear filling every possible space in the room.

Last night I woke up with absolutely no recollection of any dream, just an overwhelming horror and fear. The thought of turning over and trying to get back to sleep struck me roughly the same as would the thought of throwing myself off a cliff in the pitch dark with no sense of how far down it would be. When the happens the fear feels so real an unquestionable that I never even stop to wonder what I’m afraid of; it doesn’t occur to me in the moment that the fear is without subject or object. It’s the just the only thing that is.

So I went on hulu and watched the Daily Show until I guess I was fully awake and the fear, which was essentially a waking nightmare, had faded. Then I took two diphenhydramine and added an hour to my alarm setting.

Ahh. Is there anything worse that fearing fear itself? It’s so… irrational.

As for the scariest thing I can think of, that’d be getting dragged off by unknown, malevolent beings (aliens?), and slowly sliced up, bit by bit as they dissect and analyze me. First, they might start by paralyzing me (yet I’m still feeling) and use a scalpel to make an incision around my cornea, then peel it back and start probing inside my eyeball with cold, pointy, sharp utensils as they prod my retina and scrape off its rods and cones. Then they might cut the muscles attaching the eye to its socket and pulling it free to extend the optic nerve as far as it can go, and scraping to collect some the nerve fibers thereof… just before they sever the eye. Then, they’d do the same to the other remaining eye.

Things of this nature would continue, ad nauseam and without any kind of anesthesia, until I was an open, splayed body sized wound, where they would leave me to die due to all the afflicted trauma.

Either that or something akin to the horror from Stephen King’s short story, The Jaunt:

If you go through the teleporter (Jaunt) awake, your physical body goes through in an instant, while your conscious mind inexplicably experiences billions upon billions of subjective years, completely trapped and unable to do anything but wait out the impossible eons to emerge on the other side of the portal

lissener, I sometimes get that as well. Just a general feeling that something horrible is about to happen, such as getting hit by a car or having a heart attack or having a random limb fall off. But never very specific, just an unspecified fear.

It rarely lasts more than a few hours.

Sophie’s Choice.

Yeah, it’s like a hallucination, it’s so real. It’s not a thought, it feels like it has a legitimate external source. I’d call it an emotional hallucination.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before but it fits the category as well as anything else I can think of.

One day on Paul Harvey he went into a story to the effect that NASA or one of the other agencies that monitors comets and asteroids and other debris in the solar system had found an object the size of Texas that was headed on a direct path to collide with Earth in a fairly short span of time. (I know I have details fuzzy or wrong, in case you also heard the same program and remember it differently).

My first reaction was not that I would be dead soon, and everybody I know and care about, but that everything the human race had ever done and thought and wished for would be annihilated. It was as empty (maybe not scary) as I have ever felt in waking moments and even in dreams.

Fortunately Harvey explained that he had just pulled a hoax to make a point of how vulnerable we are to such things and how little was being done to solve the problem.

If I ever listened to Harvey after that it was with a strong sense of “bullshit” to whatever he was on about that day.

Scare me once, shame on you. Scare me twice? Not this boy.

It wasn’t that in-your-face real for me. It was more subtle, almost subliminal. Kind of “Something ain’t right.” So probably the same thing, just at a different intensity level.

Oh, and as for the scariest thing? Looking out my window at night, and seeing someone else looking in. Not like a window washer or a trusted neighbor, but some weird undead zombie ninja vampire. The fact that I’m not on the ground floor makes it all the more creepy.

Great. You know how long it’s going to take me to get to sleep, now? Longer than you think, cmyk. Longer than you think.

Lissener, I swear on a stack of Buddha bellies, I had that EXACT EXPERIENCE last night. I have it sometimes, but it is very rare, and it is vaguely related to the ‘jaunt’ thing.

I will wake up feeling ‘trapped’ in existence. I panic, have a tremendous feeling of dread, and my mind keeps racing with thoughts of just existing and existing and existing, for eternity…trapped in…forever. Weird and terrifying.

I am overweight, and according to my husband, I have sleep apnea. I think it is when I wake up after not breathing that I have these episodes, but I have no idea if I am right about that. I have been doing some excercising lately, and sleeping much better. But last night, it happened.

I think I have occasional sleep apnea, but only when I’ve had too much sleep. I mean, that doesn’t seem to be a component of what I describe in the OP, but if I’m lazing in bed on a weekend morning and drift back to snooze even though I’ve had enough sleep, I’ll usually have a series of jolting myself awake just at the threshold of sleep with a panicked inability to breathe. Drift drift drift . . . almost . . . GASP! GASP! GASP!

I’ve always been grossed out by things with lots of holes in them. A few days after reading and discussing the trypophobia thread, I had this gross, nasty and very scary nightmare. It’s grossing me out remembering it. Anyway, I had this nightmare that my body was slowly getting all these holes, sores, etc in it. Basically, I was turning into Swiss cheese. It was so nasty. Then, when I woke up, my skin felt all crawly, nasty squichy. I couldn’t sleep for hours after it because I felt so nasty.

I’ve had dreams where after I’ve woken up, I’ve just lain back and thought “why would my subconscious DO this to me? Why would I dream something that horrible?” I almost feel betrayed, in a way, because it’s like my own BRAIN wants me dead. Sounds stupid, but it’s not a good feeling, not at all.

As for my own personal idea of Scariest Thing Ever: I was at a presentation about the Katie Poirier case, and the presenter said something along the lines of “can you imagine the terror that girl must have felt while in that man’s truck, being driven off to an unfamiliar place?”

I thought about it for a second, and it made me sick to my stomach. The very thought of being kidnapped, knowing what typically happens to victims in these types of situations, would absolutely paralyze me with fear. Imagining what he could do to me would make it all the worse.

I’ve had similar nightmares to the OP, but mine have one additional element: responsibility. This horrible, malevolent entity or force, something made of pure fear and spewing hopelessness is coming. We are all doomed, there is no hope, and it is all my fault.

One time when I was in college, I woke up in bed in the morning and was completely unable to move. I could see the alarm clock and could register what time it was, and I saw my room, but I couldn’t move my body at all. And then I sensed…something…coming down the stairs (my room was in the basement). A woman, dressed in dark flowing clothes, was slowly walking down the steps into my room. As she turned toward me, I could suddenly move, and she disappeared…and I looked over at the alarm clock, which was showing the exact time it was when I first woke up.

It took me hours to calm down, and I still can’t explain it.

Both of our cats sleep in the bed with us and Joey sleeps up in the corner of the bed with his head on my body like a pillow. Twice I have dreamed that I rolled over and smothered him to death, causing me to jerk awake and start frantically shaking the cat to make him wake up so I can make sure he is alive. I cannot even fathom how parents who cosleep with their babies would ever be able to sleep again after a dream like that.

Alzheimer’s, with living vivisection coming in a close second.

I get this kind of waking dream too, where I wake up into a dream that has me lying in bed, unable to move. Usually I hear a man breathing in the room before I finally snap to.

My mom had her tubes tied while paralyzed but fully conscious. She’s not the suing kind, specially because she happened to work at the same hospital, but the anesthetist was fired. My mom said that when she realize what was happening she kind of zenned out; concentrated on not feeling; basically hypnotized herself into getting through it.

Me, I’da woke up a babbling freak and would probably’ve screamed myself to death within a few hours.

I have very similar dreams, all the time. Mine are more like “oh god, I pressed THAT button, that button blows up the world!” I usually slowly wake up thinking, “now come on, if there was a button that could blow up the world, it would be on the news, I would know better than to push it, etc etc”

I think it’s related to pressure at work.

This is what I’m afraid of. Surgery without anesthesia. Ever since I heard shit like that actually happens to people, I’ve been terrified to go under the knife. Gah.

Isn’t “living vivisection” redundant? It’s like saying “single bachelor.” We know bachelors are single by the definition of bachelor. It’s just like we know vivisection is done while the subject is living, by the definition of vivisection.