Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Dark Hooded Figure
About a year ago, I had the most disturbing dream. I dreamt that I woke up in bed because I heard footsteps going up and down the stairs. In my dream I woke up my spouse to go and check out what was going on, I thought it might be a burglar. He did and then shortly came back, got back into bed and said he couldn't find anything but there was a dark shadow on the stairs. He promptly fell back to sleep (of course!) Then I sat up in bed and saw a dark hooded figure standing at the corner of the wall by the door. The cloak reached the ground and I couldn't see a face. What totally freaked me out was that it was only around four feet tall. I expected the grim reaper to be taller.
I was so scared I couldn't speak. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I could feel the strain of trying to find my voice. It finally came out in a hoarse whisper. "Who are you?" I asked. No response. The figure still stood there silently regarding me. I was angry that it didn't answer so I tried the same question again. This time I added "What do you want?" Still the figure didn't move or answer but continued to watch me. This really scared me and I willed myself to wake up. When I did (in real life) the figure was gone but I was totally scared and disturbed. It took awhile for me to go back to sleep.
Of course the next day I looked up the image of a dark, hooded figure. It was difficult to find any definitions that matched my image. Most referred to it as "the grim reaper", but it might have been something else. I read a passage from Jung that really resonated with me. He talked about "the unseen,creative dwarf gods,hooded and cloaked manikans who...appear as little figures about a foot high,where, as kinsmen of the unconscious, they protect navigation, ie the venture into darkness and uncertainty" (from The Collected Works of Carl Jung, Vol 4, 8, 12 and 16).So that could be a possibility, that I was just conjuring up in my mind a symbol from the collective unconscious representing a guardian to the unconscious world (a symbol I didn't consciously know existed).
To put the dream into context, my daughters had just gone away to camp for the week. The size of the figure would have been the same as my youngest daughter (around four feet). I often wake up to her footsteps as she leaves her bedroom to go to the bathroom at night.So it's possible that I was missing her, feeling anxious about her safety but I didn't feel like the hooded figure was her or giving me a warning having to do with her.
But because of the fact that it was more of a lucid dream (I thought I was awake, I had woken up in my dream) I felt as though it was not coming from inside me.
The fact that I confronted the image and it did not yield or change like it would in most of my other dreams makes me think that it might have been an "otherworldly visitation" (I never had this kind of experience before.) Look up "dark hooded figure" on Google and you'll find lots of stories about shadows who appear to people both in real life and in their dreams. Some say these "shadow people" are visitors from another dimension just coming to observe us. Whatever it was, I felt like it was there to intimidate me. Obviously the dream still bothers me. If I do have that dream/experience again, I will definitely try again to confront the image.