Written by Jonathan Wojcik
NIGHTMARE BEINGS: YEAR THREESince 2014, I've made it a Halloween II tradition for readers to share the weirdest, creepiest creatures from their own actual dreams. I'll be picking out a few of my favorites to illustrate myself, but we also welcome guest illustrators to tackle any they please!
As with last year's run, I'll be kicking this off with a selection of my own...
"LIKE ERASERHEAD BABY"
Tragically, I actually have zero memory of what this creature truly looked like, but I left myself hastily scribbled notes one night that simply said "like Eraserhead baby."
Fortunately, I remember almost every other detail of this dream, like the fact that the entity was very tall, very fast, and very strong. The dream actually followed a young man living in a lavish but confusingly structured mansion, always alive with high-status, smartly dressed party guests.
Or was it?
The man's life seemed to be stuck on a cycle. He would mingle haphazardly with his wealthy friends and attempt to pretend everything was alright, but the house would only grow more abstract, and his "guests" fuzzier and fuzzier. Soon, the man would always find himself in dark corridors and service tunnels behind the extravagant walls, and there, he'd be stalked, tortured, abused and ultimately mangled by the thing that I only thought was "like Eraserhead baby."
Then, of course, he'd wake back up in his gaudy, sprawling home, brush off his messy slaughter as a dream of his own and begin the whole thing over, the memory and realization of his plight dawning on him only faintly...and always too late.
THE MONETARY PIGS
I wrote this dream down in a journal many, many years ago, and its visuals have never left me. I somehow knew that I was looking into the future, and there I saw people mingling and shopping in dark, wet, filthy marketplaces that appeared to have been built inside titanic, barn-like wooden structures. I couldn't make out what anybody was purchasing, but they were exchanging small, pure black, rectangular slips instead of money.
My dream-logic immediately knew that each slip actually represented ownership of a "pig," the most valuable commodity in this future civilization. Upon this realization, my view shifted to some of the "pigs" themselves; horrendously malformed, alarmingly bipedal swine toddling in pens thick with their own excrement. The dream focused on one pig in particular, an enormously flared nostril opening into its dark and empty head.
It was then that I had one final realization before the dream ended: that the "pigs" were the only animal life left on the planet Earth, and had been genetically created strictly from human beings.
THE MEAT COUNCIL
This dream loosely inspired the villains I finally unveiled not too long ago in my own webcomic, and they've waited a long time. I had this dream in 2001.
The dream itself actually consisted of me reading a small children's book that I found on the ground. It was one of those thick, blocky cardboard affairs, and there were holes in the back cover so that you could operate the "puppets" attached to some of its pages. The only such "puppet" I actually found was nothing more than a square of textured rubber, completely filling a page with no accompanying text, and covered in red, swollen sphincters. By wiggling your fingers, you could make the sphincters bulge and open as though "speaking," and this was when the book's story just sort of flooded into my mind.
The details were muddled, but I understood that the mass of rubbery flesh represented one of several formless, fleshy beings who made various "deals" with humans, not unlike a council of demons, and that they were chasing one particular man who had broken an agreement with them.
As I woke from this dream, I somehow believed it had also been an episode of Cartoon Network's Ed, Edd n' Eddy.
As is so often the case, I wasn't personally present for the events of this dream, nor were they even real within the dream's own context. Instead, I was watching a short cartoon that I knew to be fanatical religious propaganda, created to frighten children into obeying whatever bizarre church had concocted it.
The cartoon portrayed a beautifully drawn but cheaply animated vision of hell, populated by many colorful and abstract souls. Sadly, I could remember only two of these souls long enough to sketch them once I'd woken, but the first resembled a blue, cloth mannequin with fluffy, white stuffing erupting from various tears and seams, which my dream-mind labeled "The Poodle Woman."
The other being, who came without a nickname, was large and completely faceless, with stony grey skin and had a hat or helmet resembling half of an eyeball. This helmet was nailed firmly to the being's scalp as it scurried surprisingly fast on four thick, bandaged stumps, accompanied by a parade of countless other figures that I can only recall were every bit as peculiar.
Matching the weirdness of these damned was the actual hell they inhabited, not a burning inferno or medeival torture dungeon, but a brilliantly bright, colorful void of whirling psychedelic patterns, pulsing lights and nerve-wracking sounds where the sinful suffered unearthly extremes of dizziness, confusion and nausea.
This is another very, very old dream I've been sitting on in forgotten journals. It consisted of a children's show starring various talking animal families living in the same suburb, including a family of cats, a family of reptiles and even a family of cockroaches.
All of these families were close friends with the same mysterious figure, whose name happened to be Hannibal Lechter for no apparent reason. Why he was so important and why everyone knew him, I couldn't ascertain, but he was VERY important, and everyone who knew him seemed to love him as an old friend.
I can't remember what, if anything, Hannibal had for a body, but his head was an enormous, shattered bird's skull, its elaborate fragments hovering loosely in their original shape.
Rest assured, my old dream journals could carry these all on their own for years to come, but now it's time to hear about your creepiest, strangest dreams and dream-creatures! As always, please keep in mind that this isn't any sort of competition - I'll simply be drawing a handful of dream monsters that not only strike me as interestingly odd, but reasonably easy for me to draw, so don't take it personally if yours isn't chosen! The real fun of these posts, for me, is simply reading everyone's dreams as a sort of supplement to our yearly Creepypasta Cookoff!
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