Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Guest Art by Jasmine Wright!


Posted by Somnambulsit:
"Here it is! My all time favorite bogleech feature. I love reading and seeing all the cool creatures from people's dreams. I think I'm going to make it a goal to post some of my own here.

Off the top of my head, I can remember some of my weirder sleep paralysis demons. They certainly count as nightmare creatures. Usually I see dark snakelike hands slithering up to smother me or pluck my toes off one by one, but sometimes things get weird.

One night, I couldn't sleep. I kept adjusting myself on my bed to try to get comfortable. After an hour or so of doing this I curled into a ball and closed my eyes as tight as possible. I breathed deep, counting each breath to try and trick my brain into dozing off. My breath stopped on the eighth count. My limbs froze in place, a weight pressed my body into the mattress.

A voice somewhere in my head said "Don't open your eyes, you know he's there."

I resisted the urge, but I did.

Directly in front of me was a neon pink strobing face floating through black space. It had vague gorilla-like features, with a heavy brow and a a wide fanged mouth, but wobbled and pixelated. It was 2d, but its concentric lines shifted like something seen through 3d glasses. Its hollow mouth and eyes were set in an anguished and infuriated expression. Hot pink neon lines radiated out from it, strobing against the dark in concentric circles.

The Face was followed by an ungodly chiptune screech, like a thousand Gameboy Colors screaming out in agony. My whole body went pins and needles, tingling like an electric current under my skin. It was painful and frightening, but I remembered moving fingers can help dispel sleep paralysis. I wiggled my toes and the face disappeared. I didn't sleep well afterwards.

And that is the chronicle of the disco yeti."

I swear I've seen entities like this in my own half-waking delusions. Psychedelic colors, low-resolution details, electronic-looking patterns that feel inexplicably nauseating and upsetting. Maybe they're all extensions of the Disco Yeti, a master of dream-realm sensory overload.


Posted by Taliesin:
"I had a dream recently about a huge monster, called THE CASEY, in all caps, towering over trees and powerlines, striding very slowly through the countryside. It didn't seem to notice anything around it and never turned its head or deviated from its course, but it was Terrifying. I don't remember exactly what its body was like (big and white and amorphous but vaguely human-shaped, maybe?) but its head was huge and white and round, and it had weird clown eyes - plus sign pupils set in almond-shaped sockets with black at the corners. Its mouth was a series of holes arranged in a circle shape - think that one creature from Fuan no Tane. I'm very glad it never noticed me."

Just a simple vision of a giant, rampaging monster, but with a very interesting and instantly memorable design, especially the sound of those eyes!


Posted by Captin Idgit:
"Got a visit from a spook last night (though it wasn't a proper nightmare, I was just in that laying there trying to fall asleep state).

The thing had a humanoid upper torso which tapered into a long thin (maybe only half as wide as it's shoulders) tube-like lower body, which led off to the side window of a house. It had black and white bands down its body and arms like the sandworm from Beetlejuice. It was pulling itself towards the sidewalk with it's arms (in a bit of dream geometry despite traveling diagonally away from the house it was approaching the sidewalk straight on), stretching out its torso as it went. As it was about to reach the sidewalk it had stretched itself too far and its body contracted pulling it back. By this point my conscious brain managed to get back in control enough to processing the situation and the dream fell away. I didn't see what it's head looked like, but I did see what I think was it's hair spreading away from it's neck in rays, forming sort of a half mane."

A nicely burtonesque monster, in the classical sense of the term. It could very well be a cousin to The Man Under the Stairs from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I'd like to think that it exclusively travels between glass windows. Not glass doors or mirrors or any other kind of portal; it's gotta be a window, possibly only a closed window, and perhaps it can only manifest on the outside of a structure, which is why it bothered coming so far instead of just attacking whoever lived inside that other home.


Posted by Rusti H:
"I've had this recurring nightmare for nearly 8 years, happening at least once a month but usually two or three times a week. The giraffe dream, as I have taken to calling it, begins as I walk on our local college's campus, across the quad, on a bright day. I go to what is supposed to be the music and arts building to find the sign replaced with the neatly engraved words "TEETH MUSEUM 1988." I walk in and it's a dimly lit museum featuring a mix of displays of human and animal teeth, large aquariums filled with ancient sea life, and classrooms. I always stop and look at a display featuring something labeled "George Washington TEETH STATUE," which is actually an orb of teeth embedded in flesh, about the size of a beach ball, floating listlessly in a glass case. It keeps bumping into the glass and making an awful scraping noise. I keep moving after a long while. As I keep going I go up to the second floor and start feeling watched and hear heavy, labored breathing. I feel like I'm late for something so I walk into a darkened classroom and past the desks to a couch near the back and I sit down. This is always a mistake, as when I do I am made aware of the source of the breathing and staring.

A giraffe lays slumped and contorted in the corner, shuddering as it breathes, and I know it is in immense pain. After a moment it's neck snakes out and reveals a stretched out human head where the giraffe's should be, like if someone grabbed a clay person by the mouth and pulled, but flesh. It always lets out this horrible, pained screaming that forces me to clasp my hands over my ears and shut my eyes, waking me up in the process."

Such a wildly weird and unrelated pair of freakoids here. There's something frightening about the tooth sculpture even without it doing anything, while the "giraffe" is just pure terror. Even the fact that it's lying down and seemingly injured or sick in the original dream is scarier than anything else it could have been doing.


Posted by Ketchupcat:
"It wasn't really a NIGHTMARE, so I'm not sure if it counts, but it sure had some weirdos in it. It was a dream I had a REALLY long time ago, so the details might not all be there. It started with me and some friends sitting on a stoop (they weren't any of my actual friends, but in the dream I recognized them as friends). Suddenly, a lemon with a simple, grumpy cartoon face fell from the sky and said "You will never defeat me... in a game of basketball!"

The lemon proceeded to make a basketball court out of space (as in, using space as the building material) and transformed. Its head was still somewhat lemon-like, but really just a yellow oblong shape with wide, round cartoon eyes with small pupils, a Squidward-esque nose, and a curved, toothy grin. On top of the head was some sort of growth kind of like a radar dish, and on the bottom were two wires, connecting it to the torso. The torso was some kind of piece of 2000s technology with four ports in a line, like the kind you plugged the video/audio wires of a game system into, and the wires were connected into the ports closest to the ends. Emerging from the torso were two more wires which had metal, box-like things on the end, and from these things emerged the feet, which were shiny, translucent pink goo.

Someone asked "Wouldn't that be kind of unfair?", since there were a bunch of us and only one of this thing. It replied "Don't worry, for I have my good friend, Pig Dude!" Pig Dude then appeared, who was just an anthropomorphic cartoon pig wearing sunglasses and basketball shorts. And then we all played basketball I guess. I think Pig Dude was pretty good at it."

I imagine these clowns are of the same basic origin as any of our more menacing nightmares, but they just weren't cut out for traumatizing mortal sleepers; losers from the reject bin of bad dreams, who didn't really care and decided to make the best of their existence. Instead of terrorizing children or foretelling the doom of mankind, all they want to do in the dream realms is shoot a few hoops, and that's fine. We should support them.

If you liked Jasmine's guest illustrations for this edition of NIGHTMARE MENAGERIE, or you just like seeing lots of interesting, creative monsters in general, consider checking out her Compliens, surreal entities populating the Compliverse!