Will's story submitted with Blow Up Scream:
I have this re-occurring dream. A series of re-occurring dreams actually. I'm going to an old house. From the outside and from far away it looks like a castle. I'm going there and there are others with me, but I can't see them, I can only feel that they are there with me. The path starts out in an evergreen forest. Fir trees and pines overhead and the ground is covered by a soft moss. I can see the castle, high on a hill and far away.
We start down this path, me an the unseen masses, all going along to this castle. The path meanders through many different forests that I have been in before. My childhood woods, cut through by a railroad track, steep sides rise high beside me, impossible to scale. Then the forest of my teen years where I used to play alone most of the time except for deer, crossed by a creek running swift and deep and clear. The path leads to a deep gorge. It winds along the gorge precariously. We trudge on and on and on. Upward.
The dream varies is color and texture, night or day or twilight or dawn. The general dream is the same, but the details change. This part is the first dream, always traveling to this castle.
The second dream is within a week of the first usually. The second dream takes place on the castle grounds, the fields surrounding the castle or, sometimes, a city near the castle. The details of this dream change drastically, but I know it's the second part in the series because at the end I'm always at the castle, but the castle has become a house. It always looks like a castle from far away, but it turns into a house. An old house, surrounded by old gnarled trees and soft green moss. The house is wooden and gray and looks like it was built in the late 1800s. It reminds me of those big old houses you often seen in historic districts of New England towns. The second dream is the introduction to the house dream. It repeats sometimes, so it may be the second, third, and forth. The end of the dream is always me going into the house or getting into the first part of the first floor. The first room or two. Then it ends.
The next two are usually the last of the series. I generally have one or the other, but I have had both. The dream takes a month or so to come about and starts with me entering the house. The house is not always the same one from the previous dream in the series, but it's understood that it's the same house. I just know it. So me and the unseen travelers go into this old house and it's like an antique store because everything in it is old and dusty. We inevitably end up in a secret passageway that only I know about and must squeeze through impossible tight and claustrophobic passages to get to the next level. The passages are dark and as scary as possible.
The whole time I'm in the house, it's understood through the magic of dreaming that I'm not alone, that we're not alone. There is a dark presence in the house. I finally reach the top floor which is always a little apartment that looks like some elderly person lived in it. It's modestly furnished and neat. There's an uncomfortable couch, a wooden table, two chairs, a woven rug, and a picture window that looks out over a big green field. There's a little bedroom, a bathroom, and a little kitchen. It's frozen in time and empty. It's as if the person who lived there has either left for a long time or died. It's comforting, but creepy. This is where this dream usually ends. Sometimes, I climb back down the secret passage and get to leave the house and then the dream ends.
The other option is must worse. Again, I enter the house, but this time, it's more like a nightmare where each room is another step into a haunted past. The house is empty of people, but full of old things that seem to be rotting into the house. I can see the spirits of the dead lingering here and there. The basement has a furnace that is like a mechanical devil's face that eats boxes. I'm not sure what's in the boxes, but I feel like they may have souls in them. Mechanical arms feed the furnace like an assembly line. The mouth opens wide and inside you can see Hell, thousands of burning boxes. I try to stop the machine, but fail, then I spend the rest of the dream trying to escape and failing. Perpetually.
Once, only once that I can remember, I actually escaped out into a garden. It was surrounded by Roman pillars and sculptures. The path was paved with white pebbles that crunched under my feet. There I met people I knew (or would come to know) in this life like my friends, wife, mother, sister, father. We were all dressed in white robes, maybe they were togas. I passed them and they seemed happy to see me, but I had to keep going and they fell behind. There was a sense of sadness too, that came over me. Finally I came to a courtyard, surrounded by high stone walls with an old old wrought iron gate covered in ivy on one wall. It towered over me and the ivy was so dense I couldn't see the other side. I looked around and I'm alone again. White pebbles, Roman pillars marking the path. I open the gate, it is surprisingly noiseless. And I go inside.
And that's it. This series of dreams happens to me at least once a year and I've only gone through the gate once. I'm not even mentally prepared to try to interpret those dreams.