The Casting Dock

Demons and Graveyards

…and believe it or not, this post has nothing to do with Halloween…

So, I have a strange thing about graveyards.  I really like them.  I find them peaceful and beautiful and I like to walk through and think about the lives, the experiences, and the history held beneath the ground.  This lovely graveyard is a mere half-block from my house and while graveyards are thought to be creepy, I intend these photos from a recent fall walk to be a light, though relevant addition to the otherwise “heavier” theme of this post: demonic dreams.

There have only been 3 times in my life (to my knowledge) that I have had strangely spiritual, demonic dreams: last night was one of them.  I know that sentence was supremely off-putting and skepticism-inducing to any of you who haven’t experienced such things or who don’t believe in demonic dreams or the presence of the spiritual realm intersecting the physical world.  I know that, and for that reason, I have debated blogging about such spiritual and potentially controversial things.  Not because I don’t think they’re important or real (I think both of those things very strongly) but because I know this topic can be very alienating and I know a lot of people (myself included at times in the past) have been wounded or made to feel less-than by this topic.  BUT, I created this blog as a free forum to unleash my thoughts, particularly my spiritual thoughts, as I wrestle through them AND I really do believe that the spiritual world is both very important and very real.  So my goal, especially with this topic, is just to tell my experience in a normal, non-threatening way and to invite your feedback. 

First off, if you know me, you know that I am really a very typical 20-something: I play sports; I read books; I love a good meal, a hearty laugh, and a fun vacation. I say all that to say, I am most likely very much like you.  I am not an unrelatable person with a crazy spiritual experience that would never happen to you.  I am a normal person who experienced the power of God and that power is available to you as well, if you want it.  I have felt put-off and judged in the past by people who seem like they feel superior because of their holy, spiritual experiences with God and who seem to make everyyyyyything about some kind of great spiritual warfare. So I just want to convey from the beginning that the power of Jesus is available to anyone who desires it (there’s certainly nothing super-spiritual and special about me) and while I do think there is a spiritual realm at play in our physical world, I don’t think every negative experience in my life is a “demonic attack.”

So, as I said, there have been 3 times in my life that I have had what I would consider demonic dreams, one of which was last night.  To be honest, I don’t remember much of my dream last night and the fragments that I do remember would not re-tell in a clear, normal, and non-threatening way, per my goal so I don’t want to get into the specifics.  However, along this theme, I did feel compelled to share my first and most vivid demonic dream, which happened during my junior year at college.

As I think I have mentioned on here before, I went to Gordon College, a small, Christian, liberal arts school on the north shore of Massachusetts.  My junior year at Gordon was a time when I felt really close and really connected to God.  I spent a lot of intentional time in prayer and I felt like He was walking tangibly close to me, guiding me.  I don’t know how to best describe it beyond simply the fact that I could sense a peace and presence not my own.  I felt protected and cared for.  So one morning I was in that in-between sleeping and awake dream state where you are still in the midst of dreams but you are cognitively aware that you are only sleeping and it’s not real.  Has anyone else ever experienced that?  Dreams in this state are my absolute favorite!  So anyway, I remember laying in my top bunk bed and feeling a pressure around my throat.  I (obviously) didn’t like the sensation and since I knew I was only dreaming, I tried to just open my eyes so that it would end, but my eyes would not open.  I could see a sliver out of the bottom of my eyes, through my eyelashes, enough to see that the door to my bedroom was open.  And I could see slightly into the bathroom where my roommate Steph was blow-drying her hair.  I could hear the whir of the blowdrier and see a fragment of her in the reflection of the mirror, but I couldn’t open my eyes (I vaguely remember there being a shifting or swirling of black above my bed, but that’s the one part of the dream that I don’t remember exactly clearly).  The pressure around my throat began to increase and I felt like I was being choked. I remember being so perplexed that I couldn’t open my eyes and I remember thinking, Just scream.  Just scream and Steph will hear you and come in here.  Then it will all end.  So I tried to open my mouth to scream and absolutely no sound came out.  The grip on my throat was tightening.  I couldn’t get any air and I was starting to panic.  I had no idea what was happening.  I had never had a demonic dream before so I had no context in which to frame it all, but I knew it was categorically different than anything else I had ever experienced. 

Then I remember having a moment of calm and break through.  I remember thinking,  If I can just say the name of Jesus, this will all go away.  Or atleast that was the thought that I was going to think, but as I was in the midst of thinking that sentence in my head, as I hit the name Jesus, it all ended.  As soon as I even thought the name of Jesus, everything lifted. It was one of the most unbelievable experiences of my life. The intense choke-hold on my throat immediately lifted, I took a grasp of air and my eyes popped open all at the exact same instant that I simply thought the name of Jesus.  As my eyes popped open, I looked around and everything was just as I thought it was in my in-between dream state.  The door was partially open and I could see slightly into the bathroom where I heard the blowdrier going.  I knew in that instant that it had all really happened, that I must have experienced my first demonic dream.  It had all happened in probably less than 2 minutes.  I remember laying in my bunk for a few minutes thinking about it all in detail so that I wouldn’t forget.  I remember finding it all so fascinating, but feeling super, super calm and reflective.  There was not one ounce of fear.  In fact, I remember thinking, Well that was cool.  I feel like I have the trump card of Jesus. 

On the way to chapel that morning I told Steph about it all.  She was a little freaked out and said something along the lines of not liking that there were demons in our room (I know that “demons” is a really off-putting word…I even still feel that way a little bit as I write it, but there’s just not really a better descriptor for those kind of spiritual forces of darkness…you can literally feel how evil they are).  I totally understand how it’s a creepy thing to hear, but I remember telling her that I actually felt a really great peace and calm about it all because regardless of what they could do to me in the dream, they were wiped out at even the thought of Jesus’ name.  It was really freeing to see and experience that power firsthand. And to be reminded that God will never leave me or forsake me.  It was actually a really, really interesting and encouraging experience to remember that the spiritual world and the physical world are constantly weaving in and out of one another–they are not mutually exclusive–but I have the power of Jesus on my side, and that’s a reason for rejoicing, not fear.

Last night at church we sang a song which states, There is power in the name of Jesus.  I thought about that experience and just smiled. The power of Jesus’ name is alive and well, even in 21st century America.


1 Rhonda { 11.02.10 at 2:47 am }

Good for you for feeling the freedom to tell the truth about an experience that could be met with opposition, raised eyebrows, sighs of disbelief and concerned voices of criticism. I am not one of those voices. I have experienced situations very similar and on more than one occasion. There is a spiritual world that many want to bury their heads from and others blow off as unreal and not worthy of another thought. But it is real. The great news is that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world! Jesus is all we need.

2 noche { 11.05.10 at 9:33 pm }

Now I know the root of the kinship between you and Rhonda!!! I think the closer we get to Jesus the more threatened Satan becomes and thus the spiritual warfare ensues. I loved reading how you handled the whole situation. I’ve never experienced such things and honestly being the chicken that I am, I don’t desire to. P.S. There is a really old cemetery in Boston that you may like to visit.

3 Christi { 11.26.12 at 10:05 pm }

I have had a few of these dreams in my life. Most recent being last night. I woke up hitting the thing and started praying immediately. I just googled since I was curious to see if others have had these experiences. I know my family and some of my friends have. At the thought of Jesus name as I prayed for protection, the air in the room changed. I had just left my Grandmother’s funeral a few hours before, so I feel like I was attacked since I was in a moment of weakness. You are correct though. People look at you like you are crazy when you mention these things.

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