Have you been visited by the dead in your dreams?
Chances are close to one in five that you will. In a survey of close to 250
college students conducted at Harvard Medical School, 45 respondents reported a
total of 77 dreams of the dead.
An analysis of these dreams, reported in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying,
revealed that most commonly (39 per cent of all dreams of the dead) the deceased
person appears to be alive. Such a dream occurs close to the time of death, to
someone intimate with the deceased. The predominant theme is denial of death or
feelings of guilt about not being able to have prevented the death.
The second most common dream (29 per cent) involves the deceased saying
good-bye to the dreamer. This dream occurs an average of 3 years after the
death, to someone intimate with the dreamer. The predominant theme is the
acceptance of death.
The third most common dream (23 per cent) involves the deceased person giving
advice to the dreamer. This dream occurs an average of 3 years after the death,
usually to someone close to the dreamer, but not always. There is no predominant
theme, except that it involves something of concern to the dreamer.
The fourth most common dream (18 per cent) involves the deceased providing
some information about the state after death, or teasing the dreamer with the
prospect of such information. This dream occurs an average of five years after
death and may occur to anyone, even someone who was a stranger to the deceased.
The predominant theme in such dreams seems to be the dreamer's own mortality. A
significant aspect of these dreams is that more than half of them involve the
deceased talking to the dreamer on the telephone. Since telephones appear in
only three per cent of all dreams, their regular appearance in these
"communications from the dead" dreams may be significant.
Creative Spirit Studios
Flying Goat Ranch
3777 Fox Creek Road
Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363
1-800-398-1370 voice and fax