Thank you for all your wonderful comments you posted while I was away! :D

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

How to Have a Nightmare at Will

(Translated from Japanese by Saya)

This article appeared 10 years ago on a magazine in the Readers' Letters section.
The title was what drew my eye to it: How to have a nightmare at will.

"The method is easy. All you need to do is wish that you want to have a nightmare and stomp on the pillow with your foot before you sleep. The dream's level of scariness depends on the number of times you have stomped on the pillow.

If it's only once or twice, the dream will only be as scary as a haunted house in an amusement park, but from seven times onwards, the level of scariness skyrockets. The scariest level is ten."

That was the content of the article. I was just about to go to bed and as it was a very easy thing to do, I thought I would give it a try. I thought it would be boring to have a dream at the scariest level straight away, so I quit when I got to nine times.

That night I had a dream.
In the dream, I was caring for my granddad who had passed away a long ago.
He was somehow bedridden on my bed in my room, with a lot of tubes inserted in his nose and arms.

  1. I hated being alone with Granddad.

He smiled affably when other members of the family were around, but somehow when he was alone with me his face would turn ghastly pale, and he would start glowering at me while muttering something under his breath.

I was terrified of him, and one day I pulled out one of the tubes while pretending to be caring for him.
All of a sudden his condition took the turn for the worse, and all the family members rushed into the room.
Granddad, with that ghastly pale face, began tearing at his throat and groaning with pain.
What have I done! He's going to die.
And what if they find out what I've done to him.
I pretended I didn't know what was causing his pain, and ran to his side like the others had done.
It was right then that I clearly heard what he had been muttering.
"You diieee....."

At that point, I woke up.
So that was Level 9. And what a nightmare that was!
In the first place, Granddad had already passed away just before I was born and he could never have stayed in my bedroom.

Besides, the real Granddad would never have said such a horrible thing to me.
In an attempt to dispel my fear, I tried to recollect each detail of the dream.
But that face...
No, I'll forget about it. That was only a dream, and not real.

However, somehow I kept feeling an unpleasantness in the air. It was as if I still hadn't woken up from the dream....

I looked up at the ceiling, and there it was, a gigantic face, ghastly pale, that screamed out,
The face had followed me to the real world!
Overcome by intense terror like no other, I lost consciousness.

When next I opened my eyes, the face had gone.
Apparently the part where I thought I had woken up was a ruse to throw me off guard and prepare me for the most terrible part of the nightmare.
For the next few days, I was too scared even to touch the pillow.
Level 9 was horrible enough. I wondered what Level 10 would be like.

Since then I never again tried the ritual. I never want to see such a nightmare again.
But there is some other thing that has been bothering me.
When I looked through the next month's issue of the same magazine, I read that some other person had tried the same ritual, and he recorded his own experience in the Readers' Letters.

"The other day I tried the nightmare ritual. Due to my low tolerance of horror, I decided to stomp on the pillow 8 times only. I don't recall the content of the dream, but when I woke up a large, pale face appeared in my room."
It sent chills down my spine. How can two complete strangers have the same dream?

I googled such keywords as "pillow stomp nightmare level" that may shed light on this mysterious ritual but couldn't find any other information.
Can anyone here try Level 10, the scariest level, and see how it goes?


  1. I will leave it to braver souls than mine to try this, especially level 10!

  2. Self Hypnosis for the win! I actually have experience with this. If you focus on telling yourself to remember your dreams, like saying "Tonight, I'm going to remember the dreams I'll have", you actually do succeed. I don't normally remember them, but that time I had three and I was able to recall all three of them. Vividly. Down to the last details.

  3. I tend to have nightmares every night, so maybe I can control how scary the nightmare will be with this method? Maybe I should start trying this and stomping the pillow only once, so my usual nightmares aren’t as scary?

  4. That other reader has low tolerance of horror but still stomped it for 8 times, the bravery!

  5. So, if I was to have a pleasant dream, should I kiss my pillow 10 times?

    1. That seems quite intriguing, who wants to try? let me know how it goes

  6. Oh I've been missing the ritual stories, this one is quite chilling too. And lol I agree with
    Mela, the other guy had a low tolerance but still went all the way up to 8!

    Now, I wonder what that pale face could be. A youkai that you summon with the ritual or something like that?
    Know what, I might try this, but only with 1 stomp! (to be honest, what is bothering the most is the risk of getting my pillow dirty by stepping on it :p)

  7. I'm a scaredy-cat. Truthfully I've never tried any of the rituals posted here. I'd like to, but I'm too scared. Ha ha.
    I can't believe the writer did 9 stomps in his first try. If I do, I'd probably try with a half stomp. And then maybe reset my alarm to wake in 15 minutes.
    Can any brave soul here that tried this share their experience, please?
    But as a chicken, my advise is not to try it. :'(

    Another interesting reading. Thank you, Saya-san :D


  8. Hey, reporting in after having done it. I woke up in the middle of the night for no reason at all, and for a moment I was spooked and wondered if the face would be there when I opened my eyes... but alas, there was nothing.

    After that the only dream I recall is feeling like there was a swarm of bees around my head while I tried to fall asleep (it's weird I know), which made me wake up again. But I always have a lot of dreams about having insects or spiders crawling on me, so I don't think it's related lol.

    But yep, I'd say I definitely didn't sleep well this night. So I can only recommend it as a recipe for restless sleep xD

  9. I'm curious! I want to try this! I haven't had a nightmare in a long long time (or at least, not one I've remembered). I'm still wary though so I probably can only do lvl one or two. I wonder also if the face would speak in Japanese to me, or English? I'll follow up on this if I remember to try it soon.

    1. Well I tried level 2 last night, and I had a dream about going back to school (which I suppose could be a nughtmare for some people) but I didn't see a face when I woke up. Maybe I didn't do the ritual with enough conviction? Either way, cool little story!

  10. I’m too much of a chicken to try it haha. I’m glad you’re back though Saya~

  11. My dreams are eerie enough without any pillow stomping, so I wouldn't dare try this, haha! Given the way my dreams usually are, if I tried level 9, I'm pretty sure I'd end up inadvertently summoning some Eldritch abomination instead of having a regular nightmare.

  12. @Gabriel, glad you're ok :)
    Were you disappointed when no face appeared? :D
    I think the worst nightmare would be an endless empty dream where a person is unable to wake up.
    Maybe I'll try kissing my pillows tonight like a poster above said.


  13. I did a level 9! And I'm thankfully not in comatose by the time it ended, although I do feel pretty tired. Spent my whole night in a the middle of a crystal clear see, with all forms of aquatic abominations swimming beneath me :/ And that's almost a phobia for me.

  14. Holy Shit! Saya has started posting again. Thank god I decided to check your blog today. Always an avid reader of your blog. :)

  15. @Nunu
    Thanks for caring!! Thankfully I've had a much better sleep tonight.
    I was kinda disappointed, but it was a relief too, to be honest xD.
    But yeah, seems like that this ritual can bring nightmares, but not the white face. Kissing the pillow to bring sweet dreams instead does seem like a good idea, I may try that too :p

  16. Saya! You alive T_T! I almost gave up on this blog. I'm so glad!

  17. Wow, so many comments!

    @George VanMeter Me too!

    @Calvin Taylor Did you change your name? I never remember my dreams, so I might try your tactics! :D
    But you are so brave to have tried Level 9. If I were the Queen of England I would have knighted you for your bravery. Sea creatures can be very scary, especially deep sea creatures.

    @Sydney Pacione Try to eat less in the evening, dear, and you will sleep like a log and hopefully without any scary dreams!

    @Mela Putri Yes, I wonder why XD

    @CY Perhaps, dear XD

    @Gabriel It's a good thing nothing happened to you, but it's scary to think you dream so often of insects crawling all over you/

    @Nunu Thank you always for your kind, sweet words! :D I always look forward to comments from you :)

    @Vita Haha I never thought of that, but yes, the face might not be so fluent in English XD
    Level 2 isn't high enough for the face to appear, dear. Try again! XD

    @Micky Jung Thank you dear. You are not alone. I'm a hell of a chicken too!

    @Diogo Oh dear! Why are so many people having nightmares? In that case you should kiss your pillow instead, like our fried CY suggests! :D

    @Shishou Oh! I never imagined there would be a day I would receive a message from the Shishou. Thank you sir, I should post more stories about you soon! XD

    @Uma Puma Thank you very much, dear. Wipe your beautiful tears, I will be here for a long while to post many more stories! :D


    No, I'm only joking dear. That's OK. You do as you like XD

  19. I was told by a friend about nightmares they used to have. It was about this little girl that has spider legs coming out of her back. He said he had look it up and found out that people all around the world have dreamed about this little girl. Yet I cannot find anything online about her.

  20. @Saya Yomino That alias was getting old, but yeah I know that it's such a waste :)

    And it would indeed be an honour to be knighted by you, Your Majesty! It was a childhood dream of mine to become a "Sir" :D

  21. @Du Lugst Oh! That's scary! Reminds me of EVER DREAM THIS MAN? Thank you for sharing the scary story!:D

    @Calvin Taylor Alright then. You shall be knighted and henceforth shall be known as Sir Calvin Taylor! XD

  22. Thank you, Lady Saya! I shall hereby set forth and challenge every ritual with my newfound bravery and gallantry!

  23. @Sir Calvin Taylor Awww Great! I shall be waiting for good news from you! XD
    But honestly, be careful! Or you will have me worried!

  24. Omg a nightmare! I for one, always somehow remember my dreams.
    Sometimes it feels like I've been to places in my dreams, and i remember it was a place in a previous dream..
    The places bring a distinct longing feeling and it feels like a place i can call a place of my own.. it was like an resort just by the beach. The landmark and the beach sight stuck in my head that i know exactly that place when i dream abt it... Weird huh?

    Thats why i believe that we go to a different version of ourselves in a different timeline when we sleep. A theory i held after remembering every dream i had everyday... And also there are some dreams where i was just dreaming. Still can remember it too but in the dream i know i was dreaming, so...

    Anyway, i don't think i can try the ritual as I need a beauty sleep every night now that I have a baby. But yeah, have you try this one saya san?

  25. About dream. For as long as I can remember, I could always remember my dreams. But dreams are thing that's easily forgotten even when you remembered it for a day, you might forget about it in two days

  26. I had two dreams when I was a child that even till now I can vividly recall.
    One was a nightmare I had that scared me so bad I couldn't go back to sleep until the sun was up. It involved me being chased by a giant, the giant from mickey and the beanstalk to be precise. I don't know why or how but being chased by that giant was the scariest dream I've ever had. He chased me while chuckling in that stupid voice, and everywhere I hid, he would just lift the top of houses.

    The 2nd dream that I can never forget was a two part dream where I dreamed I was being chased by a vampire, eventually being caught then being bitten and drained of blood, (watching too much Dracula movies at a young age can cause that) but I realized within the dream that I was dreaming and again being a child, I also watched super sentai movies and I transformed myself into kamen rider black lol, and my friends in school came to my aid as the hikari sentai masked man (my age is showing with the shows I watched lol) and my school was flooded with monsters but it became a free for all brawl, then I woke up, I tried to sleep again while imagining my dream and eventually I dreamed the 2nd part (maybe I was daydreaming by then) and I eventually kicked the ass of that giant from mickey and the beanstalk.

    I love your blog posts saya, my brother showed it to me a few years back and I enjoyed reading/creeped out/scared/intrigued by it, I was sad you stopped posting but I'm glad you're back, and even when you get a boyfriend or become too busy with your personal life, I hope you will continue to post even once in a while as your posts help me think about the world and reminisce too.

    1. Thank you, Reign Tracer :D I'm sorry I didn't read your comment carefully until now, because I made it a policty that I don't reply to comments to older posts.

      But I'm grateful to you and your brother for supporting my blog! Take care dear!

  27. i thought this was a cryptic story where the nightmare was frightening because it was real. Like, the narrator was dreaming they were a relative or caretaker who had murdered his grandfather by removing his intubation. and thats why he isn't around anymore... the narrator is living in his old room.

  28. Wow, after reading this make me remember one of my horrid dreams. It was layered dream like this one. And that scared me so much i cant sleep in my room for the rest of that night

    I was still in college back then. I don't remember much of my first dream was about. But im sure it's so scary that made me woke up. Then i looked on my desk there was a severed head of a child, when i see it immediately he look at me and scream. Then i woke up and there was nothing on my desk. I Tried to sleep again but i was too scared to close my eyes again so i got out of my room and sleep in living room. Fortunately they didnt come again ever after. Boy o boy that was scary


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