What I beheld that night when I was a child is something that still haunts me to this day. Whenever I shut my eyes, I always see that ghastly image that I’d seen in the corner of my room.

Even though I’m really not one to give credit to absurd superstitions, there was certainly something in the room with me that night. It sounds like the introduction to your cliché tale about a scary situation as you lay in your bed; a devilish apparition brandishing a blood-stained knife as it silently makes its way towards your bedside ready to dice you to pieces or a banshee is sitting on your chest waiting for you to open your eyes so she can let out a blood-curdling scream that will shroud you in a cloud of fear.

But what I saw was unlike any of that ridiculousness.

Instead, what I beheld was a more benign evil; it was uncanny, bizarre, and strange. The more I stared at it, the more I felt a subtle but growing horror beginning to swallow me. It was a sort of thing you’d see that would only make you curious at first. But the more you observed it and noticed the details in it, you’d transition from a morbid curiosity to actual fear and it would become stronger.

That day was unlike any other, which only serves to increase the fear for me. I had gone to school, come home, and completed my studies. I had my dinner and then showered and hopped into bed. Since I’d spent the night before studying for hours for three tests that I knew I was going to have, I felt particularly exhausted. It wasn’t long before I went to sleep.

It truly was an average, ordinary day for me. What happened next is the last thing I could have expected. But I suppose the most terrifying and horrible things that can happen to us is when we least expect them to. Immediately, I began to have a strange dream.

In nearly every single dream I’ve ever had, it was always in a first-person perspective. I believe that’s natural since I don’t think I’d ever read about a case in which someone didn’t dream that. By saying that, I’m not saying it isn’t possible not to, but I haven’t come across that yet. More importantly, if I had come across that somewhere in a book or video, I wasn’t at all expecting to ever experience it.

I dreamed that I saw myself asleep, surrounded by a strange, unearthly mist. It twisted and turned oddly, as if it had a mind of its own. It seemed to slither like a serpent around me, making rings that each grew larger and wider as it swirled around me.

What made it more unusual was that I appeared to be hovering in mid-air. It appeared as if I were lying down and levitating to be prepared for a sacrifice.

The general area around me was black, pitch black. It appeared as if I were floating in a dark void in space, without a shred of life or light anywhere. The only objects and figures I could clearly see were myself and the ethereal mist.

I suddenly then heard a strange, high-pitching cackling. I couldn’t see where it came from, the darkness was everywhere. It left me feeling afraid, like the sort of taunting, villainous laughter you’d hear when someone would entrap you and they knew they had you right where they wanted you.

Soon, it was joined by a chorus of others. It was an army of evil, hideous laughter ringing from all sides. I began to feel stark fear pounding and scratching inside of me like a rabid caged animal. I gazed at the hovering body during all of this. My dream-self didn’t seem at all fazed by the evil laughter.

When the laughter faded, I heard a sort of unintelligible, incoherent uttering. For a moment, I thought it was just manic babbling. As I listened more intently, I realized it was a language. Something, or some things, in the blackness of this dead, lost dimension were communicating with one another. The chattering voices, mixed in with sinister chuckles every now and again, seemed to be circling my slumbering body like a pack of ravenous hyenas locking on to their prey.

Then, I heard one of the shrill, frightful voices begin to recite an incantation. It began slow at first, but picked up strength and speed as it went on. It resembled a sort of speech I couldn’t recognize at all.

To my horror, I suddenly saw my body’s eyes and mouth shoot open abnormally wide simultaneously in an almost grotesque manner in which I’d never thought a human’s, let alone mine, could ever do. My eyes turned into huge gaping holes, and my jaw hung down and stretched out, as if my face had become revoltingly disfigured and oblong. Even more ghastly and bizarre was that both my eyes and mouth had a disturbing blue glow coming out of them.

The voice uttering the incantation became more aggressive, louder. The spell became stronger as the lights within me grew more luridly. Lightning sparks began bursting wildly out of the mist that was now rotating around my body even faster than before. The glowing that was emitting from my eyes and mouth now turned into three shafts of light shooting upwards into the empty space above.

The chanting voice became deeper, powerful, and more ominous. I heard a rumbling, like a rapidly approaching thunderstorm, beginning to roar. The three shafts suddenly became bright beams of energy spewing out, giving the darkness a tinge of a blue hue.

I couldn’t take it, it was too much. What was happening to me!? I shut my eyes, or at least tried to, not daring to see the horrible death of my body, dream or no dream.

I then woke up, staring at the ceiling of my bedroom. I was sweating and I felt my heart pounding in my chest. My hands were trembling violently and my mouth was very dry. I quickly sat up in bed, trying to calm myself down. I closed my eyes and wiped the sweat off of my forehead with the back of my hand, catching my breath. I had that brief moment of bliss when you realize the terrible situation you were just in that seemed so real and so dreadful was only a dream. I had returned to the comfort of my bed in my own home.

My relief shifted to horror when I heard something that sounded like laughter. It wasn’t pleasant laughter. It sounded like chilling, high-pitched demonic laughter. It was coming from many throats, as it clearly didn’t sound like a single one.

What truly got me in the horrific, cold grip of fear was that I realized it was coming from inside of my room. It was coming from a direction I hadn’t looked in yet. Desperately not wanting to yet knowing that I needed to, I slowly turned my head to see what was laughing in such evil delight.

I saw a transparent, ghostly image of myself without eyes and an elongated deformed mouth standing near a corner, seemingly dancing in mad ecstasy. It appeared lost and in a daze, moving in manic frenzied movements as if in a type of unknown dance ritual.

All around that vision of me, I saw around twelve little imp-like creatures dancing along with it in that same bizarre, unnerving style. It is difficult to explain how it appeared. My dream-self (that’s the best way I can describe it) was dancing mindlessly yet disturbingly joyfully with those vile goblins. It was like some sort of human puppet in the hands of some dreamy, sadistic puppet master.

There was still a thin layer of mist surrounding them as they did their strange and frightening little dance in the darkness. But just as I stared at this vision of nightmarish horror, they disappeared.

I didn’t scream or anything of the sort. I merely sat up in bed in the dark until morning, with my mouth hung agape and paralyzed with fear, pondering on whether what I saw was only the effects of sleepiness still in my brain or if there were indeed dream elves (a name that I’ve given for them) dancing around with my dream self.

I never truly saw something as clear and vivid from my dreams like I did that night since. But every once in a while, on cold, silent nights, I’d have dreams of dream elves encircling me as they danced around me wildly and in fiendish delight, and I would feel myself beginning to join them against my will with my horribly disfigured and distorted face and my limbs being tugged and tossed around by some invisible but powerful force.

And at the other end of the room, I'd see myself lying in bed asleep...