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Published July 22, 2008

My apologies if this entry proves too intense for younger readers.

One night in 1989, I saw Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and was frightened by the scene near the end of the film in which the villain drinks from the wrong grail and rapidly ages until he dies. I was so disturbed by the imagery in that sequence, in fact, that that very night I had a nightmare wherein a disembodied skull said to me, “How old are you? I’m 99!” The skull then bit me on the ear and I woke up, terrified and positive that I could still feel the pain in my ear from the bite.

19 years later, I saw Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull . For those of you who don’t know, there’s a scene in the film in which Indy survives a catastrophic atomic explosion by craftily hiding in a refrigerator. That very night, I had a nightmare in which Los Angeles (where I live) was decimated by an atomic bomb.

Why did these films give me nightmares? Is there something about the films of Steven Spielberg that overwhelms my subconscious and haunts my dreams? I knew there was really only one way to find out, so I began conducting something of an … experiment … upon myself. I will admit, my friends thought me mad, but for several nights, I watched a Steven Spielberg film right before going to bed, and then kept a dream journal to record how the film influenced my dreams. I think you’ll find the results show I kept less of a dream journal and more of a … nightmare … uh, journal.

The Film : Jaws
Journal : Dreamt that I was trying to kill Jaws … but Jaws was also my mom! Very strange. (NOTE: This dream may have also been influenced by phone conversation I had with my mom earlier this day in which she told me how much she loves eating chum.)

The Film : The Color Purple
Journal : Dreamt that Grimace sat on my face until I couldn’t breathe. Scary.

The Film : Duel
Journal : Dreamt that Sid Sheinberg was yelling at me for going over budget! Woke up wondering who Sid Sheinberg is.

The Film : Jurassic Park
Journal : Dreamt that I was chased by a dinosaur!

The Film : Always
Journal : Dreamt that I was chased by a dinosaur!

The Film : Hook
Journal : Dreamt that a crocodile bit my butt. Wondering if this experiment is worth the mental strain. I can feel myself going quite mad…

The Film : Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Journal : Had a dream that I was eating a huge bowl of mashed potatoes. Woke up and realized that my pajama bottoms were now somehow filled with mashed potatoes. Oh, and piss.

The Film : Artificial Intelligence: A.I.
Journal : Dreamt that I was a mecha being torn apart limb by limb at a flesh fair. Upon waking, I wept for an hour. My sanity now feels as elusive as the blue fairy!

The Film : Minority Report
Journal : No bad dream … but when I woke up, there was a red ball in my mouth!!! A RED BALL! A RED BALL! A RED-

At this point, the entries come to an abrupt end. We may never know why. Although they were my entries, and I’m clearly all right and over it now, so, you know, don’t call the cops or anything.

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