Entering The Twilight Zone-or-Wanna See Something Really Scary?

The Doors of the Imagination -or- Entering other Perceptual Dimensions

The audience is along for the ride in the film; "Twilight Zone: The Movie", which wants us to imagine that you're a passenger, driving down the road on a late night. You are listening to CCR's song "Midnight Special", playing mind games with the driver, like "Name that Tune" and recalling scary TV episodes of the classic Rod Serling "Twilight Zone" (watch video of Twilight Zones introduction by Rod Serling). Then you are asked;

"Do you want to see something really scary?" Here's a recurring nightmare that provides such a scary Twilight Zone type dream vision; 

Vicky 37, Teacher 

I have REALLY scary dreams about people that are flat and they are white. I have had these dreams scince I was 3 and they always happen at a restaurant. I am REALLY afraid to go to restaurants because I think that there will be flat, white people that eat me. 

In one of my dreams I was in a restaurant with my whole family and a few other people that I didn't recognize. Then a few days later I saw the people I didn't know in the mall. I got really scared and I wanted to tell them but I was too scared, so I just kept walking. That night I saw the people again and then I woke up and I thought I saw them in my room. I was really scared and I ran down the hall and hid behind a blanket and cried the rest of the night! Now I have the same dream at least once a week. I hate the dreams! 

Canabalistic Films and Dreams -or- The Case of the Phantasmogoria of Fears 

A friend of my daughter told me a story a number of years back; when she was about six years old and her parents were away for a few hours, her sister (who is four years older) played the film "The Exorcist". My daughter's friend then told me; that she had nightmares about the film for years. Horror films, in terms of movie going or watching TV are evidently not your strong suit. 

While other dreams sent to the IIDR speak of the horrors lurking around the corner featured in the mythological phantasmagoria of virtual monsters, ghosts, zombies, Satan, serial killers and vampires, your dream world is populated by white flat cannibals. Your recurring nightmare of flat white people, suggests the idea, that you may have seen something "REALLY scary" on TV when you were a child. 

Horror films play on the "primal fears" of the audience, and are akin to the sub-genres of cannabalistic and grindhouse films which feature your worst nightmaric visual and visceral fears come true. Cannibalism has a storied history and has become part and parcel of modern popular culture. Ever think about what cannibals dream about? The story of Jeffrey Dahmer was a real life criminal case of cannibalism and necrophillia.

The compulsion to repeat the nightmare, is basically the same thing as saying that you (as many others) are a victim of traumatic and horrific memories that you can't quite forget, as much as you try. Desensitization techniques have been found successful in treating fears and phobias. They can also be applied to habitual nightmares and in-turn lead to the mastery of fears. It's sort of ironic because although I haven't seen a TV episode of the original Twilight Zone in many years, one episode as I recall, had a couple go into a restaurant and never leave.... Think about it, the next time you go into a restaurant...now that's REALLY creepy.

On a final few notes, from a different film, however along the same lines, Charlton Heston's (as detective Robert Thom) classic Sci-Fi film noir quote in "Soylent Green" about the food stuff soylent green; "Soylent Green is people." From the original Twilight Zone, listen to Rod Serling's opening monologue of one of Zone's episodes (watch video clip) about fear and nightmares. 

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.