Research: Dreamwalking and Crisis Dreams
Written by: Michelle Belanger
Although little formal writing has appeared on the topic of dreamwalking, this is not to say that the capacity to connect to other people in dreams has never been recorded in the annals of occult literature. The following story, linking the psychic vampire tendency to spontaneously dreamwalk when in deep need with other kinds of crisis dreams, recounts a possible dreamwalking episode from the 17th century.
Psychic vampires are particularly prone to unintentional dreamwalking. This is one of the main reasons the technique is addressed in the Codex. Psychic vampires need to regularly and actively take in human vital energy in order to maintain their own mental, physical, and psychic well-being. When psychic vampires are isolated from people, however, and there are no potential donors, this need cannot be met consciously. Often, when psychic vampires reach a certain level of energetic need, a kind of survival instinct kicks in. This survival instinct involves dreamwalking. Typically, the psychic vampire will unconsciously target friends or loved ones, traveling to them in dreams in order to take the vital energy that they so desperately need.
While dreamwalking is hardly exclusive to psychic vampires, extreme need does seem to be a factor in why many people spontaneously dreamwalk. Most of the material that has been written on dreamwalking involves spontaneous, unintentional experiences brought about by some personal crisis. These crisis dreams are almost always an unconscious attempt to reach out to loved ones over a distance, either to inform them of the crisis, or to seek emotional support. The intersection of crisis dreams and dreamwalking is eloquently demonstrated by a report from Baxter’s 17th century book, Certainty of the World of Spirits.
As She Lay Dying
In 1691, Mary Goffe of Rochester England was taken ill. In June of that year, her condition worsened, and she was taken to her father’s house in West Mulling where there were more people to take care of her. As the final hours of the illness settled in, Mary became very agitated by the fact that she had not seen her children for several weeks. She seemed to sense her impending death, and she complained to those at her bedside that she wanted to see them one last time. Her own home was nine miles away, and despite her pleas, the doctor did not feel it was possible for her to survive the journey.
As a solution to this dilemma, Mary Goffe, who we can presume had no prior metaphysical training, managed to visit her children in their dreams. But the story gets even stranger.
Between one and two o’clock in the morning, the woman who was watching over Mary noted that she fell into a sort of trance. Her eyes were partly open, but glazed, and her jaw was slack. The condition was noted primarily because the attendant first thought that Mary had died. Some life remained in her, however, although her breathing was very faint.
At that same time, the nurse who watched over Mary’s children had a singular experience. She saw someone moving down the hall near the children’s room. When she went to investigate, she saw none other than Mary Goffe standing by the bedside of her eldest child. The younger of the two children slumbered not far off. According to the nurse, a widow Alexander, Mary was plainly visible in the children’s’ room. She seemed to be speaking, but no sound emerged from the phantom’s lips. Both children slept on, apparently oblivious to the presence if their mother’s ghost in their room.
The nurse stood watching this spectacle, transfixed, for nearly a quarter of an hour. When the clock struck two, she demanded the apparition to tell her what it was, whereupon it disappeared.
Unaware of the strange story her nurse was telling incredulous neighbors nine miles away, Mary Goffe awoke from her trance to tell her mother that she had dreamed of seeing her children. Mary’s fears of dying before getting another chance to spend time with the children seemed allayed, and she died shortly thereafter, the morning of June 4th. The widow Alexander was deemed a sober and credible witness, and the Rev. Thomas Tilson, who investigated and recorded the entire affair, firmly believed that events occurred as they were recounted by all parties involved.
If this story, recounted in Andrew Lang's book on Dreams and Ghosts, is true, then a phantom of Mary Goffe appeared at the bedside of her children while simultaneously she visited them in dreams.