[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/GabrielKnight http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gk-nightmare.jpg]] ]]

->''"I get up put on the light, dreading the oncoming night''\\
''Scared to fall asleep and dream the dream again"''
-->-- '''Music/IronMaiden''', "Dream of Mirrors"

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

Some dreams are heart-warming visions of hope, filled with cute and cuddly creatures, so delightful they make you want to fall asleep right away. Other dreams...aren't.

There are nightmares that [[NightmareFuel chill your soul]]. They are a journey through a warped mirror of reality where {{Transformation Horror}}s abound and {{Primal Fear}}s are on public parade. All our comforting certainties melt away, and chaos reigns supreme. Quite frankly, after a dream like that it would almost be a relief to encounter the [[EldritchAbomination Outer Gods]] dancing to the eldritch music of blasphemous flutes.

These nightmares can show off the emotional confusion and torment affecting a character. An effective way to show a character is having BadDreams is just to go into them and show the nightmarish sequence itself. Each bizarre image can dissect the issue facing them, showing the distortions the mind puts on them.

These dreams are often, though not always, associated with DerangedAnimation. Hallucinations and [[LightmareFuel supposedly funny nightmares]] also fall under this trope.

May overlap with CatapultNightmare, if the character having the nightmare wakes up by flinging themselves up from the bed in fright. FlashbackNightmare is a subtrope of this (and BadDreams) where the nightmare is shown as a {{flashback}} the character's DarkAndTroubledPast.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Tetsuo's series of nightmares and hallucinations in ''Manga/{{Akira}}''. These dreams vary from giant stuffed animals attacking him, to visions of his horrifying future, to having his intestines spill out of him from simply falling. I don't even want to mention the [[BodyHorror further horrors]] that this poor kid has to go through during the story (even though he does partially deserve it).
* ''Anime/DigimonTamers:'' During a MindRape-induced dream sequence (seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2-680p0Fok here]], starting at 0:53), one protagonist experiences herself as a child running through a hospital and right into a razor-toothed, eyeless version of herself, with a snarling, drooling, oddly grinning version of her favorite sock puppet sewn onto her arm. The fact that this is how she equates her mother's death does NOT help matters in any way/shape/form. The true psychological impact can't be had without seeing her slow degeneration throughout the series from using the puppet as a cute way to talk to people into being actively controlled by the puppet, but the images are arguably worse for sheer Nightmare Fuel out of context.
* An episode of ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5'' features nightmare sequences for four of the main characters, induced by TheDragon for [[BrainwashedAndCrazy a pretty good reason]]. The idea is to cause the girls to despair.
* The Stand Death 13 has this ability in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', killing people when they fall asleep. The worst part is that even if you wake up before it can get to you, you have no recollection of what happened in the dream...
* ''Anime/DiamondDaydreams'', in itself a rather subdued SliceOfLife series, has Karin's often rather scary nightmares.
* Himeno from ''Anime/{{Pretear}}'' has these in an episode of the anime. [[spoiler:It's actually caused by Takako/Fenrir, who wants to communicate with her.]]
* Guts of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' has these quite often, both from his childhood trauma and from the monsters that constantly torment him post-Eclipse.
* The premise of ''Manga/NightmareInspector'' is Hiruko the Baku's entering into people's nightmares with them in order to figure out what they mean.
* Happens several times in ''Manga/ChronoCrusade''. Chrono has a nightmare where he's surrounded by dead bodies as Aion tempts him back to his side (hinting at his backstory). Rosette has a nightmare at the start of the DarkestHour that serves to recap some of the trauma she's been through as well as gives a clear idea of her psychological state. And in an early episode of the anime, Rosette has a nightmare that's half flashback, half nightmare about her brother's kidnapping by the BigBad.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/TheAdventuresOfTintin'': The dream sequences in "Tintin" will never be surpassed in terms of creepiness. Yet, for the sake of this article, let's just mention the nightmare scenes:
** In "[[Recap/TintinCigarsOfThePharaoh Tintin Cigars of the Pharaoh]]" Tintin is locked inside an Egyptian tomb and put to sleep with sleeping gas. He then dreams several strange images combining recent people he met and Egyptian artwork.
** In "Recap/TintinTheCrabWithTheGoldenClaws" Tintin dreams he is turned into a bottle, which Haddock is planning to uncork.
** In "Recap/TintinTheShootingStar" Tintin dreams he is visited by Philippulus the prophet who then shows him a picture of a gigantic spider, claiming it is life size!
** In "Recap/TintinTheSevenCrystalBalls" Tintin and his companions all have the same nightmare: that they are visited by the Inca mummy Rascar Capac who enters their bedroom by night and then throws a poisonous crystal ball on the floor. This is even more terrifying in the animated series.
** In ''Prisoners of the Sun'', Tintin dreams that Calculus is admiring an "Inca Tree" whose flowers are skulls while a real Inca menaces him with a spear, next Tintin asks the Inca, who now has Haddock's face if he has a licence for the rifle over his shoulder, upon which the Inca turns into a mysterious Indian who has been following the heroes and blasts Tintin with fire for blasphemy. Tintin then wakes up with hot sunlight on his face.
* Yorick in ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'' suffers from constant nightmares, usually involving his girlfriend Beth. So much so that when Yorick finally does meet her his first reaction is to storm off in the belief that he's just having another cruel dream.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'', Spider Jerusalem has one after he stuffs himself with drugs (again) when he realizes he has become a Japanese-like anime, a cheesy live action TV series and a [[RuleThirtyFour porn movie]]. Sadly, he has a fairly good dream at the beginning.
* Dream of ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' curses a man who kept him locked up for decades with the never-ending nightmare, where every time he thinks he's woken up, the nightmare continues. The few panels of this we see are horrifying.
* Several of them in ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' storyline ''ComicBook/{{Bizarrogirl}}'':
** The story starts out with Kara reliving her final battle against Superwoman. As she is hitting the supervillain, accusing her from destroying her planet and causing a war, Superwoman retorts the Kryptonians were not blameless, Alura was far from innocent, and Supergirl killed her. Then her flesh melts off her face, and a legion of skeletons -including Supergirl's dead parents'- move in on Kara to drag her down with them.
** During her trip to Bizarro World, Supergirl has another nightmare in where she finds herself in ComicBook/NewKrypton again. She tries to warn people their planet is about to explode, but she has lost her voice. Then New Krypton explodes and Supergirl feels her flesh melting off.
* ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske: The album ''"De Bokkenrijders"'' starts off with Wiske telling a nightmare she just had and Tante Sidonia explaining its symbolic meanings. Of course, as the story progresses Wiske's nightmare turns out to she was DreamingOfThingsToCome.
* ComicStrip/{{Nero}}: Nightmare sequences occur quite frequently in the series, among others in ''“Moea Papoea”, “Beo De Verschrikkelijke”, “De Gouden Vrouw”, “De Ark Van Nero”, “De Paarse Futen”, “Zwoele Charlotte” and “De Draak van Halfzeven”''.
* ''ComicBook/PrinceOfPersiaTheGraphicNovel'':
** Guiv's nightmare is being attacked in the Tower of Silence by countless skeletons, and then being surrounded by doubles of himself, whose heads turn into skulls as he cuts them off.
** Shirin's nightmare is a dust storm raising up giant boys made of dust, who carry off Ferdos, claiming him as "one of us."
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' Issue #5 starts with this, and mentions the mane 6 have all had nightmares for an entire week. It's during another one that the Nightmare Forces kidnap Rarity and take her to the moon. In the following issue they are confronted by the same nightmares, but overcome them thanks to each other (with the exception of Rarity, who's still kidnapped, of course).
* One issue of ''ComicBook/MagicTheGatheringIDW'' starts out with Dack Fayden's nightmares, because [[HumanoidAbomination Ashiok]] is causing nightmares all over the plane of Theros.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/IfFirestarNeverJoinedThunderClan'', Grayflight has a disturbing dream about his Clan dying and then a tiger rips his head off. In the second book it doesn't get better. Bristlepaw has a nightmare where [[spoiler:Blackstar and his Clan]] capture them and worship fire. [[spoiler:It's scarier when the dream comes true.]]
* In ''Fanfic/MyLittlePonyAUFanficMutant'', Twilight has one that involves Yog-sooth in the third chapter.
* ''Fanfic/BaitAndSwitchSTO'': Eleya's recurring FlashbackNightmare of the time ten years ago she was stabbed while repelling a BoardingParty.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': In chapter 3 Asuka has a nightmare in which her mother’s disembodied voice urges her to dying with her.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': Shinji has one in chapter 5. It starts quite innocently, looking like a fairy tale where knight Shinji has to move all of Princess Asuka's possessions to become a god, and he is helped by a horde of cute penguins. Then it takes an increasingly unsettling turn when he is led deep underground until a vast subterranean lake filled with a bubbling, seething sludge from which formed tendrils. Shinji tried to back away and then a horde grabbed him, ripped his clothes and threw him naked in the lake. And ''then'' it got real disturbing.
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': The night before her birthday, Asuka has a very violent, bloody nightmare where the MP-Evas eat her alive again.
* In the ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Left}}'', Frodo has a nightmare about finding out that he murdered Sam when Sam offered to share the Ring.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': In chapter 11, Shinji and Asuka suffered several nightmares as they fought Leliel’s psychic assault. Shinji saw his self choking Asuka on a beach under a red sky, and Asuka saw a version younger of herself turning into a monstrous, blood-stained doll and urging her to die with her before strangling her.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': In chapter 2 Asuka has a nightmare where she dreams of the Angel War and how weak she felt when Zeruel destroyed her, how defiled she felt after Ariel’s MindRape, how worthless and useless she felt after being unable moving her Eva to fight Armisael, and what it was like when the MP-Evas tore her apart.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': In chapter 11 Shinji has a nightmare where he relives his worst failures: first he sees Unit-00 fighting Armisael and blowing up. Then Rei appears and says that he let her die before bursting into flame. Right after Asuka shows up, accuses him from never loving her and betraying her trust, and then slits her wrist. When Shinji tries to touch her, her body erupts in a shower of blood, covering him whole. Shinji screams and then he wakes up.
* In ''{{FanFic/Nosflutteratu}}'', after spending the evening researching vampires Twilight Sparkle has one of these.
* In ''RolePlay/WeAreAllPokemonTrainers'':
** Fool goes through a rather freaky one during the AU Arc in which she sees herself (The one she identifies as "[[EnemyWithin Sol]]") ''using the corpses of Pokemon that she murdered as marionette puppets''. A ShoutOut to a very similar scene in WesternAnimation/{{Felidae}}.
** Happens to Sakura not too long after her debut, she mentions that it happens frequently, but they stopped once she found Lyuri.
** Straw goes through these at least somewhat often, such as being stabbed by Jab and [[spoiler:dreaming Crewe died and he was only finding this out when he was married to Elise.]]
** Tagg has one following the Orre arc after drinking himself unconscious at Kat's wedding.
* In the [[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} RWBY]] fanfic [[FanFic/VariousVytalVentures Various Vytal Ventures]] this makes up the majority of the '[[WhatDoTheyFearEpisode Hide and Seek]]' chapter, where a Nightmare Grimm is purposefully stirring up such sequences in the characters minds.
* During [[spoiler:the epilogue]] of ''Fanfic/TheVow'', Shen dreams as a helpless spectator [[spoiler:his attack on the panda village, including his chase of the infant Po and his mother that ended with him murdering her, except that he's chasing his wife Lianne and their infant son. Unlike Po's mother, Lianne doesn't get a chance to hide her son before she's caught by Shen's wolves and killed by Shen personally, exactly the same way as he killed Po's mother in real life]]. The nightmare ends with [[spoiler:the dream version of Shen [[OffingTheOffspring ordering his son to be killed]]]].
* In chapter 8 of ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'', Asuka has a nightmare in which she and Shinji were fighting [[EldritchAbomination Israfel]] again, and Shinji dies. Meanwhile Shinji has another nightmare where he sees Asuka sinking again in the volcano's magma, he jumps in to rescue her, and he misses.
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': In chapter 13, Rei has several awful dreams where she kills Asuka and Shinji kills her in retaliation or he kills himself and she tries to commit suicide to join Shinji and Asuka in the Afterlife.
* In chapters 2 and 4 of ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'', Shinji and Asuka have several nightmares where they revive the events of [[MindScrew Instrumentality]].
* In episode 10 of ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', Asuka has a nightmare: she relives her mother's madness and suicide, sees her mother's rag doll hanging from a ceiling, and hears several disembodied voices declaring that they hate her, before feeling a noose tightening around her neck.
* In ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'' Shinji suffered nightmares where he revived the battle against Sandalphon, except that he missed when he tried to rescue Asuka, and she sank, begging him to save her.
* The ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'' fic ''Fanfic/{{Intercom}}'' originally had one, where Riley sees [[spoiler:a future version of herself, driven mad by the voices in her head.]] This was cut after the author saw the movie and realized that Dream Productions doesn't work like that.
* Both Yang and Cinder get these in ''FanFic/TheRWBYLoops'', with separate causes and each preying on their insecurities. Notably, Yang's are guided by a specific entity and, eventually, she manages to conquer the issue without losing her mind; Cinder's are portrayed as surreal and mind-breaking, probably because they're caused by Slenderman, and by the time she shakes them off she is utterly insane.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' fic ''{{Fanfic/Syngenesophobia}}'', Lincoln’s mental trauma causes him to have several nightmares about his sisters torturing him. One is shown in detail, in Chapter 3; it involves Lincoln being chained to the floor of his house, while his sisters, now looking like demons, prepare to kill him with various weapons.
* ''Fanfic/UniverseFalls'':
** In part one of "Sock Opera", a sleep-deprived Dipper nods off and has a nightmare about [[spoiler: Lapis Lazuli and Jasper, who are trapped as Malachite at the bottom of Lake Gravity Falls.]]
** "Do It For Them" opens with Dipper having a nightmare inspired by the events of "Sock Opera". [[spoiler: Dipper is reunited with Lapis Lazuli, only for her to turn out to be possessed by Bill Cipher. As Bill taunts Dipper, Dipper falls off a cliff and turns into a wooden puppet.]] Making it worse is that it's the latest in a series of nightmares Dipper has been having, and it's ambiguous as to whether they're happening on their own or if Bill Cipher is deliberately tormenting Dipper in his dreams ForTheEvulz.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Considering that ''Anime/LittleNemoAdventuresInSlumberland'' is AllJustADream, the entire climactic scene with the villain could be considered a Nightmare Dream, but the sequence with a subtler horror is a [[ShowWithinAShow Dream-Within-A-Dream]] where Nemo goes to the kitchen, to find his mother washing the dishes, except that a train's coming, barrelling ever closer and closer towards them while Nemo's mom does not budge, just says, "Don't be silly, Nemo," as the whistle screams and--
* The dreams in ''WesternAnimation/{{Felidae}}'' are perhaps the most twisted animation ever created. Those dreams are just damn freaky, specifically the one involving Gregor Mendel giggling demonically "EXPERIMENTS WITH PLANT HYBRIDS!" while putting on some kind of twisted marionette show using the decomposing corpses of gutted cats. Using their entrails as the marionette strings.
* ''WesternAnimation/AGoofyMovie'' has a bit at the beginning where Max has a nightmare in which he's in an idyllic scene with the girl of his dreams, and suddenly turns into a giant lumbering copy of his dad.
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' had a dream sequence where Woody is thrown in a garbage can, and when he tries to crawl out he is pulled back by a mass of discarded toy parts working together to form a giant Akira-style tentacle. They were originally going to use this in the first movie as well. There's also an episode of the Toy Story Shorts that is based around this entire trope.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'' featured [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEdZh8a4ZvE nightmare sequences]] where the titular Toaster is menaced by a horrifying MonsterClown in a fireman outfit, then [[ElectrifiedBathtub falls to his doom into a bathtub]].
* In the animated film ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'', Anya/Anastasia the title heroine has a nightmare during the boat scenes at stormy night while things start off with her family swimming around happily in the water beckoning her to join them, they then suddenly turn into the bat-like demon minions of undead sorcerer Rasputin. It's made even more horrible by the fact that Anya is a sleepwalker, so when she watches her family's swimming from a cliff she's actually standing at the railing of the deck, and the demons are trying to make her fall into a certain death. The dream was caused by Rasputin in the first place, and so was the sleepwalking - he was trying to use his dark magic to make her commit suicide in her sleep. When Dimitri stops her from throwing herself into the water, that's when the spell is broken and the dream becomes a nightmare.
* ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'' had a disturbingly vivid sequence that is mostly recalled for putting the fear of divine punishment and existential dread in its young audience. Our protagonist, Charlie is sucked into Hell, where he gets trapped on a ship slowly sinking into a lake of lava while being tormented by demon rats and a gigantic devil thing. Charlie screams for help covered in demons as the end of the ship he's on slowly descends into the lava... and then he wakes up.
* The "Heffalumps and Woozles" nightmare scene from ''[[Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day]]''. "Beware, beware, beware!" indeed. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLnADKgurvc See it here.]] The insane laughter of the honey pot is probably one of the worst bits.
--> ''"...they tie themselves in horrible knots, they come in stripes and polkadots!"''
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=944cPciN-kw "Pink Elephants On Parade"]] segment of ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'', a rare instance of hallucinations.
* ''WesternAnimation/ShrekTheThird'' contains a sequence where Shrek is back home, safe and sound... until he's suddenly near-crushed by a literal flood of babies. Plus "Baby Donkey" and Baby Puss n' Boots". "'''DADA!'''" *shudder*
* In ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'', Simba has a nightmare where he tries and fails to save his father from falling to his death in the wildebeest stampede, and is then thrown into the gorge himself by Kovu.
* ''Film/JamesAndTheGiantPeach'' has the eponymous character dream that he's a caterpillar eating the peach in the title. [[MoodWhiplash Suddenly]], his [[AbusiveParents wicked aunts]] appear and spray a pesticide cloud at him... which then morphs into James' greatest fear -- [[ItMakesSenseInContext a rhino that killed his parents]] -- that proceeds to pursue him and shortly after corner him under a bridge. All the while, his aunts chant in mock singsong voices "The rhino will get you!" in the background. Not to mention that the dream itself is presented in unsettling cut-out animation that resembles a [[DerangedAnimation deranged]], nightmarish ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/BadDreams'', the protagonist Cynthia, who went into a coma after barely surviving a mass suicide, is tormented by images of the dead cult leader, Harris.
* ''Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInLondon'':
** There's one upsetting nightmare scene in which the protagonist sees his family shot in their home by what can only be described as [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Zombie Werewolf Nazi Goblins]]. The fact that ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' is playing on the television doesn't help. Quite possibly one of the most horrifying nightmares in all of film.
** Then there's the one where he's seen biting a deer.
* ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'',[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7kw0WiUB5c the evil clown dream sequence]]
* In ''Film/{{Gothika}}'', the main character suffers two of these.
* In ''Film/HerbieRidesAgain'', CorruptCorporateExecutive Alonzo Hawk is tormented in his dreams by evil Volkswagen Beetles after Herbie thwarts his evil schemes.
* The dream sequence the main character in ''Film/SonOfTheMask'' has. His wife being pregnant and giving birth... only to reveal that she is pregnant with many, many, ''many'' babies, all squirming and crying with fanged mouths.
* Certain scenes of ''Film/{{Videodrome}}''. It's [[UnreliableNarrator hard to say]] which.
* The remake version ''Film/TheFly1986'' has a nightmare dream sequence where Geena Davis gives birth to a squirming maggot-like creature. There's also the deleted Butterfly baby scene.
* There's a good chance that ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}'' is entirely made out of this trope.
* ''Film/TheLazarusEffect'' has Zoe's recurring nightmare of a fire when she was young.
* The entire ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' series is themed around this, as Freddy Krueger attacks his victims through nightmares. Even worse, considering how much power he has over the dreamscape, he is able to manipulate your dreams according to your fears, desires and insecurities. Makes the glove itself feel like being put to sleep in comparison, not to mention a more merciful death at that (let's just say the multitude of freakish nightmares some of the teenagers suffer increase in frequency the further the series progresses rather than describe them).
* Another Creator/WesCraven movie, ''Film/TheSerpentAndTheRainbow'', includes several zombie-themed nightmares suffered by the protagonist.
* In the 1996 film ''Film/TheCableGuy'', the main character Steven has a nightmare in which Chip (Creator/JimCarrey) pounds on the door a few times but there's no answer, but later he bursts through the door and snarls, "I JUST WANT TO HANG OUT. ...NO BIG DEAL!" and chases him. This nightmare is a parody of the chase scene from ''Wolf''.
* The "Moloch Machine" sequence from the silent classic ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''. After witnessing a dreadful accident, Freder hallucinates one of the machines in the lower levels of the city is a shrine to a GodOfEvil, consuming the workers killed in keeping it running like human sacrifices.
* ''Film/TheDayTheEarthCaughtFire'' plays the sequence throughout the movie. What starts with two atomic bombs being activated at the same time, ends with the Earth gradually being pulled towards the Sun.
* Michael and Laurie have these in ''Film/HalloweenII2009''.
* Sarah Connor is plagued by this trope and its [[UsefulNotes/NuclearWeapons contents]] in the movie ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''.
** Likewise, Kyle's dreams/flashbacks in the original movie.
** Given in ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' Ripley has a nightmare about a ChestBurster, the [[Creator/JamesCameron director]] has a thing for this.
* ''Film/{{Monkeybone}}'' has many - a drug that could be described as "Nightmare Fuel" is even a plot point.
* ''Film/VanillaSky'', [[spoiler:the whole movie IS a nightmare, but there are many scenes picturing a dream/nightmare inside a nightmare/dream]]
* The film ''Film/TheGhostAndTheDarkness'' has a scene after the protagonist kills the first lion. The railroad construction is back on track and his wife is coming to visit with their new baby. [[CatapultNightmare And then the other lion comes running out of the grass.]]
* In ''Film/HollowMan'', Linda is fast asleep in bed with the windows wide open. Suddenly, the bed covers slip off of her and Caine crawls onto her bed, takes her underwear off, and begins to rape her. And then she wakes up with the bed covers still on her.
** In a similar manner, ''Film/RosemarysBaby'', has a sequence in which Rosemary is [[spoiler:drugged and undressed by her husband and a local cult, and then raped in her sleep by the devil. She later awakens to discover that she is pregnant, but her husband goes along with her assumption that he "went ahead and did it".]]
* ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' opens with Picard finding himself inside a Borg cube and part of the collective hive mind, before he's experimented on and his eyes are almost pierced by a needle. There's a fakeout where it seems like he's woken up, but then a Borg implant bursts out of his cheek before he wakes up for real.
%% * ''Film/TheWolfman2010''.
* The heroine in ''Film/NextOfKin1982'' experiences two of these over the course of the film, both hinting at events from her childhood and the possibility of a family curse. In the first, she sees herself as a young girl wandering the deserted hallways of the Montclare retirement home while carrying a red ball. In the second, she sees a recent drowning victim [[SurrealHorror swimming towards her window and tapping at it]].
* In ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice'', [[Comicbook/{{Batman}} Bruce]] has several nightmare sequences, the first one being the opening of the film itself, with Bruce reliving [[DeathByOriginStory his parent's murder]], and the day of their funeral, where he accidentally fell into the caves beneath the Wayne estate, disturbing the bats within. Although it's subverted with the "Knightmare", where Bruce finds himself in a wasteland that was once Gotham, as a [[LaResistance resistance fighter]] against an oppressive regime led by Comicbook/{{Superman}}. The fact that the nightmare contains things Bruce doesn't know about at this point, such as [[Comicbook/NewGods Parademons]], and the appearance of [[Comicbook/TheFlash Barry Allen]] at the end with an OminousMessageFromTheFuture, makes this clear this wasn't a dream, but a vision of a BadFuture.
* Rambo has one of these in ''Film/RamboIV'', which culminates in Trautman shooting Rambo in the stomach, which was from the original planned ending for ''Film/FirstBlood''.

* ''Literature/AliceInWonderland''. The original book is a single extended dream sequence, and the various film versions do not skimp on the horror.
** The original ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' might or might not count, but ''The Nursery Alice'' most assuredly does. The text is the classic Carroll story, but the illustrations were apparently created by a morbid impressionist while on a bad acid trip.
** In the 1985 adaptation the White Queen, played by Carol Channing, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrjIVhIeGnw turns into a sheep]], just like in the book, but here the sheep's face is so ghostly and its bleating so unearthly that it's terrifying just to look at. Alice even has a terrified reaction towards it!
** Similarly, the scene where the Duchess' baby transforms from a wailing human child to a writhing, screaming piglet.
** And then there's the [[http://a.dilcdn.com/bl/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/01/jabberwocky.png Jabberwock scene]], which seems to be cruelly engineered to traumatize children. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7dxhbHAGRE Watch if you dare]]. [[spoiler:It looks as though Alice has made her way home, but she's actually still stuck in the world Through the Looking Glass. She can see her parents on the other side of the mirror and cries for their attention, but her mom and dad can't hear or see her and she's left to wander the limbo-like mirror room. She comes upon the ''Jabberwocky'' book and starts to read it -- and then the monster (which could have been co-designed by H.R. Giger and Wayne D. Barlowe) comes charging into the room to eat her and then... that's the cliffhanger ending of the first episode of the two-part special!]]
*** In the original publishing, an illustration of the Jabberwock was intended to be the frontispiece, but was deemed too fearsome.
** How can one babble about Alice in Wonderland being nightmare fuel without including the [[VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice American McGee]] version? She is an asylum patient in the game [[spoiler:After her parents burned alive in a house fire!]] and then there's the whole demon mode thing...*Shudders*
* The nightmare in ''How to Eat Fried Worms''.
* ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'': The island where dreams come true. When the sailor joke about what they would find, the man who had been trapped there screams that it's not daydreams, it's ''[[RealDreamsAreWeirder dreams]]''. Which inspires a proper panic in them. Even after their escape, the man they rescued is [[MindRape in a state of collapse from the horror]].
** Apparently, everyone saw different things, based on nightmares they'd had. Like a boggart from ''Literature/HarryPotter'', except it's a whole island.
* From the Literature/{{Deryni}} books.
** While being held captive by Caitrin and Loris in ''The Bishop's Heir'', Dhugal has a vivid nightmare about facing divine judgement for failing to save Kelson, whose gory corpse rises up from its bier to point an accusing finger at him.
** When Kelson reads Loris' mind during questioning late in ''The King's Justice'', he learns that Camber appeared to Loris in a dream (later speculation attributes this to his possession of Duncan's episcopal ring, which was originally made for Henry Istelyn from an old piece of altar plate associated with Camber himself). Reliving the experience through Loris's eyes, Kelson knows that while Camber spoke of tolerance, Loris so demonized all things Deryni that for him it was a nightmare.
** During his preparatory meditation for Conall's triggering ritual in ''The Quest for Saint Camber'', Morgan gazes on the unconscious and frail Nigel, dressed in Haldane red court robes with one of the state crowns on a pillow above his head. Suddenly, Morgan vividly imagines himself standing in the Haldanes' royal crypt gazing down at Nigel's body on his funeral bier.
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/DeathStar'', a trooper transferred to the titled battle station starts having nightmares, some of them about his own death. They make it hard to sleep. Medical staff is short, so a surgeon reluctantly looks him over, takes his blood, and gives him medication. Then the Death Star fires on a prison planet, the trooper wakes up screaming, and his dreams get exponentially worse. The surgeon tells him that it turns out he's Force-Sensitive. [[spoiler:His dreams come true.]]
* The protagonist of E. F. Benson's "The Room in the Tower" has increasingly ominous dreams about paying a visit to... someone, who keeps sending him off to sleep in that room in the tower. Then, one day, he gets an invitation from a chum, and things go FromBadToWorse.
* In ''[[Literature/DragonLance Dragons of Winter Night]]'', the protagonists suffer through a particularly horrific nightmare.
* The authors of ''Literature/WarriorCats'' seem to like horrific blood filled nightmares [[DiscreditedTrope considering how many there have been in the books]]. Some even feature the characters ''drowning in blood''.
** A notable example is in ''Yellowfang's Secret'', in which Yellowfang is forced to watch kits inflict damage upon each other that is ''far'' beyond what even an adult cat could. Some kits are so young that they haven't even opened their eyes yet.
** Also, Lionpaw frequently experiences nightmares where he unknowingly kills his friend Heatherpaw.
** The trainees in the Dark Forest are subjected to brutal combat training in their dreams each night, and their injuries carry over into the waking world. And if you die in your dream, you die in real life.
* Constantly used in the ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' books, ''I Live In Your Basement!'' having the most by far.
* ''Literature/TheBFG'': The BFG and Sophie make a nightmare for the Queen about giants.
* In ''Literature/AGameOfThrones'', Eddard Stark has recurring dreams about the death of his sister Lyanna, including a particularly infamous flashback that still continues to inspire EpilepticTrees about the circumstances of her passing. Near the end of the book, [[spoiler:while imprisoned, he sees a dream of his dead friend Robert mocking him, only for Robert's visage to crumble away, revealing Littlefinger's face beneath]].
* The ''Literature/StoriesOfNypre'' series mixes this with DreamWithinADream when Nypre gets trapped from the mind altering effects of the Night Land.
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series, sometimes Jack Frost's mischief causes Rachel and Kirsty to have these.
* In ''Literature/ThoseThatWake'', the main characters each have nightmares before their lives are altered.
** In the sequel, Mal has recurring nightmares of Man In Suit.
* In Geoph Essex's ''Lovely Assistant'', the first brief TimeSkip starts off with a very weird (and, this being Geoph Essex, initially humorous) situation which rapidly degenerates into a NightmareSequence before Jenny [[CatapultNightmare wakes up]]. A lot of the [[BadDreams Bad Dream]] is stuff she already knows (or thinks she knows), but there's enough {{Foreshadowing}} (some subtle, some not) to also qualify it as a bit of a [[DreamingOfThingsToCome Dream of Things to Come]].
* Neshi the Tech Detective in ''Literature/TheWandering'' has one in the beginning of the story, where he enters a city where people are [[ImAHumanitarian feasting on one another]], and on his exit from it, an army approaches and he gets stabbed by a spear, with a voice calling "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I weep for thee." The nightmare is later revealed to be shared by various members of [[LaResistance the Jerusalemites]], who believe that it is actually a prophecy.
* In ''Literature/WetGoddess'':
** After leaving to Evergreen State College, Zack has a nightmare of dolphins being confined in wooden boxes and rotting alive. It later turns out to be a message sent by Ruby.
** Zack conjures one up himself to show Ruby the taboos of human sexuality.
* ''Literature/{{Manifestation}}'': One of the main characters, Tock Zipporah, suffers from a vivid nightmare about a figure from her past.
* In ''Literature/TheSilverCodex'', Xarissa's dreams are these she has to dream about horrible things happening in town.[[spoiler:Tevan has one where his mom blames him for being put in an asylum, and his abusive father say he will turn into him.]]
* Midway through ''Literature/MidnightsChildren'', Saleem has a nightmare of his time in the Widows' Hostel, with the Widow depicted as a grotesque, green-and-black monster who tears children in half. The narration for the scene is suitably confusing and chaotic, just like a real dream.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Katniss' dreams are usually a horrifying mishmash of bad memories and fear-gripped imagination, like everyone getting their tongues cut out or all her loved ones screaming in agony.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The ''Series/SuperhumanSamuraiSyberSquad'' episode "To Sleep, Perchance to Scream" is centered around nightmares.
* Most of the ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' episode "The Attic" is a parallel nightmare world in which inmates' fears can kill them not only in the dream sphere, but also in real life.
* This happens in the ''Series/TheGreenGreenGrass'' episode "Bothered and Bewildered", when Boycie has a nightmare after thinking that Mrs. Cakeworthy cursed him.
* In the ''Series/DrakeAndJosh'' episode "Mindy's Back", Josh has a nightmare in which he tells Drake that he and Mindy are dating, and then [[YourHeadAsplode Drake's head explodes]].
* In the ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' episode "Freudian Sleep":
** Niles has a nightmare about being a terrible father. He finds himself in a Caligari-esque bedroom, and has all kinds of accidents in raising his baby, including his dropping it and the baby shattering like a plaster vase. Thankfully, the creepiness is mitigated by the funny exchange that occurs when Niles wakes up:
--->'''Niles''' ''(terrified)'': I can't do it!\\
'''Daphne''' ''(groggily)'': [[DoubleEntendre Just as well; I'm too tired anyway]].
** In addition, during Daphne's nightmare, she dreams that Niles is sleeping with a sexy female version of Martin.
** Frasier has two nightmares: a creepy one where he dreams that he killed Niles and married Daphne, while keeping Niles's ashes in a tin next to the coffee; and a panic-stricken one where his radio booth fills up with dozens of telephones, only one of which is ringing, which he frantically tries to find and answer while Roz's booth morphs into a car dashboard and she yells that if he doesn't find the right telephone in five seconds, [[Film/ThelmaAndLouise she's going to drive them off a cliff.]]
* Played with on ''Series/TheDailyShow'' for Hallowe'en 2001. Creator/SteveCarell, reporting on a haunted house, complains that it isn't scary enough. A dream sequence follows involving his high school gym coach, Creator/StephenColbert as the show's new host, and clips from ''Corky Romano''. He wakes up screaming - next to Jon Stewart. They ''both'' scream. [[spoiler:But only because they weren't expecting to see a camera in their bedroom.]]
* The "Dreams" episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'' uses this as its premise.
* Played for laughs in the ''Series/{{Blackadder}} The Third'' episode ''Ink and Incapability'' where Blackadder has a nightmare which starts off with Baldrick "waking" him up and ends up with Baldrick turned into an Alsatian. Then Baldrick wakes him up.
-->"Hang on a second, if we go on like this you're going to turn into an Alsatian again."
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' uses this in many an episode.
* Much of the plot of ''Series/TwinPeaks'' centered around Agent Cooper's dream in the second episode.
* ''Series/BigBadBeetleborgs'' had an episode centered around this trope, in the episode "Booger Man" there was a monster called Booger Man (also known as Booger) who was a boogeyman that came to Hillhurst and gave the house monsters nightmares. Flabber has a nightmare involving the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe. At the end they send him over to the Crustaceons lair to give Les Fortunes nightmares.
* Played for laughs in the ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' episode "A Nightmare on Dick Street", since the aliens never had dreams before.
* ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' plays it for laughs with the episode "It May Look Like a Walnut", although the AssimilationPlot in Rob's dream actually is kind of unsettling.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Jessie}}'' opened with a nightmare where Jessie was eaten by a giant version of Mr. Kipling.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'', after Jerry gets his Uncle Leo arrested for shoplifting, he has a nightmare about Leo working out in prison, clearly planning to get revenge on him once he gets out, the whole sequence being a ShoutOut to ''Film/CapeFear''.
* ''[[Series/{{V 1983}} V: The Final Battle]]'' opens with a claustrophobic sequence in which Mike Donovan is trying to escape a Visitor mothership with his son Sean, being pursued through the corridors by their soldiers. He breaks down when Sean is blasted to death, upon which Julie wakes him up at resistance headquarters.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' cold-opens with the titular character having a nightmare related to a recurring BigBad. After a few very well-crafted snap-cuts and surreal rapid-fire imagery, however, the impact is somewhat reduced when the sequence cuts to a shot of hundreds of versions of the BigBad, each holding random case-related objects.

* Music/PinkFloyd, [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=FCMHmDnfD6I as seen here.]] Gerald Scarfe deserves a lot of credit for that. Hard to believe he'd end up working on Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', isn't it?
* The video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTqdPJLTdOk "Easy"]] by Music/BarenakedLadies has little to do with the song itself, and a lot more to do with bloodstained warped-fairytale imagery. The crows don't help.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tool&search_type=&aq=f All videos]] by Music/{{Tool}}.
* Music/IronMaiden has many (mostly by Steve Harris, who must sleep horribly), most notably "Infinite Dreams" and "Dream of Mirrors". Also, "The Number of the Beast" was based on both ''Film/DamienOmenII'' and a nightmare of Harris.

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'' suffers through nightmare sequences on at least three different occasions:
** In "Connie's New Job Offer," Miss Brooks dreams she leaves Madison and becomes the mayor of a city in New Jersey. However, the dreams ends with Councilman Conklin impeaching her for her tyrannical rule over the city.
** In "Connie Tries To Forget Mr. Boynton," Miss Brooks' efforts to forget about Mr. Boynton leads her to see his face on everyone: the American ambassador to India, a society matron, a fourteen-year-old boy, even a baby. Fortunately, ItsAllJustADream.
** In "Friendship," Miss Brooks suffers a recurring dream where a man chases her with a knife.

* In ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon'', at the end of the first act, Kevin Price decides to screw Rule #72 and leave Africa for Orlando, where he always wanted to go instead. His first scene in the second act finds him not in Orlando but in {{Hell}}. Once this "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" ends, it's revealed that he passed out at the bus station.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'':
** The game has literal Nightmare Fuel in the form of a [[ShoutOut Cask of]] [[Creator/EdgarAllanPoe Amon Tillado]], a wine that gives the drinker dark visions of the local EldritchAbomination rising to destroy the world.
** Also the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDidcsqWres nightmares]] you have when you sleep in Erana's garden or under her staff.
* ''BioShockInfinite/BurialAtSea Episode 2'' begins with a happy dream in Paris that quickly turns into a nightmare, [[spoiler:with Elizabeth chasing a girl through the dark and stormy streets, passing a picture that foreshadows Atlas's torture of her, and ending with Elizabeth surrounded by screaming children trapped inside burning vents.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', the creepy music and imagery in Shadow's first dream.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll'' starts with Phoenix having a dream of a dark giant judge about to hammer him to the ground. [[spoiler:The dream returns for the final case, as Phoenix is in the depths of despair over Maya being kidnapped by the plans of his current client who is a sociopathic bastard and obviously guilty.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/NightsIntoDreams Nights: Journey of Dreams]]'':
** Helen feels guilty for constantly spending more time with her friends than with her mother. Shortly into her opening cutscene, she is walking down the street with two friends when she stops and sees something that reminds her of her mother in a store window. As she starts feeling guilty again, her mother's image appears faintly in the window. She gives Helen a sad gaze, but this abruptly turns into empty red eyes and a hideous snarl. The expression is just distorted enough to start heading into the UncannyValley, and the suddenness of it makes it as good as a screamer.
** Technically, every boss battle in both games is one of these. Most of the really creepy, surreal ones are in ''Journey of Dreams'', but Wizeman is horror in either.
* ''VideoGame/DarkMessiah'' has a few nightmare cutscenes, which are made worse by the fact that they're in '''first person''' like the rest of the game. The worst part of those dreams was [[spoiler:they turn out to be the truth, and the thing you thought was real was the ACTUAL dream.]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Except for the one with Zelda, any dream, hallucination, transformation sequence, flashback, abstract idea, or dizzy state in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' is overflowing with nightmarish elements.
** Nightmares open both ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword''. In ''Ocarina'', it's a precognitive dream foretelling Ganondorf chasing Impa and Zelda out of Castle Town. In ''Skyward Sword'', it's a dream about [[EldritchAbomination the Imprisoned]].
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' has one induced by Lanayru. It serves as exposition about the origin of the Fused Shadows. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWlJ2Zk62rU The images shown are very surreal.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ToyStory'', the first BossBattle happens when Woody has a nightmare of being attacked by a flying, real-laser-shooting Buzz Lightyear. [[YourMindMakesItReal If he dies in the nightmare, he dies for real]]. It's also [[ThatOneBoss a particularly hard boss fight.]]
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' has the "Dream Twister" Secret Project, which gives the known and liked Mind [[BodyHorror Worms]] a 50% bonus to their psionic attack by (judging by the cinematic) allowing them to tap into their victims' specific fears.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lva8L-J8x04 The clip that's played when the project is completed]] is based on the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQLLabj8Iyk Silent Scream]] from Baraka.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' has multiple dream sequences throughout. Most consist merely of {{Breaking Speech}}es, although the one you get just after receiving the Slayer Form is kind of creepy...
* Entering a little girl's dreams in ''VideoGame/YumeNikki''? That can't possibly be so-OHMYGODWHATWASTHAT!? Madotsuki, you have problems.
* In a similar vein as the above, ''VideoGame/LSDDreamEmulator'' is just as disturbing.
* ''[[VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete]]'' has a brief but remarkably puissant sequence of nightmares. As Alex sleeps in the middle of the woods, we get treated to a cutscene of his nightmare. The kidnapped love interest, Luna, appears against a black background. Her singing can be heard in the background, along with her crying out Alex's name twice and a strange gurgling sound. The camera begins to zoom in on her and her shouts become more frantic. Suddenly, the singing stops and her voice warps into an unnatural low pitch (if there's such a thing as an UncannyValley for voices, this sequence nails it perfectly) and a bloody liquid suddenly floods the bottom of the screen.
* ''VideoGame/FearEquation'' uses these as a means of indicating whenever the omnipresent fog is attacking your passengers by manifesting any recent nightmares they claim to have had. The effectiveness of said attack depends on what defenses have been constructed.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' has sequences where monsters chase you down, and all you can do is run and hide. They are referred to as "The Nightmare" by the game tutorial, but since Harry is the only speaking character to experience them, they barely get acknowledged, much less referred to by name.
** In VideoGame/SilentHill3, the opening level is a nightmare, which is ended by Heather being killed and waking up in a diner. [[spoiler:Turns out dreams come true in Silent Hill]].
** VideoGame/SilentHill2 seemingly shifts into this type of experience during and after exiting the [[AbandonedHospital hospital]]. This is the only time of the game where the town becomes [[DarkWorld dark]], for one. The character is lead to a "Historical Society"; from there, James encounters features unlikely to exist, such as a very-very long stairway, and very deep man-made-looking holes that don't cause injury from jumping into them. Also, one room has a deep hole that is protected by a prison bar-gate, with doors and ceiling features on the walls making this a hallway that has been rotated down 90 degrees. Additionally, James encounters a labyrinthine area with dead-end halls occasionally found. The nightmare seems to end after James gains a significant insight, and this places James back into the foggy town from earlier.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Vaermina, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] of [[YourWorstNightmare Nightmares]], exists to cause these in mortals. By inflicting a mortal with ceaseless, horrific nightmares, she can cause a full blown MindRape.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'':
*** In the quest "Through a Nightmare, Darkly", the PC uses a magical amulet to enter the nightmare world of a mage in order to rescue him. In his or her skivvies, no less.
*** In the Daedric quest of the aforementioned Vaermina, Vaermina sends the PC into a nightmarish world of burning corpses, molten lava, zombie-o-rama, only to find that the entire quest is the never-ending nightmare of a wizard who stole an artifact from Vaermina.
* ''VideoGame/FableII'' has a sequence in which [[spoiler:after you are shot by Lucien, you enter [[LotusEaterMachine a dreamlike state where Rose and your parents are still alive]], and live on a peaceful farm. At first, this is very pleasant, until nighttime. You wake up to the sound of a music box and leave the farm, but your sister follows. If you head down a path beyond a now-opened gate, your sister begs you not to leave and eventually vanishes with a desperate BigNo, and the area outside turns out to be full of fire and dead bodies, all while [[SoundtrackDissonance a music box is playing in the background]].]]
* This comprises the latter half of the ''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}'' quest Dream Mentor.
* Vincent's nightmares in ''VideoGame/{{Catherine}}''. He has to make his way up staircases made of blocks to reach the top. If he fails (falling off the stage, crushed by falling blocks, caught in traps or being killed by the weird creatures that pursue him), then [[YourMindMakesItReal he dies in real life]].
* Gabriel's recurrent nightmare is a very important plot point in the first game, ''[[VideoGame/GabrielKnight Sins of the Fathers]]''. [[spoiler:It is actually tied to Gunter's last moments, and has been tormenting his descendants for 300 years.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AmbridgeMansion'', at the beginning of the games, you play through Silas' nightmares. You wander around a creepy monster-infested house until you die in your dream.
* The battles with Scarecrow in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' are this, thanks to copious amounts of fear toxins.
* ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon'' is chock full of these.
** In the first generation, a lot of {{Foreshadowing}} is involved, such as hinting that [[spoiler:the Point Man shares a bond with Alma, since, as Paxton Fettel says "She cannot see into your mind, but you can see into hers"]] or that [[spoiler:lieutenant Chen]] will be killed by a monster in ''Perseus Mandate''.
** The second game uses these as a sign that [[spoiler:Alma is trying to approach Becket sexually]].
* In the same vein of the series above, ''VideoGame/NightmareHouse 2'' has several of these. [[spoiler:It's actually Romero trying to mess with your head by using his mind control Core.]]
* In VideoGame/{{Bastion}}, The Kid walks right into one of these while exploring Jawson's Bog, thanks to the [[MushroomSamba hallucinogenic properties of the place]]. In his dream, he has to fight his way through a series of unsettling landscapes... [[spoiler:with the Narrator [[MissionControlIsOffItsMeds actively speaking against him.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' features one when Konoko visits her father's lab. It's a [[NintendoHard particularly]] [[DifficultySpike tough]] level, featuring consecutive boss fights against the game's BigBad Muro, Konoko's superior Griffin and finally Konoko herself, interspersed with trippy imagery.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'', [[spoiler:both the Hunter's Dream and Nightmare of Mensis are formed by two rivaling [[EldritchAbomination Great Ones]] with surrogate hosts, The Nightmare of Mensis was formed by Mergo using Queen Yharnam and Micolash as the host to grant insight to the School of Mensis, while the Hunter's Dream was formed by Moon Presence using [[DeathSeeker Gehrman]] as the host in order to [[StartXToStopX undo the Great One's unintentional madness]] brought to Yharnam, and this is the exact origin of the Hunt. The [[CosmicHorrorStory entire story of Yharnam]] revolves around the two rivaling nightmares, and you can explore the two nightmares to uncover the truth of the dreams.]]
* During the two nighttime stages in ''VideoGame/{{Scratches}}'', both vaguely centered on [[ArtifactOfDoom an evil African mask]] hidden in the mansion. And each time Micheal wakes up, he hears [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight scratching noises coming from the basement]].
* The ''VideoGame/DeepSleepTrilogy'' has the protagonist stuck inside of a lucid-nightmare, being chased by figures who resemble moving shadows. This is ultimately played with though, as it turns out early in the second game that these are ''more'' than just dreams and the protagonist is actively stuck inside it.
* If the PlayerCharacter avoids socializing on her wedding night in ''VideoGame/{{Guenevere}}'', she's rewarded with a dream of being brutally murdered in her wedding dress, capped off with the appearance of a threatening, ominous young man.
* Zero's opening cutscene in ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' has Zero waking up only to be ordered by Dr. Wily to destroy his arch-nemesis. Zero then suffers a headache as he's being forced to carry out those orders. The scene cuts to a laboratory, followed by Sigma screaming for his life, then we're treated to still shots of some Reploids brutally murdered with their mangled body parts and blood splattered throughout, Zero's blood-soaked hands, more dead bodies, then a close-up of one of his victims before finally waking up for real. Zero implies that he has this nightmare more than once.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/180 This]] ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'' strip.
* ''WebComic/DeadOfSummer'' has one, starting [[http://www.deadofsummer.org/2007/10/08/comic-293-bad-dreams/ here]] and ending [[http://www.deadofsummer.org/2007/10/24/comic-2100-bug-bites/ here]]. [[spoiler:The latter part isn't just a dream.]]
* No one seems to sleep that well in ''Webcomic/SlightlyDamned'', as a significant portion of the characters get either nightmares or RecurringDreams.
* ''Webcomic/ZombieAndMummy'' "...[[http://www.zombie-and-mummy.org/have_a/nightmare.html have a nightmare]]"
* In WebComic/ForestHill, the young rabbit Kaleb has one about a girl who he wants nothing to do with.
* Several of Celina's imp's are shown in ''Webcomic/{{Imp}}''. He tends to bite his hand and talk in his sleep as well.
* Cail and Gabe, two of the main characters in ''Webcomic/DearChildren'' have unsettling and distorted dreams at the end of the second chapter.
* In ''Webcomic/CharbyTheVampirate'' Zeno has a [[FlashbackNightmare flashback nightmare]] of being vivisected alive his first night in the cabin and one of the individuals trying to manipulate him gives him further bad dreams in the attempt, some of which are shown in comic.
* Early in ''Webcomic/DevilsCake'' Zoshi turns Tad's [[http://devilscake.smackjeeves.com/comics/285009/book1-ch1-pg22/ nice dream]] about his upcoming date with Kea into a nightmare. It is implied he's done this to everyone who has ever shown a romantic interest in her.
* In WebComic/DanTheSnowman, the eponymous hero seemingly has a [[FlashbackNightmare flashback nightmare]] that may or may not be his [[http://danthesnowman.com/comic/liars-scientists-and-thieves/ailleurs origin story]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* There are a number of nightmare sequences in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest''. One of the more memorable/downright disturbing examples is [[http://z10.invisionfree.com/SOTF_V2/index.php?showtopic=1744 Damien Carter-Madison's death scene]]
* [[http://chesspiece.smackjeeves.com/comics/561130/dannys-nightmare-fuel/ These]] [[http://chesspiece.smackjeeves.com/comics/561131/drink-his-blood-damn-it/ three]] [[http://chesspiece.smackjeeves.com/comics/561132/you-killed-your-father/ panels]] of [[http://chesspiece.smackjeeves.com/ Chess Piece]]. Very freaky.
-->'''Phantom''': ''Papa's '''blood''' is delicious, Papa's '''blood''' is pure, it is essence and we are bathe[d] in bless. So drink... and be happy. After all. You killed him.''
* The Phase novels from the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. Phase has nasty nightmares really often, sometimes several in one night. and given that Phase has suffered TransformationTrauma for real, and has fought an unkillable EldritchAbomination, and has been tortured by a MadScientist, he has ''horrific'' nightmares.
* On ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'': The first two minutes of "Desperate Times". Don't worry, [[TheChick Pegs]], [[spoiler:Latch is not coming back.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts:
** Disney/DerFuehrersFace: In which Donald dreams he has to work slave labor in a Nazi factory.
** Disney/PlutosJudgementDay: Pluto is scolded by Mickey for his habit of chasing cats, which prompts the dog to have a nightmare where he is lured into a courtroom composed of a hellish cavern where [[JokerJury everyone else in the court is a cat]]... a [[CatsAreMean demonic black cat]], at that. Poor Pluto doesn't even get a chance to defend himself, as the cats cruelly torment him throughout the brief trial before finding him guilty and sentencing him to be ''executed'' by being ''lowered into a bonfire''. When he wakes up it all turns out to have been an OpinionChangingDream, because now he'll be nice to kittens.
** WesternAnimation/TheMadDoctor: Mickey attempts to rescue Pluto from a very insane and sadistic Mad Doctor/Scientist who tortures the pup with a glee, having to face a lot of horrors that the doctor/scientist's lair provided, and waking up only after almost being cut in two while being StrappedToAnOperatingTable.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'': It happens to Scrooge twice, at the beginning of "Earthquack" and the beginning of "The Unbreakable Bin." Both dreams involve Scrooge in his money bin, being attacked by the Beagle Boys.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The episode "Bart The Murderer" features Skinner's corpse appearing in several places including ''rising from the grave'', sinisterly droning, "You've killed me, Bart!"
** Another one in the episode "New Kid On The Block", where Bart falls for Laura, the neighbour girl next door; upon finding out that she already has a boyfriend, he has a dream sequence where she says "I have something wonderful to tell you: I have a boyfriend!" then grabbing his [[BeatStillMyHeart still beating heart]] saying "You won't be needing this!" and throwing it against the wall.
** The entire story arc of "Treehouse Of Horror II" is built around Bart, Lisa and Homer's nightmares from eating too much candy.
** Bart dreams that the bus crashes at the start of the second act of "Treehouse Of Horror IV".
** Again, in the second act of "Treehouse Of Horror VI", the children have nightmares in a parody of ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet''.
** "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" has an unconscious Lisa experiencing a series of nightmares, ending with her being confronted by the creatures from an {{expy}} of ''Literature/WhereTheWildThingsAre'', who turn out to be friendly and teach her that it's okay for so-called "smart" people to get scared.
** In ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E9ElViajeMisteriosoDeNuestroJomer El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Jomer]]'' Homer's hallucinatory DreamSequence -- due to the effects of eating Guatemalan insanity peppers and candle wax -- provides many opportunities for surreal animated sequences. It starts off as a nightmare, but after a while Homer gets more used to it and it becomes a dream.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Comes with a severe case of MoodWhiplash in the episode "Nightmares and Daydreams". Aang is nervous about the invasion of the Fire Nation, and is having nightmares. The first two are funny, with Aang about to face a giant Fire Lord but missing his pants and forgetting to study for a math test. The third however, is an insane and freakish affair that looks like it came straight out of ''TheRing'' ([[DefangedHorrors sorta]]). It features Toph missing her eyes, Sokka, Katara, and Aang being engulfed in mud, fire, and ice while a giant fire takes the shape of Ozai with an evil laugh and attacks Aang, Momo eerily putting his finger to his mouth, and finally Aang suddenly in a field, watching as it is symbolically destroyed by Sozin's Comet. You can understand why he decides to stop sleeping. And then he starts having hallucinations of [[MoodWhiplash Momo and Appa arguing and getting into an epic sword fight]].
** Also, in Season 1 Aang had several nightmares about the day he ran away and was frozen in the iceberg. The last one we see starts off fine, with Aang flying with Appa while his friends ride on his glider and a giant Momo. Then he sees the storm, and when he warns his friends he notices that they are not there. Then Monk Gyatso shows up and asks him why he ran away before disintegrating.
** At one point, Aang also dreams of losing control of the Avatar State, and is outside his body while it was killing people.
** And Zuko's dream in "The Earth King", where he's being crowned Fire Lord with [[GoodAngelBadAngel dragons representing Azula and Iroh]] at his side when the audience turns to dust, and we then see Zuko's mother sinking into the ground, while the Azula dragon tells him to "go to sleep, ''just like mother''". This scene was originally supposed to show her being ''eaten'' by the Azula dragon, but they decided that was going too far. He then wakes up and walks around before noticing that he's bald with airbender tattoos, and then wakes up for real.
* ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy'' began to take its decidedly surreal and insane turn near the end of its run. E.g, an episode called "Hermit Ren", which was deeply bizarre right from the beginning with Ren and Stimpy living in a decaying carcass, but didn't get truly horrifying until Ren, frustrated by Stimpy's stupidity and bad habits, decides to become a hermit. The head hermit assigns him a cave, in which he is sealed for eternity. Once inside the cave the real disturbing nature of the cartoon is shown, with Ren's slow descent into complete insanity rendered in disturbing detail and depth. At one point Ren takes an ancient, decayed scarecrow of a previous hermit and attempts to talk to it, only to have it verbally mock him in return, changing its position with each jump cut back to it. At one point, he starts suffering severe delusions where ''the flesh on his hands melts off'' (in graphic detail), and he runs gibbering and screaming throughout the cave. When he looks back to his scarecrow dummy companion, he finds that suddenly it's sporting a horrifying, watery eyed version of ''Ren's face.'' And that's only scratching the surface of the traumatizing imagery of that episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog'''s final episode was full of these, the worst being a horrifying CGI monstrosity quietly telling Courage, "You're not perfect." You can find a low-quality clip of that one scene [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AXseEnXtsc here]], if you dare.
* The ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' episode "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg", wherein Hank experiences a disturbing hallucination of himself and his friends being (paintball) gunned down by the episode's antagonists. The sequence plays like a bad acid trip -- probably a little too effectively. (DerangedAnimation runs rampant.)
** The episode "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Hill" has a scene where Peggy dreams about dooming a convent to Hell for posing as a nun to get a full-time teaching job.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'':
** Tommy gets a minor cut from a thorn bush and has a disturbing dream in which his arm is torn open and stuffing comes out (inspired by a damaged teddy bear that appears in the same episode).
** Undoubtedly the scariest dream sequence in ''Rugrats'' is the dream Angelica has in the episode where she finds out that she might have a baby brother/sister. It begins with Angelica hearing a baby crying and finds her parents fawning over the new baby, saying how "precious" and "adorable" it is while not knowing who Angelica is. After the mom and dad leave, Angelica talks to the baby, and, much in the same matter as Tommy and the gang, Angelica's new baby brother can talk. However, he's more like WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy's [[EnfanteTerrible Stewie]] minus the evil humor and with horrifyingly deep and raspy voice (that is in fact, a dead-on impersonation of Edward G. Robinson), and tells Angelica that this house isn't big enough for the both of them, and says that Angelica (the "old baby") should be gone permanently. Angelica tries to tell her parents about it, but of course don't believer, and then they force her to live in the garage. The baby finds her, and for not following his advice he plans to "teach [her] a lesson". She flees from him, but the baby keeps finding her, and growing every time there's an encounter between them. The dream enters its horrifying climax as Angelica's now Godzilla-sized baby brother catches Angelica in her getaway car, wondering "what a toy car would taste like". It all ends with Angelica screaming, "No! You can't eat me, I'm your sister!" with the baby replying, "WELL NOW YOU'RE NUM-NUMS!"
** A Halloween episode of the later series had Chuckie having a nightmare in which he turns into a Lon Chaney Jr style wolfman.
** Then there's the MonsterClown one that Chuckie had in one episode.
---> "I'm not Tommy!"
** In the same episode, Chaz has a very similar one at the end...
---> "I'm not Stu! HUHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Catscratch}}'' episode "Evil", Waffle wakes up to find out his fur is falling out- Mr Blik tells him that it's because he's cursed and evil. Waffle actually believes it. he has two nightmares in one he turns into a lizard-like beast and then some bug monster- then he eats Gordon and Human Kimberly, in another one he zaps Hovis the butler with a beam from his eyes and laughs manically. He is heard doing Evil Laughter in his sleep but then he covers up his mouth.
* The ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' episode "Rock A Bye Ed" is centered around this trope.
* The German film ''WesternAnimation/{{Felidae}}'' features quite a few of these, the most notable of which has [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel Gregor Mendel]] ranting about hybrid plant experiments while menacing the main character with thousands of cat corpse marionettes. This actually happens.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' featured the Sandman as a villain who puts everyone in the entire world to sleep. The girls defeat him in this crazy and disturbing dream sequence...thingy featuring chickens, a praying mantis, and trippy oil projector backgrounds.
* ''WesternAnimation/NightmareNed''. The ''entire show'' is a string of nightmare sequences inflicted upon poor Ned every time he slept, and every episode ends with him feeling terrified and paranoid. Oh, and it's a Creator/{{Disney}} show. No lie.
** ''VideoGame/NightmareNed'' also had a PC game made by Disney Interactive. The entire game is one big sequence of nightmares, and to get the good ending you have to solve puzzles and reveal the shadowy monsters that plague Ned's dreams.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' had Doug suffering from reoccurring nightmares when he couldn't bring himself to see TheReveal of [[MonsterDelay the monster's true form]] in the horror movie ''The Abnormal''. He is finally cured when he is dragged to the films final showing by his dog Porkchop, who holds his eyes open so he can see that the monster's costume is depressingly lame (one can even see the zipper up the back). It also turns out his friends were too afraid to see the monster, and Roger denies it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TwiceUponATime'' (which is about a DreamLand), the fool heroes Ralph and Mum are briefly trapped in a ''waking'' nightmare in which they are attacked by sentient office supplies -- making matters worse, the heroes are only inches tall...
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' has [[{{Satan}} Lucius]] suffering from these after Jimmy casually says YouOweMe. Even though Jimmy would probably never collect, he has nightmare about having to do degrading things for him.
* The opening scene of the ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' episode "Psychocrypt." Made worse when you realize that it ''isn't'' a nightmare, but a form of MindRape the Queen is using on Zachary ''and'' his wife...
** There was also one of these in "Scarecrow." Niko has a nasty nightmare after the Scarecrow attacks her. She dreams of waking up in her own grave, and the Scarecrow jumping in to strangle her with his bare hands.
* The Russian short ''Animation/HisWifeIsAHen'' has the main character go through one. It's telling about [[DerangedAnimation the rest of the short]] that the only real indication that it ''is'' a dream is the fact that the character awakens from it.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Rainbow Dash's dream that introduces "May The Best Pet Win". [[spoiler:All the cast's pets appear, merge into [[MixAndMatchCritters one creature]], then Opal [[http://images.wikia.com/mlp/images/c/ce/Owlowiscious_Change_9_S02E07.png pops out of the thing's mouth]] like a [[Franchise/{{Alien}} xenomorph's]] tongue.]] Freaky.
** Scootaloo's dreams in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E6SleeplessInPonyville Sleepless in Ponyville]]" turn into nightmares based on Rainbow Dash's [[GhostStory Ghost Stories]].
** Sweetie Belle's dream in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E20ForWhomTheSweetieBelleToils For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils]]", fueled by a guilty conscience and directed by [[DreamWeaver Princess Luna]], ends with a nightmarish montage of a BadFuture for her sister.
** All three of the Cutie Mark Crusaders get nightmare sequences in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E4BloomAndGloom Bloom & Gloom]]" - starting with Apple Bloom's [[DreamWithinADream recursive dreams]], and later as Princess Luna shows her Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo's dreams fuelled by their own anxieties.
** ''Everypony'' gets them, including Princess Luna herself, in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E13DoPrincessesDreamOfMagicSheep Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?]]", caused by the Tantabus, a creature that creates and feeds on nightmares.
** Starlight Glimmer and Luna have their own nightmare sequences in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS7E10ARoyalProblem A Royal Problem]]", Starlight because she regrets her rash decision to swap Luna and Celestia's cutie marks, and Luna because she is failing so badly at performing the role Celestia normally fills.
* [[WesternAnimation/ColorClassics ''Play Safe! Play Safe!'']]: Scariest trains ever!
* The Creator/FamousStudios ''ComicStrip/LittleLulu'' and ''Little Audrey'' cartoons have a few of these. In "Musica-Lulu", Lulu is knocked unconscious and in her ensuing dream, she is tried by a KangarooCourt of musical instruments who then chase her.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' begins the PostScriptSeason with a reprise of Kim and Ron dancing at the prom in ''[[TheMovie So The Drama]]''... until Kim shrivels up and melts into synthodrone goo. Ron then [[CatapultNightmare wakes up screaming]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' episode "No Chipmunk is an Island", Alvin, Simon, and Theodore move into separate bedrooms after a fight, only to have nightmares about what would happen if they were left unchecked by each other's presence:
** Alvin dreams of living in a ridiculously opulent house with an enormous artificial wave pool. However, it uses so much electricity that a torch-and-pitchfork mob, led by Dave, Simon, and Theodore, chops a tree down onto his power lines, causing the wave pool to malfunction and send him spiralling down a whirlpool.
** Simon dreams of being a multi-Nobel Prize-winning scientist and inventor who is assisted in his discoveries by robotic versions of Alvin and Theodore. However, [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters they quickly break their programming]] and destroy Simon's experiments, then pursue him around his lab before throwing him into a glass tube that shrinks him to a height of six inches.
** Theodore dreams of life in an idyllic country cottage, where he is free to cook elaborate recipes with enormous portions. However, he eats so much that he and his teddy bear inflate like balloons and float away, attracting unwelcome attention from the US Air Force.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' has some.
** In the episode "Monster", Daria and her friend, Jane, make a documentary for class about Daria's sister Quinn. Daria dreams that she has become her fashion-obsessed sister. In the nightmare, Daria has the body and voice of Quinn and her own head, while Jane has the bodies and voices of Quinn's equally vacuous friends and her own head.
** In "Through the Lens, Darkly", Daria believes herself to be vain for getting contacts and so has a nightmare where she goes through a Hall of Mirrors and her body gets distorted by the mirrors.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Known to be truth in television. Casual nightmares can be horrifying to the extreme, overshadowing the goriest of gratuitous horror films. Reports of dreams such as watching a person being skinned alive, or worse ''doing the skinning'' in hyper-realistic detail. What is truly baffling about these dreams is that they can and do occur to people who are well adjusted, and don't reflect reality to a great extent. In other cases, intense horrifying imagery is one indicator of repressed emotions, trauma, and emotional baggage. Even then, the nightmares may seem disproportionately frightening. And God help you if you have nightmares 5 times per week. That'd ruin the relief of rest.