The original Horrorsoft game, and the precursor to the ''VideoGame/{{Elvira}}'' games and ''VideoGame/WaxWorks''.

The game begins with the player character returning to his [[TownWithADarkSecret home village]] after receiving a letter from his father, the local pastor. Upon arriving, however, he finds the townsfolk are strangely hostile, and his father has simply vanished. He has to unravel the village’s secret, find his father, and bring an end to his personal nightmare.

The actual game consists of exploring the village, [[KleptomaniacHero gathering items]] so you can use them somewhere else, and interrogating people for hints and solutions. In order to finish your quest, you have to find the local “bad people” (manual’s words, people) and turn them in to the police. You also have to deal with three supernatural horrors (a vampire, a witch, and a hellhound), and finally deal with the Devil. (It would be a spoiler, [[TheUntwist except the intro pretty much gives it all away.]])

The actual gameplay is noticeably different from Horrosoft’s later titles. For starters, it’s a combination of a parser and a mouse, [[YouCantGetYeFlask in all]] [[PixelHunt that entails.]] It also runs on a timer; if you’re not in the right spot at the right time, or forget to grab something before a specific point, you’re screwed. (Later titles forgo the timer in favor of simply blocking access back.) This can make for a very frustrating experience, especially given the sheer number of things you have to do in each game day. There are also no RPGElements; this is an AdventureGame through and through.

The DOS version is available from [[ Good Old Games.]] The Amiga version sports far superior graphics and sound, although both games are fairly identical. Unlike the ''Elvira''/''Waxworks'' games, ''Personal Nightmare'' has never been rereleased in any actual bundle.
!!This Game Contains Examples Of:
* [[spoiler:AWinnerIsYou: You banish the forces of darkness forever... Or have you?]]
* AnticlimaxBoss: You finally reach the Devil, [[spoiler: and he goes down with one vial of holy water.]]
* ConspicuouslyLightPatch: In one house, there's a part of the wall that is obviously lighter than everything else. [[spoiler:Taking the hammer to it reveals a body interred inside.]]
* GuideDangIt: Figuring out the exact sequence of events either requires a walkthrough, or a lot of playthroughs.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:Mason]] tries to run you down, [[spoiler:only to crash into a tree and die.]]
* HumanSacrifice
* InUniverseGameClock
* InventoryManagementPuzzle: You can only carry a limited amount of items. A suitcase gives you some extra room, but you can't simply select an item that's currently inside the case without taking the time to manually open/select it. You can also store items in your wardrobe at the inn, but it's a good idea to close and lock it while you're away.
* KillItWithWater: How you escape [[spoiler:the witch]].
* NPCScheduling: Finding or avoiding [=NPCs=] relies heavily upon this.
* PoliceAreUseless: Averted. The only way to get rid of the “bad people” (besides the supernatural ones), is to bring evidence to the local police.
* SpoilerOpening: The opening sequence shows a preacher being struck by lightning, followed by {{Evil Laugh}}ter before the Devil emerges from the flames.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: Not as many as usual, but still plenty for what you’re dealing with.
* TownWithADarkSecret
* TrialAndErrorGameplay
* UnwinnableByDesign: Screw the devil; this game will be your personal nightmare.
* UnwinnableByMistake: The DOS version is impossible to beat because [[spoiler: throwing holy water at the Devil]] gets you burned alive.
* WeNeedToGetProof: The police can't arrest anyone without the evidence you bring them.