Time Traveling In Your Dreams

By on January 21, 2013 // Time Travel // 35 Comments

In the past few weeks, I’ve had at least two dreams involving time travel.

The first, I found myself in 1995. It was that strange variety of time travel involving the human consciousness — I inhabited the body of my younger self. Most of the dream, I spent my time trying to convince everyone that I was from the future. I rattled off a few major events — 9/11, etc. — but I couldn’t remember anything specific about that time in our lives that would convince anyone of the truth.

The second, I was in 1985, trying to buy some rare video game or something at a mall. Just good, old fashioned time travel on this occasion  But oh, wait — I couldn’t buy anything, because all my money was from the year 2000+ and no one would take it. It looked weird.

And so I stumbled upon two time travel quandaries: proving you’re a time traveler from the future, and getting along with the past.

Those, of course, were just dreams (or were they?…heh). But they got me thinking about a strange story I saw on Reddit not too long ago.

It was about a man who may have traveled through time and space in his sleep.

Split Perspectives

Time Travel In Your Sleep

About a year ago, Reddit user OutofH2G2references (ha) posted the following:

“One night when I was 7-8, I had a bad dream about being old. I went out to the living room to talk to my Dad who always used to play with legos with me when I had a bad dream.

This time, we got the legos out but there was a man in a chair. I went to introduce my self, and to my surprise my dad shooed me away, got out my legos and proceed to talk to the man instead of play with me.

The man and my farther talk for sometime about things I don’t understand and neither say a word to me. It was weird, but I was young and the legos were fun and eventually I forgot the whole thing and went to bed. Never thought about it again.”

My father stops me from disrupting space-time when I travel back in time.

That is, until 12 years later, when he had a bizarre, though incredibly vivid, lucid dream experience.

“In the dream, I am sitting in a chair talking to my dad about what I have done with my life. He is happier than usual and very interested. In the distance I hear a young person calling for him. He gets up, walks out of the room, and returns a minute later with me as a child and box of legos. Young me approaches me, my dad shoos child me away, young me goes and plays with legos.

My dad and I commence talking about the danger of the butterfly effect and how everything could change if we spoke. He insist we wait until young me falls asleep to continue talking about the future. I then have 2 more similar dreams where I see myself from perspectives of mysterious forgotten people and situations. All with my father, all discussing time travel, my future life, and the consequences of changing things.”

He later asked his father about the strange dream, if it meant anything. Apparently, he had nothing to add…or maybe he was just protecting the space-time continuum.

“…we could theorize that if I am a time traveler in my dreams and he is protecting me from myself, he would probably not tell me how to foil him.”

[Follow Up] my father stops me from disrupting spacetime when I Travel back in time

Of course, you could chalk the entire experience up to false memories, simple dreams, or something more ordinary. But it’s much more fascinating to consider the alternatives.

I, myself, have had a handful of lucid dreams. The one constant, for me, is that they’re always very difficult to move around in. Something like being underwater, and when it happens I find myself struggling to stay in the dreamworld, to not break the illusion so I can explore a bit. Never lasts for long.

At any rate, Astrology.com’s Dream Dictionary suggests that dreaming about time travel may indicate some kind of “wish-fulfillment,” a desire to relive the past.

But who knows; perhaps there’s something more to our nightly dreamscapes than meets the inner eye.

Have you experienced any strange dreams, lately?

Image courtesy DieselDemon.

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About the Author

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. He manages Stranger Dimensions in between changing aquarium filters and reading bad novels about mermaids.

  • LD

    My experience happened in the fall of 1998. Ive had other experiences as well. I felt like I left my body and was on a bus in the middle of the desert. I got to this butcher shop and talked with this man and I suddenly knew who I needed to talk to. I asked this man if the other man who I needed to talk to was there. He got him. I told him not to marry a girl because it would not turn out ok. He said ok. Then I woke up. I didnt think anything of it, but I remembered it so well and seemed so real and wondered about what it meant. I thought it was just a dream. About a week later, I met this man. He looked exactly like he looked in the dream. The details were exact. I didnt know what to say. He was a receptionist at the front desk of a massage therapy place I had to go to for my back and not at a butcher shop. I finally talked with him. Everything that had happened was his past like 10years earlier and did not marry that girl who he was suppose to marry. The other man I saw was his father and he worked for his father in Kansas in a butcher. And I have never lived in Kansas! In fact I was married to an AF guy at the time and we were mostly in Florida before this.

    • Rob Schwarz

      Very weird. Thanks for sharing.

      I’ve had other strange experiences with dreams…like dreaming about someone I haven’t seen for years and years, only to have them show up suddenly a few days later. I can’t (being a bit of a skeptic) say that any of it means anything, really, but dreams are the one area where I tend to believe the stories I hear…

  • LD

    Also, when I met this guy we had just moved to Aurora, Colorado and not Kansas! Never been to Kansas.

    • EJ

      My dream happened recently I’m the 90’s I lived in Harrisburg Pa in my early twenties, I used to walk to work down this side road through a sort of forrested area. In my dream I find myself driving on this road and as I go further I pass my 23 yr old self on my way to work. I think to myself no way but then I get to the end of the road and look at the sign, now I have no clue the name of the rd but the sign says done rd. In my head I read it as rhyming with drone. When I wake up I was astounded and looked on Google maps and the rd is spelled Dohene rd I have not been there in 18 yrs but I remembered the name as if I was there. Crazy.

  • rayban

    I had a dream recently where I was in my mom’s old neighborhood. It was the sixties. The clothes, hair, cars, houses looked just as I have seen on t.v. But being in the sixties didn’t seem to phase me though…even though I think I realized I was travelling, everybody was just going about their neighborhood business…walking in and out of houses, cars etc. and cutting across lawns. Then all of a sudden there was a ‘cut’ in the dream and it was in the early 70’s/maybe 1969 or so and I was in this man’s/teenagers basement in the same neighbourhood…he was on a pea-green 70’s vinyl or leather 70’s couch, was wearing nave blue trousers and a long sleeve shirt with colours…cant’remember which ones & he had a dark red or light brown mullet with wispy bangs at the front. I stayed their for a very short time, and he looked much bigger than me, as I think must have been sitting down on the ground looking at him. He was listening to david bowie “space oddity” I think he may have been smoking a cigarette too, but I’m not sure. It really seemed like I was right there. Like I was time-travelling. Then I was on a bus…and some other incidents happened that weren’t necessarily related to the time travel…I asked somebody for a phone, and nobody seemed to have one…they has no idea what I was talking about. no idea whatsoever. Think I had to explain what a cell phone was. I was getting nervous not having a cell phone. The only thing they had back then was those old-fashioned rotary phones. Interesting thing is, I wasn’t even born then…way before my time. Interesting dream

  • Madam

    I frequently have dreams when I return to times in the 80s. I am not actually reliving events from the 80s. It is more new situations but they include people I have met and places I have been to in that decade. They seem so real at the time, and it is very bizarre. It feels like time travel to me.

  • Emmanuel Koulouris

    My experience was in the future and a battle happening and the cities being overrun by militias and armies everything was very odd

    • Emmanuel Koulouris

      I have many other details and experiences but I’m lazy

    • ZeroZOMG

      Were the militias extra terrestrial With a sort of blue force field that made object pass through them like ghost instead of reflect off of them?

  • ZeroZOMG

    I Too have started to time travel in my dreams. I have been into dreams and lucid dreaming for over 2 years now every so often I can luicd deeam but for the most part my work schedule messes with my sleep. Just in the past week I have had 3 time travel dreams but they aren’t like regular time travel tyese are more like extra dimensional (Alturnative realities existing at the same time) so in my first dream I was in 1985 one year before I was born. I was in a board shop trying to convince a skater he was going to be famous. I told him I couldn’t remember his name because its been I long time since I followed skate boarding. Then it came to me he was Daewon Song a skate board legend. I told he was so famous he would be in a video game everyone looked at me weird and I explained I was from 20 years in thw future when games were more advanced. So if I was from 20 years in the future that mean I was in my 18 year old body in the dream because im 28 now.

    • Aaron Pour-azar

      Dreaming Time traveling to any date in the past gives me the feeling of water in my head I hate it that is why I have stopped doing it the next day I am sick, maybe its because I have re written time.

  • TedRab

    I have had experiences of seeming to witness events in the past or in other places. These dreams are rare but very vivid & graphic (unlike most dreams).
    In particular, I refer to one such dream I had in the 1960s when I was about 10 years old, which was so clear and disturbing that it seems as real now as it was then.
    The dream may have been triggered by a history lesson at school but the detail in it was much too graphic to have been a result of that alone.
    It was set in what seems to have been the time of the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry viii. The place was at one of the abbeys or monasteries of the time and I seemed to be witnessing the arrival of one of the destroying ‘hit squads’.
    What followed was a scene both wonderful and very horrible. The monks of the abbey seemed to have been pleading with the soldiers to spare their abbey (understandably) and their way of life, whatever their reasons were.
    The soldiers hereupon decided to play a cruel game with the monks and promised not to destroy the abbey if any of the monks could defeat their champion in combat. The monks took up the challenge and the contest began in the large central courtyard of the abbey. The soldiers’ champion, armed for battle, set off on horseback at a canter, circling this central ‘arena’.
    The events which followed may have seemed faintly ridiculous or comical to a schoolboy, on the surface but I excuse myself in that I looked deeper into the situation and what I saw; as the knight, obviously well trained in battle, was challenged one at a time, by these brave, faithful souls, shaven-crowned and robed, wielding un-familiar swords; was a stirring sight and very sad, as one by one the monks were inevitably & mercilessly cut down until all were dead or defeated and the destruction of the abbey commenced.
    To this day I sometimes think about this dream & those poor monks and wonder where all the details came from. Could it be just schoolboy imagination or was I really ‘There’?

    • Trevor Hilsenberg

      You are not alone i to believe ive travled mutiple tmes just last night i traveled back to 1985 or 1986 then in 2006 I belived i may have just timed traveled yet again at least 3 or 4 times i have traveled from now to 1985 to 1986 and then again in 2006 2010 and i dont know how to get back to my own time i think someone brought me here to warn something or someone so i dont know and get this im 38years old now and havnt aged since time traveled happen on me and need o get back to my own time and place so if anyone knows on anything please tell me ill listen to every word thank you

    • Trevor Hilsenberg

      Ps i know its 2015 now

    • TedRab.

      Trevor, I think that all experiences in life, whether ‘normal’ or supernatural, make us what we are and we should only try to be ourselves, learning from what life teaches us. TedRab

  • Bryce

    I am 15 every night when I fall asleep I see a clock it either ticking foreword or backward if it is backward I will think the word stop and end up somewhere in the past oddly I am in another persons body and I look around I was 2 when nine eleven happened when my clock stopped there I was horrified it was terrible but to make it worse I was in one of the towers whoever body i was in I had control not just over the eyes ( that’s what I get usually) over the whole body simply put I didn’t know what to do I experienced death through someone else’s eyes it was horrible this was only last year that this all happened if the clock is going forward I will end up in my own body in the future I a. Yet to see what I do however or any moments of importance ( probably for the best anyway) this whole clock thing started when I was 8 about a week after meeting a friend who can cause orbs of invisible energy to be thrown at anything ( that is serious though so I don’t wonder why I am cursed like this and yes it’s a curse because all historic uncertainties I have seen most of them and no one believes me) and I know about the energy ball thing because one hit me once they hurt and mess with your mind possibly why I am cursed like this any way that’s all

  • Val O’Neill

    Since my Mom passed away, I’ve had many strange experiences including a dream where I found myself standing in my old bedroom from years ago. I look around and everything is so vivid – I see nick-knacks on my dresser and around my room that I totally forgot I ever had. Things looked so crisp and clear – It was amazing. Then my mother walks in the room with a bunch of laundry for me… I have the strongest sense of awareness that I must keep it to small talk, and that I’ve been given these few minutes to simply be with her. So I made small talk and helped her fold the laundry… minutes later, I woke up very bewildered and missing her and my youth very much. :)

    • TedRab.

      I believe that our loved ones never really leave us. TedRab.

  • Jules

    I time travel a few times a month in my dreams I go back in time and buy things cheap and I try to take things back with back with me, knowing this will never work but I always try . I try to remember people I have seen so I can look them up when I wake up but I don’t always remember it always astonishes me how powerful the mind is and the people you see in your dreams I love theses dreams and I am so lucky I have them .

  • jomar

    In a couple of times i found m self in 1817 and i was about to die some times.What do i do?

  • Teresa Callahan

    I have had dreams of time travel, always back in time, sometimes to my younger years, sometimes to a time when I was not yet born. They are VERY realistic, for example, I dreamed I went back to the early 1900’s, and the building I was in, the furniture, the clothing, the smell was all very old, but I was there. I love these dreams…..I had one recently where I didn’t realize I was back in the 80’s, except I was in school telling a fellow student how to get ahead in life, and I didn’t know what year it was, I kept asking people and they wouldn’t tell me, until I finally found out it was 1986, the year I turned 18. Those dreams I usually do try to tell people of events to come…lol, one of them I dreamed I was talking to a young Leonardo Dicaprio, and I was telling him how famous he was going to be….lol.. The one’s that really mystify me are when I go so far back to a time I was not born yet. How do I know what it was like? I don’t believe in past lives…..but it seems so real

  • Aaron Pour-azar

    I had a lucid dream back in 2009 so real that it took place on December 31st 1977, at a house for a new years party I knew not a single person but they all knew me the dream was so real that I remember the ABC new years delayed programming for the New Years Event in NYC I even remember on the TV Promo for ABC Still The One playing. The room was so real even the liquor on the table I even inspected the J&B RARE and Johnie Walker RED Label Bottle the TAX STAMP on top of the bottle it was so real I could taste and smell but the dream did not last very long.

  • Blank

    My experience of time traveling was when I was the age of 10-13 or somewhere between because I remember that I was in 5th grade 11 years old? Anyways it was Saturday i didn’t remember that much on Saturday but I sorta slept or fainted then it was Sunday I was sweating i saw my family getting ready to go somewhere I asked my Sister where we were going she said” To the park”. And I said what day is it today? she said ” Sunday” my dad usually goes to work on Sunday’s so shouldn’t we have not gone to the park? Either that I remember it was summer. It was hot I think I was tired when I time traveled or was exhausted, but I think I cant time travel anymore. Really weird experience I had too, but now a days I have precognition dreams about the future.

  • Beth

    I had a dream. It was of when I was 6. That was the age my parents split up. What I remember of it was my Mum (Mom I’m from England) and Dad sat in my bedroom telling me we where going to be moving away. I asked ”Dad is coming with us too, though, isn’t he?” to which my Mum said ”Not this time.” And that was the end of my dream.

  • MW

    In a dream, I traveled back to September 10th 2001 . I frantically tried to warn everyone about the events of the next day, I tried as hard as I could to prevent it to no avail. It went on to the next day and I felt horrified as I watched the attacks unfold, not only because of my failure to stop it but also because I forgot how real the whole day was. It felt like a bad dream to me when it actually happened (in waking life) and in the dream it felt more real than anything, as if some sort of veil was lifted off of my eyes and I could see just how horrifying it was… I still get this awful feeling when I think about that dream.

    Of course you can’t really travel back in time, it’s merely those rare instances when you try to deconstruct memories in dreams. I didn’t have a direct personal connection with the events that happened on 9/11 but I never felt more frightened in my life and I never really talked to anyone about it. It’s this personal terror I carry with me and the only way I can face is it is in dreams.

    • MW

      by the way, It was quite lucid as well, there wasn’t that underwater feeling that everyone talks about. I only really get that sensation when I’m about to wake up or I’m becoming too aware. It was like I was there, the entire concept of my present existence (i.e. I’m from the year 2012 the year I had the dream) was known and I knew I was in the past and what else would an American (or otherwise even) time traveler do on Sept 10th 2001? But it almost felt like a mission from God or something, some higher power, like it was my calling to prevent it.

  • doogiehouserMD

    last week i had a dream of time travel not of the past but some time in the future. i was with my brother at a racing event and i met someone through him and we really hit it off. we talked about taking things apart and making a new mode of transportation. he was the brains, i was the tester. through that new person i met 2 others a female and a male, but shortly after starting r&d he disclosed something to me that blew me away. he didnt show anyone else at the time but described to me that he knew we were supposed to meet and he knew the transportation idea was a success because he saw it in full swing. so he decides to take me with him to the future to see the fruits of our labor. it was amazing and yet so real. the things we working on and ideas in my head where a real tangible thing. an idea that the other 2 didnt take seriously. we are so excited that when we come back to the present that we wanted the other 2 in our crew to see what we saw and thats where things went bad. something was changed and someone brought back something they shouldnt have. it affected the time line and so me and the brains went to the future to stop said individual from bringing back something that didnt belong. it was in this we got caught in a loop of mistakes that were not my own but i realized everyone else was making. it was exhausting to see things slowly turn out worse and worse. and since it was a whole days time that had to be reenacted to full 24 i tried everyday the same thing everyday. i knew i was in a loop but in the events of the day i decided to change one thing, during the event of that day, i was supposed to engage in coitus with the wife. i ended up sticking her in the butt and through the butterfly effect when i came to the future i realized the worst had happened. wwf wrestler chyna had become a congresswoman and some butch woman was president and when compared to hilary clinton, hiliary clinton seems like one of the disney princesses

  • Jen.

    I am fourteen but I keep having vivid dreams about the future. I remember wearing this weird full body suit and being in this futuristic building. I was walking around, totally amazed by everything around me and I hear someone approaching me and calling my name. It was a boy, he looked very surprised to see me but I never saw him before. He hugged me and says, “You’re back! I missed you.” Then I woke up.

  • Luna Ravenstorm

    I had one. I woke up as my present self in 2012, at night, on a park bench. Trying to figure out how I ended up there I turned to my past self for answers. I visited my past self who did not even bother opening up the door.

  • Kaj

    This happend 1 year ago
    I came back from a weekend of my father and we had many fun together!
    My dad left me on the bus to my mom every thing went fine!
    But a day before I was going to my father I had a dream of a funeral and in the dream it was all normal (not normal but a normal funeral) until I saw my dad standing behind a pillar and he looked normal but it was very creepy later on I knew for some reason (idk why but I just suddenly knew it) it was my dad’s funeral and he keept following me.
    Until I woke up and was scared that we dead really died because it velt so real so I called him and it was fine he literly sayed I am still alive and sayed/asked to someone I still don’t know if he was alive and she sayed he was still alive so we hang up.
    And the next was the weekend we had together that I already mentiont.
    The night after that weekend my mom and my step-dad woke me up my mom was crying and my step-dad told me that my dad died midnight of a hart attack so I was like are you joking?
    And sayed of course not….
    I was shocked and we where going to pickup my sister who was even more shocked while she didn’t really have a good bond with our dad.
    So we went to the hospital where we could see him for the last time (He was already dead).
    That was my strange time travel story I am still wondering if I could’ve stopped it.

  • Klas

    Last night I had a dream that I was present 2015 me but the time was somewhere in the early 2000’s. I went to my friends old house and explained the situation to him. Then I started telling him about historical things that had happened in the next 15 years. Then we went out and started seeing people we knew. Some believed I was from the future and some didn’t. It was really divided. Really trippy!!!

  • Marlon Manicad

    Few seconds ago i dremt going back in time. Conciously talking to my father and convincing that i came from the future. But the strangest things were 3 of my relatives who died already was part of it too. And i was able to talk to my late aunt and warn her about her death and telling her what to do so she can avoid it, but she just shrugs it off.

  • TedRab.

    Sam, Beware of ‘sleep pee/real pee ‘ overlap! :) TedRab.

  • Hs15

    About a year ago I’ve had a dream about one summer where I was climbing a ladder to collect some apples. I looked down and there was a really beautiful girl smiling at me and I woke up feeling happy. And a few weeks ago, I’ve met this girl in real life (1st time) and I think the dream might come true in summer!

    • TedRab.

      This phenomenom, of meeting a future partner in a dream and recognising her years later, is not that uncommon. You will know. I wish you every happiness.