Category Archives: Dreams

San Francisco house dream, time travel and possible ghosts

My waking dream this morning (rather, dream after I woke and fell asleep again) was my favorite kind of dream — a house dream. Only the other day I lamented, either to someone or to myself (is it worrying that I don’t remember if I was talking to myself or someone else?) that I’d not had a house dream in a while.

This was different from other house dreams because the house we’d bought was clear across the country in San Francisco. We’d visited it before — maybe to look at it to consider purchasing it or as tourists. In the dream, it was moving day. We’d just gotten off the plane and were on our way to the house wondering when Clare and Andrew would arrive to help us move in. Dean and I arrived at the house, which was somehow connected to a church that we also now owned, but rented out to a congregation, and let ourselves in.

old photograph of a Victorian mansion
Not our house, but it looked something like this except it was in the middle of a city block, not on its own.

The door was open and when we walked in the front door someone asked us if we belonged there. We showed them that we had the key and said it was our house. The person, a workman, said we should look around. We started in the kitchen and moved to the living room where we were glad to see a golden-yellow mid-century modern leather sofa until we noticed that the front of the middle cushion was in shreds. As we walked around the house more we noticed a lot of sofas and other furniture including an old crank telephone.

Clare arrived and was sad that we’d bought this house after she moved out because it was a Victorian mansion and she’d wanted to grow up in one. At this point, I was carrying her around like she was a child. I told her that now we’d be only a short airplane trip away instead of a 5-hour airplane trip away.

We walked into the master bedroom and noticed an ornate door that we’d missed on our first visit. The door led to a walk-in closet with views of a river running through downtown (yes, I know there is no river in San Francisco, but my dream self saw it). The closet also had a staircase that led downstairs.

As we continued our tour of the house we encountered more and more people who looked like they were either tourists or were shopping. I went back to the master bedroom and noticed a hospital bed behind a curtain and saw a man in the corner, crying and looking at some papers. I wondered if someone he loved had just died in the house.

I followed a woman dressed as a waitress into the walk-in closet and down the stairs. We went out a door and I tried to talk to her, to ask her if people in San Francisco were friendly because by this time I was not sure we’d made the right decision, moving across the country into a huge, possibly haunted, Victorian mansion. She would not answer me and disappeared into a doorway. I turned around and realized that I was in 1800’s San Francisco.

That’s when I woke up and my first thought was “how the heck could we afford a Victorian mansion in San Francisco?” My second was that I was relieved that we were still in Bethesda. My third was how weird it was that I was carrying Clare.

My interpretation:

The house in San Francisco: I bought Ruth Franklin’s biography of Shirley Jackson a few weeks ago and read a bit of it which mentioned the house that Jackson likely based “Hill House” on. I must have had that at the back of my mind, although I have not yet read “The Haunting of Hill House“, I have seen both movie adaptations of it.

The people in the house: After thinking about the dream for a short while I thought that aspects of it were like the House on the Rock in Wisconsin, so perhaps the people were visiting a similarly strange house in San Francisco.

Carrying Clare: A few days ago I had the pleasure of holding a family friend’s  2-month old grandson. I remember thinking back to when I held my own children like that.

Time Travel: I don’t know — I like time travel. I like the staircase being the portal.

Shredded couch cushion: We have a leather sofa I hate in our basement and Dean just bought something to fix it. I was hoping we were going to replace it instead.

Or maybe I have been watching Twin Peaks too close to bedtime!

When I opened my eyes I couldn’t believe what I saw!

I was sitting in a moderately crowded church and realized I could not easily open my eyes. I was finally able to slightly open one eye and looked around at the rest of the attendees. Everyone appeared to be sleeping, some with their heads rolled to the side or resting on the back of the pew. Suddenly everyone opened their eyes and sat up straight as the pastor walked up the aisle to the pulpit.

During the service I deduced what happened. Each Sunday the pastor wanted quiet in the church before ascending the pulpit. The only way he could accomplish that was to drug the congregation with a quick-acting quick-recovery sleep-inducing vapor. What the vapor was, how it was introduced to the congregation and if it were dangerous were the questions still on my mind when I confronted the pastor after the service.

“I refused to be drugged in a church,” I announced to the pastor.

“You are welcome to not be drugged in a church,” replied the pastor, “but not in my church.”

I knew I needed to let others know about this, but I didn’t know how do do so without causing a riot. The first thing I needed to find out was what the drug was and how it was introduced into the air. I also knew I needed an ally.

I assumed that since the pastor was a good man, he would not want to harm anyone, but perhaps he’d not thought about unborn children and the effects of the drug on them. I approached a woman I knew was pregnant and whispered to her what I knew. She became outraged and said she’d meet me in the fellowship hall after talking to the pastor.

I then noticed my son, who was responsible for ringing the tower bell before the service, and asked him what he knew about the vapor. He admitted that he was instructed to push a button just before the bell began to toll. He also told me the name of the drug that was released into the sanctuary when the button was pushed. I wrote it down, planning on Googling it later.

I then began talking to other people in the fellowship hall — many of whom were not in the sanctuary. It seemed many people knew about the drugging and opted, since the pastor was otherwise a good man, just to stay out of the sanctuary on Sunday mornings.

I still needed to know where the vapor entered the sanctuary, so went back into the sanctuary just before a second service was about to begin. That is when I noticed the brass decorations on either end of the pews — what I’d always thought to be speakers. I got close to one and heard a hissing sound. Holding my breath I ran up the aisle to escape being drugged for a second time that morning, of course I couldn’t run very fast and my lungs were bursting. I escaped just in time.

I never saw the pregnant woman again, but talked more to some of the women in the fellowship hall.

Then I woke up.

The Pope, Whoopi Goldberg and Stephen Fry all walk into a dream…

This morning around 5 I was awakened by a slight headache. The headache may have been caused by dehydration or perhaps it was caused by the famous visitors to my dream.

I won’t attempt to explain it — but they were all there. The Pope had a new popemobile — a kind of land raft that he pushed himself around with a long pole while standing upright and was forbidden to speak to young women. Stephen Fry was handing out kisses — he would put bright red lipstick on and kiss people on the forehead for good luck, sort of like the good witch from the Wizard of Oz did to Dorothy in the book. Whoopi Goldberg showed up in a room full of women — she sat in a chair and was animatedly talking to people on a couch. I remarked that she was one of my favorite women ever.

While this dream was weird — at least there were people in it. My dreams lately have all involved repeated coding of something or another.