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Kardamom's avatar

Is there a name for this dream-like situation?

Asked by Kardamom (32755points) February 14th, 2022
6 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

Over the course of my life, I have had visions/thoughts/dreams of places. Places I have never been, but the images come to me repeatedly, only not on any regular basis.

Usually years go by without these “places” making an appearance in my sleeping or waking life. It’s kind of like the feeling of deja vu, in that it seems very familiar, but it is clear to me that these “places” don’t exist, or I have never been to these places, yet I have these weird familar “memories” of them. I’m curious to know if other people have these types of experiences, or if there is some type of scientific name for this phenomenon. It happens both when I am awake, and when I am asleep.

There are about 4 or 5 scenarios, but only one of them involves a person who I actually know. The other scenarios are too vague to even notice if there are other people in the “scenes”. The most prevalent scene, which popped back into my consciousness a few days ago, is me and my elementary school best friend and I sitting way in the back of what appears to be an evening at a bonfire at a summer camp. There are other campers and the ranger or camp counselor is giving a presentation or leading a singalong. It’s unclear. There are camp cabins and a lit up outdoor pavillion. It’s nighttime, but it is warm, so it must be summertime.

My friend and I only ever went to one sleepover camping trip with the YMCA, and we both attended 6th grade camp together, but this “place” is not similar to either of those places, nor the actual experience.

The “thought” of this scene is quite lovely, and I enjoy the experience, but it is so random, and seemingly unrelated to reality. The other scenarios are neutral in nature, just “memories” of places that don’t exist. And the other scenes have nothing to do with camping, they are just places that I have been “remembering” for most of my life.

Have any of you ever experienced or heard of something like this?

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SnipSnip's avatar

No. I’ve only experienced sleep paralysis with hallucinations. Those experiences were anything but lovely. The first time scared the crap out of me and I thought I had come face to face with a demon. Thank goodness I called a Neurologist friend who knew exactly what I had experienced. I cried like a baby when he cut me off and finished the description of my experience. He said my experience was textbook. At the time they clumped this in with sleep disorders, but it isn’t. Mine was brought about by constant and extreme sleep deprivation. I was in graduate school at night at the time while working full time and rearing two children. No, there was no time to sleep. But, alas, I graduated and started sleeping again.

janbb's avatar

I had dreams about two places that I was sure my family had vacationed at when I was young. One was like an Eskimo village resort and the other a frontier town. When I was somewhat older, I realized that these hadn’t happened.

Zaku's avatar

For me, not while I’m awake, but in dreams, yes, I have many re-occuring places that are very detailed, and that I keep returning to in dreams. Some I have more waking memory of than others; I can remember (and of course see) much more of them when I am dreaming, and when I record a dream, I often note that a place had felt familiar in a dream, even when I don’t have a record or conscious memory of it.

The places (which can be cities, parts of cities, or buildings, or more natural places) are often like real places but different in the details. Sometimes they are combinations of real places and/or imagined places.

raum's avatar

I have repeating dreamscapes. Quite detailed and spanning decades, but with erratic reoccurrence. Less frequent as I’ve gotten older.

They’re not unusual. But it wasn’t until I was an adult, that I realized that not everyone dreams this way.

Pandora's avatar

Yes, when I’m really tired and I didn’t want to wake up to go to work. I had the wildest and best of serene dreams then. Some of my childhood but I always assumed it was because I was the most worry-free when young. So places that I associate with good happy memories seem to pop in my head just before waking up to a world I had to work in and worry about making it to work on time and a bunch of other adult things I had to do.
I call it escaping reality for just a few minutes or just being in a very deep sleep.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t know what it is called but I remember reading a biography of Lord Dunsany where he said that the imagination is always based on experience, “bricks without straw are more easily made than imagination without memories”.

Dunsany hadn’t always believed this and had once thought that the beautiful visions he wrote about came sheer from his imagination.

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