Some folks are of the belief that ghosts seen in their dreams are actual representations of the dead. However, many dream interpreters feel that this is the most unlikely explanation for this type of dream, suggesting instead that the dream-ghost actually represents a part of the dreamer that is not clear or understood.
It can also symbolize certain aspects of ourselves that we fear. This may involve a painful memory, feelings of guilt, or certain thoughts that have been repressed. Such a dream may also reveal a fear of death or dying. Alternatively, when ghosts materialize in our dreams they sometimes represent things that are elusive, out of reach, or no longer obtainable to us.
According to some psychologists, dreaming about the ghost of a dead friend or loved one may be an indication of guilt and regrets concerning the dreamer’s past relationships with that particular individual. Many old dream dictionaries that base their interpretations on folklore and superstition claim that dreaming of friendly ghosts portends unexpected good luck.
However, dreaming about frightful ghosts supposedly denotes that others will attempt to impose their will upon you, and the only way to overcome them is to be vigilant. Some people regard a dream in which a ghost simply appears as an omen of good luck, while dreams involving ghosts that speak to or frighten the dreamer are seen as a warning that the dreamer will be greatly pressured to take part in a scheme or activity that goes against his or her principles. (If this should be the case for you, resist the temptation with all the strength you can muster, and if necessary, turn to a trusted friend or adviser for help.)
To dream about a faceless ghost indicates that the source of something (depending upon the circumstances and other symbols of the dream) has not yet been identified. For instance, a faceless ghost that fills the dreamer with feelings of fear could mean that he or she needs to examine the cause of a phobia, or face one’s fear, in order to overcome it. To dream that you are making love with a ghostly stranger may indicate a relationship or affair without substance or a lover who is untrue.
If a widow or widower has a romantic dream involving the ghost of their departed spouse, this indicates a love that survives the grave. However, it is said that when an elderly or gravely ill person begins to experience recurring dreams about a deceased spouse or other relatives who are dead, this is a sign that death is near. While researching this section of the book, I consulted a number of dream interpretation books. In one of them, Gustavus Hindman Miller’s 10,000 Dreams Interpreted, I found the following interpretations for various types of dreams involving ghosts and spirits: To dream about the ghost of your mother or father is said to denote the threat of danger. It may also be a warning to be cautious when forming new partnerships with people you do not know very well.
To dream about the ghost of a beloved friend is said to portend a long journey with an unpleasant companion. Be prepared to receive a number of disappointments. If a man dreams that a ghost is speaking to him, this warns that he will be lured into the hands of his enemies. For a woman, such a dream is a grim omen of widowhood and deception.
To dream that a ghost appears in the sky is said to be an omen of misfortune or possibly the death of a loved one. If you dream that you see in the sky a male ghost on your right and a female ghost on your left, this indicates “a quick rise from obscurity to fame,” according to Miller. However, your fame will prove to be short-lived “as death will be a visitor and will bear you off.”
To dream about a female ghost in long robes floating peacefully in the air portends sudden wealth accompanied by sorrow. Miller says that such a dream may also indicate “progress in scientific studies.” To dream about the ghost of a person who is still alive is said to be a warning that the dreamer is in danger from a spiteful friend or acquaintance. It may also indicate the ending of a friendship. If the person’s ghost appears lean and gaunt, such a dream may portend the early death of that individual.
To dream that a ghost is pursuing you warns of unusual and disquieting experiences in the near future. However, if you dream that the ghost is fleeing from you, this is a sure sign that your coming troubles will be to a lesser degree and/or overcome quickly. Unexpected trouble will come to call if you dream about spirits or specters, according to Miller.
If they are seen wearing robes of white, this is an omen that a close friend will soon take ill. If they are draped in robes of black, be prepared for treachery and unfaithfulness. It is also said that unexpected troubles will soon arise for those who dream about spirits rapping upon doors or walls. Dreaming that spirits are hiding or moving behind draperies warns against committing indiscretions.
To dream that you hear spirits singing forlornly or playing music indicates that your household will soon meet with unfavourable changes and sadness. To dream that a spirit is ringing a bell is a grave omen, foretelling the death of a friend or relative. According to Nerys Dee’s The Dreamer’s Workbook, to dream that a ghost is standing by your bedside indicates a visitation from the spirit world. Dee also says that dreams involving ghosts reflect “the spiritual nature of the dreamer.” When a spirit appears in a dream, it may either represent a past memory or the ghost of a deceased person.
Dreams that involve haunted houses usually signify repressed memories and feelings that need to be acknowledged. They may also reveal that there exists unfinished emotional business relating to the dreamer’s childhood and/ or family. To dream that a ghost is haunting you in some way clearly indicates that you are feeling haunted by something or someone from your past. To dream about a walking ghost is said to be an omen that financial difficulties will soon plague you.
Take care not to spend your money foolishly or allow yourself to become deeper in debt. A dream in which a ghost in white appears has long been regarded as a sign of good luck, while one in which a ghost in black is seen indicates illness or bitterness between the dreamer and his or her lover. A dream in which you see yourself as a ghost may be trying to tell you in a symbolic way that you are living in the past too much or are feeling that a part of you (figuratively speaking) is dead.
For a writer or an artist to experience such a dream may very well indicate the opportunity to do literary or artistic work for another (as in being a “ghost-writer”). To dream that others perceive you as a ghost may mean that you are deeply worried that people might look at you as someone with an outmoded way of thinking or doing things. To dream that you are trying to conjure up or contact a ghost without success may be a symbolic message from your inner self to “give up the ghost” where something futile is concerned.
Through another play on words (which dreams oftentimes are), this dream may be indicating that you haven’t “the ghost of a chance.”