The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: This horror classic sprang into existence because of Stevenson’s graphic nightmares. In this case, a “fine bogey tale” tormenting him as he slept grew into one of the most famous and genuinely scary English-language novels ever penned — most especially considering its all-too-human antagonist and protagonist.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: After the death of her 12 day old daughter, the heartbroken Mary Wollstonecroft Godwin dreamt of her child coming back to life after being massaged near a fire. She wrote about it in the collaborative journal she kept with her husband-to-be, Percy Bysshe Shelley, which grew into one of the most iconic, influential horror novels of all time.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach: This story initially sprung from Richard Bach’s daydreams of a drifting seabird. In fact, he could only finish the original draft following another series of subconscious visions.
Misery by Stephen King: While dozing off on a flight to London, King found inspiration in a chilling nightmare about a crazed woman killing and mutilating a favorite writer and binding a book in his skin.
Stuart Little by E.B. White: The tiny boy with the face and fur of a mouse sauntered into White’s subconscious in the 1920s, though he didn’t transition from notes to novel until over two decades later.
Twelve Stories and a Dream by H.G. Wells: The title says it all. “A Dream of Armageddon,” sprouted from a dream that speculated on the dangerous directions in which mankind’s technology could ultimately lead it.
“Kubla Khan” from Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Coleridge, woke one morning after having a----believed to be opium induced----fantastic dream. He transcribed his vision in a dream in the form of the now famous poem. 54 lines in, he was interrupted by a Person from Porlock and when he returned to the poem, he couldn't remember the rest of his dream and thus the poem was never completed.
H.P. Lovecraft’s Works: Lovecraft pulled much of his inspiration from the vivid nightmares he suffered most nights. A shock to anyone? In particular, the novels and short story featuring the Great Old Ones drew themselves from the more twisted corners of his subconscious.
Book of Dreams by Jack Kerouac: A book that does as it says on the tin. Kerouac kept and published a book comprised entirely of his dreams, spanning from 1952 to 1960 and starring characters from many of his other works.
The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer: In Meyer’s own words, the dream "was two people in kind of a little circular meadow with really bright sunlight, and one of them was a beautiful, sparkly boy and one was just a girl who was human and normal, and they were having this conversation. The boy was a vampire, which is so bizarre that I'd be dreaming about vampires, and he was trying to explain to her how much he cared about her and yet at the same time how much he wanted to kill her,"
Fantasia of the Unconscious by D.H. Lawrence: Lawrence so perfectly maps out dream experiences and explains their importance and inspiration in such great detail it edges out any other competing works.
The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P by Reiko Matsuura: Adapted from Matsuura's most unusual dream, the novel tells the story of a woman who wakes up with a penis for a toe and explores gender identity and relations.
And before the Sandman returns to slip me another Mickey Finn, here are a few additional interesting factoids about dreams:
- Your mind doesn't create faces for the strangers in your dreams. Each one is an actual person you've encountered, even if only briefly. Your noggin is mug book filled with hundreds of thousands of faces.
- You don't dream when you snore.
- People who quit smoking have more vivid dreams.
- While asleep, your body is virtually paralyzed.
- The real world invades your dreams through sounds, scents, and bodily sensations.
- Toddlers don't dream about themselves until they're at least 3 years old.
- Children from 3 to 8 years old usually have more nightmares than adults.
- You're more likely to remember your dreams vividly if you're awakened out of REM sleep.
Sally forth and be dream-storyingly writeful.