February 25, 2024

Why Lucid Dreams Can Be Scary But They Don’t Have To Be

Scary lucid dream

Having a lucid dream can be an exhilarating experience. With no boundaries and god-like control over a world that feels totally real may seem like an awesome thing but are there drawbacks to this night skill?

Can lucid dreams be scary or is it all just online hype?

Some people are afraid to venture into the realms of lucid dreams. A quick search online and you will find a multitude of fascinating tales of scary lucid dreams.

Some people even think that lucid dreaming is somehow evil or spiritual in nature. But the main concern for many would-be oneironauts is being afraid in a dream that feels like real life.

So, are lucid dreams scary?

Woman having a scary lucid dream

Lucid dreaming can be scary when the dream turns into a lucid nightmare.

Likewise it can also be scary if you experience sleep paralysis after waking from a lucid dream.

However, with proper training a lucid nightmare can be turned into a normal lucid dream easily.

Lucid dreaming related sleep paralysis can also be dealt with through proper training.

With proper advanced lucid dreaming training you can actually use scary lucid dreams to grow as a person as I outlined in the article about lucid nightmares.

Why lucid dreaming can be scary for some people but not others

Lucid dreaming can be scary for a small percentage of lucid dreamers.

The good news is that most lucid dreamers have only positive experiences with lucid dreaming.

But, if that is truly the case then what about all those horror stories documented in online forums?

If only a small percentage of lucid dreamers have lucid nightmares and scary dreams where do all those stories comes from?

In truth, most scary stories about nightmares encountered in a lucid dream are actually not lucid dreams.

This is not always the case as I will cover a little later but for most people a lucid nightmare is not actually a lucid dream.

Lucid nightmares are very scary but they usually aren’t true lucid dreams

Most people who share their stories about scary lucid dreams online are actually talking about having lucid nightmares and not scary lucid dreams.

Before we go on I should state clearly that a lucid nightmare is indeed a scary experience. In truth, a lucid nightmare can be downright terrifying.

However, a lucid nightmare is not actually a lucid dream and is something very different.

It may have similar qualities to a lucid dream in feel, texture and experience but it is very different, at least from the dreamer’s perspective.

Lucid nightmares and lucid dreams are very rarely the same thing!

There are two types of lucid nightmare:

  1. A very vivid lifelike disturbing dream where the dreamer believes what is happening is real.
  2. A lucid dream that turns into a nightmare where the dreamers finds they lose a lot of control over the dreamworld.

I covered the subject of lucid nightmares in-depth in this previous article but will quickly recap here for clarification.

The first type of lucid nightmare outlines above is by far the most common type.

When a lucid dreamer, or non lucid dreamer, has a vivid and lifelike nightmare where they have zero control over the dream, they are not actually lucid dreaming (as far as the definition of lucid dreaming goes in our modern language).

A lucid dream is a controlled dream while most lucid nightmares are uncontrolled dreams.

The word “lucid” is used only to refer to the vividness and lifelike nature of the dream experience.

Lucid in this context is used to mean the feeling of the dream being real.

There are reasons for the type of vividness experienced in lucid dreams, and in lucid nightmares, but the cause behind both experiences is usually very different.

A lucid dream occurs when the dreamer becomes fully conscious during the dream.

A lucid nightmare usually occurs without full consciousness – the dream feels real but the dreamer is not fully conscious that they are dreaming.

Having said, a small percentage of lucid dreamers will experience their lucid dreams turning into lucid nightmares which can be a very scary experience.

A scary lucid dream scene

Being fully conscious in a nightmare that feels as real as real life but not being able to alter, stop or leave it can be very frightening.

I will address this now.

Why lucid dreams can become lucid nightmares

Not all lucid nightmares are unconscious. Some lucid dreamers will occasionally experience their lucid dream turning into a lucid nightmare.

This is scary as hell.

This small group of lucid dreamers will find that they remain fully conscious as their lucid dream slowly morphs into a full-blown lucid nightmare.

At the same time they find that they lose control over the dreamworld and are unable to take control of the dream as they usually do.

Only 1% of lucid dreamers experience this phenomenon.

The good news is that this situation is not irreversible.

You can control a lucid nightmare just as easily as your control a normal lucid dream when you know what to do.

Turning a lucid nightmare into a normal lucid dream is possible as I covered in this section of the article on lucid nightmares.

How lucid dreaming scary experiences can actually be fun

Believe it or not there are actually lucid dreamers who deliberately have scary dreams.

Why would anyone want to do that, you might ask? Well, for the same reason they watch scary films.

Having a deliberate scary experience in a lucid dream is similar to actually being an actor in a scary movie, but, all the while you know you cannot get hurt or die because it’s all just a dream (albeit a very lifelike one).

It is merely entertainment.

Plus, the lucid dreamer also knows that they are in complete control and can stop the lucid dream or alter it at any point.

Because you can do anything you want in a lucid dream it is sometimes fun to have scary experiences in them.

However, there are times when it’s not so fun!

Fun scary dreams are not the only scary lucid dreaming experiences you can have though.

Typical lucid dreaming scary experiences:

  • When a lucid dream turns into sleep paralysis.
  • When a lucid dream turns into an uncontrollable lucid nightmare.
  • When you have false awakenings and feel stuck in the dream.
  • When you develop false memories and do not know which memories are real and which are false.

Read 3 scary and crazy lucid dreaming stories for more.

17 Scary facts about lucid dreaming

Below is a list of some scary things about lucid dreaming.

17 scary facts about lucid dreaming:

  1. Lucid dreaming can sometimes cause sleep paralysis.
  2. A lucid dream can sometimes turn into a lucid nightmare.
  3. Lucid dreaming can affect your reality.
  4. You can develop false memories through lucid dreaming.
  5. You can have multiple false awakenings in the same lucid dream.
  6. You can meet dead people in lucid dreams.
  7. Lucid dreams can show you your innermost fears.
  8. Lucid dreams can uncover forgotten bad memories.
  9. Lucid dreaming can sometimes disrupt your sleep.
  10. Your fears can become real in a lucid dream.
  11. The inability to wake up can cause panic in a lucid dream.
  12. Your mirror image in a lucid dream can be abnormal and frightening.
  13. Lucid dreaming can force you to address your inner issues.
  14. Doing bad things in a lucid dream can affect your emotional state in real life.
  15. Some lucid dreams may result in unwanted out of body experiences.
  16. You can lucid dream while stuck in a coma.
  17. It is possible to commit sin in a lucid dream.

Waking from a scary lucid dream

All of the above things can happen in a lucid dream but the good news is that you can stop all of them, or use them to your advantage, when you train yourself to do it.

Using a proven lucid dreaming course will give you the skills you need to make the most out of every lucid dream you have.

Why proper controlled lucid dreaming can never be truly scary

So … are lucid dreams scary?

Lucid dreaming is not scary when you train yourself to do it right.

Scary things can happen in a lucid dream, such as having a lucid nightmare, but an experienced lucid dreamer can easily regain full control with proper training.

Scary sleep paralysis can occur when waking from a lucid dream but this can also be countered with the correct training.

So, should you be scared to lucid dream?

Hell no!

To sum up, lucid dreaming can be scary, on very rare occasions and, for only a small percentage of lucid  dreamers. But it doesn’t have to be scary for anyone!

Yes, there are things that can happen to a lucid dreamer than feel frightening but these things can also happen in normal dreams.

However, you can learn the skills you need to ensure that all your lucid dreams are pleasant and fully under your control.

The vast majority of lucid dreamers, 99% of them, do not suffer any ill-effects from lucid dreaming.


Because they have trained themselves to deal with all potentially negative experiences that might occur.

A lucid dreamer, who has used an effective lucid dreaming training course, will rarely encounter any scary lucid dreams but if they ever do, they will know exactly how to deal with them.

Nightmares become a thing of the past and fantasy fulfilment, better study and even becoming smarter become the norm!