We all have weird dreams, don’t we? For example, several years ago (6 or 7?), I had a really odd dream about being in a crypt with skeletons. The next morning I wrote a story about it. That story turned into my book The Halley Branch.
Of course, we often have really odd experiences in waking life. A year ago I had a very weird experience in a cemetery, which you can read about here. The important part here, though, is that stench that went away the moment I turned, the smell of death. I have only smelled this scent in very old cemeteries, and not all ancient cemeteries at that, just a few. It is different from the smell of, say, a dead animal. It is a horrible stench.
OK, why do I bring up that old dream and my spooky experience from almost exactly a year ago?
Two or three weeks back I had a really odd dream. Unlike the “Halley Branch” dream, I don’t remember how it started. The part I do remember was pretty short, not much of a story, but very, very strange.
I was walking down a hill with a group of people, but I don’t remember seeing them, I just know I was in a group. We stopped at the bottom in front of a large stone “structure” built into the hill side. I say “structure”, but it was hard to tell if it was a chunk of bedrock sticking out or if it was shaped by the hand of man.
Someone in the group was talking about the significance of the place to ancient people, but I wasn’t listening, so it was more of a background drone.
The outcropping fascinated me, but the longer I looked, the more I was aware of the stench of death, that same scent from the cemetery experience. The smell grew stronger and stronger, and like in the cemetery, I began to grow nauseous. I finally stood on my tiptoes so I could see the top of the stone structure or outcropping.
It was covered with body parts in various stages of decomposition.
No, I did not look for more than a brief second before quickly turning away! I did not really recognize anything in that short glimpse, but I knew it was purposeful – a “sky burial”, or, more like it, a place for sky burials with several deceased people being exposed.
After I turned, I realized that there were several burial mounds in front of me. They were very distinct. They started with circular dry stone walls. The stones were smallish, maybe two or three times the size of bricks, and the walls about four or five foot tall. The circles were maybe 15 foot in diameter (not sure), but the circles were capped by grassy mounds. The mounds were shallow “hills” that rose only a couple of feet above the walls. I don’t know if I saw entrances into the mounds, but I knew they existed and were open (no boulders covering them…).
Sort of like this quick sketch, but perhaps lower to the ground – the walls not quite as tall.
I woke up pretty much as soon as I saw these mounds, which was just seconds after seeing the body parts. The entire dream that I remember was maybe 10 seconds long,possibly even shorter – just a snatch or wisp of dream.
The first thing I did when I woke up was sniff. Nothing, no stench. I smelled the dog next to me. He smelled like a dog, but didn’t stink. The cat cuddled under my arm? Nope. Nothing. It was 100% in my dream, not in real life.
A few things. One – I do not remember ever really smelling anything in a dream before unless that smell existed in the world around me at the time. Of course, if I smell something in a dram in October, why couldn’t it be pumpkin pie baking in the oven, why did it have to be death? 😉
Less than a week later, Sue Vincent posted something about a place that may have been used for sky burials in ancient times. Besides this post being almost exactly a year to the day from my cemetery post (October 17 compared to October 18), it was odd that she brought this up so close to that dream. I hadn’t used the term “sky burial” until I read Sue’s post, but that is what it was.
Another other odd thing about timing is that, looking at the dates involved, my dream took place within a day or two of being exactly a year after my cemetery experience! Perhaps it was exactly a year.
Again thinking of Sue’s post, the whole thing was as if I was on one of the retreats Sue talked about, visiting ancient sites with someone explaining what they were, but suddenly finding myself transported back those four or five or six thousand years and witnessing it first hand, no longer on a retreat, but actually there then.
No real conclusion to this post, unless you recognize the mounds I described.
Anyway, two years in a row I have these really odd Halloween experiences to talk about!