Monday, April 12, 2010
For the last 5+ years I've had the same recurring vampire dream that is set in the same town, and is very episodic in a fashion. I cannot control when I have these episodic dreams, but when I am having them I know they are another part of the same whole and when I wake up I can remember them better than most others in full vivid Gothic Horror colours.
The dreams always start in an old video store in the same country town. I'm not sure what city it's in (It's obviously fictional) but it's surrounded by mountains and seems set in or around the late 1980s. The membership of this video store is exclusive invitation-only and seems to move around the town somehow. Sometimes it's at the end of an alley way, sometimes on the main street. So far I've only met one other member (though the store has other customers while I'm there) besides the store's owner and she helped me choose some titles during my first time there.
I say 1980s because the video store is just stocked with VHS horror tapes and no dvds. The store is filled with vampire movies that don't exist, and most contain the same vampire protagonist. The films seems European in nature though have the same Gothic Aesthetic as Hammer Horror but 100 times darker. They are bleak and morbid and while the main vampire is the protagonist he is not a hero.
So I rent a pile of these movies and go back to my house. When I insert the tape at the start I am on my couch watching them, and then suddenly for some of the film I am in the movie. Sometimes I am the Vampire, sometimes not. Most of the dreams seem to be set in the present with one so far set in the medieval past in the vampire's European castle. Sometimes I will be in a room with other vampires attending some kind of gathering but so far the dream has been 80% town/ 20% movie, though there is a blur between the two.
The vampire VHS cases seem to have a magical quality about them as well. When you remove them from the shelf at the store and look at the back, besides the synopsis is a thick plastic card not too different from the ones used in 3D gimmicks where you can tip them on angles and see a different scene.
The difference here is similar to Harry Potter where the card actually plays a trailer of the movie, similar to the moving photographs in HP, but there is no electronics in the VHS case to allow this. Vampires exist in this town in real life, and I am aware of them as they are of me, and I am also friends with one that owns a club but I am still human (I think). I'd say the town doesn't have more then 200-300 people in it, and when I think about it, the town resembles something out of a Stephen King story, similar to Salem's Lot but not as hilly.
He doesn't possess the same personality (or history) as Kinski's Nosferatu, but to be honest I don't think I've ever heard him speak in my dreams so I don't have the full picture.
During my dream I seem to fluctuate between these 'movies' and life in the town, and while the expostition isn't semi-apocalyptic like Salem's Lot or Nosferatu in Venice I can tell that it's heading towards something sinister.
Before you say why haven't you written about this as a story, the answer is I am trying to. But you might understand that having the remembered visuals of a dream, and trying to put those down into words is not an easy task!
Funny just now I just did a search for horror vhs tapes as a pic for this article and the first picture came across the one I have on my left. A video store called BLACK LODGE video, and they still stock VHS tapes mostly Horror. My video store in my dream almost looks like this, except it's more sinister and has a more gothic decor. A further check though and they stock DVDs but still I'm happy something like that exists.
There is a video store near my house called TRASH VIDEO that stocked VHS Horror in my teen years where I discovered Hammer, Yorga, Franco and Rollin so I am assuming my dream store is inspired by that store.
Part of my hesistation to write about these dreams is some similarity to The Japanese Ringu films. My dream plots are linked to these tapes which seem to be 'cursed' inasmuch they pull the watcher in to them, or affect them somehow. But perhaps the fact that I appear in and out of the movie could be just some weird non-linear dream mojo.
So what do you think, and at the same time I'd love to hear about your vampire dreams, if you have any. Also have any of these dreams influenced your writing?