Dreams have always influenced Kim Shong’s life, even before she was born. Growing up in a “semi-traditional” Asian household, Kim said her family has always been open to spirituality, which resulted in her name.
“My deceased grandfather came to my mother in her dream when she was pregnant with me, and had given me my name,” she said. “So we believe dreams and are open minded.”
Kim is sure her almost nightly lucid dreams are spiritual visits. Such as a series of dreams she had in junior high school involving a family friend.
“My mother’s closest friend stayed with us during her progressive stages in cancer and we were very close to her,” Kim said. “I dreamt of her passing through symbols in a dream and actually found out that day she had passed while I was in class.”
Traditionally, a family burns the dead’s possessions, such as clothing and pictures, to send them along to the afterlife. After her family did this, she again dreamed of her mother’s friend.
“I dreamt of a young woman who was in a yellow polka dotted dress with a white sun hat, but I couldn’t make out her face,” she said. “In the background was our apartment and full of boxes as if someone was moving.”
Deceased family members and friends have visited Kim in dreams before, and they always looked young and healthy, so she knew who the woman was. “It was my mother’s friend.”
The woman in the dream told Kim she didn’t want to leave. Kim’s dream-self simply smiled and told her she couldn’t stay there anymore. The woman said, “Okay,” and left. Kim has never seen her in her dreams again. But she still dreams, all the time.
“You might just write them off,” she said. “But I am convinced they’re more than just dreams.”
Some of these dreams are dark.
“I’ve had very strange things happened to me and for a long time,” she said. “I thought things were following me wherever we moved, like poltergeists or something, because I’ve had very bad nightmares, and strange things happening for a very long time.”
Like the shadows. Kim first experienced them one night in the apartment where she lived during her junior high school years. “I remember waking up and opening my eyes but everything was hazy and it felt like I was in maybe REM sleep, borderline conscious and unconscious,” she said. “When I first opened my eyes, I saw this very, very tall shadow.”
Through the dream haze, she could make out a thin figure, “like an elongated human,” standing in front of her bedroom door. The figure was so tall it reached the doorframe. “When I saw it, I didn’t panic or react,” she said. “I don’t remember how I felt but it wasn’t fear or shock. I think I was indifferent.”
She closed her eyes and opened them again, and the shadow had moved. It was closer. “The shadow was on the edge of my bed this time,” she said. “Then one last time I closed and opened my eyes and it was there next to me, on the side of the bed close to my face, just standing and looking down.”
She couldn’t see any detail in the entity’s face, nor its clothing. “I then just fell asleep and didn’t see it again,” she said. “It was not a threatening being and it didn’t seem malicious, it was just there.”
Although this shadow entity didn’t seem dangerous, the one from a visitation in 2011 did. “It was also in a dream-like state,” Kim said. “It was one of those paralyzing situations and yes, I’ve had my fair share of paralyzing dreams, but this was the strangest, and like nothing else I’ve had.”
Kim “woke” in her dream, seeing her surroundings exactly as they should be, although she was still asleep. “It was very lucid, so I thought I had woken up,” she said. “My room was dark as it normally would be at night, but there was like a purplish hue covering the room.”
Kim initially thought the purple glow was from the moon, but quickly dismissed it. The light didn’t come from the window, and moonlight isn’t purple. Then she noticed she wasn’t alone. “This dark, shadowed man was sitting on my bed, very close to me,” she said. “I didn’t get up, I just looked up at him.”
She lay in silence and stared at the dark, androgynous person next to her. Much like her first shadowy encounter, there were no visible features on the black figure; it was a silhouette, but she knew what it was. “I knew it was a man because of his voice,” Kim said. “He was talking to me, and I could hear him, but he didn’t have a face.”
Terror consumed her as she stared at this strange, silhouette sitting on her bed. Then it leaned close to her and spoke. “In a panicked, almost aggressive and hurried voice he says to me, ‘Don’t you know there are other dimensions?’”
Something inside told her to turn her head toward the wall her bed rested against. She didn’t expect what she saw. “There was this large round neat drawing or something on my wall with symbols inside of it,” she said. “I couldn’t make (the symbols) out though. It was large and covered the center of that wall. And as soon as he said those words, I was so scared.”
Then the shadow man leaned into the circle and disappeared. “I freaked out,” Kim said. “I tried to get up from my bed but I couldn’t move my body. I was panicking so much.”
Fear clawed at Kim. Her mother slept in the next room and she wanted nothing more at that moment than to wake her. “I tried to move my hand to hit the wall,” Kim said. “I was slamming my body and head into the wall to make as much noise as possible, and even tried screaming, but no noise came from it.”
Then she woke, really woke. “I jumped up straight from my bed and bolted to the living room screaming, promptly waking my mother up and her asking if I was okay,” Kim said. “I stood in front of her shocked but didn’t want to tell her because I didn’t want to scare her.”
Kim tried to process what she’d experienced, but couldn’t. The entity she’d seen was real to her, and so were its words. “It didn’t feel like a dream at all,” Kim said. “My heart was still beating rapidly. I think I was psychologically frightened. It’s kind of haunting.”
Don’t you know there are other dimensions? Kim still doesn’t know what that means. “It stuck in my mind ever since, ” she said. “Thinking about it is creepy. Until I started learning about shadow people (I didn’t think) it may be beings from different dimensions.”
Her lucid dreams continue every time she tries to sleep. She doesn’t like to do that anymore. “I’ve developed really bad insomnia and if I do happen to go to bed early, I always wake up at 3 a.m. like clockwork no matter how exhausted I am,” she said. “I don’t even bother sleeping at night anymore, but when I do sleep for those few hours before being jarred awake at 3 a.m., I feel my body vibrating and it gets me a bit nauseated and I get the feeling that somebody is there.”
Paranoia washes over her dream self until she actually wakes, but she knows being awake or asleep is irrelevant – her experiences are real. “I know it’s not nothing,” Kim said. “I know it’s more than just a dream.