An examination of why people have nightmares and how they affect humans.

This paper provides a comprehensive and scholarly overview of nightmares, how they affect our consciousness, and an assessment of whether they are affected by people’s inner psyche or by the society and culture in which they live. Includes an extensive summary.
According to John F. Moffitt, the common meaning of nightmare (a frightening dream) is frequently evoked in the use of such dreams in 18thg century Gothic fiction where they are often prescient. […] In its sense of a distressing or disturbingly prescient dream, the nightmare is a common device in Gothic fiction, where it also refers to a state between sleeping and waking, or indeed, death and life [and] nightmares have a particular place in what might be called the mythology of the Gothic imagination, for alongside the nightmares in the text, there are those which mark its beginnings (2002:173).