I don't beleive in anything supernatural, but I have these frightening dreams with supernatural themes. When I wake up, even though #1 I know it was a dream, #2 I know it could never happen because it was supernatural, I am still freaked out and can't fall back to sleep. Why can't I shake off what I know isn't real?

You'd think my nightmares would be about fundamental christians or global warming...

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Were you implanted with supernatural fears of demons, hell, etc. growing up? These things take time to process. I think nightmares are always how you described in 1 & 2, but still scary nonetheless. Warm milk with brandy = medicine.
probably too many scarey movies at an inappropriate age. plus when I was in college I went through a phase of "magical thinking" which included possessed bottle caps and past life regressions. Of course, there is a recurring dream that i've had since I was small,about a magical tornado that chases me and my family. when I was little it included my parents and siblings. these days it is more likely to include my hubby and kids.

mmmm...brandy....yup, when I lived alone a glass of wine would help sooth the demons and let me sleep....39 years old and still afraid of the dark and the monsters under the bed.
Haha! you'd think! I think we all have nightmares from time to time and being conscious that they are not real doesn't make them any less disturbing. my nightmares seem to center on something bad happening to my kids-i wish i could dream about aliens or ghosts! lol!
You can't shake it off because you essentially experienced it. Sure, in the light of day you know what happens in dreams isn't real but while you are in the dream it is very real and that sticks with you. It doesn't happen often but every now and then I'll have a dream that disturbs me so much I can't shake it, sometimes for days. It's not just scary dreams though. Sometimes I'll have a dream that will leave me feeling peaceful/nostalgic/comforted (insert warm feeling here) for some time after.
indeed, I too get goosebumps and feel scared when I see a horror movie (dreams less so, I only had very livid dreams in my late teens), it's hundreds of thousands of years of evolution implanting fear of such things, it's only natural that our body reacts to it.
We're animals -- emotional machines that think, not thinking machines that emote. Fear doesn't haven't be rational.

That said, it doesn't mean that the fear isn't justified. Or that your dreams are meaningless because they come in the form of the supernatural. I'd say it was your imagination trying to tell you something, trying to work out a problem. What you're worried about, etc.

If you can't shake it off, you haven't successfully resolved the problem. Who knows? maybe your fear of Christian fundamentalism or global warming manifests itself as the supernatural in your dreams. Stranger things have happened.

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