Grim Reaper Dream: Interpret Meaning

grim reaper dream interpret meaningGrim Reaper Dream: Interpret the Meaning

A Grim Reaper character can appear in dreams to give a stern warning or symbolize something related to death, such as fear of it or flirting with it.

As with all dream symbolism, the meaning depends on the context and how you react. If the sight of the Grim Reaper strikes fear into you, the symbolism is more likely to be related to a fear related to death, mortality, or making a big mistake. But also consider the implications if you aren’t afraid of Grimmy.

For example, a man dreams he’s in a store and takes out the trash. On his way back he sees the Grim Reaper and, unafraid, strikes up a conversation. Grimmy loses the hood and scythe and now appears as a normal man. The dreamer starts making smart-ass remarks, and Grimmy says, “Why do you mock me?” The question makes the dreamer uncomfortable so he tries to go back into the store, but Grimmy grabs his arm and asks more forcefully, “Why do you mock me?” The dreamer doesn’t have an answer. Grimmy laughs sardonically and says, “Go grab some beer so I can cook with it!”

dream interpretation dictionary

Grim Reaper is one of more than 750 entries in my dream dictionary.

The clues that reveal the meaning of this dream are in plain sight. A store is connected with making choices. Taking out the trash is connected with throwing something away—in this case, the dreamer’s life. The night before the dream, he went to a bar, had a few drinks and drove home. He didn’t feel too buzzed, but in the back of his mind he knew he was taking a risk. Basically, he mocked death, and that explains his action of mocking the Grim Reaper. The Reaper’s comment about getting more beer to cook with symbolizes the dreamer’s perception about his flippant attitude toward the dangers of drinking and driving. It’s a very dramatic way of making the point, so next time he’s in the same situation he’ll take a cab or something.

See for yourself at reddit.com: The Angel of Death visited my dreams last night.

Death can mean the end of a relationship or time of life, or loss of something important, and the Grim Reaper can embody it in one image. To be symbolized as Grimmy, the end or loss is probably dramatic. Dreams choose symbols carefully to match with the dynamics of a situation and your feelings about it.

The Grim Reaper in a dream can symbolize rejected, repressed or estranged aspects of yourself. They take on strange, distorted, and frightening form in dreams, representing the strained relationship you have with yourself.

Also consider the “grim” part. In the image of the Grim Reaper you could be seeing a pessimistic, gloomy, or morbid side of yourself.

That’s how you interpret the meaning of a Grim Reaper dream.

See also:

Interpret Dream about Afterlife: Meaning of Afterlife Dreams

RadOwl

I'm the author of "Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret, and Live Your Dreams," and "The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Sign and Meanings." At reddit.com I'm known as RadOwl. I began studying dreams in the early 1990s and delved into all major schools of thought, especially the writings of Carl Jung.

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33 Responses

  1. AG says:

    A few nights ago I dreamt that the Reaper was in my front yard. I was in my basement very scared and trying to hide. I kept peeping out doors and windows to see where he was, hoping he wouldn’t see me. I knew he was after me. I could feel that he was waiting to take me to my death. At one point he was pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill and away from the house and I woke up. I fell asleep again right away and was into the same dream. He was hovering around outside the house as I tried to hide.\

    This was the first and only time I’ve dreamt of the Grim Reaper (or of death whatsoever). Any interpretation would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

    • RadOwl says:

      When dreams portend death, they usually do it in a more straightforward way than showing you the Reaper. Every dream of this type that I’ve encountered is some sort of symbolic way of expressing a dynamic in your life. Begin by asking yourself if you are facing any sort of major changes or you’ve been doing something that you know could potentially be a threat to your health or life. For example, driving after drinking.

  2. Hillie Bos says:

    I had the weirdest dream two nights ago and it still bugs me, so telling it here might be usefull. I was in my bed in my dream end next to the bed on my side was a reaper-like figure. I got realy scared and tried to scream. I then realised I was dreaming and had noticed before I can’t scream in a dream, only whimper. I was aware I was just whimpering, while I was trying very hard to scream. Being half awake allready by then, I suddenly had the insight that you can be scared all the way to you your bones and that’s how it felt. My husband, hearing me whimper, put a hand on my arm to comfort me and that woke me almost completely. I decided it had al just been a dream, but I could still see the reaper figure, I believed now that it was the clothes on hooks on the wall. Next morning, I could slmply not imagine how I could make those clothes into that form, it simply wasn’t there, not matter how much I wanted to see it. My husband told me the next morning that he had felt a very bad atmosphere just before I started whimpering, and that was moving above the bed, from his side to mine. A friend tells us that there probably was an evil presence in our room, watching us, that my husband (being high-sensitive) felt it, and it entered my half-dream. What are your opinions on this?

    • RadOwl says:

      I do know that the mind has a tendency to fill in the blanks. Like, if I see something out of the corner of my eye that’s the same size and color as my cat, I’ll see my cat for a second in my mind, then look and focus and realize it’s a towel or something that’s hanging on a chair or piled on the floor. So yeah, clothes hanging on the wall in a dark room. Now fill in the blanks.

      I do know also that there are negative spiritual entities. I used to be kinda fixated on the idea. Then I met a man, a shaman, who knows all about such things and told me that his way of dealing with them is to ignore them out of existence. He simply does not allow his mind to “go there.” He focuses solely on the good, the Light and healing. I’ve come to realize that the “reality” of these entities goes only as far as you allow it. That you are in control, and being scared of these things is like an elephant being afraid of a mouse. You create your reality. If you allow dark things to be part of it, you can actually make it real, but it’s only as real as you believe it’s real. See?

  3. Jennifer says:

    I had a dream last night about the Grim Reaper. I was in a bed in an unknown house and woke up to him standing in a corner, in complete regalia. Then things got extremely weird, I wasn’t afraid. He changed into a naked man (whom I don’t recognize) and wanted sex. I agreed but before it was done, he stated he was hungry. So we left the room to go to the kitchen. On the way my brother pokes his head out of his room to say something. After this I don’t remember anything else. I do know I felt no fear or apprehension. Any ideas?

    • RadOwl says:

      I have an idea, yes, but it’s a shot in the dark. First, your reaction to Grimmie is key because you don’t fear him — you subconsciously recognize that there’s nothing to fear in the symbol. The transformation into a naked man shows his true nature, what’s behind the image, and the nakedness suggests ideas such as “I don’t fear exposure” or “I want to be seen for what I am on the inside.” Sex in a dream can be tricky to interpret because it usually doesn’t mean sex, it means what you allow to become conscious about you, what you allow into your personality. You agree to the sex, which could mean that you think it’s a good idea for this potential in you symbolized as Grimmie/naked man to become part of you. But he’s hungry, meaning, perhaps, that this part of you needs your energy or attention. It needs to be nourished in the figurative sense.

      It’s an idea. I’d have to know if anything I’ve suggested resonates with you to go any further with an attempt at interpretation. This type of dream often shows deep internal processes of the psyche and they don’t really show outwardly yet, so recognizing them is tough because you aren’t consciously aware. If it was my dream, I’d watch closely for a recurrence of this dream character or the dream theme and see how the story evolves.

  4. Keith says:

    I had this strange dream where I was trying to find a place, I came across the cemetery and was with my friends. In one moment I suddenly see him near me and asked me how many times I screamed when I answered he smiled and told me I was next ofcourse I was scared and had sleep paralysis after that right now im scared and kept overthinking

    • RadOwl says:

      Think in general terms about a cemetery as a place where things are buried. Next, think of memories or experiences or even parts of yourself that are buried in the figurative sense. Trying to find a place and ending up in a cemetery suggests that there’s something about you that’s lost or hidden and you want to find it. Something about you wants you to find it and bring it back to life. This is a common theme in the dreams of people who have been wounded in the past and feel like something essential about themselves got lost in the process. Later, when they’re ready, they go looking for it. Look up the book “Dreaming the Soul Back Home” by Robert Moss. It details how this process works and how to help it along.

  5. Richard says:

    I had a dream of the reaper earlier this week & it still hasn’t left me. He was outside in my backyard, always standing with his back or side face toward me.
    I am always in my backyard & I took it as he was waiting for me to come out there so he could take me. That was my area & he knew it. I live in a household with a lot of siblings & in the dream, he was completely targeting me and no one else. I never saw his face because everytime he would slowly turn around, I would flee. Inside my dream, I PURPOSELY avoided looking at his face. I don’t know why, but in the dream, something told me not to. Everything was exactly the same in my dream. My house, yard, people, everything. It was the realest and scariest dream I ever had. In the dream I would panic & cry because I felt like I had to get rid of him or I would die. Sometimes he would leave the yard & reappear at certain times to target me. I remember in the dream I thought I needed to seek priests and help to learn how to get rid of him. It was extremely surreal. During the dream, there were multiple episodes when he would appear. Sometimes he would stand there and I would see him out my window (back or side always facing me) and he would slowly turn for me to see his face but I would always run before he could. Sometimes he would slowly pace in the backyard. Kind of like a hyena circling a tree that it’s prey is hiding in, waiting for it to come down (eventually). He had an extremely evil presence & aura about him that still sticks with me today. He felt and was extremely real. In the dream I KNEW for a fact that I was going to die somehow. I remember trying to keep all windows and doors locked just in fear to keep him out, although he never tried to get in. He eventually had an axe in the dream, it was red, and he would subtly swing it by his side. Again, I never saw his face, purposely I never looked. In my dream, I tried explaining to my mother & siblings that the reaper was after me, and he was going to take me. They were confused a bit but not “unbelieving”, he then appears out the window & I scream to mother to “look! He’s right there.” She was not scared at all of him, moreso a little confused, and she began to tap the window to get his attention (like I said his back or side was always facing me). When she did this, I screamed of all horror “please! No! No! Do not do that, please, he’s going to get me!”, and when he heard her taps, he slowly started to turn around (like he always did in this dream), and I ran screaming before I could see his face. I don’t recall exactly how the dream ended, but I remember that I was faced with the decision that I could not get rid of him and that I was going to die. When I woke up, I was not scared. And I didn’t wake up in a nightmareish way at all. It wasn’t until I looked over out of our french doors that led out into our backyard, that I remembered the dream, and I was in complete panic “Oh no, I can’t go out there!” (Is exactly what I thought), and then I remembered that it was just a dream. That’s how real it felt to me. I finally got the courage to go out to the backyard again and I prayed over the yard and my life. While praying, I came in contact with a snake, for the first time ever, and it tried to bite me twice. I quickly ran away from it and when my dog approached it, it quickly flee away after a few moments. (of course I tried getting my dog away from the snake Beforehand). Which that was really weird experience for me after I’ve had the worst dream of my entire life, and I’ve dreamt about some really weird things. It was my first Reaper dream ever, and definitely the worst dream ever. I don’t know what it means, but this dream has scarred me for life.

    • RadOwl says:

      A key to this dream is to understand what the Reaper symbolizes. You have clues in the fact that you don’t want to face it, and it provokes fear. Can’t face your fear? Also, death is a theme here and it’s possible that the simple explanation is that death brings up fear in you that you can’t face. The possibility of death is something that’s ever-present and we all face. Your reaction of going to the backyard when you’re awake and praying for your life is good. You take action in response to the dream. Next step is to think of what you want to do and accomplish before you leave this world and get busy!

      The encounter with the snake could be coincidence, but if it’s not, you have there a powerful synchronicity experience. Notice how you run away but your dog confronts the snake and it goes away. There could be a lesson here about facing your fears and then they go away.

  6. Meeka says:

    I had a dream that I was walking through a suburb neighborhood in broad daylight. I spotted an old friend walking away from a building crying, there were a group of guys laughing at her. I started to March twords them just then I noticed I was in a black robe with a scythe in hand and I felt myself hovering above the ground as I walked. Before I could make it to them I was stopped by the grim reaper and we had some kind of show down in the middle of the street. We both were gliding around and taking swings at each other with our scythes some how I ended up winning. I continued to wear the robe and scythe but my skin was no longer there it had turned to bone.

    • RadOwl says:

      Look at the beginning of the dream. You see a friend being picked on and it raises your ire. You march forward as if to protect your friend, and that’s when you see what you’ve become. What idea is that scene expressing? What I see is something akin the phrase “you can’t fight fire with fire.” In fighting the thing you hate, you become the thing you hate. Now look at what it does to you. At the end of your dream you become the thing you fight. See? It doesn’t mean you stop protecting the innocent or doing what you know is right. It means you find a different way of going about it.

  7. AAN says:

    I was in a house. my parents were also present.
    I saw angle of death is coming. I went to the door to probably stop him.
    I opened the door and I was face to face (eye to eye) with him ( he was young with beard with dark clothing)
    I was shocked to see him that close.
    I woked up ( I think by my wife). She said i had problems breathing and making strange sound

    • RadOwl says:

      Because of the observation from your wife that you were having breathing problems, I think it’s likely that the dream imagery is in response to it. What happens when you can’t breath? If it goes on long enough, it means a visit from Death. The dreaming mind responds because it knows on some level what’s happening with the body.

  8. I had a dream of the grim reaper and he was after me. In my dream we were inside some kind of ancient building or pyramid but for sure i knew i was in egypt. I was hiding and ran into a room and to hide but the grip reaper punched his knife tool thru the wall and stabbed me right in the heart and then said to me” i will be back in one hour or one day” i dont really remember which one he said. But im so scared what means. Could it mean something really bad

    • RadOwl says:

      It’s easy to misunderstand a dream like that. The Reaper is Death and is Death after you? I don’t think so in the literal sense. Instead, think of death as “a big change or transition in myself and/or my life.” The Reaper being after you can mean you know there’s something that needs to change. Since you hide from the Reaper, it can mean you are resisting that change.

  9. Petar Petkovski says:

    the Grim Reaper chased me and my brother last night in my dream. there was two of them, not one. We were able to be faster than them although they were really swinging and running at us. But when me and my brother were able to somehow finally escape, there was a third Reaper appearing out of nowhere standing still facing us. That was the scariest mf. so me and my brother started running back to the two Reapers( it was the only way) and then kinda evade they’re swinging blades at us and started running again. Again we were faster than them but the dream ended when i realised we’re gonna make it through… Any thoughts of explanation? Please?!

  10. Stephanie Shockley says:

    In mine I dreamed I was visiting my mom at her house and the grim reaper was stalking me, following me. Everywhere I went in the house there he was and I was scared to death. Basically, he was trying to take my soul and send me to the afterlife.

    • RadOwl says:

      Wow Stephanie, I’ve had similar dreams and know how deeply they can impact. First, step back. The basic idea or subject of the dream is probably pretty simple, and I can all but guarantee that Death is not after you. However, ask yourself, are you doing something that’s pushing the limits or inviting trouble? A key detail is you are at your mom’s house when Grimmie stalks you. Is there something about your mom that concerns you, such as her health? Grimmie is fear personified. Thought of another way, your mom might have put a fear into you. “Only good girls go to heaven” or something like that. Or, you two have the same fear of something.

      Where in your body do you feel the fear triggered by the dream? Grimmie is a product of your imagination so you can question it. You can, right now, bring the image to mind and ask “what do you want from me?” Feel safe before you do it; you truly are OK, you just need to face something.

      I want to point you toward two more resources on my website: Afterlife dreams, and how to step back and see what a dream is really saying.

  11. Ashley says:

    I woke up and he was standing at the foot of my bed holding on to my son’s feet..What the heck???

    • RadOwl says:

      The Grim Reaper was? It has to be a hynapompic hallucination. You wake up and still dreaming, and the dream imagery overlays with reality, making it seem real. You might have just been dreaming up some concern you have for your son, then wake up and that concern is amplified.

  12. Daniel Lim says:

    I had many encountering sleep paralysis which all resulted to me lying in my bed opening my eyes and getting up but I was still in it, I never actually left my bed. There was also a very random dream before that. It happened 6 times till the last one where I woke up lying in bed and saw the grim reaper next to me and suddenly moving foward to me then it suddenly dissappear and I woke up for real.

    • RadOwl says:

      The “false awakening” is a fairly common occurrence. Nothing worrisome there. During sleep paralysis your dreaming mind will take what your feeling and turn it into imagery. Grim reaper, shadow people, bad aliens, demons — it’s all reported in sleep paralysis experiences. I suggest that you use the opportunity to affirm that you are not scared of death. And if you are scared of death, perhaps it’s a good time to investigate what’s known about the afterlife. Much evidence has emerged through near death experience and deep meditation that death is not a door that closes, it’s a door that opens.

  13. Catherine torres says:

    Hi! I have dream of grim reaper twice already and always turns me to yelling and so much scared though he is just standing and facing at me.

    • RadOwl says:

      Simplify the image of the Reaper to a statement about what you fear. In the dream, the Reaper is only scary because of its presence, not because of anything it does. That suggests it symbolizes a fear of something that you only need to think about to cause a strong reaction in you.

  14. Didi D. says:

    I woke up from my alarm. I got out of bed. I looked out my bedroom window and he was standing in my back yard looking at me. Not moving. Just watching me. He was huge with a huge black cloak. I could not see a face. I looked away because I was scared. I then felt a hard tug at my chest like he grabbed my soul. Everything went black. I couldn’t see anything. I could only feel myself falling. I then
    opened my eyes and I was laying in bed.
    What could that dream mean? It was 5:30 a.m. I had to get ready for work and was shook up all day.

    • RadOwl says:

      A mysterious figure like the one in your dream can be a dramatic way of saying there’s something about you that you don’t know, a blind spot, or it’s something that’s part of you but you don’t want to know it. Carl Jung calls this part of the psyche “shadow” and everyone has one. The form it takes depends on your relationship with this part of yourself and how much you know about it. Look up “shadow” on this website by using the search box. I wrote a post about it. In the description of shadow, I think you will recognize the figure from your dream.

      • Didi D. says:

        Thank you so much. It was a very intriguing read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to doing more research on the subject. Carl Jung’s interpretations are fascinating. I’m pleased I stumbled upon your website. I look forward to reading more of your articles Mr. Debord. Your extensive research satisfies my curiosity.

  15. Christie says:

    What if I had a dream about a sexual encounter with the grim reaper?

    • RadOwl says:

      Your comment slipped through my notifications and I just found it. Sex w Grimmie? Well, it’s symbolism. It could reflect some sort of fatalism or fatalistic attitude. Something is inevitable. For example, you think about getting sexually involved with someone and in their back of your mind you say to yourself, “it’ll just end badly like all the other relationships I’ve had that turn sexual.” This is just an example based on what some people experience. Sex w Grimmie could be a way of saying you are still intimately tied to something that’s dead in the figurative sense. For example, keeping your love alive for a relationship that’s over.

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