Dreams: Real Visits of Deceased Loved Ones

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“To sleep, perchance to dream” – Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Many people who have lost loved ones to death report having vivid dreams of the loved one. The deceased seems so real to the dreamer, and the experience is often so joyful, that the dreamer is very upset upon awakening, feeling cheated that she no longer has her beloved with her in this life.

In our scientific, post-Enlightenment society, we have been conditioned to believe not only that we go far away when we die but also that it is impossible for the living and so-called dead to communicate with one another. Many Westerners even believe that we are completely annihilated when we die – so a vivid and joyful dream of a loved one is wishful thinking, at best, and should be discounted as such.

The paranormal evidence, however – electronic voice phenomena (EVPs), the work of reputable mediums, and so on – strongly indicates that dreams are among the ways that the deceased can get through to the living. Vivid dreams of a deceased loved one, therefore, are most likely real visits and communications, not figments of our imagination or wishful thinking.

Virginia businessman Robert A. Monroe (1915-1995) conducted years of experiments with out-of-body experiences. He suspected “that many, most, or all human beings visit Locale II at some time during the sleep state” (Monroe, Journeys, 85), Locale II being a “non-material environment with laws of motion and matter only remotely related to the physical world” (Monroe, Journeys, 73).

Famed twentieth-century seer Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) conducted many Life Readings in which dreams were recounted and analyzed. Cayce himself had vivid dreams of his deceased mother who, at one point, informed him that she would soon be reborn as a child of a relative. (Bro, Cayce on Religion, 53) Cayce’s readings teach several things through dreams, and these teachings are echoed by other mediums and paranormal sources:

  • Sometimes the dead come to the living for their own sakes. Sometimes “the dead needed the prayer-energy of the living, to find their way.” (Bro, Cayce On Religion, 52)
  • In other cases, the living were going through experiences because of their free will that spirits do not have, so these experiences can “catch the force of these lessons by being present at times of spiritual searching.” (Bro, Cayce on Religion, 52)
  • At times, the deceased come through in a dream primarily because “they want to be known and recognized as still existent.” (Bro, Cayce on Dreams, 180)
  • Cayce warned his clients that “to seek contact too often with a discarnate would bring distress to the discarnate, holding the dead back from their own full journey.” But they also experienced distress “by not understanding, by not hearing, the call.” (Bro, Cayce on Dreams, 181)
  • Cayce believed that the encounter dreams he had with the deceased could be had by many others if they so chose. (Bro, Cayce on Religion, 25)
  • Sometimes the dead come to the living through dreams “to show the living what death is like, to take away their fear and grief.” (Bro, Cayce on Dreams, 182)

Tom and Lisa Butler, authors of There is No Death and There Are No Dead, recount similar dream evidence, in addition that gleaned from EVPs, which is their specialty. Lisa, who was very close to her father Art, had a dream of him about a month after his passing, in which he “expressed his love for her and let it be known that he was well and alive.” Other dreams followed, wherein he showed Lisa what he was doing, the quaint and lively foreign town where he was living, and his apartment. (Butlers, No Death, 72)

If you have a vivid dream of a deceased love one, don’t automatically dismiss it as a figment of your imagination. It may be him or her trying to comfort and communicate with you.


Bro, Harmon H. Edgar Cayce on Dreams. New York: Paperback Library, 1968.

Bro, Harmon H. Edgar Cayce on Religion and Psychic Experience. New York: Paperback Library, Inc., 1970.

Butler, Tom and Lisa. There is No Death and There are No Dead. Reno, NV: AA-EVP Publishing, 2008.

Monroe, Robert A. Journeys Out of the Body. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1973.