What do dreams about murder mean? Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night in a panic because you’ve dreamt you have just murdered someone?

Thankfully, these types of dreams are not common, but they do have meaning.

Dream analysis is often used in psychoanalysis as a tool to understanding our subconscious thoughts, in fact, it was first pioneered by Sigmund Freud, who believed that dreams were the ‘royal road’ to the unconscious mind.

It is thought that our dreams can be a way of our subconscious thoughts coming to the surface. But obviously we are not all murderers, so what can it mean if we dream about murder?

Dreams about murder, being murdered or witnessing a murder are more often than not sending a powerful message to our consciousness.

Typically this could be:

  • Something in your life is ending or should go
  • A dramatic change is happening in your life
  • You feel hostility towards another person
  • You feel guilty about something.

Dreams about murder could also point to a release of built-up rage or anger towards a particular person in your life.  Subconsciously, you might feel like ‘ending’ the relationship but don’t know how to.

If you know the person in your dream that has been murdered but you feel indifferent about them in real life, they might represent something in your life you don’t like and want to get rid of.

If you are being murdered, you could feel betrayed by someone that is important to you.

If you watched someone else commit the murder, you might be suppressing your own feelings and anger and denying a personality trait in yourself that you don’t want to see.

It all depends on the actual dream and who was murdered.

If you were murdered

This could mean that something in yourself has to end or die. It could be a way of thinking or acting or a belief. In order for you to move on with your life and become a functioning human being, this aspect has to go.

If in your dream you struggled against your attacker, then it signifies you are not quite ready to let whatever it is you need to go just yet.

If someone you know was murdered

This could mean that you have problems with the person who was murdered and are either jealous of them or dislike them intensely. The person who was murdered could also represent an aspect of your personality that you do not like. To understand further why this person was murdered in your dream you need to think about what they are to you in real life. What do they represent in real life and why do you want to get rid of them?

As for analysing particular aspects of dreams about murder, theorists believe that if you saw the murder taking place, you are emotionally cutting yourself off from someone important in your life. If you were being chased by the murder, you are trying to outrun some aspect of your emotional life. And if you were the murderer, you could be feeling depressed at life and are angry at yourself.

Most psychoanalysts believe that dreams about murder signify the person moving on from some old or outdated practice or habit and trying something new. Much as the way the ‘Death’ tarot card does not mean dying, it symbolises an ending and new beginning, so does a murder dream.

Can dreams about murder imitate waking life?

However, there has been an interesting study on people that have recurring dreams about murder. Experts in dream analysis found that those who dream of committing murders are more likely to be hostile and aggressive in real life.

A new study has found those who dream of committing murder tend to be hostile and more aggressive when they are awake. When awake these dreamers were also introverted and found it hard to socialise with others.

The German study stated that dreams were often a magnification of real-life thoughts and feelings. During waking hours, people may find that they are bottling up feelings of hostility and aggression, but when they dream, these feelings are amplified into murder scenarios.

Lead researcher Professor Michael Shredl, of the Central Institute of Mental Health’s sleep laboratory in Mannheim, Germany, said that:

“Emotions in dreams can be much stronger than the emotions in waking life, if you do dream about killing, look at your aggressive emotions in waking life.”

So perhaps when you next dream of a murder you should ask yourself what is happening in your waking life and should you be worried?


  1. https://www.bustle.com/
  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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