Dream Interpretation | Recurring dream — Abandoned House

It’s no secret to the people who know me that I’ve studied dream interpretation for most of my life. The depth of worlds created in our minds when we sleep has always been fascinating to me—also sometimes we come up with some batshit crazy things, am I right? As a child I couldn’t help but begin to see correlations between the things I would dream and the things I was dealing with in my waking life. When I got older, I began to realize as well that a lot of my dreams were a result of the things I wasn’t dealing with in my waking life.

A dear friend of mine has shared with me a dream that has recurred in his life inconsistently for over 35 years. I was fascinated by it when we discussed it, and he’s become interested in my services of interpretation. With his permission, I’ve gotten permission to share it on the chance that someone else may experience similar elements within their dreams and could find value from an interpretation.


I’m 73 now and the dream has come and gone since my late 30s. It always starts the same. It’s nighttime and I’m outside a dilapidated old house. It’s very large and looming and old and sad. I don’t dwell on the outside much but rather I go inside. The inside matches the outside. I’m in first-person perspective like my view is as a camera. All I do is slowly look around the house. It’s largely empty, dusty, old, and it’s like no one has been in it for a long, long time.

The house is big, but there’s nothing particular to look at, yet I slowly take my time going through each empty room. A lot of times I move to go upstairs and that’s when I will wake up. Sometimes, not always, I will make it up the stairs and down the hall. A few times I will make it through a few somewhat empty bedrooms upstairs, but this rarely ever happens.

Through the dream, and especially as I go up the stairs, I feel a sense of anticipation. Perhaps even expectation. For a long time, I thought the house was just a random house, but a year or so ago I realized that in my dream, whether it was accurate or not, I was in my aunt’s house. She passed when I was much younger.
—Grey Wanderer


My dear friend Grey Wanderer,
Recurring dreams fascinate me especially because I’ve not experienced one for myself yet. I believe it’s the easiest part of this interpretation: as this dream experience happens time and time again, whatever dwells within you that’s creating the dream becomes more prominent and rises to the top. There’s a recurring element that creates this same experience for you throughout your life and it lies somewhere in the context of the dream.

To dream of a house is an expression of one’s self or one’s soul. Different places within a house or a home can represent different aspects of the body, the self, or one’s life. In this case, I believe the importance is in the house as a whole, rather than each individual room.

Usually my first question regarding dreams about houses are the condition of the house. In your case the house is already old, but beyond that it seems like it’s been abandoned, forgotten. This can sometimes be a manifestation of our old beliefs, our old selves, or our old ideals. It can even be an indication of old memories. Almost as if your inner self searches around for these old emotions/memories, but only dusty, tattered remnants are left behind. The emptiness of the house leads me to feel that these memories/ideas/feelings were a part of yourself that are no longer truly there in your present day-to-day life.

I feel it’s difficult to say if there is significance in whether you make it upstairs or not, as the upstairs of the house is in similar condition to the downstairs and there’s no significant change in tone of the dream. So instead let’s focus on the emotions you describe. Anticipation, expectation—these emotions lend themselves to the experience of searching for something. At this point it’s worth asking, do you have any idea what old part of yourself or old memory you may be looking for? Yearning for?

Finally, getting to the very end of your message, it was like the final piece of a puzzle clicking into place. Your late aunt’s home is the home you’re searching through, but it’s been empty for a long time. I have no doubt that there are a multitude of memories you carry surrounding her. The passing of a loved one can be difficult even if that passing is considered peaceful.

Even if you don’t feel that the memory of this loss was traumatizing to you, it makes sense that this experience was still a formidable one. Every human being experiences loss, and it’s always meaningful in some way. I wonder if within these dreams there is a yearning or a sense of desire for this nostalgia? The memories of her and who you were before this big loss? I’m thinking that since these dreams are not destressing for you, it’s merely a very succinct way for yourself to express these urges and feelings.


I sincerely hope that from my interpretation you’ve found some meaning and have been aided in looking inward to discover more of yourself! Thank you so much for sharing.

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