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The phenomenon known as stigmata is the alleged appearance of marks or sores on the skin, which manifest in accordance with the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. Claimed experiencers the likes of Padre Pio and others have said that such anomalous bleeding of the palms is a divine mark or signature, of sorts, and helps provide proof of the life and purpose of Jesus, as well the holy spirit’s ability to manifest itself within physical bodies of the faithful.

Scientifically, the reason that a mark or other wound might appear on the skin, and solely as a result of spiritual belief founded in the

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

22 Replies to “Mark of the Dream Beast: A Modern Stigmata Story?

  1. What I find the most interesting about your friend’s experience is that it manifested through a classical archetype: the green man –which is not explicitly malevolent in itself for it embodies the forces of Nature, which can either give life or take it away.

    In this context, the oneiric background in which the dream unfolded –a ‘post-apocalyptic’ setting, presumably showing the effect of modern civilization crumbling after being run down by Nature– becomes significant.

  2. Wow, red pill. How astute. Yes, the green man is a pagan symbol of nature and since the fear now-a-days is that if we destroy nature it will destroy us via wild hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes from fracking, etc. His dream did explain that it was post-apocalyptic (nature has been destroyed) and is now rising up against us, and threatening us. Sounds good to me.

      1. It is interesting that the “green man” was not overtly demonic, nor did he seem to bear any other archetypal “devilish” qualities. I might have to follow up with Sam about whether we could get a slightly more thorough description of the character, and whether he seemed to resemble anything else (clothing, hair length, etc) that would have a symbolic significance.

  3. From an anthropological standpoint, missionaries have acted as the handmaidens of capitalism, the vanguards that forcibly changed the ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘uncivilized’ peoples in functional wage-labourers. This is part of a disastrous process that still plays out today, and is tied to colonialism and imperialism.

    Perhaps the Green Man was warning Sam to critically think about the work of missionaries, because missionaries are responsible for disemboweling the cultures, livelihoods and traditions of millions of ‘others’ across the globe.

    If Sam really wants to help, all he needs to to is walk over to the nearest homeless shelter, and help make the lives of these people more meaningful, stable and worthwhile.

    Sleep paralysis can be a wonderfully freeing experience, or a terrifying experience, depending on one’s state of mind. I have experienced it both ways.

    1. Every time I’ve experienced, it’s been terrifying 🙁

      Recently I had an interesting hypnagogic experience: It was a very colorful dream (I always dream in color) where I was in some kind of pond, or rather what is known in Spanish architecture as a ‘water mirror’, in which a couple of big colorful monitor lizards were crawling. Reptiles make me nervous, so I suddenly woke up, but what was interesting is that even though I had opened my eyes and moved my head to where my dresser is located, I could still see one of those damn lizards on top of my dresser moving towards me! I instinctly shouted “NO!” and the shock snapped me out of it.

      After I calmed down I reassessed the experience: the ‘lizard’ did not look as ‘tangible’ as any of the physical objects inside my room. It was more like a transparent ‘layer’ super-imposed by my brain on top of normal reality, yet during the fraction of a second that the hypnagogic state lasted, my mind wasn’t bothered with the difference –it simply reacted instantly with fear.

      Now, what would have REALLY put my head on a blender, is if the dream-lizard had knocked off some of the clothing I keep on top of that drawer!

      1. RPJ,

        My own most terrifying experience with sleep paralysis dealt with a weird dream, followed by me waking up, as usual, but as is familiar to the paralysis experiencers, I was unable to move. Over in the floor by the end of my bed, Linda Blair’s “Pazuzu” character from The Exorcist was writhing around in the floor, and as I was struggling to awaken from the experience, this mantra, of sorts, kept being repeated in my head: “the medium is the message!” I seem to recall “medium and “message” being variously replaced every other time with the word “mayhem.” Indeed, it was an odd experience, and when I finally snapped out of it, I awoke feeling particularly creepy and unsettled, with a literal feeling that I wanted to “cleanse myself.” Strange, the things our minds can accomplish while we’re still sleeping… or coming out of a sleep, of course.

  4. On 10/21/10

    I woke up with a perfectly healed 2.5 inch incision, complete with staple holes and a cut that was as fresh as you’d expect it to be after the staples were removed and had healed enough to just be black and blue marks. photographed it, showed it to m wife and some friends and family were shown the picture, but then it disappeared right off my camera card and I was forced to reformat the card to use it again. This happened around the time my mother-in-law, staying with us, asked me if I had company in the middle of the night as there were bright lights shining into her room. (leaving out dozens of details here) but the point is, it was 2.5 inches long! An incision! I never went to the doctor for anything and I sure would not cut myself and then staple it back up – would not have a clue how to do it. When I realized the pic was mysteriously gone, I took another and sent it far and wide. Still have that one. Staple holes are no longer visible but the “slash” is. Pic was taken 12/03/10. Still trying to figure out how to get an x-ray without getting committed…

    1. If you could provide us with a copy of that photo, we would greatly appreciate it. Be assured that Micah & the rest of the GR staff would honor your confidentiality, should you choose to request it.

  5. Dang it…I was attacked by Civil War Rebs during a peroid of sleep paralysis. It was at my late hubby’s Grandmother’s house in Mobile Al. They showed me a house of depravity and rape, every room worse than the one before. I was aware, but paralysized. The imprint of the Chenelle Bedspread on my face was enough to convince me..

  6. Thanks for posting this, Micah, a really interesting story. I have a post coming online about this article on the 12th but, briefly, I come at these incidents from a more magical/folkloric point of view. It seems to me that what happened to young Sam came to pass in what occultists call the etheric realm or plane – a place where injury to the etheric body (the vehicle for traveling in that realm) will result in injury to the physical. Now, why a being would chase him from the astral (the original vivid dream) to the etheric where this incident occurred, is anyone’s guess . . .

    1. I haven’t looked much into OOBEs or astral traveling, but thanks to the Mysterious Universe podcast I’ve learned of experiences in which astral travelers have suffered ‘attacks’ from entities in those planes of existence. I don’t know whether such encounters would translate into a physical injury in THIS reality, though.

      It’s all so reminiscent of that scene in The Matrix, when Neo finds blood on his mouth after he failed to jump off the building in the simulation program.

      1. Micah:

        It is very unlikely that someone will take physical damage in the astral – for the sake of simplicity, the plane of existence in which all our thoughts form images, from the lowest yuck stuff all the way up to the most exalted – but it is entirely possible for physical damage to be reflected to the physical body from the etheric level – the plane of existence that mirrors our own and might even be said to be the lattice upon which it is built.

  7. You guys wouldn’t be interested in one crazy picture of stigmata would you?
    I saw your conversation with GrandDaddy above and thought you’d like to see mine.

      1. Ok. Send the picture to the email address above? I guess I could show you guys the picture of Mr. Scary. 🙂

        I don’t know about the whole story though. If you saw her movie well, Patricia Arquette has nothing on me.

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