Have you woken with a start from a dream of being chased? Perhaps your heart was pounding and your breathing ragged. Could a dream like that be hiding a deeper meaning? And if so, what could it be?
We’re going to investigate 14 different dream scenarios involving being chased. We’ll look at the basic meaning of these kinds of dreams, and the way different details can affect their interpretation.
And when we’ve finished, you’ll have all the information you need to find the message behind your own dream.
So let’s get started!
Why Are You Dreaming of Being Chased?
To understand the meaning behind any dream, we need to start by looking at what the images mean to us. Our subconscious brains are putting together the dream to convey a message to our waking selves. And that means that every element – however odd – is there for a reason.
Unfortunately, our brains aren’t always very careful about how they order the information. That’s because it’s our subconscious that’s at work here, and it’s often a bit screwy!
So you might find that the message parts of your dream are mixed up with other elements. It might include things you’ve noticed as you’ve gone about your business that day. And not all of them may fit with the core narrative of your dream.
That means dream interpretation can take time to get right. You need to sift through all the material and work out what parts are feeding into the message in your dream. And as well as looking at the individual meanings of the different elements, you need to understand how they all fit together.
If that sounds daunting, don’t despair! The good news is that dreams about being chased have some common factors that give us a great starting point.
The key element that’s common to pretty much all such dreams is the act of fleeing. Our dream shows that we are running away from something or someone, rather than turning and confronting it.
The experience of being chased is often uncomfortable or frightening. And that can be our subconscious mind’s way of telling us that it’s better to face up to what we fear. Only when we do so can we move forward in our lives.
But that also means that who or what is chasing us is central to the meaning of the dream. And unfortunately, that interpretation isn’t always straightforward.
Our brains are big fans of using symbols in our dreams. So instead of seeing the situation we’re worried about, we might instead see – a bear!
In cases like this, it’s obviously important to understand why your mind has chosen a bear – or another symbol. Unraveling that meaning will allow you to decipher the deeper message in the dream.
Now let’s look at some common – and less common – dream scenarios involving being chased.
Dream of Being Chased (Interpretation & Spiritual Meaning)
1. Being Chased by Another Person …
The dream world, as we’ll see, can conjure up all kinds of weird and wonderful scenarios. So being chased by another person is only one of a number of different possibilities.
But if your dream involves this relatively straightforward experience, some people believe it relates to financial pressures.
That’s particularly likely to be the case if the person in your dream wasn’t someone you know. Other details may also help you check whether this is the right interpretation. Green is associated with cash. So if your pursuer was dressed in green, it’s another sign that this relates to money worries.
If you know your pursuer, however, it’s possible they’re representing someone or something else. Remember – dreams are more often symbolic than literal!
Perhaps this person shares a characteristic with the thing they’re representing.
If they’re a doctor, they could represent health worries. If they’re an excellent cook, they might symbolize the temptation to overeat. And if you see them as a risk taker, they might represent your own desire to leave your comfort zone.
2. … Who is a Man
In dreams where you’re being chased, it’s important to look at the salient features of your pursuer. In some cases, you might not notice their sex at all. And in others, it might not be important. Your Uncle Bob is likely to have more important associations to you than the fact he’s a man!
But in some dreams, the sex of the person chasing you could be the thing that stands out about them. And if that’s the case, it probably means it’s representing something important.
It could be that you’ve had unpleasant experiences with male figures in the past. In this case, the dream might relate to trauma that you haven’t yet worked through.
Or it could be that the man in your dream is representing problems you see as being masculine in nature. They could relate to traditionally masculine traits, such as physical strength or competitiveness.
3. Being Chased by a Burglar
If you were being chased by a burglar in your dream, it could be connected to feelings of anger. The person who is pursuing you has already taken something from you.
It may be that you’re aware that you’re running away from things it would be better to confront. That knowledge could be breeding resentment, even if you haven’t yet recognised it consciously.
4. Being Chased by an Animal
Many dreams involve being chased by an animal. The interpretation will depend on the specific creature and the characteristics you associate with it.
Wild animals in general are often a symbol for the primitive, untamed parts of ourselves. Dreams of this kind can signify a retreat from our own instincts and desires. Perhaps we are ashamed to acknowledge what we truly want.
Other interpretations vary by the animal. Dreams in which you’re chased by a fox or dog can suggest a love of risk taking. Dreams of being pursued by bats can reflect problems in romantic relationships. And dreams of sharks can represent risks to your financial security.
5. Being Chased by a Monster
Sometimes your dream pursuer may not be a real creature at all. If you’ve been chased by a monster, it could simply be a sign that change is coming. And if you look back as you’re being chased and the monster disappears, it’s a positive sign that you’ll overcome obstacles.
As ever, the more details you remember, the better your chance of getting to the heart of your dream’s message.
A dream of being chased by a zombie, for example, may relate to an unacknowledged part of yourself. Perhaps something has happened to wake this dormant part of your personality. And perhaps you’re avoiding confronting the issues it’s raised.
6. Being Chased by an Unseen Pursuer
We’ve talked a lot about the meaning of your pursuer’s identity. But what if you don’t know who or what is chasing you?
If you’re running from something or someone you never see, it’s likely that your pursuer is – wait for it – yourself!
We often have difficulties visualizing ourselves in our dreams. And that’s particularly likely to apply if your dream is showing you aspects of yourself you haven’t consciously recognised.
Your dream may be reflecting those elements of your personality struggling to assert themselves. And it’s telling you that it’s time to be honest with yourself about who you are and what you want.
7. Being Chased by a Cloaked Pursuer
There’s a similar meaning if the person chasing you is wearing a cloak, or is weird, ugly or deformed. In all these cases, the strange or unclear appearance relates to aspects of yourself you’re refusing to recognise.
As with dreams of an unseen pursuer, this dream can be encouraging you to be honest about your own feelings.
But it can also be an invitation not to give yourself too hard a time. Look back on your achievements, and don’t focus on disappointments. We all fail sometimes – those failures are opportunities to learn and grow, not something to be ashamed of.
8. Being Chased and Being Unable to Move
Being unable to move in a dream is a very common sensation. It can relate directly to the physical stage of sleep when we’re unable to move our limbs.
If you’ve had a dream where this sensation has coincided with being chased, however, it’s likely to have a different cause. It may reflect a feeling that you’re unable to take responsibility in your waking life.
If this strikes a chord with you, it could be time to reflect on your situation. What would it take for you to exercise your own personal power?
9. A Slow Motion Chase
Dreams often don’t obey the same rules of time as the real world. If your dream involved being chased in slow motion, it could link to your relationships with friends or loved ones.
This dream is thought by some to indicate a need to give more attention to those close to you. Perhaps work has been too busy to spend time with loved ones. Or perhaps you’ve started to take other people for granted.
This dream could be a wake-up call to focus on the people who are important to you.
10. Being Chased Towards a Light
Dreams of pure white light are often thought to represent spiritual energy. In the Christian tradition, it’s often associated with the Holy Spirit.
A dream where you’re being chased towards a light may therefore be connected to your own spiritual growth.
Think too about what is pursuing you. Could it be it an element of yourself? Dreams like this can be prompted by your own growing realisation of your spiritual self.
11. Being Chased Through Woods
The location of your dream flight can also be important to deciphering its meaning. If you were running through woods, it could represent nature and natural energy. Or if the woods were dark and shadowy, they could signify an element of mystery.
As so often with dreams of being chased, this mystery could lie within you. The dark surroundings could be your subconscious mind’s way of emphasising that much is yet unknown to you.
12. Being Chased Through Streets
Dreams of being chased through urban areas, on the other hand, are often believed to be linked to financial concerns. The streetscape is associated with material possessions and the pressures of modern life.
This dream may indicate that you’re under a lot of strain. Try to take a step back from everyday stresses. What could you do to relieve the pressure you’re experiencing?
If you’re struggling to see a way through, it can be helpful to talk through your situation with someone else. That could be a friend, family member or colleague. Or you might prefer to talk to a professional who can offer a fresh perspective.
13. Being Chased by the Police
Perhaps your dream involved being chased by the police, or some other type of authority figure. We’re assuming here that you haven’t broken the law and are worrying about this happening in real life!
If that’s the case, your dream may be pointing to feelings of guilt. Perhaps you’re worried about the impact your behavior has had on others. And your subconscious mind is expecting – and perhaps even wanting – to be punished for it.
If this rings a bell, it may be time to think about what you can do to make amends. Knowing you’ve done what you can to repair the damage will be important in enabling you to move on.
14. Running and Hiding
If you hid from your pursuer, your dream may be connected to feelings of shame or fear. The emotions you feel in your dream are likely to be the key to making the right interpretation.
If you felt ashamed, your dream may be prompting you to face up to what you’ve done. Confronting your negative feelings is the only way to move beyond them.
If you hid because you were frightened, the message is similar. Only by facing your pursuer – whether that’s a person or a situation – will you be able to deal with your feelings.
Dreams of Being Chased Often Reflect Feelings About Ourselves
Whatever the details of your dream, being chased often reflects our own emotions. Maybe we’re trying to run away from an external threat. Or maybe we’re scared of our own unacknowledged desires.
In almost every case, our dream is highlighting an uncomfortable truth. While we continue to avoid confronting what is scaring us, we won’t be able to move forward in our lives.