ALC15: Nightmare Crawlers

Location: Humid regions, usually near the coast.

Status: Active.

Description and Behavior: Nightmare Crawlers are an anomalous species that superficially resemble large centipedes with anywhere from nine to fifteen sets of legs, though they are in fact vertebrates. They crawl in behind the eyes of their victims while they sleep. Once in place, they inject an anomalous venom that causes a deep yet distressed sleep resulting in long and stressful nightmares. The Nightmare Crawler then somehow ‘feeds’ off of the nightmares, often manifesting in the nightmare itself as a human-like face that taunts the victim with a word salad of negative and violent terms. Occasionally the entity will lose part of a leg or other appendage due to the muscle movements of the distressed victim, these usually end up in the front of the eye and closely resemble eyelashes. Eventually the Nightmare Crawler will lay eggs in the sinuses of the victim. Once these hatch, the young Nightmare Crawlers leave the victim while they sleep and seek out new hosts.

Recommended Action: It is recommended to wear a relatively tight-fitting sleep mask to deny initial entry to the Nightmare Crawlers. If you do exhibit the symptoms associated with them, chiefly frequent nightmares and pressure behind the eyes, check any eyelashes you remove from your eyes to confirm that they are not actually legs. Regardless of whether they are, go to a doctor to inspect the situation. Fortunately, the Nightmare Crawlers have never been linked to a death or serious injury, so dealing with them is a matter of comfort and can be done at a relatively leisurely pace.