Dream Interpreter: Evil hands & a talking moustache

The Journal’s dream interpreter analyzes two dreams about authentic selves, tough decisions

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I’m Meryl Sleep, Queen’s resident dream interpreter. I analyze dreams in an effort to decode the symbols in each Queen’s student’s subconscious. Today’s two dreams involve a hand with a mind of its own and an oddly-named moustache hair.


I’ve been having a very bizarre, reoccurring dream. In my basement, I find a severed—but still functional—human hand behind a couch. It attaches itself to me as a third arm and interferes with my life. However, to others, I still only appear to have two hands. The evil hand causes all sorts of trouble, but the only way to get rid of it is to give it to someone else. In the end, I have to choose which people in my life I want to give the evil hand to.

Dear Dreamer,

Reoccurring dreams can be frustrating—especially when the meaning is unknown—because they trigger the same emotional response each time. 

This type of recurring dream often signifies an unresolved thought or emotion. What happens throughout your day to trigger this dream? Is there something important you’re not addressing?

A couple of symbols jump out, including the severed hand and a basement.

For starters, hands often represent the way dreamers connect with the world. A severed hand may be representative of a strained relationship or line of communication. As the hand attaches itself as a third arm only visible to you, perhaps you feel no one is aware of your discomfort. Are you keeping something painful a secret? It’s possible you feel like people are ignoring your attempts at sharing something with them. 

A severed hand may be representative of a strained relationship or line of communication

Basements symbolize unresolved emotional issues. The severed hand is always located in the basement at the beginning of the dream, suggesting it’s representative of something you haven’t confronted but are unable to forget. The hand is also described as having an “evil” presence, which leads me to believe it represents a negative experience or emotion.

The choice presented at the end of the dream suggests that addressing the issue would cause other people discomfort, as they may have to confront the issue plaguing your subconscious. Would someone be uncomfortable with the information you want to tell them? It’s important to consider the benefits of opening up, so you can free your mind to explore new thoughts. 


I had a dream I was a cowboy on a ranch in the middle of the desert, where there were no animals or plants. I had a really long moustache hair growing from my lip and when I yanked it out there was a loud "pop" sound. Confetti appeared everywhere and then there was a bright light and a voice that said, "You freed me, Jebediah." I awoke confused, as that’s not my name. 

Dear Dreamer,

It’s important to remember dreams are how the brain processes information obtained throughout the day, indicating nonsensical dreams are likely the brain being overwhelmed by many unrelated streams of thought. 

[N]onsensical dreams are likely the brain being overwhelmed by many unrelated streams of thought. 

When you have a nonsensical dream, it’s helpful to determine the context of when the dream occurred to gain some understanding of what triggered it. Often a change in life commitments, like a new job or home, can cause a wild dream. Did this dream occur while you were adjusting to a recent life change?

Some major symbols stand out, including facial hair, confetti, a bright light, and a different name. 

Facial hair typically denotes subconscious thoughts about identity. By the nature of a moustache covering part of your face, this symbol represents a masking of your true identity around other people. 

Perhaps you feel like you can’t be yourself in social settings, but you know you’d be happier if you dropped the mask and expressed your true thoughts. The single moustache hair suggests this is a mild feeling. 

Together, confetti and the bright light demonstrate feelings of celebration and revelation. Confetti symbolises happiness and achievement, indicating the removal of the moustache hair brought positive changes. Furthermore, the bright light suggests you’ve found a solution to a life problem. 

Afterwards, someone uses a name other than your own to address you, which could mean people see you differently than you see yourself. Are you worried people misunderstand who you are?

It seems like you’re trying to figure out how to truly express yourself around other people. Perhaps you’ve recently made new friends or taken on a new responsibility, and you’re concerned you won’t be able to act natural. Remember, it’s best to always be yourself.

Sweet dreams!

—Meryl Sleep

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