Your dreaming mind may at times employ sinister symbolism to address what it perceives to be the darker side of human nature. It has a wealth of material to call upon from both religion and mythology. There may be imps from hell to drag you into a fiery torment, demons of plague and pestilence, Beelzebub the ‘Lord of the Flies’, Asmodeus the demon of anger and lust, and a host of other demons, fiends and evil spirits in the form of toads, serpents, hobgoblins and elves. Each represents darker aspects of your own nature, perhaps a fear of the unknown that is not expressed in waking life, perhaps your frustrated desires and loss of control. Dreams of the devil himself (or modern representations of evil such as Darth Vader from Star Wars or Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter books) may be seen as a representation of your dark, unconscious and baser urges. For Jungians, such a figure would be the ultimate shadow archetype. Devil dreams tend to occur when people are breaking with tradition in some way. They may also be related to evil or negative influences within yourself, possibly linking to a recent or impending decision or action of yours in waking life. See also Devil entry in RELIGION.
Monsters may present, in hideous form, untamed impulses that fill you with disgust and loathing. By giving these impulses a monstrous rather than a human form, you can evade personal responsibility for them. Many dreamers report feelings of a great weight on their chest and a sense of great evil.
Sometimes the dreamer sees a figure who is sexually rapacious. These figures are known as incubi and succubi and they are demons in the form of imps.
They were often included in paintings in the medieval period and symbolize the uncontrolled world of dreams and desire.
If you are able to kill your dream demon or evil spirit, this may help you resolve your innermost fears in waking life. See also NIGHTMARES; SPIRITS AND GHOSTS.... The Element Encyclopedia