For many years I had a recurring nightmare about being stalked and attacked by nekkid old woman of truly hideous appearance, with broken teeth much like a gorilla's and knives for fingernails. After many years of always waking up screaming when she got the knives to my throat, I was finally able to recognise the pattern of the dream and begin to fight back. Sadly, during the first such nightmare after getting married my wife leant over me to wake me up. In the dream I was pinned down by the woman/monster/thing, her nails closing in on my throat. As I opened my eyes, I was still half in the dream and saw a shape a few inches from my face. Instinct took over and... well... I nutted my wife.
Even ten years later, I still blush with guilt when remembering that morning.
These days, although the genuinely terrifying nightmares are in the past, the only dreams I ever remember clearly are the ones where I'm in a truly enormous house I don't know. I'm making my way down into the cellars via a very long and circuitous route, when I feel a very large, very threatening presence behind me. I try to walk calmly back by the route I came, since I know
that if I run, or look back, whatever the presence is will kill me. I start to get very panicky as I can't remember the route, then wake up with a muffled yell, just as the presence grabs me and pulls me back towards the place where I first became aware of it.
Irritatingly, I'm not able to dream lucidly about this yet so I'm never aware that it's a nightmare until after I wake up.