And rather than screaming like a little girl and refusing to go back to sleep, which is what I should have done, I got excited. Why? Because I had dreamed up the best creepy thing I may have ever heard of. I'm going to use it in the fantasy novel/series I'm working on, so I'm just going to slip you my notes, for now.... more detail will be in the story when it's done. Hell, this might get its own full length work. Fantastic!
I was being chased by a pack of infected humans... Something like a cross between a vampire and a zombie, but the infection is a parasitic one.
The parasite enters the body totally silently, and the infected thinks they are fine for a while... but the parasite grows rapidly once in the host body, when large enough, it attaches itself to the brain stem, and takes over the host body over time.
The first sign something is wrong starts with cravings for raw human flesh... Maybe the infected tries to eat other creatures instead, to keep from killing, but eventually, the craving takes over and they run with it.
So the victims of the infected are thought to have suffered an animal attack, initially, and are not infected as well as attacked/fed on. The procreating parasite needs a healthy host for offspring & until one is found, the offspring remain within the host body of the parent until one can be found for transfer.
It slowly changes the host, both physically and mentally. The host forgets who they were before, eyes become light sensitive, so they become nocturnal, the skin lightens as a result of lack of sunlight (but sun doesn't = death), and ears begin to grow larger and pointed, as a result of the diet.
Because it's parasitic in nature, if you catch it early enough, you can preserve the host's body/personality it's like a fit of madness but you can come back from it, mostly. The parasite must be cut out of the host and removed early enough and they can be saved.
They live in houses that belonged to the former host humans, and kind of live as a hive in a nest, of sorts... I was in one of these houses and saw a girl who had been recently infected. The husband/boyfriend of her, he was out looking for her because she never came home one night, and he was trying to save her. She didn't recognize him, and it broke his heart.
The leader of these creatures is the REALLY fucking creepy thing, though. I saw him twice in my dream and he made my skin crawl... BIG guy, blood-soaked front on his shirt (from recently feeding on a fresh kill, or perhaps fresh LIVE meat... Thinking live.) and he was a self mutilator, but he went after his FACE. He'd wear a creepy ass white mask with holes for eyes when around people he didn't want to scare too much...
And his host's wife was allowed to remain fully human because she would lure the prey to him and help him infect other people. She came after me. Touched me, and infected me... In the dream anyway, but that doesn't really jive with the whole enters through the skin thing, unless she was wearing gloves, but anyway, she was creepy too. Good lord, at least those creatures were mind controlled. she was just EVIL.
Anyway. Dream of craziness. Should have awakened with "OH GOD I'm never going to sleep again." But I had to write it down. Because it was awesome.