This Man (a.k.a “Ever Dream This Man?”) is an Internet myth associated with an artist’s illustration of a man with beady eyes, bushy eyebrows, thin lips, and a receding hairline. Since October 2009, numerous reports of this man appearing in people’s dreams have come from around the world, typically portrayed as a benevolent character.
The copypasta story is said to have originated from thisman.org, a website launched in September 2009 by Italian viral marketing specialist Andrea Natella. According to the site description, the portrait (shown below) was drawn by a mental patient of a well-known psychiatrist:
In January 2006 in New York, the patient of a well-known psychiatrist draws the face of a man that has been repeatedly appearing in her dreams. In more than one occasion that man has given her advice on her private life. The woman swears she has never met the man in her life.
That portrait lies forgotten on the psychiatrist’s desk for a few days until one day another patient recognizes that face and says that the man has often visited him in his dreams. He also claims he has never seen that man in his waking life.
The psychiatrist decides to send the portrait to some of his colleagues that have patients with recurrent dreams. Within a few months, four patients recognize the man as a frequent presence in their own dreams. All the patients refer to him as THIS MAN.
From January 2006 until today, at least 2000 people have claimed they have seen this man in their dreams, in many cities all over the world: Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moskow etc.
At the moment there is no ascertained relation or common trait among the people that have dreamed of seeing this man. Moreover, no living man has ever been recognized as resembling the man of the portrait by the people who have seen this man in their dreams.
“I have had this recurrent dream for some years now. A tall, dark man shows me a picture and asks me if I can recognise my father in it. The man in the picture is this man I have never seen before, he looks nothing like my dad, nevertheless I inexplicably answer that I do recognize my father. At this point I usually wake up feeling very peaceful. Other times the dream continues, I am standing before my father’s grave, I place some flowers on the ground and I realise the photograph on the tombstone is missing.”
“I fell in love with him from the very first time I saw him in my dream. Even though if I think about it I must admit he’s really ugly. And yet each and every time, he sweeps me off my feet with his romantic gestures and sweet words. He buys me flowers, jewellery, he takes me out to dinner or to the beach to watch the sunset.”
“I have always had this dream of flying in the sky over my city and observing my friends from up there. Since I moved to another house I started meeting this man while flying. Not every single time that I have this dream about flying, but often enough. He flies too, but he never speaks.”
These are some of the original drawings made by the people who have seen this man in their dreams. The identikit that is currently used is based on these portraits.
The website also gives visual street posts from all over the world claiming they have seen “This Man” in their dreams, with reports coming from Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Tehran, Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Stockholm, Paris, New Dehli, Moscow, etc.
Throughout October 2009, the mysterious copypasta spread across various blogs like Neatorama, Now Republic and io9, discussion forums including Yahoo Q&A, Facepunch and StraightDope Forum, as well as social news communities 4chan, Reddit and Metafilter, where lengthy discussions about the rumor’s validity and debunking attempts ensued. Numerous explanations about “This Man” soon followed suit, some based on sociological and psychological concepts like Carl Jung’s Archetype Theory or Dream Imitation Theory, as well as others that are more absurd of claims like the man is a dream skipper or the God himself.
That same month, some people began investigating the origin of Thisman.org and identified Italian sociologist and marketing strategist Andrea Natella as the creator of the website. It was also revealed that Natella runs an advertising agency called Guerilla Marketing, which designs subversive hoaxes and creates weird art projects exploring pornography, politics, and advertising. The site was briefly acquired by horror movie production company Ghost House Pictures, in promotion for an upcoming film titled This Man, written and directed by American filmmaker Bryan Bertino.
Ghost House Pictures announced ON that Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) will direct This Man, an original screenplay that he will also pen.
“We look forward to partnering with Bryan and Adrienne to develop this unique, hair-raising horror story that will be sure to delight horror fans,” shares Sam Raimi.
This never happened. Yet!
Video source: Strange Mysteries
Photo credits: thisman.org