What would be the word or term to describe a person who found themselves in another living person's body or the name of the process that put them there?

I've recently had a couple of experiences while sleeping that were so real that they troubled me for months afterwards. I do not believe they were dreams. I dream often and these were nothing like a dream and I have found nothing to describe this. Please help...

  • Does this apply only to dreams, or does it occur while awake? Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 21:05
  • From the title and first para, we could call it "Freaky Friday" if it were a TV trope. The rest of it indicates either a vivid dream, or some other psychological experience which we are not equipped to explain here. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 21:28

3 Answers 3


The dreams could be wishful thinking, unconsciously you may be seeking to live a different life, to be someone else.

It could also be a signal that you are living a period of great stress, the dreams do not mean you physically abandoned your body and entered into somebody else's.

But depending on your personal beliefs there are a couple of expressions that interpret this type out-of-body experience (OBE)

The other incarnation of non-physical mediumship is a form of channeling in which the channeler goes into a trance, or "leaves their body", allowing a spiritual entity to borrow their body, who then talks through them. When in a trance the medium appears to come under the control of the spirit of a departed soul, sometimes entering into a cataleptic state, although modern channelers may not. Some channelers open the eyes when channeling, and remain able to walk and behave normally.

from Dictionary.com

2. a living being embodying a deity or spirit.

From Merriam-Webster

relating to or involving a feeling of separation from one's body and of being able to view oneself and others from an external perspective.

  • In the meantime I'put a bounty on one of your old favorites.
    – user66974
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 12:08
  • This sounds a lot like an analysis from someone who has never experienced 'vivid' or 'lucid' dreaming...and a little like Madame Blavatsky Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 20:41
  • @Cascabel This answer sounds like it is supported.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 20:45

I do not believe they were dreams.

But they were dreams. They are known as "lucid dreams": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream. They are not harmful but if you are worried, seek medical advice.

  • +1 , but not really... lucid dreams imply a certain amount of control. This sounds more like 'vivid' dreaming. Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 20:26

Body-mind swaps are an oft used device in science fiction. One place it was used was in Star Trek (Original Series) in the last episode, Turnabout Intruder. A character used a Life-energy transfer machine to forcibly swap bodies with Captain Kirk.

In Star Trek: the Search for Spock, a Vulcan technique of Katra is used to transfer a body with two minds into a soulless body of another.

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