What Do Elevators Mean In Dreams?

Here’s an interesting twist on an elevator dream from Mark L.

I’m descending in an elevator, but I’m not IN the car, I’m on TOP of the car (on the outside) and can see the cables and counterbalance weights.

Elevators move us up and down within a building and therefore connect with the easy ability to move up and down within our consciousness.  Higher floors relate to higher thoughts, lower floors…well you get the picture.

This higher and lower consciousness idea connects to many images that relate to vantage point: A mountain top would offer a broad, expansive view of your world, whereas a hole in the ground would be pretty restricted.  This distinction of an elevator, however, is that is located inside of a building; a man-made construction that has limited boundaries and specific purpose.  In this way, a building is much more about a construct of thought or ideas you may have created for yourself and an elevator represents your ability to move freely within the different levels of thought that this particular “idea” may contain.

So, now let’s talk about Mark’s conundrum.  In his dream, his elevator moves easily up and down, stopping at all the various floors representing different ideas he’s built up for himself.  However, he can’t access any of them because he’s stuck on top of the elevator car, separated from the doors that provide the entrance to what’s available in this particular building.  Sure, he has a good sense of how things work and the mechanism BEHIND the ideas (cables and weights) but this dream is probably coming along when he can’t actually utilize the information he has to expand his life using the knowledge available to him.

I’ve included the term Elevator from my upcoming dream dictionary, Dream Sight, coming from Llewellyn Press in February 2011.


Universal Landscape:  Rapid transition between levels of awareness.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you waiting for the elevator or already riding it?  Was your intended destination being reached?  Were you frightened or in danger?  Were you going sideways?  Were you stuck in an elevator?  Were you moving faster than what felt safe?  Who were you with?  Were you pushing the buttons or was someone else?

Personal Focus:  Elevators carry us from one floor to another at the push of a button.  The different levels they transport us to connect to various perspectives of our awareness.  We decide our destination on an elevator, aligning this symbol with the choices we make about what areas of our consciousness we are willing to investigate.  What happens in the elevator of our dreams may reveal how well this process is going in our daily lives.

The floors involved in a dream can hold significance.  In a general way, moving upward connects with higher, more sophisticated levels of thinking and moving downward indicates investigation of lower levels, past issues and behavior patters.  Moving downward can also align with visiting hidden or shadow material.

The actual floor number or numbers, if remembered, can be examined through the concepts of numerology for additional meaning (see Numbers).  If there are specific associations with the floors you visit or the building where the elevator is located, this should be factored strongly into your interpretation.

To be going up when down is desired may indicate a pressing need to operate with a higher insight than with which you are currently engaged.  Going down when up is anticipated may point to the need to uncover additional material hidden in the lower depths of your consciousness or your past.  Being stuck on an elevator is to be midway through a process or shift.  Your response to the lack of movement may reveal levels of impatience with your progress in some area of growth.

An elevator out of control is similar to a falling dream, but the added component of transition and choice must be considered.  While you may be falling, you have chosen to take the elevator in search for new information.  Going sideways is to be confused about the direction in which a current transformational shift may be taking you.  If the elevator is out of service, you may be stuck in some issue in your life.  Another possibility with a broken elevator is a need to stay where you are and not try and escape your current situation by rising above it or sinking to a lower level.

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59 Responses to What Do Elevators Mean In Dreams?

  1. Vee December 7, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    I dreamt that I was on an elevator, it goes to the highest point, actually higher than the building and it stops but seems like it stopped too hard, it was now in the air, I decided to jump from the elevator to a pole on the roof, as the elevator fell back down into the building.
    I easily climbed from that pole to the next, till I was safely on the roof.
    I walked around and saw a few people on the roof, I didnt no them.
    I met a guy though, around my age, whose face I have never seen before but we kept trying to speak to each other, his face was very clear in the dream. Then I woke up.
    I had this dream before but a few things were different.

  2. deepak January 3, 2016 at 5:11 am #

    I often get dreams where I get stuck in a lift and lift moves horizontally at a very high speed. It scares me because it is out of control and I fear it will go out of building and fall down . it just stops near the end. In last night dream i got stuck in lift with my colleagues and lift started moving horizontally and when I stopped it using emergency button it was 75 km away from my office. The lift had turned itself into a small toy rail coach and there were 2 railway tracks in vicinity . even I cautioned one of my colleague to see the incoming toy train on other track as she was trying to cross it. I ended up in a high school garden and I was wondering what I am doing here and why there are rail tracks in a school. What does this dream mean. i get quite scared after these kind of dreams.

  3. Winny Wolfe January 10, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    I used to have recurring sideways swinging elevator dream many times a year, but since changing to a rewarding job with senior citizens I no longer have it. Yay!
    In the last six weeks I (female, mid-40’s) have had a similar dream three times where I get off an elevator into an apartment building or other dwelling (hospital?) where I walk down numerous very clean, white carpeted, almost posh hallways with no doors on the rooms/apartments but mattresses sometimes wedged, stuffed or propped into entrances. I am looking for the elevator to leave, and end up feeling very agitated and worried that I won’t find the elevator but always at the end I ask the only person I finally encounter where it is, and twice they (male) pointed where I could find it, and the last dream had the man pointing behind me to a staircase that took me Up to street level. I was expecting to be going down to get there.
    What could this mean? Husband says I’m pregnant! Noooooooooooooo! Lol

  4. Kitty kate January 15, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    I had a dream that i was stuck in an elevator. It was dark. I was panicking for some reason. I hear a voice talking to me, threatening me. I began sweating, The suddenly someone opened the doors of the elevator and saw me sitting in the corner.

  5. Amy bury March 27, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    I just woke up sobbing , my grand baby is moving far away from me in real life . I had a dream that he was falling down and elevator shaft , I was with him and my grand daughter , he was screaming and holding his arms out for me and it happened over and over until I woke up sobbing , does the elevater represent loss ?

  6. mlennox March 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    In a way; an elevator implies the easy moving back and forth between floors. Your grandbaby falling into the shaft represents the fear that (because he is not in an elevator car) he will never be able to return.

  7. Mona April 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    In my dream, I was in an elegant elevator, going up fast and it was fun, had a few people in there with me, I did not know them, one of them pushed one of the buttons to go down, but I right a way pushed the button to go way higher up and I coudlt not stop laughing and woke up still laughing

  8. Mad April 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    I had a dream I lived inside this building in a beautiful condo high up and I was also attending a wedding in the same building on a different floor. I went to do something and as I went in the elevator I forgot which floor I was suppose to go. I kept pressing every button stopping at every floor making the elevator go up and down, as I reach the floor I would look around and realize it’s the wrong floor then go back in the elevator. I remember feeling really impatient and frantic because I would miss the wedding. I finally decide to take the stairs so I start running up and down the stairs and randomly remember that the wedding is on the fourth floor. So I went the the fourth floor and I don’t remember much after that. Please let me know what this means, the dream felt so real I remember waking up out of my sleep talking then falling back asleep and the same dream would continue.

  9. Vera May 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    I had a dream that I couldn’t hit the buttons of the floor that I needed to go on. Someone had to help me put the floor number in. We were going up, when I needed to go down. I started to flying the elevator (ascend) and everyone was not able to fly.

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