Is “this man” marketing to you in your dreams?

A creepy website purporting to depict a man who has appeared in the dreams of thousands of people worldwide has been making the rounds lately.

The site, thisman.org, offers an unsettling account of collective unconscious, letting us know that Paul Scheer just might end up in your dreams tonight. The site offers this history for the “phenomenon”:

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.

‘Fraid of your bed yet? Don’t be. An internet weary of being hoaxed and infected with viral campaigns quickly uncovered that the site was the work of sociologist and marketer Andrea Natella. Natella fronts an Italian company specializing in “subversive hoaxes,” but as far as this one goes, it’s pretty creative. Annoying, and guaranteed to hoodwink the easily lead regardless of how fake it’s proven to be, but creative nonetheless. The site even offers printables in several languages to give the story legs.