Phobetor was the Greek god of nightmares and terrifying dreams. He was one of the Oneiroi, the gods or spirits of dreams, and the son of Nyx (Night) alone or of Nyx and Erebus (Darkness). His name means “Frightener” or “One to be feared”, referring to his role in bringing terrifying nightmares.

Phobetor specialized in bringing dreams involving beasts, serpents, and other frightening animal forms that would terrify the dreamer. He was responsible for night terrors, phobias, and irrational fears experienced in dreams. While his brothers Morpheus brought human-shaped dreams and Phantasos brought dreams of inanimate objects, Phobetor manifested terrifying creatures and scenarios to torment mortals’ dreams.

Each night, the Oneiroi would emerge from the underworld realm of Erebus. Some would pass through an ivory gate to bring false dreams, while others like Phobetor passed through a horn gate to deliver truthful but disturbing visions and prophecies. So Phobetor’s primary role was as the personification of nightmares, using his ability to shape-shift into frightening forms to induce fear and night terrors in the dreams of mortals.