I'm guessing it may have been one of two or three things: either a bullyish entity is challenging you or what manifested in your dream was a 'feedback' thing where your subconscious was telling you to challenge yourself with your abilities. Have you seen this particular entity before or did it seem familiar to you? When you used to have dreams with these things in them before, were other people in those dreams too that you knew in real life? I'm wondering if it could also be a subconscious thing where you wonder if people may challenge you if you tell them about your abilities.
I just replied to a post to about dreams as well. Dreams are really hard to interpret for empaths. Sometimes it is as simple as your mind reconciling your subconscious feelings of fear, resentment (and any other range of emotions).
If these dark creatures are reappearing more often in your dreams then maybe there is more to it. I had some dark creatures visiting me at night in my sleep in addition to all sorts of bizarre freaky dreams. I once dreamt that a grim reaper type was at the foot of my bed. The dream scared me awake only to find that for about 5 seconds that dark robed object really was at the foot of my bed (in real life). It disappeared after 5 seconds but about gave me a heart attack. I've also had all sorts of spirits haunting me at times at night banging on walls, rattling doors, whispering in my ears, and pulling on my bed sheets. In asking around I found that it is pretty common for empaths to be contacted and bothered by things at night both in and out of your dreams. And I was able to keep the creepies at bay at night by putting protection stones under my pillow and a bowl of rock salt on my nightstand. They for the most part now leave me alone and I have better nights of sleep with mostly non-spooky dreams. I wonder if doing the same would help you sleep better and help you have less scary dreams?
I'm curious about your response to the shadow.Most people would see this and be scared or angry, but you seemed more apathetic to it then anythings, so I'm wondering why. I am also wondering your current thoughts or before this dream on your take of "spirit dreams", did you believe they were real before, or did you always feel like they were just a part of your dream and you got over your fear of them because your believed it was just a dream?