By Bruce King, D.C. –
“You’re not going to believe what just happened to me.”
My wife had just arrived home after running errands and made this exclamation to me as I sat at the kitchen table.
I took my cue, “What happened?”
“Remember that dream I told you about this morning?”
I hesitated, “I think so.”
“Well, it just happened in real life exactly like I dreamed it.”
It all came flooding back to me. The dream my wife was referring to involved her seeing her mother at a clothing alterations store. The significance of this dream lay in the fact that she had not been speaking to her mother due to an ongoing dispute the two were having. My wife had recounted the dream to me that morning and told me it expressed her fear that she would “run into” her mother while she was out-and-about. Well, she had seen her mother and interacted with her exactly like she dreamed it. My wife had experienced a full blown predictive dream!
Of course, you could just write this event off as delusional or a bald-faced lie because you didn’t directly experience it yourself. Or, you might think that science disproves predictive dreaming. I don’t blame people who have not had a predictive dream for doubting such scenarios. After all, predicting the future defies conventional ideas about linear time, free will, etc. So, I did a little research to find out if there was any objective evidence validating predictive dreaming. Here is what I found.
A precognition study done by psychiatrist John Barker about the 1966 Aberfan Mudslide Disaster gives pretty strong anecdotal evidence that predictive dreams are real. This disaster killed over a hundred children and teachers who were crushed when the side of a hill collapsed into a school. In his study Dr. Barker convinced a newspaper to run an article that asked people to write in about any precognitive experiences they had encountered concerning the Aberfan disaster. Several of the responses he received described precognitive dreams about the disaster. One of the more interesting responses he received was from the parents of a child that was killed in the disaster. Here is an excerpt from an article by Dr. Barker called “Premonitions of the Aberfan Disaster” printed in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, December 1967, that describes the parents experience:
“Mummy, I’m not afraid to die.”
Her mother responded, “Why do you talk of dying, and you so young; do you want a lollipop?” “No,” she said, “but I shall be with Peter and June.”
The day before the devastation she said, “Mummy, let me tell you about my dream last night.”
“Darling, I’ve no time to listen,” her mother said. “Tell me again later.”
“No, Mummy, you must listen,” she persisted. “I dreamt I went to school and there was no school there. something black had come down all over it!”
The child was killed the next day and was buried in a communal grave with two friends who also lost their lives ––Peter on one side, June on the other. The story was put together by a local clergyman and was verified and signed by both the little girl’s parents as correct.
Anecdotal evidence is all well and good but what about peer reviewed scientific research done in a lab setting? Actually, there isn’t much of it. However, after some digging I found the following.
A precognitive dreaming study was done in 1971 and 1972 at Maimonides Hospital in New York with a single participant, Malcolm Bessent, who was known to have precognitive dreams. (Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 65: 192–203.) The study utilized a complex format of multi-sensory items associated with certain words that were then judged to be “hits” or “misses” depending on what type of specific sensory information that was dreamed by Besent. This study had positive results towards predictive dreaming showing five out of eight words as “hits” in both trials.
A more recent study done in 2010 by Schredl, Gotz and Ehrhardt-Knudsen used a dream diary for participants and also demonstrated a precognitive effect. (Encyclopedia of Sleep and Dreams edited by Deirdre Barrett, Patrick McNamara)
Besides peer reviewed science journals numerous books have looked at predictive dreams. One of these was a a book published by J.W. Dunne in 1927 called An Experiment With Time, in which Dunne recounts his own predictive dreams as well as those from other volunteers. One of the more interesting predictive dreams Dunne records had to do with a large catastrophe. Here is an excerpt from his book describing his experience.
In the spring of 1902 I was encamped with the
6th Mounted Infantry near the ruins of Lindley, in
the (then) Orange Free State. We had just come
off trek, and mails and newspapers arrived but
There, one night, I had an unusually vivid and
rather unpleasant dream.
I seemed to be standing on high ground — the
upper slopes of some spur of a hill or mountain.
The ground was of a curious white formation. Here
and there in this were little fissures, and from these
jets of vapour were spouting upward. In my dream
I recognized the place as an island of which I had
dreamed before — an island which was in imminent
peril from a volcano. And, when I saw the vapour
spouting from the ground, I gasped: "It's the
island! Good Lord, the whole thing is going to
blow up" For I had memories of reading about
Krakatoa, where the sea, making its way into the
heart of a volcano through a submarine crevice,
flushed into steam, and blew the whole mountain to
pieces. Forthwith I was seized with a frantic
desire to save the four thousand (I knew the
number) unsuspecting inhabitants. Obviously there
was only one way of doing this, and that was to
take them off in ships. There followed a most dis-
tressing nightmare, in which I was at a neighbour-
ing island, trying to get the incredulous French
authorities to despatch vessels of every and any
description to remove the inhabitants of the threat-
ened island. I was sent from one official to another;
and finally woke myself by my own dream exertions,
clinging to the heads of a team of horses drawing
the carnage of one "Monsieur le Maire," who was
going out to dine, and wanted me to return when his
office would be open next day. All through the
dream the number of the people in danger obsessed
my mind. I repeated it to everyone I met, and, at
the moment of waking, I was shouting to the "Maire",
Listen! Four thousand people will be killed unless..."
I am not certain now when we received our next
batch of papers, but, when they did come, the
Daily Telegraph was amongst them, and, on open-
ing the centre sheet, this is what met my eyes:
TOWN SWEPT AWAY
AN AVALANCHE OF FLAME
PROBABLE LOSS OF OVER
BRITISH STEAMER BURNT
One of the most terrible disasters in the
annals of the world has befallen the once
prosperous town of St. Pierre, the com-
mercial capital of the French island of
Martinique in the West Indies. At eight
o'clock on Thursday morning the volcano
Mont Pelee which had been quiescent for
a century, etc., etc. —
Another book that reports some interesting predictive dreams is The Gift: ESP, Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People by Sally Rhine Feather and Michael Schmiker. This book contains several predictive dream scenarios, one of which involved an older man that dreamed abut his own demise. The older man told his wife about a dream where he was struck by a car at a certain crossroads. Three days later he was struck and killed by a vehicle at the exact crossroad area he dreamed about.
These stories printed in books and research articles are all well and good but nothing beats having your own predictive dream. When I was thirteen years old I had a dream that I was walking among the ashen rubble of our burnt down house. I didn’t think much of this dream until a few days later when I witnessed the firetrucks outside of our house and the firemen putting out an attic fire started by our furnace. Fortunately, the house didn’t burn to the ground like it did in my dream, but the precognitive significance of the dream didn’t escape me.
You or someone you know might have had a predictive dream. I encourage you to share this information with friends and family for the simple reason that it proves time and reality are not what they appear to be. There is so much more going on in this world than is acknowledged by conventional science and media. Personally, I find it rather reassuring that time and reality are not what conventional thinking says it is. It opens the door to a much more fascinating and exciting existence.
Anyone can have a predictive dream. The biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is simply remembering your dreams. An easy way to remember your dreams is to simply tell yourself when going to bed that you will remember your dreams when you wake up, then upon waking think to yourself, “What was just happening?” This will trigger a memory of what you were dreaming, and it might just be something predictive.
Good luck and happy dreaming!