Prophetic Dreams

Prophetic Dreams

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Premonitions frequently come in dreams. People dream that something is going to happen and hours, days, weeks, months, or even years later it does happen. When it does, there is frequently doubt that the event actually was dreamt about earlier. It is only when such a prophetic dream is recorded at the time it happens that there can be validation.

An excellent example of prophetic dreams is found in the case of the Aberfan tragedy that took place in Wales on October 20, 1966. On that day a half-million-ton mountain of coal waste, saturated from days of unrelenting rain, slid down and buried most of the little Welsh village of Aberfan. Dozens of houses and the village school were buried. Sixteen adults and 128 children died. There are records of a number of people dreaming of this tragedy before it actually happened. One such person was nine-year-old Eryl Jones, who lived in the village. On the morning of October 20, she told her mother that she had dreamed the night before that there was no school that day. Not that school was cancelled, but that there was literally no school. She went to school herself, but at 9:15 am her prophetic dream was fulfilled; she died along with her fellow pupils. Sybil Brown of Brighton, England, had a dream of a child screaming with fear, trapped in a telephone booth as a “black, billowing mass” descended on her. There were many people who dreamed of this particular disaster. So many, in fact, that it led to the founding, in 1967, of the British Premonitions Bureau.

Nandor Fodor gives the details of what he says is “one of the best authenticated cases of prophetic dreams.” A man living in Cornwall, England, dreamed that he was in the lobby of the House of Commons, in London, and saw a small man enter, dressed in a blue coat with a white vest. Then, immediately after that, he saw a man dressed in a brown coat, with brass buttons, draw a pistol from under his coat and shoot the first man. The man fell, shot a little below the left breast. The dreamer saw the murderer seized by some men who were nearby, and got a good view of his face. He asked who had been shot and received the answer that it was the Prime Minister. The dreamer then woke up, woke his wife and told her of the dream, but she made light of it. He went back to sleep and dreamed the same scenario twice more. Each time the details were exactly the same. The next morning he felt so strongly about it that he wanted to contact the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval (1762–1812), but his friends dissuaded him, telling him he’d be taken for a fool. Eight days later, on May 11, 1812, Perceval was assassinated by an insane man named Bellingham. He was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons. The prime minister was wearing a blue coat with a white vest; the gunman wore a brown coat with brass buttons. He was shot a little below the left breast.

Prophetic dreams have been recorded since ancient times, when oracles were consulted for advice and glimpses of the future. Various methods of obtaining answers to questions about the future were employed, differing from one site to another. The commonest method was known as “incubation.” This meant that the enquirer would sleep in a sacred area until he or she received the answer in a dream. The main oracle for this was at the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus, though many other oracles also provided it. In ancient Babylonia, wise men would divine the future from visions seen in dreams. The ancient Hebrews would try to dream of the future by sleeping in cemeteries.

In 1970, the Soviet psychiatrist Dr. Vasily Kasatkin reported on a twenty-eight year study of eight thousand dreams, concluding that dreams could warn of the onset of a serious illness several months in advance.


Buckland, Raymond: The FortuneTelling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2004
Encyclopedia Britannica. Chicago: William Benton, 1964 Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
Muldoon, Sylvan J. and Hereward Carrington: The
Projection of the Astral Body. London: Rider, 1929
Spence, Lewis: An Encyclopedia of the Occult. London: George Routledge & Sons, 1920
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
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