The theme of this article is precognition. I will begin by relating an example, one included in a collection of precognitions compiled by the great psychical researcher of the late nineteenth century Frederic W. H. Myers (1843-1901).1
Mr. Haggard of the British Consulate, Trieste, Austria, gives the following account of a premonitory dream and its fulfilment:—
September 21st, 1893.
A few months ago I had an extraordinarily vivid dream, and waking up repeated it to my wife at once. All I dreamt actually occurred about six weeks afterwards, the details of my dream falling out exactly as dreamt.
There seems to have been no purpose whatsoever in the dream; and one cannot help thinking, what was the good of it.
I dreamt that I was asked to dinner by the German Consul General, and accepting, was ushered into a large room with trophies of East African arms on shields against the walls. (N.B. – I have myself been a great deal in East Africa.)
After dinner I went to inspect the arms, and amongst them saw a beautifully gold-mounted sword which I pointed out to the French Vice-Consul – who at that moment joined me – as having probably been a present from the Sultan of Zanzibar to my host the German Consul General.
At that moment the Russian Consul came up too. He pointed out how small was the hilt of the sword and how impossible in consequence it would be for a European to use the weapon, and whilst talking he waved his arm in an excited manner over his head as if he was wielding the sword, and to illustrate what he was saying.
At that moment I woke up and marvelled so at the vividness of the dream that I woke my wife up too and told it to her.
About six weeks afterwards my wife and myself were asked to dine with the German Consul General; but the dream had long been forgotten by us both.
We were shown into a large withdrawing room which I had never been in before, but which somehow seemed familiar to me. Against the walls were some beautiful trophies of East African arms, amongst which was a gold-hilted sword, a gift to my host from the Sultan of Zanzibar.
To make a long story short, everything happened exactly as I had dreamt – but I never remembered the dream until the Russian Consul began to wave his arm over his head, when it came back to me like a flash.
Without saying a word to the Russian Consul and French Vice-Consul (whom I left standing before the trophy) I walked quickly across to my wife, who was standing at the entrance of a boudoir opening out of the withdrawing room, and said to her:– “Do you remember my dream about the Zanzibar arms?” She remembered everything perfectly, and was a witness to its realisation. On the spot we informed all the persons concerned of the dream, which naturally much interested them.
Myers and members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR, founded in London, 1882) thoroughly researched and verified to their satisfaction all cases that were published in their official Proceedings. In this example, there was a separate signed corroboration from Mr. Haggard’s wife as well as signed statements from the Russian Consul and the German Consul General.