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Dame Edith Lyttelton


In 1937 Dame Edith Lyttelton, ex-president of the Society for Psychical Research, published a four-part study, Some Cases of Prediction. About half were dreams, the others a hodgepodge of visions, voices, intuitions, hypnogogic images and automatic writing. Lyttelton avoids theory, focusing on collecting detail and corroboration. The four sections are arranged not by type of prognostication but by the likelihood of alternative explanations, from the sober (chance or coincidence) to the wild (telepathy or clairvoyance--in her view, and I suspect in the view of most readers, still somewhat easier to swallow than accurate prediction, with its implications for everything from quantum theory to free will). Since readers' opinions on ESP aren't likely to change, I've picked not the best-documented examples but simply those I found most interesting. Clearly I have low tastes: disasters abound. The book has just as many trivial, peaceful prognostications along the lines of Trigo and The Black Stream.

RELATED TOPICS: dream advice and warnings - ESP in dreams, particularly predictive dreams - time and clocks - physics and natural laws - dream research and dream interpretation - two collectors of ESP accounts a generation later, Louisa E. Rhine and J.B. Priestley - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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ALL HALLOW'S EVE: by (Mrs.) D. M. Barrett; 1904, a psychic dream
I dreamt ghosts visited us, and for each scream, a relative would die. Two of us cried out. That morning the first letter came...
THE BLACK STREAM: by A.W. Fyson Calder; before Aug. 1928, 1931/12/28, and 1938: three predictive dreams
In my dream I looked into a narrow stream that was quite clear yet inky black. This seemed ridiculous at the time...
MEOPHAM AIR DISASTER: by G.H.M. Holms; 1930/7/18, a surreal predictive dream
Suddenly, out of the clouds, a man came shooting down, head first, at a terrific pace. He landed on his head with a sickening...
CAUTION: GRISLY
MY HUSBAND'S DEATH: by Gertude Pritchard; 1922, a predictive dream
I dreamed I made my way through a great crowd to find my husband lying dead behind velvet curtains. Two years later...
NEW BRIGHTON MURDER: by Annie Howie Mudie; 1912/12/20, a sloppily oracular dream
Someone said "There's been a murder in the Victoria Hotel, and the murderer slept in your house." Three weeks later...
NOT A NICE DAY: by Gladys Clarke; 1925/3/18, an aural premonition
All day I expected a terrible scream, but had no idea why until I heard it. A woman in flames came out of her house...
R101 AIRSHIP CRASH: by R.W. Boyd; 1930/10/3, a predictive dream
A large airship crashed onto a hilltop and burst into flame, silhouetting people who tried to escape, but...
SCHNEIDER TROPHY CRASH: by J. Lloyd-Owens; c. 1931/8/1, an overwhelming premonition
As a newsreel showed a Navy flier for the Schneider Trophy Air Race, I felt a violent shock and said "He's going to be killed..."
TRIGO: by Edith L. Willis; 1929/6/4, an induced automatic-writing prediction (profitable, too)
In an idle moment I held a pencil and asked the air who'd win the Derby. 'Trigo' meant nothing to me, but was listed at 32 to 1, so...


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