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Flaming Leaves

Dreamed 1892/1/26 by Dr. Adele A. Gleason and John R. Joslyn

In Elmira, New York, on Tuesday the 26th of January, 1892, between 2 and 3 A.M., Dr. Adele Gleason dreamed that:

she stood in a lonesome place in the dark woods and that great fear came over her, at which point John R. Joslyn, her attorney and friend, came to her and shook a tree by her, causing its leaves to burst into flame.
She recorded her dream in her diary the following morning and wrote down the initials of Mr. Joslyn--"J.R.J"--as those of the man she had met. She recorded the time of her dream as between two and three AM.

When the two friends met four days later, Adele said, "I had a very strange dream Tuesday night."

John stopped her at once, replying, "Don't tell it to me. Let me describe it, for I know that I dreamt the same thing." At approximately the same time on Tuesday night as Adele's strange dream, John had awakened from a no less strange dream of his own and written down the following remarkably similar account:

he had found Adele in a lonely wood after dark, "apparently paralyzed with fear of something I did not see, rooted to the spot by the feeling of imminent danger. I came up to her and shook the bush, upon which the leaves that fell from it burst into flame."


This incident is from the Journal Of The S.P.R. (June, 1895), and is reported in The Dream World (ed. Rodolphe L. Megroz, 1939) and "Lucid Dreaming" (Stephen La Berge, 1985) The above is mostly La Berge's version with some added details from Megroz.

In later comments, La Berge takes Flaming Leaves's paranormality for granted, but wonders if the two meet in a shared dream, or if, say, Adele's panic spurred John to pick up an echo of her dream. He notes small discrepancies between the dream accounts: tree vs bush, the timing of the flames--essentially, la Berge applies his famous lucid-dream method to parallel dreams too! He guesses these are two dreams, though clearly linked somehow. Megroz emphasizes the contrast in mood (her fear, his calm) but feels that's the only real discrepancy; after all, two competent witnesses of a waking event (one scared, one not) disagree on details this much--or more.

I'd call these one shared dream simply because the dreamers themselves seemed to feel it was. John volunteered his version of the dream before she'd even told hers--he didn't compare details and become convinced they'd shared a dream--he already felt it! It may simply have felt unlike a strictly internal dream.

Not all of my own apparent clairvoyant, telepathic or shared dreams have felt extraordinary, but I've mostly focused on predictive dreams in the last few years (since they can be researched solo) and many of those do have a distinct feeling that warns me. That proves nothing to you of course--but I urge dreamworkers to note your own sense of whether a dream is internal or external. The feel of a dream can tell you as much as the details.

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: shared and telepathic dreams - psychic dreams in general - ESP in general - forests - fear - fire - friendship - Wayan meets a tree who burns for personal reasons: The Kerouac Tree - Stephen La Berge -

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