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REAL GHOST STORIES (Collected and Edited by William T. Stead) online

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead

Chapter II. Warnings Given in Dreams.

In my case each of my premonitions related to an important crisis in my life, but often premonitions are of a very different nature. One which was told me when I was in Glasgow came in a dream, but it is so peculiar that it is worthy of mention in this connection. The Rev. William Ross, minister of the Church of Cowcaddens, in Glasgow, is a Highlander. On the Sunday evening after I had addressed his congregation, the conversation turned on premonitions and second sight, and he told me the following extraordinary dream:--When he was a lad, living in the Highlands, at a time when he had never seen a game of football, or knew anything about it, he awoke in the morning with a sharp pain in his ankle. This pain, which was very acute, and which continued with him throughout the whole day, was caused, he said, by an experience which he had gone through in a dream. He found himself in a strange place and playing at a game which he did not understand, and which resembled nothing that he had seen played among his native hills. He was running rapidly, carrying a big black thing in his arms, when suddenly another youth ran at him and kicked him violently on the ankle, causing such intense pain that he woke. The pain, instead of passing away, as is usual when we happen anything in dreamland, was very acute, and he continued to feel it throughout the day.

Time passed, and six months after his dream he found himself on the playing fields at Edinburgh, engaged in his first game of football. He was a long-legged country youth and a swift runner, and he soon found that he could rush a goal better by taking the ball and carrying it than by kicking it. After having made one or two goals in this way, he was endeavouring to make a third, when, exactly as he had seen in his dream, a player on the opposite side swooped upon him and kicked him heavily upon the ankle. The blow was so severe that he was confined to the house for a fortnight. The whole scene was exactly that which he had witnessed in his dream. The playing fields, the game, the black round ball in his arms, and finally the kick on the ankle. It would be difficult to account for this on any ground of mere coincidence, the chances against it are so enormous. It is a very unusual thing for any one to suffer physical pain in the waking state from incidents which take place in dreams.

_A Premonition of a Bad Debt._

When in Edinburgh I had the good fortune to meet a gentleman, who had held an important position of trust in connection with the Indian railways. Speaking on the subject of premonitions, he said that on two occasions he had had very curious premonitions of coming events in dreams. One was very trivial, the other more serious, but both are quite inexplicable on the theory of coincidence. The evidential value is enhanced by the fact that each time he mentioned his dreams to his wife before the realisation came about. I saw his wife and she confirmed his stories. The first was curious from its simplicity. A certain debtor owed Mr. T. an amount of some 30. One morning he woke up and informed his wife that he had had a very disagreeable dream, to the effect that the money would never be paid, and that all he would recover of the debt was seven pounds odd shillings and sixpence. The number of shillings he had forgotten, but he remembered distinctly the pounds and the sixpence. A few days later he received an intimation that something had gone wrong with the debtor, and the total sum which he ultimately recovered was the exact amount which he had heard in his dream and had mentioned on the following morning to his wife.

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