• Christina Corsetti, H.S.

Can People Foresee Death


There are actually many stories told about this phenomenon. In some cases people see another person’s death and in others they see their own. The people who have these experiences do not have precognitive visions normally and they do not consider themselves psychic


Some speculate these experiences are just coincidental but the problem with this conclusion is these visions often include vivid details that the person would not normally know. Others state these visions are a form of mental telepathy or even the ability to see a person as a ghost before their death. Regardless, how and why these experiences occur is still very much a mystery.


The following is a case The British Society for Psychical Research studied. The names of the witnesses have been changed. A Mr. Bartlett went out for a long walk one afternoon. Finding himself tired, he approached the bank of a river and sat down to rest. At first he was at peace watching the water flow by but slowly he started to feel a different mood overtake his thoughts. For some indiscernible reason he began to feel very nervous and frightened.


He tried to rise from where he was sitting but an unseen force held him in place. A thick black mist appeared before him. Within it he saw a figure of a man wearing a brown suit. Suddenly this man jumped into the water and disappeared beneath the surface. Horrified, Bartlett slowly came out of what he described as a shocked daze and managed to regain his feet. He wondered if what he had seen was just an hallucination.


Once home, he shared his strange experience with his sister. She the more practical of the two cautioned him that no good would come from harping on such a thing. But for the next few days Bartlett found himself reliving what he had seen over and over again. The following week a man by the name of Epson put on his best brown suit and went to the river and jumped in. He left a suicide note stating that he had been thinking about killing himself for some time. He jumped into the river at the exact spot that Bartlett had sat the week before. The two men had never met.


Abraham Lincoln envisioned his own death on several occasions before he was assassinated. Shortly before he was shot and killed in 1860 he saw two images of himself in a mirror. In the first image he appeared healthy in the second he appeared pale and seemed to be fading away. He saw this double image several times. He felt the first image was of him during his first term as president; the second image he felt represented the fact that he would not survive his second term in office.


Just ten days before he was assassinated he wrote about a prophetic dream he had.


I retired late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a deathlike stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered down-stairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along.


It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all of this?


Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.


“Who is dead in the White House?” I demanded of one of the soldiers. “The President,” was his answer. “He was killed by an assassin.” Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.


The night before he was shot in the head and died Lincoln told one of his cabinet members that he dreamed he would be assassinated. He also confided in his bodyguard, W. H. Crook that he dreamed for three nights in a row that he would be assassinated. Crook pleaded with him not to go to Ford’s Theatre but Lincoln explained that he had promised his wife Mary that he would attend.



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