The 1874 book Dead and Gone by James Samuel Pollock (which you can read here) is a a book deserving much more attention than the very little attention it has received so far. It is a book filled with accounts of paranormal experiences, such as apparition sightings, dreams that seemed to foretell death, and deathbed visions. Many of the accounts were told to Pollock as he worked as a pastor.
"Mr. D___ was superintending some large railway works in Scotland. One morning he observed that one man’s work was not being done. On inquiry, he was told that Larry ___ had had a dream of being killed, and he refused to work that day. Mr. D___ said if Larry-did not do his work some one else must be found to take his place. Some time after, Mr. D ___ was looking out of his window, which gave him a view of the work, and saw a number of men carrying something. It was Larry ___. The men had persuaded him to come to work. The first truck he filled was being tilted over; it fell on him and killed him."
"The night after my child was born I awoke out of a sound sleep, very much frightened and screaming. The nurse came to know what was the matter, and I asked her where my child was, as I dreamt he was grown up a big child, and had been thrown from a carriage and killed. This terrible accident did happen when he was fifteen."
Pollock also received the following account first hand (#299): a Mrs. K. had two dreams on a Friday night that an aunt had died, and very soon found out that she had died on that very night. Pollock also received first hand an account (#444) that a woman had seen her mother and grandmother in a dream, looking very happy, and saying, "It is sad for you, but think how happy it is for him and us." A similar dream was repeated several times that night. In the morning she found that her brother had died that night.
On page 167 we read an account Pollock received in which a woman stated she had a dream of ordering a coffin, and then seeing her aunt in the coffin. She soon found out that her aunt had died at about the same hour that the dream occurred.
A nineteenth century work tells us this account (in which "ironed" means held captive in iron chains):
"On the same night his mother at Greenwich dreamed that she saw her son in prison, and ironed : she beheld him also arraigned at the bar with the woman, found guilty, and condemned to die, whilst the woman was acquitted. This calamitous dream was carried still farther. She saw her son going in a cart to Tyburn, and there executed with four other offenders."
The woman soon found her son in prison with "the place all around was just as she had viewed it the preceding night." The son was soon executed.
In a nineteenth century work we read of a child who dreamed that her father had died by drowning after a boat turned over. It was later found that the father had died at a distant location "at that very time" when his boat was turned over. On the same page we read of a father who dreamed that his son was thrown over the side of a boat, with the boat passing on. He later found out that on the same night, the son had died of a fever on a boat, and that he was buried at sea, by being tossed from a boat. Later in the same book we read of a woman who dreamed twice in one night that her husband had died in a hunting accident after falling from a horse. That day her husband did die in a hunting accident after falling from a horse. The wife had pleaded with her husband not to go on the hunting trip, but he went anyway.
In the same nineteenth century work, we read this account:
"A gentleman of fortune was awakened by his wife one night, who said she had had a most unpleasant dream. She thought that a friend of theirs, who was in the East India Company’s land service, had been killed in a duel ; she likewise described the situation of the place where the duel was fought, and where the dead body had been laid, which was in a shed near the place where he fell. The husband, who did not place much credit in dreams, endeavoured to pacify her, representing to her the absurdity of those disturbed imaginations in sleep, and told her he hoped the next accounts from India would announce the health of their friend. A few months after, however, he received the melancholy news from that country, that his wife’s dream was but too true. A gentleman who came from India, informed him that the captain had fought a duel, and was unhappily killed upon the spot ; and, as a token of his regard, had bequeathed him the sum of five hundred pounds. What renders this dream remarkable, is, that the body of the gentleman who fell, was carried to a shed near the spot, as the lady had described in her dream ; which particular circumstance was related by the gentleman who brought the news."
On page 402 of the same book we read this account of a mother who failed to keep a promise to attend a graduation ceremony at Cambridge:
"In my youth, when I was at Cambridge, my brother Henry lying with me, early one morning I dreamed that my mother passed by with a sad countenance, and told me that she would not come to my Commencement (having promised at that time to come to Cambridge). When I related this dream to my brother, (both of us waking together in a sweat) he protested he had dreamed the very same. The next carrier brought us word of our mother’s death."
In Catherine Crowe's extremely interesting book The Night Side of Nature, we read on page 42 the following account:
"A farmer, in Worcestershire, dreamed that his little boy, of twelve years old, had fallen from the wagon and was killed. The dream recurred three times in one night; but, unwilling to yield to superstitious fears, he allowed the child to accompany the wagoner to Kidderminster fair. The driver was very fond of the boy, and he felt assured would take care of him ; but, having occasion to go a little out of the road to leave a parcel, the man bade the child walk on with the wagon, and he would meet him at a certain spot. On arriving there, the horses were coming quietly forward, but the boy was not with them; and on retracing the road, he was found dead, having apparently fallen from the shafts, and been crushed by the wheels."
On page 3 of the book ESP in Life and Lab Louisa E. Rhine, we read of a woman in Virginia who had a dream that her husband's brother had died, and that the wife of that brother had called the woman to inform her of the death, crying and screaming during the call. The next day the woman received exactly such a call, from the wife of the husband's brother, who told of his sudden death that day after falling. An incident like this cannot actually be esplained by the idea of telepathy, since no one on Earth was thinking of such an event when the dream occurred. The incident seems to suggest precognition.
On page 11 of the same book we read of a woman who had a dream that her husband was dressed in a black suit, and saying, "He isn't coming back." The woman was afraid that this was a reference to one of her sons. The same day her son Jack disappeared after setting out on a raft. His body was not found for another month.
On pages 102-105 of the same book we read of a student nurse who had an incredibly specific dream about a death. Her dream was that arriving in a hospital (not through the usual entrance) there would come a very sick six-year-old boy, who would ask to be carried by the nurse up into his room; and that the boy would die before 1 PM the next day. Within the next hours exactly the same events in the dream happened, with the nurse carrying the boy just as in the dream, and the boy dying before 1 PM the next day.
On page 117 of the same book we read of a woman who had a very specific dream of a man and woman on a wagon crossing a bridge with a kind of inverted V shape. In the dream the bridge collapsed, causing the man to get a board driven through his chest. The next day the woman's husband told her, "Your dream came true." A bridge had collapsed, killing a man and a woman. A piece of wood had pierced the man's chest.
On page 188 we read an account of a woman who had a dream that almost exactly predicted the situation of her mother's death. She dreamed that she and her mother looked down on a woman, with the mother sobbing, "She was my best friend." A month later her mother died of a heart attack, and she stood next to the best friend, as they looked down on the mother, with the best friend sobbing, "She was my best friend."
On page 196 we have an account from a father who states, "I had a dream that revealed in clear-cut imagery a scene in which my eldest son was killed." Two months later his young son was killed in a crash at a remote location resembling the topography seen in the dream. In the dream the man saw four soldiers carrying off the son in a stretcher, with a voice saying they were carrying the broken body of the son.
On page 215 we have an account from a man who woke up at 3:15 AM with a very sharp pain, somehow convinced that his mother had died. His daughter dismissed what she called his "crazy dream." But the man found his mother had died of a heart attack at exactly that time. The event may be best described as a kind of inexplicable sudden conviction rather than a dream or vision.
David Mandell says that years before the collapse of the two World Trade Center towers after terrorist attacks, he had a dream of two smoking towers shaking like there was an earthquake, followed six months later by a dream of an airplane crashing into a building. I know that about a year before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center (I can't remember exactly how many months), I had a dream of the World Trade Center collapsing. In my dream I was standing on a floor of one of the towers of the World Trade Center, when the floor suddenly collapsed underneath me, leading to what seemed to be a fatal plunge. I told my wife that day that I had a dream that the World Trade Center (where I worked at the time) had collapsed. It was the only time I had ever had some dream about a specific building collapsing.
The Aberfan coal mining disaster in 1966 was a disaster so appalling that it in Wales it seemed to strike with the same force as the September 11 attacks. Suddenly 144 people were killed, most of them school children. The site here discusses dreams that seemed to foreshadow the disaster. In one a child (Eryl Mai Jones) dreamed that her school had been covered with something black. The next day later the school was suddenly buried in coal sludge, as a fatal mining-related avalanche destroyed it.
The same account of Eryl Mai Jones is given at the site here, which tells us the following account: in early 1979 David Booth dreamed "ten nights in a row" of an aviation disaster involving a plane veering off a runway and bursting into flames. Later on May 25, 1979 the disaster of American Airlines Flight 191 occurred, in which more than 270 people died when an aircraft crashed into a trailer park less than a mile from the runway. (The site here lists the death count as 273.)
In the case reported here, on page 19, a woman had a dream of a plane crashing at the shore of a lake, with a cottage being damaged, and a man burning up. Later that day she saw a plane, and yelled to her husband, "That's the plane -- the one that's going to crash!" The plane then did crash, with the pilot being burned to death; and a cottage was damaged.
On page 322 of Volume 5 of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, which you can read here, a woman reported a "dream or vision" in which she saw her son fall over a cliff. At the cliff was a stranger. In the dream or vision she asked the stranger his name, and he answered, "Henry Irvin." The woman soon found out that the son did die in an accident while with another man. She also talked with this other man and found out that the other man had been introduced as "Henry Irvin Jr." during some theatrical shows.
This year has been the "year of the death dream" for me, with my dreams being relentlessly thematic since the year's beginning, repeating over and over again themes of danger, death, and life after death, in a very focused and non-random kind of manner, as if some purposeful signaling effect was at work. Because the dreams massively repeat a theme of life after death as often as they massively repeat a theme of death, they do not cause any anxiety for me. The record of my death-related dreams I have at the post here may be the most extensive collection of death-related dreams anyone has published. But as long as I update blogs such as this one, the tale of me having such dreams lacks the denouement it would need to be cited as any evidence of precognition.