>Premonitions and rationalist reactions…

>Have you had a premonition? How did it appear? Did you act on it? How did other people react?

Laurie Taylor in this week’s Thinking Allowed newsletter describes a recent encounter with a lady called Mary:

“There we were,” says Laurie, “all talking with gusto about the present and past problems we’d had with ageing parents…when Mary suddenly announced that the arrangements she’d had to make for her own mother had been relatively easy because she’d been forewarned of the date and time of her mother’s death. Had she been given such news by a doctor or a consultant? Oh no, she told us with a new-found eagerness in her voice, she’d had a personal presentiment, a sudden moment in a dream in which a page of a calendar had appeared beside a ticking clock. The calendar said June 16th. The clock said 4.30. And that was exactly the date and time at which her mother finally expired. It is, I suppose, an ugly testament to the inherent intolerance of rationalists, that the gathering broke up pretty quickly after Mary’s admission.”

But Laurie admits it is beginning to look as though he will have to find some way of playing down his rationalist snobbery. As he finds out on his show from Owen Davies, author of The Haunted: a social history of ghosts, British people are now more inclined than for several centuries to accept the possibility of ‘premonitions and apparitions’.

Of course the doctors and consultants Laurie would have deemed more rational to rely on may have struggled to predict accurately the time of death to within months or years, let alone a day or an hour. Is it not somewhat ‘irrational’ therefore to assume it would have been a doctor who had so accurately predicted Mary’s mother’s demise?

Have you had a premonition? How did it appear? Did you act on it? How did other people react? What would you say to Laurie?

If you want to hear more of Laurie’s (ir)rational reflections on Thinking Allowed subscribe to the podcast.

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3 Responses to >Premonitions and rationalist reactions…

  1. Juliette Llewellyn says:


    yes i have had premonitions but mine come to me through dreams. I had one last of a relationship ending. Often they are to do with people and situations, feelings that are coming up.

    I have never really known how to deal with them to be honest. The good ones are comforting obviously but the more difficult ones i find can be distressing to know.

    My sister says feels it is a useful thing to have happening, but when it is happening to you it can almost feel how do you deal with what you know.

    My mum has had some actual visual premonitions.

    Take care, Juliette

  2. Michael M says:

    >My grandmother, who was a medium, would sometimes break off in the middle of a conversation and tell us of something which would happen in the future. She was amazingly accurate, and in the case which most sticks in my mind she foretold a series of events which were to come to pass in my own life some two years later.

    It concerned people, places and events she could not possibly have known about, and the message was that although things would look very difficult for a time, the end result would be good. And she was right in all details. Spooky!

    She also used the conventional aids of tea leaves, cards and a crystal ball, but when I asked her what she saw when she looked at these, she said that she saw nothing in particular, but that the knowledge just came from within as she focussed. Her ‘voices’.

    Premonition generally has the meaning of predicting disaster, but in Nan’s case it was often a warning that things were going to get difficult coupled with a reassurance that they would come out right in the end.

    Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have inherited her ability, but on a mundane level I know that are times in my life when I pick up my mobile phone knowing that it is about to ring. This seems to last for a few days then go away again. Only my family and closest friends have my mobile number, so a call or text is always welcome, but why are there periods when I can tell someone is about to press the send button? In the spirit of scientific enquiry, next time this begins to happen I’ll log it and see whether maybe it is a time when one of us is having particular stress or problems which have tuned up my antennae!

  3. sally_flower says:

    >I have had one very vivid premonition that occurred nearly 20 years ago. I was overseas at the time and I woke suddenly from an nap. I knew that my heart had stopped beating and I was not breathing. I also knew that this was not my experience but someone elses. I awoke with a jolt my heart pounded to life and I was gasping for air. After I had got over the shock I began to worry about who this experience belonged to. I instantly thought of my father who had a heart condition.

    A couple of days later. Whilst I was wondering what to do with this premonition I had a phone call from home to say that my brother had had a heart attack. This turned out to be at the same time of my ‘dream’. I was quite shattered by this experience and am glad to say I have not had a repetition.

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