Thursday, January 25, 2007

Psychic Experiences

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Although I’ve used the word “psychic” as a catch-all for the nature of these accounts, I’m also including those improbable events we call “coincidences”, which many believe are not accidental.

I very much hope that readers will contribute their own stories.

First, to cite a common psychic experience, I’d be surprised if anyone reads this who has not thought of calling someone on the phone, perhaps even gone to the telephone, and then heard the ring as the other person calls. It's happened to me, I’ve watched it happen to people, and I’ve often been told about it – beginning with my mother and her mother, back in the years when a long distance call was a rare and expensive event.

For a start in the “coincidence” department, please read Rob’s comments on my previous post, which tell that a year after he’d last seen his former girlfriend, he encountered her on a shop’s fire escape! Don't miss his story.

I had a personal experience like Rob’s. I was teaching at a university in Ohio when I was in my mid-twenties. I became interested in one of my female students, and she seemed to reciprocate, but because I was married the attraction did not progress beyond conversations in the classroom area. It was frustrating because there were clear signs that my marriage would end in divorce. At the end of that semester my wife and I spent several summer weeks in Europe, including Denmark, where we went to the famous Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen one evening. Amidst all the beautiful lights and crowds and even a witch on a wire shooting by overhead, we decided to go our separate ways for awhile and meet at a landmark. My wanderings took me to a narrow footbridge over some water. Halfway across I stared and almost lost my balance: My student from Ohio was walking toward me from the opposite side of the bridge. Isn’t that incredible? To meet not just someone I knew, but that particular student, on a particular continent across an ocean from mine, in a particular country on a particular little bridge at just that time. What came of it? Nothing. That’s a puzzling thing about this kind of event: Why does it so often lead to nothing more? One would think that it is a flashing green light saying, “Do this!” Maybe it is, and some of us just don’t obey.

Now, some psychic events.

I was on a British ocean liner with my then-wife when we took part in the grand prize final bingo game of the voyage. Before each bingo game the participants would go to the front of the room and file by, each picking up his card for the next game from the stack on a table. I suddenly had a strong feeling and said to my wife, who was already walking toward the table, “Get the next card! Go, go, go!” She managed to get that card. It won the grand prize.

A lesson in paying attention to psychic “flashes”: My wife was with me in the casino section of a cruise ship. She was neither a gambler nor a devotee of psychic phenomena, but as she looked at the spinning roulette wheel, onto which the croupier had just dropped the ball, she said, “17 is going to win.” I said, “Well, bet on it! Quick!” She kept hesitating, chips in her hand. She was very cautious with money. The wheel passed top speed. I almost pushed her toward the roulette table, but she thought it was “silly” . . . and then it was too late. The ball came to rest on number 17. You can make a lot of money betting on the exact number.

In the casino at Baden Baden a stranger tried to sell me his roulette system. To demonstrate, he stood with his back to a roulette table as the wheel was spun, and said, “36”. The number 36 won. I did not pay him to reveal his system, but I’ve always wondered how he did that. It’s possible, of course, that he conspired with the croupier, who could somehow “fix” the spin, but those large casinos are reputed to be honest.

In the casino at Oostende, Belgium, the first casino I ever entered, I witnessed one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. In the roulette area was a striking man who looked like something out of a comic opera – a bit short in stature, slightly stout, wearing the formal attire of a diplomat or a Russian count from czarist times, complete with sash and cummerbund and colorful decorations on his chest. He was playing roulette while a woman I took to be his wife sat at a table close by – stacking his winnings into piles. The man would stand close to the roulette table looking down at the wheel each time it was spun. He would lean over, staring at the wheel, his handful of chips poised, and at the last possible moment would slap the chips down. Believe me, he never lost! The croupier fairly often stopped him from betting because the ball’s orbits of the turning wheel had become too slow, and sometimes he simply backed away, but every time he did bet, he won. Of course he was betting on any of the varied bets one can make in roulette, which pay quite varied odds, but his success was so great that his wife’s once tidy table overflowed with chips. Because neither the count nor the woman displayed any particular emotion during the forty-five minutes I watched them, I got the impression that they did this regularly and regarded it as routine. No wonder he could afford such lavish eveningwear and she such jewels. Of course I assumed he was psychic, but I have also wondered if he had some physical gift of being able to see the numbers on the motion-blurred wheel when no one else could, along with the gift and of calculating where the bouncing ball would stop. I think the psychic explanation is less improbable than the physical explanation.

A few days ago my wife held up a newspaper picture of a house and said, “Guess how much they got for that?” I said the numbers that popped into my head: “425 thousand.” Exactly correct.

I will repeat: When I tell of an incident like that (and it’s not uncommon), I am not implying that I have some kind of special gift. I’ve always assumed that other people get the same “flashes” but that most people don’t recognize or pay attention to them.

When Carl Fletcher , a “spiritual medium” from England, visited Cassadaga I was so impressed by his public appearance and readings that I went to him for a private reading. He worked by listening to spirits which apparently conversed with him as he was speaking to me. Lest you have the image of a trance medium in a dark room, Carl and I sat in a sunny front room with the door open to the warm breeze, Carl wearing shorts, sandals, and a colorful shirt as befitted a visitor from the north of England in Florida. His eyes closing from time to time, he related at one point that “they” were telling him that I had some kind of problem with my refrigerator, with outside air getting in. “They’re saying that the door is open.” Well, Carl didn’t know it, but there were two refrigerators in my life – one in my new home in Deland, and the other in the former home in nearby Lake Helen, which was for sale. Although the house was on the market, the refrigerator was still in use. When summarizing my opinion of the accuracy of Carl’s work, I told him that the gasket on the Lake Helen refrigerator had been damaged and deformed on one corner, and that it might be letting air through. Carl said, “No, it’s not the gasket. They’re quite definite; they’re insisting that the door is open.” I went by the deserted Lake Helen house on my way home and found that the refrigerator door was standing a couple of inches open, spilling cold air into the kitchen. Some real estate agent who showed the house must have left it that way. Neither my wife nor I was aware of that situation when Carl’s spirits informed him, and so he was not “mind reading”. To say that I was impressed is an understatement.

I do hope that readers will send accounts of their own true experiences to this blog. If there are enough comments I’ll turn them into a post of their own. If you don’t want to be identified, be anonymous.

Please note: The comments on this post may turn out to be more interesting than the post!


  1. Interesting stuff! i enjoyed reading your experiences. Thanks Fleming.

    okay here goes my experience. I was home alone, feeling nervous and not well. The phone rang and I let the answering machine pick-up and it was my daughters college professor leaving a message for Marcy about books and class material stuff...hearing his voice I saw what he looked like, the color of his hair and beard, I saw the texture and color of his blazer jacket that he was wearing. The feeling was like a feeling I never felt before.
    When my daughter came home that day I related my experience and told her what I saw...his hair color and beard and what he was wearing. My daughter looked shocked and was amazed at what I said. He was wearing what I described to her that day in her class... It made me excited yet nervous...very nervous. Marcy never talked about this man to me and I never set foot in her college.

    Another time when I found myself in the mental hospital coming out of insanity ...the lady doctor who was treating me was speaking to me and I was looking into her green eyes and I instantly knew she was from Cairo, Egypt! I said..."You are from Cairo, Egypt! she said yes I am. how did I know that? I didn't know her at all or spoke to her before ever. now that time has passed I'm not sure if she was just going along with me because i was somewhat crazy or if she really was from Egypt. I never went back to that hospital and asked her who knows really? I don't.

    My daughter on the other hand had no reason at all to lie, i saw the shock on her face and we both were amazed at what I saw.

    well...thats it. :) strange huh?

  2. I saw this guy at the train station every morning, we took the same train to work everyday, we don't know each other and never talk.

    One day, I met him at the hotel lobby in New York City. We can't believe it !! For the first time, we smile to each other and we introduced ourself.

    We meant to know each other when time comes. I believe in fate.

  3. Kathy, those are great examples of what we're talking about. You actually saw that professor you'd never met!

    Thanks very much for sending in your true stories.

  4. Pink Ginger, your surprising experience resembles mine and Rob's. Where was the train station where you first saw the man? I'm just curious.

    It's very good of you to tell us your story.

  5. Kathy, your envisioning the professor makes me recall something. I had a dream in which I saw a woman very clearly -- her slender face, and in particular her unusual hair style (unique to me) -- black hair cut very close to her head on the sides and back, sticking up on top. (Her hair looked better than I'm making it sound.) That morning I had my first appointment with a specialty dentist. When I walked up to his receptionist I must have stared at her. She was the woman in my dream. Exactly.

    I said, "I have to tell you, I dreamed about you a few hours ago."
    She smiled and said, for lack of anything better, "I'm sorry I can't say I dreamed about you."

    Why that particular woman of the hundreds of women I might have dreamed about in advance of meeting them on other days? I've never had another dream like that one. Maybe it was her unusual hair style.

    By the way, I never got to know her except as a face behind the reception counter.

  6. Victor from Florida emailed this story to me because he had trouble leaving a comment. It's new to me.

    He writes about "the well documented letter from a woman in upstate New York who suffered nightly nightmares about dying on an ocean liner. This went on for weeks and she had written her father in Pennsylvania who was a physician about her condition. She even recorded that the liner had ruptured when it hit an iceberg. The letter arrived within days of the 'Titanic' going down. AND the woman never had the nightmarish dreams again."

    Thanks, Victor!

  7. Fleming

    I too find all these experiences from people fascinating. I can't recall any dreams. I never pay much attention to them. When I was a teen- ager I had lots of dreams about tidal waves from the ocean "Huge" Waves coming to get me...and I was always running to higher ground to escape. After I got married in my 20's those dreams went away. I think I have had maybe two of those dreams here in my 40's. I aways wondered why? I'm not afraid of water at all. What do those dreams mean? I've looked them up in dream dictionary's ...interesting what it says. Pictures, symbols, dreams, its part of who we are i guess.

    Have a great day today! I'm in and out of blogs.. reading and commenting. I'm taking a break from my blog. :)

  8. Fleming

    Did it scare you when you saw the woman in your dream? did it made you feel uneasy or frightened?

  9. Kathy, no, the woman in the dream wasn’t frightening. On the contrary. I’ve found my dream diary entry for March 29, 2005, where I describe the dream and, later, what happened.

    “[I’m on a wide beach with a car.] I’m now reclining on top of the car, and I look at the head of a person standing a couple of feet away. It’s a woman. She’s maybe 40, and though she has some white hair on top of her head (sides cut close and darker in color), it’s more like a fashion touch than result of age. Standing as she is, facing the inland side of the wide beach, her head is close to mine. I’m slightly above her, stretched out. She’s wearing a bathing suit. She’s a good looking woman, very familiar, yet I can’t identify her. Pleasant scent – suntan lotion. She says, looking at buildings facing the beach, ‘There are some Flemings there too.’ (Or something close to that.) I want to kiss her.”

    “Comment: The tantalizing thing is that the woman is so familiar. Unlike my dreams which either are distinguished by seeming ‘real’, or my searching dreams, this one has more the feel of the traditional idea of a dream.”

    Later that morning, when I came back from the dentist, I wrote in the dream diary:

    “Now here is something! I wrote the above early this morning. Afterward, at 8:45 a.m. I arrived at Dr. Manne’s office in Ormond Beach (for the first time) for dental exam and root canal . . . and the woman who came from behind the reception desk to greet me was the woman in the dream! The face was the same; the only difference was that none of her hair was white. It was cut close on the sides exactly as in the dream. I was really startled, bowled over. I had to tell her that I had seen her that morning in a dream, and she was amused and replied, ‘I’m sorry I can’t tell you that I dreamed about you.’ She was around while I was there at the office, but she didn’t play any particular role other than her first one.”

  10. Having a dream diary sounds like a good idea. I can't remember my dreams much. My husband on the other hand dreams dreams with such watching a movie. I tell him wow! you should write this stuff down and turn it into a book! I wish i could dream like that! I recall just one or two dreams where i wake up to the sound of music so beautiful that it makes me cry. Or I wake up laughing so happy that I wish the feeling could last all day. dreams like that are rare for me. My dreams are flat, boring, not worth remembering.

    Thanks for sharing Fleming. :)

  11. Fleming, there was the train station about 200M away from my apartment, in Singapore.

    We've been taking the same train to work for more than a year, until we met in the NYC.

  12. Pink Ginger, those details make your experience even more amazing. Thanks for telling us that you saw the man on trains in Singapore and then ran into him in a New York hotel lobby.


  13. What is truly the meaning of "what was meant to be?" People have been having ESP experiences, reflective, astro projection, whatever in the mix and you always hear the famous "it was meant to be." Meeting in the hotel lobby, for example, after riding the train in Singapore, never speaking to one another. WOW that "was meant to be."

  14. My uncanny coincidence involved a real estate client and his wife who came from Korea to Nashville, Tennessee, because he was being relocated. I had hooked him up with an agent in Nashville to show properties on that Saturday. (I live and work in Florida, 800 miles from Nashville.) Meanwhile, a friend of mine and his wife, who live about 90 miles from Nashville, drove to Nashville Friday night so they would go shopping there all day Saturday. Neither couple knew anything about the other.

    That Saturday morning I exchanged emails with the man who had arrived from Korea and learned that he was staying at the Hermitage Hotel. On the same morning I received an email from my friend, who had brought his laptop to Nashville. We had a friendly chat about our getting together over Christmas. Then I had this funny chill go up my spine when I read the last line from my friend saying, "We booked into the Hermitage Hotel." Neither person knew the other and there I was emailing both of them staying within shouting distance of one another. There are more than 175 hotels in Nashville. I couldn't help but write my friend back saying I have been conversing with clients who are staying at the same hotel. I then gave him the relocating couple’s name and room number but, as I learned later, they had already left with the agent to look at houses.


  15. my brother bought a drum kit some years ago and the night before he had a dream in which he saw the reciept for the drums complete with the serial number.
    when he got the actual reciept for the drums the numbers matched the numbers he saw in his dream.

    in the last few days i have been having problems with electrical devices. firstly the new electric fireplace stopped working. then my mp3 player failed.....also less than a month old. then i went to try to use another computer to load files onto the mp3 player to try to fix it and the power supply failed.
    these three incidents occured within a 48 hour period.

    i returned the mp3 player for an exchange to best buy but they didn`t have any of that model left but allowed me a store credit. i picked out a player that was double the price of my original model as it had some added features that i felt would be useful.
    i took my purchase to the cash and when the girl rang in the new purchase the transaction failed.....she looked puzzled and then looked at me and said "don`t worry about it, i`ll put it through as a straight exchange."

    i had an experience once with a ring that a friend of my ex`s handed me. it was a massive diamond, about 1.5 carats, and i got an immediate flash of a guy who looked just like saddam hussien and i said "sam" outloud. the woman turned white.
    it was her boyfriend`s name.....and he was a stocky dark-haired guy with a goatee.
    she was concerned because she was married and this guy was giving her gifts all the time.....
    i told her to stop accepting the gifts.

  16. This, I guess, is not quite in the realms of "precognition" or "coincidence" but ..

    I once had an 'experience' that is difficult to describe in a few words. Some time ago was on my boat, and had to 'wait' for several hours. Was laying on the bunk, the sky was clear, the sun warm. Was not actually consciously 'thinking' of anything. The light through the hatchway created a pinkish haze on the inside of my closed eyelids. In the centre of the haze came a lighter patch, sort of similar to a translucent hole.. Inside, or on the other side, of the 'patch' was what looked like the out-of-focus branch of a tree.

    Without actually 'trying', I kept 'gazing' at it to see what the tree looked like. Suddenly I was 'outside' of the boat, or rather my 'body' and all 'physical' stuff disappeared, and I was a speck of 'consciousness' suspended about three feet above the sea. Aware of the sea, sky, birds, 360 degree 'vision'. Hard to explain. It lasted only a few seconds, and surprised me so much that I sat up and bumped my head on the bulkhead above the bunk, to then find that all was 'physical' again, and nothing had changed. I lay back down, closed my eyes and tried to 'recapture' it, but was not able, and not able since. Perhaps I was then trying with too much expectation.

    When I eventually got around to writing about it, was told that it is a quite common result of "deep meditation".

    There is much yet to discover about how the brain and mind actually operate, but these days my mind is too full of trying to earn a 'living'.

  17. the out-of-body experience that davo is refering to is a natural process that occurs when we are under extreme duress or in times of delicate reverie. there is a vast body of research and published material on the subject and is apparently a learneable skill.
    robert monroe spent his entire life studying the phenominon and wrote several book about it.

    i have had several similar experiences, some almost dreamlike and some vividly real.

  18. Alistair, please tell us more about your experiences!

    Thank you for the comment.