1891: The Young Woman in Dress and Appearance Corresponded with the Visitor of the Dream

Queen Square, South Side, taken c 1924

When living in Glasgow we had a neighbour, the Rev. Donald McKinnon, who resided in a villa next to ours, with whom we were on very friendly terms. His wife had been dead some time, and the old gentleman kept house as best he could with servants, and pursued his usual ministerial work.

One evening, towards the end of 1891, I returned home rather later than usual. The children were in bed, and my wife and I were sitting at supper about half-past ten. During the repast my wife told me of a dream she had had that morning about the Rev. Mr M., our next-door neighbour. She dreamt that we had been sitting in that room talking, and that she heard some-one come up the graveled walk and ring the bell ; she went to the door, and there was a young woman whom she had never seen before, whom she described to me, who had come to her in great distress and asked her to come and see the minister, for he was very ill. She went with her to see him, and she described to me the room and the state that he appeared to her to be in, in her dream. While we were conjecturing whether there was anything in it, someone was heard coming up the walk, and the door-bell was rung. The servant being in bed, my wife went to the door, and there indeed was the young woman—a new servant recently engaged by the minister, whom she had never seen before—standing at the door, who implored my wife to go round and see the old gentleman, who was very ill. Mrs Coates called me, and I saw that the young woman in dress and appearance corresponded with the visitor of the dream. My wife hastened to go round, and I went and called upon a well-known physician, Dr Ebenezer Duncan—now Professor Duncan—to attend the case. As it was some little time before the physician was able to go, I went to the minister’s house, and on going upstairs to his room I saw things pretty much as my wife had described them in telling me her dream. Dr Duncan came in and advised, and my wife remained to see that his orders were carried out. The doctor had been told of the dream, and he laughed, and said that he believed such things were possible and that my wife was “a witch.” Although not exactly as a matter of evidence, but of conversation, when the minister’s son and daughter-in-law—whom I had wired for—arrived, they were told of the dream. The reverend gentleman recovered, and we had many chats about this and other matters; and while a strictly religious and orthodox man, he believed in “second-sight,” and told us of many instances which came to his knowledge.

—James Coates: Seeing the Invisible: Practical Studies in Psychometry, Thought Transference, Telepathy, and Allied Phenomena (1909)

See also: this entry.

Image: Queen Square, South Side, Strathbungo [detail] (c. 1924) (source)

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