What Are Precognitive Dreams? Possible Explanations for Precognitive Dreams Update 07/2024

It’s not surprising that you’ve had a few disturbing nightmares in your life, given most people sleep for at least two hours per night. At least 17.8 percent to 38 percent have had at least one precognitive or premonition dream, according to recent research. These are the kinds of dreams that seem to have a sense of prophecy.

Precognitive dreams must meet a number of requirements:

  • Before the scenario of your dream is realized, you must record or inform people about your experience.
  • For a dream to be unlikely to be fulfilled by chance, there must be a considerable number of unique aspects to it.
  • A premonition dream does not include dreams that are self-fulfilling prophecies or that could be impacted by current information.
  • The premonition dream cannot be influenced by dream telepathy, or communication with other people via dreams.

Can Dreams Predict the Future?

There is very little evidence to show that dreams may foretell the future at this time. The onset of sickness or mental decline may be predicted by specific sorts of dreams, according to certain studies. People with Parkinson’s disease, for example, are at greater risk of cognitive deterioration if they have dreams filled with negative emotions.
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Dreams and nightmares can be influenced by a person’s stage of life and experiences. It is common for pregnant women to suffer from nightmares and vivid dreams. Trauma and mental health concerns are linked to more frequent occurrences of nightmares and disturbed sleep. As a result, nightmares might have a negative impact on your overall sleep quality.

A lucid dream can occur if certain conditions are met. While lucid dreams can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the future, they do let you know you’re in a dream. While lucid dreaming, you may even be able to influence the content of your dream.

Instances in Which Dreams Have Been Premonitions

Dreams are said to have foreshadowed some historical occurrences. There is no way to confirm that the dreams matched the criterion for precognitive dreams because they occurred in the past.

Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

According to legend, Abraham Lincoln had frequent nightmares about his own demise. Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s friend and legal partner, later recalled the dream to him as Lincoln had experienced it.

After hearing people sobbing, Lincoln went to investigate in his dream. He discovered a dead body in the East Room of the White House. When Lincoln awoke from his dream, he confronted the figures and inquired about what had transpired. An assassination attempt against the president was made known to him by a single source. Lincoln’s demeanor changed when he told Lamon about his dream.

Lincoln explained the dream to Lamon later on. In his dream, Lincoln was not assassinated, but another president. The night before his assassination on April 14, 1865, he had this dream.

Lincoln frequently had a more upbeat, more prognosticative dream. It appeared to him that Union ships were following a crippled enemy ship in pursuit. The Union soldiers, on the other hand, appeared to be in a better position and ready to seize victory. For historical events such as the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, Lincoln apparently saw this dream as an auspicious sign.

Aberfan Landslide

During a landslide in 1966, coal mine waste flowed into Aberfan, a small town in South Wales. A landslide demolished the local school, resulting in the deaths of 144 kids and staff.

Several days after the avalanche, a British psychiatrist named John Barker arrived in the community. What happens to people when they think they’re about to die was the subject of Barker’s research project. He gathered 76 testimonies of people seeing visions of the Aberfan landslide, and he investigated 60 of them.

In the wake of the tragic event, the parents of Eryl Mai, a 10-year-old girl who was tragically slain, made an important prediction. The girl had told her mother the night before the tragedy about a terrifying dream she’d had. She had a recurring nightmare that her school had been demolished and replaced by “something black.”

Robert Kennedy’s Assassination

Dreams may have foretold the assassination of Robert Kennedy. In the years following the Aberfan landslide, two of the people who had given British psychiatrist John Barker premonitions of the disaster kept reporting realistic psychic dreams. They sent these to a newspaper section, named the Premonitions Bureau, for publication.

Kathleen Middleton had her first premonition of Robert Kennedy’s killing in March 1968. For months, she had vivid dreams about Kennedy’s demise. She called the Premonitions Bureau three times on June 4, 1968, since she was so anxious about Kennedy’s well-being. On June 5, 1968, just after midnight, he was shot dead.

Lincoln’s death

Abraham Lincoln shared a recent dream with his wife and a handful of his closest friends about two weeks before he was assassinated.

To him, it was a fantasy to walk into the White House and see his own body lying in state in the East Room, exactly where his casket was when he died in 2009.

Carl Jung

Several precognitive dreams and experiences were also described by one of the pioneers of contemporary psychotherapy, Jung.

His mother’s death was foretold in one of his nightmares. One of his most vivid nightmares was one depicting Europe in the grips of an impending disaster in early 1914. The outbreak of World War I was one of the many events that these visions were eventually linked to by many people.


Premonitions regarding the Titanic are surprisingly common! The precognitive nature of two of these dreams stands out, though.
Dreams decoded: experts explain the most common reoccurring dreams | CBC Life

Aboard the Titanic was Isaac Fruenthal, and Eugene Daily was also on board with him. Before boarding, Fruenthal had a premonition that the ship he was on would crash and sink. After he boarded the Titanic, he experienced the same dream. The narrative of Fruenthal’s dream has become a well-known example of precognitive dreaming because he escaped the sinking.

Daly, on the other hand, had a unique experience. While boarding the Titanic at Queenstown, he revealed his dreams of it sinking fairly soon. He had the same horrific dream every night he was on board. As soon as Daly realized that the ship was about to sink, he notified his pal that it was going to happen that night.

The evidence for precognitive dreams doesn’t get much more compelling than this.

Mark Twain

Dreamed about his brother’s metal casket sitting in his sister’s house, American writer Mark Twain. His brother was assassinated a few weeks after his dream.

Burial in a wooden casket was the norm back then. Twain’s brother had been buried in a metal casket, thanks to the generosity of a friend. When Twain looked at the scene, it was just as he had imagined it to be.

Mrs Julius Caesar

On the night before Julius Caesar’s death, his wife, Calpurnia, was haunted by frightening dreams. When she awoke, she begged Caesar not to leave, but he would have none of it. Take a look at the final result!

There’s no need to be surprised by the concept of precognitive dreams.

How common are they?

Up to a third of people report having had a precognitive experience, generally in the shape of a dream that seemed to come to fruition, according to some studies.

The number of people who have experienced a prophetic dream could be as high as 50%, according to informal polls conducted by Psychology Today.

Depending on who participates in a survey, the results can be skewed. If you’re more inclined to believe in the paranormal, you’re more likely to interpret dreams as predictive of the future.

When it comes to psychic encounters, those who don’t believe in psychic experiences are unlikely to think about their dreams predicting the future.

Summarizing, there is no way to know whether or not precognitive dreams occur unless specialists perform further research.

What could be behind them?

However, despite the lack of scientific evidence, experts have come up with a few other hypotheses.

Selective recall

Study findings from 2014 suggest that selective recall could be a contributing factor.

Participants were given a fictional dream journal and a real event diary, which they were told had been authored by the same student as part of a separate experiment.

There was a note in the event journal that either validated or disproved each dream that had been previously documented in the other diary.

After reading both diaries and writing down their dreams and diary events, the participants were invited to complete a short survey. Participants were expected to recall more vividly the occurrences that corroborated their dreams than those that did not.

Exactly as predicted by the researchers, participants were able to recall their dreams more clearly based on diary entries. Regardless of the individuals’ level of conviction in precognitive dreams, this selective remembering was consistent.

You’re more likely to remember the similarities than the differences when a real-life incident resembles one from a dream.

How about a dream where you get lost in the woods and end up missing your closest friend’s birthday celebration? After a few days, the tide comes in and takes your beach shoes away.

Even though only a little portion of the dream actually took place, your brain is able to focus on that portion. Even if all of the other elements don’t fit, your dream seems to foresee the disappearance of your shoes.

Association of unrelated events

A second study, with different volunteers, was also a component of the previously described investigation. In this study, researchers examined the hypothesis that persons who believe in precognitive dreams are more likely to connect events that are unrelated.

They assigned readings of four pairs of dream diaries and news stories to 50 participants, and they were instructed to make as many links as they could. There were more connections between news stories and dream diaries among those who reported higher degrees of paranormal believing or precognitive dreams.

Real-world examples:

A fight with someone is on your mind. You’ll remember how upset you were when you woke up. The following night, you have a disturbing dream in which you are overcome with sadness. While the facts are hazy, you do recall crying.

You’re involved in a car accident a few days later. Your relatively new car gets a little battered, but no one gets hurt as a result of this. You’re upset and depressed about your car, and it’s bringing back memories of your childhood fantasies.

Even though they appear to be a premonition of the accident, there is no clear connection between the two events.

The reasons for feeling angry or sad are as varied as the people who experience them. There is nothing keeping them from turning up in your dreams if they come up in your day-to-day life.


Coincidence may also play a role in precognitive dreams.

Part of this is due to the law of big numbers: You’ll have a large number of dreams, about a wide range of subjects, during your life.. It’s only natural that some aspect of your life will coincide with something else in the world.

As unlikely as it may appear, this is something that will happen at some point. You’ll have a better chance of having synchronistic experiences if you keep track of your dreams.

Subconscious connections

It’s not unusual to have dreams about subjects you’ve already given much thought to, particularly those that cause you anxiety.

It is possible that you will recall your dream if you dream of leaving your partner and then actually do so. Even so, breakups don’t happen out of the blue.

You may have been experiencing problems that made you fear that your relationship was about to end. Even if you weren’t thinking about it, there were still a number of things that could have triggered your dream.

In addition, your subconscious mind might form connections that you aren’t even aware of, and these connections can show up in your dreams.

Let’s say you had a nightmare about a huge fire. When you wake up in the morning, you see on social media that a neighboring tree was struck by lightning, causing the local library to catch fire in the middle of the night.

You may be thinking about fire since it’s summer and you live in a dry location that is prone to fires. As a result, you may have equated lightning with fire since you heard a weather forecast indicating stormy weather with a high likelihood of thunderstorms.

The Difference Between Precognitive Dreams & Intuitive Dreams

Precognitive dreams are notoriously difficult to understand. Just because someone else has a few, doesn’t mean you don’t have any of your own.

Premonition dreams may be real if you’ve had any experiences with them. There are a lot more of these than you think!
What Do Our Dreams Tell Us? Psychic Dream Interpretation Reading, Dream Symbols & More | California Psychics

There’s also a more rational explanation for some dreams, which we call intuitive dreams.

Imagine a situation like this: Angela has a recurring dream in which she is told she has an illness. Two months later, she receives the news that she has cancer through a series of blood tests.

This dream may appear to be a precognitive one, but it’s important to evaluate the context in which it was experienced. Angela has been feeling exhausted, short of breath, and just out of sorts recently. Taking extra sleeps has helped her recharge her batteries. Three years prior, her mother succumbed to cancer.

It’s clear that this dream is based on a lot of unconscious material. Angela’s own intuition, not a paranormal foresight, is the source of the dream.

A genuine precognitive dream is one in which there are no prior events or experiences that influence it. Even though they seem improbable at first, they turn out to be true in the end.

What Does Science Say About Precognitive Dreams?

There are billions of people on the planet, and the majority of them have up to five dreams a night, which is astounding. There’s a good likelihood that at least a handful of those billions of dreams coincide with actual occurrences.

Many scientists have had this view for many years. Scientists are beginning to believe that dreams that foretell the future may be true, thanks to some intriguing new study.

How Do They Happen?

No one knows exactly how precognitive dreams work, despite the fact that researchers are finally acknowledging their existence.

A number of factors could be at play here:

  • Statistically, given the amount of dreams that occur each night, there must be some that are precognitive.
  • Recalling the future; this could be an instance in which the future has an impact on the past Scientific data shows that time is an illusion, even if it sounds implausible at first.
  • In the end, it’s up to you. If the dream makes an impact on the dreamer, they may take action (even if they don’t realize it) to bring the dream to life.

If there’s one thing scientists agree on, it’s that we don’t know much about it yet! Be sure to keep an eye on this space, because there’s going to be some exciting developments in the near future.

Why Do They Happen?

Regardless of the reason of a genuine precognitive dream, there is almost always a lesson to be learned. It’s possible that:

A Warning

Isn’t it obvious that we’re entwined with the universe in ways we don’t even know or understand? A precognitive dream may serve as a warning of what is to come. Whether you believe in entities, guardian angels, or spirits of deceased loved ones, someone or something may be sending you a warning to be especially cautious.

Showing That You’re On The Right Track

Precognitive dreams need not be horrible or frightening. They could be extremely enjoyable in some situations. Imagine yourself in a butterfly meadow in your dreams. On your next hike, you and a companion discover a swarm of lovely butterflies.

Predictive dreams are common, but they can also serve as signs that point you in the correct way rather than warn you of impending doom.

How Do I Know If I Had A Precognitive Dream?

It’s difficult to pin down the meaning of precognitive dreams. When you wake up, you won’t know whether or not your dream was a foretelling one. You won’t know unless it happens, and that may be tomorrow or three years from now.

Although precognitive dreams can be confused with lucid dreams, out of body experiences, and deja vu, they are distinct from these other types of dreams. There are a few significant distinctions.

Is there any way to stop them?

In times of widespread crisis, claims of precognitive dreams may become more common, according to some researchers.

Take a look at Jung’s visions of war. There were numerous signals pointing to war breaking out. In his own words, Jung described the anxiety he felt during this period.

There are times when horrible things happen in your life, and you’re more prone to have bad nightmares about it. You’re more prone to have such a dream if you’re dealing with a lot of stress at once, whether in your own life or in society as a whole.

It’s a reflection of how profoundly life experiences may alter your consciousness.

If you have frequent, disturbing nightmares, it may be difficult to get adequate sleep, which may further exacerbate your condition. It’s terrible enough to be preoccupied with worries during the course of the day. Getting some shut-eye is essential for recharging.

While you may not be able to completely stop dreaming, you may manage stress and lessen the number of nightmares that you have.

Talking to a therapist when you’re feeling lonely, depressed, or deeply impacted by current events can help you sleep better since reducing stress during the day can help you sleep better at night.

Therapy can help you learn how to better deal with and control challenging emotions, allowing you to function more effectively both during the day and at night, after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.
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The bottom line

Is it possible to have dreams that foretell the future?

In a nutshell, who can say? Despite a wealth of new evidence, scientists are still baffled by the role of dreams in the human mind.

So, listen to your dreams and follow their guidance. Check out new sleep habits if they’re interfering with your slumber.

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