I just read Jim Harold’s–the host of Paranormal Podcast and other podcasts I listen to and enjoy (despite disagreeing with a lot of it)–recent book True Ghost Stores: Jim Harold’s Campfire 2. There was one particularly spooky tale involving a woman in possession of a cursed (?) painting that manifests its distraught subject in her home. There were also a couple of stories involving people receiving messages from beyond the grave to let them know of loved ones’ passings. This subject was even explored in a recent episode with guest Rosemary Ellen Guiley about “Dream Messages from the Afterlife.” The guest talks about the supernatural aspect of dreaming about a person as a premonition of their death, at the time of their death or even after their death to impart a message to their families.
You know, I had a dream about my father dying. It was surreal (kind of redundant for a dream) with me walking in my old home in Connecticut, down the hall from the master bedroom through to the dining room. It was nighttime and dark, like there was no electricity in the house, but there were these periodic flashes of lightning that cast disorienting blue light through the halls. As I approached the dining room, I realized there was a man standing there as if in a daze. When I finally got close to him I realized he was my father, with his mouth wide open as though frozen mid-yawn (or scream,) his skin had a pallid, very aged look and his eyes were glazed over. I remember, even in my dream, thinking “Oh, god, dad’s dead,” as though realizing this was one of those dreams I’d read about.
I can even tell you when it happened: the night of July 8, 2005. I know this because the next day was a Saturday and I went to Anthrocon in Philadelphia. No, I am not a furry. It just so happened that the guest of honor that year was Peter Laird, one of the co-creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I thought it would be cool to get his signature and hear him talk, but as it turned out something prevented him showing up at the convention (I heard it was that he was kind of ashamed of the attendees; I can’t fault him for that.) I remember having that dream nagging me throughout most of the morning, but I figured my father must have been okay because otherwise my mother would have contacted me. I later called them to allay my fears.
Late last year, while living with my parents again, I had a similar dream. I don’t remember the details all that well besides seeing my father collapse at one point. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and tip-toeing across the house to check in on them–but not needing to go very far because the roar of my father’s snoring while he slept was enough to prove he was fine.
I dimly recall another such incident occurring sometime between those two. The result was the same: my father wasn’t dead. In fact I was talking to both him and my mother today about the upcoming holidays (on a regular cellphone, not some Edison ghost machine thing.) May we get to share many more to come.
So mark my words, even if I have a dream about my father’s (or mother’s) passing and awake to the horrid news, I will not give in to confirmation bias and credit the occurrence to evidence of some kind of paranormal connection when its success rate is slumming it at a failing 25% (or lower, if I have any more dreams-that-fail-to-predict.)
And I have nothing but respect for the Jim Harold for living the dream and making his collection of podcasts his full-time job. Once I get a full time job, I intend to subscribe to his Paranormal Plus club. I may not believe a lot of what he says … but at least it’s entertaining.