The Prince and the Pauper – Chapter Eight – Fun Fact

Have you ever had a dream that appeared to tell the future? How about one that foreshadowed someone’s death? In Chapter 8, Henry VIII has a “troublous dream” that he interprets as on omen for his own passing. So is that possible? Do our dreams possess the capability to anticipate future events? The Fun Fact that we explore for The Prince and the Pauper Chapter 8 is…

Can dreams predict death?

What a powerful and terrifying idea! Keep reading or watch the video below for more information.

Reference in The Prince and the Pauper

“About five o’clock Henry VIII. awoke out of an unrefreshing nap, and muttered to himself, ‘Troublous dreams, troublous dreams! Mine end is now at hand:  so say these warnings, and my failing pulses do confirm it.’”  (p. 39)

This scene shows Henry waking up and sensing, both from his dreams and his weak pulse, that his end is near. We also see him losing his strength at multiple points throughout this chapter. And spoiler alert: he’s not wrong; he only has a limited time left to live.

Can dreams predict the future?

Dreams that predict the future are referred to as “precognitive dreams”. Supposedly they are dreams that give you information about the future you wouldn’t otherwise have. If you are like me, your mind automatically goes to the movie Minority Report and the “precogs”. But I digress. At this point, there is no scientific evidence that precognitive dreams exist.

However, there is research that suggests that up to a third of people have reported some type of precognitive experience. Some studies say that these numbers could be even higher. Some studies suggest that this could be caused by selective recall, meaning that we remember more of the events in our life that match up with events that happened in our dreams. Other explanations could be that they are caused by association of unrelated events, coincidence, or subconscious connections.

Can dreams predict death?

A researcher named Dr. Andrew Paquette studied this very question. From 1989-2014, he recorded the events of 11,779 of his dreams. Then he published an anlysis of these dreams in 2015, specifically focusing on those that were death-related. He had a total of 87 death-related dreams that featured 50 identifiable people.

By the time he did the study, 12 of the 50 identifiable people in his death-related dreams were already dead (24%). He also found that the date of these death-related dreams about the people who had died generally happened closer to their death dates than other non-death-related dreams about them. One of his dreams actually happened the same day the person died, and he claims he woke up certain that morning that that person had died!

Though these results are certainly very interesting to examine, there is still not any solid evidence that our dreams can predict the future, let alone death.

Signs of Death in Dreams

Despite having no significant evidence of the predictive power of our dreams, there are still a large number of people that place a lot of emphasis on dream omens. Here are a few omens that supposedly can signify death in dreams:

  1. Black
  2. Snakes
  3. Black cats
  4. Falling teeth
  5. Black bird
  6. Nursing baby
  7. Saving a drowning man
  8. Travel plans
  9. Repetitive nightmares
  10. Singing and dancing
  11. Drinking alone

If you’ve experienced any of these omens (I know I have!) I wouldn’t read too much into it. But it certainly is interesting to thing about!

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