Observations placeholder

Dr J C Barker - The woman who prophesied her own death



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Dr J C Barker  MD, MRCP, DPM – Scared to Death – An examination of fear, its cause and effects

Air Marshal Sir R. Nelson described a woman of twenty-six who had a clear and accurate premonition of her own death. She was apparently recovering well from a kidney operation, but on the tenth post-operative day she became very despondent.

When the nurse informed her that her daughter would be visiting her in hospital the next day, she exclaimed, "Please ring up and tell her not to come because by then I shall be dead."

The doctor was so impressed by the note of conviction in her voice that he rang up his chief and also summoned another physician who was in the hospital to come and examine his patient. Both these doctors examined the woman carefully and completely rejected the suggestion that there might be anything untoward about her condition. He said they left him about midnight with some reasonably broad hints about getting unnecessarily alarmed.

The following morning the nurse awoke the patient and left her alone with the menu to order her breakfast. Ten minutes later she was found dead, but unfortunately a post-mortem was refused.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps