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Observations placeholder

Haggard, Rider – Dog telepathy – Haggard dreamed that Bob, their eldest daughter's old pointer dog, was going to die



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Originally collected by Professor Ernesto Bozzano, and published in the Annales des Sciences psychiques on August 1905.  Also reported by the SPR and mentioned in Gabriel Delanne - Materials for use in the study of Reincarnation

Mr. Rider Haggard reports that he was lying quietly in bed around one o'clock in the night on July 10. Mrs. Haggard, who was sleeping in the same room, heard her husband moan and make inarticulate sounds, such as an injured beast. Worried, she called him. Mr. Haggard heard the voice as if in a dream, but could not immediately get rid of the nightmare that was oppressing him. When he woke up completely, he told his wife that he had dreamed of Bob, their eldest daughter's old pointer dog, and that he had seen him struggle in a terrible fight as if he were going to die.

The dream had had two distinct parts. On the first one, the storyteller only remembers feeling oppressive as if he had been about to drown. Between the moment he heard his wife's voice and the moment he regained full consciousness, the dream took on a more precise form. "I could see," said Mr. Haggard, "the good old Bob lying between the reeds of a pond. It seemed to me that my very personality mysteriously came out of the dog's body as he raised his head against my face in a strange way; Bob tried to talk to me and, unable to make himself understood by voice, transmitted to me in another undefinable way the idea that he was dying.

Mr. and Mrs. Haggard went back to sleep and the storyteller was no longer disturbed in his sleep. In the morning, at lunchtime, he told his daughters what he had dreamed of and laughed with them about the fear their mother had felt. He attributed the nightmare to poor digestion. As for Bob, no one cared, since the night before, he had been seen with the other dogs in the villa and had headed off to ‘woo’ his mistress as usual. Only when the daily mealtime had passed without Bob being seen, did Miss Haggard begin to feel some concern, and he began to suspect that it was a true dream. An active search was carried out over four days, after which Mr. Haggard himself found the poor dog floating on the water of a pond, two kilometres from the villa, with his skull crushed and two broken legs.

An initial examination by the veterinarian suggested that the unfortunate beast had been trapped, but then indisputable evidence was found that the dog had been crushed by a train on a bridge crossing the pond and that it had then been thrown by the impact into the water plants.

On the morning of July 19, a railway road worker found Bob's bloody collar on the bridge. So there was no doubt that the dog had died on the night of the dream. By chance that night, just before midnight, an unusual train had passed that must have caused the accident.

All these circumstances are proven by the author through a series of testimonial documents.

According to the veterinarian, the death should have been almost instantaneous, so it would have preceded Mr. Haggard's dream by two hours or more.

In discussing this fact, Mr. Bozzano points out that among the causes that could be invoked to explain this dream, the animal's telepathic action is the most likely, since no human being was likely to have attended the event.


The source of the experience

Haggard, Sir H Rider

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps