William Terriss’s dog Davie’s vision of his master’s murder
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Details of this case were first published by the Light (1918, p. 5). An editor of this London Journal, a friend of Mr. Tom Terriss, son of the dramatic actor William Terriss, murdered in 1817, wrote:
On the evening of the murder, Mrs. Terriss was sitting in the living room of her small hotel in Belfort Park. On her lap was a small dog called Davie, who was asleep. Her children, William and Tom, were with her. The clock was marking 7:20 a.m., when all of a sudden, without anything having been able to predict it, the dog jumped to the floor and began to throw himself frenetically here and there, scolding, barking, grinding his teeth, biting, in an extraordinary state of anger and terror. This behaviour of the dog made a profound impression on Mrs. Terriss, who felt upset for the rest of the evening. Well, it was at exactly 7:20 a. m. that the dramatic actor William Terris was murdered.
His son Tom expressed himself in this way:
I was playing a game of chess with my brother William, and the dog was sleeping on my mother's lap, when suddenly he surprised us all by jumping on the floor and starting to throw himself from one side to the other, furiously and frantically, grinding his teeth and biting into the void. My mother remained frightened and shouted, "What the hell is happening? What does he see then?" She was convinced that the dog's rage should be directed against an invisible enemy. My brother and I tried to calm it down, but we in turn were quite surprised and perplexed by the inexplicable behaviour of a generally quiet dog with a very gentle character.