Mark Twain´s Prophetic Dream

Precognitive dreams are more common than we may think. Throughout history many famous personalities have documented their prophetic dreams. In many cases prophetic dreams bring information about the future death of a loved one or the dreamer himself (such as in the case of Abraham Lincoln). In the case of Mark Twain the prophetic dream involved his brother Henry.

In 1858, Mark Twain and his younger brother Henry (19 years old) worked aboard the steamboat Pennsylvania which sailed the Mississippi between New Orleans and St. Louis. One night, while staying in St. Louis with a relative, Mark Twain had his dream.

He dreamt that his brother was laying dead in an open metal coffin supported by two chairs placed in the living room of his relative´s house. In the dream his brother wore a suit belonging to Mark Twain and had an elaborate bouquet of white flowers on his chest with a single red rose in the center. The dream was so vivid that Twain could not distinguish it was a dream and was convinced that his brother was dead. Upon waking up he remained convinced it was all true for a few moments to such an extent that he did not enter the house´s living room convinced that his brother´s corpse laid there. He left the house and took a walk during which he realised that it had all been a dream. He ran back to the house and rushed into the sitting room to find, to his relief no casket.

Two weeks later, the brothers traveled together to New Orleans on the Pennsylvania. This would be their last trip together as Twain transferred to another riverboat while Henry remained aboard the Pennsylvania. During the trip back the and while the Pennsylvania was entering into the Memphis harbor the ships boilers exploded leaving most of the crew members heavily wounded including Henry.

Mark Twain traveled to Memphis to see how his brother was coping. His brother was badly injured and the odds for survival were low. With time, Henry appeared to be recovering. But he was accidentally given an overdose of morphine that killed him.

Twain´s dream was starting to materialize. At the local funeral parlor to his surprise Twain saw further details of the dream materialize.He found his brother in a metal coffin that had been paid for by several local ladies who had admired Henry for his beauty. Also the dead brother was wearing a suit belonging to Mark Twain exactly like in the dream; borrowed without his knowledge. A few minutes later an elderly woman walked to the coffin and laid a bucket of white flowers with a single red rose on Henry´s chest.

All major elements of Twain’s dream had been reproduced.


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