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My Auntie's Incredible Claims

  1. Apr 24, 2010 #1


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    My Auntie claims to have sporadic psychic experiences that have been spread out over her life. She claims these experiences have hit her spontaneously, and that she has had 0 misses. I have concluded that she is either schizophrenic (or some type of really bad psychosis), lying, a mixture of both, or geniune.

    Just note that I have not observed any schizophrenic tendencies, her life is in great order and she meticulously plans for these decisions, has held steady employment as a school teacher, is a very jovial person and I am not aware of any symptoms of typical psychological disorders. She has had the same characteristics her entire life that I've known her for, i.e. her character hasn't changed in correlation to her telling me of these experiences. I sincerely believe that she is telling the truth, she and her sisters (mother + other auntie) are NOT the lying types, so far from it, or at least I think she's telling the truth she believes in, although of course this is a subjective valuation.

    Paraphrasing, but no emphasis on her claims of accuracy;
    (A) "I was travelling with G (her friend) to go to dinner at a friends house. I felt this incredible pulling sensation and a horrible feeling in the West direction towards Ashfield (suburb). Immediately I knew that something horrible was going on. Someone was in great trouble. I felt physically sick, and I felt drawn to this direction. After a short while, I told G, "She's dead". I knew it was over for her, she'd been murdered. The next day on the news, one of the most cruel murders took place of a woman who was tortured and murdered around Ashfield (actually, I can't report if she said that it was the next day on the news, or a few days later a news report told of a murder a few days prior). I feel horrible to this day for not at least trying to go in the direction that I was being pulled to, yet choosing to ignore the feeling and go to have dinner with friends."

    Of course I asked her for G's reaction was, she claims that he believes that she has this ability now.

    (B) "I was in my apartment with M (her friend) and there was a huge earthquake (she has a teaching contract overseas). Immediately I saw a flash in my mind of a map of Hong Kong and the exact location of the centre of the earthquake. As soon as it subsided, we turned on the news. The epicentre on the news was off the coast. But, I knew it was wrong, and I said to M "No, that's incorrect! It's much closer in than that, I saw it!". Surely enough, soon after the news offered a correction and the new epicentre they displayed exactly matched what I saw during the earthquake."

    (C) "I was on the wharf (I forgot why she said she was here), suddently I felt this sickening feeling in the back of my head like I was being bashed on the back of my head with a plank of wood. I knew immediately what exactly happened. I later told my friend (forgot if she meant G) that the **** Ripper struck again (some killer from England) and smashed someone over the head with a plank of wood. The news reports matched exactly what I'd seen, that this killer that hadn't killed in over a year beat someone to death with a plank of wood from behind at the time I felt it"

    Of course, these (A) and (C) can't be debunked by finding ways she could've known. What to make of this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2010 #2
    The first thing to do would be to interview the friends without your Auntie knowing about it. My main suspicion is that none of them will 'recall' these events, or that their exact recollection will be more like "Yes, when we heard the news (murder, earthquake) she (auntie) turned and said to me 'Don't you remember when I said such and such a couple days ago?'" The fact is they may not recall it, but they believe that she must have said something because she said she did, therefore, if asked in her presence, they'll corroborate that she did say something premonitory before it was on the news.

    All three incidents are shocking ones. I suspect upon hearing them your Auntie spontaneously created a false memory in herself of having psychically picked up on them. Your mind does funny things when you're shocked. Famous hypnotherapist Milton Ericksen considered sudden confusion a kind of hypnotic trance. It's highly unlikely she's lying, but telling the God's honest truth as you know it doesn't mean you're relating what objectively happened, as various demonstrations of unreliable eyewitness reporting proves.
  4. Apr 26, 2010 #3


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    I wonder how often these things happen to her. Perhaps they happen more often, and when one coincides with an event she remembers it. A lot of murders take place so sooner or later one she hears about is bound to occur on the same day as any unsettled feeling. The coincidence would be etched in her mind clearly and perhaps hre memory of the feeling unintentionally exaggerated, in hindsight appearing more significant than it was. Perhaps you could suggest she keeps a diary of these events written as they happen, not afterwards. That way here will be a more accurate record of her feelings at the time.
  5. May 1, 2010 #4
    A good idea, given the propensity for people to "remember the hits, and forget the misses". All of these stories sound as though they occured in the context of traumatic events she was in, or around. Memory is VERY fluid, and each time we recall something, we edit it unconsciously. Eyewitnesses to a minor fender-bender will RARELY tell an accurate accounting, even honestly remembering events they cannot have seen, or that did not occur. Our brain isn't really designed to be a truth-seeking missile, but rather it works VERY hard to fill in gaps.

    The other common thread is that people like to feel special, and that can have conscious and subconscious effects on recall, especially over time.

    P.S. Given what you've said, she is not Schizophrenic (not a diagnosis! a guess), and likely is not mentally ill. That said, lots of sub-clinical issues can effect something as labile as memory.
  6. May 5, 2010 #5
    I once had a dream I was being chased by an angry mob trying to kill me. It was like everyone in the world wanted to kill me. That same night, my uncle about 3 miles away had a dream he was trying to protect me from people trying to kill me. What I found strange was the fact that it was a memorable enough dream for him to tell me about.
  7. Jul 1, 2010 #6
    So people in your family have a tendency to violent dreams of persecution?

    Would you like to tell us about it? :smile:
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  8. Jul 4, 2010 #7
    I can't remember why I was being chased in the dream. I think in my dream, I may have killed a person, I remember, some of the people who were chasing me, were neo-nazi's.

    I have only had that dream once. It was strange, that my uncle had the dream he did on the same night. I see my uncle about 3 times a year.
  9. Jul 4, 2010 #8
    (Taking out small black book and poising a pencil to write)
    And in the other dreams, the people chasing you were not neo-nazi?
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