In 1858 Mark Twain had a vivid dream in which he saw his brother Henry lying in a metal burial case. On Henry’s chest lay a bouquet of white flowers with a red rose at its center.

A month later, Henry lost his life when his steamboat’s boiler exploded. A grieving Twain arrived to discover his brother’s body in a metal case—the other victims had been given wooden coffins, but the ladies of Memphis had taken up a fund for Henry, touched by his youth and good looks.

As Twain stood there, an elderly woman approached and placed a bouquet of white flowers on Henry’s chest. At its center was a single red rose.

See also A Premonition.

Double Talk

Here is the longest correct sentence of ‘thats’ which we have yet seen:

‘I assert that that, that that “that,” that that that that person told me contained, implied, has been misunderstood.’

It is a string of nine ‘thats’ which may be easily ‘parsed’ by a bright pupil.

Boston Journal of Education, cited in Bizarre Notes & Queries, November 1887

Owen Parfitt

In June 1768, bedridden tailor Owen Parfitt was put into a chair at the door of his Somerset cottage while his sister made his bed. She emerged after 15 minutes to find only the empty chair.

A search continued throughout the rural village through the night and all the following day. No trace of him was ever found.

“A Strange Phenomenon at Eccleston”

Whilst sitting quietly in [Bank House], the inmates have been frequently alarmed — sometimes two or three times a day — by the descent of showers of water, apparently from the ceiling. These showers have drenched them, flooding the floor and covering the furniture with water, rendering the house almost uninhabitable. … The water comes straight down from the ceiling, and shows not the slightest indication of its being thrown into the apartment. So singular is the affair that people have concluded that it is some spiritual influence, and is a sort of judgment upon the good ladies of the house for some dereliction, who, naturally enough, are much affrighted.

Preston Herald, Feb. 15, 1873