Not A Nice Day
A premonition 1925/3/18 by Gladys Clarke
A few years ago I met a woman at Chichester about whom I had heard very many good things. Quite poor herself, she spent herself entirely on others. I also am poor--but felt at least I could entertain her for a few days and wait on her and give her a rest, so I asked her to my house. My husband had a small holding and we lived on Littlehampton Road, Worthing. Our nearest [rail] station was Goring-by-sea.
All was well, until I set out from my house on my walk to the station to meet her. With every step I took, a greater horror and premonition took possession of me, until I could scarcely go forward. I knew definitely that I expected to hear a terrible cry--but had no idea what would cause this. I arrived at the station, and my friend (then almost a stranger) will vouch for what follows.
It seems, I did not greet her, but in a state almost of hysteria, told her something dreadful was going to happen. My poor friend told me afterwards that she saw her anticipated rest beginning with an immediate case of mental nursing.
However, she walked home with me, talking quietly and helpfully and we sat down for a few minutes to rest. Then without the least warning I rushed from the room, through the kitchen and threw the back door wide open. The awful cry rang out exactly as I had been hearing it all the time. It was given by a man who saw a woman in flames come out of her house, right into a strong wind. Of course it was useless--before anybody could reach her. To me the marvellous part is still to come. I learned the next day that the father of the burned woman had been killed by a train at the station Goring by sea, just three years before.
--Gladys Clarke[In a subsequent letter she added:]
Name of victim, Mrs. Bowers. Accident happened March 18th 1925, did not regain consciousness, died early on the 19-3-25.
[Her friend Mrs. Bulbeck's recollections:]
Mrs. Clarke had asked me to spend the day with her at Goring-by-sea where she then lived. I went by an early train so as to have a good long day. But when I arrived at Goring station Mrs. Clarke was there to meet me. She was upset and agitated. She said to me, that something dreadful was going to happen. I tried to laugh it off, but I could see she was very serious and kept repeating all the two miles home that something was wrong. She could not tell me why, only she felt it was so. We arrived home and she had prepared the vegetables, etc. for dinner and she was going out at the back of the house. As she opened the back door we both heard a piercing scream. The poor little woman over the way had caught fire and not a stitch of clothing was left and of course she died. The whole thing was too terrible and sad for me ever to forget it. But Mrs. Clarke was so certain something was going to happen. So I can tell you I did not have a very nice day after all...
--Ellen J. BulbeckSource: Some Cases of Prediction by Dame Edith Lyttelton (1937); p. 147-150
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