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Dreamed autumn 1951 by a Washington woman as reported to the Rhine Institute

I was on an old-fashioned train. The conductor came through and called out a funny name--like Polygapo--and said that "all Polygapoes, big and little, here you are." The train stopped in front of a white house with a fence around it. A half-dozen or so children came tumbling and running off the train into the sunny, overgrown yard. One jumped the fence, one ran next door, one chased a dog, one picked up the newspaper and ran up on the porch. The whole scene was framed by the train window. At this point I awoke.

I rarely pay any attention to dreams and do not like to repeat them to others, nor do I bother with interpretations. This was unusually clear, though, and so delightful that I told it to my mother. I had no idea that it had any significance or that it was prophetic, so I quickly forgot it.

On June 14, 1952, my younger sister and I took our first plane trip by flying from Seattle to Olympia, Washington. We were to return by train and inquired the location of the station. Through a misunderstanding we were directed to the wrong station and nearly put on the train for Portland. By this time we had missed our intended train home and had to take an old-fashioned one that evening. We hadn't been on it long when the conductor came through and called out precisely as he had in my dream.

I felt a little queer the first few seconds, as though this had happened before. Then in a flash my entire dream came back. I sat there watching, saying to myself: Now that boy will jump the fence--and he did; the other boy will chase the dog--and he did; the girl will pick up the newspaper and go up on the porch and she did. So it was with everything; precisely as in my dream. The shadows, the sunlight, the wind blowing the grass, every act of the people, every word spoken all were the same.

Being of a skeptical and doubting nature, by force of habit questions arose in my mind as to whether or not this might be imagination or some sort of self-hypnosis. But before the utter conviction I felt, this question was meaningless. I knew this was my exact dream come true.

I was stunned and hardly dared to think what the significance of this might be. Was it predestined that we should be misunderstood, miss our regular train, sit precisely where we did (as no other seat on the train would give that exact view), the train would stop at that very spot, and everyone should do and say those very acts and words?


Accounts such as this--and it's not unique--are evidence that whatever precognition is, it's not the unconscious extrapolating from the present like a weather-prediction program, whose short-term forecasting is quite reliable, but whose longer-term predictions must stay general or drown in a sea of uncertainty. This crystalline foreseeing is something else. It shocks us as vision shocks a person blind since birth--terrifying depth and distance, when the short radius of touch is all we've known. Worse, this distance is temporal. The Polygapoes are chilling, despite their charm, for they hint that our future is fixed down to the last detail.

And yet any time-theory explaining Polygapoes must also account for dreamers who succeed in changing disasters they foresee. It's hard enough to concoct a theory explaining either one; but time is not that simple.

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Hidden Channels of the Mind by Louisa E. Rhine, 1961, p. 115-116. Account untitled, author's name witheld; title & byline added to aid searching & indexing.

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