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Scary and mysterious stories that happened to famous people while being asleep and dreaming

Numerous facts show that the human brain is a secret of secrets. It is very interesting to read stories about how dreams inspired famous people to create their works.

In 1797, the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, while recovering from an illness, took a sedative dose of opium (which was widely used as a medicine at that time). He had a vivid dream: when he woke up, many lines of beautiful poems crowded in his head, which he rushed to write down. 

He managed to record only 54 when he was interrupted by a visitor. When the poet returned to work, the lines disappeared from his memory. But what he managed to write down became the basis of a masterpiece – the poem “Kubla Khan”.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) and "Kubla Khan"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) and “Kubla Khan”.

The writer Mary Shelley wrote her famous novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus after having nightmares about a stormy night while visiting Lord Byron’s Swiss home with her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Mary Shelley (1797–1851) and "Frankenstein"
Mary Shelley (1797–1851) and “Frankenstein”.

Robert Lewis Stevenson saw in a dream the plot of his future story “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) And "Doctor Jekyll"
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) And “Doctor Jekyll”.

Italian violinist and composer of the 18th century. Giuseppe Tartini had a dream in which the devil appeared to him and, convincing him that music can be reduced to a set of techniques and there is nothing divine in it, he performed a virtuoso sonata. 

Waking up, the composer wrote down the music he heard in his dream from memory, and this work (considered very difficult to perform) immortalized his name.

Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) and "The Devil's Sonata"
Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) and “The Devil’s Sonata”.

In May or June 1841, Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov writes down the poem “Dream”, in which he describes the circumstances of his death, which happened a month or a half after that.

Illustration for Lermontov's poem "Dream"
Illustration for Lermontov’s poem “Dream”.

The hero of the poem dying of a wound is a vision of a girl who has a premonition of his death. According to many researchers of the circumstances of the duel and the death of Lermontov, the mortally wounded poet was left for a certain number of seconds to die alone.

Mark Twain (1835–1910) and his brother Henry Clemens
Mark Twain (1835–1910) and his brother Henry Clemens.

Samuel Langhorn Clemens, the future writer Mark Twain, in 1858 saw in a dream his brother Henry, who was still alive at that time, lying in a coffin with a bouquet on his chest. The bouquet consisted of white flowers and one red. In the same year, Henry Clemens died in a steam boiler explosion. During his funeral, a white bouquet with a red flower lay in the coffin.

But the story is not about a dream, but more authentic and in the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe. In the book of the French naturalist Joseph-Philippe François Deleuze, who lived at the beginning of the XIX century, “A Critical History of Animal Magnetism”, there is a story about a young man named Billing, who was friends with the then famous blind fabulist Conrad Gottlieb Pfeffel.

Joseph Deleuze and Konrad Pfeffel
Joseph Deleuze and Konrad Pfeffel.

One day the blind poet was walking with a young man in the garden. Holding Billing’s hand during the walk, Pfeffel noticed that every time they passed through the same place, the young man’s hand began to tremble. Answering Pfeffel’s question, the young man explained that probably someone was buried at this place, since he experienced an uneasy feeling that always took possession of him, near the corpse. 

A few days later, on the orders of Pfeffel and without the knowledge of Billing, a deep hole was dug in the noticed place, at the bottom of which, under a layer of lime, a human skeleton was discovered. Having removed it from there, the pit was again filled up and leveled. 

Three days later, Pfeffel again went to the garden, taking Billing with him, who knew nothing about the terrible find, but this time the young man no longer felt any anxiety.

Illustration for Edgar Allan Poe's novel "The Black Cat"
Illustration for Edgar Allan Poe’s novel “The Black Cat”.

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”


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