Have you ever walked into a building, or arrived at a destination for the first time, and had that thought of “I’ve been here before,” even though you know you’ve never been there?
Internationally recognised, déjà vu is a French phrase which can be translated as “already seen”.
Déjà vu is thought to have been experienced by between 60-80% of the population. It often happens without warning and can be overwhelming. Some people report that they experience déjà vu on an almost daily basis.
That aside, it can and often occurs after someone suffers a serious trauma like a head injury or brain tumour.
On more than one occasion, I can remember getting off a bus or train or plane in some strange country, it’s my first time there, yet I know exactly where I am going. I can’t explain it.
I find this exciting, if a little unnerving. Some people recall it in conversations, as in they feel they’ve had this exact conversation before. I’ve experienced times when I just know what he or she is going to say, exactly what they are going to say, before they say it.
Have you ever experienced déjà vu? Or do you think it a lot of nonsense? I’ve read that some experts claim it’s not so mystical after all. It’s all down to us being not fully conscious of our daily thoughts.
They say that déjà vu is simply what you experience when you are doing something that you previously had thought about but hadn’t done yet. For example, you’d long forgotten about going to that specific restaurant, had checked it out, but never got round to going. One year later when you do finally go, having long forgotten about your earlier planned visit, you get déjà vu.
Possibly, who knows? No one for sure it seems.
There will always be sceptics of course who will argue away any experience as simply a coincidence. But millions do believe in déjà vu, and it seems that the phenomenon transcends borders, faiths and religions. It happens all over the world.
A classic one is, when you just “know” that for no apparent reason the doorbell is going to ring. Seconds later, it does. Or when the phone rings, and even without looking at the phone screen you just “know” exactly who the caller is. Some even claim to not only know who the caller is, but what they are about to tell them. Real, or just a fluke? Up to you I guess.
Now this subject has got me thinking. Not exactly déjà vu, but something weirdly similar. What about the incidents of those who claim they have seen the future, by that I mean they have a premonition about, for example, a plane crash?
The passenger gets to the airport, then decides at the last minute not to board due to a horrible feeling that something terrible is going to happen. They don’t get on the plane, they leave the airport and go home, they then turn on the news and see that the plane has crashed.
Then of course there are dreams.
One night, American President Abraham Lincoln had a dream. He saw a catafalque, which is a type of wooden framework that supports a coffin. A Union soldier was standing guard. In his dream, Lincoln walked up to the solider and asked him: “Who is dead in the White House?” The soldier replied: “The President… he was killed by an assassin.”
Lincoln was naturally disturbed by the dream and told a friend about it. Days later, President Lincoln was killed by an assassin’s bullet.
If that was not creepy enough, what about Buddy Holly? Prior to his untimely end, Buddy and his wife Maria were both woken by dreams of panic, a plane crash and a farm. Weeks later, he of course died when the plane he had chartered crashed into a cornfield in Iowa.
Interesting to note that fellow performer Ritchie Valens, who was also on that doomed flight and died along side Holly, had a fear of flying, after witnessing a plane fall from the sky aged 15. It crashed and burned, just like the flight he and Holly were on in 1959.
Or what about the following? In 1886, Author William Thomas Stead wrote a novel about an ocean liner that that collided with another ship, and a second novel about a ship that collided with an iceberg. In his book, due to lack of lifeboats, numerous people on board drowned. Years later, in 1912, Stead was a passenger on the Titanic when it hit that iceberg. Due to a lack of lifeboats… yes you guessed it, Stead drowned.
Have you ever had a dream or some horrible premonition? I once dreamed about somebody dying back home. I was in Russia at the time. No one specific thankfully, but just that awful feeling when waking up that someone had died.
I phoned home later that morning, and was told the extraordinary news that a murder had taken place in my home town. Unexplainable, pure coincidence or something deeper? I have no idea.
A fascinating subject I feel, a bit creepy, and slightly weird.
On the subject of weird feelings, do you have a double? Have you walked into a shop or down the street and seen someone who looks like you? I haven’t, but I once saw a woman who I was convinced was my friend Janice.
One day in Tesco, as I was loading my products into a bag, I looked up and across at the woman at the next checkout. Our eyes met, she smiled, and I dropped the glass bottle I was holding which smashed on the floor.
Janice had been dead for years, and there she was standing in Tesco smiling at me.
It was her, no doubt about that.
Of course, it was not. But damn it was her double.
I can point to at least half a dozen experiences the world over when I was convinced I’d just seen a double of someone I know.
Everyone has a double they say.
Thankfully I’ve yet to see a double of myself. And I don’t ever want to.
Out for a walk in some far-flung place I’ve never been before, casually taking in the sights, walking round a corner and coming face to face with yourself?
No thank you very much!
Do you have any interesting tales to tale of déjà vu, or spotting doubles or even premonitions that came true?