Dream Catcher

The neuroscience of our night life

Visitation Dreams

If I, an individual who studied dreams with a skeptical scientific cast of mind, could not shake the conviction that I had just communicated with my dead parents, how much stronger must be the conviction of someone with a less skeptical approach to dreams than me? Read More

I myself experienced a

I myself experienced a pre-cognitive dream some hours before the death of my father (I awoke knowing very well that my father had died despite my father dying of a sudden heart-attack in his sleep thus no pre-ilness or symtoms having had occured before) and then again a day after his death I was shaken to the core by a "visitation dream" that was no less than an amazing experience. I am not religious by any means and until that day never considered much on the subject of spiritulism. I would be fascinated to hear about any studies done on the subject - to clarify for people like me the meaning of such events despite little faith in the world and life beyond.

Two days before my father

Two days before my father passed away I had a dream that he was going to die. He didn't have any health issues either. He had an unknown cause of death. Since this dream I had I have been very interested in my dreams, paying attention to every detail of them. Today I have found myself having visitation dreams almost every week with my father and also my friend who has recently passed away. I strongly believe that visitation dreams really are messages from the dead. I just wish there was more evidence!


I bordered on atheism. I tried to have a religious experience and never had one. I am a skeptical person and I thought the most likely place for us to go after death if there was any was to forget who we once were and reincarnate. But I have had an experience with a visitation dream that changed everything about what I believe, though I do not think it endorsed any particular faith and I'm not about to join any faith having retained skeptical feelings about the intentions of any living person who wants money because they say they know what happens after death whether they live now or preached what they did several thousand years ago.

Only once before did I have a dream so realistic, I won't go into the other one except to say that the other one convinced me that sometimes people could dream of future events accurately.

In this very vivid dream I was in an apartment that reminded me very much of the typical apartment you'd find in Brooklyn, in the common living area was a big table and in the seats around it were people that I knew were family from my father's side. They were smiling and so healthy looking I did not know who they were. But at the very head of the table was a man who looked very much like my father, with rounded spectacles, and I knew that this man had to be my Grandfather. He died before I could ever meet him but I knew it had to be him. Note that all of these family members resided in apartments like that when alive and lived most of their lives in Brooklyn.

The only other not at the table was my Grandmother, she looked well, healthy, smiling, not youthful but not old. There was no telepathy, she definitely spoke. She asked me "what is your name", and I told her John Russell III, and I looked back at the table. I felt like I did when I was a very small child dealing with adults that had those kind of knowing smiles on their faces, like they knew I'd not quite understand and get it wrong. I focused on the face of what looked like my grandfather and thought that he really did look like my dad and looked back at her. She said "That's right, I want you to know that everything is going to be all right. Everything is going to be all right." I woke up.

At the time I was just located to Texas having sold my home on the Jersey shore to move here for a relationship that fell apart soon after. I was alone in the apartment trying to decide what to do with a big nest egg, undecided if I should use the money to buy another home there, go back to school, start a business, etc. My parents had moved to the same town I was in to be close and retire, but I had become estranged to them over their not being happy with my career and demanding I move back in with them and not work at all rather than work a temporary job in Wal-Mart. It was not enough to make me move in with them or quit my job, it was enough to make me feel deeply ashamed and so I stopped visiting for a while. I fell out of the upper middle class they belonged to, the home they had to retire in was literally on a Golf Course with a country club.

I mention these circumstances because when I had this vivid dream I decided that it was real, and that my Grandmother had been the owner of a business that for a time brought her great prosperity. Out of all the people in the family she spoke to me to tell me it would be "all right". I could not fail if I started a business, and so I quit my Wal-Mart job and put everything I made of the sale of my beach house into renting store space at an antique mall and used my art talent to offer high quality pen and ink portraits that looked like plate etchings of people's families, pets, horses, etc. For a while I essentially owned a gallery, some original work was for sale too.

I was totally calm and confident, the dream going through my head, "everything is going to be all right". My savings dwindled, the money from the business did not equal my overhead and living expenses, within a few months the savings were gone and I was cashing in my 401K trying to buy myself time to find a full time job. I did and I let the business fold as a failed venture. At no time during this process did I let the stress get to me, I was okay and I found a job. I wasn't sure about what the dream was all about so I put it aside.

It never occurred to me that the dream could have another possible meaning related to other events in my life. A month after the dream my father was found to have squamous cell cancer on his tonsils. I refused to think about the worst through the three years he battled cancer and it kept coming back, I thought the worst that could happen (that did happen) was he'd have to live life with a full removal of the Larynx and it would be done. I made no connection between the dream I had and the circumstances until my father was in hospice in the final week of his life. Just after they discontinued feeding him he became for a day fully cognizant, he was upset and wanted to die at home but he required far too much care for mom and a visiting nurse to handle.

I realized that the dream had nothing to do with me, afterward I checked the date I wrote down that I had the dream and my account of it against the date when he first was diagnosed with cancer. My dream kept focusing on his father sitting at the table as the one person I could recognize whole, smiling, and happy. My father's father. My grandmother asked me my name, John Russell III, my father was John Jr., the man sitting in the table was John Russell Sr. My grandmother, his mother, was telling me it was all going to be alright.

I told my father about the dream in it's entirety, unlike me he was a religious man (devout Catholic). I told him jokingly that the afterlife didn't look like heaven or hell, but rather it looked like the interior of an apartment in Brooklyn. He was surprised in a good way, and knew that the dream must have been something different for it to give me the confidence to throw my entire life savings into a failed business venture. He wrote me the message "amazing". His being upset about where he was stopped, he knew that he'd be going home soon and would be reunited in a different home with people that he loved who were whole, happy, and were waiting for him.

If I could trade what telling him about that dream did for him in probably the last fully conscious day of his life, for having all of the money I lost in that business venture from misunderstanding the dream, I wouldn't trade it. It was worth every penny to know where he was going, and to reassure him of it. Now I know what the knowing smiles all of the relatives in the dream that made me think that I'd get it wrong meant, I did get it all wrong... but in the end I got it right. I also gained a serenity ever since that dream that I never had before, even when I was getting it wrong, losing it all didn't seem to phase me that bad. I got better work than Wal-Mart and got a middle class life and a happy marriage to a wonderful woman during the interim between the dream and my father's death.

I did not turn out a catholic (there was no religious imagery in the dream and if it was important for Grandma to make me into a catholic there probably would have been, because she was very Catholic in life) I did not turn out a new-ager. I kind of concluded that I didn't believe in reincarnation anymore, but that there was some afterlife. Philosophically I'm still trying to work it out, like how much do our dead ancestors know about our lives if one ancestor could apparently see my father was going to die before a doctor or anyone knew that he had cancer. By what mechanism could they know, and was it known by them that I wouldn't understand the message and get it to my father only in the last week of his life, from five years before? It implies to me that when we do pass on we gain a connection to something or gain capacities of our own that allow us abilities and perspectives we do not have in life... but I make no presumption on what principles would allow that to be so. There was nothing threatening, no warning that I better believe in something or else, like it wouldn't matter to them if I went on with the rest of my life thinking it was just a dream. I am certainly not going give classes from my personal experience and charge people money who desperately want to know if they or their loved ones will be okay when they do. I don't think I have enough information from my experience to build a theology of any kind supporting anyone else's theology or finding my own unique one. I am left with a lot of "I don't knows" and open questions.

I am left with only one certainty "Everything is going to be all right..."

Vivid Visitation Dream..Weeks After..

I lost my beloved mother almost two years. We were very close and I still struggle to deal with the loss. I did thoug have a vivid visitation dream a few weeks after she passed. I usually do not remember my dreams, but this one was remarkable. In my dream, I met with my mother who was with my grandmother and my father's aunt. I never met my grandmother as she was deceased before I was born, but somehow I knew I was meeting her in my dream. I can't recall any specific words to the meeting other than it left me with a tremendous sense of joy and relief. My mother somehow not exactly communicating in words told me she was fine and happy and that I shouldn't spend time dwelling on her death. I often think back to that dream in moments of sadness and am able to get some solace out of it. I am not a religious person, but the experience somehow provided me with a sense that things would be alright and that my mother existed in another realm.

Visitation or no?

My grandma passed away back in 2006. We were extremely close and I was the closest to her among all her grandchildren. I was there the day she passed away and saw her when she passed. I was only about 15 at the time but remember every detail. I think about my grandmother every day and have even modeled after her in some ways (accidentally). I cry over her often still. I have felt her presence a couple of times a long time ago and so has my mother and aunts. The only thing I have never experienced is a visitation dream until last night.
I had a dream that she didn't pass away, but only "disappeared" up until now. It felt extremely real and she was super healthy. I was showing her things that were hers that I had been given by my aunts and asked her where she had gotten them from. She went into detail with everything as to where she had gotten them from--but I do not remember now what she said. I remember waking up feeling like it was real and amazed at how healthy she looked, but I can't remember what she said.
I've read online that for it to be a visitation dream it has to be so vivid you remember what the person said. I don't remember what she said but I know it was a long conversation and I was super happy to see her.

Visitation Dream

I had the most bizarre dream this morning. It was more than a dream, I truly believe it was a visitation. It was so real. It was about a very close friend that I lost 2 years ago. I had fallen asleep thinking about my mother that passed away a year ago and was thinking how much I missed her, I got a little weepy thinking about it but soon fell asleep. The next thing I remember, Im in an empty house, that is familiar but I can't really place it. I am talking to someone, I don't know what they said or who they were but from the way I was reacting, I was told my friend was stepping forward. Suddenly I hear a bang or some loud noise and there he is! I was so surprised and excited, he looked a little younger and healthy and whole. He spoke to me and either asked me why I didn't do my part or he was telling he I did my part. Not for sure what he meant. It seemed like we talked for a good while, I kept telling him not to go. People kept coming to the door like it was their turn for something and I would send them away and tell them I wasn't finished! We hugged, several times and I remember looking at his hands as I held them. I woke up really shaken, not in a bad way, just blown away cause I swear, that was NOT A dream! I could still feel how it felt when we hugged each other, like it wad just seconds ago! I believe with all my heart that that was a visitation.

That was not the first one that I have had from him, the morning after the evening he was taken off life support I was just starting to wake up, I was in that state being fully awake and asleep. My eyes were still closed but I was starting to wake up when I saw his face, he was talking to me but his mouth was not moving, he was smiling. I knew what he was saying to me, he said for me not to be sad that he was alright and happy, that was a very real experience too and I know without a doubt hat it was hm.


I had a visitation dream by a guy killed in a freak train accident. It was exactly as described. He reassured me that he was okay with having died. He thanked me for loving him. I woke up with this enormous sense of relief, and I stopped grieving and carried on with my life. If it were not for that visitation, I would have suffered so much more mental anguish, but this dream assisted me in getting over his death. Of course, deep down inside, I will always believe it was really him, reaching out to me.


my mother in law passed away approximately 5 months ago. One night I had a dream and in my dream she came to me and she didn't use words but it was like I knew what she was saying. She took me to her husband and then to her son which is my husband and then to our children. She showed me that she was there with them when they were grieving. Then she held my hand and showed me twisting her rings on her finger. This is something I did why she was in the hospital while I held her hand. She never used words but I knew she was telling me she was okay and that she was with us and thanking me for being there for her. The dream was so vivid and her eyes I remember being so crystal clear and healthy. Was this a visitation.

Visitation Dreams

Why is no one responding or commenting on the dream/visitation experiences of the persons sharing.... I am hesitant to share my dream visitations with no input or comment...


My mother passed away Feb.28, 2013 and I was taking medication to help me sleep for months afterward. During the summer, one of the first nights that I didn't take anything to sleep, I undoubtedly had a visitation dream with my Mom. When you have this type of communication with a loved one, there will not be any doubt about its validity or meaning. My Mom and I were speaking in a kitchen, as we normally would. She was glowing & radiantly beautiful (as she had been for her 66 years prior to chemo). She was labeling locations on a globe for her grandchildren to see all of places she and my Dad traveled to during their life. We also talked about where she hid some of her jewelry. Then, we had a good laugh about how my Dad was falling for a widowed old friend of hers...how he just needed to be "taken care of." Then, after these seemingly normal conversations, I started to weep and hug her because I realized that she was no longer here with us on earth. I woke up with tears in my eyes, but elated, at 4am. I did not go back to sleep. Had a smile on my face all day and will never question the idea of resurrection. That was a loving & reassuring gift from my Mom.

Visitation Assurred

At the age of 17 (now 48) I experienced the tragic loss of a friend whom I feel I would have spent my life with had his accident not occurred. Throughout the years I have thought of him and have felt his presence in my life. During recent tribulations, both professional and personal, I had a recent visitation from him.

In my dream I was in the presence of others and I felt an extremely close physical presence, like when you know someone is standing behind you and turn to verify to yourself, this is true. He stood immediately behind me, I looked up at him (he was quite tall as in life). His skin tone, eye color and every detail of his face was exactly as it was then, so many years ago. Typically, for me, dreams are not visusally clear and detailed. This vision was very different and crystal cleqr. It provided a visual as well as a physical sense of his presence. I said to him 'where have you been?' he smiled, said nothing, yet exuded love and assurance through his physical closeness. This 'scene' simply passed. It was not until the next morning in a fully awake state, that I I recalled this experience. That day I shared this 'visitation' with a work colleague/ friend. She agreed with me this was likely a visitiation. Now, five days since this experience I take to the web to seek other's thoughts and experiences. As I read the post of John Russell III, my thoughts regarding date relevance were triggered. I quickly realized the date of this visitation, of mine, was on the anniversary date of the death of my loved one. For many years this date would approach and I would stop, acknowledge with great saddness the 'what ifs'. This year, possibly due to distraction related to the trials I am experiencing, I forgot the date! It is crystal clear to me, he did not!! I feel so blessed to have had this visit, and so amazed by the time-frame which has passed since having him (physically) in my life. Without a single doubt, I realize he has been present spiritually for the past three decades.

visit dream?

Two years ago I had a strange dream about a deceased person I know. This was not a family relative but a friend who died long ago.
The 1st part of the dream was very "dream like": charged with symbolic and unlogical things happening but at some point the dream felt very different. I was penetrating an old house, it was dark with candlelights, a young girl cam to me and ask me to follow her, she took me to a mansard room where 2 other people I don't know were standing in front of something that looked like a door frame. Suddendly for some strange reason as I was standing there too and then a puppy labrador jumped into my arms looking for some cuddles. At this very moment all the people in the dream and the dog vanished and my dead friend appeared in the door frame. It's was now only me and him facing each other. He looked real, 3 dimensional, looking youthful ( in his 40's)handsome and glowing. He did not talk to me but his gaze was very intense and very vivid, his eyes were litteraly moving and shining. We kept looking at each other for a while and then I woke up. As I woke up I felt as if I just had a very special dream, I felt surrounded by a deep peaceful feeling of bliss and love. I like to think that it was really my friend visiting me through my dream but to this day I keep wondering if it was a visitation or just a normal dream.

Loved ones who have passed away

I have had two dreams one about my father and one about my grandmother. On both occasions I felt an utter feeling within of love and bliss. In both cases the sun was shining and I could feel the warmth within me. They both were smiling and seemed to be very happy.

My mother passed away Feb.28,

My mother passed away Feb.28, 2013 and I was taking medication to help me sleep for months afterward. During the summer, one of the first nights that I didn't take anything to sleep, I undoubtedly had a visitation dream with my Mom. When you have this type of communication with a loved one, there will not be any doubt about its validity or meaning. My Mom and I were speaking in a kitchen, as we normally would. She was glowing & radiantly beautiful (as she had been for her 66 years prior to chemo). She was labeling locations on a globe for her grandchildren to see all of places she and my Dad traveled to during their life. We also talked about where she hid some of her jewelry. Then, we had a good laugh about how my Dad was falling for a widowed old friend of hers...how he just needed to be "taken care of." Then, after these seemingly normal conversations, I started to weep and hug her because I realized that she was no longer here with us on earth. I woke up with tears in my eyes, but elated, at 4am. I did not go back to sleep. Had a smile on my face all day and will never question the idea of resurrection. That was a loving & reassuring gift from my Mom.

Mom visited me

I can't believe all of the common themes in the stories here. I hope my story helps someone as well. My dear mom passed in Aug. 2013. Five months later (Jan. '14) she visited me in a dream that I will never forget. It took place in the house I grew up in. I was standing in my old bathroom and when I turned around she was in front of me looking healthy and the way I remember her. The first bits of dialogue I don't remember, but I DO remember feeling a tremendous feeling of warmth and comfort that she was OK while we talked. Then, because I KNEW she was gone and what I was experiencing was something extraordinary I asked her "Why are you doing this?" and she said "I wanted to thank you all for giving me such a wonderful life." I woke up with tears down my cheeks and raced down to tell my Dad. I will never forget that dream and have NO doubt mom visited me. A psychic told my sister that the deceased visit their favorites first, so then I felt bad as I want my sister and dad to experience what I did. It was a remarkable feeling.

Father Committed Suicide, But Still Visits

I believe only people with open minds get these kinds of dreams (although that of course is my open opinion and not at all fact!), because my sister has never had one, neither has my aunt, and both of them are very...realist type people that believe only what they see in front of them. However, both myself and my dad's girlfriend from when long, long ago (who contacted me after my dad's death and told me how she always loved him and thought of him over the years), have dreamed of him. For her, he just made contact and hugged her, and I am sure he was thankful to her for being there for me when I needed someone to talk to and who understood the strangeness of what no one else could understand!

I have had several visitation dreams since my dad's death in a self-inflicted car accident five years ago.
It is about once a year. They are so powerful I blogged about them here: http://www.the67life.com/2014/04/18/visitation-dreams/

Assuming that you want to

Assuming that you want to continue to have visits from your father, I would consider you fortunate. Looking through the posts and including my experience, I think most people receive dream visits for such a limited time after their loved one dies. I envy you, because I certainly would welcome another conversation with any of the people I love who have passed, even if it's just them talking to me.
I could be very wrong though and there could be more people getting continued visits, just not writing about them.
I am very sorry for how your father died. That leaves a heavy burden of emotions on the family. I know, the same thing happened to us.

visitation dream

I was my brother's caretaker for the last year of his life due to cancer. We had always been close, but had grown really tight during that last year. For the five or six months after his death my brother visited my dreams almost nightly. He looked well and did not give me prophetic messages. It was just like in life - the two of us sitting around shooting the breeze. The only odd thing was the locations in which we were communicating. We would be here and there at places throughout time in our lives.
I talked to him about him having died in these dreams, but he would tell me that he had but he isn't gone. As everyone else says, my dreams seemed so real and I recalled them clearly for days. The dreams were distracting to me and interfering with the closure process I needed for my brother's death.
After talking to my husband about it and not getting much help, I reluctantly talked to my 94 year old grandfather who was very close to my brother, because our father died when we were young. Turns out he had been having the same dreams. He and I prayed together and my grandfather suggested I talk out loud to my brother about my problem. I did. My brother never came to me in a dream after that again. Now I feel guilty, selfish and lonely about that decision. It's been 2 and a half years since he died and 2 years since I've seen him, it feels like.
When my father died I just had a couple of visitation dreams. One where the only thing he said was, "I'm sorry". What a difference.

2 precognitive visitation dreams

I was living in Alaska a few years back. I dreamt of a childhood friend that I didn't think of in almost a decade. I just was shocked that I dreamt of her and wondered what she was up to. A few days later my mom calls and tells me that Amelia died of an overdose...The night I dreamt of her. I had no idea that she was in any kind of danger. I had no contact whatsoever with anyone related to her back in PA. My second dream visitation was last night. I dreamt that my husband, two toddler boys, and my mother were all sleeping in my grandmother's bed. I heard her voice. My husband looked at me like I lost my mind. Then my mom said she could hear her, too. Then he looked at both of us like we were crazy. Then my two boys fell off the bed and my grandmother caught them. I could see her. My husband couldn't see her, but saw the boys being saved from the fall and placed on the bed. He admitted he thought we were nuts, but believed us. My grandmother looked really young. Like I've never seen her, but just knew. I cried and asked if she liked her grand-babies and she replied, "I love them." Keep in mind my grandmother passed when I was a teenager. Then there was this party with a bunch of celebrities there and the highlight for my grandmother was Aretha Franklin. I woke up feeling like happy like i just came from a fun party. Then later on today I get an e-mail from my brother that simply states, "Grandmom Jean would have been 90 years old today." Now I am horrible with dates. I would be lost without a smartphone to remind me of even my husband's birthday. I wouldn't have been able to tell you whether my grandmother's birthday was in winter vs. summer. Yet I dreamt of her the night before her birthday? And my first visitation dream. How did I dream of my childhood friend that I completely lost contact with as a child on the night she died and not find out about her death until days later?

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Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and the author of numerous books and articles on the science of dreams.


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