A strange and peculiar happening related to my grandfather's death

My grandfather used to be a carpenter and he made all kinds of stuff including tables, chairs and grandfather clocks. He made a clock for all his children and for my grand mother. Anyway, that is just introduction. So, he died years ago after being admitted to hospital because of heart failure. He died at exactly 15.35 PM and the clock, which he had made for my grand mother, stopped at exact time 15.35 PM. We didn’t rewind or started the clock for a whole year as a wish from my grandmother.

How could this happen? It’s just a coincidence, right?

There are several possibilities, and I think they can be broken down into three useful categories:

a) Coincidence. Pure chance- the clock was going to stop at some point, and it happened to stop at the same time your grandfather died. There are 1440 minutes in a day. If, say, the average house has 3 clocks in it, and assuming that every clock is going to stop at some point on some random day, then chances are that for every 480 (1440/3) deaths in America (or wherever), one of the clocks in that person’s house will happen to stop at the same time of day of the death at some point afterwards.

b) Human error/deceit. Someone is mistaken, someone is lying, and/or someone manipulated the clock.

c) Supernatural influence. The ghost of your grandfather, or some other supernatural entity, manipulated the clock to stop at 15.35 PM.

I think choices a) and b) are far more likely then choice c)- even if c) happens occasionally (I don’t believe this, for what it’s worth), it’s still reasonable to assume it happens a lot less in this world then a) and b) happen.

The same exact thing happened to Henry Clay Work!

Well, to his grandfather, at least.

ETA: And his clock.

This was my first thought too, though I had to google to realize you were talking about the same thing. :slight_smile:

Moved to IMHO.

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Being a ghost must really suck. Apparently your immortal spirit can interact with the physical world, but only in really lame ways— like slamming doors when nobody’s nearby, or causing events that are indistinguishable from complete coincidences, all with the aim of creeping the hell out of your own loved ones. Which is really a dick move, when you think about it.

Did it stop on the day he died? Also, grandfather clocks aren’t 24 hours, are they?

Well, you do get to talk to psychic douchebags too; so long as you don’t tell them anything more than single letters or numbers of course.

Why are we assuming that the man’s death caused the clock to stop… and not the other way around?

The official time of death is given after a doctor has verified that the person is in fact dead and can’t be resuscitated, right? So with that in mind it’s more likely he passed away at twenty past three or thereabouts.

In my mind, it’s a really cool story, and the particular mechanism for it is unknowable and besides the point.

I know these kinds of occurrences do happen in relation to a person passing. I read about a mom who had a son who died. She wanted to know what time he had passed, she was his mom and knew the time he had entered this earth, and all wanted to know when he left the earth. One night she heard his alarm clock going off upstairs. It had been months since he died, the alarm clock was not being used. The time was flashing. This happened a couple more times and each time the same time flashed. She felt it was her sons way of answering the question of what time he had left this earth.

Excuse me, I must go write a screenplay. BRB.

That reminds me of a song

During the Victorian era family members sometimes stopped the house’s clocks at the moment of death. Could this have been done by your grandmother following an old family custom?

Still - a good story.

Same thing happened to Richard Feynman’s wife. He told the story of how the time on her stopped clock and the time of death written on her chart were exactly the same.

He then continued on to tell how that clock was a favourite of hers that she brought to the hospital and how unreliable it was. He had to fix it frequently which I think he enjoyed doing because he was a born engineer. Finally he told how he was present at her death. How a doctor or nurse verified that she had died, turned to look at the clock and wrote down the time of death on the chart…

Men of the Robert Shaw Chorale perform the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml6qUK4k2TI

Thing is a) and b) aren’t completely exclusive. Unless they really consciously try hard not to, people always fit events into a story, and especially when they tell that story, facts tend to mutate to make the story better.

So, the clock stops the day your grandfather died, but at a different time. Not really surprising that nobody thinks to wind the clock when grandpa’s in the hospital dying, right? Maybe it happens to stop the same hour he died, which is only a 1 in 24 coincidence, but really less because – looking back – we’d also think it was a coincidence if it stopped the same hour he had the heart attack, right, or if it stopped the hour he was born, or whatever, so really we could find significance in any hour that it stopped. And there might be multiple clocks, too. So we’ve got a weak coincidence. But as grandma tells uncle and uncle tells cousins and cousins tell niece, stopping the same hour gets kind of boring sounding, so as the story gets re-told it slowly transforms into stopping the exact minute!

I’m not saying I know this is what happened, here, but it’s the way a lot of these kinds of stories do happen.

Echoing** Quercus**:

If Grandpa was a creature of habit, he wound that clock at the same time every day, or even the same time every week. It wasn’t a coincidence that the clock stopped when he died. Rather, the other way around, it was a coincidence that he happened to die when the clock stopped.

Same reason: they both needed winding.