Does this qualify for paranormal?

I attended a ceremony and the Sheikh gave the audience a chance to tell him what they dreamed about and he interpreted their dreams. Sometimes he would mention something that would happen to the person who had the dream in the future, but in this case this thing would be general and rather easily predicted (like getting married, having a baby, or buying something). Other times he would tell the person who had the dream specific details which, I think, couldn’t be predicted, unless you call giving the caller’s name, his mother’s name and his uncle’s name which are all rarely used in Saudi Arabia a prediction. He told another one that he was going to win 200,000 Riyals and the man told him that he already did, but it wasn’t thousands, it was two millions. There is no chance that the Shiekh knew these people. Some of them were people I know, some are relatives of mine and they are too many to be prearranged.

So, is this a paranormal thing or can you find and explanation for all that? I’m not asking if you believe me or not. If you think I’m not telling the truth, just assume that what I told you was true and tell me if you consider it paranormal or not.

There are alternate explanations that are more plausible than assuming the Sheikh had psychic and/or divine abilities. The most plausible, I guess, is that your account is exaggerated and/or you’re ignoring or forgetting the incorrect “readings” the Sheikh made. Next plausible alternative would be that the Sheikh is not as ignorant of your relatives and the other spectators as you believe; that he had some advance knowledge of them or was able to make fairly accurate guesses about them by their mannerisms or clothes.

Another viable alternative is that this particular night, the Sheikh got really lucky and was able to make some fairly impressive guesses. Maybe on other nights, he isn’t that accurate (assuming he does this sort of thing on a regular basis).

You’ve got quite a way to go before you reach “paranormal”.

Nope. The situation is too uncontrolled and far too similar to various mentalist stage shows that have perfectly normal explanations for this to be convincing, or to even raise the question in my mind.

In addition to shills, cold-reading, and some people’s desire to confirm vague statements, there are any number of ways this person could have information beforehand about some of the guests.

“Too many” makes it more likely that they were prearranged, not less. He only had to prearrange the ones he gave the detailed descriptions for, not the “you’re going to get married” ones. And the prearrangement could have been something as simple as hanging out with people before the show chatting. He might have chatted with dozens of people before the show, and maybe only got half a dozen interesting pieces of information out of them, but that just means that those half a dozen are the ones he’s going to make his “wow” predictions for.

1.Someone tells the Shiekh what he dreamt about
2.The Sheikh gives the person’s, his mother’s, and his uncle’s names.
3. He confirms.

that’s all the information exchanged between them. What can I be exaggerating or misreading?

I’m prepared to believe that you believe this is an accurate description of the exchange. Nevertheless, that still leaves “paranormal” at the bottom of a long list of possibilities.

The devil is in the details. This is a classic example of cold reading…no paranormal powers needed.

A lot of times people give such information to a skilled cold reader without even realizing it. I’ve seen demonstrations of this where you actually had to go back to the video and audio recordings to see where the cold reader had skillfully gotten the information right out of the person being read without anyone (even the person being read) knowing it. In addition, another technique sometimes used is to have a 3rd party interview people in the audience prior to the reading…and then give the information to the reader so he can amaze and stun everyone with his knowledge of personal things. It has more of an impact when you toss in some specifics along with the vague generalities.

Again, no paranormal powers needed…this is pretty classic stuff here that many supposed psychics have.

Not to throw doubt on your memories, but I doubt this is true at all. This is one of those things that is either staged or manipulated in some way…or exaggerated. Think of it logically…if this guy could predict that someone was going to win money why wouldn’t he have followed the guy out and placed his own bets on the outcome? Or simply gone and won the money himself? You could make a LOT of money if you could predict the future even rarely.

You’d be surprised. I’ve seen shows in Vegas that sound exactly like what you are describing. It’s really not as hard as you think if you have the right skills.

There are many explanations that have a much higher probability than a paranormal explanation. Using Occam’s Razor I’d say that the simplest explanation is that he, like lots of other supposed psychics, simply uses trickery and mis-direction to fool his audience. You are, of course, welcome to believe what you like…


I dreamed about a kid named Juniper, and the next day I met a guy who lived on Juniper Street. No lie.

I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for any of you to say the word paranormal even assuming my story were true. I mean, if someone tells you true specific details about your past and they don’t know you before, that’s supernatural for sure, but you don’t tell me that. Anyways, I’m prepared to arrange with the Sheikh if I can to interpret your dreams if any of you have some recurring ones and you will see for yourself if what I told were true or not. And remember the Skeikh is here in Saudi Arabia and most of you are in the US. So there is no chance he knows anything about you.

It’s not difficult to say paranormal - it’s just easier to say twenty other things first.

Okay, I’ll bite. How detailed a dream description do you need? Will 100 words do?

Anyone with an internet connection could do the same thing. I guess that’s supernatural too.

Because it doesn’t looks like anything supernatural. Maybe you think that he doesn’t know anything about your past and don’t know you before, but you can be simply mistaken. Or he uses cold reading, which is well known and well described phenomenon. Heck, when I was studying psychology we did cold reading just for shit’n’giggles. Even today I could probably amaze strangers by telling them about their past and stuff.

There’s just nothing “supernatural” about such parlor tricks. They’re really easy to perform, and don’t even require a very talented cold reader. If you believe something beyond normal explanation occurred, that’s your right. But I would think it’s going to be pretty difficult to find someone here who believes anything other than a simple parlor trick occurred.

For anyone remotely aware of the abilities of professional mentalists, the kind of details the Sheikh uncovered about your family is hardly surprising. I spent some time in college learning to do cold readings. For highly paid “psychics,” there are plenty of avenues for hot readings.

The fact is that no one has ever objectively proven any measure of psychic ability. Ever. And believe me, it’s not because there haven’t been studies trying to find it.

This may be what you remember about the exchange but it’s never as simple as

“I dreamt I was in a garden picking flowers.”
“Oh, well, your name is Larry, your mother’s name is Mary, and your uncles name is Jerry.”

There’s always more back and forth chit-chat that seems to be forgotten.

“I dreamt I was in my uncle’s garden picking flowers for my mother.”
“You have an uncle correct?”
“I’m getting an L… M… N…”
“Not my uncle but my name starts with L.”
“Hm, I’m getting a Lou… Lar… Len… am I getting close?”
“Your name is Larry.”
“Yes, you did it! You guessed my name!!”

Precisely. My mother and I got into a discussion about the paranormal (she’s a believer) and she kept referring to a psychic reading she had done and how “spot-on” she was in referring to specific things. Well, luckily she had an audio recording of it and so we listened to it and my, it was quite funny to me how many generic, vague things she would talk about (“your son likes music, yes?”) but my mother’s mind simply filtered out the misses and enhanced the few things she guessed correctly on. Same principle here.

If anyone that does not know me could take one of my dreams and give me my parents name or anything “exact” and personal about me, yes I would consider it paranormal. Unless the answer took a long time coming then I would consider it research.

So, I’m up for your test, how would we go about setting it up?

We could have fun making a list of cold reading lines you could use on anyone.

“Your realtionship with your parents. While you don’t always agree with them on everything and it can be quite frustrating you still love them very, very much.”

“You’ve been having money concerns and they’ve been weighing on your mind a lot lately.”

“Recently you’ve been very concerned about someone that you are extremely close to.”

I just want to add some information about this dream interpreting thing before we go on with the experiment:
The Sheikh never said he had supernatural powers nor does he make profit from his skill except for the fame.
Some of you keep telling me I’m free to believe what I want to, but actually I don’t believe in that being possible yet, nor do I ask you to believe in it. I’m just amazed and astonished and still looking for a convincing explanation for what I witnessed. I’m skeptic too, I question everything and deny nothing when I can’t explain it.
The Sheikh is not always right in his interpretations but he is right most of the time, and many of those right interpretations are specific details which I made sure he couldn’t possibly acquire by cold reading or set-up.
For your dream to be more likely interpreted correctly, it has to be recurring.
So, prepare your dreams and when I’m ready I will tell you.

You’ve been given several reasonable explanations. That you don’t accept them sort of shows that you really aren’t prepared to even entertain a non-paranormal explanation for what you witnessed.

I have recurring dreams. Let me know what level of detail you want…and then let’s see if this guy can give me some details about my life that he wouldn’t be able to dig out of the internet.