Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, was known to be eccentric. He predicted his death to coincide with the appearance of Halley’s Comet. He had a passion for collecting young girls. He invented products including a self-pasting scrapbook and an elastic strap for pants.
The esteemed writer and humorist also was a self-proclaimed mystic. He predicted his death correctly to coincide with the appearance of Halley’s comet. He was also one of the first members to join the Society for Psychical Research.
Pennsylvania steamboat explosion
But one of his most profound mystical experiences happened when Clemens was 23 years old. Clemens worked as a steersman on a steamboat. He got his brother Henry a job on the same steamboat, the Pennsylvania.
One night the boat was docked in St. Louis, MO. Clemens slept over at his sister’s house. He dreamt he was peering over a metal coffin placed on two chairs. A lifeless Henry lay in the coffin and a bouquet of white flowers with a single crimson bloom laid on Henry’s chest. He wore one of Samuel’s suits.
The Pennsylvania embarked on its trip to New Orleans. Not long after, Samuel got into a fight with another crew member. He volunteered to work on another ship.
Near Memphis, TN, the Pennsylvania’s boiler exploded. Around 250 of the passengers were killed. Henry was injured, and in Memphis, Samuel stopped to check in on his younger brother. Shortly after, Henry died.
At the local funeral parlor, Samuel noticed his brother was placed in a metal coffin on two chairs. He was wearing Samuel’s suit. A few minutes later an elderly woman walked to the coffin and laid a bucket of white flowers with a single red rose on Henry´s chest.
Mark Twain’s dream once again became a reality.