________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 9 . . . . January 6, 2006


Premonitions and Psychic Warnings: Real Stories of Haunting Predictions.

Edrick Thay.
Edmonton, AB: Ghost House Books, 2005. 192 pp., pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 1-894877-58-6.

Subject Headings:

Grades 9-11 / Ages 14-16.

Review by Karen Rankin.

* /4


Mo's intuition was correct. Barbara saw one of her daughters wearing a veil, but Barbara was unable to pinpoint exactly when Mo's son-in-law would die. She only predicted that he would be young. And though Barbara couldn't tell Mo with any certainty which daughter it would be, she had her suspicions and they meshed perfectly with Mo's. One of her daughters had married a man with deeply rooted problems that surfaced only after they had wed. The husband was an alcoholic and “it caused all sorts of problems,” not the least of which was its adverse effect upon his liver.

Diseased and bloated, his liver was beginning to fail. After hearing Barbara's prediction, Mo pressed her daughter to buy life insurance. A short while later, her husband succumbed to liver disease. He was in his early 40s. (From “Cloudy Skies” in which Barbara is a psychic and Mo is her client.)


If you're looking for stories with engaging plots and characters you care about, Premonitions and Psychic Warnings is not the book for you. It is a compilation of 38 reports (in less than 200 pages) involving either fortune-tellers, psychic phenomenon, freakish premonitions, or pretty wild coincidences. Given the number of signs I see advertising psychics, palm readers, etc., there is obviously an audience somewhere for this type of book. Although author, Edrick Thay, is Canadian and lives in Toronto, almost all of his anecdotes appear to take place in the United States. And, while some of the chatty, documentary-style, cliché riddled reports recount youthful periods in the protagonists' lives, most of them centre around adults. From the beginning of virtually each account, the reader knows how it will end: the psychics may be a little hazy on the details at times, but they are never wrong. Had Thay focused on developing any of his protagonists, their settings, and their stories, he may have achieved ‘the very least' of his wishes stated in his introduction: “In the end, these are just stories, which will prove, I hope, entertaining at the very least, and enlightening at the very best.” If you want a mass of anecdotes to bolster your belief in psychic phenomena, then Premonitions and Psychic Warnings is the book for you. If, on the other hand, you're more of a skeptic about the topic, then a few well-crafted stories would, no doubt, be far more convincing than this collection of sketchy reports.

Not recommended.

Karen Rankin is a Toronto writer and editor of children's stories.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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