The Premonitions Bureau by Sam Knight- Book review

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction! – Here is my review of The Premonitions Bureau by Sam Knight

What if you could share your vision, and stop that train? Could these forebodings help the world to prevent disasters?
In 1966, John Barker, a dynamic psychiatrist working in an outdated British mental hospital, established the Premonitions Bureau to investigate these questions. He would find a network of hundreds of correspondents, from bank clerks to ballet teachers. Among them were two unnervingly gifted “percipients”. Together, the pair predicted plane crashes, assassinations and international incidents, with uncanny accuracy. And then, they informed Barker of their most disturbing premonition: that he was about to die.
The Premonitions Bureau is an enthralling true story, of madness and wonder, science and the supernatural – a journey to the most powerful and unsettling reaches of the human mind.


I must make a confession; I was in a bit of rush when I picked this book off the shelf at my local waterstones. I took one look at the title and assumed with a title like the Premonitions Bureau, this book by Sam Knight would be firmly in the science- fiction genre. But this book is a strange true story!

The book starts off in 1966 with a tragedy in Aberfan, Wales- a mining accident led to a landslide on the local school. Dr Barker, a psychiatrist wondered if people could have had premonitions about this and could this tragedy have been prevented. So, he set up The Premonitions Bureau.

The book focussed on this extraordinary man, a psychiatrist who also happened to be a member of the British Society of Psychical Research and his quest along with a journalist to track premonitions and the consequences this had on his life.

Barker is contacted by many people but the two that stand out are Miss Middleton and Mr Hencher who appeared to have several successful premonitions including ones about Dr Barker. The book captures the tensions between the two psychics and Dr Barker who becomes a bit of a celebrity.

The story is fascinating, with references to actual premonitions that appears to be true and enjoyed reading about these Mrs Middleton and Mr Hencher and the toil these premonitions took on them as well.

This unusual book was a quick but interesting read and would definite recommend this to anyone who fancies a slightly quirky non-fiction book.

Perfect for Fans of

The Haunting of Alma Fielding

Genre: Non fiction

Source: My own


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s