The Paranormal World of Arthur Conan Doyle Pt 1: Terrifying premonition set Edinburgh business woman on supernatural journey

A case of second sight led to Ann Treherne exploring her newly discovered abilitiesA case of second sight led to Ann Treherne exploring her newly discovered abilities
A case of second sight led to Ann Treherne exploring her newly discovered abilities
SHERLOCK Holmes’ creator Arthur Conan Doyle was fascinated by the afterlife.

A devotee of the paranormal, his influence in the spiritual world continues to this day according to a new book by Ann Treherne. Arthur and Me is ‘The true story of Arthur Conan Doyle communicating from beyond the grave, culminating in the foundation of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre in Edinburgh’.

That story begins in 1996, when Ann, then the CEO of a subsidiary of a large international bank, began having a series of disturbing premonitions, culminating in one that showed her a work colleague in great danger. These premonitions were the start of a supernatural journey that would lead to the opening of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre on Palmerston Place, in 2011.

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In the book, Ann takes up the tale... ‘In my premonition I saw a car crash. A young woman was slumped over the steering wheel with blood streaming from her head.

Ann Treherne of the Conan Doyle CentreAnn Treherne of the Conan Doyle Centre
Ann Treherne of the Conan Doyle Centre

‘I couldn’t tell if the woman was dead or not but I was aware that it was a serious head injury and not one from which you would always recover - at least not without serious brain damage. But the worst bit about it was I recognised the car and I recognised the woman - she was a member of my own sales team. It was Shona.

‘I realised that I would have to find a way of warning her, without revealing the fact that I was receiving premonitions, mainly because it was highly unlikely that she would believe that her boss was having premonitions, therefore any warning would be disregarded. I had to save her, but how? I was determined I would make a difference.

‘Shona covered a territory on the East of Scotland. Although she was an excellent sales person, she was a bit ‘dippy’. She always appeared a bit disorganised and although Filofaxes were the organiser of choice back then, Shona would have scraps of paper, little post it notes, some in the car, others in the branch and some in her handbag. Her clients’ notes were often mixed up with a hair brush, a CD cover and a lipstick.

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‘The car always looked like she lived in it, but despite all this she was a nice person who was good at her job. I acted quickly. I didn’t have a sense of when this calamity was going to unleash itself but I wasn’t going to delay. I organised a sales team meeting. I pulled in my team from all corners of their respective territories, into our head office building.

‘The meeting went well, as always there was a sense of high energy in keeping the team motivated to perform. At the end of the meeting everyone was leaving, buoyed up with renewed enthusiasm and Shona was chatting excitedly with another sales team member as the two of them headed along the corridor.

‘In the strictest voice I could muster I said, “Shona, come back here, I want to have a word with you.” The joy on her face turned to concern as she registered the tone of my voice. “What have I done?” she said. “Nothing yet,” I said, “but I’ve had a look at your car and I can see note pads, CDs and other bits and pieces on the passenger seat. That tells me that you’re not concentrating when you’re driving. You’ve been given a company car and I do not want to see it damaged; do you hear me?

“When you’re driving the car, you concentrate on driving, not trying to look for notes or the next CD you’re about to play. I do not want you to bring that car to the next meeting with a bash in it, do you hear me?”

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‘She left and was probably feeling quite aggrieved and hard done by. I was thinking that this was the best that I could do. I didn’t want to frighten her and I couldn’t sit in the car with her every day. I was hoping that by being annoyed at me, she might want to prove me wrong and make damn sure that there was no damage to that car.

‘A couple of weeks afterwards. I received a message that I was to phone Tayside Police.’

The officer on the phone asked Ann... “Do you know a Shona Atkins? Her car has been involved in a multiple pile-up on the M90."

‘My heart sank, here it was, the news I had tried so hard to avoid, I steeled myself to ask the question, “How is she?”

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“I don’t know, the ambulances took all the casualties to Ninewells Hospital... you need to go to Tayside Police compound to collect her belongings”.

‘As I approached the police compound, suddenly, there in front of me was a low-loader lorry and on the back was our company car, Shona’s car. It was concertinaed to about half its usual size. And then I saw it, the blood stain. I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. The evidence that was being presented to me was corroborating the vision of the accident I had so clearly seen in my premonition.'

Ann headed to the hospital next...

‘As I walked up the centre of this ward, I saw her. There she was in bed with a large bump with a small cut on her forehead but with both legs in plaster.

‘She immediately burst into tears. “I’m sorry Ann, I’ve bashed up the car. I was driving up the motorway and it was a brilliant day, sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky. I was in the fast lane when I drove into this cloud of smoke coming off the fields. I realised I couldn’t see a thing. Suddenly there was a large lorry that had stopped in the fast lane, in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, I remember thinking, ‘I better not bash this car, Ann will go mad’.

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“The car came to a stop with about an inch to spare. I was sitting there thinking, ‘Phew’, I’d made it and I wasn’t going to have to explain to you how I bashed the car. Then I realised I could hear traffic coming towards me from the rear. Somehow I knew it was going to hit me. I unleashed the seat-belt and dived out my seat towards the central reservation and landed in between the two crash barriers in the middle of the road.”

‘She said, “It was you that kept going through my head and what you said about not bashing the car. I think that’s why I reacted so quickly otherwise I don’t think I would’ve braked so hard, and would probably have hit the lorry in front of me, been injured and unable to jump out the car. If it wasn’t for what you said, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

‘Now, as you’re reading this you are probably thinking this is just coincidence. And you could be right, but to me I had proven to myself that you can change the outcome of these things. That made sense to me, otherwise, what was the point of these premonitions?

‘If they really were early warning signals, then surely we’re supposed to do something about it, and, I had just done that. Shona would be okay, and so would I.’

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NEXT: Ann finds herself communicating with the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur and Me, by Ann Treherne, is available from

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