In September, 1889, the finding of the torso of an unknown woman under a railway arch in Pichin Street, East London, led to a revival of interests in the Jack the Ripper murders, and the awful prospect that the Whitechapel murderer had returned to the streets of Whitechapel was raised.
As had happened the previous year, all manner of people came forward to claim bizarre connections to the case, amongst them a Mr T. Ross Scott of Edinburgh who, so he claimed, had been dreaming about the perpetrator of the atrocities for several months.
The Gloucester Journal, enlightened its readers as to the nature of Mr Scott’s prophetic dreams in its edition of Saturday, 14th September, 1889:-
“Mr. T. Ross Scott, residing at 26, Queen’s crescent, which is situated in one of the fashionable suburbs of Edinburgh, has given publicity to a peculiar dream which he had on Wednesday morning of the Whitechapel fiend, and says, that this is the third occasion on which the same figure has presented itself to him in his dreams, and it has accordingly made a deep impression upon him.
“While residing at Burnt-island during the month of July,” he says “two of my remarkable dreams took place.
A SHIP’S SURGEON
The first occasion on which I saw the vision was during the night of July 4th, The figure was standing in what appeared to be a small dispensary, but I was unable to note any of the details because the man, whom I supposed to be a ship’s surgeon, had his eyes fixed on me, and I seemed quite powerless to withdraw mine from his gaze.
Just then, however, I awoke. and my dream came to an end.
About a fortnight afterwards, on the morning of the 8th murder, the vision appeared to me again.”
THAT WAS THE MAN
Mr. Scott afterwards had his attention drawn to The Mirror of July 29th, in which the editor (Mr. Stuart Cumberland) gave an account of a vision in which the fae of a man claiming to be the author of the murders presented itself.
Upon opening the paper Mr. Scott instantly recognised the portrait as being that of the man he had seen in his dreams. With the exception of the colour of the moustache, the description tallied in every respect.
A LADY HAS THE SAME VISION
Since then it had been reported in The Mirror that the vision of the same face had appeared to a lady, and that that lady had subsequently seen the man of her dreams sitting in a fashionable London church during evening service.
HE MADE NOTES OF THE DREAM
Mr. Scott gives an account of his dream on Tuesday morning, with the notes which he made on rising.
The “surgeon” again appeared to him, and was carrying a carpet bag.
Mr. Scott awoke struggling violently, and completely exhausted. The time by his watch was eleven minutes past five.
He mentioned the incident to his sister, and he was quite prepared for the announcement of another murder.”