Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

The Newspaper, Coincidence or Telepathy ?

A couple I knew in the Seventies had a well established routine. He bought a newspaper with his cigarettes every morning from the corner shop and took it to work,reading it at 10am with his morning coffee and bringing it home for her to read in the evening.This had been the routine for twenty years.One day his wife was in Poole Arndale Centre at 10am, for some reason she decided to buy their usual newspaper, she couldn't explain this, she had never done this before.At 10am he realised he had left his paper on the counter at the corner shop. Imagine his surprise when he came home and found his wife had bought another.This was before mobiles and they had not spoken during the day. Coincidence or telepathy ?
Total votes: 283
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:02:35 +0000Coincidence ID:3610

Explain this away

Many years ago I had a fairly new car stolen from outside my house. It was not found, I received the insurance for it, bought a new car, and forgot all about the event. Several years after that, the police called me to try to identify a car, same make, age and colour as the stolen one, which they had picked up as part of their investigation into a car theft and sales racket. I went along, was able to identify the car by a cigarette burn on the back seat, and another distinguishing mark. I felt very sorry for the poor young man who had bought the car in all good faith, obviously had young children, and was looking fairly fed up about it all. About a year after that, my husband told me that a new chap had started work at his company. They were talking about cars one day, and it turns out that this new member of staff was the same man who had bought my stolen car, and whom I had met at the police garage! I live in Manchester, and my husband worked about 10 or 12 miles from where we lived, so this struck me as quite an amazing co-incidence, and still does. (I believe the young man was allowed to keep the car by the insurance company)
Total votes: 326
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:02:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3609

Birthday/death day coincidence

My daughter was born on the 25th December 1969 but was adopted at mother never knew about her but my mother died on the 25th December 2000 When I bought my house I was drawn to the fact that it was No. 13 which I considered a lucky number as my son was born on the turned out that the previous owner had the same surname as me and also shared the same birthday with my son (different year obviously!)
Total votes: 309
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:02:01 +0000Coincidence ID:3608


Our eldest son and his family who live in Oakville near Toronto, Canada were on their way to the Coliseum in Rome where their young son captured a small lizard which was running along a wall. The family passing found this most intriguing and asked permission to take a photograph which they did. Our daughter-in-law was asked if she would like the photograph emailed to her (our son, her husband had just nipped into yet another museum at that moment in time whilst his family were waiting outside) to which my daughter-in-law replied. "Yes please, I will give you my husband’s email address as it will be easier for you to remember" (neither party had a pen). When she proceeded to give his email address with the surname (Fryer), the lady whose husband had taken the photograph said. “We know a family called Fryer”. It transpired they were friends of our youngest son and his family who live in Seattle – their son being a close friend of our grandson who lived in Seattle. Now had our grandson from Canada not captured the lizard, both families would have passed not knowing this connection.
Total votes: 346
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3607

Double Fenton trouble

My son used to attend a school in Essex where he was quite a disruptive student. There was one teacher who used to find him extremely annoying. The teacher left and went to work at a school in Paris where By chance my nephew attended. In his class (you guessed it) was a rather disruptive pupil. He challenged the boy, pulled him out to the front of the class and said what's your name boy? He replied Fenton sir! The poor man thought my son had followed him to Paris.
Total votes: 312
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3606

Old friends

Once on holiday in Dinard or Dinan in France my husband and I climbed the bell tower. We were alone until, first one man with whom my husband had served in the RAF joined us and then a second man from his squadron (not sure if this is the right noun) appeared. They all enjoyed the reunion.
Total votes: 360
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3605

Down to the last cent

26 December 2011. Visiting Florida to stay with son and daughter-in-law. My wife, my son and I visited Publix the supermarket in Delray Beach. Only I was carrying cash and I had said I would pay the groceries bill. In my back pocket I had \$250 exactly. The three of us then started to buy things independently, more-or-less without consultation. No-one was keeping a record of how much we were spending. We bought 44 items between us. At the cash-out the bill, including Sales Tax, came to \$249.99. I received one cent in change. Seemed pretty rum to me!
Total votes: 390
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3604

Automatic Writing?

I was trying out a new pen in my classroom and was absent-mindedly writing the words 'poetry' and 'excelsior' on a piece of scrap paper. A few minutes after, I went to the staff room to do some copying. As I was at the photocopier, another member of staff turned to me and asked if I had ever heard of a poem called 'Excelsior' by Longfellow. I had to tell him that coincidentally, those were the very words I had only just been writing in my classroom. We were both struck by the strangeness of this event.
Total votes: 435
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:01 +0000Coincidence ID:3603

Meeting up in Barcelona

In the autumn of 1991, aged 23, I and some friends went to Barcelona for a week's holiday. We spent a few days in the city but also travelled up into the hills. On our last day in the city, two of us just went wandering aimlessly among the back streets of the old city. As we walked along one street 3 people came in the opposite direction. It was one of my best friends from primary school, who was in Barcelona for a few months, and his two parents, who had come to meet him for a week. I had not met him for many years, and not seen his parents since I was about 8. I can understand bumping into someone you have met before in a popular place - indeed this happened to me in Sydney, Australia - but it was the fact that we were both in the back streets of a large city that felt so bizarre! The friend I was with was absolutely astonished! Great stories, thanks
Total votes: 308
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:57 +0000Coincidence ID:3602

twin name coincidence

I was pregnant with twins but lost our boy, Marly, at 34 weeks. Our surviving daughter, Hope, started at nursery nearly a year ago aged two. In the lobby of this nursery is a wall of pegs for children's coats. All the pegs are double, shared between two children, with the name of each child above. The name of the child with whom Hope shares her peg? Marly. What are the chances of that?
Total votes: 358
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:52 +0000Coincidence ID:3601