Precognitive dreaming is the ability to see the future through dreams. Both Angela's dreams and Peter's dreams are examples of the power in use.
- Angela Petrelli naturally possesses this ability.
- Peter has absorbed this ability from Angela, but lost it when his father stole it from him. He has since replicated it again from Angela, but discarded it in favor of telepathy.
In order to see and dream the future, this ability requires the user to be unconscious. It is not known, however, if the user can activate this ability at will.
The dreams, as dreams tend to be, are open to interpretation. There appear to be, more often than not, slight differences between the dream and the actual events. Whether this is realted to dreams not being entirely literal, the future constantly changing, how far in the future the events take place, or simply a natural consequence of the power is unknown. Angela admits that she doesn't always understand her dreams, as they are open to interpretation.
At the same time the dreams can be very accuate in relation to actual events. There are no known limits as to how far into the future the dreams can reach. Angela dreamed that security agents were coming to capture her in her limousine just a few seconds before it actually happened. As well as dreaming events taking place the following day, and, in some cases, months and years ahead of time.
The amount of detail that users of this ability are abl eto retain after waking up is unknown, although both Angela and Peter seem to remember their dreams.
These dreams are vulnerable to telepathic assaults; Arthur was able to trap Angela within a nightmare while she was dreaming.
Angela has also demonstrated the ability to communicate with other people who are also in a dream state. She was able to communicate with Sylar while he was being kept sedated in Level 5 and help him wake up so that he could escape, despite being in a mental coma in a hospital bed herself. Peter once had a dream where he flew; Charles Deveaux later woke up and told his daughter he had the same dream. It's unclear if Charles was interacting with Peter using his telepathy or if Peter inadvertently entered Charles's mind like Angela did to Sylar.
These two incidents indicate that there may be more to her ability than simply dreaming about future events.
Also, after passing out from trying to control Ted Sprague's power, Peter had a dream where he visited Charles Deveaux in the past and Charles, who was shown to have the power of telepathy, was able to interact with him and see him there.
Angela states that in order for her to have precognitive dreams, she must fall asleep naturally, rather than inducing it with pills. However, when she was trapped in a mental coma, which is not a natural sleep, she is able to use this power to interact with an unconscious Sylar, indicating that what she meant is that the power simply can't be drug-induced.
Angela states that her dreams always come true and that she can't change their outcome, but she can help it come to fruition. Peter has also been shown helping his dreams come to pass, as he dreamed that Sylar would rescue Emma and he recruited Sylar causing him to rescue Emma. However, it seems that the exact outcome of precognitive dreams can be somewhat altered; Peter dreamed of New York's destruction, with Simone present and buildings destroyed. Though an explosion still occurred, some of the details of Peter's dream did not take place. Peter dreamed that Emma would be playing the cello in the Carnival's House of Mirrors and Sylar would show up to save her, but after Emma learns of the dream and thus realizes the truth, the dream seems to change so that she is no longer in the same location and is now being controlled by Eric Doyle rather than playing of her own free will. This dream comes to pass while the first (where she is in the House of Mirrors) doesn't, except for Sylar's rescue.
After Nathan's memories had been placed in Sylar's body, Angela arranged to meet him for lunch. She dreamed about this occasion but did not see Nathan in the dream, but him in the form of Sylar.
People with this ability can apparently have the same dream; when Peter replicated this in order to see what Angela was warning him about Emma, he apparently had the same dream she did or one very similar. Angela also refers to this ability as a curse after Peter replicates it, saying that being able to dream the future is a curse, not a gift, like people would think. Peter ends up having this dream at least twice, though, in the second dream, things are slightly different and seem to show more detail than the first dream. This results from the changes Peter made when he got the first dream; due to his warning, Emma no longer willingly goes along with Samuel's plans and is thus controlled as shown in the second dream, while this wasn't shown in the first.