When bad things happen, they often strike right out of the blue. There’s no warning sign and no time to prepare. That’s why they hit us so hard. Whether it’s the sinking of a ship or the untimely, accidental death of a beloved celebrity, we are left reeling, trying to understand what happened. There’s no way to know that these freak accidents and random happenings are about to hit us until they do.
Or is there?
You probably don’t believe in psychic abilities or in the hands of fate. But after reading through these entries, you might just have to change your mind. Because when each of these events came to pass, observers were able to look back and discover that they had already been predicted ahead of time. The way in which they were predicted is usually something that would be passed off as mere coincidence, but when you see them all lined up together like this, it’s easy to wonder if there is another force at work.
A lot of the warnings that were given in these cases were the kinds of things you would normally ignore and call delusion or craziness. After all, a dream is always just a dream, right? You can’t predict the future in your sleep, right? And anyone who sees ghosts must just be crazy or hallucinating for some reason, right? Well, be prepared to have that view challenged, as we discover 15 times when the predictions of shocking events actually turned out to be true.
15. Bill Clinton’s Controversies
In the film Wag the Dog, the President of the United States gets himself into a bit of a dilemma. He tries to seduce a Girl Scout, but ends up getting caught, causing a huge scandal in the media. He decides that the only thing to do is to try to divert their attention by having something even bigger happen. That’s when he fakes a war with Albania, starting with a big bombing which gets everyone’s attention. This is hilarious because it’s obviously a parody of what happened to Bill Clinton. While serving as President, he was caught having relations with an intern, Monica Lewinsky. and there was a huge media scandal. It was only three days later that he announced that they had bombed six terrorist sites in Afghanistan. Those filmmakers really brought this scandal to life. The problem is that the film was actually released a whole month before any of that actually happened, in December 1997, so there’s no evidence they used the Clinton scandal as their backdrop. This political comedy managed to predict one of the biggest presidential scandals of our time.
14. Jack Nicholson’s Secret
Now, you might not agree that this next one was a disaster, but then you’re not in Jack Nicholson’s shoes. The poor guy had to go through a bit of a personal crisis as we’re about to discover. It started off when he got to work filming Chinatown. In this 1974 movie, there’s a plot about Faye Dunaway’s character, who is sleeping with Nicholson’s. It turns out that she was raped and made pregnant by her father, and they all pretended that the child was her sister to hide the truth. Now, coinciding with the release of the film was a feature that Time magazine was planning to put out on the stars and they researched Nicholson to come up with some material. That’s when they dug up a secret that even he didn’t know. It turns out that his sister really was actually his mother, just like in the film. Although her pregnancy was not the product of violence, rather, she simply got pregnant at 16, which wasn’t the cool thing to do in 1937, and his grandparents raised him as their own. He had no idea until the reporter uncovered it.
13. Flight 191
In 1970, a man called David Booth started to have bad dreams. The nightmare was the same each night, for 10 nights in a row. It began to haunt him during the day as well. It was the startling image of a plane veering off the runway instead of taking off, flipping over, and then exploding into flames. He was so disturbed by the nightmare that he actually spoke to the FAA about it, and they listened. They figured out that the plane he described was either a Boeing 727 or a DC-10. Finally, on the 10th day, he had his last nightmare. It was his last because on that day, American Airlines Flight 191 had an engine break loose as it left the runway. It veered to the side, flipped over, and burst into flames. It was a DC-10. All 273 passengers who were on board the plane at the time died, and Booth’s dream had become reality.
There are theories that many of the victims of 9/11 were able to predict the disaster before it happened. One widow has since written a book claiming that her husband knew he was going to die. He had predicted beforehand that he would not survive the year 2001, and he then used a family gathering as an opportunity to talk about terrorist attacks. He discussed possible escape routes from the Twin Towers if they became the target of one such attack, too. Finally, on the morning of 9/11, he had an attack of vertigo before heading in to work, deciding to stay home instead. There are other examples of this, too. One survivor only stayed home from work that day because he had a bad feeling in his gut. As a result, he was not at his desk when the planes struck, and only heard about the disaster on the news. His premonitions had saved his life previously too, when he also did not go to work before the 1993 bombing.
11. Christopher Reeve’s Paralysis
Christopher Reeve once starred in a made-for-TV movie called Above Suspicion. Released in May 1995, it tells the story of a paralysed cop, who decides that his wife and brother should murder him so that they can collect his life insurance. The movie was released on May 25th. Now, here’s where it gets creepy. On May 27th, just two days later, Reeve was paralysed by a horse-riding accident. The lucky thing was that he had spent a lot of time preparing for the role, and his research had included going to a spinal cord trauma unit as well as practicing living in a wheelchair. He was at least a little prepared when his life changed forever. Now, in the movie, it turns out that the cop was merely pretending to be paralysed. Sadly, that was not the case for Reeve himself, who remained in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
10. Sharon Tate’s Murder
This next example is a case where you would definitely ignore the so-called premonitions as nothing more than hallucinations. In 1966, the actress Sharon Tate was staying at her ex-boyfriend’s house when she got a sense of foreboding that just would not go away. She tried to get some sleep one night, but before she could get any rest, a man came into the room. She recognised him immediately: he was Paul Bern, the man who had owned the house before. This was the same Paul Bern who had committed suicide years previously. She tried to go to the kitchen to calm herself down, but saw a figure with its throat cut lying on the stairs. Passing by it again, she started to believe she had seen her own dead body. She told plenty of people about the event, but three years later she was just a mile away from that same house when the Charles Manson cult attacked her. They murdered her and her unborn child, stabbing her to death.
9. Hurricane Katrina
Jeremy Driscoll was a Benedictine monk from Oregon when he had a vision about Louisiana. In his vision, he was looking at the Gulf from the north and noticed that the land was defenceless. He saw a hurricane rolling in, thought to be triggered by the report he was watching about Louisiana hurricanes. No one died in his vision though because the area it crashed through was empty of people. Father Jeremy was baffled by his vision until August 2005. That’s when Hurricane Katrina smashed its way through New Orleans. He actually wrote about this in his book, which was titled The Monk’s Alphabet. However, his editors decided to cut it out of the text, feeling that it was too unbelievable for audiences to swallow. When your premonition sounds too amazing even for book standards, that’s when you know something really special has happened. It’s unfortunate that Father Jeremy wasn’t able to turn the vision into a useful warning for the people of New Orleans.
8. Heather O’Rourke’s Death
This prediction unfortunately was nowhere near specific enough to help out the people involved, but it is definitely more than just a mere coincidence when you inspect the people involved and pay close attention. Poltergeist is a horror movie released in 1982 which features a young actress named Heather O’Rourke which itself is pretty creepy. However, the creepiest thing about it comes from a moment that no one at the time could have caught. In the bedroom of the brother character in the film, there is a poster of the 1988 Super Bowl XXII. It’s a little odd that there would be a poster for that already made in 1982, but it’s what the filmmakers chose to include in his décor. So why is that creepy? Because on the exact day of the 1988 Super Bowl, which was numbered XXII, actress Heather became violently ill. Her family didn’t take her to hospital until the next day, and she collapsed before they could take her there. She died, aged just 12. To make matters even creepier, she was supposed to be promoting her new film, Poltergeist III, at the time.
7. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Plane Crash
Jo Jo Bilingsley was a vocalist with Lynyrd Skynyrd, but had taken some time out of the band due to her alcohol and drug addiction. Ronnie Van Zant wanted her to join them again and arranged to meet her. On the morning of their meeting, she awoke from a nightmare of a plane crashing to the ground. The dream shook her enough to cause her to refuse to get on the band’s plane when it departed the next day. That was October 20th, 1977. Before he got on board, Van Zant said to the other band members, “C’mon, let’s go. If it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go.” The plane went down. Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and his sister Cassie, manager Dean Kilpatrick, and the two pilots all died on impact. Bilingsley’s dream may just have saved her life by giving her the feeling that she should not go with them on the flight.
6. The Sandy Hook Shooting
Shock waves went around not just the USA, but also the world when 20 children and 6 adults were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. One little boy, aged just 5 years old, survived the attacks, only because he wasn’t there. Logan Dryer started having panic attacks in school, and two weeks before the attack, he stopped going. When the principal tried to calm him, Logan screamed, “No, no! It’s not a safe place. I am scared.” He also visited friends during the two-week period, but became upset on these occasions as well. In December 2012, Logan’s fears about the school not being a safe place became a reality. It’s easy to believe that the panic attacks were unrelated, but Logan was ultimately proven right. His mother, Karen, believes that he had visions about the shooting before it happened. She claims that her grandmother was also psychic, and that Logan must have inherited her abilities.
5. Brandon Lee’s Death
The film Game of Death was a weird one from the start. Bruce Lee died while filming was taking place, and it was at first thought that they would have to discard the footage as not enough had been recorded. However, they were able to bring in lookalike actors and use footage of his actual open coffin funeral to complete the film five years later, in 1978. In the film, Bruce Lee plays an actor. His character is acting in a film when a stunt goes wrong. A gun that was supposed to be only a prop turns out to be loaded with real bullets and he gets shot. Apparently, using a real corpse in a film is enough to trigger some kind of curse, because in 1993 Bruce’s son, Brandon, took a role in a film called The Crow. Just like his father, he was unable to finish filming because he died before the movie was wrapped. How did he die? When one of the other actors fired a “prop” gun at Brandon and the real bullet that was inside hit him in the gut, killing him. There are so many coincidences in this tale that it’s hard not to see a curse or conspiracy theory lurking.
4. World War I
There were actually several people who managed to predict the First World War. These included August Niemann, who wrote a book called Weltkrieg, or World War, in 1904. There, he described the clash between Great Britain and Germany. Also, Pyotr Durnovo was a minister in the government of Russia under Tsar Nicholas II, and he sent a warning memorandum just five months before Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. In it, he warned that war between Germany, Great Britain, and France would force Russia to join the fray, and would cost them heavily, allowing revolutionaries to take power. It’s not known if Nicholas ever managed to read the memorandum that so accurately predicted his downfall. Finally, Jan Gotlib Bloch was a writer who published Is War Now Impossible? in 1898. In that publication, he predicted that technology would force the use of trench warfare and that millions would die in massive and futile offences. All of these men were correct.
3. Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination
Ward Hill Lamon was the friend and bodyguard of Abraham Lincoln, and it’s from him that we know the events leading up to his assassination. A few days before his death, Lincoln apparently had a dream, which he was keen to tell Lamon about. In the dream, he walked into the East Room in the White House to find a corpse that was under armed guard, as well as a group of mourners. Lincoln was curious and spoke to one of the soldiers, asking him who had died. The soldier said, “The President. He was killed by an assassin.” Lincoln’s wife was not only convinced that he had foreseen his own death, but also became obsessed with the idea that she would be able to contact his spirit. This was only reinforced when she had a photograph taken by William H. Mumler which purportedly showed the ghost of her husband standing behind her. Increasingly paranoid and acting on premonitions of danger which turned out to be unfounded, Mary was eventually institutionalised before dying of a stroke.
2. Richard Parker’s Shipwreck
In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe released his first and only full-length novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It was a silly book even according to Poe himself, but one passage in particular turned out to be very interesting. In it, a whaling ship is lost at sea, and only four crewmen survive. With no food left, they draw lots to see who will be eaten. A young cabin boy named Richard Parker is the unfortunate loser of the draw. Poe claimed it was based on true events, but it wasn’t; that was just a PR line. Or at least it wasn’t yet. 46 years after publication, the Mignonette was a ship that was involved in a disaster at sea, and it became famous during the trial of some of the crew members. You see, they ran out of food and drew lots to see who they could eat. The loser of the draw was the cabin boy. Who was called Richard Parker. You might want to take some time to process that before the next entry blows your mind all over again.
1. The Sinking of the Titanic
Morgan Robertson was the author of a book called Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. It was about an ocean liner called the Titan, which was hailed as unsinkable, right up until it sank. It was described as “the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men” in the text. It’s fairly clear that this is a thinly veiled retelling of the Titanic story, right? Well, no, because Robertson published the book in 1898, which was 14 years before the ship was even finished being built. The similarities were massive: both were 800-foot long ships, both were equipped with too few lifeboats, both hit an iceberg in the Atlantic and sunk, both were 400 miles from Newfoundland, and both did so around midnight on an April night. One of the biggest errors in the comparison is that the Titan did so at 25 knots while the Titanic did so at 22.5 knots, and if that’s the biggest change we can pick out, you know it was scarily accurate.