When Death Is Prophesied

By Michael Goodspeed
"...the silence that guards the tomb does not reveal God's secret in the obscurity of the coffin, and the rustling of the branches whose roots suck the body's elements do not tell the mysteries of the grave, by the agonized sighs of my heart announce to the living the drama which love, beauty, and death have performed."
--Kahlil Gibran
We all know we are going to die someday. We know it as an objective fact, but we don't really believe it. If we did, we would not waste so much of our lives harboring petty resentments, chasing meaningless goals, and squandering precious time that could be spent treasuring the company of loved ones. Perhaps if we could actually SEE our deaths in advance like movie-trailers with widescreen and surround sound, we could prepare ourselves better for its inevitable arrival.
Do you want to know the exact time and manner of your death? On the TV show "The X-Files," this question was once asked of Fox Mulder by a clairvoyant who unerringly foresaw the deaths of everyone he came in contact with. Mulder, the insatiably curious inquirer, immediately answered, "Yes." The clairvoyant cautioned, "No you don't."
But later in the episode, Mulder did receive the answer he was looking for in the following exchange:
Clairvoyant: "You know, there are worse ways to go, but I can't think of a more undignified one than auto-erotic asphyxiation."
Mulder: "Why are you telling me that?"
Of course, the X-Files is fiction, but death prophecy is not. History is replete with an astonishing number of accounts of individuals who accurately predicted the manner and time of their own deaths, sometimes down to the exact MINUTE.
I becamely intensely interested in this topic after discovering a story about the death of Pistol Pete Maravich. The NBA star died of a heart attack in 1988. Incredibly, in 1974, Maravich said, "I don't want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at age 40." Maravich played pro ball for exactly 10 years and died of a heart attack at age 40. (Full story:
Pathologically incurious debunkers would have us believe that Maravich's chilling prophecy was just dumb coincidence. However, when one explores the issue a bit more deeply, one finds that fulfilled death premonitions are downright COMMON.
I recently subscribed to an online database of newspaper archives. This is a veritable treasure trove of old and sometimes overlooked and/or forgotten news stories. I undertook the task of locating all the news articles with words such as "foresaw own death"..."prophesied own death"...and "predicted own death." The results were extraordinary. I found literally THOUSANDS of instances when individuals -- often in 100% physical health -- predicted the exact time and manner of their deaths. That's right, THOUSANDS. (Interestingly, I found that the words "prophesied" and "premonition" all but stopped appearing in mainstream news items around 1970. Go figure.)
Many of these stories simply never made it beyond a local newspaper. My personal project on this All Hallow's Eve is to bring just a few of them to the public eye. Obviously, I can't document more than a fraction of them in an essay, so I've chosen an appropriate number to present for you now.
13 DEATH PROPHECIES THAT CAME TRUE (All accounts are taken verbatim fron their original sources.)
The Lincoln Star, Wednesday, August 20, 1930
Fall Kills Raymond Child
Irwin Walton Nelson, 4, Victim of Broken Neck, Had Prophesied "Would Die Before Night."
A broken neck, sustained when he fell from a manure spreader as he was assisting his father on their farm a quarter of a mile east of Raymond Tuesday afternoon, claimed the life of Irwin Walton Nelson, 4, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin L. Nelson, fulfilling the child's prophecy uttered at the noon meal that he was "Going to die before night."
For two days the child had prophesied his own death, although he was in perfect health. His parents thought it a childish fancy. At noon Tuesday the boy calmly remarked, "I am going to die before night." The boy and father returned to their work in the field, the boy to drive the machine. As the boy turned the team about, he reached for a level, missed his hold, and fell to the ground.
"I am going to die, daddy," said Irwin, as the father carried him to the house. The only mark on the boy was where a rear wheel of the spreader had run over one leg. Mr. And Mrs. Nelson immediately started with their son for Lincoln, but Irwin died minutes before reaching St. Elizabeth hospital. X-ray pictures revealed a broken neck. A brother and sister survive besides the parents.
The Semi-Weekly Democrat, Olean N.Y. May, 1895
A Young Girl Predicted Her Own Death Three Years Ahead
On Thursday, Miss Annie E. Bennett, daughter of Rev. A. J. Bennett of Hinton W. Va., died of consumption, aged 24 years. She was a member of the Primitive Baptist church, of which her father is pastor, and was a most devout young lady. Three years ago, just as it was becoming apparent that the dread disease had fastened itself upon her, she made the statement to several of her fellow students at the Baptist academy that she would die on May 23, 1895.
The statement was recorded by several of the girls as a joke, and that it might not be effaced one of them scratched it on the woodwork of the room in which it was made at the school. An examination shows the date to be still quite plain and distinct. Miss Bennett had stated to her friends that she had been warned and given to know the date of her death by a vision when she was walking alone in the wood near the school in broad daylight.
A few hours before death Miss Bennett became apparently lifeless, the breath leaving her body. After a short time she regained consciousness and stated that she had been to heaven and had conversed with her brother, Arthur Bennett, and her sister, Mrs. Lid Lamb, both of whom have been dead for several years. This conversation was detailed, and a description of heaven was given those about the bedside. She died smiling, and the last words were that she hoped those about her might be allowed to join her soon.. Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Reno Evening Gazette, Thursday, March 3, 1936
Hanka Minitch. an aged woman of Doboy, Bosnia, predicted her own death almost to the hour. Apparently in the best of health, she told her son that she was sure that she was going to die that day and asked him to be with her to the last. After luncheon, as they sat chatting over their coffee, she fell back dead from heart failure.
Reno Evening Gazette, August 23, 1951
Woman Predicts Hour of Death
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug, 23. UPlFor a month, ever since Mrs. Edythe Hanson returned from Sequoia hospital, she repeatedly predicted: "I shall die at 11:45 on Aug. 21.''
Although only 32 years old, Mrs. Hanson had a severe kidney ailment. Her husband, Marvin T. Hanson, and her sons, Donald, 9, and James, 7, consoled her each time she prophesied her own death.
Friends and neighbors also learned of the prophecy. So on Tuesday, Aug 21, they visited her at her home shortly before 11:45 a.m.
They chatted with her briefly and then left, convinced as they been right along that Mrs. Hanson was no prophet.
The hours passed, and evening came. At 9 o,clock, she dozed into troubled sleep. Her husband, alarmed, called a doctor.
And the doctor pronounced Mrs. Hanson dead -- at 11:45 p.m., still on Aug. 21.
"She was a woman of great faith," her husband commented later. "And people with such faith have premonitions not given to others."
Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, PA, January 4, 1967
Campbell Had Premonition of Death
Racer Killed When Boat Flips at 310 MP
CONISTON. England (UPI) -
British racer Don Campbell, who set world records both on land and water, was killed today in a 310 mile-per-hour crash of his jet-propelled speedboat.
Campbell, who told of a death premonition only hours before, was killed while running the hydroplane Bluebird on the final stretch of a speed run at Lake Coniston where several of his
records were previously set. The jet-powered craft suddenly flipped through the air, exploded and sank.
An official timer clocked the boat at 310 miles per hour moments before the accident. That was 34 m.p.h. faster than Campbell's last record-setting speed.
The pipe-smoking daredevil was strapped into the cockpit of the craft. His shoes, helmet and oxygen mask later floated to the surface.
"There is no hope," said one of the men who dove to recover the body.
A mechanic for the 45-year old racer said Campbell had a premonition of his death when in playing card games recently he turned up the ace of spades and later the queen of spades.
"Mary Queen of Scots turned up the same combination of cards," Campbell told chief mechanic Leo Villa. "And from it she knew she was going to be beheaded.
"I know that one of my family is going to get the chop. I pray to God it is not me."
Villa said Campbell told him he turned up the queen of spades today while waiting for the water of the lake to calm. The driver said the ace of spades was turned in a recent card game at Las Vegas.
THE NEWS Frederick, Maryland Friday, November 18, 1966
"Hexed" Baltimore Woman Predicted Her Own Death
BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) A Baltimore woman who believed her life was doomed by a hex, told her doctors at City Hospital here she would die within three days.
Two days later, she was dead.
The woman told her doctors that she was born in the Okefenokee swamp area of Florida, one of three children delivered by a midwife on Friday the 13th.
According to the woman's story, the midwife told the babies, mothers that the three were hexed and the first would die before her 16th birthday, the second before her 21st birthday, and the third before her 23rd birthday.
Doctors said the patient told them the first girl was killed in an automobile accident the day before her 16th birthday.
The second girl, the woman told her doctors, was afraid of the prophecy. On her 21st birthday, she went out with a friend to celebrate the end of the hex and was killed by a stray bullet as she entered a tavern.
Doctors said the patient, who was the third girl, "firmly believed she was doomed." They said she was convinced she would die before her 23rd birthday.
She died the day before the birthday, after an episode of "severe apprehension and profuse sweating," doctors reported.
Doctors said an autopsy showed several serious physiological disorders, but they agreed that her terror may have hastened her death.
The immediate cause of death was cited as primary pulmonary hypertension, which is described by one doctor as a "fairly rare vascular disorder in the lungs." The doctor said that not much is understood about the disease.
Dr. John C. Harvey, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School here, presented the case to some 200 medical students at a clinical pathology conference Wednesday.
The Washington Post
Thursday, August 25, 1910
DIES AS SHE PREDICTED, Palmist, Falls Into Aims of Her Partner During a Dance.
Special to The Washington Post
New York, Aug. 24.Maine. Sarah L. Chira, the palmist who said she foretold the death of President McKinley, Edward H, Harriman, and King Edward VII, died suddenly at Bergen Beach shortly after midnight Tuesday, at just about the time she had predicted her own death, according to Patrick Henry Chira, her husband. Mrs. Chira was attending a dance of the Bergen Beach Athletic Club, at the Alhambra, Bergen Beach,""and had just started'' the grand march with Harry Dieves, "proprietor of the Automaton Theater at the beach, when she dropped 'in Dives' arms. Her partner thought she had fainted and asked some one near him to he-p carry tier Into the air. A hurry call was sent to the Kings County Hospital, three miles 'away. When Dr. Yarr arrived he saw *there was no need of his services.
The body was removed to the Flatbush police station. Mme. Chlra was 49 years old, and was born in Hamilton, Canada. Her husband and an adopted daughter, Jennie Chira, survive her.
The Bee, Danville, VA, Thursday, March 26, 1925
Woman Predicted Her Own Death At Hands of Nephew
(By Universal Service)
VIENNA, March 26 A strange case in which a famous woman psycho-analyst predicted her own death at the hands of a nephew, coming true to the last detail, is exciting all Austria.
The facts have been revealed at the trial of Rudolph Hug, aged nineteen, who has just been sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for strangling during her sleep Dr. Hug-Helmuth, his aunt, the distinsguished teacher and disciple of Professor Freud.
Legal, medical, and scientific circles throughout Austria have shown the greatest interest in the case, especially as it was known that Dr. Helmuth prophesied her murder by her nephew after psycho-analyzing him.
Shortly before her death, Dr. Helmuth wrote to a friend:
"My whole life now is an expectation of a blow I am terribly uneasy. I see myself with him standing before me and then squeezing me around the throat."
Dr. Helmuth lived in terror for some weeks, and one night the boy Rudolph entered her room and strangled her.
His motive for the crime, as stated at the trial, was that he resented his aunt's experiments on him and the ruthless exposure of his childhood in a book she had written on the value of psychoanalysis. Rudolph was placed in the care of his aunt when his parents died, and despite his careful upbringing on Freudian lines, grew to be a ne,er do well and wastrel.
The Washington Post -- Tuesday, May 2, 1911
Miss Jeal Felt End Was Near When Child Crawled Under Sister's Coffin
New Haven, Conn., May 1It was following a premonition which she had made known to other nurses that she would not live six months that Miss Grace P. Jeal contracted scarlet fever when attending a private case and died at Grace Hospital Saturday under pitiful circumstances.
A few months ago Miss Jeal's elder sister died in Hartford at the home of an aunt. Miss Jeal was much affected during the funeral service, when a child in the hearse crawled under the coffin.
It seemed to her to be an omen of another death in the family, and she felt that her own end must be impending. She so informed the other nurses while nursing a child. Her death has greatly affected the other nurses, with whom she was associated at Grace Hospital.
The Post, Frederick, Maryland -- Friday, May 6, 1966
DA NANG, Viet Nam (NEA) Shortly before his unit was to launch a battlefield assault, Pfc. Hiram Strickland of Burlington N.C., wrote a bizarre letter to his parents.
In it he prophesied his own death.
And, unfortunately, he was correct. Not long after, Strickland was killed in action.
Within a week of the tragedy, his mother and father received the correspondence. "I,m writing this letter as my last one," it read. "You,ve probably already received word that I,m dead."
Weird? Of course. But coincidence? Perhaps not.
Many men here hesitate to discount such occurrences lightly. Call them premonitions or psychic phenomena, they are real enough in this war as to be not uncommon in many frontline units.
The Washington Post Friday, August 2, 1907.
Woman Found Dead After Saying Her Life's Work Was Done
Egg Harbor City, NJ, Aug 1 Mrs. A Nichols, wife of a farmer near Germania had a premonition several weeks ago of approaching death and told her husband that she would not live until August Tuesday after working in the field until late. She said, My days and life's work are done, but before I die I will take my last bath.
Her husband paid no attention to her remarks but when he returned to the house he found her dead in bed. Physicians said she died from natural causes. The woman was sixty years old and had always been in good health.
The Lincoln State Journal, Friday, July 8, 1927
Curious Train of Events in Deaths of Three
OMAHA (UPI) - Funeral services were held here today for Mrs. Anna Carnaby, who died Tuesday, and in Chicago for Mrs. Carnaby's sister and niece who died as a result of her death. Mrs. Carnaby's death followed a premonition she had a few months ago when she foretold her own death to her son, John Carnaby. Tuesday Carnaby dispatched a message of his mother's death to his aunt, Mrs. John Buckley in Chicago. A few moments after he had sent the wire, he received the following cryptic message from his cousin, Edward Buckley.
"Mother dead. Winnie killed by auto going for priest."
As he guessed, Mrs. Buckley, suffering from heart trouble, was fatally stricken when she read the message of her sister's demise. Her daughter, Winifred, twenty-four, was run down and killed by an automobile as she was going for a priest to minister the last rites of the church to her mother.
New Oxford Item Friday, January 5, 1906
His Christmas Gift
H. D. Deatrick, formerly of this place, who conducted marble works at Yord for many years, had a premonition of his own death, and prophesied the same shortly before it came to pass. Early in the week before Christmas one of his sons asked him what he wanted for a Christmas present. The father answered in all gravity, "My boy, my Christmas gift will be a wooden coat." He died on Thursday and was buried on Sunday afternoon, the day before Christmas.



This Site Served by TheHostPros