three way split feature image with buddy holly mikey welsh and mark twain; all people who predicted their own death

7 Unfortunate People Who Predicted Their Own Death

Death comes for us all. If we’re lucky it’ll be quick, painless, and we won’t even realize what’s happening. Much like the instantaneous but bizarre death of Hans Staininger, who tripped over his own 6-foot-long beard and broke his neck.

These unfortunate individuals, however, must have had some sort of sixth sense. Because despite not even being unwell, all 7 unfortunate people accurately predicted their own death.

7. Mikey Welsh

Mikey Welsh Weezer guitarist stands in front of painting

Any 2000s emo child should recognize the name Mikey Welsh as the bassist of pop punk band, Weezer. Apart from having a part in some of the biggest rock songs of the 90s and early 2000s, Welsh was also a talented artist, who had multiple successful solo exhibitions. 

Tragically though, Mikey Welsh also had a lot of demons. His mental health struggles and drug addiction combined to force him to leave Weezer in 2001 to focus on rehabilitation. After that he gave up the rocker lifestyle to focus full time on his art, but still battled with his drug addiction.

On September 26th, 2011 he wrote a series of strange and cryptic tweets, one of which said:
“dreamt i died in chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep). need to write my will today.”

Inexplicably, and sadly, Welsh was correct. The following weekend, in Chicago, he died in his sleep of a heart attack brought on by a heroin overdose, thus tragically predicting his own death.

6. Ronnie Van Zant

Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd sings into microphone

From one legend to another, Ronnie Van Zant was the lead singer of classic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Considered one of the greatest bands of all time, their most recognizable song “Sweet Home Alabama” continues to be a hit rolled out each summer.

But sadly, very few members of the band remain to see their legacy, including Ronnie Van Zant. As told by other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant predicted his death multiple times over the course of the years leading up to it. He would repeatedly tell anyone who would listen, including his own father, that he would not live to see 30. What parent doesn’t want to hear that?

His prediction was eerily accurate. In 1977, when Ronnie Van Zant was 29 years old, the band was involved in a horrific plane crash that killed multiple people, including Ronnie himself.

5. Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly famously dancing

There seems to be a strange trend around singers, death predictions, and plane crashes. Along with Ronnie Van Zant, another rock n’ roll legend, Buddy Holly also predicted his own death in a plane crash not long before the event occurred.

Despite being so young, Holly remains one of the most influential musicians of all time, responsible for many of the hugely famous people who came after him like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. In other words, he totally changed music history.

Buddy Holly was just 22 when he died, alongside two other influential musicians of the period, Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson – the Big Bopper. But according to his wife Maria Elena Santiago, both she and Holly had seen it coming, although they didn’t know what the premonition meant at the time.

She claimed months earlier, both herself and Holly had woken from bad dreams. In hers, a fireball fell to Earth, creating an explosion and crater. In his, he claimed he had been in a plane with his wife and brother.

On February 3rd, 1959 the premonition came true when the plane Buddy Holly was in crashed in Iowa, killing everyone on board. He was just 22 years old.

4. Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath  tagore as an older man staring in to the camera

Rabindranath Tagore was a 20th century Bengali poet, novelist, playwright and philosopher among even more numerous accolades. The man wore a lot of hats.

He’s now regarded as one of the foremost artists who introduced Bengali culture to the West, introduced new prose and verse forms into Bengalese poetry, and spoke out for India’s independence.

Rabindranath also won a Nobel Prize in 1913. He was also awarded a knighthood 2 years later, although he later rejected the award.

As he reached his later years, Tagore never stopped researching and writing poetry. Aged 80, before a scheduled operation he wrote a final poem. A last piece of work and famous last words that put him in the camp of people who predicted their own death.

“I will take life’s final offering, I will take the human’s last blessing. Today my sack is empty. I have given completely whatever I had to give. In return if I receive anything—some love, some forgiveness—then I will take it with me when I step on the boat that crosses to the festival of the wordless end.”

3. Siddhartha Gautama

Siddhartha Gautama, the buddha statue

Siddharth Gautama is now better known by the name The Buddha. As leader and creator of Buddhism, Gautama lived in approximately 5th century BC. What we know of his life and teachings was orally passed down through the centuries.

It’s probably unsurprising that among these many teachings, the Holy Siddharth Gautama also predicted his own death.

At age 80, the Buddha believed he had accomplished what he had set out to do in this life. He had taught the monks well and reached enlightenment himself. He and his companion Ananda spent his last years traveling the shrines of India. Toward the end, the Buddhist demon Mara appeared to convince him that his time on this earth was done and Siddhartha Gautama should now enter Parinirvana.

Gautama replied “In three months I will pass away and enter Nirvana.” Three months later, that’s exactly what he did.

2. Grigori Rasputin

Grigori Rasputin head and chest shot staring into the camera

Ra-Ra-Rasputin, mystic healer and master manipulator of Russia’s Tsar, made plenty of predictions in his lifetime. From earthquakes to the fall of the Romanovs, he kept continually used his mysticism to maneuver the Russian nobility to his advantage.

That is, until he met a dramatic end. Rasputin was shot, poisoned, and thrown in a river before he finally succumbed to death. Before this happened, however, in a copy of his writing Pious Reflections, he predicted what would happen upon his death.

In fact, he gave two versions, writing:

“If I am killed by simple robbers of the Russian peasants, Tsar Nicholas should not fear for his fate, and the descendants of the Romanovs will reign a hundred years and more. However, if the murder is committed by nobles – relatives of the Tsar – then the future of Russia and the Imperial Family will be terrible. The nobles will flee the country, and the relatives of the Tsar will not be alive in two years. Brothers will rise up against brothers, and will kill each other.”

So not only did he accurately predict he’d be murdered in some capacity, but what would happen if he was. Nobles did indeed murder Rasputing in December 1916. The death of the Romanov family and the Russian Revolution occurred just under 2 years later, in July 1918. Coincidence? Or did Rasputin really know what would follow his demise?

1. Mark Twain

Mark Twain neck and chest shot

Mark Twain was a pretty well known 19th Century American writer. You may have (should have) heard of his most popular works The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But what you might not know is that he was also partial to a good one liner. Recognized for his ability to tie humor to social commentary and narrative in his works, Twain spoke of his death as he often spoke of other things: in jest.

His joke, however, ended up being eerily accurate. Mark Twain was born in 1885, two weeks after Halley’s Comet’s closest approach to Earth. He, therefore, insisted that when the comet reappeared in the sky, it would be his time to leave this mortal plane.

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet.”

Mark Twain got his demand, and in the bargain became someone who accurately predicted their own death. A year later in 1910, he had a heart attack and passed away, just one month before Halley’s Comet reappeared in the sky.

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