In what was one of the most shocking murders of the 1960s, actress Sharon Tate was brutally slain by members of the Manson Family on August 9, 1969. She was just 26 years of age and seemingly had the world at her feet. The actress came to prominence with a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Valley of the Dolls. Tate was married to Roman Polanski, director of The Fearless Vampire Killers. Aside from the bloody nature of the murder, the other shocking aspect was the fact that Tate was just two weeks away from giving birth.
Back in 1967, a full two years before the murder, Tate was in a bedroom at her boyfriend’s house and had a terrible feeling of foreboding she found impossible to shake off. She was attempting to get to sleep when suddenly, a man entered the room. It was the house’s former owner, Paul Bern, a man who had committed suicide several years previously. Tate was terrified and ran out of the room and down the stairs. However, she was greeted with the hideous sight of a figure with its throat slashed. After taking a minute to compose herself, Tate had a drink but the apparitions of Bern and the ghostly victim remained.
Over the next few years, Tate became convinced that she was the victim on the stairs. While she told many people about the events of the evening, there was nothing anyone could do to save her. As intriguing as the story is, you can explain the first part. Tate would have known all about the story of Bern who killed himself in 1932 after the actress Jean Harlow left him. Tate was alone in the house and when she saw someone come into the bedroom, she describes him as looking like every description she had heard about Bern.
The terrified Tate ran out of the room and met the gruesome apparition at the bottom of the stairs; an incident that is harder to explain but perhaps she was hallucinating? It was the 1960s so there is every chance that Tate had consumed narcotics that could have altered her mental state. In 1969, she was stabbed to death by several Manson Family members and it is probable that she was hanged from a rafter in the living room. Her place of death was just one mile away from where she had seen the apparition in 1967.
7 – Did Diana, Princess of Wales, Predict Her Death in a Car Accident?
Even UK residents who didn’t care a great deal about the Royal Family were shocked by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, on August 31, 1997. She was in a car that crashed along Paris’ Pont de l’Alma road tunnel and died from her injuries. Her lover, Dodi Al-Fayed, and the driver, Henri Paul, were also slain while Trevor Rees-Jones, Diana’s bodyguard, was the only survivor. At the time, the British media blamed the paparazzi who pestered Diana but later, it was revealed that Henri Paul was under the effects of prescription drugs and lost control of the car.
An estimated 2.5 billion people around the world watched her funeral and predictably, conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork claiming that it was a ‘hit’ on the unfortunate princess. One of the most intriguing pieces of ‘evidence’ is a letter that Diana supposedly wrote to Paul Burrell, her butler. She allegedly wrote it several months before the crash and told Burrell: “This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous. My husband is planning ‘an accident’ in my car, brake failure and serious head injury to make the path clear for him to marry Camilla.”
Prince Charles had been having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles for years and, Diana had an affair of her own, with Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of the Harrods owner Mohammad Al-Fayed. Diana had divorced Charles the year before the crash and while the scandal rocked the Royal Family, it was hardly a reason for her murder. Nonetheless, Mohammed believes the British military was responsible for the death of Diana and his son because they wanted to make sure the couple never got married. Al-Fayed even claimed that Prince Philip ordered MI6 to carry out the assassination.
Burrell kept the note secret until 2003 until he published it in his book, A Royal Duty. According to Burrell, Diana wrote it as an insurance policy ‘just in case’ and it was written just two months after her divorce from Charles was finalized. However, Burrell also said that it was “impossible” for Charles to have killed the mother of his children. Speaking at an inquest in 2007, Burrell said that he didn’t believe it was murder. On April 7, 2008, the jury concluded that the princess and Al-Fayed were unlawfully killed by the gross negligence of the driver.
8 – Did Edgar Allan Poe Predict a Gruesome Murder 45 Years in Advance?
Poe is one of the greatest creators of unusual and macabre tales in American literary history but even he would have been shocked by his apparent fortune-telling skills. In 1838, his only finished novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, was published. In the book, the four-man crew of the ship Grampus found themselves shipwrecked with no food or water. While they found a tortoise to eat, it didn’t provide enough sustenance. Eventually, the crew decides to draw straws to determine which crew member is to be eaten by the others.
Richard Parker, a former mutineer, draws the short straw and is brutally murdered. His feet, hands, and head are tossed into the sea. Two of the remaining members of the crew manage to survive after their act of cannibalism and are eventually rescued. Poe referred to the story as ‘very silly’ but it did serve as a source of inspiration for Jules Verne when he wrote 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and Herman Melville when he wrote Moby Dick. However, the real ‘magic’ of the story took place some 45 years after it was written.
In 1884, a yacht called Mignonette sailed out of England destined for Sydney, Australia. In hindsight, it was a foolish endeavor by the four crew members because their vessel simply wasn’t suitable for such a lengthy journey. It sank en-route and the four men had to escape via a lifeboat. It soon became clear that they lacked the provisions for survival and things were getting desperate. They found a tortoise and ate it but the paltry servings each man received wasn’t enough. One of the crew members fell overboard and tried to drink seawater to satiate his thirst.
This is where the tale gets downright spooky. The man’s name was Richard Parker and his seawater mistake led to his demise. The crew had considered drawing straws but decided that the weakening Parker was the best choice. Had they waited for him to die from his illness, there’s a chance his blood could become contaminated so they stabbed him in the throat. They feasted upon his carcass and it sustained them for long enough to be recused, just like in Poe’s book. Their relief didn’t last long as they were sentenced to death for their crime. However, their sentences were commuted to just six months in prison.
9 – Abraham Lincoln Dreamed About His Assassination
On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the U.S., was murdered by John Wilkes Booth. The assassination was purportedly part of Booth’s plan to revive the Confederacy and he planned to kill three of the nation’s most important officials. Booth did not act alone, however; he has at least three conspirators and they planned to turn the night into a bloodbath. While Booth was successful, his co-conspirators were not. David Herold and Lewis Powell did not kill William H. Seward, the Secretary of State, and George Atzerodt did not kill Andrew Johnson, the Vice President.
According to Lincoln’s friend, and occasional bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln predicted his assassination. Lamon claimed that Lincoln shared details of a dream he had just a few days before his death. In it, the president walked into the White House’s East Room where he found a body protected by soldiers and surrounded by a mourning crowd. Lincoln asked one of the soldiers who had died. “The president” was the reply. “He was killed by an assassin.” There are doubts over the veracity of Lamon’s tale and also a suggestion that Lincoln said the corpse wasn’t him.
It seems increasingly likely that Lamon made the entire thing up. He didn’t publish his account for 20 years and it was a reconstruction based on notes he had made at the time. It is also odd that neither he nor Lincoln’s widow, mentioned the dream after the president’s death. However, there is evidence to suggest that the former president was extremely interested in deciphering the meanings of dreams and what they said about the future. In 1863, Lincoln wrote to his wife and said that she should put their son’s pistol away because he “had an ugly dream about him.”
According to members of his cabinet, Lincoln spoke about a dream he had the night before the assassination. In it, he dreamed about sailing rapidly over a body of water but he didn’t know where it was. Lincoln revealed that he had the same dream multiple times before; always before important events during the Civil War. In the end, he was unable to harness the predictive power of dreams and was slain on the night of April 14. Booth became the most wanted man in America and was killed 12 days later.
Carl Gustav Jung is one of the most famous psychoanalysts and psychiatrists of all time and was also an expert in dream analysis. However, he was unprepared for the dreams he began to have in 1913 which suggested that something apocalyptic was about to happen in the world. It was an especially traumatic time for Jung because he had recently broken away from his mentor, Sigmund Freud. Soon after disconnecting himself from Freud’s work, Jung began to have extraordinary visions.
In October 1913, he dreamed about “a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps […] I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. I saw mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood.” If this was frightening enough in isolation, Jung had the same vision two weeks later. It was even more vivid and featured a greater emphasis on bloodshed.
At the time, Jung was concerned that these visions were the beginning of psychosis. During 1914, he began to dream of a barren wasteland that surrounded him. In his vision, an Arctic cold froze the land to ice in the middle of the summer. Jung saw the entire Lorraine region as frozen and deserted. Every living thing died because of frost and the dreams occurred just a few months before the outbreak of World War I. Jung said that his last dream of this nature occurred in June 1914 and war broke out on 28 July.
Although it is tempting to believe Jung (on reflection he believed he was dreaming about World War I), it is important to remember that he was in the middle of the most turbulent time of his life. It is possible that the flood represented Jung’s creative life breaking free from the constraints of Freud’s psychology. The ‘drowned bodies’ could have referred to the death of old ideas that don’t fit into Jung’s new way of seeing things. Perhaps Jung did see the destruction of the war in his visions or maybe it was nothing more than series of dreams that focused on Jung’s new path.