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15 paranormal harbingers of doom seen before tragic events
Have you ever been on a late-night walk through the moors (or whatever your local version of the moors happens to be) and heard a mournful cry? Or have you been lying in your bed, restless, and heard three knocks at your door? If so, supernatural beings may be giving you warning signs about some impending doom that’s coming your way.
Not every dark prophecy is directed specifically at you, however. Seriously, get over yourself. Sometimes, mysterious beings from beyond our realm of understanding make themselves known in order to warn humankind about a disaster that’s about to occur in our own backyards.
There have been multiple sightings of creatures like West Virginia’s Mothman who have predicted catastrophic events throughout the 20th century. To learn about all the ways you can spot danger by using supernatural entities, keep reading and make sure you stay inside.
There’s no way around it, harbingers of doom are the worst. First of all, no one likes to be given a creepy warning sign, and secondly, they’re spooky as all get out. None of the ghouls sent to deliver paranormal prophecies are even remotely cuddly – they’re all, like, demon dogs or hags who sleep in a river or giant headless crows that glide through noxious fumes. If you’ve seen any of these creatures, you may want to start putting your last will and testament in order.
• The Mothman
Photo: The Mothman Prophecies / Screen Gems
The Mothman may be the most well-known paranormal harbinger of doom in the world. This creature was witnessed by multiple West Virginians throughout 1966 and ’67 prior to the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967. There’s no argument that the Mothman is something that you never want to see, but there are disagreements about whether or not the creature is simply a harbinger of doom or if it actually causes the destruction that comes in its wake.
The final Mothman sighting occurred prior to the Silver Bridge’s collapse, leading many to believe that all of its appearances were meant to warn people about the incident. Some people have even claimed to have seen the Mothman near the bridge just before it fell into the river.
• • Black Bird Of Chernobyl
Photo: Marco van der Haar / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
Beginning in April 1986, people living near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant began to see a giant winged creature that looked like a headless man with piercing red eyes – or at least, piercing red dots.
People who saw the creature claimed to have experienced horrible nightmares after seeing it coasting on the wind, and after the meltdown of the power plant on the morning of April 26, 1986, multiple workers who survived the initial blast described seeing a large black, bird-like creature (with a 20-foot wingspan) flying through the noxious smoke pouring from the reactor. The bird was never seen again. Some theorists believe that the Black Bird of Chernobyl was the Mothman continuing its foul work.
• • Nain Rouge
Photo: Fantasia / RKO Radio Pictures
Detroit has it hard enough, do they really need an evil sprite running around town and causing mischief where ever it appears? The Nain Rouge is a red, impish creature who kind of looks like what you would imagine a cartoon devil to look like.
The creature has been sighted as early as the Battle of Bloody Run in 1763 and as recently as 1996 when something in a “nasty red coat” was seen fleeing the scene of a cat burglary. When will the little red devil strike again? Only time will tell.
• • The Flying Dutchman
Photo: Albert Pinkham Ryder / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
According to legend, in the 17th century, a ship named the Flying Dutchman was sailing around the Cape of Good Hope when it ran into a storm. Rather than batten down the hatches or head in the opposite direction, the captain ordered the ship to continue sailing into the inclement weather.
The men were washed overboard and the captain was cursed to sail around the world forever. Now, if a seafaring person sees the Flying Dutchman while they’re out of port, then they know that something terrible is going to happen to them.
• • The Cyoeraeth
Photo: Ian Burt / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
When it comes to spooky harbingers of doom, the folks across the pond have creepy figures that act as portends of natural disasters on lock. In Wales, one of the most objectively magic islands of the United Kingdom, the Cyoeraeth (or the wailing) is said to be a sound heard by someone (or a group of people) who are about to suffer a terrible fate.
But that’s not as bad as coming face to face with the Cyoeraeth, a robed and hooded spirit. It was said that anyone who runs into this Welsh wraith will either perish or will have a family member pass.
• • The Demon Cat
Photo: Patrick Feller / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
If you’ve looked at the internet in the last hour, then you know that cats are constantly knocking stuff over and are typically complete jerks. But you know what’s worse than a regular cat? A demon cat. Luckily, most of you will never have to deal with the Demon Cat.
Unless you work in Washington, DC, that is; and even if you work there, you probably won’t see the cat unless something terrible is about to happen. The Demon Cat was allegedly sighted the night before the assassination of President Kennedy. Many think this spooky cat is the spirit of a feline who was brought into the basement tunnels of the Capitol buildings to hunt rats and never left.
• • The White Deer
Photo: Argonne National Laboratory / Flickr / CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0
The myth of the White Deer is a twisty one, layered with conceits on top of conceits. According to the Celtic people, if you see the “white hart,” then something bad is about to go down. Like, not just a toe stubbing, or whatever, they were talking about imminent doom.
The reputation of the white stag improved in the Arthurian age when it came to represent the moment that Arthur and his crew needed to leave for a quest. But no matter which legend you believe, it’s best to stay inside and avoid any areas where you could run into an albino deer. If you see it, stuff is going to go down one way or another.
• • Family Ghosts
Photo: Édouard Isidore Buguet (1840-1901) / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
Are you being haunted by members of your family that have long been deceased? If that’s the case, you should probably start looking into your family’s medical history or avoid any form of public transit for the foreseeable future.
Many familial ghosts have been known to be a sign post for future calamities. Basically, if you’ve been seeing the ghost of your long deceased grandfather pointing at you and soundlessly screaming, it’s likely that you’re about to suffer some kind of terrible fate. Sorry.
• • Black Eyed Ghosts
Photo: Megamoto85 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
The Black Eyed Ghosts have been reported to be a source of local misery from Texas to England. But rather than just be spooky kids with black eyes that wait around to push your car over sets of train tracks, they may actually be messengers from beyond the grave warning you that something bad is about to happen.
The ghosts have been known to try and sneak into people’s houses through general trickery, but they also only show up when a personal setback is about to occur. It’s safe to say that if you see something with solid black eyes approaching, you should turn and walk the other way. Just as a general rule of thumb.
• • The Gormanston Foxes
Photo: Peter Trimming / Flickr / CC-BY 2.0
One eerie legend from Ireland states that prior to the demise of the head of the household, a pack of foxes will congregate around the home.
According to Lady Gormanston in 1908:
At the time [Jenico William Joseph, the 14th Viscount Gormanston] was dying, foxes were seen about the house and coming towards the house for some days before. His valet who was sleeping in his room heard what he thought was a dog barking, and on going over to the window found that it was a fox sitting under the window and barking… At the death of Edward, 13th Viscount, the foxes were also there. He had been rather better one day, but the foxes appeared, barking under the window, and he [passed] that night contrary to expectation.
Thus, we have the Gormanston Foxes. Try not to be distracted by how adorable they are; if they show up, you’ll have some affairs to get in order.
12 Scientific Explanations Behind Paranormal Phenomenon
Photo: Michael1010 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0
Banshees might be the most underrated spooky specter in the entire eerie catalog of ghouls and goblins. It’s said in Irish lore that every family from the isle has their own personal Banshee (like a terrible guardian angel) that lets out a gruesome wail prior to one of the descendants passing.
Usually, the wailing can be heard from miles away, and as the sound of the ghostly woman’s cries grow louder, the moment of your demise grows closer.
• • The Hellhound
Photo: y.becart / Flickr / CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Hellhound, or as it was known in the folklore of Northern England, the Barghest, is a kind of goblin-dog with giant teeth and claws that only appears in the night to those who are about to shuffle off this mortal coil.
The Barghest has many variations across England, but the strangest one is named “Trash.” Trash haunts Lancashire and has backward-facing feet that make a splashing sound when it walks. At least it’ll be hard for Trash to sneak up on you.
• • The Green Lady Of Stirling Castle
Photo: dun_deagh / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0
Burntisland, Scotland, is, honestly, stupid haunted. One of the spookiest ghosts is the Green Lady of Stirling Castle, whose look is said to bring death to anyone who catches her eye. Kind of like a less forgiving Gorgon.
According to local legend, the Green Lady was one of Queen Mary’s chambermaids who was charged with keeping an eye over Mary as she slept. Unfortunately, she fell asleep while on watch the night that Mary’s chamber went up in flames. The girl managed to save her Queen but perished from injuries in the fire.
• • The Caoineag
Photo: Drianmcdonald / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 4.0
The Caoineag is a Scottish spirit that’s similar to a Banshee in that its cries signify that something terrible is about to happen, but different in that the Caoineag tends to stick to waterfalls, rivers, and other small bodies of water.
One old tale from Scotland says that the Caoineag would leave its watery home and visit the door of a family with an ailing member. The ghoul’s moans would let them know that it was time to say their final goodbyes. Honestly, that’s just kind of helpful.
• • The Three Knocks Of Death
Photo: duncan c / Flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
What is it with spooky gh-gh-ghosts and their affinity for the number three? One of the most frightening harbingers of doom is the three knocks of death. It doesn’t need a creepy monster to do its dirty work, and it can happen at any time of day or night.
Usually, if you hear the three knocks, it means that you or someone you know is in immediate danger. The fear of the number three seems to exist without a specific origin, but it’s likely that the number three is seen as a demonic presence mocking the holy trinity.