The Eeriest Coincidences Throughout History

March 22, 2023 People's Tonight 265 views

Christopher Shultz

Many coincidences are just that and nothing more. This is true almost across the board, and while the coincidence at hand might be amusing, it isn’t significant in any way and certainly not the portent of a curse. However, there are some creepy coincidences out there that are just plain weird – simultaneous or predicative events that seem far too similar to be the product of mere chance. Is it just happenstance, or is there something more at play?

This list details such eerie coincidences and some will seriously freak you out.


• 1
Edgar Allan Poe’s Macabre Tale Comes True

Edgar1Photo: A. D. McCormick / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, published in 1838, features a scene in which the crew of a ship, stranded in the ocean and starving, draws straws to see who will be sacrificed for the others’ bellies. The loser of the draw is one Richard Parker.

46 years later, in 1884, a few crew members aboard the ship Mignonette escaped a deadly storm just before their boat sank. Stranded without food, the men decided to sacrifice a 17-year-old crew member after the boy attempted to drink salt water to quench his thirst, causing his health to rapidly decline. They could not wait for him die and risk his body becoming infected in the process of death, so the boy was stabbed to death and devoured.

The boy’s name? Richard Parker.

What do you think?

Is this spooky?

• • • 2
Twins Killed By The Same Taxi With Almost Too Many Similarities

TwinsPhoto: Unknown / Max Pixel / Public Domain

This incident occurred in 1974 in Bermuda. One of the twins died when a taxi cab struck his moped scooter. One year later, the other twin, riding the exact same scooter, was struck and killed by the exact same taxi, driven by the exact same driver, who was driving the exact same passenger as in the death of the first twin.

The odds of this happening might seem astronomical, leading you to believe the story was made up, but this might have really happened.

Is this spooky?

• • 3
Twins Die On The Same Day, In The Same Manner

In early 2002, a pair of 70-year-old twins died on the same day in Raahe, Finland. Not so strange, right? Wrong. The men both were struck and killed by trucks while riding their bicycles on the exact same stretch of road, about a mile apart from each other, within a span of two hours.

Police did not suspect premeditated suicide, as the twin to die last had no knowledge of his brother’s death before setting out on his bike.

Their near-simultaneous and eerily mirrored deaths were simply a freak accident.

Is this spooky?

• • 4
Author Predicts Titanic Sinking

AuthorPhoto: Magazine Die Gartenlaube / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Morgan Robertson published his novella Futility in 1898. In it, a massive commercial cruise liner named Titan collides with an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean, causing the ship to sink. 14 years later, nearly the exact same thing happened in real life with the Titanic disaster. Not only were the ships’ names similar, Robertson’s boat was nearly identical to the Titanic.

AP writer Michelle McQuigge noted:

The ships are approximately the same size, with the Titanic being only 25 metres longer than the Titan’s 243. Both were capable of maximum speeds over 20 knots, and both carried only the bare legal minimum number of lifeboats for the thousands of passengers on board…

Both vessels were hailed as unsinkable, and both proved all too vulnerable after striking icebergs in mid-April.

Is this spooky?

• • 5
The Miraculous Exploding Church Incident

ChurchPhoto: Skitterphoto / Pixabay / Public Domain

A church exploded in the small Nebraska town of Beatrice on March 1, 1950, at around 7:25 PM. As choir practice always began around 7:20 PM, all 15 choir members perished in the blast, right? Nope. No one died. No one even incurred any injuries.

How? All 15 members were running late for their own personal reasons. They were nowhere near the church when it exploded. What could have been an utter tragedy for Beatrice ended up being relatively fine, save for the loss of the town church.

Is this spooky?

• • 6
Separated Identical Twins Live Nearly Identical Lives

Identical twinsPhoto: Twins / Universal Pictures

Two identical twin boys were separated at three-weeks-old and adopted to separate families in Ohio in 1940. 39 years later, in 1979, the brothers were reunited. They’d both been named James by their adoptive parents and they both went by Jim. Both became law enforcement agents as adults. Both married women named Linda, divorced, and then remarried women named Betty. Both had dogs named Toy at different times in their lives. And both had sons named James Allan (or Alan).

Coincidence, a strong argument for nature over nurture, or unconscious psychic communication?

Is this spooky?

• • 7
The Lincoln And Kennedy’s Assassinations

KennedyPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

There have only been four United States presidents to be assassinated while in office, the first being Abraham Lincoln and the last being John F. Kennedy. The similarities surrounding the men both in life and in death are rather surprising.

Focusing on the assassinations alone, the coincidences are uncanny. Writes Valerie Klein of History News Network:

Both Presidents were shot in the back of the head, on the Friday before a major holiday, while seated beside their wives, neither of whom were injured.

Both were in the presence of another couple, and in each case that man was also wounded by the assassin.

After both assassinations there were loud and insistent claims that the fatal shot must have come from a different direction…

Both were succeeded by vice-presidents named Johnson: Andrew born in 1808 and Lyndon in 1908, both of whom had 13 letters in their names and two daughters.

Both assassins have fifteen letters in their names.

Booth shot Lincoln in a theatre and fled to a warehouse. Oswald shot Kennedy from a warehouse and fled to a theatre.

Both assassins were in their turn assassinated by shooters who used a Colt revolver and fired only one, fatal shot.

Is this spooky?

• • 8
This Bullet Had One Job

BulletPhoto: BRAIN_PAIN / Pixabay / Public Domain

This one is an oldie but goodie. It’s likely not true, as there are no concrete records of the event, not to mention it’s fairly implausible – but it’s fun nonetheless.

The story goes, Henry Ziegland left his long-time fiancée in 1893. Her brother vowed vengeance, and accosted Ziegland on the man’s property. The brother shot Ziegland in the face, then killed himself shortly thereafter.

But the brother’s bullet only grazed Ziegland’s face and lodged itself in a tree behind him. He almost literally “dodged a bullet.”

Fast forward 20 years, to 1913, Ziegland decided to remove that same tree from his property. Unable to do so with an axe, he decided to blast the tree with dynamite. The resultant heat from the explosion caused the bullet to shoot out from the tree and, yep, shoot Ziegland right in the head.

Is this spooky?

• • 9
Bruce Lee Predicted His Son’s Death

Bruce LeeVideo: YouTube

Never mind the coincidence that both Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon, died while filming movies, there’s an even freakier coincidence surrounding the deaths of father and son. Bruce’s last film, which was incomplete at the time of his passing, is called Game of Death. In it, there is a scene in which a prop master explains how to properly use a fake gun for the purposes of filmmaking.

In 1993, while filming The Crow, Brandon was killed in a manner almost exactly mirroring the scene in Game of Death – a gun was accidentally loaded with a dummy cartridge still equipped with a projectile and a primer, and thus the round behaved like a regular bullet, killing Brandon, who was struck in the abdomen.

Is this spooky?

• • 10
Tamerlane’s Prescient Words

TamerlanePhoto: German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE

Military leader Tamerlane’s body was exhumed in 1941 by a Soviet scientist. Inside his tomb, a message read, “When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble,” and, “Whomsoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I.”

Two days later, despite having signed the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi troops invaded the Soviet Union.

Is this spooky?

• 11
Man Survives Atomic Blasts At Both Hiroshima And Nagasaki

AtomicPhoto: Sgt. George R. (Bob) Caron / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Tsutomu Yamaguchi happened to be on a business trip to Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the day US bombers dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered severe burns, but was otherwise okay in the end.

He returned to his home in Nagasaki, where the US dropped a second atomic bomb just days later, and he managed to survive that attack as well.

Is this spooky?

• • 12
9/11 ‘Predictions’ In Media

MediaPhoto: The Simpsons / FOX

While conspiracy theorists will insist that certain members of Hollywood had prior knowledge of the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks, the truth is that instances where 9/11 seemed to have been “predicted” by movies and television shows are mere coincidences.

Even still, the connections between fiction and real life are startlingly eerie. Take for instance the 1997 episode of The Simpsons, “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson,” which features a bus pamphlet advertising a trip to NYC for $9. The positioning of the number 9 next to a silhouette of the World Trade Towers seems to spell out 9/11.

Then there was this Pakistani airlines advertisement from 1979, showing the shadow of a large jet flying toward the towers.

Perhaps the eeriest of them all came from the TV show The Lone Gunmen, a spinoff of The X-Files. The series featured an episode involving the titular trio thwarting a terrorist attack that involved crashing a plane into the World Trade Center, even suggesting the plot was an inside job carried out by a small faction within the US government. The episode aired in March 2001, mere months before the very real September 11 attacks.

Is this spooky?

• • 13
The Erdington Echo Murders

ErdingtonPhoto: Simon Robinson / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

On May 27, 1817, a woman named Mary Ashford was assaulted and murdered in the small English village of Erdington. A man named Abraham Thornton was charged and tried for the crime, but he walked due to lack of evidence. Mary’s brother William refused to accept this verdict, and appealed for a retrial, to no avail.

On May 27, 1974 – 157 years to the day – Barbara Forrest was assaulted and murdered in the same village, her body dumped several hundred feet away from the spot where residents discovered Ashford’s body. A man named Michael Ian Thornton was charged and tried for the deed, but he walked due to lack of evidence. Forrest’s sister, Erika, refused to accept this verdict. In 2012, she appealed to have the case reopened so DNA evidence could be better examined.

In both cases, the victims were said to feel apprehensive days before they were murdered.

Is this spooky?

• • 14
The Two Michael Foxes

MichaelPhoto: Alan Light / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Michael J. Fox original wanted to register with the Screen Actors Guild as Michael Fox, but they already had an actor on the books with that name, thus the addition of his middle initial.

Years later, Fox starred in Back to the Future, in which he plays Marty McFly, a high schooler who travels back in time to 1955 and meets his parents as teenagers. His father, George (Crispin Glover), tells Marty he’s a huge fan of a show called Science Fiction Theatre, which was an actual show that aired in the ’50s.

Oddly enough, the original Michael Fox starred in numerous episodes of that show.

Is this spooky?