[NOTE: This list contains a competition – see bonus entry for details.] Prophesies and predictions are fascinating things. They make us wonder about the future and to seek out fulfillment in past events. Most of us are familiar with Nostradamus and his predictions – hundreds of books have been written about them, in fact, so rather than rehash a tired old topic (which has actually been debunked in part here) we are presenting a list of prophesies that, hopefully, most of you have never heard of. If you can think of others be sure to share them in the comments.
Irlmaier was a simple German man who, in the 1950s, made predictions of a third world war. This is a small sampling of what he claimed the third world war would look like: “Everything calls peace. Shalom! Then it will occur — a new Middle East war suddenly flares up, big naval forces are facing hostility in the Mediterranean — the situation is strained. But the actual firing spark is set on fire in the Balkans: I see a ‘large one’ falling, a bloody dagger lies beside him –then impact is on impact. Two men kill a third high-ranked. They were paid by other people. One of the murderers is a small black man, the other a little bit taller, with bright-colored hair. I think it will be at the Balkans, but I cannot say it exactly. […] Immediately the revenge comes from across the large water. However the yellow dragon invades in Alaska and Canada at the same time. But he comes not far. And then it rains a yellow dust in a line. When the golden city is destroyed, it begins…” Most interesting in these predictions is the fact that he believes the war will begin in the Middle East which seems certain to many people in the 21st century. You can read his full prediction here.
Hildegard von Bingen
I am a great fan of St Hildegard – a polymath nun from the 12th century and, while she is very well known for her incredible contributions to classical music and literature, she is not so well known for her prophesies (of which there were many). In one prediction it appears she is referring to the destruction of the United States: “”Before the Comet comes, many nations, the good excepted, will be scoured with want and famine. The great nation in the ocean that is inhabited by people of different tribes and descent by an earthquake, storm and tidal waves will be devastated. It will be divided, and in great part submerged. That nation will also have many misfortunes at sea, and lose its colonies in the east through a Tiger and a Lion. The Comet by its tremendous pressure, will force much out of the ocean and flood many countries, causing much want and many plagues. [After the] great Comet, the great nation will be devastated by earthquakes, storms, and great waves of water, causing much want and plagues. The ocean will also flood many other countries, so that all coastal cities will live in fear, with many destroyed. All sea coast cities will be fearful and many of them will be destroyed by tidal waves, and most living creatures will be killed and even those who escape will die from a horrible disease.” She also predicted that peace would return to Earth when the French throne is restored (very interesting when you consider that it had not been destroyed at that time). You can read more about St Hildegard and her prophesies here.
Baba Vanga was a blind Bulgarian woman (born 1911, died 1996) who was a herbalist and alleged mystic who made many predictions for the future. She became incredibly popular due to her so-called mystical powers. When she died huge crowds attended her funeral. Among her many predictions she claimed that by 4599 man would achieve immortality and that less than 100 years later we would begin assimilating with the aliens we meet on the hundreds of planets we will have populated. She claimed that in 4509 man will become sufficiently developed that he will begin to communicate with God directly. In 2221, while searching for extraterrestrial life man will come into contact with something truly terrible (though she didn’t state what). Closer to our own time she predicted a change in the Earth’s orbit in 2023. Curiously she predicted the beginning of World War III in 2010, which does not obviously appear to have happened – though her followers say the machinations may be in place for this to happen.
The True Third Secret
On June 26, 2000, the well known third secret of Fatima was revealed by Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), accompanied by a theological commentary. The secret referred to a Pope being killed and a city in ruins (full text here). What most people don’t know is that during the many years in which the secret was hidden from all but a few eyes, portions of it (and hints at what it contained) were leaked, by people who had either read the secret or spoken to Sister Lucia (the seer who penned it – pictured above). The leaked information did not correspond with the secret released by the Vatican. Consequently a large number of people believe that the Vatican document is a fake, released to avoid the scandal that would occur if the real secret got out. Purportedly the real secret refers to an apostasy in the Church starting with the Pope (in other words, the Pope/Popes would stop teaching the Catholic faith and fall into error). It also describes a council which will pervert the Church (believed by many to be Vatican II which reversed many traditional Catholic principles and beliefs). This was known for at least forty years prior to the release of the Vatican version of the Secret. What is most interesting is that Sister Lucia said the secret had to be released by 1960, or after her death (whichever came first). Why she chose that specific year is unknown but, curiously, the Vatican II council was started in 1962, with both Popes of the council (John XXIII and Paul VI) saying that they would not release the third secret. Another related prophesy is also very interesting; Pope Pius XII (the Pope prior to John XXIII and the II Vatican Council) said: “We believe that the present hour is a dread phase of the events foretold by Christ. It seems that darkness is about to fall on the world. Humanity is in the grip of a supreme crisis.”
Ursula Southeil Prophesies
Ursula Southeil (Mother Shipton, 1488–1561) is most likely to be the best known prophet on this list. There is much modern debate about the veracity of her predictions, but whether or not she wrote the most famous one attributed to her, she was known as a prophetess at the time of Samuel Pepys, as he wrote about the Royal family discussing her predictions. Here are some of her more interesting prophesies:
1. A carriage without horse will go, Disaster fill the world with woe. In London, Primrose Hill shall be In center hold a bishops sea.
2. Around the world men’s thoughts will fly, Quick as the twinkling of an eye. And water shall great wonders do, How strange, and yet it shall come true.
3. In water, iron then shall float As easy as a wooden boat. Gold shall be seen in stream and stone, In land that is yet unknown.
4. And England shall admit a Jew, Do you think this strange? But it is true! The Jew that once was led in scorn, Shall of a Christian then be born. [Britain creating the Israeli state?]
5. For in those wondrous far off days, The women shall adopt a craze To dress like men, and trousers wear And to cut off all their locks of hair. They’ll ride astride with brazen brow, As witches do on broomsticks now.
A larger set of these quotes can be found here.
Mitar Tarabich is a little known prophet from Serbia. He lived from 1829 – 1899, and is believed to have predicted many events relating to Serbia in the 1930s, 1940s and World War II:
“After [Tito] our land will be governed by some kind of commission, but it will never be as it was. Even though the people in our kingdom will forget about misery and hunger and will live in great wealth, brother will start to hate and think evil of brother…. The Serbs will separate from each other, and they will say: “I am not a Serb, I am not a Serb.” The unholy one will infiltrate this nation and bed with Serbian sisters, mothers and wives. He will sire such children that among the Serbs, since the beginning of the world, these will be the worst of offspring. Only weaklings will be born, and nobody will be strong enough to give a birth to a real hero.”
He also made other predictions about the future, relating mostly to technology: “Men will build a box and within will be some kind of gadget with images… “, “Man will travel to other worlds to find lifeless deserts there…”, “Those who will read and write different books with numbers will think that they know the most…”.
Robert Nixon Prophesies
Robert Nixon was a young man who worked as a plowboy in the county of Cheshire, England, in the late 15th century. Because he rarely spoke, and usually babbled incomprehensibly when he did, Nixon was thought to be mentally retarded. Despite this, he came out with a number of surprising (and apparently accurate) predictions of the future. Here are a few of them:
“The weary eagle shall to an island in the sun retire, where leaves and herbs grow fresh and green. There shall he meet a lady fair” – this is believed to be a prophesy of Napoleon who was sent to St Helena in 1815 – an island with an abundance of rare plants and named for Helen of Troy who was a “lady fair”.
Another curious prophesy is believed by some to predict the worldwide use of cigarettes: “All sorts will have chimneys in their mouths”.
In addition to the above, Nixon is believed to have predicted voyages to the moon, travel by rockets, RVs, voice recording devices and lightbulbs. When he was summoned to the court of Richard III he refused to make any prophesies except that he would be starved to death. The King ordered him to be kept in the kitchen, but a cook (unwittingly) locked him in a cupboard where he starved to death.
Prophecy of the Popes
The Prophecy of the Popes, attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. They purport to describe each of the Catholic popes (along with a few anti-popes), beginning with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with a pope described in the prophecy as “Peter the Roman”, whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome. What is most interesting about this prophecy is that the current pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI (listed as the “Glory of the Olive” – Benedict is the founder of the Benedictine monks whose symbol is the olive branch) is the last Pope before Peter the Roman. Tying this in with other aspects of Catholic eschatology (the study of the end times) which generally describes a great apostasy in the Church prior to the second coming of Christ, many Catholics believe that we are now in the end times and that the next pope will be the last before the final judgment. Here is the text of the prophecy as it relates to the final Pope:
“In the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, Peter the Roman will hold the see (lit. “sit”), who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [Rome] will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people. The End.”
You can read the full list here.
White Horse Prophesy
Mormon readers amongst us may be familiar with this prophesy, but most of us aren’t. The White Horse Prophecy is a statement purported to have been made in 1843, by Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon religion). According to the prophecy, the Mormons would “go to the Rocky Mountains and … be a great and mighty people”, identified figuratively with the White Horse described in the Apocalypse of St John. The prophecy further predicts that the United States Constitution will one day “hang like a thread” and will be saved “by the efforts of the White Horse”. “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be left without a Supreme Government, and every specie of wickedness will be practiced rampantly in the land. Father will be against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of bloodshed, murder and rape that have ever been imagined or looked upon will take place.” Smith believed that the US Constitution was written by the inspiration of God and that the Mormon religion would save it – and America during this time he prophesied.
Prophecy of St Nilus
St Nilus was a 5th century ascetic monk who was a disciple of St John Chrysostom (a doctor of the Church). He made a prophecy (though some dispute it dates from his time) relating to the 20th century which is striking in its foresight. Here are a few particularly pertinent sections of the prophesy (you can read the entire thing here) – the last phrase is particularly interesting:
After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people’s minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. […] People’s appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. […] At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society. […] At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people will spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist…
It has been some time since we ran a competition and, as work is getting underway on our new book, it seemed like a good time to give away a few copies of our previous ones. When tomorrow’s list is published we will select three commenters at random from this list to win a copy of both of our books (that is a giveaway of six books in total). The competition is open to anyone from any country (not just the US) so be sure to comment. Comments should be relevant to the list, and not just vain repetitions in order to secure a prize! If you are stuck for an idea on what to say, perhaps you can give us your own prediction on how the world will end.
[Update: the winners have been chosen! They are omnilogist, DumDum, and hanschip21. Please email me ([emailprotected]) with your real names and street addresses so I can organize the shipping of your prizes.]
fact checked by Alex Hanton
Jamie is the founder of Listverse. When he’s not doing research for new lists or collecting historical oddities, he can be found in the comments or on Facebook where he approves all friends requests!