Edgar Allan Poe’s novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, tells the story of a young man aboard a ship called the Grampus. The ship encounters a terrifyingly large squall, and only a handful of men aboard the ship survived. Among the survivors was a cabin boy named Richard Parker, who was later cannibalized in what was then known as the grim “custom of the sea.” Though this story was entirely conjured up in Poe’s mind, decades after the book was published, the Mignonette (a British naval ship) was destroyed under almost identical circumstances after a 40-foot wave capsized the ship. Among the survivors was cabin boy Richard Parker – who was the first to be killed and cannibalized, just as had happened in Poe’s novel.
Throughout history, several writers have managed to craft plot elements into their stories which would later prove to have startling ramifications in the real world. In many instances where such startling similarities have occurred, names, dates, and places have even accurately been named, as though the authors had somehow tapped into actual future events and predicted their outcome.
In Stephen King’s book, Dreamcatcher (about an Earth invasion by an alien with repulsive albeit somewhat humorous methods of reproduction) written in 1999, published in 2001 and reprinted in 2003, there is a scene containing a singular one time reference of main character Owen Underhill’s family, wife and daughter KATRINA and RITA. The names were psychically transmitted from one character to another, as proof of the psychic phenomena and to gain that person’s attention.
Futility by Morgan Robertson tells the story of an unsinkable ship called the Titan — the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. The Titan hits an iceberg on its starboard side and sinks in the ice-cold Atlantic sea during the month of April. The description of the Titan is hauntingly similar to the Titanic. But again, this story is said to have been written some 14 years prior to the sinking of the Titanic.
In Neuromancer, William Gibson used the term “matrix” to describe a worldwide communications network – years before the World Wide Web came into existence. Neuromancer examines terms such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering long before the concepts were popular.
Were these writers psychic? Or are these mere (freaky) coincidences? Stephen King has been known to say that he channels into “other realms” to do some of his writing, which points to perhaps the ability to tap into the collective unconscious knowledge. Let’s just hope Pet Cemetery never comes true!
Do you know of any other books that have predicted the future? Share your thoughts & stories here!
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