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Jeane Dixon holding a crystal ball

4 little known 'prophets' whose predictions came true

These soothsayers might not have the same dizzying notoriety as Nostradamus and Baba Vanga, but that doesn't mean they don't have some eerily accurate predictions to their name.

Image: Astrologer and psychic Jeane Dixon holding a crystal ball | Everett Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

You know about Nostradamus and you’ve delved into the visions of the Bulgarian prophet Baba Vanga. But which other celebrated figures, that you might not have heard of, were said to have seen into the future?

1. Edgar Cayce

Painting of Edgar Cayce and his wife Gertrude Evans
Image: Painting of Edgar Cayce and his wife Gertrude Evans in the A.R.E. Library Lobby, Virginia Beach, Virginia |

One day in 1889, a young boy in Kentucky dozed off while resting his head on a school textbook. He woke up to find that the knowledge in the book had miraculously entered his head by a kind of psychic osmosis, setting him on the path to incredible feats of second sight and clairvoyance.

This was the much-touted ‘origin story’ of the famed faith healer Edgar Cayce, who’d become known as the ‘Sleeping Prophet’ for his technique of allowing himself to fall into a semi-conscious trance in order to come up with predictions and insights.

The founder of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, an organisation devoted to spirituality and holistic healing which still exists today, Cayce was a pivotal influence on the ‘New Age’ movements of the 20th century. He also became known for predicting major historical events.

Six months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Cayce warned of ‘a great disturbance in financial circles’. In 1935, he had a vision of World War Two and the formation of the Axis powers, saying that ‘Austrians, Germans and later the Japanese’ would be ‘joining in their influence’.

He’s also said to have predicted the deaths of two US presidents while in office - Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy - although his assurances that China would become ‘the cradle of Christianity’ and Russia would become a beacon of freedom and ‘the hope of the world’ were rather less prescient.

2. Jeane Dixon

As one of America’s best-known psychics and astrologers, Jeane Dixon achieved lasting fame for predicting the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Her premonition – reported in a US magazine in 1956, more than seven years before JFK’s murder – was impressively specific:

‘As for the 1960 election, Mrs Dixon thinks it will be dominated by labor and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office.’

She made other eerily on-point statements throughout her long career. There was her 1978 warning that ‘a dreadful plague will strike down thousands of people in this country’, which many believe referred to the coming of AIDS. And in 1989, she predicted ‘a shipping accident will make headlines in the spring’, shortly before the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef and gushed millions of gallons of oil into Alaskan waters.

To be fair, she had her share of misses, saying that the Russians would beat the Americans to the Moon, and that World War Three would break out in 1958. Still, she won friends in remarkably high places, including US President Richard Nixon, who called her ‘the soothsayer’.

In fact, it was directly because of Dixon’s prediction of a rise in terrorist attacks that Nixon instructed Henry Kissinger to form a counterterrorism task force. Not a bad achievement for the author of books like Do Cats Have ESP? and Horoscopes for Dogs.

3. Marie Anne Lenormand

Portrait of Marie Anne Lenormand
Image: Public Domain

The Nostradamus of the Napoleonic era, Marie Anne Lenormand, was a formative figure in the history of cartomancy. She was also a prolific author and sought-after socialite, said to have provided political predictions for iconic figures of the French Revolution such as Robespierre, Danton and Marat.

But her most celebrated associations were with Josephine and Napoleon, whose marriage was apparently foreseen by Lenormand before the legendary lovers had even met. This episode was immortalised in a work by Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, who wrote of Lenormand telling Josephine that she would be the wife of a new Hercules – a ‘courageous man exposing himself to all dangers for the good of his country’ – and that she would rise to the rank of ‘empress’.

An even more remarkable account of Lenormand was provided by another contemporary writer, Captain RH Grono, who visited ‘the celebrated fortune-teller’ and was taken aback by the experience. He wrote of how she resembled ‘a monstrous toad, bloated and venomous’, greeting her clients in a consulting room ‘covered with huge bats, nailed by their wings to the ceiling, stuffed owls, cabalistic signs, skeletons – in short, everything that was likely to impress a weak or superstitious mind.’

4. Gin Chow

A Chinese migrant who moved from Guangzhou to California in 1873, Gin Chow worked as a restaurant dish washer, a domestic servant, gardener and farmer before he leapt to public attention by apparently predicting an earthquake which hit the Santa Barbara region in 1925.

Not only did he get the year and location right, but Chow reportedly nailed the precise date – 29th June – in a notice he placed at a local post office in 1920. Did Chow really post such a shockingly accurate prediction? Cynics have pointed out there’s no tangible evidence, beyond anecdotes relayed by Chow and sensation-seeking newspaper columnists.

Nevertheless, his fame spread with the later publication of Gin Chow’s First Annual Almanac and the daily weather predictions he provided for the Los Angeles Times. Dubbed the ‘Wizard of Lompoc’ (Lompoc being a city in Santa Barbara County), Chow is also credited with predicting that the US would go to war with Japan just under a decade before it happened and is even said to have foreseen the year of his own death: 1933.