In Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith Grey wakes up during the beginning of episode 16 and refuses to go to work. When asked what the matter is by her roommates and best friend, Cristina Yang, she simply states that she has a feeling that she might die that day. Seeing as how she ends up with her hand inside a body cavity that also contains a homemade bomb that same day, one can easily say that her premonition came true. However, despite her premonition, she is not the one who dies. After the bomb is removed, the head of the bomb squad is killed when it explodes in the hallway of Seattle Grace hospital.
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During the following season, Meredith’s eerie premonition is brought to fruition when she nearly drowns in the Elliott Bay. She is eventually revived, but not before having a strange after-death experience with several characters who had died in previous episodes. On this list are people who, like Meredith, had a persistent sense of impending doom. These feelings were validated by awful tragedies on a much larger scale. But in these cases, the stories are all true.
10 “Anyone perched above the crowd with a rifle could do it.”
On the morning of 22 November 1963, John F. Kennedy awoke at the Hotel Texas to find a crowd had gathered outside to see him. He greeted them saying, “There are no faint hearts in Fort Worth!” Back inside the hotel he remarked to Jackie that the previous night would have been a hell of a night to assassinate a president. His next words would go down in history as a premonition of what would happen later that day. He turned to Jackie and aide Ken O’Donnell and said, “anyone perched above the crowd with a rifle could do it.”
Whether JFK truly had a moment of revelation as to what would happen to him, or whether it was just a passing thought, we will never know for sure. What we do know is that at 12:30 pm that afternoon, a bullet struck the American president in the upper back close to the neck as his motorcade moved slowly through Dealy Plaza, followed by two more, one of which tore through his upper right skull. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital at 1:00 pm.
There is ongoing controversy regarding the premonition, with some believing JFK never knew or felt what was coming and would not have uttered those words. All the same, there were others who had similar premonitions, one of which was Irish president, Eamon de Valera. De Valera spoke of JFK during an interview in 1966. He claimed that when he met the young president in Ireland in June 1963, he had the fleeting thought that JFK would be an easy target and that no man would be able to protect himself if he finds himself in the position of wanting to meet his people.
9 “My mother came for me.”
On the night of 5 April 1936, Mary Hudgins Evans, had a disturbing dream. In the dream she was visited by her deceased mother who had only one thing to tell her: “I’m coming for you.” When Mary awoke the next morning, she told her husband, ‘my mother came for me’. She went on to say that her husband would now be responsible for raising their only child.
Mary then went to work in the offices of the Wright’s Ice Cream Parlor in Gainesville. Just after 8 am a deadly series of 17 tornadoes struck the South, with one wreaking havoc in Gainesville. A few minutes before the tornadoes touched down, Mary phoned her husband to tell him goodbye for the last time. Shortly after, Mary Hudgins Evans died. More than 200 others also lost their lives, with a further 1,600 injured.
8 “I told him we shouldn’t go there.”
Christine Delcros and her fiancé Xavier Thomas were strolling along London Bridge on 3 June 2017 on their way to the Shard as part of Xavier’s planned romantic night out. He wanted to show his bride-to-be the view of the city from the top of the skyscraper. Christine was happy and in love but couldn’t shake the nervous feeling that had been building inside of her ever since London Bridge came into view. She eventually became so terrified of walking along the bridge that she implored Xavier that they rather go elsewhere.
Xavier didn’t want to postpone his romantic date idea, and insisted that they carry on along the bridge, despite Christine’s increasing fear of an attack. A few moments later a white rental van struck the couple from behind. Xavier Thomas was flung over the balustrade of the bridge because of sheer impact and he landed in the Thames 30 feet below. It took rescuers three days to discover his body in Shadwell Basin. Christine survived the attack. Eight people in total died in the terrorist attack orchestrated by 3 men who drove the van and afterwards attacked people with knives. The attackers were all shot dead by police.
7 “A feeling grew upon me.”
Edward and Pamelia Bowen were married on 19 June 1893 in Ellsworth. By 1915, they had settled in Newton with Edward working in the shoe manufacturing business and making quite a lot of money. Edward travelled often to countries such as Russia, Holland, Sweden and Norway for work and had to travel to London in May 1915 for important business. The world was nine months into WWII, but the show had to go on, so Edward booked passage for himself and his wife on the next ship traveling from New York.
However, Edward was uneasy and grew more so as their departure day neared. Later he said, ‘a feeling grew upon me that something was going to happen to the Lusitania.” He had spoken to his wife and they decided to cancel their trip. Had they not done so they would have been part of the casualties that totaled 1198 after the Lusitania was torpedoed on 7 May 1915 by a German U-boat.
6 “Keiko, today you shouldn’t go to school.”
Eight-year-old Keiko Ogura was probably happy and excited on 6 August 1945 when her father said, “Keiko, today you shouldn’t go to school.” He added “something might happen”, but it probably didn’t register with the young girl who would have been glad to have a day off from studies.
At around 8:15, Keiko was out in the street near her house when a sudden flash turned the world white. Keiko fainted and when she came to, darkness had descended around her. At first, she thought it was night and that she had been unconscious the whole day. Then she realized the sky was filled with soot and debris. She stumbled to her feet and ran home, only to find it was burning. Hearing her little brother’s cry, she went to look for him and when she stepped out of the house again, it was raining. Only, the raindrops were black.
The world’s first deployed atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 at around 8:15. Keiko Ogura’s father most likely saved his daughter’s life by listening to his gut feeling and keeping her home from school. The explosion killed 80,000 people on impact and wiped out 90% of the city. Thousands of others would die excruciating deaths later due to radiation exposure.
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5 “We’re jinxed.”
On the morning of 11 September 2000, Monica and Michael Iken got married during a beautiful outdoor ceremony. As they were about to say their ‘I do’s” a jet zipped by overhead so loudly that they had to stop the service briefly. Monica wasn’t much perturbed by this incident, but Michael was unnerved. He told his new wife, “we’re jinxed.”
On 9 September 2001, the couple checked into a Boston airport hotel. Michael was jittery and couldn’t calm down while they were there. He told Monica that they needed to get out of the hotel immediately. Monica was at a loss, but two days later she understood. Michael went to work on the 84th floor of the South Tower on 11 September 2001. He died during the terrorist attacks that followed shortly after. Monica later learned that while they were in the Boston hotel, the hijackers of the planes were there too, casing the joint, so to speak.
4 “I feel like there’s something bad ahead, but I don’t know what.”
On 10 March 2019 Carol Karanja boarded Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 along with her three children and her mother. They were flying from Canada to Kenya to meet her Kenyan family for the first time. A week before the flight, Carol sent a WhatsApp message to her younger sister in Kenya telling her she had a bad feeling. The message read: “My heart isn’t really excited. I feel like there’s something bad ahead, but I don’t know what.” Before boarding the flight, she sent a similar expression of fear to her father.
Minutes after takeoff, Flight 302 crashed, killing all 157 people onboard including Carol, her mother and her children. In Kenya, Carol’s family had to hear the devasting news that three generations had been wiped out in mere minutes in the second of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes that occurred a mere five months apart.
3 “London is safer.”
During WWII, evacuations from London to surrounding small towns and villages were at the order of the day. Mona Miller and her young children were no exception as they were evacuated to Babbacombe in Devon. While these precautions were necessary, Mona couldn’t shake the feeling that she and her children were in the wrong place. Sure enough, while they were happier there, Mona didn’t feel any safer.
For four months, Mona spent each day in Devon with a little voice in the back of her head telling her that they needed to return to London. She resisted, knowing that London was being bombed. But somehow, something was telling her London was safer at that point in time. One morning she awoke knowing she could no longer postpone the inevitable; she and her children had to go back to London. They left on a Saturday late in 1942. A few days after their arrival in London, a letter came from Devon. Mona’s friend wrote that the day after they left, three bombs had been dropped on Devon, one demolishing the house Mona and her kids stayed in and killing neighbors on both sides.
2 “I’ll haunt him forever.”
Even after 16-year-old Shana Fisher turned down 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtizis’ repeated advances in 2018, the young man continued to pester her for 4 months. Shana finally had enough and stood up to him in front of their entire class in Santa Fe High School, Texas. While gathering up the courage to do this, Shana had told her mother Pagourtizis was going to kill her and that once he did, she would “haunt him forever.”
A week after the classroom confrontation, Pagourtizis burst into the school’s art room and yelled “surprise” before opening fire on students. He killed 10 of them, including Shana Fisher, with some reports claiming he shot her first. A further 13 were wounded. Pagourtizis was apprehended and held in custody. In March 2020, a Texas judge ordered the teen to remain in a mental health facility for a year to determine his competency for standing trial.
1 “I just had a premonition that I would never see her again.”
One evening, school teacher Christa McAuliffe, had a dream. Along with imparting knowledge to her students, she really wanted to travel to space. Her dream was realized when she was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to become the first teacher in space. She was to teach two lessons while on her space mission as well as conduct several experiments.
A few months before her departure, fellow teacher Mark Hampton chatted with Christa in the cafeteria at Concord High School where they both worked. Hugging her goodbye, Mark felt a chill down his spine. Afterwards he recalled: “I just had a premonition that I would never see her again.”
On 28 January 1986, Christa joined 6 other crew members inside the Space Shuttle Challenger. 73 seconds after its launch, the Challenger broke apart in the air killing everyone on board. The shuttle had no escape system and while the impact of the shuttle with the ocean surface after it fell back down to earth was too violent for anyone to have survived, it is thought that most of the crew would have survived the initial breakup of the shuttle in the air.
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