As I work on "Lovefall" from Ashland's Asylum, I find myself hooked on the main character's ability to predict death. For Robert Strife, seeing death is rarely a gift. He sees it when it is near--and at times he can prevent or alter it--but there aren't too many patterns. It's not like he can see death exactly 5-10 minutes before it happens or anything--it can actually be days out.
When you create a character with a special gift--or a dark power for the more nefarious--you wonder if the heart of the character's concept is believable. Quite honestly, if Lovefall suspends too much disbelief, to the point it's no longer enjoyable, then it's only my fault as the writer. However, I feel a little bit better after doing some research about 3 other folks who have claimed to have insight into death.
3. Death Phony
Some people may truly believe they see death, while others simply predict what they are about to do to someone else.
Daniel U. Perez, a 55-year-old commune leader from Kansas, predicted a 26-year-old mother would drown to death. Interestingly enough, the mother was also part of his group.
It appeared the mother died in a pool as she attempted to save her daughter, but a witness spoke out and said it was all made to look like an accident. It was in fact homicide as the courts ruled. The same witness also claimed the mother said goodbye to her daughter shortly before her passing and promised her--and some other children--she would rise from the dead. Despite her disturbing promises, a major interest in the case was that the Wichita group often collected major sums from other member's life insurance.
2. Tabloid Father Predicts Titanic.
William Thomas Stead was believed to have predicted not only the fall of Titanic but also his own death.
It was rumored he was worried about such a large ship wrecking without enough lifeboats to hold it's passengers. He even wrote about such fears in How the Mail Steamer went Down in Mid Atlantic (1886) and From the Old World to the New (1892) .
Stead passed away on the Titanic. While it is considered to be complete B.S. now, it was once rumored he spent his final hours reading in his smoking room. There isn't much fact to support his foresight, but it is eerie nonetheless.
By now most people know Mark Twain predicted his own death within a day. He said he was born during the last year Halley's Comet made an appearance, and so the next time it passed by it would have been the "greatest disappointment of [his] life" if he did not pass along with it.