Graveyard Shift

21 Bad Omens That Tell You Death Is Near

Death is often a subject that is avoided by humans because it's uncomfortable to think about the inevitable. Not many people want to think about the eerily unknown afterlife or the creepy things that happen to their body after death. However, for some people, portents of death are painfully enticing, as if the knowledge or warning could somehow help them escape mortality. These kinds of pre-death indicators are found across cultures and serve as signs of death for you or someone around you. 

While there are omens around the world that indicate bad luck, even darker ones foreshadow death. This list is a compilation of omens of death, from sensible signs to absolutely insane warnings. In case the universe sends you a sign, read on to learn about some everyday death omens. 

  • Death Crowns Can Be Found Inside Down Feather Pillows

    If you or someone you know with a feather pillow falls ill, tear it open and check for a death crown - also known as an "angel crown." It may make you look absolutely insane, but it's better to be safe than sorry. The phenomena of death crowns have been most widely acknowledged in Appalachia. These “crowns” can be found in the pillows of ill people, and consist of crown-shaped masses of feathers that have clumped together.

    They are most likely created by the tossing and turning of an ill person, but are viewed by some as omens of death. If one was discovered inside the pillow of an ill person, it was believed that the person would pass away unless the feather crown was broken. Some death crowns from earlier decades can be found in the Museum of Appalachia in Tennessee.

  • Black Butterflies Are Typically Regarded As A Symbol Of Death

    Butterflies are entrancing, but you should keep away from black butterflies unless you want to risk being doomed. While there are a few cultural discrepancies involving the symbolism of butterflies and their color variations, black butterflies are often viewed as a sign of death or misfortune. Sometimes this death can be symbolic and only indicate the ending of a relationship or phase of life. According to some, however, coming across a black butterfly in your house is supposed to indicate that a member of your household will soon perish or has recently passed.

    There are similar superstitions about black moths.

  • Halley's Comet Has Been Blamed For Much Death And Destruction

    Halley's Comet Has Been Blamed For Much Death And Destruction
    Photo: The Yerkes Observatory / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Comets were often blamed by ancient people for many different disasters and could be regarded as doom or death omens and messages from the gods. Take heed the next time you choose to stargaze. 

    Halley’s Comet is a periodic comet that is typically only viewable every 75 years when it passes close to Earth. It was last here in 1986. Halley’s Comet alone was blamed for illnesses, natural disasters, and two-headed animals in Switzerland. In England, Halley’s Comet was thought to have brought the Black Death.

  • Seeing An Apparition Or "Double" Of A Person Typically Symbolizes Death

    Seeing An Apparition Or "Double" Of A Person Typically Symbolizes Death
    Photo: George Peter Alexander Healy / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Unless you have a twin, seeing a doppelgänger of yourself is never a promising encounter. The word "doppelgänger" refers to the ghostly duplicate of a living person. Though the word is German, it is believed by many different cultures that a person is doomed if they see their own doppelgänger. 

    It is said that Abraham Lincoln told his wife that as soon as he was elected president, he saw two of his own faces in the mirror. His wife then accurately predicted that the apparition meant that Lincoln would be elected to a second term but would not survive it.