Religious and intelligence communities have always been in the business of forecasting the future. But what about pop culture’s role in divination? Pop culture isn’t concerned with interpreting the Mayan calendar, predicting locust swarms and the End of Days, or proving or disproving the 1555 prophecies of Nostradamus. However, that hasn’t stopped it from having its finger on the pulse of the future.
From books and films to advertisements and song lyrics, the predictions in pop culture are the work of fantasy and the imagination, or what is commonly called the “Accidental Prophet Effect.” In other words, if science fiction writers attempt to envision life in the distant future, then sooner or later they’re going to predict something like satellite communications (Arthur C. Clarke, 1945) or the video chat -Isaac Asimov, 1964. As the saying goes, “even a broken clock is right twice a day.”
At the same time, there are predictions and off-hand forecasts that seem like more than just creative coincidences. Here are 10 events that were predicted in pop culture.
Poltergeist was released in 1982, so why does the little boy, Robbie, have a poster for 1988’s Super Bowl XXII on his bedroom wall? Poltergeist has long been considered one of Hollywood’s most cursed films, and the unexplainable choice of bedroom décor only adds to the mystery.
On January 31, 1988, the day of the Super Bowl, Heather O’ Rourke, the young actress who played Carol Ann in Poltergeist, became violently ill. She was living in San Diego at the time, the same city in which the Super Bowl was played. O’Rourke died the next day at the age of 12 from septic shock caused by a misdiagnosed intestinal stenosis.