Freaky Coincidences: 1800s

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    Émile Deschamps

    In 1805, stranger Monsieur de Fortgibu treated French writer Émile Deschamps to some plum pudding. A decade later, in a Paris restaurant, he saw plum pudding on the menu and decided to order some, but the waiter told him that the last dish had been served to another customer, who turned out to be Fortgibu. Years later, in 1832, Deschamps was at a diner and was once again offered plum pudding. He remarked to friends that only de Fortgibu was missing for the setting to be complete – and at that same moment the now aged de Fortgibu entered the room!


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    Mystery Monk

    In 19th century Austria, a near-famous painter named Joseph Aigner attempted suicide on several occasions. During his first attempt to hang himself at the age of 18, Aigner was interrupted by a mysterious Capuchin monk. And again at age 22, he was prevented from hanging himself by the very same monk. Eight years later, he was sentenced to the gallows for his political activities. But again, his life was saved by the intervention of the same monk. At age 68, Joseph Aigner finally succeeded in suicide, using a pistol to shoot himself. Not surprisingly, his funeral ceremony was conducted by the very same Capuchin monk – a man whose name Aiger never even knew.

    Top 15 Amazing Coincidences, Listverse
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    Royal Coincidence

    King Umberto I, of Monza, Italy, visited a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia- Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order and he noticed he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblances between each other and found many more similarities.

    • Both men were born on the same day, of the same year (March 14th, 1844).
    • Both men had been born in the same town.
    • Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
    • The restaurateur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.
    • On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restaurateur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, he was then assassinated by an anarchist in the crowd.

    Top 15 Amazing Coincidences, Listverse[/tab] [tab title=”1830s”]

    Edgar Allan Poe

    Famous horror writer Edgar Allan Poe wrote a book entitled The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket in 1838, actually his only complete novel. The story is about four shipwreck survivors who were in an open boat for several days before they decided to kill and eat Richard Parker, the cabin boy. Forty-six years later, the Mignonett foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventually the three senior crew members killed and ate the cabin boy. The cabin boy’s name was Richard Parker.


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    Rightful Winner

    In 1858, Robert Fallon was shot dead by his fellow poker players, accused of cheating when he won the $600 pot. None of the other players were willing to claim the now-unlucky winnings, but a new player sat in Fallon’s empty chair and staked with the dead man’s $600. By the time the police arrived to investigate the murder, the new player had gained an additional $1,200 in winnings. The police demanded that the original $600 be passed on to Fallon’s next of kin. As it turned out, the new player was Fallon’s son, who had not seen his father in seven years!

    Ripley’s Giant Book of Believe It or Not![/tab] [tab title=”1880s”]

    Vengeful Bullet

    When Henry Ziegland broke up with his girlfriend, out of distress, in 1883, she committed suicide. The girl’s enraged brother hunted down Ziegland and shot him. Believing that he had killed Ziegland, he then turned the gun on himself, taking his own life. However, the bullet had only grazed Ziegland’s face and subsequently lodged in a tree. Some years later, Ziegland decided to cut down the large tree, which still had the bullet in it. The task proved to be more difficult than he thought it would be, so he decided to blow it up with some dynamite. The resultant explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland’s head, killing him instantly.

    Ripley’s Believe It or Not![/tab] [tab title=”1890s”]

    Morgan Robertson

    In 1898, Morgan Robertson wrote a novella entitled Futility (or The Wreck of The Titan). It was about an Olympic-class ocean liner called Titan, which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg.

    • The Titan (800′ long) was considered to be "ndestructible", the Titanic (882′ long) was described as being "unsinkable".
    • Both ships had three propellers and two masts.
    • The Titan was launched in April from Southampton, so was the Titanic on her maiden voyage in April 1912.
    • The Titan carried 24 lifeboats, less than half required for her 3000 capacity, whereas the Titanic carried only 20 lifeboats, less than half the number needed for a passenger capacity of 3000.
    • The Titan struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, 400 miles from Terranova (Newfoundland) while traveling at 25 knots, the Titanic traveled 23 knots too fast, 400 miles away from Terranova.
    • The indestructible Titan sank, with over half of her 2500 passengers drowning, the "voices raised in agonized screams", whereas the unsinkable Titanic sank with more than half 2207 passengers dying screaming for help.

    Prophetic coincidence? Could be, but there are also a few differences between the Titan and the Titanic. These can be viewed on Wikipedia.

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