According to John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia, the musician lived with a sense of uneasiness about his death. Nine years before Mark David Chapman shot Lennon outside his apartment building, Cynthia said that a psychic had warned him about his death. Though he’d received threatening letters, this message seemed to bother him more than most.
A fan shot John Lennon to death outside his apartment building
In 1980, Lennon and Yoko Ono were outside their New York City apartment building when Chapman shot Lennon multiple times. He had been outside the building all day and even asked Lennon for his autograph that afternoon.
The police officers who first arrived on the scene realized there was no time to wait for an ambulance. They rushed Lennon to the hospital in the back of their car. Doctors could not resuscitate him and pronounced him dead on the night of Dec. 8.
John Lennon received a warning about his death, according to his ex-wife
When Cynthia heard the news about Lennon’s death, one of her first thoughts was of a letter Lennon received in 1966.
“My second thought was that for the past fourteen years John had lived with the fear that he would be shot,” she wrote in her book John. “In 1966, he’d received a letter from a psychic, warning that he would be shot while he was in the States.”
The Beatles were gearing up for a tour in the US. Both Lennon and Cynthia worried that someone would hurt him while he was there.
“We were both upset by that: The Beatles were about to do their last tour of the States and, of course, we thought the warning referred to that trip,” she wrote. “He had just made his infamous remark about The Beatles being more popular than Christ and the world was in an uproar about it — cranky letters and warnings arrived by every post. But that one had stuck in his mind.”
Lennon, of course, arrived home safe from the tour. Still, the warning remained in the back of his mind.
“When he got home in one piece, we were both relieved,” Cynthia explained. “But the psychic’s warning remained in his mind and from then on it seemed that he was looking over his shoulder, waiting for the gunman to appear. He often used to say, ‘I’ll be shot one day.’ Now, unbelievably, tragically, he had been.”
A psychic reached out to The Beatles about a plane crash
Lennon and the rest of The Beatles received an earlier warning from a psychic. In 1964, psychic Jeane Dixon predicted that the band would be in a plane crash after a concert in Philadelphia. The band didn’t take this prediction quite as seriously, but it still caused some worry.
“Uh, normally, I just take it with a laugh and a smile and a pinch of salt,” George Harrison said, per the book George Harrison on George Harrison. “Thinking, you know, she’s off her head. But, y’know, it’s not a nice thing to say, especially when you’re flying almost every day. But, just hope for the best, and keep a stiff upper head, and away we go. If you crash, you crash. When your number’s up, that’s it.”