“Deaths occur in threes. If one person in your family dies, two more will within a short period of time.” Do deaths come in threes or is it just an old wives tale? There’s been a lot of discussion in the last few days that deaths always happen in threes or celebrity deaths come in threes, and questions about where the “deaths come in 3” tale came from.
My understanding is that the origin of the old wives tale or legend about deaths occurring in threes came from the first world war. When the men would light their cigarettes they knew not to use 3 on a match because the enemy could pinpoint them and shoot them from the light of the match being lit so long.
The myth about deaths in threes is often used as proof regarding “notable”, famous celebrities, but people tend to forget about the deaths of celebrities who may not be quite as famous and well known around the world as others who have died.
Some people also claim that the deaths in threes rule applies to deaths occurring within 3 days of each other, while others claim the myth applies to deaths happening “within a short period of time” according to the legend.
The Wall Street Journal listed some “deaths in threes” examples like this:
â€¢ Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the “Big Bopper” all died together in a plane crash in 1959
â€¢ Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison all died in close succession in 1970-71
â€¢ In 2003, Johnny Cash, John Ritter, and Warren Zevon all died within the same week
â€¢ In 2005, King Fahd, Peter Jennings and Robin Cook died within a week of each other
â€¢ The following year brought the closely timed deaths of Don Knotts, Darren McGavin and Dennis Weaver
â€¢ Heath Ledger, Suzanne Pleshette and Brad Renfro all died within a week of each other in January 2008
2009 Celebrity Deaths
If famous celebrity deaths really occur in threes, then who is next?
1. David Carradine
2. Ed McMahon
3. Farrah Fawcett
1. Michael Jackson
2. Billy Mays
“If you are at a graveside and for some reason the there is a delay in the burial, it is a sign that the deceased person does not wish to leave this earth alone and want to travel with someone. One of the mourners present will die soon.” Oh pa-leeeze.
Out of all the recent celebrity deaths in 2009, Michael Jackson’s death has hit me the hardest. Perhaps it comes from the deep and profound connection I feel having been born into the same controlling religion (or cult) as Michael, or maybe it’s because of the abuse Michael himself reported in the “Living with Michael Jackson” documentary interview with Martin Basher as having experienced as a child at the hand of his father Joe Jackson, and the aftereffects of such abuse. Maybe it’s all of that plus his incredible music career throughout all these years, and watching the Jackson Five on television years ago, but I’m a huge fan of Michael Jackson and always will be.
Losing Michael Jackson far too soon, at the age of just 50 years old, came as a huge shock to all Jackson fans. I can’t even imagine what the Jackson family must be going through right now, and seeing devastated Janet Jackson at the BET Awards show and Jermaine Jackson’s tearful interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show shook us all to the core of our being.
Don’t even get me started talking about Joe Jackson’s behavior before the BET Awards show, where he chose that time to promote and hype a stupid record company in the wake of his son’s death. I have no sympathy for Joe Jackson whatsoever, but my heart breaks for the rest of the Jackson family and Michael Jackson’s children, who are suffering deeply and are apparently about to be thrown into a child custody battle involving Debbie Rowe, according to recent news reports.
If the deaths in threes old wives tale were true, then I’d be worried. Having just attended the funeral for my husband’s 84-year-old aunt yesterday along with other family members and friends, if deaths really do happen in threes then all I can say is Uh-Oh, who is next?
R.I.P. Michael Jackson – you will be dearly missed.