Along with the people Russian tzars were also a superstitious lot. They too believed in omens, dreams and signs. What is very interesting is some of the Russian tzars even predicted their own demise.
Ivan the Terrible and a Comet
In the winter of 1584 Ivan the Terrible saw a comet in the night sky and said to his courtiers: “This is the messenger of my death.”
The tsar ordered to gather all wizards and star-gazers from around the country and had them delivered to his presence in Moscow. They were questioned daily, then when they got the exact date of the tzar’s death – March 18.
On that day Ivan the Terrible felt great, he ordered festivities and fun, later in the evening when he sat down and began to play chess, he suddenly fell to the floor and died.
Peter the Great and his Eagle
In the spring of 1703, Peter I was examining wetlands in the delta of the Neva River, trying to choose a place to build his new city. When an eagle appeared in the sky, the emperor decided that this was a good sign, and commanded the workers to lay St. Peters-burg in that area.
When the grounds for the first Orthodox Cathedral were broken in St. Peters-burg, an eagle chased away the crows circling over the place.
Catherine the First saw her Double
The wife of Peter I, Catherine I shortly before her death in 1727 claimed that during on evening her double came to her, and right before her death the empress dreamed of her husband, who called her name.
Anna Ioanovna sees her Double
A few days before her death in 1740, Anna Ioanovna also saw her double: a woman-ghost walked in a royal dress through the throne room and melted into air. Upon seeing this the empress turned to her courtiers and said: “Soon I’ll be gone.”
Same thing happens to Catherine the Second
Fifty six years later the same thing happened to Catherine II. She saw her double sitting on a throne, she got so scared that she gave an order to shoot it. A few hours later she meet her death.
Paul the First falls short of Breath
On March 9, 1801, while Paul I was riding a horse he suddenly felt a shortness of breath upon which he complained about it to his servant. Several days later on March 12, a horde conspirators killed the tzar, choking him with a scarf.