The Prophet Hen of Leeds

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In Leeds, England, in 1806,[1] villagers believed doomsday had come when a hen began laying eggs with the phrase "Christ is coming" on each one,[2] but it was later found to be a hoax by Mary Bateman, who had written on the eggs using acid and reinserted them into the hen's oviduct.[3]


  1. ^ Strandberg, Todd; James, Terry (June 2003). Are You Rapture Ready. New York City: Dutton. pp. 35–45. 
  2. ^ "10 failed doomsday predictions". Retrieved 2009-11-12. History has countless examples of people who have proclaimed that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent, but perhaps there has never been a stranger messenger than a hen in the English town of Leeds in 1806. It seems that a hen began laying eggs on which the phrase "Christ is coming" was written. As news of this miracle spread, many people became convinced that doomsday was at hand — until a curious local actually watched the hen laying one of the prophetic eggs and discovered someone had hatched a hoax. 
  3. ^ Charles Mackay (1980). Extraordinary popular delusions & the madness of crowds. Random House. ISBN 0-517-88433-X.