Mother Shipton
Mother Shipton didn't make a prophecy about 2012

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Mother Shipton

Yorkshire Legend

According to legend, Mother Shipton (Ursula Sonthiel Shipton), was born in 1488 in Yorkshire, England, and lived until 1561. Her birth was supposedly the result of a union between her mother and the devil. When she was born, she was reportedly hideously ugly.


According to the 2012 proponents, Mother Shipton is alleged to have said1:

A fiery dragon will cross the sky
six times before the earth shall die.
Mankind will tremble and frightened be
for the six heralds in this prophecy.

For seven days and seven nights
man will watch this awesome sight.
The tides will rise beyond their ken.
To bite away the shores and then
the mountains will begin to roar
and earthquakes split the plain to shore.

And flooding waters rushing in,
will flood the lands with such a din
that mankind cowers in muddy fen
and snarls about his fellow men2.

Other proponents freely interpret any of the apocalyptic prophecies to refer to 20123

Richard Head

Much of what we know about Mother Shipton comes from her 1684 'biographer', Richard Head. No references to Mother Shipton appear before 16414, 80 years after her death. Most of the details of her supposed life first appear in Head's biography. Apparently Head invented most of her 'life'.

The existence of Mother Shipton herself is uncertain, she may never have existed outside of Yorkshire legend.

Charles Hindley

Her prophecies about future technology, and about the world coming to an end in 1881, first appeared in print in the 1862 edition of her sayings, and Charles Hindley, the editor of that edition, later admitted that he had composed them.


All of Mother Shipton’s so-called prophecies are hoaxes. All of them were written by others after the events they described had already happened. There is no prophecy specific to 2012. The often quoted prophecy first appeared in 1862 and referred to the year 1881, not 2012, and was an admitted hoax by Charles Hindley.


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