Doomsday countdown, day three: The Amazing Criswell and the Denver goo
Call it an unlucky guess: In March 1963, the Amazing Criswell, born Jeron Criswell Konig and otherwise known as Jeron Criswell King, predicted that John F. Kennedy would not run for re-election because something would happen to him in November 1963. In the course of a career of wildly inaccurate novelty predictions, this was the singular accurate one made by the Amazing Criswell. Not that it made much difference, since he was better known for wearing a sequined tuxedo, claiming to sleep in a coffin, appearing as a regular in the films of Ed Wood and being a general Hollywood weirdo than he was for the psychic powers he claimed. But that didn't stop him from writing the 1968 tome Criswell Predicts from Now to the Year 2000 -- and in it, the prognosis did not look good for Denver.
Criswell predicted that, after a period of mass cannibalism, the planet earth would see its last day on August 18, 1999 -- making even the title of the book inaccurate, since his world-end date precludes predictions through the year 2000. But whatever. Because far before that date, Criswell anticipated that out fair city would meet its own unpleasant end. From the book:
I predict that a large city in Colorado will be the victim of a strange and terrible pressure from outer space, which will cause all solids to turn into a jelly-like mass. I predict that this pressure will not affect any other part of the world but will be pinpointed at one particular city. I predict that without warning buildings will collapse to the ground in near silence trapping thousands in the rubble. The entire population will live in terror and fear. I predict that a state emergency will be declared and federal aid will be granted but as rescue units approach the city they will lose all semblance of solidity and will be rendered helpless. The people who attempt to escape in wild panic will be unable to move through the gummy streets. The citizenry of this Colorado city will find themselves enveloped in a jelly-like substance. They will be unable to escape for it will be impossible to cut through or tear this substance. Although soft and pliable it will still retain the strength and weight formerly possessed. I predict in the outskirts the conditions will not be as serious but fleeing people will find themselves mired in roadways and hardly able to move.
I predict that scientists from all over the world will be called upon to help but no one will be able to offer relief for they will not be able to conquer this terrible force, this mysterious force from outer space. Gradually, as conditions ease, survivors will be evacuated but this will become a dead city and will never again be reborn. I predict this unfortunate community will be a victim of elements beyond our control and will always be remembered until the end of time. I predict the name of the city will be Denver, Colorado. The date: June 9, 1989.
Given that the end of time was calculated for just over ten years later, it's not really saying much that this event would be remembered until the end of time, but again, whatever. The point is that there remains time for Denver to dissolve into a strange and terrible jelly-like substance -- and maybe it'll happen Friday, when Harold Camping is predicting the world is going to end for real this time.
Even though the Lord Jesus didn't arrive the last time Camping said he would, back on May 21, the coincidence of dual messiahs Jesus and Bono possibly being in town on the same day was enough to provide the impetus for Ivan Suvanjieff and Dawn Engle's Jesus vs. Bono, which makes its premiere at 7 p.m. Friday at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse.
And that's not the only Rapture-themed, Harold Camping-inspired media debuting Friday; we just got word that Raptured, a London-shot web series that follows the travails of a girl tricked into being in charge of the Rapture, is also making its world premiere on Friday. "After the Rapture was predicted for the 21st October, we decided to launch Raptured on that date," says the show's Heather Taylor. "It was literally written for the Rapture."
So we're hoping the world won't end first. In the meantime, we'll continue to count down the days to the definitely-going-to-happen-for-sure-this-time apocalypse with Colorado-centric endtimes predictions that did not come to pass. Read the day one prediction here, the day two prediction here.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Denver art and theater scene.