Jonathan Swift, the famous satirist, played an elaborate joke on the famous astrologer known as John Partridge. In February 1708, he assumed a pseudonym Isaac Bickerstaff, a rival astrologer of Partridge, who suddenly made an appearance in London by publishing an almanac in which Partridge's death was predicted on 29th March of that year and the fever was to be the cause of his demise. Partridge was outraged and persistently denied any substance in the prediction but the pamphlet published on 30th March by Bickerstaff confirmed that his prediction had indeed turned out to be true.
By 1st of April, everyone had heard of the event and a sexton arrived
at Partridge's home to enquire of any orders for his funeral sermon. The
effect was so complete that people get almost shocked when they saw him
in flesh and many took him to be a walking ghost. Some people even
approached him to tell him that he looked exactly like someone they knew
but was now dead. John Partridge could never shake off the reputation of
being a dead man for the rest of his life. Finally, Partridge had to
stop publishing his almanacs because he couldn't convince people that
the prediction about him was just an April Fool spoof!