The concept of reincarnation is nothing new to Western Civilization. The idea that people live over and over through the span of thousands of years or more has been with humanity a long time. It’s also a core belief in many eastern religions. The idea is appealing to many cultures throughout history. But reincarnation is rarely thought of as something with any objective proof behind it. Which is true. However, there’s actually been a lot of legitimate research on the subject. Some respected researchers have even dedicated their entire lives to the study of reincarnation.
I think a lot of people have at one point met a person who made them cringe by candidly telling them about their supposed past lives. Most of the time these people claiming to be famous historical figures. Even though if reincarnation is real, they would statistically most likely be a series of nobodies. But, there actually is enough research on the subject to peak the interest of objective inquisitive minds.
One way some people research the subject is through past life regression hypnosis. However, this is very esoteric in nature and isn’t a reliable way to research past lives (for the most part.) Hypnosis is an excellent way to open up the door to the subconscious mind, but what comes out of the subconscious isn’t always reliable. False memories or pre-conceived notions in the subconscious can sabotage the hypnotist. In fact, if someone has already researched reincarnation and the mysteries surrounding it, then that person isn’t reliable for an objective past life regression. But when performed on people oblivious to the subject with no ingrained opinions, then something interesting happens. People have said things that they shouldn’t know, that can be verified through actual events in history. In some cases the person hypnotized can speak foreign languages they never learned. Which has been verified through investigation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a plethora of unexplainable phenomena concerning reincarnation research.
One of the most famous cases of past life regression is that of Ruth Simmons back in 1952. AKA Virginia Tighe. At first, the hypnotist took her back to her childhood and asked her questions about it in her trance state. Experimenting, the hypnotist tried something bizarre. Pushing her regression back even further. Ruth then talked about the life of a woman named Bridey Murphy, blowing away the hypnotist’s mind. She began talking about the life of Mrs. Murphy, an Irish woman being alive in the year 1806. She spoke of her marriage, her daily toil, and even the cause of her death. Claiming to have gone to her own funeral in spirit, and giving a description of her tombstone.
However, Ruth was an American born in 1923. She knew little of Irish history in her waking life and had no conscious connections to the culture whatsoever. Her claims were researched, but only indirect evidence was found of her alleged former life. Ruth did know a lot of things about 1800s Ireland she had no way of knowing though. Her credibility and moral character were investigated, showing her to be an upright honest woman. And her social circle being interviewed separately all claimed she had never spoken of Ireland before, while also backing up her integrity.
So while still unreliable, the case definitely inspired interest in the subject of reincarnation. One of the more mind-blowing things Ruth did was perform a graceful and lively rendition of an old Irish folk dance flawlessly while in a trance state. She even spoke of her favorite Irish songs, talking about them in great detail. However, when the hypnotist awakened Ruth, she no longer had any of her knowledge concerning the Irish woman Bridey Murphy. And this is just one of many fascinating accounts about past life regression, where the person hypnotized knows things they would normally have no way of knowing. Some people explained the incident away as some kind of genetic memory. The mainstream gutter press dragged the whole story through the mud. But the Ruth Simmons case inspired reincarnation researchers for a generation.
Another strange way people consider reincarnation to have credibility is sickness or physical conditions seemingly passed over to them from a past life. Usually, these things are bizarre and unaccountable for in any logical way. Like a back injury with no cause that gets worse and worse. Or a child having unexplainable throat pains. Saying creepy things like: “It’s my shot” when asked about it. The kid who said that had surgery not long after complaining about his “shot” to remove a tumor. When asked what he meant, the kid said he was killed by being shot in the neck while fighting in a trench. Children across the world claim to have died from an injury in a past life, with many having strange birthmarks where they claim the injury happened.
Some New Age thinkers say it’s a part of karma. Others try to explain it away as a mental illness. But there’s no right or wrong answer on such an ineffable subject. One thing for sure is there are too many cases with weird connections to real-life events to just toss aside as lies. There’s a lot of these stories of people claiming to carry over past life conditions into their new one. The funny thing about karma is, most people in the west don’t understand how it actually works in eastern traditions. Karma is built up over a lifetime. It has no effect on one’s current existence. Karma only comes into play when someone is reborn into a new life after they’ve died.
From a karmic point of view to some this explains why people are born with physical maladies. Like being born without a hand. Having health issues one was born with. Or even being born without certain senses like hearing or being able to see. It’s thought these physical impairments come from karma, or trauma built up in a past life. This point of view has even inspired some reincarnation researchers to take on the role of a past life physical therapist. They try to gain an understanding of a person’s past life and ease the sufferer through their past life trauma. This is interesting because it actually helps a lot of people (whether reincarnation is real or not.) And has outright ended people’s physical pains or bizarre phobias. There’s always the placebo effect to consider, but these occurrences are fascinating none the less.
Phobias, Nightmares, and Handwriting
Another thing that allegedly passes over from one life to another is phobias based on experiences from a past existence. I personally had a phobia growing up that made no sense and didn’t conquer it until I was an adult. So, this indication of reincarnation has always sparked my interest (though I’m in no way claiming to be reincarnated.) There are many reincarnation researchers that point at such phobias as ingrained issues from a past life. Strange nightmares fall into this category too. Either in re-occurring dreams or reoccurring themes, ext.
Sometimes these nightmares are so bad they’re crippling to people. And they don’t make sense most of the time concerning that person’s life narrative. Just like the strange phobias that don’t come from any experience in that person’s life. They’re mysterious and seem to have no origin. People will dream of dying the same way over and over throughout their lives. Or people will have phobias to the point of ridiculousness. According to past life researchers, these are all indicators of reincarnation.
One of the lesser-known things that hint at the possibility of reincarnation to researchers is handwriting. People who claim to be reincarnations have got the attention of forensic experts. As an experiment, they’d collect samples of that person’s handwriting, then dig up documents handwritten by the person’s alleged past-life persona. The forensics experts compared the handwriting using law enforcement techniques. The results blew them away. Handwriting is similar to a fingerprint. Every single one is unique to each individual person. The researchers were amazed when the handwriting matched up. Which is pretty unexplainable. But this is an experiment that’s been replicated many times.
Past life memories
The most famous and widespread reason some consider reincarnation possible is the unnatural knowledge found in some children. Many grow out of it, and forget, but others never let go of their bizarre insights and memories. There’s seriously a ton of these accounts. Like the case of Rashid Khaddege and Daniel Jurdi. One day Rashid went on a drive with his friend. They lost control of the car and died instantly in a wreck. One year later Daniel Jurdi was born. The first words for kids are usually Mommy or Daddy. But Daniel’s first word was “Ibrahim.” By the age of 2, Daniel would complain about wanting to go home and would tell his parents that they weren’t his real Mom or Dad. The child said it wasn’t even possible he had parents because he had already died. Creepily he would even repeat the name of his supposed real dead father. The same father of the deceased Rashid Khaddege, who perished in a car accident. His parents started to connect the dots and were amazed at Daniel’s knowledge he had no logical way of knowing.
The parents even took the child to the spot where Rashid’s car wreck happened and young Daniel said: “This is where I died.” When the boy got older, his current family and alleged family from a former life got together. Daniel had never met any of them before or even seen pictures, yet he called them each by name. He also talked about Rashid’s favorite food with his alleged former family, as well as the deceased man’s likes and dislikes. Which stunned everyone present. And like what I talked about earlier, Daniel brought over the phobia of cars from his past life traumatic death, being very fearful around them, or traveling inside them.
Then there’s the case of Shanti Devi. She was born in 1926 in India and never spoke a single word until she was 4 years old. When She did eventually speak, Shanti said she wasn’t the person her family thought she was. And was actually from a village hundreds of miles away. Villagers were much more isolated from outsiders in those days, so what sparked interest in her being a serious case for reincarnation was her ability to perfectly speak in the dialect of the village she claimed to be from, but had never been to before. She told her family about her former husband. Describing him and his profession as well as describing the village they lived in. Shanti explained she died in childbirth. But her son survived. All of the things the little girl said were discovered to be true upon investigation. When the alleged former husband of the girl heard of all the bizarre things Shanti had been saying about him and his family, he decided to visit her but posed as his brother to test the young girl. It didn’t work though. Shanti instantly noticed her alleged former husband the moment she saw him.
She asked him about a promise that he’d made her. A promise her past life self-made him swear on her deathbed. It was something only the two of them could have ever known. When Shanti was eventually taken to her former village, she led the way, guiding them while pointing out landmarks, and all this without any assistance from an adult. She recognized and talked with alleged former family members. Leaving them all without a doubt that the girl was a reincarnation. Shanti then walked around the neighborhood pointing out all the neighbors by name. The most tear-jerking part of this case was when Shanti was finally reunited with the son she’d died giving birth to.
Then there’s the case of the Pollock sisters. Two little girls were killed by a car when walking with their family to church in 1957. Merely a year later their mother gave birth to twins. They were named Jennifer and Jillian. The newly born girls could not replace the daughters killed in the car accident, but it definitely helped to heal the parent’s wounds. Then the father and mother of the Pollock twins noticed something strange about their new children. The twins shared unexplainable similarities to the girls they’d lost. When given the toys of their deceased sisters, the twins knew the names of each of the toys, and which ones belonged to whom. The girls also had a bizarre phobia of cars, and would consistently have such horrible nightmares that they’d wake their parents up in the middle of the night screaming “the car is coming!” The twins also had birthmarks in the same locations as their deceased sisters. As they grew older they knew where things were located, as well as a plethora of information they should have had no way of knowing.
This is a consistent theme of child reincarnation stories. The children always know impossible things. When trying to think critically about it, it’s easy to assume their parents put them up to it, and the whole thing is just a scam. While that’s a fair assumption because charlatans are very common, all the cases I’m talking about have been verified. The parents were just as perplexed as anyone else in all these cases. Reliable investigators were blown away by the impossible knowledge these children possessed, but there are many more of these verified cases.
The next case is that of James Leininger. All seemed normal for this kid at first. But when James got older he started freaking out his parents by talking about memories he had of being a Navy fighter pilot. And the only toys the boy would play with were airplanes. He had an unhealthy obsession with planes, and would eventually have re-occurring nightmares about flying that would cause him to lose sleep. The kid was scared to go to sleep and die again in his dreams. James would always talk about flying planes. He’d tell everyone about their different weapons, engines, and abilities. He would also talk about a terrifying incident while flying his plane. The child would correct adults when they got things wrong about planes or called parts of planes by the wrong names.
When he was only 3 years old he could do a whole pre-flight check on a plane. James talked about his former friends who were pilots too. He said his personal plane was called the Corsair, and how he’d take off in it from an aircraft carrier. Most people who heard the little child tell the story of him being killed when shot down by the Japanese were really creeped out. But it was a story James was always eager to tell.
He would tell people about his pilot friends, as well as his co-pilot, a man named Jack. All these people James spoke of were later confirmed to be people who actually existed and fought together in the war. The boy spoke of many things that were objectively proven through investigation. James Hudson J.R. was allegedly the man James Leininger had been in a past life. The man died near Iwo Jima during WWII. James has since visited his alleged former family, as well as the location where the WWII pilot died in a fiery wreck.
Then there’s the case of the three-year-old boy who solved his own murder. A three-year-old boy from the near east, whose name was never released to protect his identity (which makes me question the validity of the case.) He has a long red birthmark that runs along his head. This is where the boy said the cause of his death happened. In the begging no one believed him, thinking he was just saying silly things the way children do. But, this got the attention of Dr. Eli Lash, who took it upon himself to investigate the case. For not only did the 3-year-old claim to have a past life but that that past life ended in murder. Dr. Eli’s personal interest in the subject of reincarnation allowed him to take the boy’s claims seriously. He and others took the boy in search of his alleged former self’s shallow grave. The boy claimed his past life body had been buried in a certain location after his murder. Upon entering the village he supposedly lived in his former life, the boy knew exactly where to go. More past life memories seemed to kick in as they journeyed through the small village. The boy remembered not only his former first and last name but remembered the first and last name of the man who murdered him.
A local at the village was questioned and confirmed the boy’s former life persona did live there but went missing without a trace years prior. The boy then led the group to his alleged former home, calling out to the neighbors by name even though he’d never met them before. The boy came upon the man he claimed murdered him. He said to him “I used to be your neighbor. We had a fight and you killed me with an ax.” The accused man turned white with a look of shock on his face. Then the boy said he would take them all to where the murderer buried his body. The group followed him, including many from the village and the alleged murderer. Indeed there was a body buried in the exact location the boy claimed, with an ax hidden near the grave as well. When they dug up the corpse there was damage along with the skull perfectly in sync with the boy’s head birthmark. He pointed at the accused neighbor saying “That’s where you killed me.” The neighbor confessed to the crime and surrendered himself to the authorities. He’d been wracked with guilt all the years after committing the murder.
This case of reincarnation is very interesting but honestly isn’t the best case to form evidence around. Dr. Eli Lasch didn’t document the boy’s name, the murderer’s name, or the names surrounding the case really. Supposedly this was supposed to protect the identities of those involved. Not being able to find any names while researching this story makes me raise an eyebrow. Still, Dr. Eli Lasch is a respected professional in his field and was never accused of fraud. He died in 2009, so I guess a lot of truths surrounding this case died with him. Many people have accepted the case of the 3-year-old who solved his own murder as true accounts, though the lack of objective evidence makes me wonder.
Though the boy who solved his own murder was 3, this next case started with a boy even younger, at the age of 2. Cameron Macauley told his Mom about his past life ever since he learned to speak, which was pretty creepy to a lot of people in his life. He spoke of his former life being on the Island of Barra, in the cold north-west of Scotland. Which was a place Cameron had never been to or even ever been told of its existence. He would tell of his old home that was painted white near the beach, and that he’d play games with his sisters and brothers. Cameron would talk about his former black and white dog, and that planes would often land and fly away from the island.
The Island of Barra is 220 miles away from the coast of Scotland. The only ways to reach it are by an hour-long plane flight or a cold boat trip. Most who lie about being reincarnated say their formerly ancient Egyptians, or royalty, or some grand person from history. This kid claiming to be someone so obscure adds credibility to his claim among reincarnation researchers. It was an island most people didn’t even know existed, but somehow this kid knew everything about it. The island has a tiny population of around 1000 people. So researching Cameron’s claims of his family who lived there was pretty easy. No matter how many times the boy told his story, it never changed or contradicted itself, which is always a good sign for investigators seeking objective truth in any profession.
Cameron would talk about his former siblings on the island, and about how in his former life his father was killed by a car. At the age of 5, the boy showed genuine emotional distress over being separated from the mother in his former life. He would constantly exclaim how much he missed her and wanted to see her. Extremely worried, his current mother sought out assistance. However mainstream help failed her outright. That is until she came across Dr. Jim Tucker from the University of Virginia reincarnation research department. Dr. Tucker threw himself into Cameron’s case with much interest. He took the boy on a plane trip to visit the island, and the doctor’s research team discovered the white house Cameron claimed to live in his past life still existed. Dr.Tucker also discovered a mainland Scottish family lived there during the ’60s and ’70s. But, the researchers didn’t tell Cameron any of this information, instead, they drove around the area the home was located without warning the kid. Normally Cameron had a rambunctious and talkative demeanor, but when they neared the house the boy became silent and reserved as he looked out the car window.
Everything at the house was exactly as Cameron had described. His former family was confirmed to coincide with his story as well. And a genealogist traced the remaining family members who were still alive. Finding them in mainland Scotland. When they interviewed one of these family members, a woman by the name of Gillian Robertson, she confirmed Cameron’s story of the pet dog, the home, and all he said about his alleged former life family. This case is still going on till this day with many questions remaining unanswered. Dr. Jim Tucker and the University of Virginia claim this to be one of the most objective cases concerning real evidence for reincarnation.
There are many more cases of past life memories in children, but if I tried to include them all this article would never end. Though there’s many compelling cases and information regarding reincarnation, there’s still no objective proof of it (though many would argue against this.) While it’s important to be open-minded about reincarnation, it’s also important to be skeptical. Though I’m not trying to be a reality sheriff in the least. I’m totally open to the idea of reincarnation without accepting or denying it. The whole subject can inspire a lot of knee-jerk reactions in people considering it covers such existential issues like life after death. In recent times there’s even mainstream scientific research on the subject, like Dr. Jim Tucker and the University of Virginia reincarnation research department, among others. So there’s definitely more to the subject than meets the eye.