Being a twin is something we can never really fully understand unless we’re a twin. There is a natural mystery and intrigue around those who are born together and look so similar, and psychologists and neuroscientists have long been studying the seemingly supernatural connections between twins for decades.
For many sets of twins, there exists an unshakable bond right from birth – and, likely, even beforehand. In some areas of the world, twins are more common than in others, but worldwide about 1.9% of people are born as twins. It’s certainly a rarity, but that still equates to over 125 million twins around the globe.
The following true stories all involve one or more sets of twins; some are merely interesting, while others are almost spine-chilling. Whatever the case, these tales and others like them make it difficult to deny the eerie connection shared between twin siblings.
10. “Twin Talk”
It’s common for twins to create and speak in their own “gibberish” language. Called “idioglossia,” many twins are able to invent and converse in a language only they can understand. Sometimes, the twins don’t even realize they’re doing so…
Denise and Heather Allen, for example wrote, “We speak to each other in a language no one else can understand, nor can we enlighten them. We didn’t realize this until we were 6 or 7 years old when someone pointed it out.” Because twins are so close from birth, it seems as though they directly mirror each other’s development, which includes the evolution of unique languages.
9. Womb Bonding
Right from the beginning, twins seem to have a strong bond with each other. Researchers viewed multiple ultrasounds of women pregnant with twins. What they found is that twins seem to be very close in the womb, even stroking and cuddling with each other.
After birth, twins are reluctant to be separated, often clinging to each other for support. As seen in the “twin baby baths” carried out by French nurses, the babies need to hold on to each other – these baths are meant to reproduce the conditions of the womb, and twins instinctively grab each other in this environment. This is a literal manifestation of the inseparable nature of and strong connection between twins.
8. Twins Have Connections When Leading Separate Lives (1)
Often, when twins are separated after birth, researchers follow their lives and see what similarities and differences occur. For two fraternal sisters in China, Meredith Grace and Meredith Ellen, something very interesting happened…
The two were adopted by separate families, and did not know they had a twin. However, when Meredith Ellen was only a couple of years old she told her parents, “I’m lonely and I don’t know why.” She wanted a sister desperately and none could understand this need. Meredith Grace’s father later found pictures of Meredith Ellen on an adoption website and noticed the resemblance to his daughter. When the two first met, they hugged and seemed to know they were sisters. Meredith Ellen even told her sister, “I think we were born together.” There is no concrete explanation for this bond, even when separated, but for some reason twins are sometimes able to sense if they are missing their sibling.
7. Twins Have Connections When Leading Separate Lives (2)
This next story is extremely bizarre. Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, twins, were separated and lived completely independent lives for 39 years. Though they had no contact with one another for those 39 years, their lives panned out in a very similar way.
For instance, both were named James, both had married twice (with women of the same name), both had a son named James Allen and both had a dog named Toy. Researchers were interested in the twins’ story and conducted tests on them, including personality tests. What they found is that the twins had almost identical personalities, liked and disliked the same things and suffered from the same ailments throughout their lives.
Remarkably, their parallel lives get even stranger. In addition to these findings, the twins also had the same hobbies (such as woodworking), owned the same kind of car and had both served as Sheriff’s Deputies. After they were reunited their “twin bond” was reestablished and the two were able to live as brothers once more.
6. Twins Die the Same Way
While many twins live the same way, some twins may die in much the same way as well. Take, for example a 70 year old man from Finland. In 2002, he was riding his bike when he got hit by a truck and killed. Only 2 hours later, on the exact same road, his identical twin brother, while riding his bike, was hit by a truck and also died.
While it seems there are coincidences with the way twins live their lives, even while separated, perhaps nature has also connected twins in a way that links their thought patterns, and through this, they are led to similar deaths. Of course, it could just be coincidence, but it’s an undeniably compelling tale.
5. Twin Sisters Have Mental Breakdowns At The Same Time
In 1967 in Sweden, two twin girls were born. Their names are Ursula and Sabina Erickson. Up until 2008, nothing unusual happened for the two women. Both left for different countries, (Ireland and the United States) and settled down with their own families. For years they lived normal lives, until the two sisters inexplicably had mental breakdowns. The two had met up in Ireland and at this time went to a police station to report concerns for Sabina’s children, though there was no threat – yet. After this, the twins set out for London. Here is where it gets very strange.
Suddenly, the women began to run in between traffic, almost as if wanting to be killed. Ursula eventually had her lower body crushed and had to spend weeks in hospital. The sisters were also claiming strange things, like that “they” wanted to take their organs. While Ursula was in the hospital, two men saw Sabina walking alone and gave her a ride. The next morning, Sabina stabbed one of the men, Glenn Hollinshead, multiple times, killing him. She fled the scene, jumped off a 40 foot bridge, and ended up in the hospital. She is currently serving a 5 year prison sentence.
4. “The Silent Twins”
Dubbed the “Silent Twins,” June and Jennifer Gibbons shared an unmistakable bond, but what they did with this bond is what is truly strange. From infancy, the two girls never acknowledged or tried to speak to anyone but each other. In fact, they never outwardly spoke with anyone. They were called “elective mutes” and decided, presumably, to turtle away from the rest of the world and live in their own little bubble, with each other.
The two locked themselves away, not speaking to anyone, not even their parents. They were aspiring novelists who wrote endlessly together, but their work was rejected. Later in life they began to commit crimes such as arson and theft. Following this, they were locked away in an institution for the criminally violent insane.
3. Cases of Telepathy – Gemma and Leanne Houghton
It has long speculated that twins are able to communicate telepathically, at least to some extent. For instance, they may know when the other is near, or in trouble. This certainly seems to be the case for these next two stories.
15 year old Leanne Houghton was taking a bath when her sister felt something was wrong. Gemma had a feeling that her sister was in trouble, and so rushed into the bathroom. Gemma had gone unconscious in the bathtub, and Leanne was able to administer CPR and save her life. Later, Gemma told reporters that she had almost heard a voice telling her that her sister was in danger.
2. Cases of Telepathy – Richard and Damien Powles
In 2003, a test was conducted on a television show. The purpose of the show was to see if twins really did have telepathic powers, with producers creating an experiment with Richard and Damien Powles. Richard was in one room, and Damien was in another – completely sealed off – room.
Damien was attached to a polygraph machine while his brother was was having his hand plunged into ice cold water. The polygraph can pick up changes in breathing rate and muscle and skin response, so if Damien sensed his brother was in “distress” the machine would demonstrate this. When Richard had his hand placed in the water, he gasped aloud, and at the exact same time, there was a measurable blip on Damien’s polygraph machine. Later, they scared Richard with a snake popping from a box. Again, there was a blip on Damien’s polygraph reading at the same time Richard was scared – it was as if the brothers were sharing in each experience.
1. Parasitic Twins
This phenomenon occurs when the twins are developing in the womb. There’s often one developed twin, and one undeveloped twin. The undeveloped twin attaches itself to the other twin’s body and when they are born, the undeveloped twin relies on the developed twin to survive, hence the term “parasitic.”
The undeveloped twin must be removed by surgical means following birth, but sometimes this does not occur for a very long time. One well-known example of this occurrence was a boy from Uganda who was born with 8 limbs attached, seen above. It is unclear if these type of twins share any kind of connection with their undeveloped twin, but it is believed to be a possibility, especially as the parasitic twin grows with the other twin. While many medical professionals see the act of separating the parasitic twin as a necessary medical procedure, those who believe in the’ twin connection’ might view this as a slightly more sinister process…