I think it is safe to say that people of most religious faiths believe in the existence of the soul. Yet science is reticent to accept the term as an explanation for the sum total of our consciousness. Some might even think the concept is outright poppycock; however, others can see no other way to explain the numerous reported claims of near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, or reincarnation. In fact, I would posit that the best cases of reincarnation could be the best evidence to present to mainstream science arguing for the existence of a soul. Aside from the dogmatic religious view of the soul, in secular terms, I believe there is strong evidence that our consciousness, the sum total of our being, our “soul,” does indeed exist. I know this is a bold claim, to be sure. But how else can we explain all the mounting evidence for reincarnation. This evidence cannot be simply overlooked and if reincarnation exists, the soul must exist.
Before we explore this evidence, let’s be reminded that most of us do not require hard evidence to justify our belief in something. Let’s take the belief in extra-terrestrial life. I, and many scientists, don’t have to see the proof to believe it exists somewhere out there in the universe. We have good cumulative data from which we can infer our belief in life existing elsewhere outside of our solar system. This is what’s known as abductive inference. Think of it as a logical conclusion that takes an observation to a theory which takes into account that observation to come up with the simplest explanation. Too much science? Too many heavy concepts? No worries. Let’s just dive into some of the best cases for reincarnation and then you decide what you believe.
15 Transferred Birth Marks
In part of Asia, ancient edicts say that when a person dies, relatives may mark their body in hopes that when the soul of the departed returns it will be within the same family. The mark would then become the birthmark of the soul’s new body. In 2012, researchers at the University of Virginia concluded a study presenting numerous cases of children born with birthmarks corresponding to the marks left on their deceased relatives.
One such study involved a young boy from Myanmar, referred to as K.H. It was detailed that he had a birthmark on his left arm in the same place where his grandfather’s body had been marked with soot taken from the underside of a family pot. His grandfather had passed just 11 months prior to K.H.’s birth. When a little over two years old, K.H. called his grandmother Ma Tin Shwe, a name that was only ever used by the deceased grandfather. It was a name K.H. could never have heard before as his grandmother was called “Mother” by her children and Daw Lay, “Auntie,” by the other children. Interestingly enough, K.H. called his own mother War War Khine, a pet name used by his deceased grandfather. K.H.’s told the researchers that when she was pregnant, she dreamt of her father speaking to her, “I want to live with you.” The family is convinced that the dream came true.
14 The Child Born with Bullet Wounds
In addition to birthmarks, the University of Virginia researchers also found a correlation with birth defects linked to past-life occurrences. In many cases, these birth defects appeared without cause or any genetic familial history. According to one report, out of the 210 cases studied, about 35% of children who claim to remember past lives have birthmarks or birth defects that can be recognized as wounds that were on the person whose life the child recalls. In some cases this was even confirmed by medical documents.
One such case involved a boy from Turkey who recalled his past-life as a man who was killed by a shotgun blast. Local hospital records were researched and records indicated there was a man who had died of injuries resulting from a shotgun blast to the right side of his head. The young child in the case was born with unilateral microtia, a malformed ear, and hemifacial macrosomia, the underdevelopment of the right side of the face. Macrosomia is rare, estimating to occur in maybe 1 out of every 3,500 children. Microtia is even rarer, occurring in approximately 1 of every 6,000 babies.
13 The Patient Who Killed and Married Her Son
At the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Florida, the chairman of the psychiatry department claims to have been witness to a real past-life regression episode that occurred during treatment. Dr. Brian Weiss asserts that during a session, a patient named Diane, who worked there as a trauma nurse, experienced the life of a young settler in early North America around the years of conflict involving Native Americans. She recalled hiding from a Native raiding party with her infant son in a secret crawl space while her husband was away. She further recalled that her baby had a birthmark in the shape of a half-moon or curved sword beneath his right shoulder.
While hiding, she remembered her son cried out. She feared for their lives and, in an attempt to quiet her son, unintentionally smothered her child by covering his mouth. Months after the episode, Diane met and was attracted to a patient who had been admitted to the hospital for asthma attacks. The patient expressed a familiarity with Diane; a connection he could not explain. Diana was shocked when she saw a crescent-shaped birthmark beneath the man’s right shoulder. Dr. Weiss believes the man’s asthma attacks were indicative of his previous life’s memories of dying by suffocation. Diane later married the man.
12 Reincarnated Handwriting
At the age of six, a young boy named Taranjit Singh was living in the Alluna Miana village in India. The child had been claiming for four years that his real name was Satnam Singh. He says he is really from the Chakkchela village in Jalandhar, about 60 km (40 miles) away. Taranjit repeatedly told his family that his father’s name was Jeet Singh and that he was killed when he was about 15 years old. He recalled that while he was riding his bike, a man on a scooter accidentally struck and killed him. He claimed it occurred on September 10, 1992. He further recalled that the books he was carrying that day were soaked in his blood, and that he had 30 rupees in his wallet. He was so insistent and detailed that his father, Ranjit, decided to investigate.
Ranjit found a teacher in Jalandhar who remembered Satnam and confirmed that his father’s name was Jeet and that he did die in an accident. Ranjit then contacted Satnam’s family, who confirmed the details about the blood-soaked books and the money in the wallet. Intrigued, Satnam’s family met with Taranjit, who was able to correctly identify Satnam in photos. A forensic scientist became involved and took sample of Satnam’s handwriting and compared them to the young Taranjit’s. Even though the young boy barely wrote, the handwriting was a near match.
11 Born Knowing Swedish
Dr. Ian Stevenson is a professor of psychiatry and studies cases of xenoglossy, which is the phenomenon where a person is able to write or speak a foreign language that they should not know. One case investigated by Dr. Stevenson involved a 37-year-old American woman referred to as TE. TE was born and raised in Philadelphia, the daughter of immigrants who spoke English, Yiddish, Polish, and Russian. TE studied some French in school, but her only experience with the Swedish language was a few phrases she had heard watching a television show about the lives of Swedish Americans. However, under numerous regression sessions, TE claimed to be a male Swedish peasant named Jensen Jacoby.
As Jensen, TE would answer questions that were asked in Swedish by responding in Swedish, using words not first used by the Swedish-speaking interviewer. If a question was asked in English, the answer would be in English. TE was subjected to two polygraph exams, a word-association test, and a language aptitude test, all of which she answered as though Swedish was her first language. According to TE’s family and friends, TE had no exposure to Scandinavian languages and none were taught at any of the schools she attended. That being said, TE was not fluent. It appears her vocabulary was only about 100 words and, as Jensen, rarely spoke in complete sentences. Yet, some consultants did acknowledge the accent was quite good and even noted that the language spoken was mixed with some Norwegian, adding another layer to the mystery.
10 Memories of a Monastery
One case of reincarnation involves a boy named Robin Hull. Young Robin often spoke to his mother in a language she didn’t understand. Worried, she brought Robin to an Asian languages professor who identified the language as a dialect spoken solely in northern Tibet. Robin insisted he lived there in a monastery, where he learned to the language while going to school. Truly odd, especially since young Robin wasn’t even old enough to go to school and had never been in a classroom.
The professor was intrigued and made a detailed record of Robin’s description of the monastery. After an investigation, the professor found a monastery in the Kunlun Mountains that matched Robin’s description. The professor travelled to Tibet to take a look at the monastery closely and found the details matched those given exactly as told by Robin. Science has yet to find an explanation other than past lives to explain this oddity.
9 The Burned Japanese Soldier
Dr. Ian Stevenson wrote about another case involving a Burmese girl named Ma Win Tar. Tar was born in 1962, and at about three years of age, began to reference her life as a Japanese soldier. She claimed that the soldier had been captured by Burmese villagers, tied to a tree, and burned alive. Dr. Stevenson never identified the exact soldier she was referring to but he did discover the circumstances were correct. In 1945, Burmese villagers would indeed capture retreating Japanese soldiers, sometimes burning them alive. How did Tar know this at such a young age?
This wasn’t the only uncanny detail of Ma Win Tar. She exhibited behavior that was inconsistent with her life as a Burmese girl. She preferred her cut short and tried to dress in male clothes, which her family refused to allow. She even refused to eat the traditionally spicy food that was a staple of Burmese cuisine. She preferred sweet foods and pork. Ma Win Tar also displayed cruel habits very uncharacteristic of a young girl. She enjoyed slapping the faces of her young friends, similar to how Japanese soldiers had slapped Burmese villagers during the war, an act that is not common to the Burmese culture. Ma Win Tar resisted Buddhist teachings and claimed she was “a foreigner.” Possibly most intriguing was that Ma Win Tar was born with birth defects. Her middle and ring fingers on her right hand were webbed, being only loosely attached to the rest of her hand. She had them amputated when she was a newborn. Many of her other fingers were missing or had constriction rings, strangely similar to those left by rope burn; rope burn like that a Japanese soldier might have experienced while tied to a tree and then burned alive.
8 His Brother’s Scars
Kevin Christenson suffered a broken leg at just 18 months old. The injury revealed young Kevin had metastatic cancer. He began to undergo chemotherapy treatments through is neck to try to fight back the disease. The cancer had already produced a tumor that caused his left eye to protrude and a nodule above his right ear. The treatments were too late, however, as Kevin died in 1979, at the age of two.
Twelve years later, Kevin’s mother had divorced and remarried, and had another son named Patrick. Almost immediately she noticed remarkable similarities between Patrick and her deceased son, Kevin. Patrick was born with a birthmark that appeared like a small cut on the right side of his neck, in the same place where Kevin received his chemotherapy I.V. Patrick also had an odd nodule on the right side of his head, in the same place as Kevin. Also like Kevin, Patrick suffered an ailment with his left eye, which when diagnosed was determined not to be a tumor, but thankfully just a corneal leukoma. When Patrick began walking, he did so with a limp. There was no medical reason for this anomaly.
Patrick claimed to have a memory of undergoing surgery in the area above his right ear, in the same place as Kevin had a nodule biopsied. A few years later, Patrick began asking about his “old house,” even though he had never lived anywhere else. He described it as being orange and brown, which, as odds would have it, was the color of his half-brother Kevin’s home. The similarities were incredible and researchers decided to take Patrick to Kevin’s old home. They were disappointed, however, as Kevin was unable to confirm any familiarity with the old home. The medical connections were still incredible and lack explanation.
7 A Father’s Promise
In 1992, a man named John McConnell was killed when he was shot six times. He left behind a daughter named Doreen, who gave birth to a son, William, in 1997. Young William was diagnosed with a congenital condition called pulmonary valve atresia, where a faulty valve causes blood from the heart enters the lungs. William’s heart had a malformed right ventricle. After several surgeries and treatment, William’s condition improved. Coincidentally, when John was shot years before, one of the bullets struck his left lung and the main pulmonary artery in his heart. William’s condition and John’s injury were remarkably similar.
One day, when he was about to be disciplined, William told Doreen, “When you were a little girl, and I was your daddy, you were bad a lot of times, and I never hit you!” William made other statements over time, including asking about a cat Doreen had as a little girl. William mentioned it was called “Boss.” Doreen was stunned as only John called the cat that name; its real name was Boston. Even though, he did not know the days of the week by memory, William was able to give the day he was born, a Tuesday, as well as the day John died, a Thursday. He claimed that he was told by God on a “Tuesday” that he was ready to “come back.” John had promised Doreen that he would always take care of her. Did he come back to do just that?
6 The In-Between State
Psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss had a patient named Catherine. During a regression session, he interviewed Catherine and was shocked when she told him that she was in an “in-between” state. She stated that she was with Dr. Weiss’ father and son, “Your father is here, and your son, who is a small child. Your father says you will know him because his name is Avrom, and your daughter is named after him. Also his death was due to his heart. Your son’s heart was also important, for it was backward, like a chicken’s… He wanted to show you that medicine could only go so far, that its scope is very limited.”
Dr. Weiss couldn’t believe what he heard. Catherine knew very little about his personal life. On his desk, he had photos of his son, Jordan, as well as his daughter, but Catherine was referring to Adam, the doctor’s first-born who died when he was only 23 days old. Adam was born with total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage with an atrial septal defect – basically the pulmonary veins were on the wrong side of the heart, essentially backward. What Catherine could also not have known was that Dr. Weiss’ father was named Alvin; however, his Hebrew name was Avrom, as Catherine had recalled, as well as knowing that the doctor’s daughter, Amy, was named after her grandfather. The surprised Dr. Weiss was convinced of the genuineness of Catherine’s past-life claims. This revelation changed the course of Dr. Weiss’s career. He became a leading proponent of past-life regression and published his book, Many Lives, Many Masters.
5 The Strange Case of James Leininger
James Leininger began talking about aviation at the early age of only 2 years old. His parents knew nothing of aviation, and were quite amazed when their son started displaying extensive knowledge of aeroplanes. Their bewilderment became panic when, at around the age of eight, James began to suffer from nightmares about being shot down by a plane adorned with a red sun. Japanese planes of World War II all contained a red sun emblem. James told his parents that he was remembering memories of being a man named Lieutenant James McCready Huston, a World War II fighter pilot from Pennsylvania who had been killed over Iwo Jima. His mother reported that James would scream out in the night, “Airplane crash, on fire, can’t get out, help!” James further claimed he plane was a Corsair that launched from a boat called the Natoma.
James’ father decided to conduct some research and discovered that there had been a small escort carrier called the Natoma Bay, and it had been involved in the battle of Iwo Jima. He further learned that there had been a pilot named James Huston. Huston’s plane was shot down by the Japanese on March 3, 1945. James had recalled the names of some his co-pilots from the war some fifty years prior. His father attempted to locate some of the remaining pilots and brought his son to meet them. After some time together, the old pilots became convinced that young James Leininger was indeed their old friend reincarnated.
4 The Return of the World War I Veteran
This interesting story is about 4-year old Edward Austrian. He had developed a fear of dark, gloomy, rainy days. His parents were at a loss as the reason for this phobia. Then, just as strangely, Edward began to complain of a relentless pain in his throat. He would complain that his “shot” was hurting. He told his mother that he was a soldier in the trenches. She assumed he was speaking about World War I. Edward claimed that when he was a soldier, he had been shot in the throat. He would often relate other details of his former life to his mother, who was confused but believed it was just her son’s vivid imagination.
She took her son to the doctor’s office where they were unable to find any reason for the pain in Edward’s throat. As a precaution, they removed his tonsils. After some time, he developed a cyst in his throat and the doctor’s were at a loss as to how to treat it. After his mother began to encourage Edward to relate more stories about his “past life,” the cyst slowly faded away. The family doctors were never able to figure out how it happened.
3 The Child Who Caught His Own Killer
In the Golan Heights region of the Levant, Trutz Hardo, only 3-years old, caused uproar in his community when he claimed he was the victim of a murder in his past life. The boy was a member of the Druze, an ethno-religious group of the Middle East, who happen to believe in reincarnation. The boy was born with a long red birthmark on his head, which, according to some Druze beliefs, is indicative of where death wounds occurred in his past life.
When the boy first learned to talk, he would tell the elders that he was killed by an axe in a prior life. The elders led the young boy around the nearby villages to see if anything was familiar to him. When they came upon a village that was finally familiar to him, the boy claimed he knew exactly who had killed him. The boy walked up to a man and named him. Surprised, the man confirmed that was indeed his name. The boy then told him that he used to be his neighbor. He further told him that he remembered them having a fight and that the man had killed him with an axe. The man was shocked. The young boy then told everybody that even knew where the man buried his former body. He led the elders to a pile of stones, under which they found the body of a man with an axe wound to the head. The boy then led the elders to the spot where the axe was discarded. The man, shaken, was left with no choice by to confess to the crime.
2 The Boy Who Lived Before
He’s been referred to as “The Boy Who Lived Before,” he’s Cameron Macauley of Glasgow, Scotland. At the young age of two, he began telling his mother that he felt he wasn’t from Glasgow, but rather recalled being from some place called Barra. Barra was a small island off the west coast of Scotland in the Outer Hebrides. Cameron would continue and give very personal details of his former life on Barra. He would talk about having a black and white dog, walking along the beach, and talk of the house he shared with his mother and seven brothers and sisters. He was eve able to give the names of his parents, saying his father was Shane Robertson and that he was killed in a car crash.
Unnerved by all the stories, Cameron’s parents decided to take him to Barra to ascertain the truth. No one they encountered seemed to remember anyone named Shane Robertson. However, they were able to locate a house exactly as described by Cameron. It was a house owned by the Robertson family. Once they introduced themselves to the residents, they were allowed to browse old family photos. One photo depicted a black and white dog that Cameron immediately recognized. No one was ever able to sufficiently explain Cameron’s familiarity with the family.
1 The Reincarnation of Omm Sety
Born in January 1904, in London, England, Dorothy Louis Eady was a normal child until she fell down some stairs at the age of three and was pronounced dead. However, a miracle occurred and she soon regained consciousness. She was never the same. It was 1908, during a visit to the British Museum, that her parents first noticed her strange behavior. She was fixated on the Egyptian exhibits, kissing the feet of the statues. She came upon one mummy in a glass case and refused to leave its side, claiming “these” are my people. She began to dream of lush gardens and columned buildings. When shown photos of ancient Egypt, she instantly recognized it and claimed it as her home.
She began heavily study Egyptology; awakening memories she believed were from her former life in the region. She married an Egyptian and moved permanently to Cairo in 1933. She renamed herself Omm Sety. Sometimes she would enter a trance-like state and write about her memories of her past life in ancient Egypt as Bentreshyt, a priestess at the Temple at Kom El Sultan. In 1956, she joined the Antiquities Department at Abydos, where, using her “memories” she assisted in discovering the lost Temple Garden, and other great finds. She was an invaluable resource, living the rest of her life at the Temple of Abydos. Omm Sety died in 1981, and had become as much of a tourist attraction as the temple itself.