15 Past Life Experiences That’ll Captivate & Perplex You

Updated May 27, 2021
Vintage family portrait 1916

Past life experiences hold similar elements of reincarnation, whether the experience comes from a spontaneous past life recall, past life regression, or a past life reading. Reincarnation stories of people who believe they've lived before are fascinating and, for those people, a life-changing experience.

Story of Mary Sutton

Jenny Cockell's story is quite extraordinary. Born in Northhamptonshire, England, Jenny always felt she'd been someone else before her current lifetime. She knew her name had been Mary, and she had many memories of that life, especially her eight children.

When Jenny had her two children, guilt and remorse filled her; her past life kept calling her. As time crept by, it became clear that as Mary, she'd lived in Ireland and had died 21 years before she was born as Jenny. Mary had died in childbirth at the age of 35, leaving her eight children, including a newborn, motherless. Worried about her young children, Jenny longed to know what happened to them.

She dreamed about her previous family and had spontaneous past life recalls. She eventually sought a past life regression hypnotist to help her. Eventually, Jenny traveled to the village where Mary had lived. She discovered the fate of her children. They had been split up to be raised by various relatives or sent to an orphanage. Through painstaking efforts to ensure she verified each piece of information she recalled, Jenny met her children, now in their 60s and 70s. Through her life as Jenny, Mary Sutton was finally able to reunite her family and find peace. Jenny wrote a book, about her journey, Yesterday's Children: The Search for My Family from the Past.

Remembering Rabbits

In this story, Donna Ciaciarella (now deceased) described one of her past life readings. A woman contacted Donna to inquire about the woman's relationship with her son in a past life. The woman was concerned since her son seemed angry with her, and she couldn't place it on anything in their life together.

Donna saw a past life where the boy had 18 pet rabbits that he loved deeply. The woman had been his mother in that lifetime. The family was poor and desperate for food, so she'd sneak a rabbit here and there, believing the boy wouldn't notice one missing now and then. Unfortunately, he did. Having to eat his beloved rabbits was more than the child could bear, and he grew very resentful and angry with his mother.

After the reading, the woman admitted that in this current life her son had 20 stuffed rabbits that he slept with and was very protective of them. He even hid them from her at times. Donna surmised that the boy was still holding on to those past life memories. Donna advised the woman to apologize to her son to find spiritual healing between them.

Antebellum Birthday Party

Editor, author, and psychic medium, Karen Frazier wanted to experience a past life regression for an article she was writing. Having been fascinated about the topic, she'd never taken that first step. She found a local hypnotherapist in her area who also conducted past life regressions. Like many writers and researchers, Karen has a keen analytic mind and admits she struggled with it during and after her session.

In her regression, a past life in 1865 was revealed to her. It began in a lush tropical garden that she described. " I was alone in the garden taking a walk toward a gazebo."

The hypnotist asked Karen where she was and she responded that she didn't know. When asked to look down at her feet, Karen said, "I saw that I was wearing pink boots with laces or buttons up the front made from a shiny material - satin or silk." She was also wearing what she described as, "a voluminous pink skirt with lots of ruffles that reached all the way down to the boots."

When asked what she was doing in the garden, Karen responded she was just out for a walk. She was 30 years old and attending a birthday party for her 65-year-old mother. The hypnotist instructed her to move forward in that life to a significant time. Karen found herself in a room and described the furniture. "Big, heavy, four-poster, canopied bed. It was late afternoon-so the room was light by sunlight," she said. When the hypnotist asked Karen why the day was significant, Karen began to cry and said, "My husband is dying." After her regression, Karen shared that the emotions she felt were very real during the deathbed scene.

The hypnotist had Karen go to the next significant event, which was her own death in that lifetime. She was now 43 years old and dying from consumption. Her daughter was by her bedside. When asked if the dying woman had a message for Karen, she responded, "Cherish what you have in the moment, because everything in life is so fleeing that it will pass before you know it."

Like most people who have a past life regression, Karen wanted to see if she could verify any of the details of her regression. She was able to verify her clothing as belonging to 1865, especially the laced up button shoes. She found a bed similar to the canopied deathbed she'd seen. Through the process of elimination, she surmised the garden was in one of the British Empire's tropic colonies. The last bit of information from her regression was the illness of consumption (tuberculosis). She reasoned there was a high probability that a woman in 1878 living in the tropics could be dying from TB.

I Was Your Father

One day, when he was not quite two-years old, Sam Taylor was having his diaper changed by his father. The little boy looked up at his dad and said he remembered when he used to change his father's diapers. This was the beginning of Sam gradually revealing information about his past life as his own grandfather.

Little Sam never knew his grandfather, having been born 18 months after his grandfather died. Sam stunned his parents as he recounted details about his grandfather's life that he had no way of knowing. He even identified his grandfather in photos. He pointed out his grandfather in a photo of a group of teenage boys, stating that was him.

The toddler talked about a sister he never had, but his grandfather did. In fact, he said she was turned into a fish. It was true that his great-aunt had been murdered and her body found in the San Francisco bay. He knew the cause of his grandfather's death. And, when he told his parents he'd come back through a portal, they were astounded that the toddler even knew such a word.

Victim of a Flood Evacuation

A waking past life recall was told in a now defunct forum by Bonita Henderson in 2004. She described a memory of a different family that she knew as her mother and two siblings, although she felt she was too young to talk, much less know their names. She recalled her family was eating at a table, but the woman she felt was her mother seemed very anxious and frightened. Hurrying through the meal, they were then evacuated due to a flood. She clearly recalled all of them being loaded into a wooden rowboat, but as a child, didn't understand what was going on.

Checking with her present mother and brother, Bonita verified that no one in her family, including them, had ever evacuated during a flood, much less been in a flood. Still, she's had a very clear memory of that scene and it had been with her all her life. She explained it wasn't until she was 12 years old that her family owned a TV, they never went to the movies, so she knew there was no way she had borrowed the experience from either source.

Flooded parkland

It's Magic

A former unnamed redditor wrote about her neighbor's five-year-old daughter Lily and the connection they had. She explains the family moved, and she went to visit them. Lily took her and another woman up to the attic to show off her new playroom. As soon as Lily walked into the attic, she grabbed a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the floor. She explained to the two women that it was her safe space and that nothing could harm her whenever she sat in it. She said the circle allowed her to make wishes and be safe.

The women were astounded as they watch the child address the four cardinal directions and began wishing good things for each member of her family. The former neighbor instinctively recognized that Lily was doing magic.

Lily asked her why she didn't remember teaching her how to do all that she was doing. The woman had no answer, except a few weeks earlier she had a spontaneous past life recall. She was living in a village where she was a teacher, instructing the villagers on connecting with the forces of nature in order to encourage abundant crops, aid in fertility and childbirth and many other things.

A Buddhist Saint

In 2004, the New York Times reported about a U.S. citizen named Erdne Ombadykow, born of immigrant Kalmyk parents, who went to a monastery to study when he was seven years old. In fact, the young Erdne astounded his parents with his dedication. When the Dalai Lama visited the temple in 1979, Erdne nonchalantly climbed onto his lap.

Eventually, the Dalai Lama declared Erdne to be the reincarnation of Telo Rinpoche, one of Buddhism's greatest Saints that originally lived in India about 500 years ago. Buddhists familiar with the last incarnation of Telo Rinpoche claim that Erdne has most of the same characteristics and personality.

Sisters Reborn as Twins

When the Pollack girls, Joanna 11 and Jaclyn 6, were killed in a car accident on the way to church in Hexham, England, their father was convinced they would return to him and his wife as twins. The possibility of having twin girls was not something the doctors felt was probable, but in spite of that opinion, the couple had twin girls.

In fact, Jennifer was born with a scar across her forehead that Jaclyn had suffered from a bicycle fall when she was only two years old. She also had a brown birthmark shaped like a thumbprint on her left hip, the same as Jaclyn had.

Their mother was convinced the twins were their lost daughters reincarnated when she gave them the dolls their sisters used to play with. The girls recognized the dolls and called them by their names, Mary and Susan; the same names their dead sisters had given the dolls.

Other things the twins new included the town of Hexham that they'd never been to, but was the town Jaclyn and Joanna had lived. They knew all the landmarks of where the school was and the playground, even though these were blocked by buildings and the playground behind a hill.

The 9/11 Victim

On the now defunct spiritual website BeyondReligion.com, reader Vicki Pocock wrote a post detailing how her daughter, at age three, was coloring while Vicki and her husband were watching a documentary about 9/11.

At the time they were watching the documentary, it was almost nine years after the 2001 event. When the documentary began showing the Twin Towers and the scene of the planes crashing into the buildings, their three-year-old daughter looked up at the screen. She calmly announced, "I died there." Her reaction convinced her parents that reincarnation is real.

9-11 grave

Bingo for a Border Guard

A bingo caller, Peter Hume, lived in Birmingham, England when he began dreaming about being a border guard in Cromwell's army, stationed along the Scottish border in the year 1646! He knew his name during that lifetime as John Raphael. Undergoing a past life regression hypnosis session, he was able to fill in more details about that lifetime and ended up in the village where he had the most memories.

Working with a village historian, Peter was able to verify details about a church tower he recalled that had a yew tree growing precariously out of it. The tower was no longer part of the modern day church. The tower information wasn't public knowledge, but the historian was able to verify that the tower had existed. Intrigued, the historian accompanied Hume for another regression session, and grilled Hume about that lifetime. Unfortunately, the historian was disappointed that Hume couldn't answer every question asked of him.

Reincarnated Civil War Soldier

Reddit user, war-scribe, tells about his pal, he believes, was a Civil War soldier who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. The friend didn't believe in the paranormal, especially reincarnation. However, the 50-year-old admitted he had a lifelong dream of standing in a field of rolling hills.

He could see a single tree along a wooden fence. Although he was a young boy, he marched with a group of men. It wasn't until on a family vacation to Gettysburg and the battlefield that he recognized the vantage point he'd dreamed about his entire life. It was the Union high water line. It was an exact match to the one in his dream.

The storyteller felt it was a clear sign of reincarnation and a past life memory, although his buddy denied it being any more than a dream and a coincidence.

Living a Fulfilling Life

In the book Ripples, Jenny Smedley describes living with depression for many years until one day she saw Garth Brooks for the first time on television. Instantly, her depression lifted completely. She decided to become a songwriter and a very successful one.

With her depression gone, she went on to live a fulfilling life. Hypnotherapy and events proved that her past life memories were real and had a lasting impact on her life. Eventually, she revealed that Garth Brooks had been her soul mate in a 1600 lifetime. She shares her journey and self-discovery in her book.

The Jewish Escapee

One woman tells of a vivid memory of being a Jewish woman in Germany or Austria who was arrested, along with her husband, and boarded the trains with other prisoners. During a transfer at one particular train station, she boldly stepped out of line and entered a crowd of townspeople, unnoticed by the Nazi guards.

She slipped into the town and escaped the fate of the rest of the prisoners. Unfortunately, during her time living among other escapees in the town underground hiding place, she eventually succumbed to the terrible cold weather and died of exposure.

Famous Hollywood Agent Reincarnated

At five years old, Ryan, a young boy living in the Midwest, claimed to have lived before. He begged his mother to take him home to Hollywood. He recounted meeting various movie stars, such as Rita Hayworth. He claimed to have danced in Broadway shows and explained how he helped people change their names. Some believe he is the reincarnation of the famous Hollywood agent, Marty Martyn, since researchers verified 55 details the child gave.

Dr. Jim Tucker, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia, investigated Ryan's claims. His team researched the details Ryan gave of his life as Marty Martyn. Ryan recognized Marty in a photo. The conclusion was that Ryan had some details slightly wrong, but the majority were spot on. Ryan talked about two sisters, which Marty had two sisters. He talked about dancing with his sister on Broadway, which Marty did. Many other details about Marty's life were accurate.

Caught Between Bootleggers and G-Men

The following past life recall comes from the author Sally Painter.

"I participated in a privately funded, three-year paranormal/past life research project. I was regressed almost weekly during that period and discovered many past lives and other profound spiritual insights. One of my past lives ended with my murder in 1929. That lifetime and its many details were recounted by two other project participants during separate sessions. None of us knew about each other's regression session data until later, when the doctor compiled and compared his notes. The doctor was also in that lifetime and was my bodyguard.

My aunt ran a brothel and booze house in New York City, and I lived with her when I was a teenager. My father was a booze runner (bootlegger) bringing beer and rum over from Canada via Lake Ontario from Kingston into New York. He filtered everything through my aunt's brothel.

In 1927, I married an undercover agent for a U.S. Attorney assigned to infiltrate the bootlegging mafia. I had no idea who he was when we fell in love. By the time I discovered he was investigating my family, we were happy and expecting our first child, and I was estranged from my family.

One February morning in 1929, my husband, my bodyguard, and I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio for a secret government meeting on his findings. I had severe morning sickness and persuaded my bodyguard to go down the street to buy some lemon drops if I agreed not to budge from the waiting area. However, I grew sicker and decided I'd lie down in the back seat of our car parked in front of the building. As I approached the vehicle, the car suicide doors flew open, and I was shot several times in the abdomen by a former gangster boyfriend in retaliation of my husband's subterfuge. I unknowingly interrupted his plans to kill all three of us.

The other regression subjects witnessed my murder and recounted the same scene. The same minute details given included everyone's clothing, even a woman's V-shaped dress sleeve trimmed in gold. Each described my bodyguard dropping the paper bag of lemon drops in the street as he fired at my assassin, who jumped into a getaway car.

We were able to verify details of the time period clothing and the booze running route. Which none of us knew anything about prior to the regressions. It turned out that alcohol was smuggled to a small island off of Kingston that was known as Main Duck Island. We identified a man named in a couple of sessions - Dutch. A crime boss, Dutch Schultz was a bootlegger and racketeer in New York City. I knew nothing of the 1920s criminals other than the Valentine's Day massacre, Bonnie and Clyde, and Al Capone. That was the extent of my knowledge of Prohibition and the 1920s, other than interior design elements.

We hit a roadblock with our last names. All three of us only gave our first names, and these were nicknames, since the three of us were involved in illegal activities. Even under regression, we were tight-lipped and still protective of our identities. My name was Lucille, nicknamed Lu or Lulu. My husband's name was Richard, but when the doctor asked, I gave several last names. When pressured, Lu told the doctor she would never give him Richard's last name. Never! It was almost comical, since I was the one who wanted those names the most.

Fascinating Past Life Experiences

If you've ever wondered about reincarnation and if you had a past life, hearing the stories of those who recalled their past lives can be fascinating. Reading each story can give you a glimpse into the possibility that you may have lived before.

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15 Past Life Experiences That’ll Captivate & Perplex You