5 Creepy Stories That Will Actually Make You Wonder If Past Lives Exist

Ashley Batz/Bustle

People have all sorts of beliefs about life after death, but how many of these beliefs can actually be verified? Well, in the case of reincarnation, people have tried to do just that. Psychologists, researchers, and people who claim to remember past lives themselves have looked for evidence of past lives, and some of it is surprisingly compelling.

"I have seen people be able to validate specific details historically that they saw or experienced during their past life regression," spiritual development life coach Michelle Brock tells Bustle. "Some of these instances include being able to recognize a military uniform they were wearing during a war they described, mentioning a specific name of a place that they later discovered was a real archeological site that matched what they saw, or I even had one client find a newspaper article that seemed to contain what she felt was her own obituary from 1955 based on details she saw and knew during her past-life regression."

Hypnotist Scott Schmaren has seen similar phenomena. "A woman experiencing a past life was able to get the name of the person who's life it was," he tells Bustle. "After the regression, she was able to research and find that the actual person existed and the details she gave were accurate."

Historical accuracy aside, people tend to find past-life regressions useful, says Brock. "Even if my clients aren't sure if they believe in past lives, they always leave a past life regression session with the knowledge of what it means or what the message was in their current lives today," she says. "I have witnessed thousands of people over the years experience their past lives through past life regression, and although they see or say things that line up or make sense historically, or even remember being or knowing someone who was a notable figure in history, the fact that the experience is so intense and moving emotionally for them and that they experience it as if it were actually happening to them is the most compelling of all."

If you're entertaining the possibility that past lives are real, here are a few stories that might actually convince you they are.


This Little Boy's Memory Of Being A Pilot

According to ABC News, James Leininger began waking up screaming when he was two. When his parents asked him what the matter was, he'd say, "Airplane crash on fire, little man can't get out." When he was three, he checked over his toy plane like a pilot does during a pre-flight check. He also identified a drop tank without ever being told what it was. Under the instruction of counselor and therapist Carol Bowman, James' parents asked him to share his plane-related memories, and the nightmares subsided after that. He said he'd flown a Corsair, which was attacked by Japanese forces and crashed, leading to his death.

James seemed to remember highly specific details from this life. The boat he departed from was called Natoma, he said, and someone named Jack Larson flew on his plane. His dad Bruce discovered that the Navy had an aircraft carrier called The Natoma Bay, and there was a Jack Larson living in Arkansas. James signed drawings "James 3" and said he was shot at World War II's Battle of Iwo Jima — and sure enough, Bruce learned that a man named James M. Huston Jr. was shot and killed at Iwo Jima. James said the plane was hit in the engine, and similarly, a rear gunner on a plane right next to it told ABC News the plane was "hit head on, right in the middle of the engine."


The Client That Made This Psychologist Believe In Past Lives

Psychiatrist Brian Weiss, MD, author of Many Lives, Many Masters, didn't know anything about past lives until a patient known as Catherine, who hadn't believed in past lives either, began regressing back to hers during their sessions, reports Huffington Post. After he was able to confirm the details she shared through public records, he became a believer and started doing past-life regressions himself.

Catherine remembered many lives in detail, including one that sounded like ancient Egypt: "We put the bodies in brine for thirty days. They dry out and the parts are taken out. ... We are wrapping bodies. The soul passes on. You take your belongings with you, to be prepared for the next and greater life." Later, she found herself correcting a museum tour guide's talk about ancient Egypt, and she turned out to be correct.

But the weirdest part was when Catherine talked about the space she occupied in between her lives. She told Weiss that his son's spirit was there watching over him and described the rare heart deformity he died from. Weiss had never told Catherine that his son had died, and that information wasn't publicly available. She also told him that his daughter was named after his father (also true) and accurately described how his father had died.

"It was before the Internet, before you could Google your doctor," Weiss recalled on Oprah. "[My father] never had an obituary. … Our best friends didn’t know the details."


This Scientist's Research On Kids Who Remember Past Lives

Ian Stevenson, MD, former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, interviewed kids who remembered past lives. Most famously, he documented 200 children who had birthmarks corresponding to wounds suffered by the people they allegedly used to be, according to medical documents. For example, one boy who remembered being shot in the head had a birthmark on the front of his head and one on the back. One woman who remembered being struck three times with an axe before her death had three linear birthmarks on her back.

In fact, Stevenson noticed that many children who described past lives had odd birthmarks, and only 30-60 percent of them could be explained by genetics, infections, or other physical causes. Thirty-five percent of the children had phobias corresponding to the way they died, and many had a love for another culture's food or clothing.


This Boy's Creepy Memory Of His Wife And Killer

Before Semih Tutusmus was born, his mom had a dream about a man named Selim Fesli with blood on his face, reports Epoch Times. Creepily, Semih identified himself as Selim Fesli when he began talking. This was the name of a man in a nearby village who had died after being shot in the right ear — and Tutusmus's ear was deformed. At age four, Semih went to Tutusmus's widow Katibe's house and said, "I am Selim, you are my wife, Katibe." He would also throw stones at Isa Dirbekli, who admitted to killing Tutusmus, insisting that he'd shot him.


This Three-Year-Old Who Identified His Own Corpse

According to Epoch Times, a three-year-old near the border of Syria and Israel claimed he had been killed by an axe wound to the head and showed his village elders where his body was. Below the spot in the ground he pointed to, they dug up a corpse of a man who had gone missing with a head wound in the same place where this boy had a birthmark, along with an axe. He also named his killer, and the man confessed after being presented with the evidence.

It all really does make you wonder, doesn't it? Whether or not these anecdotes will ever definitively prove past lives, one thing's for sure: They make good stories.