The Book 4th Edition
'The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism.
Sir William Osler MD
The modern evidence for reincarnation comes from past life
regression, spontaneous recall of past lives, transmission
of information from the afterlife, Theosophy, Edgar Cayce,
and recent translation of Sanskrit texts. However in keeping
with the scientific emphasis of this book concentration
will be made on past-life regression, and spontaneous recall
of past lives.
Some who do not accept re-incarnation argue that the evidence
can be explained by possession or spirit influence. That
may be so.
It is not the purpose of this book to argue either for
or against reincarnation—simply to present some fascinating
evidence. But whether you take the reincarnation view or
the spirit possession view, the evidence builds more strongly
the case for life after death.
Past life regressions
Past life regression simply involves placing a person under
hypnosis and asking them to go back through their childhood
to a time before they were born. In many cases the person
begins talking about his or her life or lives before the
present lifetime, about their previous death and about the
time between lives including the planning of the present
The main reason why at least some of these claims must
be considered as evidence are:
• the regression frequently leads to a cure of
a physical illness
• in some cases the person regressed begins to speak
an unlearned foreign language
• in some cases the person being regressed remembers
details of astonishing accuracy which when checked out
are verified by the top historians
• the emotional intensity of the experience is such
that it convinces many formerly skeptical psychiatrists
who are used to dealing with fantasy and imagined regressions
• in some cases the alleged cause of death in an
immediate past life is reflected by a birthmark in the
By 1950 past life regression was being accepted by doctors
who had previously been total skeptics because it worked.
As Dr Alexander Cannon wrote:
For years the theory of reincarnation was a nightmare
to me and I did my best to disprove it... Yet as the years
went by one subject after another told me the same story
in spite of different and varied conscious beliefs. Now
well over a thousand cases have been investigated and
I have to admit that there is such a thing as reincarnation
' (cited Fisher 1986: 65).
Psychiatrists all over the world have found that regression
Dr Gerald Edelstein, psychologist:
These experiences (past life regressions), for reasons
I cannot explain, almost always lead to rapid improvements
in the patient (cited Fisher 1986: 65).
The very well known clinical psychologist,
Dr Edith Fiore of the United States, says:
If someone's phobia is eliminated instantly and permanently
by his remembrance of an event from the past (life), it
makes logical sense that the event must have happened
(cited Fisher 1986: 65).
Dr Morris Netherton, who was raised as a fundamentalist
Methodist, has successfully used the method on 8,000 patients.
He was initially skeptical but as a result of his experience
is now convinced of the effectiveness of past life regression.
His patients, who included both priests and physicists,
are almost always skeptical at first but this had no effect
on the effectiveness of the treatment. He says:
Many people go away believing in reincarnation as a result
of their experience ...What is the logical answer? That
it actually is happened! (cited Fisher 1986: 65).
Dr Arthur Guirdham, English psychiatrist, maintains that
he has been a skeptic ever since he was nicknamed 'Doubting
Thomas' as a boy. But after his experience of 44 years doing
hypnotic regressions he claims:
If I didn't believe in reincarnation on the evidence
I'd received I'd be mentally defective' (cited Fisher
Dr Helen Wambach was a skeptic who in 1975 undertook a
major study of past life regressions in order to find out
once and for all if there was any truth to reincarnation.
By doing a scientific analysis on the past lives reported
by her 10,000 plus volunteers she came up with some startling
evidence in favor of reincarnation:
• 50.6 % of the past lives reported were male and
49.4 % were female—this is exactly in accordance
with biological fact
• the number of people reporting upper class or
comfortable lives was in exactly the same proportion to
the estimates of historians of the class distribution
of the period
• the recall by subjects of clothing, footwear,
type of food and utensils used was better than that in
popular history books. She found over and over again that
her subjects knew better than most historians—when
she went to obscure experts her subjects were invariably
Her conclusion was: ‘I don't believe in reincarnation—I
know it!’(Wambach 1978).
It may surprise the reader that Russian psychiatrists are
also using past life regression. Dr Varvara Ivanova, held
in high esteem by Russian scientists and writers, is only
one of a number of psychiatrists who are successfully using
past life regression for therapy (Whitton and Fisher 1987).
Of the research I have done over the years, the most impressive
hypnotherapist I have come across in showing how past life
regression is linked with reincarnation is psychologist
and former skeptic Peter Ramster from Sydney, Australia.
The following information is taken from Peter Ramster's
very important book, In Search of Lives Past (1990) and
from a speech he gave to the Australian Hypnotherapists
ninth National Convention at the Sydney Sheraton Wentworth
Hotel on the 27th March, 1994 and from the films he made
In 1983 he produced a stunning television documentary in
which four women from Sydney, who had never been out of
Australia, gave details under hypnosis of their past lives.
Then, accompanied by television cameras and independent
witnesses, they were taken to the other side of the world.
One of the subjects involved was Gwen MacDonald, a staunch
skeptic before her regression. She remembered a life in
Somerset between 1765-82. Many facts about her life in Somerset
which would be impossible to get out of a book were confirmed
in front of witnesses when she was taken there:
• when taken blindfolded to the area in Somerset
she knew her way around perfectly although she had never
been out of Australia
• she was able to correctly point out in three directions
the location of villages she had known
• she was able to direct the film crew as to the
best ways to go far better than the maps
• she knew the location of a waterfall and the place
where stepping stones had been. The locals confirmed that
the stepping stones had been removed about 40 years before
• she pointed out an intersection where she claimed
that there had been five houses. Enquiries proved that
this was correct and that the houses had been torn down
30 years before and that one of the houses had been a
'cider house' as she claimed
• she knew correctly names of villages as they were
200 years ago even though on modern maps they do not exist
or their names have been changed
• the people she claimed that she knew were found
to have existed?one was listed in the records of the regiment
she claimed he belonged to
• she knew in detail of local legends which were
confirmed by Somerset historians
• she used correctly obscure obsolete west country
words no longer in use, no longer even in dictionaries,
words like 'tallet' meaning a loft
• she knew that the local people called Glastonbury
Abbey 'St Michaels'—a fact that was only proved
by reading an obscure 200 year old history book not available
• she was able to correctly describe the way a group
of Druids filed up Glastonbury Hill in a spiral for their
spring ritual, a fact unknown to most university historians
• she knew that there were two pyramids in the grounds
of Glastonbury Abbey which have long since disappeared
• she correctly described in Sydney carvings that
were found in an obscure old house 20 feet from a stream,
in the middle of five houses about one and a half miles
from Glastonbury Abbey
• she had been able to draw in detail in Sydney
the interior of her Glastonbury house which was found
to be totally correct
• she described an inn that was on the way to the
house. It was found to be there
• she was able to lead the team direct to the house
which is now a chicken shed. No-one knew what was on the
floor until it was cleaned. However on the floor they
found the stone that she had drawn in Sydney
• the locals would come in every night to quiz her
on local history?she knew the answers to all the questions
they were asking such as the local problem which was a
big bog—cattle were being lost there.
Cynthia Henderson, another subject of Peter Ramster, remembered
a life during the French Revolution. When under trance she:
• spoke in French without any trace of an accent
• understood and answered questions put to her in
• used dialect of the time
• knew the names of streets which had changed and
were only discoverable on old maps.
Peter Ramster has many other documented cases of past life
regression which in very clear terms constitute technical
evidence for the existence of the afterlife.
Spontaneous Past Life Recall
The internationally acclaimed Shanti Devi case is one of
the most spectacular cases in the history of spontaneous
past life recall. This was a case in India that began in
1930, long before Dr Stevenson began doing his own research.
However, he did review the case from the available extensive
documented information and stated that Shanti Devi made
at least 24 accurate statements of her memories which matched
confirmed facts (Reincarnation International, Jan. 1994
No 1 Lon).
At the age of four in 1930 in Delhi, India, Shanti Devi
began to mention certain details about clothes, food, people,
incidents, places which surprised her parents. Briefly,
Shanti mentioned the following which were later verified
to be true. She:
• identified herself as
Lugdi who used to live in Muttra, 128 kilometres away
• spoke the dialect of that area without having learned
• claimed to have given birth to a son and died ten
days later, events which it was later found did happen to
• when taken to Muttra recognized her husband of her
former life, Kedar Nath, and spoke of many things they did
• was able to identify with accuracy a number of landmarks
where she used in live in the previous life in Muttra
• was able to correctly state how the furniture was
placed when she used to live there in her home
• knew that in her former life where she had hidden
150 rupees in an underground corner of a room for safe keeping
in the house. The husband of the previous life, Kedar Nath,
confirmed that although the money was not there he was responsible
for taking it himself
• correctly identified Lugdi's former parents from
a large crowd.
This case was so impressive to the authorities that a committee
of prominent persons, which included a prominent politician,
a lawyer and a managing director of a newspaper, was formally
organized to investigate it. The committee was more than
satisfied that Shanti knew things that she could not have
obtained knowledge about by cheating, fraud or in any illegitimate
way. None of the members of the committee knew Shanti or
had any connection with her in any way whatsoever. Their
definitive verdict was in very clear terms that all the
evidence was conclusive proof of reincarnation.
The case became internationally known and attracted the
attention of many, many sociologists and writers. For example,
in the 1950s a Swedish writer, Sture Lonnerstrand, traveled
to India to meet Shanti Devi and to continue to investigate
for himself the documented facts. He too came to an irreversible
conclusion that the Shanti Devi case is a foolproof case
for reincarnation (Reincarnation International,
Jan. 1994 No 1 Lon).
Arthur Guirdham and Mrs. Smith
An English case that convinced many experts including the
psychiatrist Dr Arthur Guirdham, was that of Mrs. Smith,
a perfectly sane ordinary English housewife who for years
had been suffering from terrible nightmares of being burned
at the stake (Guirdham 1970).
She gave Dr Guirdham copies of drawings and verses of songs
she had written as a schoolgirl. Experts in Medieval French
confirmed that she was writing in langue doc, the language
of Southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
She went on to astonish experts with her knowledge of the
Cathars in Touluse who had been persecuted by the forces
of the Inquisition. She reproduced word for word in 1944
songs which were only discovered in archives in 1967; she
knew historical details which only came to light later upon
the most painstaking investigation such as:
• correct drawings of old French coins, jewelry
and the layout of buildings
• correct details of the family and social relationships
of people who do not appear in text-books but who were
ultimately traced though the records of the Inquisition
• that the crypt of a certain church was used to
hold religious prisoners
• details of rituals and religious dress.
So impressed was Professor Nellie, the greatest living
authority on the period, that he advised Guirdham that in
future when there was conflict between the accepted historical
view and the memories of his patient, he should 'go by the
Guirdham later went on to discover several other people
close to him who all shared the same memories that he documented
in his book The Cathars and Reincarnation. He went from
being a total skeptic nicknamed 'doubting Thomas' to putting
his considerable professional reputation on the line to
lecture his colleagues in the British medical profession
about 'Reincarnation and the Practice of Medicine' (Guirdham
Dr Ian Stevenson
The scientific research into reincarnation by Dr Ian Stevenson,
Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia Medical
School, is most brilliant. Specifically, he has investigated
what is known as 'spontaneous past life recall'.
Over a number of years Dr Stevenson interviewed over four
thousand children from the United States, England, Thailand,
Burma, Turkey, Lebanon, Canada, India and other places,
who claimed that they could remember a number of incidents
from a past life. Procedural scientific investigation included
the checking and analysis (where relevant) of documents,
letters, autopsy records, birth and death certificates,
hospital records, photographs, newspaper reports and the
Medical records are important especially when a child claims
to have been murdered in a past lifetime, as Stevenson found
that in cases of violent death the child may show a birthmark
where he was knifed, shot or whatever caused his death.
An example of one of Dr Stevenson's birthmark cases is
that of Ravi Shankar. He recalled being horrifically decapitated
as a child by a relative who was hoping that he would inherit
the child's father's wealth. The reborn child was found
to have a birthmark encircling his neck. When his claim
was investigated it was found that the person he claimed
to have been, did in fact die by decapitation.
A second case involves a child in Turkey who recalled
being a robber who when about to be captured by the police
had committed suicide, shooting himself with a rifle by
placing the muzzle against his right underside of the chin.
The child who claimed to remember his life was born with
a very distinct mark under his chin. On further investigation,
he was found to have another birthmark on top of his head
exactly where the bullet would have exited. When Dr Stevenson
was investigating this particular case in Turkey, an old
man informed Stevenson that he remembered the incident and
testified as to the condition of the shot body.
What is to be kept in mind is that Dr Stevenson put his
considerable reputation on the line when he introduced his
scientific work to the world through most prestigious psychiatric
journals like The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
(September 1977) and The American Journal of Psychiatry
(December 1979). He published several volumes about past
life recall and each time a volume was published, greater
detailed confirmation was accumulating for his evidence
Stevenson's scientific research shook the academic world
out of its usual skeptical complacency. It was one of the
first times that a scientist with an established reputation
in the physical sciences produced clear evidence for reincarnation
and inevitably for the afterlife.
Of course, there were those who tried to criticize Dr Stevenson's
research, but the critics were NOT scientists, nor did they
have the necessary technical substance to deal with the
scientific method used by Dr Stevenson. Many of these minor
critics hold a particular belief system which is intrinsically
hostile to reincarnation.
There were others who repeated the criticism leveled at
Stevenson without first examining for themselves Stevenson's
scientific work. For example, in Paul Tabori and Phyllis
Raphael's book, Beyond the Senses?a report on psychical
research in the sixties (1971) a former 'prominent' member
of the Society for Psychical Research, George Medhurst,
admits in answer to a question put to him that he knew very
little about Dr Stevenson's work, but he says, and notice
very carefully the blatant unfounded hostility against Stevenson's
I know only a little about these (Stevenson's) researches.
I know that there have been some criticism about the results
reported.... it has been said... that Stevenson would
not have the right sort of contact with the people with
whom he was dealing (1971:216).
First, George Medhurst admits technical ignorance of Stevenson's
scientific research. Secondly, he is relying on somebody
else to criticize Stevenson. Thirdly, Medhurst does not
identify this somebody else, if there was somebody else.
Medhurst accepts the criticism as valid, otherwise he would
not have repeated it. This kind of intellectual dishonesty
and cheating by Medhurst is an indication of the extent
some of these closed-minded skeptics will go to in order
to denigrate great scientific work.
By contrast there were objective scientists with national
reputations who attested to the professionalism and high
credibility of Dr Stevenson's strict adherence to scientific
method. These include Professor Dr. Albert J. Stunkard,
Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University
of Pennsylvania. Among other most positive statements, he
Dr. Stevenson is the most critical man I know of working
in that sphere, and perhaps the most thoughtful, with
a knack for building research appropriate investigative
Professor Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler, of the City College
at the City University of New York says among other things:
Stevenson is a most careful and conscientious person
of great intellectual ability and high professional standards.
He has a most painstaking approach to collection and analysis
of raw data.
Professor Dr Herbert S Ripley, Chairman of the Department
of Psychiatry at the University of Washington in Seattle,
I think very highly of Stevenson. I regard him as thorough
and honest. We are lucky, I feel, to have someone of his
ability and high integrity investigating this controversial
Dr Harold Lief in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
(September, 1977) says among other things:
Either he is making a colossal mistake... or he will
be known as the Galileo of the 20th century.
Dr Stevenson became interested in spontaneous past life
recall when, at the pinnacle of his profession as a psychiatrist,
he found that traditional remedies in psychiatry were too
restricted and did not deal effectively with the problems
of the patients. He found many cases that could not be satisfactorily
explained by genetics, environmental influences or a combination
One very convincing case investigated by Dr Stevenson was
the Brazilian case of Marta Lorenz, who at the age of one
year recognized a friend of her parents with the words 'Hello,
Papa.' At around two she began talking about details of
a previous life as her mother's best friend, the daughter
of the family friend she had recognized. Many of these details
were not known to the child's mother but were later confirmed
by several different people.
She remembered one hundred and twenty separate and unrelated
details about her previous life as Maria de Olivero, including
details of what Maria had told her best friend (Marta’s
mother) immediately before she died—that she would
try to be reborn as her best friend's daughter and that
as soon as she was old enough would relate many details
of her former life (Stevenson 1974).
In Lebanon, Stevenson went unannounced into a Druse village
and asked the villagers if they knew of any cases where
children talked of past lives. He was referred—again
without any prior warning—to the home of five-year-old
Imad Elawar. Since the age of one Imad had reportedly been
talking incessantly about a former life in a village twenty-five
At age one his first words had been the names 'Jamileh'
and 'Mahmoud'; at the age of two he had stopped a stranger
in the street identified him as a former neighbor.
Stevenson interviewed the child and the parents and recorded
over fifty-seven separate claims about his former life.
When Stevenson went with the boy and his father to the other
village to investigate the boy's claims it took them several
days to locate the boy's former house. No prior contact
with the relatives had been made. However:
• Imad was able to make thirteen correct statements
and identifications about his former life including photographs
of himself and his brother
• he recognized photographs of his former uncle,
Mahmoud, and his former mistress, a prostitute named Jamileh
• he was able to point out details of where he had
kept his rifle—a secret known only to his mother—and
of how his bed had been arranged during his last illness
• he stopped a stranger and had a long talk with
him about their experiences together in their army service.
In all Stevenson calculates that of the fifty-seven claims
Imad had made about his former life, fifty-one could be
verified (Stevenson 1978).
When critics are confronted with this most convincing evidence
for reincarnation, they try to explain the results away.
They claim it was caused by extrasensory perception, by
telepathy or clairvoyance—'the child was able to tune
in to the people around him and lifted from them all the
information they had about the circumstances'. In the alternative,
skeptics have argued, the whole thing could be fraud, cryptomnesia,
spirit possession, fantasy, paramnesia, inherited memory/collective
unconscious. Let us examine, as Ian Stevenson did, each
of these arguments in turn (Stevenson 1977).
Initially, anyone who suggests that these children are
tapping into the memories of living people would have to
concede the existence of extrasensory perception, also known
as telepathy or thought transference. This concession alone
greatly weakens the position of the skeptic because for
decades skeptics have been arguing, and still argue, that
ESP and telepathy do not exist! Either ESP exists or it
does not exist.
Further, Dr Stevenson claims, if children do have extrasensory
powers they either do possess them generally or they don't.
It is simply not logically consistent for the skeptic to
say that a person has ESP for some things and not for others,
that the children can have ESP in relation to their alleged
past lives but not in relation to anything else.
Stevenson continues to explain that in context of what
is known about ESP where mediums and sensitives are concerned,
these children would have to have 'super ESP'. This is because
in some cases, the children give significant amounts of
information, extending the existing boundaries of all presently
known cases of ESP.
In most cases the children would have to tap the memories
of not just the one person, but of many people because the
information is not stored with just one person. This would
entail being able to read the minds of different people
who would each have some of the information. Stevenson says
that 'all the known information did not reside in a single
No amount of ESP can explain the behavioral change of these
children. In many instances the children take on the personalities
they claim to have been. This is something that cannot be
obtained by using ESP. Stevenson explains that it is difficult
for any critic not acquainted with these cases to understand
the 'magnitude of these features of behavior and personation'.
Another particular difficulty for the critic claiming ESP
is the fact that many times children often reveal how things
were when they were alive not how they are now. You have
read above about the very famous case of Shanti Devi, who
claimed that when she was alive in a previous life she had
hidden 150 rupees in the corner of the room in the house
where she used to live. While investigators dug in the place
and no money was to be found, her former husband shamefully
admitted that he was responsible for removing the money.
If she had been 'tapping into his mind' she would have known
Birthmarks and deformities in the children are clearly
beyond any scope of ESP explanation. These children, according
to Dr Stevenson, often point to a mark or marks on their
body and explain that is where they were shot or mutilated.
Parents attest that these marks were present from infancy.
Other children born with deformities or missing limbs or
missing fingers claim that these deformities indicate what
caused their previous deaths.
In a number of cases Stevenson was able to have had access
to hospital records to confirm these claims. Accordingly,
Stevenson was able to make a link between the birthmarks
and the hospital / autopsy records revealing the cause of
Initially one has to take into consideration the qualifications,
the professionalism, the caliber and the integrity of one
of America's foremost scientific investigators. Dr Stevenson
has a long track record as a highly professional scientific
investigator, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. In addition,
years of interviewing thousands of witnesses gave him enormous
practical experience in detecting fraud. He himself wrote
textbooks on psychiatric examination and diagnostic interviewing.
He says that his interviews and cross-examinations of so
many children and witnesses clearly reveal that it would
be a gigantic, a Herculean task for anyone to try to organize
the situation, the coaching of the parents, relatives, friends,
witnesses—sometimes the number involved is over fifty
people and even more.
Then there would have to be the staging of the emotions
when there is a reunion of the child with the loved ones
of his former life. The staging of the intense emotions
of these situations is outside the human capacity to structure
'on site'. Having interviewed thousands of 'reborn' children,
Dr Stevenson adds that, 'small children are not easy to
coach for the assumptions of the roles that do not seem
natural to them'.
Stevenson publicly stated that he does not give money to
any of the people involved and consistently applies his
policy that no payment is to be made for any testimony.
Nor is publicity given as some incentive to co-operate.
Dr Stevenson has always been fully aware that the scientific
investigations he conducted would be scrutinized in the
minutest detail by other scientists, by outsiders and by
those with vested interests who would not want him to succeed
and who would try to denigrate and undermine his scientific
investigations into the afterlife and reincarnation.
This simply means that the reborn child had learnt in this
lifetime what he is saying about some previous life. The
claim is that, consciously or unconsciously, the reborn
child must have read the information, or heard about it,
or been told about it, but forgotten it.
Dr Stevenson explains that some of the original information
from some of the reborn children, especially from those
who were as young as two years, was not known to those around
the reborn child. From Stevenson's own observation, the
child on learning to say a few words would start to talk
about his or her previous life. This greatly reduces the
other possibilities where the information could have come
Inherited Memory/Collective Unconscious?
One of the most arguments most frequently expressed by
the critics of spontaneous past life recall is that the
allegedly reborn child has actually 'inherited memories'.
This means that instead of the child having been re-born,
the child is in fact remembering the life of one of his
ancestors. It is claimed that somehow that ancestor's memories
of different things the child is recalling have been genetically
transmitted. Alternatively, the critics say that the child
is getting his information through the 'collective unconscious'.
Stevenson very convincingly rebuts these arguments by explaining
that what is so far recorded about any information coming
from the 'collective unconscious' is very general. For example,
someone might remember a great flood in some very distant
land. Stevenson points out that although there are some
isolated cases of the 'collective unconscious' these lack
specific and minute details of the re-born child.
The genetic, the 'inherited memory' argument, has fundamental
flaws. If a person was remembering the life of one of his
or her ancestors there would have to be both a racial and
geographic link between the remembered life and the life
of the person's ancestors. However many people remember
past lives as members of totally different races.
For the majority of cases, certainly in most of the Asian
ones, Stevenson found that children remembered lives which
ended only a few years before they were born, but in a different
family and village to those of their parents and grandparents.
Secondly, as Stevenson says a parent could only transmit
genetically to his or her offspring memories of events that
had happened to the parent before that child's conception.
It follows, therefore that the memory of a parent's mode
of death could never be inherited.
Some critics of reincarnation have argued that when a child
claims that he or she remembers a past life, what is really
happening is that a discarnate entity, a spirit, is taking
control of the child's mind and the information is really
coming from the spirit and not from the allegedly re-born
Dr Stevenson negates this argument by explaining that possession
of young children, especially from two years on is extremely
rare, if it ever occurs. In most of the cases, the children
make certain 'past life' statements quite spontaneously,
fully conscious and definitely not in a trance or in any
altered state of consciousness. Anybody familiar with a
medium in a trance state will notice a change of consciousness
in the medium where the particular personality of the medium
dramatically changes. This does not happen in these cases.
Another reason why the possession argument fails, says
Stevenson, is that it doesn’t explain birthmarks.
It is not credible to imagine a spirit imprinting some birthmark
while the child is in the womb or finding an actual person
who died tragically with the same marks as the child in
order to tell the child about that particular life.
And further still, why is it that the re-born child shows
amazement at how some relative he used to know is now much
older, has wrinkles or has no teeth? If there is a spirit
with the child, why doesn’t it recognize its relatives?
And why does the child's knowledge about the relatives and
the buildings around former environment cease exactly with
the time of death of the former life?
Dr Stevenson states that the number of those who remember
a past life is so great that certain specific features can
be discerned. These features transcend national boundaries
and are similar in different parts of the world. As stated
earlier in this argument, the world conspiracy theory—that
all these people got together to concoct similar stories—is
too ridiculous to take seriously.
The following are features in the cases of spontaneous
past life recall that Stevenson investigated. A very good
summary of these is in Cranston and Williams' book Reincarnation—a
New Horizon in Science, Religion and Society (1984):
• age when the memories appear—usually between
two and four
• age when memory fades—almost universally
between five and eight
• behavior more characteristic of an adult than
• claims of strangeness of new body
• typical vivid events remembered
• incidents of violent death in a large percentage
of the cases
• phobia for objects or circumstances causing deaths
in previous life
• changes in people and surroundings detected by
• dreams remembered by the mother or someone close
in the family announcing that the coming child was a reincarnation
• the mothers reporting abnormal appetites or strange
food likes and dislikes during their pregnancy which corresponded
to the likes and dislikes of the person in the former
• the child possessing skills not taught or learned
• birthmarks or deformities.
On the Internet
Dr. Ian Stevenson http://www.childpastlives.org/stevenson_books.htm
contains an annotated list of his major works
Dr Ian Stevenson Articles and Cases http://www.childpastlives.org/stevenson_articles.htm
contains easy to read interviews with him about his work.
University of Virginia Children’s Past Lives Research
For Books and Papers on Reincarnation go to University
of Virginia Health Science Centre Division of Personality
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