Skip to main content

Is Reincarnation Real? Young Children Recall Past Lives

I have a fascination with ghosts and research into the paranormal, and love writing about it.

Reincarnation completes the concept of “the circle of life.”

Reincarnation completes the concept of “the circle of life.”

As I grew up, I was fascinated by paranormal phenomena from unidentified flying objects (UFOs) to ghosts to reincarnation. Out of these, I didn’t pay much attention to reincarnation. Unlike reported UFO and ghost sightings, there were no pictures or films to examine or firsthand accounts to hear when I considered the legitimacy of reincarnation claims. The concept that someone could return to life in another person’s body was based on hearsay stories that just seemed too far-fetched for me to give much consideration to them.

Why Reincarnation Should Be Taken Seriously

More recently, I’ve come across several accounts of young children that seemingly recalled past lives without prompting and with uncanny accuracy. The children didn’t just describe a dream that occurred once. Their accounts of previous lives continued for many years during their early childhood and often included drawings and specific names of places and deceased people, many of which were later verified as accurate.

The children, who are below the age of seven, without coaching provide elaborate details about the lives of people who have passed away and have apparently reentered life through them. In many cases, the people who have passed away lived far away from where the children are growing up. There is no way the young children could know exact details about other people’s past lives, such as their names, important friends’ names, their favorite places, and the locations deceased people lived. As they grow older, children that are apparently reincarnated tend to lose their memories of their past lives, although when looking at images or when visiting places associated with their past lives, they tend to have a strong reaction well into their teen years, at least.

Given these findings, I realized that the concept of reincarnation should be taken seriously, or perhaps another paranormal or earthly explanation is needed to explain the accurate accounts of past lives given by young children. Perhaps spirits of deceased people are channeling themselves through the children, causing the kids to provide uncannily accurate information about people who previously walked the Earth. There is also the earthly explanation that the accounts of past lives provided by children are simply being made up by their parents or caregivers, who then relay these false stories to the world. However, some of the children have been filmed by investigators telling them about their past lives and appear quite certain and confident in their statements and answers to questions. These cases are quite compelling, as it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for parents or caregivers to coach children as young as two years old into telling fascinating stories about when they lived previously on Earth. Also, many of the parents and caregivers appear to be modest people that don’t appear to be looking for fortune or fame.

Whatever the explanation, the fact that for no apparent reason young children are accurately describing other people’s past lives, deserves further consideration and study.

Is life a truly circular process in which the old are reborn?

Is life a truly circular process in which the old are reborn?

A Documentary That Chronicles Young Children Talking About Their Past Lives

A Netflix series called “Surviving Death” has an episode called “Reincarnation” (Season 1, Episode 6) that details several children who astonished and puzzled their parents as they grew up and told stories about certain locations and persons who lived in the past. The episode includes a child psychiatrist named Jim Tucker from the University of Virginia who studies cases of past-life memories. The psychiatrist helps the families investigate the validity of their children’s apparent connection to persons that were previously alive with startling findings.

The last child reincarnation story featured in the “Reincarnation” episode is quite compelling. It’s about a two-year-old child named James who started having nightmares about a plane on fire. He told his mother, “Before I was born I was a pilot and my airplane got shot in the engine and crashed in the water and that’s how I died.” When his dad asked if he had any friends when he was a pilot, he said “Jack Larson.” He told his dad the Japanese shot his plane down. In response to his dad’s question about where his plane came from, he said a boat named “Natoma.” His dad was shocked to find a U.S. ship named “Natoma Bay” that was in the battle of Iwo Jima against the Japanese during World War 2. One of the Natoma crew members was named “Jack Larson” (the name James said was his friend). He signed his name “James 3.” When his mom asked why he replied, “because I’m the third James.”

The family went to a reunion for people that served on the Natamo in the Battle of Imo Jima. James’ father found out the only pilot killed from the Natoma during the battle of Iwo Jima was named “James M. Huston, Jr.” James’ mother realized that would make her son “James 3.”

Scroll to Continue

A story like this, with all the specific details that young James provided seemingly out of nowhere, makes one wonder if this young boy really is a reincarnated person who was killed at the battle of Iwo Jima.

Navy Pilot James M. Huston, Jr. and James-Leiniger, the boy who is apparently the reincarnation of the pilot who died in WW2.

Navy Pilot James M. Huston, Jr. and James-Leiniger, the boy who is apparently the reincarnation of the pilot who died in WW2.

Medical Studies into Children’s Past Life Recollections

As shown in the “Reincarnation” episode of “Surviving Death,” there are some in the scientific community that take stories told by young children about their past lives seriously. The following is an abstract from Pub Med regarding a scientific paper written about this phenomenon called, “Evidence that suggest the reality of reincarnation” by Ernesto Bonilla that was published in June 2015 in Clinical Research (a publication of the University of Zulia, Venezuela).

“Worldwide, children can be found who reported that they have memories of a previous life. More than 2,500 cases have been studied and their specifications have been published and preserved in the archives of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia (United States). Many of those children come from countries where the majority of the inhabitants believe in reincarnation, but others come from countries with different cultures and religions that reject it. In many cases, the revelations of the children have been verified and have corresponded to a particular individual, already dead. A good number of these children have marks and birth defects corresponding to wounds on the body of his previous personality. Many have behaviors related to their claims to their former life: phobias, philias, and attachments. Others seem to recognize people and places of his supposed previous life, and some of their assertions have been made under controlled conditions. The hypothesis of reincarnation is controversial. We can never say that it does not occur or will obtain conclusive evidence that it happens. The cases that have been described so far, isolated or combined, do not provide irrefutable proof of reincarnation, but they supply evidence that suggest its reality.”

Lifting the veil between life and death by realizing reincarnation could actually be real.

Lifting the veil between life and death by realizing reincarnation could actually be real.

If Reincarnation is Real, It Raises Ethical Questions

The strongest evidence that reincarnation is in fact real comes from young children who appear to recall past lives of people who have passed with great detail and accuracy. Besides contemplating how fascinating it is if reincarnation is actually real, there are some ethical questions that are raised. If anyone you come across in life could be a passed family member that has been reincarnated, should it change how you treat random people? Reincarnation seems to reinforce the concept of the Golden Rule, “treat others how you’d like to be treated” because you never really know who the other people you’re interacting with are. They could actually be relatives that passed on if you accept reincarnation as being real.

Next time you feel déjà vu (a feeling of having already experienced the present situation you are experiencing), perhaps it’s because you’ve actually been there and already have seen what you are seeing when you lived a past life!

Belief in Reincarnation Poll


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 John Coviello

Related Articles