University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies Research Children and Claims of Reincarnation

I often find myself looking into the latest research on the paranormal by Universities.  Universities have means that a lot of paranormal groups don’t have, and I’m always curious to see how the science of the paranormal is changing or not changing.  One recent research endeavor brought me to the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies research on children and claims of reincarnation.  I found it fascinating!  Here is their explanation of their study…

In many parts of the world, some young children, usually between the ages of 2 and 5, speak about a previous life they claim to have lived. At the same time they often show behavior, such as a phobia, that is unusual in their family and/or not explained by any current life events but that seems concordant with the child’s statements about a previous life. In many cases of this type the child’s statements have been shown to correspond accurately to facts in the life and death of a deceased person; in many of these cases the families concerned have had no contact before the case developed. Some of the children have birthmarks and birth defects that correspond to wounds or other marks on the deceased person whose life a child remembers. In numerous cases postmortem reports have confirmed these correspondences. Older children may retain these apparent memories, but generally they seem to fade around the age of 7 .

The Division staff have been investigating these cases since 1961 and have published numerous articles and books about them. There is also a list of books on reincarnation which includes one book about Dr. Stevenson’s work by an editor at the Washington Post. The young subjects of these cases have been found most readily in certain parts of the world, such as South Asia. They are, however, also found in other areas of the world, and the Division has studied many cases in Europe and North America. We are interested in hearing about cases with any of the elements discussed here. See Contacting Us.  If you are a parent seeking advice about your child who seems to remember a previous life then see Advice to Parents.

Types of Statements a Child Might Make in This Kind of Case

Statements made by a child who seems to be remembering a previous life can be quite varied. The following is not an exhaustive list by any means. It is designed to give an idea of the kinds of things a parent or caregiver might hear, and in our Western culture, tend to dismiss as fantasy. It is also true that a child might say one or more of these things and not be remembering a previous life. It is probably best not to pump a child for information, nor to try and prevent him or her from saying such things.

  • “You’re not my mommy/daddy.”
  • “I have another mommy/daddy.”
  • “When I was big, I …(used to have blue eyes/had a car, etc.).”
  • “That happened before I was in mommy’s tummy.”
  • “I have a wife/husband/children.”
  • “I used to…(drive a truck/live in another town, etc.)”
  • “I died … (in a car accident/after I fell, etc.)”
  • “Remember when I …(lived in that other house/was your daddy, etc.)”

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