Reincarnation: The incredibly strange case of the Pollock Twins

The Pollock Twins case is an unresolved mystery that will blow your mind even if you don’t believe in life after death at all. For years, this strange case has been regarded by many as convincing proof for reincarnation.

The Pollock Twins
Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967. © Diane Arbus Photography

After two girls died, their mother and father had twins, and they knew such things about their dead sisters that were incredibly strange and eerie at the same time.

Tragedy: The Pollock Sisters Were Killed In An Accident

It was the noon of May 5, 1957, a joyful Sunday for the Pollock family, who were heading to the traditional mass celebrated at the church of Hexham, an old English town. The parents, John and Florence Pollock, had been left behind. They had not resisted the anxious steps of their daughters Joanna (11 years old) and Jacqueline (6 years old). They both wanted to secure a privileged place at the ceremony.

Pollock Twins
John and Florence Pollock owned and managed a small grocery business and a milk delivery service in England ©

Despite their plans, that day they never made it to the mass. A few blocks from the church, recklessness prevented them. Their haste did not allow them to see the car that was about to cross the turning, which rammed them both and, on the spot, both Joanna and Jacqueline were killed on the asphalt.

Joanna and Jacqueline Pollock, who had died tragically in a car accident © MRU
Joanna and Jacqueline Pollock, who had died tragically in a car accident © MRU

The parents went through the saddest year of their lives. Destroyed by the premature losses of their daughters, they wanted to start a family again. Fate would surprise them. Florence had become pregnant. Not one, but two, she was carrying two twin girls in her womb.

The Pollock Twins

On October 4, 1958, the 9 months of pregnancy passed; that day, Gillian was born and, a few minutes later, Jennifer. The joy gave way to surprise when their parents began to observe them carefully. They were identical, but birthmarks were etched on their small bodies. Jennifer had a spot on her forehead. Right in the same place where his older sister that he never knew, Jacqueline, had a scar. Both also coincided with a mark on the waist.

Pollock twins
Gillian and Jennifer Pollock are the supposed reincarnations of their older sisters who died in a car accident © Flickr

Gillian, the other twin, had neither of those two birthmarks. It could happen, they thought. It would be at some point in the pregnancy that the badges were generated, they wanted to believe. Three months after giving birth, the family decided to move to White Bay in search of leaving behind the sad past, to finally find the peace they longed for.

Remembering The Past Events

At two years old, when the girls had acquired a rudimentary language, they began to ask for toys from their late sisters even though they had never heard of them. When their father gave them the dolls that he kept in the attic, the twins named them Mary and Susan. The same names that they had been given, long ago, by their older sisters.

Pollock twins
The twins could identify Joanna and Jacqueline’s toys by name © Flickr

The twins began to differ in their behaviour. Gillian, who emulated the oldest of the deceased, assumed a leadership role over Jennifer, who remembered Jacqueline and followed her sister’s directions without question. The clues turned dark when the Pollocks decided to return to their hometown.

When The Twins Returned To Hexham

At Hexham, the reaction was instantaneous. The two, in unison, asked to visit an amusement park that obsessed their sisters and described it in detail as if they themselves had visited it repeatedly. When they arrived at the house, they recognized every corner of the home, even their neighbours. Their parents said that they acted and spoke the same way their first two daughters did.

Dr. Stevenson’s Research On The Pollock Twins

When it was no longer possible to look the other way and pretend that what was happening was normal, the twins eventually attracted the attention of Dr. Ian Stevenson (1918 -2007), a psychologist who studied reincarnation in children. In 1987, he wrote a book called “Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation.” In it, he described 14 cases of reincarnation, including that of the Pollock girls.

Dr. Ian Stevenson, pollock twins
Dr. Ian Stevenson studied the girls from 1964 to 1985. He noted that the twins seemed to even have taken on the personalities of their older sisters © Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia

Stevenson said that he preferred working with children because “reincarnated adults” were more likely to be influenced by external and fantasy factors, coming from books, movies or even memories of their relatives that they incorporated as their own. The children, on the other hand, acted spontaneously. Nothing conditioned them.

The Unpredictable Yet Strange Behaviours Of The Pollock Twins Sometimes Shocked Their Parents

In the case of the Pollock twins, their parents never understood the dimension of the phenomenon. At just 4 years old, the girls were afraid of the cars that were circulating. They were always too afraid to cross the street. “The car is coming for us!” ― they often yelled. On one occasion, in addition, John and Florence listened to the girls while they were talking about the tragedy of May 5, 1957.

“I don’t want it to happen to me again. It was horrible. My hands were full of blood, as were my nose and mouth. I couldn’t breathe,” Jennifer told her sister. “Don’t remind me,” Gillian replied. “You looked like a monster and something red came out of your head.”

Strangely, All That Vivid Memories Were Erased As The Twins Grew Up

When the Pollock twins became 5 years old ― a typical threshold to which reincarnation extends, according to some belief ― their lives were no longer tied to their dead sisters. Their memories of previous lives were totally erased forever, as if they had never been there. Although, Gillian and Jennifer cut off their link to the past, today nearly six decades later, the gleam of the Pollock Twins’ mystery is still spreading all over the world.