Death is so final. Or maybe it's not. The concept of reincarnation - the belief that a soul can be reborn in a new body - upends that finality. Religions including Hinduism and Buddhism include reincarnation in their beliefs, and stories of second chances at life go back to ancient times. Like the concept of time travel, there is no definitive proof that reincarnation exists, but many stories of reincarnation offer strong evidence. Consider the case of twins Gillian and Jennifer Pollock, whose story is especially compelling - they are the supposed reincarnations of their older sisters who died in a car accident.
The mysterious case of the Pollock twins points to the possibility of reincarnation, and believers often cite their story as proof of life after death. Whether or not the Pollocks are their sisters reincarnated, the twins' story makes for a fascinating tale.
On May 5, 1957, 6-year-old Jacqueline Pollock and her 11-year-old sister, Joanna, walked ahead of their parents to church in Hexham, England, with their friend Anthony, age 9. A car in the opposite lane hopped a curb and hit all three of them. The driver, a woman under the influence of barbiturates and painkillers, killed Joanna and Jacqueline almost instantly. Anthony died en route to the hospital.
Police later discovered the woman had intentionally hit the children. She was in danger of losing custody of her children due to her poor mental condition, and this likely played a role in her fateful decision. The court committed her to a psychiatric hospital.
Although the death of their children devastated parents Florence and John Pollock, they soon learned they were having another baby. Florence gave birth to twins Jennifer and Gillian on October 4, 1958. Although the babies were identical twins, Jennifer had birthmarks that Gillian did not. This is extremely unusual for identical twins.
Even stranger, one of Jennifer's birthmarks mimicked one of Jacqueline's: They both had a thumbprint-shaped mark in the same place on their left hip. The second birthmark on Jennifer's forehead also seemed to mimic a scar Jacqueline had in the same spot.
While mourning her daughters' deaths, Florence Pollock boxed up Jacqueline and Joanna's toys and stored them out of sight. Around the time Gillian and Jennifer turned 4, they started asking to have certain toys back without any knowledge of their deceased sisters.
To Florence's surprise, the twins seemed to remember the toys as if they were their own. They correctly identified each one according to the names given to them by Joanna and Jacqueline, and divided the toys up exactly how their sisters once did. The twins also referred to Joanna and Jacqueline's toys as "Santa's gifts," which was true.
Jennifer and Gillian shared personality traits with their older sisters. Joanna, for example, 4 years older than Jacqueline, was protective of her younger sister. Similarly, Gillian, a mere 10 minutes older than Jennifer, exhibited a more mature personality and often looked after her twin.
John and Florence Pollock also noted Gillian was more social and generous than Jennifer, qualities Joanna had as well. The twins reportedly also enjoyed the same foods and games as their deceased siblings.