To me, accounts of reincarnation are like life’s little shout out to The Twilight Zone. We’ve all had deja vu in places we haven’t been before, but most of us can’t summon up details of 1930’s Japan. These three tales of reincarnation are enough to make even the most Dana Scully-like skeptic question themselves.
Young Ryan Hammons began telling his parents he was someone else at the age of 4. He claimed to be homesick for Hollywood. One day while flipping through a book, Ryan’s mother opened to a page with a still from an old 1930s movie. Ryan became excited and pointed at the man, exclaiming that was who he was. The man in question was Marty Martyn an actor from the ‘30s who would later become a big agent in Hollywood.
Desperate to find out more about the phenomenon her son was experiencing, she enlisted the help of Jim Tucker, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia. Tucker had been studying instances of reincarnation, particularly in children, for almost 15 years at the time. Upon meeting Ryan and speaking with him, Tucker evaluated that Ryan had correctly identified 55 details of Martyn’s Hollywood life including a story of meeting famed actress Rita Hayworth.
Ryan also eerily confirmed facts that Martyn’s own daughter did not know. Hammons is quoted as saying, “I don’t see why God would let you get to be 61 and make you come back as a baby.” At first Tucker was skeptical because Martyn’s birth certificate stated he was born in 1905 but after going through census records Tucker found out Martyn was actually born in 1903, making him 61 when he died and not 59 as previously thought.
Karlen is probably the most well known of these three, but her story is too incredible not to tell. Karlen was born in Sweden in 1954. At the age of 3 she told her parents that her name was Anne Frank. Yes, that Anne Frank. At the time, her parents did not know who Anne Frank was so they played it off as a fantasy.
However, her stories became more disturbing and she began having nightmares of uniformed men bursting into her room at night to hurt her. Her parents grew concerned and sent Karlen to a psychiatrist. Karlen had learned people became uncomfortable when she told stories of being Anne Frank so she never mentioned it to her doctor. She was, obviously, declared a normal little girl.
On one particular instance later on, Karlan and her family were visiting Amsterdam for the first time. Her father had learned the story of the Frank family and wanted to visit the house while they were there. As he began to call a taxi, Karlen told him not to because she knew how to get there. Sure enough, the little girl led her parents through the winding streets of Amsterdam and right to the house turned museum. Once inside, she began to feel immense anxiety when entering the attic. She retreated to another room where she claimed pictures of film stars were stuck to the wall. The pictures weren’t there, but her mother decided to ask about them and the attendant said they were taken down to be put under glass before being remounted.
Sharma was born in 1944 and at age 2 he told his mom that his wife, who supposedly lived in a town that was 90 miles away, would cook dinner so she wouldn’t have to. Until he was 4, Sharma would tell stories about a business he used to run called “Mohan Brothers” that sold water and cookies to people in the town.
Eventually, his parents agreed to take him to the town after he learned to read. The family discovered there was a family who had run a pop and cookie shop and it was called “Mohan Brothers.” They also told them that the manager Parmanand Mehra died in 1943 after suffering from a gastrointestinal illness after eating too much curd. Young Sharma had always refused to eat curd, even before the trip, and often warned his parents against eating it.
While I may not be particularly religious, it’s difficult to brush these stories off easily. Reincarnation has been apart of religions since the pre-Socratic days and also appeared in writings from the ancient Druid religions. Perhaps there’s something to it?