This month’s mystery is something we haven’t touched on yet here at the Morbid Library – reincarnation. The case of the Pollock Twins has been hailed as the most compelling case of reincarnation – but questions swirl around the two young girls’ circumstances and the validity of their claims. Let’s explore.
This story revolves around the Pollock Family in England. Their first daughter, and third child overall, was born in 1946 and named Joanna Pollock. Their second daughter was born in 1951 and named Jacqueline. The younger Pollock sister was borth with a birthmark on her left wrist. The Pollock parents – named John and Florence, were very busy with their delivery business, and both girls spent a lot of time with their grandmother. As a result, the girls became closely bonded. Joanna liked to play mother hen and care for Jacqueline. Jacqueline loved to play imagination-based games and dress up in costumes. Allegedly, Joanna told her father that she would “never be a lady,” which was a chilling premonition of what was to come. In 1954, when she was three years old, Jacqueline suffered a fall that left her with a laceration over her right eye that healed into a scar.
In 1957, Joanna was eleven and Jacqueline was six. They were walking to church with a nine year old friend named Anthony, when all three were struck by a driver who had taken near-lethal doses of aspirin and phenobarbitone. The driver was deeply distraught at having her own children removed from her care, and apparently intentionally hit the three children in a misguided attempt at vengeance. Joanna and Jacqueline both died at the scene. Anthony died en route to the hospital.
John and Florence Pollock were obviously distraught at losing both of their daughters at once, in such a violent manner. John claimed to have a vision from God in the days after his daughters’ deaths, and also claimed to somehow know that Joanna and Jacqueline had been killed in retribution for John praying for proof of reincarnation. John had read a book as a child about past lives and reincarnation, and the idea had fascinated him ever since. Despite having the idea that his daughters were taken because he asked for proof of reincarnation, John also firmly believed that the girls would be brought back to the family. Florence, however, vehemently disagreed with this notion, as she tried to move on from their daughters’ deaths.
Until Florence got pregnant in early 1958. John was adamant that the pregnancy was going to be twin girls, and that both Joanna’s and Jacqueline’s souls would be in the new babies. Even when the doctor told the couple it was to be a single birth, John held firm – this was the girls coming back. On October 4, 1958, Florence gave birth to…twin girls. They were named Gillian and Jennifer. Jennifer had two birthmarks – one over her eye and one on her left wrist. You see the significance.
When the twins reached the age of three, they were introduced to some of Joanna’s and Jacqueline’s toys. To the parents’ surprise, the girls identified which toys had been gifts from “Santa” and took ownership of separate toys without argument. If you have kids or have been around kids, you know that this is rare – one usually wants the toy that they don’t have, and fights break out over who gets what. But Gillian claimed the toys that had been Joanna’s, and Jennifer took hold of the toys that had been Jacqueline’s – all without being told. Allegedly.
Florence also claimed that the girls often spoke of the accident that killed their sisters, saying such things like “blood’s coming out of your eyes. That’s where the car hit you.” Gillian also allegedly pointed to the birthmark on Jennifer’s head – the one that matched up with Jaqueline’s scar – and discussed the fall that had given Jaqueline the scar in the first place. Again, allegedly without being told.
When they visited Hexham, which they had moved away from when the twins were not yet a year old, the girls began talking about a nearby park where they liked to swing at. A park they had never been to before. The girls also apparently had some slight form of PTSD related to cars, as they often had extreme reactions to the sounds of cars – they often flinched away and screamed that the car was coming to get them.
But Was It Real?
I can hear some of you saying – hey, how could this story have become so big and well-known with no proof? My answer: the internet eats things like this up. Skeptics have continually brought up the idea that the parents may have planted the memories in Gillian and Jennifer – either consciously or unconsciously. It’s possible that they mentioned their late daughters in passing – i.e. that was Jaqueline’s favorite toy or we used to take Jacqueline and Joanna to this park. Kids are far more perceptive than they get credit for, so it’s definitely possible that they parsed their late sister’s tastes and habits out from their parents’ comments. However, that does not explain the scar and birthmark that matched up with the late sisters’.
On the other hand, I do think it’s possible that only Jennifer was reincarnated, as she had the concrete markings tying her to her late sister. There isn’t really anything that ties Gillian to Joanna as significantly. I’m putting aside my skepticism about past-lives reincarnation here for a moment. Rather than the parents planting memories, I think it’s possible that Jennifer had certain memories of her past life as Jacqueline, and passed those memories along to Gillian through a conversation or everyday play.
My judgement here is that it’s impossible to know for sure, but I want to believe the story. The implications of it are so far-reaching. This story not only indicates that it’s possible for our souls (or essences, or whatever you would like to call it) to live more than once, but also that souls are possibly drawn to those they are connected to. How else could both twins be reincarnated not only into the same family, but also to the same parents? As much as I want to play the raging skeptic, I’m going to refrain. It’s a nice story, and I think that all it really needs to be.