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From the Past

Films on the to-do list

  • Armageddon Time
  • Black Widow
  • Chimes at Midnight
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  • Last Christmas
  • Remember Sunday
  • Shazam! 2
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Spy Guys

Reincarnation: True Stories of Past Lives by Roy Stemman (1997)

Book review: Reincarnation: True Stories of Past Lives by Roy Stemman (Piatkus, 2004 [1997])

For over thirty years, Roy Stemman has been collecting accounts of people who believe they have lived before. In this fascinating book, he displays the impressive body of evidence which he has uncovered to support the case for reincarnation.

Read about:

  • People who are haunted by memories of a past life
  • Soul mates who travel through time to be reunited with each other
  • People whose illnesses and phobias can be traced back to a past life and healed by regression therapy
  • People who remember a time between lives
  • People with intimate, inexplicable knowledge of places they have never been to
  • People who claim to be able to see into the future

Roy Stemman is the editor of Life & Soul magazine (previously Reincarnation International), which has been going since 1993, so no doubt he’s come across many, many stories over the years. This book is a collection of various case studies from around the world.

If you’ve read other books which talks about reincarnation, you’re likely to have come across Shanti Devi before, amongst others. These are all in here, along with nods to other authors’ research. And the thing is, this book is incredible.

You read the stories and if you think past lives is a load of rubbish, you might even be convinced that huh, there might be something to it after all. If you’re already there, you’ll be even more convinced after reading this. Mind-blowing isn’t too far off.

Stories come from all over the world, and some I have heard about before. For instance, Stemman mention both Brian L Weiss’s cases as well as the Cathar group reincarnation, as documented by Arthur Guirdham in the 1970s. I believe it even mentioned the story of a Swedish woman who remembered being a concentration camp survivor brought to Sweden by the Red Cross buses, which is a book I read in my teens.

This isn’t a book that will go into detail about how to “do it yourself” to find out about past lives, it’s just a collection of remarkable stories of past life recollections – including those that have happened (primarily in cultures where belief in reincarnation is part of everyday life) where children have insisted on being taken back to their real families in other towns, and the details that researchers have been able to verify.

It’s very, very fascinating, even if you already think there’s something to it. Only wish it was longer.

5 out of 5 case studies.


An easily distracted and over-excited introvert who never learns to go to bed at a reasonable time. Enjoys traveling (when there's not a plague on), and taking photos of European architecture. Cares for cats, good coffee and Boardwalk Empire. A child of her time, she did media studies in school and still can't decide what she wants to be when she grows up.

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