BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Press Releases & Press Packs



Sea Of Souls

Real life reported cases of paranormal activity from around the world

Case One
Twin Telepathy: The Jim Twins

One of the most famously documented cases of paranormal research, the Jim Twins, highlighted the notion that identical twins are linked in a unique way beyond genetics.

Soon after their birth in 1940, American identical twins Jim Springer and Jim Lewis were adopted by different families and never knew of each other's existence until they were reunited 39 years later.

In 1979 there were only 19 reported cases of reunited twins so for psychologist Thomas Bouchard - the man who studied the Jim twins' special connection - the reunion offered a rare opportunity to examine important questions about nature versus nurture.

The similarities in the men's lives were nothing short of astonishing. Aside from the fact that they were both named Jim by their adoptive parents, the twins had both married twice – the first time to women named Linda and the second to women called Betty.

Jim Springer named his son James Allen whilst Jim Lewis called his son James Alan. They both had dogs named Toy, both spent time as sheriff's deputies, they drank the same beer, smoked the same cigarettes and drove the same model of car – a Chevrolet.

Their bond as brothers apparently extended far beyond shared genes.

Case Two
Reincarnation: Bridey Murphy

There are many theories which surround reincarnation - the notion that the soul of a dead person can re-establish itself within the body of another living being.

However, the case of Bridey Murphy is used by many as an example of a verified case of paranormal reincarnation.

In 1952 Colorado housewife Virginia Tighe began to talk about her past life whilst under hypnosis claiming that she was once an Irish woman called Bridey Murphy, born 1806.

Under hypnosis, Virginia spoke with an Irish accent, used Irish language and supplied details of obscure place names, many of which were checked and verified at a later date.

Research uncovered that Bridey Murphy did actually exist and Virginia's vivid tales were authentically accurate.

Case Three
Poltergeists: The Thornton Heath Poltergeist

German for 'noisy ghost', a poltergeist refers to phenomenon usually credited to mischievous spirits or ghosts who have a slightly menacing approach to the inhabitants of a building.

Cases have been cited almost since the beginning of recorded history however The Thornton Heath Poltergeist case is one of the most notorious.

One August evening, 27 years ago in Thornton Heath, England, a family was tormented by poltergeist phenomenon which awoke them in the middle of the night by blaring a bedside radio which had turned itself on.

This heralded the beginning of a paranormal string of events which lasted nearly four years.

During the festive season of 1972 an ornament was hurled across the living room smashing into the husband's forehead just as the Christmas tree began to shake violently.

Come the New Year, footsteps were heard in the bedroom and late one night the homeowner's son awoke to find a man dressed in old-fashioned clothing staring threateningly at him.

Having the house blessed failed to rid the house of the phenomenon.

However, a medium determined that the house was haunted by a farmer named Chatterton who had lived in the house in the mid-18th century and considered the family trespassers on his property.


All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy