The Pollock Sisters

Time to wrap up another year of Mystery Monday posts. This month we’re going across the pond to the town of Hexham, Northumberland, England.

Beaumont Street in Hexham (Public Domain)

Florence and John Pollock were married in the 1940s. Florence gave birth to two sons before welcoming their first daughter, Joanna, in 1946. In 1951, the Pollocks had a second daughter named Jacqueline.

Even with their five-year age difference, the two girls shared a close bond. Joanna took on both the role of big sister and also type of mother to Jacqueline since Florence stayed busy running the family’s grocery business.

Supposedly Joanna claimed she would remain a child forever and not grow up to be a lady. In 1957 when she was eleven and Jacqueline was six, the two girls were walking to church with a friend named Anthony. An erratic driver came up behind the children, hitting all three, and killing the girls instantly. Anthony died of his injuries while on the way to the hospital.

As you might imagine, Florence and John Pollock were grief-stricken over the deaths. Florence fell into a deep depression. John held the spiritual belief the girls were in Heaven or that they would be reincarnated. This put a strain on their marriage—Florence was a strict Catholic and didn’t hold to any beliefs in reincarnation.

However, the two of them remained together and Florence became pregnant again. John was convinced Florence would give birth to twin daughters, even though there wasn’t a family history of twins. The doctor claimed there was a single fetus, and Florence said she never felt like she was carrying two babies.

John remained insistent and on October 4, 1958, Florence gave birth to identical twin girls—Gillian and Jennifer. Jennifer had a small birthmark on her left hip and one on her forehead. Jacqueline had a similar birthmark on her hip as well as a scar on her forehead.

When the twins were three months old, the family moved to Whitley Bay which is east of Hexham. After they were old enough to talk, they began asking for toys that belonged to Joanna and Jacqueline. They were able to identify these toys by name, and even divided them in the same way their sisters did.

John and Florence also noticed the girls had similar personalities to Jacqueline and Joanna. Gillian, born ten minutes before Jennifer, was protective of her sister much in the same way Joanna was to Jacqueline. The twins enjoyed many of the same games and foods as their older sisters.

As the girls got older, they seemed to have vivid memories of Hexham despite them being too young to remember living there. They would sometimes panic upon seeing cars and supposedly knew about street safety without their parents telling them.

When Jennifer and Gillian were four, the family returned to Hexham. The girls pointed out landmarks they had never seen before, including the school Joanna and Jacqueline attended, Hexham Abbey, and a playground where their deceased sisters loved to play. Jennifer and Gillian seemed to know their way around the playground.

Hexham Abbey – Creative Commons photo by Bob Castle, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Florence continued to reject the idea of reincarnation until she overheard the girls talking about Joanna and Jacqueline’s car accident. Gillian cradled Jennifer’s head saying, “The blood is coming out your eyes. That’s where the car hit you.”

Shortly after they turned five, memories of their “past life” began to fade. However, their story drew the attention of Dr. Ian Stevenson, a psychologist who studied reincarnation. He believed their story was real.

John and Florence claimed they never talked about Joanna and Jacqueline to the twins, but many skeptics believe they heard stories from their older brothers.

Whatever the case, this remains a strange and bizarre mystery.

37 thoughts on “The Pollock Sisters

  1. I don’t know what I think about reincarnation, but my grandfather was a dark Dane, who came to America when he was young. He thought a soul had to keep coming back until it got it right. Earth was a classroom that you had to pass to move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic story, Joan. Absolutely intriguing. There’s so much we don’t know, and even more that can’t be explained. I tend to believe this one. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely fascinating, Joan. I’ve had a few baffling experiences that prompted me to wonder about reincarnation. Could it be that some souls decide to return to earth to help loved ones or to learn to be better people? This would be a great coffee table discussion, especially with a glass of wine. 😊


    1. Gwen this comment just now showed up. WordPress is acting weird today. That would make for some fascinating discussion. I’ve never thought of the possibility of reincarnation that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Past lives are a strongly held belief in most schools of Buddhism, and age five is a common age for ‘forgetting’. But for the two girls to return as twins in the same family is something extra special and rare. Thanks for sharing this fascinating story, Joan. Have a wonderful week. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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