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What does telepathy between twins have to do with life after death?

Posted on 09 July 2012, 15:35

When the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) was founded back in 1882, the primary focus was said to be the study of what was then called thought-transference, renamed “telepathy” by Frederic W. H. Myers, (below) one of the SPR founders. Had Myers and the other SPR founders admitted that they were really searching for evidence of the survival of consciousness after death, or a spirit world, mainstream science would have scoffed and SPR members would have been called a bunch of lunatics.  In the wake of Darwinism, which kicked off in 1859, science had, by 1882, dismissed matters of religion and spirituality as mere folly and superstition, and no “self-respecting” scientist or scholar would even consider the possibility of life after death. 


As it was, many materialistic scientists laughed at the idea of mental telepathy – there are still many scientific fundamentalists who reject it – but telepathy (and other forms of ESP) was a pretext of sorts that made the organization somewhat more acceptable to the scientific establishment and the public in general.  While the idea of life after death invited scoffs among the “intellectuals,” telepathy was more in the smirk category. 

Proof of telepathy does not serve directly as proof of life after death.  It, however, defies the laws of physics and suggests a non-mechanistic world, thereby opening the door to another reality, one in which life after death is at least a reasonable hypothesis.  One of the most fascinating areas in the study of telepathy has to do with twins.  Renowned author Guy Lyon Playfair explores this whole area in his book Twin Telepathy.

“…if telepathy exists – and I will have failed if any reader gets to the end of this book without being satisfied that it does – it shows that many of our textbooks, especially in physics and psychology, need some drastic revision,” Playfair states.  “This is one reason why academics are usually reluctant even to consider the possibility of telepathy, which they consider a no-go area.  All too many of them suffer from what the Greeks called misoneism, or hatred of new ideas.”

Although surveys conducted by the SPR founders during the 1880s revealed telepathic links between twins, it wasn’t until the 1940s that some academics began to take note of the phenomenon and conduct research.  Horatio H. Newman, a professor of zoology at the University of Chicago, appears to have been the first.  He reported on a case in which twin sisters prepared for an examination, each studying half of the assigned material.  However, each sister was able to write fluently about the half she had not studied.  Their papers were so similar that the teacher suspected cheating. It was pointed out, however, that they were too far apart in the exam room for normal cheating to take place.

Although not clearly identifying himself in an earlier case of the same nature, Newman is believed to have been one of twin brothers who turned in identical exam papers on a number of occasions, even when placed in separate rooms. In addition to using the same words, the same syntax, and the same grammar, they made the same mistakes.  While Newman was inclined to explain such cases as a matter of genetics, he also recognized the possibility of telepathy and urged more research in this area.  Unfortunately, because the taboo has persisted, very little laboratory research has been done in this area and most of the evidence is anecdotal. 

Pain and strong emotion between twins has been reported more than a few times.  Playfair offers a case involving twins Aily Biggs, a London banker, and Alison Armour, a physician.  Aily recalled that while on a school project she felt that she was being followed by a driver in a yellow vehicle.  She began running and thinking ‘Alison, if there’s anything you can do, tell Dad to come quick!”  At the same time, Alison, who was studying in her room, felt that Aily was in the room with her and in a state of panic and yelling “Get Dad!  Get Dad!” 

One of the more mysterious stories gathered by Playfair involved Romulus and Remus Cozma of Romania.  In 1987, the identical twins both fell in love with a woman named Monica.  Remus and Monica married, but frequently fought.  In 1993, Remus came home drunk one night. As he and Monica argued, Remus attempted to strangle her. However, she got hold of a kitchen knife and tried to stab him.  Remus wrestled the knife away from her and killed her with the knife.  At the same time, Romulus and his significant other, also named Monica, were going for a stroll in the park, apparently both happy, when Romulus, without cause or motivation, grabbed her around the throat and strangled her to death.  He told police he didn’t know why he did it.  “I felt impelled by an invisible force,” he explained.  “I couldn’t resist it.” 

Another intriguing case involved twins Roy and Loy Henderson.  Roy was a student at Harvard in 1920, while Loy was serving as a Red Cross volunteer in Estonia.  When Loy apparently contracted typhus during an epidemic, he was hospitalized.  At a moment when he felt he was dying, Loy reported that his twin brother appeared to him and spoke in great distress of their separation from each other by death.  As it turned out, Loy did not have typhus and survived, but shortly thereafter he received a telegram telling of Roy’s death during a tooth extraction.  It was determined that Roy’s death occurred at the same time Loy was in the hospital bed thinking he was about to die.

Numerous other cases are reported by Playfair in this 173-page book – twins falling and breaking legs at the same time while skiing on different glaciers, twins many miles apart dying on the same day, twins separated for many years meeting each other wearing the same clothes.  Playfair suggests that the known stories represent no more than the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  “The problem is that those who have the necessary resources, facilities and contracts, with rare exceptions, show no signs of interest,” he offers.  “In most of the academic community, telepathy is still taboo, as my own experience indicates.” He tells of the resistance he met at one major twin research institute where a staff member told him they are not interested in getting into the “spooky stuff.” In effect, mainstream science seems to want to write off all such stories as genetics or coincidence. 

There are two options, says Playfair, “the first is just to ignore the evidence or dismiss it en bloc, which, in effect, is telling hundreds of [people reporting telepathic experiences] they are either liars or idiots, or both.  This is not only excessively patronizing, but fails to address the question of why so many liars and idiots would tell exactly the same silly lies over and over again.” The second option, Playfair explains, “is to accept the fact that there is more to reality than we have been taught, and I would maintain that there is no other valid option.” 

Twin Telepathy by Guy Lyon Playfair is published by White Crow Books and is available from Amazon and other bookstores.

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Next blog:  July 23



My identical twin recently passed away Februat 25, 2019. We are 40 years old. Although I am not understanding this pain, this horrible level of grief, I tell myself how we love being twins. Becky and I have always had a spiritual connection.  She called me when I was in labor with my first child, while I was on the surgical table preparing for an emergency c-section. I found stories we would write as kids and Becky wrote about the things we would do in our sleep. As we grew into adults, the bond was growing with us. Our bond was real, she always knows when im aout to make a bad choice or when im down and vice versa. Weve always been very close. No matter what part of the world she lived, we stayed close. We rarely fought or argued. There were times in our 20’‘s we would get identical shirts and take pictures sending them to family members. We always told each other whichever one of us passed first, they would haunt the other one just to see what happens. I knew exactly when she passed and it was actually the night of the 24th, that’s what I feel. I had nightmares all night long only fighting and throwing puniches at whatever touched me. In fact, since we talked, texted, video chatted, snapchatted and facebooked all day everyday forever, I was able to look back and see exactly when I began to feel her approaching death. She knew it too. A week before, she was so scared someone was going to come get her she would make extra sure her house was locked and slept with weapons. I can go on and on about our twin connection but I would be on here forever. Everyone will believe whatever they want, I know personally the twin spiritual connection and bond and telepathy are more than very real, it is what made us, us. It is what kept us close, it is real. grin I truly miss her so.

Jessica, Sat 23 Mar, 09:36

My twin apparently was still born ... Yet, she is very much here. Do any other twinless have their twins as a part of their own minds?

Kee, Thu 12 Jul, 21:55

I am a twin, my twin was lost during pregnancy. I have dreams of a presence that is my twin while I’m in a car accident. I also have dreams of recently passed friends or family members and also dreams of deaths and bad things that happen shortly after I have them. Has anyone hear of things like this happening? Is it because I’m a twin??

Charity, Thu 20 Jun, 03:24

I have also seen, in the case of close siblings,
my cousins Arthur and his sister Mary, experiences of what appeared to be telepathy. Also, they died not in the same year but on the same day, followed a few years later by another cousin of ours of similar age with whom they had been close. Strange coioncidence, if nothing else!
But human lives are interconnected, especially in families, and remain connected after death as well.

Paul Biscop, Mon 16 Jul, 02:34

Mike, thanks again for bringing to us more interesting information on the paranormal.

Yvonne, Fri 13 Jul, 05:42

I read with interest your article on telepathy and life after death communication. Have you investigated or written about any modern trance mediums. I was very fortunate to meet full trance medium, Andrew Overlee, and his wife Tamara, an automatic writer and spiritual counsellor, the founders of Joy of Healing. I owe my very life to them and their family in spirit. I was suffering from chronic, debilitating fibromyalgia. I tried countless treatments, both medical and holistic. Still my symptoms intensified. I could no longer teach and even moving was a painful struggle. Just as I was preparing to spend my final days, on this plain, in agony in a nursing home my uncle introduced me to this unique work which helps to attain physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. Thanks to Joy of Healing I am pain and prescription free. I believe you would be most interested in their special work with their spirit family who speak, heal, teach, and write through them.

Janet Komanchuk, Thu 12 Jul, 21:39

Good article on another strong book to chip away at the dismissiveness.

I’m not a twin but my sib and I have had experiences between us that we could only attribute to psi or telepathy.

Btw, ALL patients are, in effect, treated as liars or idiots by doctors. Godlike, they know everything, didn’t you know? wink

Sam, Thu 12 Jul, 00:20

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The Only Planet of Choice: Visitations – Many people use the word ‘Alien’ to describe a visitor from outer space. Extra terrestrial is another word, which is rather more user friendly. For the sake of the question and answer format, the word used by the questioner has been left, though even Tom questions our use of‘Alien’. Should we wish to foster openess between all beings of the Universe perhaps we should also look at our vocabulary? In a discussion between Andrew and Tom many years earlier, Andrew had asked Tom about UFOs and whether they were created manifestations. Tom had replied: “Many of the flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen”. Read here
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