As a parent, I know I really can't believe anything that comes out of my toddlers' mouths, but Luke's story has me second-guessing myself. What starts out as a coincidental tale quickly turns into a spooky account of a child who has quite possibly been reincarnated.
That's a big word to throw around based on one kid's claims. However, Luke shared enough detail of his past life to convince his parents that he may indeed have been a black woman named Pamela Robinson who lived in Chicago 20 years ago.
As Erika Ruehlman recounted to Fox6 Now, she began to notice changes in her son Luke. He was obsessed with safety. He was stuck on the name "Pam." He told his mother he had once been a woman.
Luke casually said, "When I was a girl, I had black hair." And, "I used to have earrings like that when I was a girl."
When asked to explain Pam, Luke's response floored his mother, "'Well, I used to be [Pam], but I died. I went up to heaven, and I saw God, and he pushed me back down, and when I woke up, I was a baby and you named me Luke.'"
Luke was able to tell his mom that while living in Chicago as an African American woman, he died in a fire. He gestured that he died while jumping off a building. (Is the hair on the back of your neck standing up yet?)
Like any concerned mom, Ruehlman hightailed it to Google. With a little digging, she uncovered the Paxton Hotel, a residential building in a primarily African American Chicago neighborhood where 19 people died in 1993. One of the deceased was a woman named Pamela Robinson.
Ruehlman says, "Pam had jumped out of a window to her death. I was really kind of weirded out by it at this point."
Luke was put on the spot by his parents while filming the Ghost Inside My Child Lifetime documentary. Ruehlman printed several pictures off the internet, and Luke was able to point out Pam in the fake lineup. As the documentary filmed, Luke said, "I remember when this one was taken."
Ruehlman was able to connect with a family member of Pamela Robinson to uncover even more striking threads between the woman and her son. Like Pam, Luke was a fan of Stevie Wonder-era music. Pam played the keyboard, and Luke favored a toy piano.
For Luke, this confirmation was all he needed to make peace with his past life. His mother says that Luke stopped talking about Pam soon after the identification was made.
Ruehlman backs her son up in what many call an outlandish (and even demonic) tale. She disagrees with the criticisms of Luke's story, saying, "It’s a positive one. It’s one of unification. It’s one of love."
I would be thoroughly freaked if my sons ever came to me with a story like this. The fact that Luke's parents took his strange account seriously is a testament to their parenting. The rest of us can take a page from their book: The next time your child tells you something, listen.
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