A Paper Trail From Our Past To Present

She had them by the hundreds.  They were everywhere, covering walls and displayed in china cabinets.  She found them at estate sales, thrift stores, and on eBay.

Photo: Hoag Levins HistoricCamdenCounty.com

Beaded purses.  Clutches, reticules, pocket books.  All of them.  She had all sizes and shapes, mostly dating from 1800s and early 1900s.  She couldn’t help herself.

I asked her why – why beaded purses?  She had no particular reason, only that she could really relate to them somehow.  They called to her.

For my youngest son, it’s the Civil War; my older son, medieval times; and my ex, the Wild West.

Castles, particularly from the 1400s, do it for me.   Chills always roll through my body, my goosebumps have goosebumps, and my heart strings get stretched beyond their limits when I flip through pictures of castle ruins.  That’s the period of time that resonates with me the most.  Articles about Scottish clans from the 1100s send me back – somewhere, to a time I lived before.


On the other end of the spectrum, walking through an antique shop and coming face to face with one of those porcelain dolls has the opposite effect.  There is something about the late 1700’s and those dolls that make me really uncomfortable – like creepy uncomfortable.


It is said that when we relate to an object, an era, or even a particular location, and it just triggers an inexplicable recognition within us, the reason is because we’ve owned it before, seen it before, or been there before.  I’m talking past lives or parallel lives, depending on which school of thought you’re coming from.

The familiarity is etched in our DNA.  We never forget.

So what about you?  Do you ever get that déjà vu feeling, or have a passion about a certain place or time?  Do antiques or heirlooms stir a familiar memory in your soul?


About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on October 21, 2011, in Deja Vu, Past LIves, Reincarnation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Okay, the porcelian doll picture is creepy. I can see how the imagination could run with this one:)

    I love the way you plopped me right in the middle of your passions! You have a beautiful way with words!

  2. I am totally with you on the dolls. Carnival rides and clowns have the same super creep effect on me. What resonates with me is Mexican Catholic art and traditions. I have no reasonable explanation for this connection in this lifetime. Great post!

  3. For me, it’s not things, but music. Music from the turn of the last century. Ragtime piano, barbershop harmony, the old classics like “Wait ‘Til The Sun Shines, Nellie”. I love a lot of different types of music, but popular music from the late 1800s/early 1900s hits a deep spot in my heart that says, “This is home.” Just a few notes and I’m smiling.

    This is well before even my parents’ time, so I don’t know where it comes from. I suspect I’m the reincarnation of my Dad’s great-aunt Hannah, who was a strong-willed, artistic woman. I have one of her oil paintings from 1888 hanging on my wall, and her wicker rocking chair in my living room. That must be the connection. 🙂

  4. Soooo cool! I have always felt a strange and powerful connection with the Dominican Republic. My mother was born and raised there. I have a TON of family there. Have visited often. But it goes beyond that. I’ve felt like coming “home” whenever there. I felt like the people, the climate, the food – it’s all in my blood. A part of me. My heritage. It’s weird but I think we do have connections to places and things that go well beyond anything we knows on this earth!

  5. Great blog! Since I was a young child, I’ve always had such a deep rooted connection with nature and animals. I remember spending hours climbing trees and talking to my animals (rabbits, dogs, etc…), being as close to nature as possible.

    Perhaps I was a misunderstood pagan burned at a stake for loving nature, dancing in the rain, and talking to the moon…

  6. Very interesting…. Dolls and clowns creep me out. I definitely hate dolls. I have a deep fascination for Japanese stuff – not the weird porn movies they make – but their artifacts, and their culture. Nobody’s Asian in my family. I guess…

  7. I’ve always felt my obsession with France goes back to living there in a past life, several hundred years ago. That is SO not the way I usually think but there has always been this lingering strange, unexplainable connection … faint strains of The Twilight Zone theme accompany this …

  8. It’s exciting to hear about your passion for castles. Have you ever seen pictures of Sorn Castle that looks over the river Ayr? You should check it out. I think you’ll enjoy it. 🙂

    I get the same creeped out feeling from those dolls. ~shudder~ And I agreed with JM Randolph – I cannot stand the site of clowns or clown dolls.

    I’m an avid follower of the Revolutionary War here in America, and I’m particularly fond of Native American traditions, regalia, music, etc. I also am very fond of music from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. And the Egyptian pyramids rings high vibrations with me as well and no one is even closely related to the Egyptian people in my family. I thoroughly believe in reincarnation. I cannot explain these passions any other way. Thanks for the wonderful blog post about it!

  9. Renaissance England… I love Renaissance Faires, books about Queen Elizabeth, and Mary, Queen of Scots; and novels set in that period. Enclosed spaces… I hate caves, tunnels, crawling tubes (the kind our kids used to love at MacDonalds, etc.), elevators. Where do these passions come from? I don’t know – but it’s an interesting subject.

  10. I am a firm believer in reincarnation but my idea of this phenomenon has a bit of a twist (not enough space here to elaborate). Anyway, I think I’ve lived in South America in my past life.

    As for the collectable items — they don’t really take me back in time but I love antique furniture and paintings.

  11. Another thing in common, those dolls are beyond creepy! I like old glass wear, like every day stuff … etched stemmed goblets, little juice glasses. The sort of stuff that someone used every single day and loved. Also love castles with interesting histories. Heidelberg in Germany is one of my favs.

  12. I like the old worn out castles also, but the mountains or the sea always gives me a shot of… contentment.

    The one thing I can always rely on to make me feel, is writing a story. Sound like an ad I know but it’s true. My mind leaves my body and joins the words and when it’s just right it stays with me the entire day.

  13. Hello, stranger. How are you? Sorry I have been away so long…
    I think I have to agree with Diane H. Music is the thing that I would curl up and die without. I’m listening to some old Rush classics now as I type this, although I love finding new music as well..of nearly any genre.
    Have a great weekend, Diana.


  14. Oh man those porcelain dolls creep me out too! EEEEK!

    I have heard that theory about the response to objects and how they trigger past life memories, and I think sometimes there’s something to that. I’ve also heard the idea of racial memory, that there are things we don’t remember as individuals but that are embedded in our psyches from some kind of collective consciousness. All fascinating to ponder.

    Old keys give me that strange sensation of Déjà vu, and things like pottery and textiles as well.

  15. I also love old castles and don’t care for clowns at all. I have always believed in reincarnation and for whatever reason, get really bothered whenever there is something on the television about WWII. All my nerves go on edge and my heart accelerates to a rapid rate. Simply looking it up on the web has the same effect. Don’t know what that means but I suspect my psyche knows something the rest of me is not privy to.

  16. You are right. I don’t know if there’s a particular place or time in history with which I relate, but certainly I have known the feeling of touching something (an object, a stone wall) and sensing the centuries. Some places have been scrubbed clean by the years. In others, ghosts still walk.

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