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In the new Hollywood horror The Prodigy, released this week, a young boy undergoes hypnosis to deal with his behavioural problems, and it turns out he is the reincarnation of a serial killer seeking vengeance. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, The Prodigy will give you the chills. Likewise, here are seven real-life cases of reincarnation - some spooky, some staggering, and some to take with a pinch of salt.

Going Gaga for past lives

When people explore their past lives they often hope they were someone important, as a rich and famous celebrity for example. Here’s a case of a celebrity believing they used to be just an ordinary person. Lady Gaga thinks she is the reincarnation of her aunt Joanne, who died when she was 19. The singer told Vanity Fair magazine “when I was born, it's almost as if I was her unfinished business. She was a poet and a real renaissance woman, pure of heart – just a beautiful person”.

Is it really Marilyn?

In the book Marilyn Monroe Returns: The Healing of a Soul, Doctor Adrian Finklestein suggests Canadian singer Sherrie Lea Laird is the reincarnation of the tragic actress, and that Laird’s facial bone structure, handwriting, voice pattern and personality quirks, are evidence of this claim. An Amazon reviewer of the book is not so convinced, writing “I think this so-called "doctor" was just looking for some publicity, and the girl an outright deluded liar”