I've never really had any past life memories (aka "spontaneous recall"), but the idea of reincarnation makes a lot of sense to me, and I have had past life dreams. I wrote about the possibility of past life dreams being real in a hub a few years back. It's http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Reincarnat... in case you're interested!
Basically, past life dreams differ from regular dreams and memories because they have historical detail, they are logical and sequential, and you don't look the same as you do in present day (for example, you may look down at your body and see yourself in old-fashioned boots or attire).
The only past life recall I've experienced while awake was during a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Of course the whole museum is extremely saddening, but there is a part where you walk through a cattle car and I just did NOT want to go in and go through it. I'm not claustrophobic; there was no logical explanation for my feelings. When I finally did walk through, I felt intense sadness, anxiety, and despair...I could FEEL myself as a young girl crammed in the corner of the train car, lost and afraid, and being transported to a concentration camp. I'm not Jewish, and I wasn't alive during World War II, so I've never ACTUALLY had that experience, yet it felt real. I wonder: Was this a past life memory? Or was it just an extreme case of empathy?