The aim of this paper is to introduce time-reversed absorbing conditions in time-reversal methods. They enable one to 'recreate the past' without knowing the source which has emitted the signals that are back-propagated. We present two applications in inverse problems: the reduction of the size of the computational domain and the determination, from boundary measurements, of the location and volume of an unknown inclusion. The method does not rely on any a priori knowledge of the physical properties of the inclusion. Numerical tests with the wave and Helmholtz equations illustrate the efficiency of the method. This technique is fairly insensitive to noise in the data.