Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are qualified by a mystical and/or out-of-body experience while the heart is stopped. Upon revival, many people have claimed to have seen, heard, or experienced events while dead, giving them the opportunity to see the other side in some way.
Although many skeptics have explained these NDEs as tricks of the mind as it shuts down, there are a great number of people who strongly believe in the ability to death-travel. Moreover, they often describe it as a spiritual experience. While many have noted a sense of peace in "the light", others have claimed to have seen the devastation of Hell, even having come face-to-face with demons.
Heaven, Hell; Caves, Tunnels -- you name it, these select few have been there. Compiled from online sources, interviews, and books, here are 10 vivid accounts of death travelling.
10 Screaming, Floating and Blue Light
While on a family picnic, Tony Cicoria, a neurosurgeon from upstate New York was suddenly struck by lightening. In a flash, he was on the ground. His mother-in-law began to scream out, but his responses went unheard. That's when Tony realized he was dead.
Before he knew it, he was floating up a flight of stairs and was mysteriously transformed into a blue light. He entered buildings, flew through walls, and even saw his children having their faces painted.
A nurse who happened to be in the area at the time of the incident began performing CPR on Tony. He could feel thumping on his chest as he was dragged back to life. The experience, however, was so exciting that he was actually reluctant to return.
The story has been related by journalist Judy Bachrach, who studied Tony's story for her book, Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death.
9 The Tunnel, The Light, The Strangers
In studying NDEs, Dr. Raymond Moody came across a young girl who, at only 14 years old, had an exciting death travelling story to share. After being hit by a car while riding her bike, the girl was surprised to see how panicked everyone around her was, because she was fine except for a broken leg. Of course, that was not the case.
Looking down at herself, the girl began to understand what was happening. An ambulance came and she followed it from above, until she came to a tunnel. There she could see a bright light at the end and realized what it meant.
Inside of the light were a group of people the girl had never seen before. She explained to them what happened to her, and they urged her not to come into the light. They told her it was not her time. "I was in the light for a long time. It seemed like a long time. I felt everyone loved me there," she explained. Against her instincts, she finally returned to her body, finding herself in a hospital bed being attended to by two doctors.
8 Creatures From Hell
In a Beetlejuice-esque description, Veronika-Ulrike Barthel has related her NDE as involving being transported to Hell and escorted by demons to a large waiting room.
Struck by lightening while driving her car, Veronika experienced an eerie death-travel, more horrible than many of our worst nightmares. She has said "The creatures that I saw there were more terrifying than anything I even saw in a horror movie" (via Listverse).
So what was Hell like? According to Veronika, it smelled terrible, and there were screams of pain heard all through, with soldiers marching about. Snakes were everywhere, and people were even being thrown into caves and having spears thrown at them. Suddenly, Veronika was transported back to her car. A close call, indeed.
7 A Meeting With God
While undergoing surgery for a burst appendix, 4-year-old Colton Burpo experienced first hand the excitement of death-travel. Perhaps most exciting was getting to meet God, Jesus, John the Baptist, and late family members - some of which he had never known in life.
Colton's father, Todd, was taken aback by his son's amazing story, but had no doubts that it was all true. How? Colton awoke from his surgery with knowledge of things he had not known the day before. He told his parents that he met his baby sister who had never been born. Colton's mother had in fact suffered a miscarriage, but had not shared this with the boy.
Perhaps most convincing is Colton's ability to relate exactly where his father had been in the hospital while he was under. Todd had gone to a private room to pray/have a small breakdown, but no one knew, not even his wife. Somehow, Colton was perfectly aware. Todd has since written a book entitled, Heaven is Real, recounting his son's story.
6 Code Pink
While in the hospital, a woman watched in a state of confusion as nurses tried to revive her. When her heart stopped beating, she could hear the nurses screaming "Code Pink!" but it seemed to be too late.
She felt herself moving out of her own body, and sliding between the mattress and through the bed frame, until she was above the room looking down. "I felt as though I was a piece of paper floating up to the ceiling," she explained to Dr. Raymond Moody for his book about NDEs. "Just then, I saw them roll this machine in there and they put the shocks on my chest. When they did, I saw my whole body just jump right off the bed, and I heard every bone in my body crack and pop."
The woman was confused by the chaos because, out of her body and up above it all, she felt as though she was simply fine -- a common sentiment among those who claim to have death travelled.
5 A Very Dark Place
After being stung by a jellyfish and entering a state of paralysis, Ian McCormack lay dying, with visions of his mother praying for him. By the time the ambulance arrived, he had been clinically dead for 15-20 minutes. During that time, he was submitted to a very dark place.
Screaming voices told Ian that he was in Hell, and that he deserved to be. He couldn't quite believe the voices, but suddenly, a beam of light appeared for him. It lifted him upwards, and he described the feeling as being a speck of dust being drawn up into a beam of sunlight. In the light, he felt it giving off a "living emotion" and even believes God spoke to him. Ian has gone on to speak publicly about his NDE.
4 Physical disconnect And A Frog With black Eyes
Suffering what he now knows was a second stroke, Dape was shocked to find not just that he was dead, but that he had lost his physical connection with himself. Lying in the bed with no heart beat and no breath, Dape became frightened when he realized he could not move the pillow away from his face. Instead, his hand would go right through it.
Writing about his experience on the website Celestial Travellers, Dape explained that as he continued trying to move his physical body, he felt his flesh become cold. It then became apparent that he was no longer linked to his body and although he was sad it had died, he did feel a strange sense of relief -- until he became convinced that he was going to Hell.
Dape saw a figure hovering over the pillow, staring at him with greedy eyes. It looked half -human and half-frog, with a mutilated face and black eyes. Dape screamed at the figure, "I don't belong to you. I belong to God!" He could hear his mother's voice telling him to give himself to Jesus, at which point he became filled with a sense of peace. There was suddenly a snap in his physical stomach, warmth, and he was back in his body.
3 Compassion, Knowledge and Awareness
Erik describes his death travel as an extraordinary experience that made him feel instantly connected to every person on the planet. As he was pulled up by a light, his awareness deepened, and Erik felt as though he could see the planet, Mother Earth, and all the damage that had been done to it. Relating this experience, he wrote:
It was like seeing inside a person's body that had tumors and blocked arteries. I could see a blackness of impending death. The earth was gasping for breath from the weight of pollution piercing into her body. I knew then that she was dying and needed help from me.
Finding his higher purpose, Erik was motivated in that moment to return to his body so he could spend the rest of his time saving Earth. He felt assured by the beings in the light that he would be able to fulfil this new found calling, and was immediately back in his body. Since his death travel, Erik has been involved with many green projects and organizations, and says he has never looked at the world the same.
2 The Cave and The Traitor
Richard has shared his most unusual death travel story on NDERF.org, looking to find someone with a similar tale.
After flatlining in an ER, he found himself in a cave with a roof that reminded him of a mineshaft. Outside of the cave, there stood a desert with a pinkish hue. Up ahead, he saw two groups of strangers, so he moved towards them. Despite Richard's efforts to catch up to the unidentifiable women, he had the sensation of getting nowhere. By the time he reached them, he had become sure that he had died and was astonished by the fact that he was experiencing a post-life consciousness.
Richard asked the women who they were, but they didn't respond. Instead, they were distracted by a debate. One group was arguing that Richard was a traitor, while the other seemed to be asking for an exception to be made. Before a conclusion could be drawn, Richard found himself back in the hospital, on a trauma table. He had suffered a stroke.
1 A Call To Faith
Bill Weise is the author of 23 Minutes in Hell, a book that describes his experience when one morning, at 3am, he was suddenly thrust into the depths of Hell.
Unlike the stories of many other NDEs, Bill recalls an intense reaction to the pain he suffered as reptile-like creatures tortured him. He was thrown against walls and clawed at until he was begging for death, but of course, it could not be granted. In the background, Bill could here the cries of others who were also being subjected to such tortures, and even burnings. Then, just like that, he awoke. It was 3:23am.
Bill is a devout Christian and passionately believes that his out-of-body experience was caused by a decision on God's part to place his spirit body in Hell so that he might learn of it. He and his wife have since founded Soul Choice Ministries, and Bill has travelled the world studying God's word, and Hell.