Death is supposed to be the one certainty in life; something that is guaranteed to happen. Despite this, none of us can ever know when our time is near, or when our last day on earth will be actually our last. However, one thing we usually are sure of is that when we die, that’s how it will remain. That this is the end of the road and we leave everything behind.
As this list will show, however, certain death is not always the case. These strange instances of people rising from the dead or returning from beyond, show how death is neither simple, nor straight-forward. The people on this list underwent a number of things, from medical malpractices, to acts of God. Nonetheless, we cannot truly come up with a solution to determine just why these individuals came back from the dead.
15 Hamdi Hafez al-Nubi
While at work, a 28-year old waiter from Egypt suffered a fatal heart attack. The young man was declared dead at the scene due to the severity of the cardiac arrest. However, hours later, it is said that the doctor assigned to write al-Nubi’s death certificate, noticed how the corpse was still warm. Upon feeling the warmth of the man, the doctor began to carry out routine checks, and after checking his vital signs, it was discovered that al-Nubi was in fact, still breathing. Family members had already been informed of al-Nubi’s death at this point and had even washed the man’s body (an Islamic tradition). Doctors once again had to speak to the family, only this time to inform them that their loved one was actually still alive. Upon hearing the news that her son still had lived, al-Nubi’s mother, fainted. Funeral arrangements had already been made and in a strange and funny twist, instead of cancelling these preparations, the ceremony was turned into a party.
14 Brighton Dama Zante
Zimbabwe native, Brighton Dama Zanthe, died at his own home at the age of 34, after a long illness. Then mourners attending Zante’s funeral were flabbergasted after the deceased started to move within his coffin. Just as relatives and mourners filed past in a line to say their final goodbyes, they realized he may still be with them. Zante’s boss Lot Gaka was the first to witness movement from within the coffin; when describing the incident he stated: “I was the first to notice Zante’s moving legs as I was in the queue to view his body. This shocked me. At first I could not believe my eyes but later realized that there were indeed some movements on the body as other mourners retreated in disbelief.” Zante was rushed to hospital following the incident and spent two days on life support before he was discharged. When speaking of his astonishing return from the dead, Zante himself stated: “I can confirm that people gathered."
13 Margorie McCall
The story of Margorie McCall is one that is often considered to be no more than Irish folklore due to the details that change every time it is re-told. The story is based on alleged events that took place during the 18th century in the town of Lurgen, in Northern Ireland. Margorie McCall was buried in 1705 after suffering from a fatal fever. After Margorie’s death, her husband attempted to remove her gold wedding band from her finger, but couldn't since his wife’s hand had swollen due to her illness. So, Margorie was buried with the ring still on her finger. A couple of days after Margorie’s burial, grave robber’s dug up her body, having planned to cut off the woman’s finger, to steal her ring. Disturbingly, as the criminals began sawing at the woman’s finger, she let a scream. This sacred the robbers away and Margorie then proceeded to rise from her grave and run back home to her husband. Legend has it, that upon seeing his wife covered in blood and dirt, standing in their house, the man died of shock and was buried in Margorie’s empty grave days later.
12 Walter Williams
On February 26, 2014, a 78-year-old farmer called Walter Williams, rose from the dead from inside a body bag. Walter began kicking and causing a fuss from inside the bag. Stunned doctors couldn’t believe what was happening. Walter had been pronounced dead in his home only hours earlier, after it was discovered he had no pulse. He was then placed into a body bag and transported to a near-by funeral home. After it was confirmed that Walter was in fact alive, he was rushed to a nearby hospital for examination, where he was also reunited with his delighted family members. It is thought that Walter’s pacemaker had stopped working and miraculously kicked in again. When asked about the incident Walter said: “I’m happy to be alive.” Nonetheless, after only two weeks, Walter died, for real this time. Family members said that although they were heartbroken, they were also glad of the extra time they got to spend with Walter.
11 Carlos Camejo
Carlos Camejo, a Venezuelan man, who had passed away, woke up on September 17th 2007, as his autopsy was being performed. Carlos had been the victim of a devastating highway accident, and after being declared dead at the scene, he was transported to a local morgue. After beginning to cut into the man’s face, doctors were confused by the large amount of blood coming from the wound. This does not happen to dead bodies. Suddenly, Carlos woke up and began to scream in agony with the pain of the cut; the doctors rushed to stitch up the man’s face, in total disbelief at what they had witnessed. Carlos later said: “I woke because the pain was unbearable.” When Carlos’ grief-stricken wife turned up at the morgue to identify her husband’s body, she was elated to find him alive.
10 Val Thomas
It was the middle of the night when Val Thomas rang her sister Sheila to tell her that she felt terribly unwell and was suffering chest-pains, as well as sweating profusely. Sheila told Val that she was coming right over. Val also rang her son, Tim, to tell him that something was not quite right. When recounting the phone call, Tim said: “Of course, anytime a phone rings that early, you know something’s wrong. I left immediately.” By the time Tim reached his mother, Sheila had already arrived, along with paramedics. When Sheila arrived she had found Val face down, after suffering a huge cardiac arrest. Val was transported to the hospital, where she suffered two more heart attacks, over a ten-hour period. Val was placed on a machine that would cool her body to prevent any further organ damage. Later, with no change in Val’s condition, it was decided her ventilator would be turned off. Val was showing no brain activity and all hope was lost. Then, as all machines and wires were removed from Val, she began twitching, breathing on her own, and even asked for her son. Val’s heart was tested by several doctors, all of whom could find nothing wrong; she described her experience as a miracle from God.
9 Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov
Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, can perhaps be considered the only woman to ever die at her own funeral. Fagilyu, a 49-year-old Russian woman, had been declared dead by doctors after a heart attack, and got the shock of her life when she woke up at her own funeral, just as mourners were praying for her soul to be taken into heaven. The shock of realizing she had been declared dead was too much for her. After briefly awakening at her service, Fagilyu once again suffered health complications. The woman was rushed to hospital where she survived only twelve minutes in the intensive care unit, before dying again. Fagilyu’s husband was left furious and confused, and said: “I am very angry and want answers. She wasn’t dead when they said she was and they could have saved her.”
8 Li XiuFeng
Li XiuFeng, a 95-year old Chinese woman, was dead six days when she suddenly arose from her coffin. Li, had been placed on bedrest after suffering a head injury, and one day a neighbor discovered her lying motionless in bed. The neighbor explained that Li was not breathing and would not wake up, despite her best attempts. After it was assumed Li was deceased, she was placed in an unsealed coffin, true to Chinese tradition. Li remained in her coffin for six days as friends and relatives came to pay their respects. However, the day before the funeral, stunned relatives discovered Li’s empty coffin. They soon discovered the elderly woman in the kitchen, cooking dinner. Everyone was taken aback by the events, but Li put it simply: “I slept for a long time. After waking up, I felt so hungry, and wanted something to eat.” Li was not too pleased to learn that due to a Chinese ritual for the dead, all her possessions had been burned.
7 Zach Clements
Zach Clements, of Brownwood Texas, was only 17 years old when he collapsed while running in P.E class, and was rushed to a near-by hospital with no pulse. Doctors then spent 20 minutes trying to revive the young football player. Zach was moments from being pronounced dead, when suddenly, his pulse returned. The young boy was transported to a children’s hospital where he soon regained consciousness. Zach claims that just before he regained his pulse he had a vision: “I went up to Jesus and he put his hand on my shoulder and he told me everything would be alright and not to worry.” The boy explained how he knew it was Jesus due to his long ruffled hair and thick beard. Zach’s parents stand by their son’s claims. His father stated that it was a miracle, and that, “It’s not humanly possible to explain it.” Zach made a full recovery and eventually returned to school.
6 Erica Nigrelli
Erica Nigrelli was teaching at a school in Missouri, when she suddenly felt ill. Erica, who was pregnant at the time, went into a fellow teacher’s classroom to explain her condition. Suddenly, Erica dropped to the ground. Students in the class yelled for help and soon three teachers tried to revive Erica. Nathan, Erica’s husband, was also a teacher in the school. When he heard the commotion he rushed into the room, shocked at the sight of his wife unconscious, foaming from the mouth. Nathan immediately called 911 and Erica was rushed to hospital. By the time Erica reached the hospital, doctors were unable to find a pulse and declared her dead. However, doctors still sought to save Erica’s baby, so a caesarean was performed. Inexplicably, after the baby was delivered, Erica’s heart started beating again. Erica was put in a medically-induced coma and it was discovered that she had an underlying heart defect she was not aware of. Baby Elayna remained in intensive care for two weeks. Miraculously, both mother and daughter were soon released from hospital in good health.
5 Anna Bagenholm
Swedish radiologist, Anna Bagenholm, survived the impossible in 1999 after becoming trapped under a thin layer of ice, in freezing cold water. Anna was able to prevent herself from drowning by finding an air pocket in the ice. However, the extreme cold saw Anna’s body temperature drop to 13.7 degrees C, the lowest body temperature a human has ever survived. Anna began to suffer circulatory arrest after the first 40 minutes in the water. Upon her rescue, Anna was transported to a hospital, where it took many doctors and nurses to revive her. When she woke up ten days later, Anna was distraught to realize that she was paralyzed from the neck down. Yet after spending two months in the Intensive Care Unit, Anna made almost a full recovery. Today, the only symptoms she suffers are nerve damage in her hands and feet.
4 Kelvin Santos
Kelvin Santos, a two-year-old boy from Brazil, died while receiving treatment from pneumonia in 2012. The infant is said to have been declared dead by doctors after he stopped breathing during the treatment. The child's body was then handed over to his distraught relatives. Throughout the night, Kelvin’s distraught relatives surrounded his body as he lay in an open casket. Then, just an hour before the boy was to be buried, he sat up and asked: “Daddy, can I have some water?” Kelvin’s father, Antoni Santos, described the scene by saying: “Everybody started to scream, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Then we thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life.” Unfortunately, the man continued: “Then Kelvin lied back down again, the way he was. We couldn’t wake him. He was dead again.” The child’s body was rushed back to the hospital but no matter how hard doctor’s tried, they could not get Kelvin to wake up again. Although the family had pushed back the funeral, in the hopes the boy would wake up, he was buried that evening at 5pm. Antoni Santos later went on to file a medical malpractice suit against the hospital that treated his son, stating: “Dead people don’t just wake up and talk. I’m determined to find out the truth.”
3 Mary Neal
In 1999, Mary Neal, visited Chile for a kayaking trip across a dangerous section of water, famous for its treacherous waterfalls. After accidentally veering over the edge of one of the largest falls, Mary instantly became trapped among rocks. With the volume and weight of the water, Mary was unable to release herself form the kayak, so both she and her boat were submerged. It took several minutes for Mary's group to realize what had occurred and to locate where she was trapped. Mary later claimed that she saw the whole scene from beyond, as her friends tried frantically to resuscitate her. Mary even said she saw spiritual beings: “They were absolutely overjoyed to see me and greet me, and I them. I knew that they had known me and loved me as long as I existed and I knew that I had known them and loved them." Mary explained that while leading her along a path, the beings suddenly realized that it was not her time and that she would have to return to her body. Just then, Mary said she returned to the scene at the river and watched as her friends rescued her. Another startling detail, was when Mary claimed the spirits told her it was not her time, they also informed her that her son's time was coming soon. Ten years later, Mary's son died in a car accident.
2 Lyudmila Steblitskaya
When it comes to miraculous resurrections, it doesn’t get much bigger than Lyudmila Steblitskaya. This uncanny woman has returned from the dead, not once, but twice. Lyudmila has even been dubbed “the woman who cannot die.” The Siberian woman’s first death occurred on November 4th 2011, after being brought to the hospital by her daughter. Anastasia, devastated by her mother’s passing, had to organize her entire funeral. Three days later, upon returning to the hospital with her mother's clothes to be buried in, Anastasia was told that she would have to wait a little while as her mother’s autopsy had yet to be performed. Shockingly, when Lyudmila’s body was taken from the refrigerator in the morgue, doctors noticed that the woman was wide awake. Lyudmila says her last memory was of being in the hospital and then waking up in the morgue to find her skin all cracked from the cold. The woman had spent an entire three days in the refrigerator, and had only woken up just minutes before the autopsy. Less than a year later, in 2012, Lyudmila once again passed away. This time, however, she was resuscitated a few hours after she was pronounced dead. Lyudmila is still alive today at 66 years old.
1 Annabelle Beam
At the age of 5, Annabelle Beam, was diagnosed with Pseudo-Obstruction Motility disorder along with Antral Hypo-motility disorder. These conditions left the young Texas girl in a constant state of pain and constantly in and out of the hospital. Both conditions threatened Annabelle’s well-being and she found it hard to lead a normal life. At one stage Annabelle even told her mother that she wanted to die.
Then, when Annabelle was 9-years old she was playing on a hollow tree, fell inside, dropped 30 feet down and landed on her head. Annabelle claims that while she was knocked out she “visited heaven and sat on Jesus’ lap.” Annabelle hit her head three times during the fall, and as emergency fire crews cut her from the tree and transported her to the local children’s hospital, everyone feared the worst. However, not only had she survived, but Annabelle had been washed clean of her two existing illnesses. She was completely healthy. Doctor’s couldn’t explain the recovery and said: “someone up there is looking out for her.” Annabelle’s story was made into a book, and now a movie called Miracles From Heaven. The film was released this year and starred Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah.