A near-death experience (NDE) refers to personal experiences associated with impending death. Possible sensations are said to include detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light. These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or has been very close to death. Read more below for true and terrifying near-death experiences on record. Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!
PAM REYNOLDS LOWERY
Pam Reynolds Lowery from Atlanta, Georgia, was an American singer-songwriter. In 1991, at the age of 35, she stated that she had a near-death experience during a brain operation performed by Robert F. Spetzler at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Her experience is one of the most notable and widely documented in near-death experience studies because of the unusual circumstances under which it happened.
Reynolds had a large aneurysm in her brain, close to the brain stem. Because of the difficult position of the aneurysm, Reynolds was predicted to have no chance of survival. As a last resort, Robert F. Spetzler — a highly skilled neurosurgeon of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona — decided that a unique and rarely performed surgical procedure, known as hypothermic cardiac arrest, was necessary to improve Pam’s outcome. During this procedure, also known as a standstill operation, Pam’s body temperature was lowered to 50 °F (10 °C), her breathing and heartbeat stopped, and the blood drained from her head. Her eyes were closed with tape and small ear plugs with speakers were placed in her ears. These speakers emitted audible clicks which were used to check the function of the brain stem to ensure that she had a flat EEG — or a non-responsive brain — before the operation proceeded. The operation was a success and Reynolds recovered completely. The total surgery lasted about 7 hours with a few complications along the way.
Reynolds reported that during the operation she heard a sound like a natural ‘D’ that seemed to pull her out of her body and allowed her to “float” above the operating room and watch the doctors perform the operation. Reynolds claims that during this time she felt “more aware than normal” and her vision was more focused and clearer than normal vision. Reynolds says she was able to identify surgical instruments and hear conversations between operating room staff.
At some point during the operation she says she noticed a presence and was pulled towards a light. She says she began to discern figures in the light, including her grandmother, an uncle, other deceased relatives and people unknown to her. According to Reynolds, the longer she was there, the more she enjoyed it, but at some point in time she was reminded that she had to go back. She says her uncle brought her back to her body but she didn’t want to go so he pushed her in. She claimed it to be a sensation like that of jumping into ice water.
Reynolds later died from heart failure, on Saturday May 22, 2010, age 53 at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jane Seymour is an actress most noted for the cult classic movie, Somewhere in Time, with actor Christopher Reeves, and the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. When Jane Seymour was 36 years of age, she had a severe case of the flu and was given an injection of penicillin. She suffered an allergic reaction which led to a near-death experience.
“I literally left my body. I had this feeling that I could see myself on the bed, with people grouped around me. I remember them all trying to resuscitate me. I was above them, in the corner of the room looking down. I saw people putting needles in me, trying to hold me down, doing things. I remember my whole life flashing before my eyes, but I wasn’t thinking about winning Emmys or anything like that. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to live because I did not want anyone else looking after my children. I was floating up there thinking, “No, I don’t want to die. I’m not ready to leave my kids.” And that was when I said to God, “If you’re there, God, if you really exist and I survive, I will never take your name in vain again.” Although I believe that I “died” for about thirty seconds, I can remember pleading with the doctor to bring me back. I was determined I wasn’t going to die.”
Then Jane suddenly found herself back in her body.
William Petersen, the star of the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, had a near-death experience which he described in an interview for Playboy magazine (March 2004).
“Years ago, doing a play in Chicago, I cut my finger in half onstage. We obviously had to stop because, well, I didn’t have a finger. By the time they got me to the ER I had lost a lot of blood and passed out. I could hear the doctors working on me, saying that they had lost my vital signs. I was on the “All That Jazz” escalator with a long tunnel and a lot of white light. Then I specifically remember a dominant male voice saying, “It’s not your time. Get off the escalator. You’ve got shit to do.” I came to, and got sewed up. Something in me changed, a sort of knowledge that somewhere on the other side, its good. For weeks, the more I talked about it, the more freaked out people got. Some of them were like, “Okay, whatever: You took too many drugs.”
Veronika Barthel says that, after being struck by lightning while driving her car one day in 1981, she was instantly transported into hell, where she found demons escorting her into a big waiting room.
“The creatures that I saw there were more terrifying than anything I even saw in a horror movie. Today I know that they were demons. As soldiers they were marching past me, and in the middle of them were people that were screaming with pain. It was very difficult to breathe down there, because of the terrible smell of this place. I saw a lake, which looked like the inner part of a volcano, where people were cursing because of great pain.”
She says that she saw people being thrown into caves, which were guarded by demons, who threw spears at them as they screamed. She also recalled snakes being present all over the ground, which were there to frighten and intimidate the people in hell.
After her experience, Veronika found herself transported back into her car, where for a moment, she saw her own burning hands gripping the steering wheel.
Late British actress Elizabeth Taylor had spoken of her experience of having died on the operating table while undergoing surgery, and of passing through a tunnel towards a brilliant white light. Interviewed by Larry King on CNN’s Larry King Live, the legendary Hollywood star related how she had died for five minutes on the operating table. Ms. Taylor said that while she was clinically dead, she had encountered the spirit of Michael Todd, one of her former husbands, whom she referred to as her great love. She had wanted to stay with Todd, she said, but he had told her that she had work and life ahead of her, and he “pushed me back to my life.” Following her resuscitation, the eleven-person medical team – including doctors, nurses, etc. – witnessed Taylor’s testimonial of this event.
“I was pronounced dead once and actually saw the light. I find it very hard to talk about, actually, because it sounds so corny. It happened in the late ’50s, and I saw Mike (Taylor’s third husband, who was killed in a plane crash in 1958). When I came to, there were about 11 people in the room. I’d been gone for about five minutes – they had given me up for dead and put my death notice on the wall. I shared this with the people that were in the room next to me. Then after that I told another group of friends, and I thought, “Wow, this sounds really screwy. I think I’d better keep quiet about this.”
“I went to that tunnel, saw the white light, and Mike. I said, Oh Mike, you’re where I want to be. And he said, ‘No, Baby. You have to turn around and go back because there is something very important for you to do. You cannot give up now.’ It was Mike’s strength and love that brought me back.””For a long time I didn’t talk about it, and it’s still hard for me to talk about. But I have shared it with people with AIDS because if the moment occurs and you’re really sharing, it’s real. I am not afraid of death, because I have been there.”
REBECCA DE MORNAY
Rebecca DeMornay starred in the movie thriller, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. When she was 7 years old, she was in Mexico City, Mexico, when she got ill from a peptic ulcer and had what she believes was a near-death experience.
“One night the doctors told my mother that there was only a fifty-fifty chance that I’d make it. I remember that I was tied to three IVs but I recall getting out of bed and looking out of the window: it was snowing. There was an old-fashioned lamppost and barefoot children were dancing around it, singing. I went back to bed and the next morning the crisis was over. In 1983 I started thinking about it: “Does it ever snow in Mexico City? Do they have these strange kind of lampposts there?” I went back to Mexico and I didn’t see those lampposts anywhere. Nor does it ever snow there.”
Following a pastor’s conference in January 1989, Don Piper was driving over a bridge when a Texas Department of Corrections tractor-trailer truck crossed the center line and ran into him head-on. He said he was “instantly transported to Heaven,” where he found himself surrounded by dead relatives and friends, and a large pearl gate.
“The gate of heaven was a magnificent edifice, the one that I saw. It looked no less like a giant gate that had been sculpted from mother-of-pearl,” he said. “Behind that portal was such a light that I don’t conceive of how you could see it in an earthly body. It could only be envisioned in a heavenly body because it was too bright.”
As he lay there crushed in his vehicle on the bridge, a pastor came by, who prayed over him. The EMS staff had told him that Don was deceased. After the pastor prayed, he instantly found himself back in his vehicle, staring up at a tarp that had been draped over him. At the hospital, it was revealed that, although he suffered no major head trauma, nearly every bone in his body had been broken or shattered. Don wrote a book called 90 Minutes In Heaven after his
Have you ever had a near-death experience? What do you think of the above? Let us know in the comments box below!