I'm a media studies student at a London University. This happened when I was shooting a short film for my coursework.
We were using a disused church and we were quite excited, as it had taken ten weeks to get permission. The church was in the middle of being refurbished, and although there was nothing in it that made it look like a church, there was a considerable amount of rubbish and various building materials in the center. Although hazard tape covered the door leading to the steps, we decided to use the balcony, which ran the whole length of the church on both sides, it was about three meters wide and was seven meters high.
Once we started to film, we had to stop several times because the balcony was creaking, and when our camerawoman, Jo, went back to the camera case about five meters away from the set to change the tape. Myself, Shane and Charlie (all, including Jo were close friends from secondary (high school) leant against the balcony wall, which gave way and we fell to the ground.
I opened my eyes and remember looking up thinking 'Wow, that was a long way to fall, and I didn't even hurt myself.' My head was propped up on something, so it gave me a good view of everything, a large proportion of the balcony was now on ground level. I didn't give much thought about Charlie and Shane, as I thought they hadn't fell. I felt something trickling down my sides which made me look down, sticking through my chest was a metal spike - one of the ones that go in the middle of concrete. I didn't panic; I just lay there, not moving, feeling what was blood run down my sides, saturating my tee-shirt as it went.
I caught some movement out of the corner of my eyes. I could see Shane get up, his back was deeply lacerated, and he was limping as he staggered over to the wall. I then realized that I could hear screaming, but it was muffled as though someone was screaming into a pillow, I looked up in the direction of the scream and saw Jo on the top of the balcony looking down, her face screwed up in a mixture of screams and tears. This made me smile, though I didn't know why I was smiling. I wanted to her to stop, but I couldn't speak, I didn't even try.
I looked again at the spike in my chest, and it occurred to me for the first time that I was going to die, but I couldn't understand why, I wasn't sure that I wanted to die yet, not that I had a choice. It didn't frighten me, the prospect of dying, it never has, but I always thought that when the time eventually came, I'd be scared, but I wasn't. Again, there was movement in the corner of my eye. Shane was kneeling down on the rubble and was crying furiously. He kept shouting at something or someone, 'Charlie! Wake up,' he repeated over and over again.
Then I suddenly realized, I should be feeling pain, I wasn't. I hadn't even moved, not that I attempted too. I suddenly felt warm all over, warm, and for the first time, I felt pain in the form of a thousand fists punching me all over my body, but I didn't care. I was focusing on the warm sensation now creeping from my body down through my legs and arms, and up to my neck, like sun on skin, but it radiated from the inside. A dark, black ring was now slowly restricting my sight. It was getting wider and wider, working it's away into the middle of my view. 'Wake up!' shouted Shane again. Losing hope, he looked over at me, and I realized my situation. I gave a weak smile, again, I didn't know why. He looked up towards Jo, and shouted some instructions, but I didn't hear, I couldn't. He then started to limp his way over to me, still crying furiously, mouthing, 'Greg!' as he went, but before I could do anything, the circle of darkness around my eyes closed completely.
It was as if I blinked. My eyes were suddenly open, but my position had changed, I was now up high, I looked around me and found that I was on the balcony. I wasn't flying, or floating, I was just crouching there on the edge looking down at myself, watching Shane remove the spike from my chest, he was shouting, but it was silent, no noise whatsoever. I looked right and saw Jo, she too was crying hard. She was reloading a battery into her mobile phone, but she was too shaky to slide it in correctly.
I'd never felt so cold. From feeling very warm when I was lying amongst the rubble, I now felt cold, but it wasn't an uncomfortable feeling, it was just one that was to be accepted without question it seemed. I was wearing the exact same clothes as before, even the blood stains were still there. My sight was not - human. It was fragmented, although I could see perfectly, if not better, it was not the sight I'd had previously, and everything glowed in a silvery way.
I looked down at myself again. Shane was trying in vain to revive me, but it didn't seem to be working. Although I was clear of the spike, my lung was obviously punctured, but Shane wasn't giving up. Jo had now successfully inserted the battery into the mobile phone, tapped in a number and raised it to her ear. I remember looking at her lips. They were trembling as she spoke, and I couldn't make out what she was saying. Then something caught my eye. Something or someone was coming along the balcony just behind Jo. It was Charlie.
I quickly looked down at his body. He was clearly dead. His head was precariously placed away from his shoulders. I looked back at Charlie. He was looking blank, but he had tears in his eyes. He sat down and dangled his legs over the broken ledge of the balcony just on the other side of the frantic Jo. He looked down at himself. 'Charlie?' I asked, not knowing if he would hear me. He looked up sharply. His face crumpled. 'I'm scared Greg.' I looked at him, and then again, at his lifeless body. There was nothing anyone could do to help him now. He was dead - full stop. He too was looking at himself. 'I know,' I said, as I felt a tear roll down my face.
The doors flung open. And a team of three paramedics shot through the door - two men and a woman. We watched the woman check Charlie as the others ran over to me. As one undid his case, he looked back at the woman checking Charlie. All eyes were on her now, even Jo was. She shook her head gently. Charlie was dead. He looked again at me. If Charlie was dead, why was I staring into his eyes now? 'You have to go Greg,' he said. It dawned on me that I had to try to get back into my body. 'What about you?' I asked. 'Greg, I'm dead. You saw the woman; there is nothing I can do.' 'Yes you can,' I pleaded, 'You have to try Charlie.' He gave a gentle smile and nodded. He stood up, as did I, and we walked to each other. I looked into his eyes for a moment - they were full of fear and there was nothing I could do about it. He gave me a hug, and Charlie never gave men hugs. He held me really tight, and then he broke off, still crying, yet harder. 'Goodbye Greg,' he said. 'Bye Charlie,' I said. I looked back at myself on the floor, and jumped.
I awoke... Alive.
Date NDE Occurred: 04/16/03
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death I fell from a balcony.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes See main narrative.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Total.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I heard only Charlie's voice through the whole experience.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes See main narrative.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? See main narrative.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will Charlie persuaded me. I felt mostly fear.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist NONE
What is your religion now? Moderate Christian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am now a Christian and go to church (the same one) every Sunday.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The emotion I felt - it was like nothing I'd had before.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have been able to re-visit that day with extraordinary detail, which is why I can give such a good description. I also have the ability to know when something is going to happen, although it doesn't happen by choice! It's by force.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Saying goodbye to Charlie was the worst, and the amazing feeling I had when I was looking at myself from the balcony was the best.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Just Jo and Shane, they were stunned and at first did not believe me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I was prescribed anti-depressants which started the whole psychic thing off.
Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Uncertain