I was at a party with several friends, and I had been drinking wine over the course of several hours. I was tipsy, but not exactly drunk. A friend at the party kept smoking from a tiny pipe, taking one hit at a time, every five minutes or so. It seemed like marijuana, but not quite. I asked him what he was smoking, and he told me it was called Space. He explained that it was similar to pot, but completely legal, and asked if I wanted to try it.
I took just one puff off the tiny pipe, and instantly I felt numb all over. My vision very quickly diminished to just a tiny dot of light, and then that went out. I could not see and I could barely feel. At the same time, a loud, deafening metal sound began. I really don't know how to describe it. It sounded like a metal howl or almost like a submarine siren. The sound did not go away, but over the sound, I could hear everyone in the room talking at once. It was absolutely unnatural how I could hear. I could pick out every single word of what everyone was saying, simultaneously. Among the conversations, I could hear my two of my friends talking to and about me. They were saying my name, asking if I was ok, but I could not speak or move in reply. I heard one of them say, ‘I'm getting Bryan,’ and when she left I could even hear her talking to Bryan in the other room. Bryan is my boyfriend of many years. We have been together since we were sixteen.
Bryan came into the room and he was asking me what was wrong trying to get me to answer. I still could do nothing, and felt numb. He sat down on the couch next to me and I could feel myself fall off the couch. Each touch felt like it echoed or bounced. Like the sensation happened over and over again, becoming a little fainter each time, until it stopped. I could hear everyone panicking and I could feel Bryan check for my pulse. Eventually, all feeling stopped. The numbness went away and I literally felt nothing. It was like I physically did not exist at all anymore.
The whole time the incredibly loud metal noise was continuing. I have never before or since felt such absolute terror. I can't even fully explain how scared I was, and some part of me thought that I was possibly going to hell. For the record, I am an atheist, but I just felt that it had to be hell. I was in an absolute panic, and I had what I guess can only be described as a ‘life flashing before my eyes’ moment. It happened incredibly fast, and it wasn't so much life images as it was a thought of every person I know, from my family to completely random acquaintances, and even complete strangers. I can't remember it all and it happened insanely fast, When it did happen it only intensified my fear because I guess I took it as affirmation that this was the end and I was dying. I just had the overwhelming knowledge that I was dying and I was about to descend into hell.
I do not know how long the whole experience lasted, but after what seemed only a short while, my thoughts stopped. It only became my name repeated over and over again. Just my name. That is the only thought I had and it was at this time that the metal noise stopped. I don't remember it stopping, but when my name was being repeated it was totally quiet except for the name. I couldn't hear anyone in the room anymore either.
While this was going on, my friends had attempted to put ice cubes in my mouth to cool me down. They said I was burning up and felt incredibly hot, so they thought the ice would bring my temperature down. An ice cube must have been stuck in my throat and I stopped breathing. I wasn't aware of any of this. I was only aware of my name being repeated in my head.
Finally, I could feel something. It was so incredibly slight, but I could feel Bryan's elbow. He was holding me upright on the floor. When I felt that tiny bit that is when thoughts returned. First it was just Bryan's name, but then it became a whole thought and I was telling myself to hold on and just feel his arm. I was convinced that if I could just focus on feeling then I could pull myself out of this. It felt like that struggle went on for hours, but finally a huge burst happened and I came back with such a violent force. It felt like I was thrown. I shot forward, spit the water, and melted ice out of my mouth.
I remember screaming ‘I was dead! Oh my god I was dead!’ I just kept crying and saying that and hugging Bryan. I was relieved but honestly, I was still incredibly scared. It was the most horrifying experience of my life.
Everyone who was there insists that it was just a bad effect of the drug. I logically would like to believe that also, but I am still convinced that I was dying and going to hell. I am not, I believe, a bad person, but it is what I felt.
Date NDE Occurred: 'December 1, 2011'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Drug or medication overdose 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I could hear everyone around me, but I could no longer feel my body or anything else.
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal My hearing was unnatural. I could hear everything simultaneously. In daily life, you subconsciously hear many things, but you're only able to focus on a limited number. During the experience, I was able to focus on all noises equally.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Just at the beginning of it, when I could hear everyone speaking clearly at the same time. Although throughout the entire experience I was much more alert than in daily life.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
It's hard to explain. Some thoughts seemed to happen faster, but overall my perception of the event is that it happened slower than it actually did.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I completely lost all vision during the experience.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was amazingly heightened. In daily life it is physically impossible to hear the way I did during the experience.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It wasn't another world, but it was absolute darkness.
The experience included: Hellish imagery
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Absolute terror and overwhelming guilt.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? No
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I had a very clear sense of myself. When I heard my name repeated over and over, I had this very strange clear feeling of myself. It wasn't a thought, or an image, but it was a sense.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 When I began to have feeling again, I became frantic to try to hold on to it so that I could return to life. I kept thinking that if I hung on to my boyfriend's arm, and if I could keep feeling it, then I wouldn't die.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Atheist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I still do not have specific beliefs or practices, but I am certainly not a hardline atheist anymore. I do not know what happens after life, and I no longer claim to know.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I have not believed in any religion or afterlife for a very long time. Yet during the experience, I truly thought I was going to hell. I did not believe that hell, or a place like it, even existed.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I'm just not certain anymore about god, or spirituality, or an afterlife. I don't know what happens when we die, but I am now truly afraid of it.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably does not exist
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist Yes I was convinced that I was going to hell.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I greatly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life The experience may have been just a bad reaction to a drug, but I have a hard time believing that. I truly felt I was dead or dying, and that I was about to go to some other place. It seemed like hell, and it was incredibly frightening. Part of me questions it, because I am in general a good person. I don't mean to sound conceited, but it's true. I truly care about other people, and I do act with good intentions. I have not done anything that, in my opinion, would make me go to hell. This is partly why the whole experience was so unsettling and still frightens me. I am now slightly afraid that I am on some wrong path, that I am making bad decisions that may lead me to hell. What if there is an afterlife and I am somehow damned? This experience has shaken my certainty that there is no afterlife, and it has also made me afraid that I am not a good person.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Yes My relationships haven't changed much, and the change is all one-sided. I do view the people in my life as being there more by fate rather than chance now. Because of this, I think the relationships are more special.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The feelings that occurred during the experience are so unlike what could happen in daily life that it is very hard to make comparisons in order to fully explain.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes It may seem silly, but my hearing improved slightly. I never had bad hearing, but it wasn't exactly the best either. Now I can really pick out all the instruments in a song, and even listen to the television clearly at a lower volume. I began to notice this about a week or so after the experience.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The most meaningful part was when I came back. I just felt very clearly that I am an individual, and that there is no one like me. And I felt that my boyfriend was somehow connected to me. When all my thoughts had basically disappeared, in the end I still knew Bryan and myself.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I immediately told my boyfriend what had happened when I could talk coherently again. He, and the very few others that I've told, all insist it was just a bad reaction to the drug.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I knew others have claimed to have near death experiences, but I never studied the subject or gave it much thought at all.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Immediately after, and for several days, I was totally convinced that I had died, or was dying, and that it was completely real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real I am generally a skeptic and a very logical person, so I do accept there is a high probability that it was all in my head. But it felt so real, and it was so scary, that I have a hard time accepting that. I still think that it was real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Thank you. This is a great site. I have never met anyone who has had a near death experience, and it's hard to fully understand what happened to me. I wasn't clinically dead (that I know of), but it truly felt like I had died and come back from hell. It makes me nervous, but I did read one submission that was somewhat similar to mine, so it made me feel a little better. Again, thank you!