Floating out of your body, going into a tunnel or meeting dead relatives – these are just some of the common themes reported by people who claim to have glimpsed the afterlife.
They have been through a near-death experience – defined as an unexplained event taking place while somebody is on the brink of death.
And while sceptics may argue they are tricks of the mind, or simply not real, there is no doubting the similarity in what people say they have seen.
Here, Daily Star meets four Brits who died and returned to tell the tale of what they witnessed on the other side…
“I was healed by beings who brought me back to life”
In 2006, David Ditchfield, from Cambridge, was saying goodbye to a friend at a train station when his coat got trapped in the train doors as it set off.
It led to an encounter with otherworldly beings and changed his life forever, as the 61-year-old explains…
“I was pulled along the platform, then under the tracks with the train hurtling above me,” says David. “I was conscious for all this time, but my left arm had been severed and when I reached hospital I was in a lot of pain and fearing for my life.
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“Then, I felt myself leave my body. All the anxiety left me, and I was in a darkened room that felt very calming and inviting. I figured I was dead, and it was the next stage. I didn’t fight it, I had a sense of relief I was in this place.
“I then saw these slowly pulsating orbs of light flashing around me. I looked to get my bearings and realised I was no longer on a hospital trolley, but a huge slab of rock. Looking over the slab, I could see a huge waterfall of stars cascading by.
“I felt the presence of somebody by my feet, a person with white blonde hair, skin that was glowing with light from within – but they were wearing a black T shirt. I knew this being would care for me and heal me.
“I decided to lie back on the rock and enjoy the healing process. Two women arrived too, and they were hovering over my body and this energy was coming from them. I felt this energy wasn’t only healing the wounds from my accident, but it was cleansing my soul too.
“I saw a tunnel of white light approaching me with flames cascading around the edge, and through telepathically communicating with the beings they told me this was the source of all creation. And then I crashed back into my body in the hospital.
“The experience has really transformed me. When I was recovering, I gained the experience to paint and compose music, something I’d never done before. I also wrote a book, Shine On, about my story ( shineonthestory.com ). Through my life I’d always felt like a failure with a lot of guilt and shame, but these feelings have disappeared.”
“I felt like I was flying through space on a go-kart”
Bill McAllister Lovatt, 68, from mid Wales, was in London for a conference three years ago when he suddenly collapsed while having dinner.
He says: “I was later told I had ‘died’ in the chair, and while people were giving me first aid, I felt myself fly into space. I felt I could see the whole universe – the colours of the planets and stars were absolutely fantastic and I had a feeling of total wonderment.
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“It was as if I was on a go-kart that was travelling at the speed of light, and I was able to travel to any planet I wanted by just thinking about it. I could also look back at Earth.
“Although I didn’t see any other people, I was aware of another presence there. Then suddenly my journey finished and I woke up in hospital.
“The experience has changed me – I’m no longer worried about dying and it makes me feel like we are all connected in some way.”
“I’ve had two near death experiences in my life”
In her two brushes with death, Alison March, 46, has felt herself rushing into a tunnel and being pulled upward by mysterious forces.
Alison, from Ascot, Berks, says: “I’ve had two near-death experiences in my life. I’m allergic to fish and nuts, and suffer anaphylactic shock if I eat these foods.
“The first time it happened, I was 19. I suffered a cardiac event due to eating nuts in a restaurant, and I remember rushing forwards into a bright, white tunnel. It felt really frightening – when I came round I was screaming.
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“The second experience was six years ago and I had another allergic reaction. I was on a hospital bed, and felt myself being strongly pulled upwards. I knew I had to get on to the ground, as whatever it was wouldn’t be able to pull me as strongly, so I got myself on to the floor.
“When I was on the floor, I was medically dying as I’d not been given an Epipen yet. At this point, I had a sense of drifting away which was actually quite nice. I felt calm, peaceful and not scared of dying.
“But then I remembered my children and felt like I forced myself back into my body to be with them.”
*Alison runs divorce, separation and bereavement website thegrouphug.com
“Seeing my dead mum gave me the strength to come back”
Six years ago, Manjit Kaur from Glasgow spent three weeks in hospital with a condition that made the sodium levels in her body drop to dangerous amounts.
The 73-year-old reveals that as her children were told to come and say their last goodbyes, she had a visit from some relatives who had passed on…
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Manjit explains: “Around two and a half weeks into my time in hospital, the doctors told my four children to come and see me, as I was so ill and they thought I was on the way out. But while this was happening, I saw my mum, Chanan, who I was very close to – out of me and my five siblings I was her only daughter.
"My mum was speaking to me and it felt really realistic, like she was in the room with me. It also didn’t feel like I was in the hospital ward, but in a large tent. As well as my mum, I also saw other relatives who had died chatting to each other, and I felt like I was sitting there watching them all talk to each other.
"It felt very comforting to see these people who had passed on. Seeing my mum gave me the strength to come back to my family.
"I realised life is very precious and fragile and I have turned my life around after that. I used to worry a lot about everybody around me and my children, but now I feel less fearful about things that are out of my control. I believe my near death visions were a positive thing.”
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