The following are truly chilling accounts from people who’ve been to hell.
To die, to sleep–to sleep, perchance to dream–ay, there’s the rub.
Most faiths have some sort of teaching about what happens after death. However, there are some people who claim to know for sure. How? They’ve been there. Unfortunately for the people on this list, they didn’t get to walk through the pearly gates. Instead, they found themselves facing fire and brimstone after accidents or illnesses putting them at death’s door.
10. Howard Storm
In 2005, Howard Storm, an art professor, had to be rushed into emergency surgery. He was unconscious for quite some time, and when he awoke, he had a shocking story to tell.
According to Storm, during the time that he was unconscious, he found himself being attacked by vicious demons of hell. He was terrified as he faced the creatures, so he tried to pray to God to save him from the evil creatures. This infuriated the creatures further; they began berating him, screaming that there was no God. Storm was not deterred, however. He knew that the creatures were speaking blasphemy in an attempt to lead him away from God.
He eventually awoke after surgery, highly distressed about his time in the pit. Unlike most people who have been to hell and returned, Storm was already a devout Christian. He said that the experience solidified his conviction in his faith.
9. Steven Long
The case of Dr. Stephen Long is a unique one. Most people who have been to hell only talk about it after they return. Long actually spoke about it while he was there.
Long’s story begins with a stress-induced heart attack. When his wife arrived at the hospital, he spoke a few words to her. She said that they sounded like “Die” and “Help me.” Long would later claim that these words were a call for help from hell itself.
Like Storm, Long’s visions of hell focus primarily on the beings that he saw there. He stated that he was accosted by several demons, such as a seven-foot-tall Asian woman in a black dress and a Chinese man in a jacket depicting Chinese characters that translate “spirit of death.” Long was frozen, unable to speak to or fight them until he regained consciousness.
8. Carl Knighton
Carl Knighton’s story begins after he makes the decision to go AWOL from the army. Lacking direction, he went on a drug binge. One day, after accidentally overdosing on Valium, he found himself falling into a place that was pitch black.
The first thing that he noticed was the stench. He states it was a smell so rotten that it is beyond all imagining. Then, the demons of the pit began grasping and pulling at him, taking him further into hell.
Knighton’s most vivid memory of hell is of the iconic lake of fire that is a central fixture in many popular depictions of hell. He says that the lake was filled with hopeless people in dreadful agony who were desperate to escape, but knew they never could.
The last thing Knighton remembers before returning to earth is the hand of God grabbing him and pulling him out of hell. After his harrowing experience, he repented the sins of his former life.
7. Linda Ngaoja
Of all of the people who have been to hell, Linda Ngaoja is easily the most controversial. The controversy doesn’t really come from the story itself, but rather from how she reacted after her near-death experience.
During her alleged time in hell, Ngaoja reportedly met several well-known figures including politician Muammar Gaddafi and singer Whitney Houston. She also claims that her own parents were present in hell.
After she returned to earth, Ngaoja began spreading the lessons that she learned from her time in hell. She states that based on what she saw, she believes that all Catholics and Muslims will go to hell after death. She also asserts that certain Christian ministers who make money from their ministries will go to hell because they are more interested in profit than in the teachings of God.
6. Angelica Zambrano
Other people who have been to hell return with stories about the famous personalities that they encountered there. Angelica Zambrano, like Ngaoja, claims to have seen Muammar Gaddafi and Whitney Houston in hell. However, Zambrano also encountered Pope John Paul II and Michael Jackson during her visit.
Zambrano specifically describes seeing a ring of demons surrounding Micheal Jackson, whose body was burning. The demons forced him to sing and dance as he burned.
According to Zambrano, Jesus himself was her guide through the pit. Through much of the journey, Jesus cried for the lost souls that they encountered. He instructed Zambrano to return to earth and tell people what she had seen to save them from a similar fate.
5. Matthew Botsford
In 1992, Matthew Botsford was leaving a restaurant when he was shot in the head. The injury was serious, and doctors placed him into a coma in an attempt to save his life. According to Botsford, he spent the 27 days of his coma in hell.
Like other accounts of hell, Botsford’s depiction of purgatory centers around a lake of fire. Unlike other visitors who merely passed by during their few hours in the afterlife, Botsford spent 27 days being subjected to the tortures of hell.
He states that he spent that time hanging over the lake of fire. Four-legged creatures devoured his flesh, which would then grow back so it could be devoured again. However, Botsford states that the loneliness he felt in hell was even worse than the physical torture.
After 27 days, a voice told him that it was not yet his time and he returned to the land of the living, determined to live a better life so he never had to return to hell.
4. Angie Fenimore
Angie Fenimore experienced hell on earth long before she ever saw the true torture of the underworld. She suffered from abuse for much of her life, sending her into a state of severe depression. In 1991, she felt so hopeless that she attempted to take her own life.
At first, all that she saw was darkness. Then, she came upon a group of other people who had died by their own hand. Fenimore attempted to communicate with some of the others, but they just stared ahead with blank expressions. Eventually, the group found their way to a large field where countless people roamed around the barren landscape. Each of them wore a similar blank and lifeless expression.
According to Fenimore, the air in the field buzzed with the thoughts of the sufferers. As they roamed, each person could hear and feel the tormented thoughts of the others around them. The sensation was maddening. In spite of this, the wanderers could not truly connect to each other, leaving them perpetually alone.
Fenimore suddenly found herself back in the world of the living where she joined a new church, determined to make connections with others around her to avoid the fate of the poor souls in purgatory.
3. Tamara Laroux
Much like Fenimore, Tamara Laroux’s story begins with suicide. At the tender age of 15, Laroux picked up a gun and shot herself in the chest. She found herself in a place of ultimate darkness.
Her story of the underworld has much in common with Fenimore’s. Laroux eventually found herself standing among countless others, all screaming in agony. Though they were right next to each other, none of them could communicate. Each soul was completely isolated and alone.
To make matters even more painful, Laroux and the souls suffering with her stood before the gulf separating them from heaven. They could catch only the slightest glimpse of a paradise that would forever be denied to them.
Laroux says that shortly after, a being made of bright light scooped her up and returned her to earth, but not before giving her a glimpse of the beautiful heaven that she could experience if she turned her life around.
2. Matthew Dovel
Matthew Dovel is different from other people who have been to hell. He had a near-death experience not once, but twice.
At age 12, Dovel almost drowned but was rescued by his friends. In the brief time he was dying, he caught a glimpse of heaven. In the years that followed, he became depressed at being forced back to earth after getting a taste of heaven. He attempted to recreate the euphoria with drugs and alcohol. He eventually decided to commit suicide so he could return to the afterlife. Unfortunately for Dovel, his second near-death experience landed him in hell.
Dovel’s vision of hell is quite different than you might expect. According to Dovel, hell was made up entirely of the people that he had known in his life. The people would come up to him, one at a time, and force him to live through a moment when he had caused them pain. Eventually, the people forced him to experience the pain that his death would cause them. The feeling was excruciating.
Dovel eventually awoke, back in his apartment, with no clue as to how he got there. He decided to devote his life to helping others suffering from thoughts of suicide.
1. George Ritchie
George Ritchie came down with pneumonia while fighting in World War 2. He was pronounced dead for nine minutes. When he was revived, he told a truly disturbing tale.
Ritchie states that a mysterious figure took him on a guided tour of hell. It appeared like any ordinary town. However, when Ritchie viewed the local bar, he saw that it was filled with people desperately trying to eat, drink, and smoke, but unable to do so.
The figure then guided Ritchie out of the town and into a wasteland. He was horrified at what he saw there.
The wasteland was filled with countless figures engaged in a vicious battle. They kicked, bit, and scratched each other endlessly. However, what disturbed Ritchie the most was the sexual abuse that they subjected each other to.
After recovering, Ritchie became a psychiatrist, specializing in near-death experiences.