You’ve probably heard of the stories or seen it in movies: People slip out of their bodies for a split second, and their outlook on life is totally changed. From premonitions about death to soaring high above the ground, these experiences shook their beholders to the core, and they’ll have the same effect on you.
1. Michael watched his own heart attack happen.
After heart surgery 10 years ago, Michael, age 35, specifically remembers floating above his hospital bed. Looking down, he saw the nurses frantically moving around him, calling to “grab the paddles.” Despite the urgency in the room around him, Michael reports feeling exceptionally calm the entire time. He just floated above, watching. Then, suddenly, it ended. He woke up in the hospital bed with his dad and girlfriend sitting beside him. When he relayed the experience to a nurse later, she laughed and said this was a common experience for cardiac patients who flatline. Michael never considered himself a religious man, but after this experience, he knows there’s something in the universe much larger than any of us.
2. Margaret flew away from her body in dreams.
When Margaret, now 38, was a young girl she remembers repeatedly being able to step away from her body and fly away shortly after falling asleep. The first few times it happened, she thought it was a dream. She could move through walls without touching them, and was actually able to watch her parents in real time. It was then she knew this was no dream.
The only spooky thing was her dog. A normally calm and quiet animal, her dog would whine whenever Margaret emerged from her body, immediately causing her to return. She stopped having out-of-body experiences after her parents divorced during her freshman year in high school, and it hasn’t happened since.
3. Jason induces out-of-body experiences while meditating.
Jason, now 28, has experienced stepping out of his body more than once, and was able to induce it himself a few times while in deep meditation by visualizing himself as hovering over his body. He describes slipping out of your body like being attached to a spider’s thread, you’re always connected, but aware of a separation. He became interested in meditation because of previous sleep induced out-of-body experiences (OBEs). He wanted to determine if those experiences were real or just something in his head. Over time, he’s become convinced that they are indeed real. He has since tried to understand what exactly an OBE is and why they occur. But after speaking with various meditation teachers, none have offered answers that satisfy him. Maybe it’s just something that we’ll never be able to understand.
4. Eugene took up meditation for stress problems and found himself out of his body.
36-year-old Eugene’s case is another dealing with mediation. He started the practice to help manage his stress but found more than he was expecting. Once, a man from Nepal came to his meditation center to present a lecture on mindfulness. He seemed aware of the room’s collected skepism in his unconventional ways, so he handed out Post-In notes to five members present and told them to write a number between 1 and 100. They were then instructed to put the paper in their pockets then lay them face-up on the floor after he had entered an out-of-body status and was “gone.” He claimed that when he returned to his body, he would be able to tell them what numbers were on the papers. The room sat in 30 minutes of silence before he eventually sat up and correctly stated all five numbers. To this day, Eugene has no explanation for how this was done. Was it truly an out-of-body experience? Or was it some kind of crafty magic trick?
5. Sara had an out-of-body experience out of the blue in college.
It was a very quiet day and 25-year-old Sara recalls that she felt particularly relaxed. Her eyes were closed, she was outside and listening to the surrounding noise. As she lay there, she felt like she was slowly moving up as though she was standing or being lifted, though she was confident this was not the case. She was suddenly overwhelmed by the sense of being two places at once: floating in the air and still lying on the ground below. Even stranger, she could see the world around her despite her eyes being closed. It was disorienting so she threw out her arms to try to catch herself and emerged from this strange state. It hasn’t happened again since.
6. Anna saw her grandmother’s heart attack before it happened during an out-of-body experience.
When Anna was 14, she had a dream that she was standing in her grandparents’ kitchen and saw her grandmother telling her grandfather she wasn’t feeling well. He started crying and her grandmother tried to comfort him. Anna woke in tears herself, feeling an enormous sense of grief, but blew off the experience as a really bad dream.
A couple days later, her mother got a phone call from her grandfather saying that her grandmother had suffered a massive heart attack in the kitchen and died. Three days after the call, Anna’s family went to the Gulf Coast of Alabama where her grandparents had moved a year earlier. She had never been before, nor seen any pictures, but when she entered the kitchen, it was the exact same as she’d seen in her dream.
She didn’t tell her mother about this until she was nearly 30, and her mother wasn’t surprised. She said Anna had always been close with her grandfather and thought she probably went to him because he was sad. Anna believes she somehow ventured into the future to her grandparents’ house the moment her grandmother died. It made her realize that we are truly connected to people we love in a way that is far beyond physical.
7. A fall from a tree pushed Brian out of his body.
Brian, now 30, was seven when he was climbing a tall tree in his backyard and took a fall. He landed flat on his back, hitting his head on a root. However, the next thing he knew, he was getting up off the ground and dusting off his clothes. His mother ran from the house, yelling for his dad. Brian was ready to tell her that he was okay, when he looked down and saw another him still lying unconscious on the ground. From a distance, he watched his mom kneel over his body and gently pat his face. He woke with her leaning over him. To this day, he still isn’t sure what caused this amazingly real experience, but it has made him more open-minded to things where most people would automatically assume disbelief.