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This post chimes with experiences I encountered after my dad passed away.

Here is a link to a blogpost of mine that summarises some (not all) of my experiences:

Excellent post!

Wow. Nice post.
Some skeptics will probably get a hold of this and call it bull, wishful thinking, hallucinations, ect.
And some hardcore materialist will not like seeing this and deny it. But this here tells me that maybe there really is something after this life.

Cherry, yes these are indeed the things that make us go hmmmmm… They are also the things that makes us change beliefs and maybe even our lives. Have your beliefs changed or been affected by tour experiences? As for me, I still consider myself an open minded skeptic, but much less of a skeptic than before. These things really happen.

Matt, thanks.


This is exactly the sort of phenomena that started a month or so after my father passed away. though we also experienced physical objects vanishing or moving.

Just like the writer, initially my (and my wife's) inner skeptic searched for alternative explanations. Over a period of a month or so, the evidence of something paranormal overwhelmed the skeptic within.

Then, a sitting with an excellent medium, under totally anonymous (blind to the medium) conditions confirmed the paranormal aspect. My father's spirit came through loud and clear (no fishing, no guessing, no cold reading, with sometimes obscure, but highly detailed and accurate highly personal info revealed, etc). He claimed full responsibility for the phenomena in our home over the past months and explained that he was trying to get our attention as he had some important things to tell us (which he did during the séance - again, very accurate detailed knowledge of unique personal events that the medium could not have possibly known via normal means).

I had long been convinced of life after death prior to this séance. My wife, however, had been a doubter. After this séance, she has become a full believer.

I should add that, had I not been so shocked by finding myself virtually in the presence of my deceased father, engaged in an intense conversation with him (he was an intense guy in life), that I would have thought to have asked him *how* he produced the phenomena. That would have been interesting. In fact, I had been planning on going back to this same medium (the only viable medium I have ever encountered) and see if we could summon him again and ask. Sadly, not longer after my initial sitting with that medium, she has fallen into seriously ill health and has only made sporadic returns to mediumship.

This sounds very closely related to the rare - but not as rare you'd imagine - phenomena of phone calls from the dead. The heavy static on the phone is a consistent element of the experience as it's reported.

I've had - and occasionally reported here - many experiences of the "signs and coincidences" variety suggestive of communication from deceased individuals, though thankfully nothing like noises and classic hauntings. However there is frequently the element of relevant objects appearing or disappearing in startling ways. My own mother died in this house 18 months ago and there's been precious little in the way of the uncanny since her funeral. But there was one incident worth reporting that happened in January.

I came across a photo of my mum in a family whatsapp conversation.. a photo taken when she was in hospital and in which she is staring straight into the camera, which created the impression she was right there in front of me. It occurred to me i could use the image to talk directly to her. I did so with no particular emotion or sentiment, merely telling her nothing spooky had happened since her passing, and it would be nice to receive a new experience that would confirm the reality of all this stuff once more.

The following morning the discovery that a missing frying pan a guest had asked for had fallen down the back of the bottom kitchen drawer, lead me to clear our the overstuffed drawer in question. Its entire contents were recipe books and the user manuals for various household appliances. There was nothing else in it. With one exception. A random piece of paper with my own handwriting on it. From the context i realised what it was...a number of years before when my mum had had a minor stroke but seemed completely unaware of the fact she was speaking gobbledygook, i had to write on pieces of paper and hold up to her the information that i think she'd had a stroke and I would need to call an ambulance. Why this particular scrap of paper was kept and was in a kitchen drawer 7 or 8 years later is a complete mystery. But my words to her, coming just hours after my request to break her silence and proof her continued existence, now read like words from her to me....

"I keep asking you as loudly and clearly as I can if you can hear me. But you just keep staring at me like you can't."

Scott Rogo put out a book called Phone Calls from the Dead — an unintentionally funny title, I admit, but the book did contain some interesting cases. The novelist Dean Koontz has reported a possible experience of that type, recounted here:

Wonderful post, GregL, thank you for sharing.

Lawrence, about that static. I had an odd experience several years ago. It was on Good Friday, and my mother had been deceased for several years. I get a phone call, pick up the phone, say "Hello," and the woman says "Kathleen, this is Mommy." I about fell over (and my siblings and I always called her "Mommy" - kind for corny, I know, but not Mom or anything else). She sounded EXACTLY like my deceased mother. And of course there was lots of static. There were a few more unintelligible words, but lots of static, and then the other side went dead. I was reminded of this by Greg's note of the static on the intercom.

Intriguingly the original Twilight Zone did two stories about phone calls from the dead, the first and most famous - Long Distance Call (1961) - predates, i seem to recall, any publicised account of such phone calls in real life. It involves a young boy getting messages over his toy phone from his domineering dead grandmother.

The second and less familiar episode - Night Call (1964) - is both far more accomplished as a tv drama (its directed by Jaques "Cat People/Curse of The Demon" Tourneur) and is far more directly akin to the accounts of PCFTD that people report here and elsewhere, with its static and struggling one word messages, suggesting the writer was aware of such cases...which seems highly likely as it's Richard Matheson.

You can watch the full episode on the daily motion site

Kathleen, it's pretty hard to explain that phone call from you mother as something else. It seems so typical of such calls from the spirit world with a lot of static, unintelligible words and then just fading away! I envy those of you who have received such calls. - AOD

I have some stories of this sort to relate:

Not long after my grandmother died, the phone went in my mother's house. My mum picked up the phone and the caller spoke in a very familiar voice, 'is that you Christine? it's your mother!' My mum told the person that this must be a wrong number, and after that the person hung up. The voice was uncanny as it was so like my grandmother - the strong Scottish accent, and even using my mother's name!

Even if it could ultimately be traced to an actual person, even then it is quite an outstanding and very timely coincidence, and perhaps warrants as an ADC on that score alone.

My grandmother also appeared in a relative's dream the night that she died, to tell them that she was 'off now'. So it seems that she was a pretty good ADCer!

I also have friends of mine, a couple, who both had a simultaneous dream, where her grandmother appeared to *both of them* in a dream on the same night, to tell them that 'that's me going now'. The next morning they woke up and exchanged the same vision with each other. Not long after, the news came that she had died. How do we explain this?

I also recall reading a fictional (I guess) short story about phone calls from the dead written in about the 1910s or 1920s. (I wish I could remember the name of the short story or the anthology in which I read it, but can't.) It was written by a British person, and was set at the time when telephones were first being installed and used, and concerned a man receiving phone calls from his deceased wife.

Over the years, I've also read accounts of people receiving voice messages on their mobile phones from the deceased, and/or the deceased's phone number showing up on their mobile phone. In one case, I think someone even wrote that their home printer printed out a message.

My dad is dealing with his second case of cancer since 2009. I am optimistic for his recovery but he is 78 and I know his time is coming. I know I got to have the strength to deal with what is inevitable. I have studied all the evidence for life after death for 20 years now so I know a strong case can be made. However damn it all it still doesn't trump the finality of Earthly death. I hope all the accounts people are telling here are true. You want to believe it, but no matter how many strong NDE cases you read, no matter how many Peek in Darien experiences you read you just wonder if it is all mistaken. It seems too good to be true in the end......

Losing a loved one leaves a hole in your life no mattter what you believe about survival. If your loved one had moved to a distant country that was almost impossible to contact by phone, postal mail, or Internet, and iimpractical to visit, you would feel a sense of loss even if you were confident that he or she was still alive.

I found talk about the afterlife more annoying than reassuring in the immediate aftermath of a loved one's passing. Even though I still was intellectually convinced, I found the idea too abstract to be emotionally meaningful. It’s one reason I don’t recommend approaching this subject with the intention of healing grief, especially grief that’s of recent vintage.

We had a commenter who’d lost a life partner and came on here needing to be convinced of survival. Though many of us suggested that he should work through his grief first, he persisted in seeking "proof." Over time he became more and more dismissive, even angry and resentful, because our discussions were not giving him what he needed. Eventually he dropped out, declaring that he was through looking for evidence. He was just not in the right place emotionally to consider this subject, which requires a degree of detachment, even disinterest.

I think having an existing belief or interest in the subject also has a clear become so accustomed to hearing and reading of deathbed visions, farewell visitations and other dramatic phenomena that when a loved one does die you're all set up for the anticlimax of mere silence. It does make you question everything. But "signs" do come. Strange things will happen. And perhaps all your reading and prior interest allows you to notice and appreciate them more when they do, rather than shrug them off as chance irrelevancies.

When you do experience the truly startling stuff - though i suspect very little of it is dramatic enough to make it into a Hollywood movie - the sense of wonder and near certainty it instills in you is also a very temporary thing. It fades with the constant retelling, and becomes just a sequence of statements. And so you need another fix, another hit to reassure you that the ones that came before weren't misremembered or too read-into.

The only people who appear to have an absolute conviction in the reassuring reality of survival are (most of) those who have had classic near death experiences. I'm no sure any of us would volunteer to risk death in order to join them.


I’m sure that all of the accounts put forward here are true. I know that my own experience happened as told. Yet….do they prove life after death? No, not to me anyway. There will always be alternative explanations. For me it becomes a kind of probability. I think that it is “probable” that we survive death in some manner. I’ll never be 100% sure, but it seems to be much more likely than not. Cold comfort when faced with the finality of death. I know how you feel. Let these evidential experiences and the books you have read give you a reason to have a hopeful, informed expectation. It may be the best we can do while living in this material reality. Perhaps we are not meant to ever be sure. That would negate some of the reasons we are here in the first place.


I like this story written by Michael Shermer in Scientific American about a transistor radio that mysteriously came back to life after he married a German woman. It was a radio his deceased father in law had given to his wife. Even atheist/skeptic/materialists sometimes have mystical experiences they can't explain.

Anomalous Events That Can Shake One’s Skepticism to the Core,
I just witnessed an event so mysterious that it shook my skepticism.

Well-put Michael. I remember him.

I've recently suffered a great loss in my life, and even though I've done a lot of research, and have seen and personally experienced evidence of the Afterlife, it doesn't magically fill the empty chair at the table. But if I was going to make things feel a little bit better, I would read Chris Carter's "Near Death Experiences and the Science of the Afterlife."

This does seem to be the most common emotional trauma and alienation produced by the passing of a (truly) loved one. From a spiritual point of view, is this intended to be some sort of teaching lesson (hard to believe), or is it just the humanly inevitable negative outworking of the overall plan for human existence where there are a lot of benefit/disadvantage tradeoffs?

Also, perhaps there is at least one exception, where the person has had a deep NDE, with the tunnel, meeting deceased relatives and friends, the Light, etc. There is still some grief, but it is greatly blunted by a sort of deep knowing.

I meant to add, the deep NDE case may be a partial exception to the typical intense grief and alienation in response to the passing of a loved one, unless the deep NDE happened to a materialist Skeptic of the caliber of Richard Dawkins or The Amazing Randi. Such people seem to be so much under the tyranny of their intellect and belief system that they would dismiss the NDE no matter what its content and intensity. Dismissing their own experience as hallucination if necessary to protect their belief system would be part of their basic personality.

I suspect you are right Michael. Your analogy came at a very apt time as I am reading a book about the history of the slave trade. I am sure the family of slaves knew their relative(s) were alive, but they knew for certain they would never again get to see them. When my father does go to the other side at least I have a hope of seeing him again.

" Dismissing their own experience as hallucination if necessary to protect their belief system would be part of their basic personality."

Maybe they'd hypocritically only dismiss it in public, to maintain the in-group status they'd achieved as bigshot Skeptics, while admitting it in a walled-off private section of themselves. For instance, Shermer managed to bend the bowl of a spoon in one of Jack Houk's PK parties, something impossible to do normally, but in public absurdly explained it away as being due to his high adrenalin level.

(IIRC, Skeptics tend to avoid mentioning that some of Houk's attendees can bend BOWLS, in order presumably to conflate those happenings with more easily dismissible handle-bendings.)

It's also worth pointing out the heat that Shermer received from the skeptic community. He got a lot of flak.

His response to the withering attacks was to say that he was making no extraordinary claims, he was only describing what happened. He went on to say that sometimes seemingly impossible things just happen. Not an overly strong response, but there you go. He says the experience doesn't change his views in any way - well, that's his *public* response at any rate. But the fact that he was moved to write about it says to me that he was shaken up by it.

Hi Michael,

We lost a stillborn child some years ago, and it was devastating. We're and will be childless for the rest of our physical lives.

I began researching afterlife not in connection with grief, not with the intention of easing it. It was by chance, in a highly dispassionate way, and I was utterly sceptic (even Sceptic) and materialistic at first. However, I kept reading, and after reading a lot on mediumship, NDEs, deathbed visions, etc. (mainly books and old SPR archives), I've experienced a vast transformation regarding the meaning of life and death, and can assure you this has had strong healing effects on my grief (and my wife's by extension).

Sure, the scar, the hole is still there, the sense of loss, the flowers we'll never get from her, the colours and animals she'll never learn from us, the permanent fact that her earthly body is forever gone, too early, too silently. No amount of afterlife research could fill such hole, and nobody should pretend the opposite just as nobody should pretend to cure a scar. But this permanent scar or emotional hole shouldn't be conflated with grief, since they're two different things.

What intellectual certainty in afterlife can provide is the sense of belonging to something much bigger, the presence of a continuous stream of life where reunion with your beloved ones is going to happen, sooner or later, and where progression to love and knowledge seems to be the golden rule. It seems to me that grieving people who, by themselves, could reach these very same conclusions would experience their grief in a very different light (no more in darkness), just as we experience ours.

Surely you know scientist Julie Beischel and her Windbridge Research Center. They've done some preliminary studies on the healing effects of mediumship on grieving people, and concluded the following: "Preliminary research has demonstrated that receiving a mediumship reading may have a positive healing effect on those who are suffering from grief after the death of a loved one (3, 11). However, further research is needed to draw any strong conclusions".

(You'll find the 3, 11 references on their website, and they can be freely accessed).

I wish many more people were aware of the overwhelming evidence of the afterlife, by study, by induced or non-induced ADC experiences, by whatever means you can think of. Earthly scars would still be there during our entire earthly lives, but grief will be experienced and understood in a totally different light.

(Apologies if there's some obscurity or broken grammar, English isn't my first language)


Sergio, your English puts most Americans to shame! I’m very sorry for your loss, but I’m glad that research into survival has helped put it in perspective. I agree that seeing this life as part of something larger can change our outlook in positive ways. This is my answer to people who say, "Why worry about an afterlife? Take one life at a time." I suspect that the widespread anomie afflicting modern society derives in large part from the sense of meaninglessness characteristic of today’s arid secularism and materialism.

“I agree that seeing this life as part of something larger can change our outlook in positive ways. This is my answer to people who say, "Why worry about an afterlife? Take one life at a time."

I agree with you, Michael.
And besides, when I was reading skeptic and atheist materialist blogs and websites years ago, I thought they were right and there was zero evidence for an afterlife.
I actually got depressed over it.
And the whole “Just live life to the fullest” thing ( which I’ve seen in a lot of materialist blogs ) did not help me much.

Also, what about the people who can’t “live life to the fullest” due to some sort of serious chronic illness, lifelong injury, severe genetic disease, ect?
What do materialists say about that?

Sergio, maybe you are already aware of him, but for the benefit of others, I would recommend checking out Dr Piero Calvi-Parisetti's work:

Dr Parisetti is a Scottish-Italian medical doctor who actually offers grief counselling based on afterlife research, and is convinced that the trauma of grief can be reduced to a bearable level (but not of course eliminated) via knowledge of the best afterlife evidence.

I guess that everyone in his or her heart of hearts wants to live forever, but it is a demonstrable fact that the body does not live forever; it eventually dies. And, it provides little comfort to know that all living organisms die. No one escapes.

Over the years in almost all human societies, ideas of survival in an 'afterlife' have been the basis of many religious philosophies which have provided numerous--- sometimes conflicting---rules for a moral life and sometimes comfort to the bereaved or a reduction in the fear of death.

As I slide precariously, kicking and screaming toward the abyss of death, I contemplate the multitudinous evidence for survival I have read over the years wondering if any of it is true or, if not true, what really does it mean since there is a lot of it. There has to be some explanation for it all. So, just by the overwhelming amount and types of the evidence, by the weight of it's import, something must be going on that is outside of the current paradigm accepted to explain reality. To borrow the words of William Wordsworth, there are "intimations of immortality"; not hard facts of evidence but just intimations. Ian Stevenson used the word" suggestive'" when he wrote about his case studies of people claiming to have been reincarnated, that is, studies "suggestive" of reincarnation, nothing that would prove that there is such a thing as reincarnation or survival but evidence that maybe some people have lived a life previous to the one they are now living.

There are those people (one or two) that think that survival has been proved and have provided a good case for it, but I am not totally convinced. Human beings are notoriously known to stretch the facts, to pick and choose what they report to make a good story or prove their cause, to misinterpret what they experience or not understand its context or to have ulterior financial, emotional or status motives for promoting a belief in a spiritual existence. I must reserve some degree of doubt when I read all of these accounts if I am to maintain my own integrity of intellect and not be a gullible dupe accepting without thought what others say just because they may be highly educated, popular or credentialed 'experts'.

Patience Worth has written of death as " The gift of Him! The key to there." meaning God's gift to man and man's key to heaven. She also wrote a poem titled "The Weaver' which may be appropriate here. - AOD

There is a busy spider weaving webs,
Hanging my understanding with
Impenetrable mysteries---
Intricately woven.
Threatening all men, is
This busy weaver in its labor
Befogging man's reassuring.

There is a busy spider which threads the day,
Trailing its silver from wisdom to wisdom,
Enwrapping one with the other---
Until Wisdom is lost!

Oh, there is a busy spider---
Called Doubt!

I'd say that so much has been learned since Wordsworth's day, we’ve now gone beyond "intimations." Unless, of course, one gives credence to the super-psi hypothesis ... As far as I can see, super-psi is the only alternative to postmortem survival, but it’s such a Rube Goldberg construct I have trouble taking it seriously.

As for Ian Stevenson, from what I’ve read he was strongly convinced of reincarnation and survival, even if he used caution in his wording of papers aimed at the academic community.

In my view, there needs to be a distinction between intellectual conviction and gut feeling. Many of us who’ve studied this subject are intellectually convinced, but on a gut level, we don’t quite buy it. On the other hand, people who’ve had NDEs or mystical epiphanies may be totally committed on a gut level without having any intellectual arguments to offer.

When I’ve lost loved ones, my intellectual commitment to survival hasn’t particularly helped me, because at a deep emotional level I couldn’t make the idea real enough to matter. Over time, however, the idea of survival has helped — but only after my initial grief has faded.

I think the spacetime universe is meant to be a fully immersive reality, and for the most part it works that way. It’s rare for an individual to see past the illusion for very long. Some exceptionally gifted (or exceptionally eccentric) persons can manage it, but if they were a majority, our species might not persist for very long. We need a high level of commitment to keep playing the game.

"When I’ve lost loved ones, my intellectual commitment to survival hasn’t particularly helped me, because at a deep emotional level I couldn’t make the idea real enough to matter. Over time, however, the idea of survival has helped — but only after my initial grief has faded."

I generally agree based on my own experiences. There is a caveat, though. A short time after the visit to the medium I mentioned up thread, my wife and I decided to open ourselves to our own medium abilities. In fact, that medium told my wife that she (my wife) had natural abilities in that area that could be developed to a high degree. For a period of time - maybe 6 months? - both of us felt that we were often in close contact with the departed. We encouraged that and worked on it.

Of course, we could have been fooling ourselves; except that I would perceive the activities, thoughts/feelings of a departed and write down my perceptions and my wife would do the same separately. When we compared notes, we were pretty much on the same page. Sometimes exactly so in detail.

That was comforting to a degree because it seemed that the departed were with us and were, actually, in some cases, much better partners than they were in physical life because they were evolving on the other side and trying to amend and do better.

Again, I can think of alternative explanations and psi between my wife and I is a definite possibility as is, perhaps, plain old shared wishful thinking. Yet, it felt real and did help with grief, regret, and sense of loss and, in light of the content of the séance, certainly could be real.

We stopped doing this after a while because we decided it wasn't "right" in some ways. Once in a while, though, now several years later, we both think we notice a low key presence and communication and it *is* reassuring.

But yeah, when the loss is still raw, I can't see such a thing being helpful. You have to ruck up and deal with it like everyone else. It's a tough part of life.

I agree Michael, Super-Psi is Super- Nonsense as far as I am concerned. And Stevenson was indeed very cautious about claiming reincarnation as a fact but I don’t recall reading anything he wrote in which he surreptitiously stated his belief in reincarnation. I do recall that he discouraged use of hypnosis for ferreting out real cases of reincarnation.

That doesn’t change anything for me regarding my belief in reincarnation. Stevenson’s research stands for itself.

On the divide between intellectual commitment and gut-level belief is where I am at. Intellectually, after reading much of the relevant materials I suppose that I am intellectually convinced that there is enough evidence to believe in survival but I am not there yet on a gut level. I haven’t had an NDE, and OBE or any mystical epiphanies; although I have had a few synchronicities and coincidences I suppose that I could say make belief more personal for me. I have lost most of my many relatives and many friends and although my intellectual beliefs do make it somewhat easier to bear their loss, I still feel a disappointment that of the many people in my life who have ‘crossed-over’ I don’t believe that I have heard from any of them. I can rationalize that too but still, there is an ominous vacancy that bears down upon me at times. – AOD

" I still feel a disappointment that of the many people in my life who have ‘crossed-over’ I don’t believe that I have heard from any of them. I can rationalize that too but still, there is an ominous vacancy that bears down upon me at times. – AOD"

I am about where you are in the afterlife belief spectrum - intellectual level not gut-level. Based on the apparent finality of the death of others actually observed by me over my life, and the non-experience of NDEs or other transformative events, the gut-level intuitive response is that all the empirical evidence is somehow wrong. It amounts to a massive cognitive dissonance. I suppose, so much for "intuition", and that's still better than an absolute certainty that death is the end.

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