People Who've Claimed To Have Seen Or Gone To Hell
People of all religions debate whether hell is real , but for all the people on this list, the question is not up for discussion. This list is full of people who have gone to hell (apparently) and came back to tell everyone that it is a place you never, ever want to end up in. Obviously, the validity of all these stories can't be verified. Most of these people claim to have seen hell during near-death experiences, but some didn't have to almost pass in order to get a glimpse of the place of eternal damnation.
So what is hell like, according to these travelers? Some of their descriptions are rather conventional, with lots of fire and endless suffering. Some of the descriptions are more creative and resemble Greek myths like Tantalus. In every case, getting a glimpse of hell changed these people's lives forever.
A Teenager Smelled SulfurPhoto: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
In May 1997, Jennifer Perez nearly lost her life after a group of friends drugged her soda and attempted to sexually assault her. Perez was hospitalized for three days, where she slipped in and out of consciousness.
During this time, Perez claims she floated out of her body. She was led first to heaven, then to hell:
When we stopped, I opened my eyes, and I was standing on a great road. I didn't know where it leads to. But the first thing that I felt there was thirst. I was really thirsty! I kept telling the angel, "I'm thirsty, I'm thirsty!" But it was like he didn't even hear me. I started to cry, and when the tears ran down my cheeks, they completely evaporated. There was the smell of sulfur, like burning tires. I tried to cover my nose, but that made it even worse. All my five senses were very sensitive. When I tried to cover myself, I could smell the sulfur even more. Also, all those little hairs on my arms, they just disappeared. I felt all the heat, it was very hot.
Perez witnessed people being tormented by terrifying demons, and though she tried, she could do nothing to save them. After she was given this glimpse of hell, she was led back to heaven, where God gave her a second chance at life.
A Suicide Survivor Saw Endless DarknessPhoto: John Martin / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Angie Fenimore attempted suicide in January 1991 and claims to have visited hell before she was saved. After being subject to a "life review," where she had to relive her entire life as a series of images, she entered hell.
At first, all she saw was endless darkness and a group of other young people whom she refers to as "the suicides." She also spent time in a different part of hell where lost souls rambled through a field, too miserable to interact with one another.
Fenimore has since been named Her Royal Majesty Princess Angie Fenimore, the Divine Royal of Utah and the Prophetess and Leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latte Dei Saints.
A Gunshot Victim Was Suspended Over A Fiery PitPhoto: Cai Tjeenk Willink / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Matthew Botsford was shot in the back of the head outside a restaurant in March 1992 . To save his life, doctors put him in a medically induced coma which lasted 27 days.
Botsford claimed to have spent that time shackled and dangling over a pit of magma being tormented by terrifying, four-legged creatures who would devour his flesh only to have it grow back to be devoured again. However, he says that worse than all these torments was the profound loneliness and isolation he felt, as every sufferer in hell is totally alone.
Eventually, a gigantic hand pulled him out, while a voice said, "It's not your time."
A Doctor Witnessed A Battle Of SoulsPhoto: G. Dore / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
In December 1943, Dr. George Ritchie, who was suffering from pneumonia, perished for nine minutes .
Ritchie claims his spirit rose from his hospital bed and glimpsed his dead body below before Jesus escorted him through a tour of the afterlife. One section of hell was reserved for people who can never fulfill their longings. He saw dead people in a bar desperately grasping for drinks, and smokers reaching out for cigarettes in vain.
In another part of hell, Ritchie saw a huge fight between souls of the dead, with endless physical conflict and terrible, perverse acts.
An Atheist Was Forced To ConvertPhoto: SPINELLO ARETINO / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Howard Storm was a strident atheist until he nearly died from a perforated stomach in June 1985. He "woke up" in his hospital bed and realized he was a ghost.
A group of figures then led him into a dark hallway filled with thick fog. He followed the figures as they retreated farther down the hallway, struggling to keep up. Eventually, these shadowy demons began eating his flesh.
As he was tormented, a voice in his head told him to "pray to God." Though Storm had never prayed before, he tried his best, and his prayers saved his life. After his near-death experience, Storm became a United Church of Christ minister.
A Teenager Saw A Many-Headed DragonPhoto: J. Pitka / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
In September 1985, 15-year-old Tamara Laroux attempted suicide by shooting herself in the chest. After pulling the trigger, she found herself in a fiery pit, where hundreds of souls were screaming in agony, unable to talk to one another, even though they were crowded together. Laroux also says she saw a creature with dragon-like heads, "more fierce than anything that the earth has ever seen."
Then, a shining hand descended and carried her up to heaven, before depositing her back in her own home again. Laroux survived because the bullet missed her heart by a quarter of an inch, and now dedicates her life to teaching others about the truth of hell.