A light at the end of a dark tunnel, the voice of loved ones, a choir of angels. Even the screams of the damned.
These are just a few of the famous accounts of those who claim to have seen a glimpse of the afterlife and miraculously returned.
Now MailOnline has collected three fascinating stories from people brought back from the brink, who wanted to share their own exciting experiences.
They offer a fascinating insight into what could happen to the fate that we all must inevitably face.
Lynn Mildner (pictured), 69, has a vivid memory of a ‘beautiful white light’ and talking to her family members who have passed away.
Lynn Mildner: “There was a beautiful white light that I knew I had to go to”
Lynn Mildner, 69, from Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, has a vivid recollection of seeing a “beautiful white light” in the distance and talking to relatives who had passed away.
Ms. Mildner, 30 years old at the time, received general anesthesia for her wisdom tooth removal surgery.
But there was a complication while he was unconscious for the routine procedure.
Doctors were forced to restore his heart’s normal rhythm with a defibrillator, a device used to deliver shocks to the heart of someone in cardiac arrest.
Ms. Mildner remained in intensive care before being released.
Reflecting on his experience, he said: ‘Everything was peaceful. There was a beautiful white light that I knew I had to turn to.
‘It was easy. She was drifting and floating, palpably happy. I came to some kind of entrance.
‘It wasn’t detailed, I just knew it was one and next to it was an entity I knew to be my great-aunt Nellie. She explained to me that she was my guardian spirit.
‘I couldn’t wait to cross that threshold and meet my grandmothers. But Aunt Nellie told me she couldn’t.
‘I had to come back because I still had a lot to do and achieve. I begged him to come over for a bit and he said no. That threshold was final. Once you passed it there was no turning back. And I must go back.
“The return trip was uphill, in a dark and very hard tunnel, as if against gravity. I did not want to go.
“And then my eyes flickered and I saw people in scrubs holding my arms and one of them was holding the paddles of a defibrillator.”
Justin Cameron: “I saw a supercut reel of my life in an instant”
Justin Cameron, 51, of Ottawa, Canada, was admitted to hospital with sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to an infection.
Cameron, who was 44 at the time, had diverticulitis (small lumps in the lining of the intestines) that progressed to peritonitis, an infection of the inner lining of the stomach.
He required emergency surgery to remove a part of his intestine.
But while waiting for the operation, Cameron claimed that he had a near-death experience.
He remembers that he felt no pain, but rather a sense of regret, along with the feeling that he was ‘running away’.
Justin Cameron (pictured), 51, watched a super-cut reel of his life when he nearly died of sepsis in 2016
He said: ‘All the clichés about life that flash before you are somewhat accurate; I saw a supercut reel of my life in an instant. I learned that death is painless. The sepsis was unbearable but the death was painless.
“The best way I could describe it is that the driver (me) was leaving the vehicle (my body) on the side of the road because it was no longer working.
“I felt joy and love and, at the same time, a sense of regret for not taking better care of my vehicle.”
Cameron explained that up to this point, he had become “tired, cynical and disappointed in the world and life”.
But now she says she feels like she’s been given a “new set of eyes and ears to see and hear the magic of the world.”
Shirley Yáñez: “I could see my body in the hospital bed”
Shirley Yáñez (pictured), 58, claimed to have seen her body in her hospital bed when she went into cardiac arrest in 2005.
Shirley Yáñez, 66, nearly died due to cardiac arrest after developing an 8-pound fibroid, a non-cancerous growth, in her uterus in 2005.
She says she nearly ‘bled to death’ and was given three blood transfusions, which her body rejected.
This caused his heart to stop and he claimed that he “died for a few minutes”, during which he was able to see his body in the hospital bed with blood all over the sheets.
Miss Yáñez, who lives in London, said: “I was at peace and I could see my body in the hospital bed and the blood on all the sheets, plus all the machines beeping.”
“I saw the ER nurse walk into the room and at this point, it felt like I had pins and needles all over my body as they pumped out new blood and I reburied my body.
‘This experience changed me forever and today I am a completely different person.’
Miss Yáñez explained that as a result, she is now celibate, vegan, doesn’t drink and is trying to live a ‘clean life’.
She added: ‘Once you know what it’s like to have a second chance at life, you change everything and reevaluate your choices.
“My near death experience was the best thing that happened to me because today I am not afraid of death and I embrace life.”
Dr. Bruce Greyson (pictured), professor emeritus of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia, has studied near-death experiences for more than 45 years.
Dr. Bruce Greyson, a professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia, has studied near-death experiences for more than 45 years and is one of the world’s leading experts on the subject.
He told MailOnline that experts are still unable to explain or provide a reason for this phenomenon.
He said: ‘When I started hearing about people seeing and hearing things when they were supposedly dead, I thought they were imagining it, because it seemed impossible in my materialistic worldview.
“But when I started researching these experiences, I studied many cases where people were undeniably unconscious and near death, but were later able to accurately and in detail describe very surprising events that they could not have guessed or expected.
“I think this phenomenon occurs more often than we think, but I don’t have a materialistic explanation for it.”
But he suggested that it could be because some part of the mind is able to perceive and remember things independently of the body “in extreme circumstances.”
Dr Greyson said: “Most people who describe near-death experiences to me say there are no words to describe what happened to them.
“And then we ask them to tell us about their experience, which requires them to distort the experience based on metaphors and rough descriptions.”
As a result, he does not take their accounts as ‘literal descriptions’ but rather listens to them as ‘metaphors for something that happened’.
He added: “On the other hand, when they tell us what they remember seeing and hearing in this world while unconscious and near death, we can sometimes test the accuracy of what they say by seeking corroboration from other people who were present.” At the time.
“And when we do, we find that the vast majority of their accounts are completely accurate.”