Instantly I started plummeting downward, falling into darkness, a horrible endless black space. Imagine standing in an elevator and all of a sudden the floor drops out and down you go, that terrible sensation of falling. I was terrified in the darkness that surrounded me but very aware of the horrible pain burning and searing my entire body, agonizing pain beyond description that would never leave. There were the tortured screams of others but I could see nothing but the darkness. There was no fire, just this dreadful burning pain over every part of me and I knew that this was hell.
“I felt hopelessness—knowing this was for eternity! There was no escape from the nightmare: I wouldn’t wake up; I wouldn’t hit bottom and die; I wouldn’t be rescued by anyone. I would fall and burn in this gruesome place forever and ever and ever, screaming out with all these other lost souls crying out in the darkness, totally helpless as we fell further into the pit of hell. Not even God entered into this place and the torture would go on forever and ever and ever. There is no way to describe the terror that filled me, realizing that I actually sent myself to hell through my choice of not believing. I had chosen this. I had chosen not to believe in God.
“I felt a separation, as if I had never existed. There is no lonelier place than separation from God. I saw no flames, just total darkness and the sensation of burning. I heard many people screaming but I saw no one. It was a dark, desolate, horrible place with no hope of escape. I felt the hopelessness of being lost in torment, separated from God for eternity.”
But Kat’s experience didn’t end there. As with many frightening NDEs, hers eventually turned around and became peaceful. In Kat’s case, even though she had been an atheist for her previous twenty-six years, she cried out for help from God:
“As I was falling, burning in this horrifying place, I cried out to God, begging him to forgive me. I pleaded that he would release me from this place. Then the torture stopped. It just stopped! The loud, piercing, howling noise that rang through my ears and the horrendous feeling of burning and tearing through the middle of my body stopped, and I knew without any doubt: ‘There is a God.’ I was filled with the perfect peace of God, a peace that cannot ever be described, peace that transcends all understanding. There was no fear, pain, anxiety, or emotions of any kind. Everything was overcome by a feeling of worship towards God and of really knowing Him. So I went from being a total nonbeliever to a person who has no doubt.”