People who have stood on the verge of death but were brought back to life in the nick of time have gone through so-called NDEs or near-death experiences. In most cases, NDEs serve to reinforce peoples’ belief in the afterlife and heaven by supposed sightings of angels, the pearly gates and sometimes God himself.

There are, however, cases that point towards the opposite, with accounts of a bleak, empty void waiting on the other side.

One such account came from Piotr from Poland who said his experience of the afterlife was a negative one.

Piotr tried to take his own life as a child and still vividly remembers what happened afterwards.

He said: “I realised there were other people besides me. People who were close to me but already dead.

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“The beings were friendly but at the same time terrifyingly sad.”

Piotr’s account features in the book Polskie życie po życiu or The Polish life after life.

According to his account, the man felt as if he was being dragged into an afterlife that was a dark abyss.

He said: “When I noticed I was headed towards the black distance, I realised the tragedy of the whole situation.”

Eventually, Piotr said he was brought back to life by a “commanding voice”.

A similar experience was shared by a woman also featured in the book, who said she stood on the brink of death during childbirth.

I noticed I was headed towards the black distance

Piotr

She said: “It was like descending to hell. Suddenly I became something of a light in the heavens.

“I screamed but there was no sound coming out of me. It was a nightmare.

“I spun in circles and realised it could go on like this forever.

“I felt loneliness and emptiness associated with being in space.”

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Another NDE account also described experiencing a dark void after death.

The woman said in the book: “I was drawn in by a dark void, tunnel or emptiness.

“I did not feel my body. I was terrified.

“I experienced nothingness, a great dream.

“I felt I was heading towards another realm of existence. Something was drawing me in.”

NDEs are a hotly contested subject among scientist and health experts.

In 2014, the NHS said questions about life after death remain unanswered following an extensive study into NDEs.

The NHS said: “It is perfectly plausible that people would continue to have thoughts and experiences while there is still oxygenated blood flowing to the brain.

“Overall, this study provides no evidence to support the existence of an afterlife, merely that people near death may still have memorable experiences.”

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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