Resources for Afterlife Research

Millions of people all over the world have amazing experiences that offer a tantalizing glimpse into the afterlife. Thanks to the internet, these experiences can now be shared and studied by scientists, medical professionals and discerning afterlife researchers like you.  Taken as a whole, they comprise an amazing body of evidence for the existence of the afterlife, and gives us the opportunity to explore the meaning and character of the afterlife as well.

The following list is meant to serve as a reference of the many types of phenomena generally studied by afterlife researchers.  The books* listed here for each type of spiritual phenomena are hand-picked to be unbiased, well-researched, definitive works in each area of afterlife research or extraordinary accounts of personal spiritual experiences that provide incredible insight into the nature of the afterlife. The websites listed are the research associations in each area, or major sites for the phenomena.


*The books titles link to the kindle versions at Amazon.com. Make sure you choose hardcover or paperback if you don’t want the e-book version.  I am not affiliated with any author, publisher, or Amazon itself.  The link is merely a convenience.  Many of these books can also be found or requested at your local library.

Contents:

  1. General Afterlife
  2. Near-Death Experiences
  3. Deathbed Visions
  4. After-Death Communication
  5. Mediumship and Channeling
  6. Out-of-Body Experiences
  7. Past-Life/Pre-Birth Memories
  8. Consciousness Studies
  9. Instrumental Transcommunication
  10. Miscellaneous

General Afterlife Research

There are many excellent books, websites and videos that provide an overview of the various experiences that constitute evidence of the afterlife, such as near-death experiences, deathbed visions, after-death communications, channeling, mediumship, etc. These resources provide an excellent general introduction to each topic and is meant to familiarize the reader with the phenomena enough to encourage further study.  It is recommended that you begin with one of these books to become familiar with current afterlife research, and use it as a springboard to learn about each subject more in depth. 

Books:

Understanding the Afterlife: Exploring What Awaits You, Me and Everyone You’ve Ever Known
by Cyrus Kirkpatrick  [Read my review of the book here]

A Lawyer Presents Evidence for the Afterlife
by Victor and Wendy Zammit

Answers About the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15 Year Research Unlocks The Mysteries of Life After Death
By Bob Olsen

21 Days Into the Afterlife: A Scientific and Literary Journey that may Change your Life
by Piero Calvi-Parisetti, MD

The Afterlife Unveiled: What the Dead are Telling us About Their World
by Stafford Betty

When Did You Ever Become Less by Dying?
Stafford Betty

Stop Worrying! There Probably is an Afterlife
by Greg Taylor

Websites:

Afterlife Data
An excellent website that compares the evidence and philosophies of a variety of sources on topics of life after death. 


Near-Death Experiences

Near-death experiences, or NDEs are events that usually occur during a medical crisis, such as cardiac arrest.  An NDE may be experienced after temporary clinical death (no heartbeat or brain activity) and subsequent resuscitation.  When the person is revived, they describe a conscious experience that seemed to occur after their clinical death.  NDEs occur world-wide, regardless of age, gender or cultural affinity.  The experiences are remarkably similar and have many features in common, such as hovering over the body, seeing a light, meeting relatives, participating in a life review, and being told to return.  While skeptics have provided a variety of explanations, NDE researchers who have examined these have discovered that none provide proof that NDEs are a product of a dying brain.

Books:

Life after Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon – Survival of Bodily Death
by Raymond Moody

Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences
by Jeffrey Long

The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation
By Bruce Greyson, MD

Heading Toward Omega
by Kenneth Ring

Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
by Pim Van Lommel, MD

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
by Eben Alexander III, M.D.

Dying to Be Me: My Journey From Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
by Anita Moorjani

Heaven is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me that Death is just the Beginning
by Peter Baldwin Panagore

Websites:

The Near-Death Experience Research Foundation

The International Association for Near-Death Studies


Deathbed Visions

Deathbed Visions, sometimes referred to as Departing Visions, are a common event experienced by people (and sometimes their family) who are close to death by a long illness or advanced age.  Usually experienced in hospices or hospitals, the dying person will begin to see deceased family or friends, apparitions, light beings or religious figures in the months, weeks, days and hours before death.  These are generally not seen by others, however, in rare cases family members may also see or sense the apparitions in an event known as a shared deathbed vision.  Although these visions are sometimes dismissed as hallucinations, the dying generally only see people who are deceased, even if they didn’t know the person had passed at the time.  The key purpose seems to be to help the dying in their transition, and welcome them home.  Regardless of the source of the visions, many hospice nurses and family admit that they bring great comfort to the dying and their loved ones.  Steve Job’s last words as he gazed beyond his family: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Books:

One Last Hug Before I Go: The Mystery and Meaning of Death Bed Visions
by Carla Wills-Brandon, M.A.

Deathbed Visions: How the Dead Talk to the Dying
by Sir William Barrett

Websites:

Near-Death.com: The Trigger of Deathbed Visions

The AllNurses Forum Pages for DBV Stories


After-Death Communications

After-death communications, or ADC’s is the phenomena most associated with afterlife research.  Apparitions, dreams of departed loved ones, feeling a presence, and receiving signs from friends or family members who have crossed over all fall into the category of ADCs.  Although the phenomena is as old as humanity itself, the book Hello From Heaven, written by Bill and Judy Guggenheim brought the subject into the mainstream in the 80’s.  Most astoundingly, research regarding the prevalence of ADCs suggest that the occurrence is somewhere in the millions of people world-wide, and some studies suggest that billions of people experience some form of after-death communication.

Books:

Hello from Heaven: A New Field of Research; After-Death Communications Confirms That Life and Love Are Eternal
by Bill and Judy Guggenheim

My Life After Life: A Posthumous Memoir
by Galen Stoller and K. Paul Stoller, MD

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There’s Life After Death
By Annie Kagan

Websites:

After Death Communication Research Foundation


Mediumship and Channeling

A Medium is a person who specializes in using one or more of several types of psychic communication to connect with the spirit of a friend or relative.   A good medium will not ask questions of the sitter and will provide identifying information in order to prove that they have really connected with the sitter’s loved one.   If you are looking for a reputable medium, check out the Forever Family Foundation’s list of certified mediums. Channeling is the method by which a person maintains a meditative or trance-like state and connects to a non-physical entity through a psychological bridge.   These entities are generally higher-level spirits that intend to impart wisdom to a group of people for the purposes of spiritual teaching.  Unfortunately, both channeling and mediumship have attracted fraudulent and dishonest people.  Research, read testimonials and use your best judgement when seeking out either.

Books:

Evidence of Eternity: Communicating With Spirits For Proof of the Afterlife
by Mark Anthony

Through My Eyes
by Gordon Smith

The Unbelievable Truth
by Gordon Smith

I See Dead People: How I Learned to Help Earthbound Spirits
by Jane Ross

Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul
‘Seth’ channeled by Jane Roberts

Websites:

The Forever Family Foundation – Certified Mediums

The Windbridge Institute – Medium Certification and Research

Elias: the sessions transcriptions, ‘Elias’ channeled by Mary Ennis

Inner Whispers; ‘Veronica’ channeled by April Crawford


Out of Body Experiences

Out of body experiences, also called astral projection, have been reported for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  The practice is built on the belief that our consciousness is not tethered to our physical brain and during the transition between the sleep and wake states, we can remain awake and conscious while our body falls asleep.  When this occurs, our consciousness can float away from our body to explore the astral planes around earth, other planets, even take a stroll through the various dimensions that comprise the afterlife.  Intrepid researchers, such as William Buhlman and Robert Monroe (who would later develop the Monroe institute) are considered pioneers in this field, but both stress that anyone with the patience to practice can achieve out of body consciousness.  Aside from fantastic voyages into other dimensions, the authors below provide many techniques that you can try yourself to achieve a taste of the afterlife while still hale and healthy.  Also linked here is a website devoted to lucid dreaming; a close cousin and precursor to out of body travel.

Books:

Journeys Out of the Body
by Robert Monroe

Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel
by William Buhlman

Adventures in the Afterlife
By William Buhlman

Vistas of Infinity: How to Enjoy Life when you are Dead
by Jurgan Ziewe

Websites:

Out of Body Experience Research Foundation

World of Lucid Dreaming


Past Life/Pre-Birth Memories

The prevailing opinion of many afterlife researchers is the probability that humans experience more than one life on Earth; commonly referred to as reincarnation. Research into the theory tends to revolve around memories of a past life, particularly in children who should generally not know of the types of people, places and events that are remembered.  Also included in this area of research are pre-birth memories, which are memories, usually recovered under hypnosis, of the time that one spends in the spirit world before being reborn on Earth.  An offshoot of reincarnation studies is the fascinating research into scars that resemble death wounds from previous lives.  Dr. Ian Stevenson has spent years researching this particular phenomenon; see the website section for more information.

Books:

Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives
by Thomas Shroder

Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives
by Jim B. Tucker and Dr. Ian Stevenson

Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives
by Michael Newton, Ph.D.

Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
by Michael Newton, Ph.D.

Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives
by Brian L. Weiss

Websites:

Beyond Religion – Story Submission Page

Real Reincarnation Stories

An Introduction to Dr. Ian Stevenson’s Research on Reincarnation 


Consciousness Studies & The Science of Duality

Science has long held a materialist viewpoint; that our minds, personalities, and the feeling of being aware of our own experience is just an illusion created by our physical brain.  However, scientists continue to probe the brain but have never found proof of the origin of consciousness.  New research in biology and quantum physics suggests that consciousness is not dependent on our brain, but an integral part of our eternal soul.  Quantum physics research and experiments have revealed that the conscious observer effects reality significantly, perhaps finally loosening the stranglehold materialism has over science and prevailing skeptical opinion.

Books:

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe
by Robert Lanza, M.D. with Bob Berman

Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discoveries
by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake

The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality
by Michael Talbot

Why Science is Wrong About Almost Everything
by Alex Tsakiris

Science and the Afterlife Experience
by Chris Carter

Websites:

The Skeptiko Blog, Alex Tsakiris


Instrumental Transcommunication

Includes Electronic Voice Phenomena, Photo and Video Evidence and Ghost Boxing

Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) are methods by which spirits can contact the living through various communication devices, such as radios, phones, televisions, and computers.  EVP is traditionally performed using a hand-held digital voice recorder, while ITC can use radio sweep technology, commonly referred to as ‘ghost boxes’.  There are many people who create their own ghost boxes and post the results online.  Of particular interest is Marcello Bacci, from Italy who has garnered some fame in the ITC community with his success using various TVs and Radios.  Check out the link below for an article about Bacci’s successes.  Below are a few resources to get started if you are interested in experimenting with EVP or ITC.

Books:

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles
John G. Fuller

Miracles in the Storm
by Mark H. Macy

Speaking to the Dead with Radios: Radio Sweep Electronic Voice Phenomena
by Michael Hobert Edwards

Phantoms on Film: Real Ghosts Caught on Camera
by Craig Hamilton-Parker

Websites:

Association Transcommunication

iDigitalMedium

Huff Paranormal

The Instrumental Transcommunication Work of Marcello Bacci

The History of Spirit Photography


Miscellaneous

There are many other ways of connecting with the spirit world that I have not listed in detail above, such as physical mediumship, message boards (commonly called Ouija Boards), automatic writing, scrying, crystal gazing, and seances, to name a few.   These methods of communication can be unreliable or contaminated by psychological illusions, paradolia or even hallucinations.  While I do encourage you to learn about these methods, be aware that the results may be mixed if you try them.  As always, you should never attempt spiritual contact if you are fearful, negative, inexperienced or immature. While I don’t believe the spirit world can truly harm us, our own fear is certainly powerful enough to create enmity in our lives. 

If you are interested in learning more, I would recommend the SCOLE group experiments.  This small group in England produced amazing physical phenomena such as spirit lights, images on film in locked cases, apports, levitation, and more.

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