Screams from “big angry animals or devils” greeted the woman, identified only as Kim, when she suffered a near death experience as a result of an accidental overdose from medical drugs.
The “entirely distressing” experienced happened nearly 30 years ago, but Kim still remembers it in such vivid detail due to the terrifying nature.
Kim took to the Near Death Experience Research Foundation to describe her experiences during her four-day coma.
She said that the experience seemed to last forever, adding “time stopped or lost all meaning”.
She continued: “I can’t describe the smell, but the closest would be that it smelled rancid at best. I was unable to move.
“I could feel claws and teeth tearing at my skin. I was being eaten and torn to pieces. The pain was unimaginable. But I didn’t die.
“I couldn’t scream, nor could I get away. I couldn’t understand how I was still being torn apart. My arms had been ripped off several times and I could feel something eating my stomach.
“Yet, I didn’t die. I just kept suffering. At one point, I knew this was hell, I was dead, and this was going to be my eternity. That’s when I started to come around.”
However, doctors and medical professionals say that experiences such as these are not necessarily proof of an afterlife.
Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, said at a recent Oz Talk event: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.
“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them. They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.
“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”
Dr Parnia says there are scientific explanations for the reaction, and says seeing people is not evidence of the afterlife, but more likely the brain just scanning itself as a survival technique.
He said thanks to modern technology and science “death does not have to be limited to philosophy and religion, but it can be explored through science”.
“They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.”