Real Name: Howard Storm
Case: Medical Mystery
Location: Paris, France
Date: June 1, 1985
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: In the Summer 1985, a teacher and devout atheist named Howard Storm was vacationing in Paris, France with his wife when he suddenly became ill and collapsed in the lobby of the hotel where they were staying. Although he didn't know it at the time, he had suffered a puncture to his duodenum caused by an ulcer or foreign object.
While in the hospital awaiting treatment, Howard lost consciousness and had a strange and frightening out of body near-death experience that he believes took him into the depths of Hell. He said he first saw himself lying on a hospital bed unconscious but initially assumed he was seeing a patient that simply resembled him, then described hearing voices calling to him in English which he found somewhat peculiar but nonetheless assumed it was the hospital staff ready to take him in for surgery.
He then described how it became more and more apparent to him that he was no longer in Paris or anywhere else that he recognized, and by that time he found himself being forcibly pulled into a dark void by a horde of aggressive humanoid-like figures who then proceeded to punch, kick, bite, and claw at him until he was curled up on the ground desperately praying for mercy.
He claimed his prayers seemed to drive his attackers away from him until they retreated into the darkness. He then saw himself as a young child, singing a hymn. Moments later, a glowing figure appeared to him and pulled him up from the darkness and forced him to watch the events of his life up to that point including times he was selfish or cruel. After being forced to review and reflect on his life, Howard said the glowing figure instructed him to return to Earth and live with love in his heart.
Moments after regaining consciousness, a surgeon arrived and Howard received treatment, and over the next year gradually made a full recovery. The experience brought him to the brink of insanity because it so strongly contradicted his views on death and the afterlife, but he soon recovered and realized that he needed to change his religious views. A decade later, Howard had become a Methodist minister and he continues to express certainty that he went to Hell.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the November 15, 1996 episode.
Results: Unsolved. In 2000, Howard wrote a book about his near-death experience. His experience has not been fully explained.