Dr. Laurin Bellg has researched a phenomenal collection of medical patient accounts of mysterious encounters during severe illness and life-threatening injury. She joined Dave Schrader (email) to discuss why we should reconsider what happens to some patients near death, and why these experiences should be treated with respect and non-judgment. "These experiences are very real... patients near death continue to explain to us these anomalous experiences," she suggested, noting science has no explanations for them.
Bellg revealed how her journey into near death experience research began with a patient who had an NDE during a previous surgery and refused a subsequent life-saving operation because he was frightened to have another NDE. He described his surgery in ways he should not have been able to, she added. Other patients claim to communicate with loved ones while they're crossed over, which is something not explained by neurons firing off at brain death, Bellg reported.
In some controlled experiments the stimulation of neurons in a very ill brain produced only flashes of light but not coherent memories like are seen in NDE accounts, she continued. According to Bellg, science simply cannot prove or disprove how patients suffering cardiac arrest or brain death can come back and report on their own resuscitations. "I came to the conclusion that these are meaningful to the patient, it doesn't matter if we can prove them or cannot prove them... our role is to be respectful of whatever is happening to them and to support them," she said.
In the second half of the program, researchers David Weatherly and Ross Allison talked about their new exploration into the world of haunted toys—unnerving games that skirt the edges of darkness, antiques with spirits that have never let them go, locations where ghosts still play with toys and, of course, creepy dolls that are a bit too lifelike. Some items can become possessed or have spirits attached to them which try to communicate with or create trouble for the owner, Weatherly explained. There are many dolls similar to Annabelle and Robert, he added.
According to Allison, a child with a strong attachment to a toy may not know how to let go of the toy in death. The toy may hold residual energy from the experience of the child who played with it and part of the child's consciousness could be attached to it, Weatherly added. He reported on the history of Devil Baby Doll and how even modern versions of these dolls haunt their owners. Allison spoke about a game which involves playing Hide and Go Seek Alone with a possessed doll.
The two men also covered disturbing games, including Charlie Charlie and the Bath Game. "We're talking about games that are essentially designed to summon something," Weatherly warned, pointing out how during these games portals may be opened that remain accessible by spirits. Allison detailed the Bath Game in which a child enters the tub in a darkened bathroom, washes his hair and chants to summon the ghost of a woman who died while bathing. "Some claim that you'll actually feel her wet hair coming up on your back or you might feel her breathing on you," he said. Perhaps the creepiest thing about the game is it starts the next day after the bath ritual. The spirit follows the child around the next day but should not be allowed to catch him, Allison revealed.