Woman Says She Escaped the Grasps of Hell in a Near-Death Experience

M.K. “Kathy” McDaniel had about a 38 percent chance of surviving.
Woman Says She Escaped the Grasps of Hell in a Near-Death Experience
Maria Han

M.K. “Kathy” McDaniel was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome, lung failure, and doctors told her that she had about a 38 percent chance of surviving. They put her in a medicated coma and told her and her family to hope for the best.

In her comatose state, she says she had a vivid near-death experience (NDE). She believes she saw the depths of hell, but also got a glimpse of heaven, and the experience has changed her. She told her story in an interview with “Explore The Extraordinary,” a podcast presented by the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS).

A Hellish NDE

While her body was in a coma, she said, she was awake in a dark space. A red glow was present somewhere in the distance and she was hit with an awful stench. She could hear the screaming and moaning.

Ms. McDaniel recalled that hell was always dim. “Just enough light to be spooky,” she said.

“Do you know where you are?!” a voice bellowed.

“Hell?” Ms. McDaniel feebly answered.

The voice chuckled.

“I just remember turning to the left and running. I thought I don’t care if I drop into a hole or run into a wall. I gotta get away from there,” recalled Ms. McDaniel.

Ms. McDaniel cycled through scene after scene of horror and destruction. Among those scenes was a destroyed New York City and a demon who taunted her with an impossible task.

“So there were jobs that they wanted me to do that I found immoral, disgusting. I just wouldn’t do it. And every time I would say ‘I’m not going to do it,’” she said.

Every time she refused, someone would say, “You have no idea what you are doing. Every time you refuse, it just gets worse.”

A club would be raised, and when it came down, Ms. McDaniel closed her eyes. When she opened them, she would be somewhere even worse.

Near the end of the cycle, she was walking down a road when she saw 20 people walking aimlessly. When she drew closer, she could see their ragged clothes. Their skin looked like it was rotting. The males in the group closed in on Ms. McDaniel and they knocked her down.

Around “ten of them did what zombies would do to a single woman all by herself. And it was a very unpleasant, frightening, terrible experience,” she recalled.

“We all have AIDS and now you do too. And you will get sicker and sicker but you can’t die,” one zombie said to her.

Getting Out of Hell

Tired and running out of hope, Ms. McDaniel sat for a while when a female demon approached her and told her to follow. She was accompanied by nine women who had been through what she just experienced.

They walked for a long time dressed in rags through snow and wind until they arrived at a rundown cabin. The female demon told everyone to sit down while they waited for customers.

Ms. McDaniel felt like this day was one of the worst she had experienced so far and she asked the female demon whether something was going on.

“It’s Christmas on Earth today and that’s always the worst day in hell,” the demon replied.

When she heard that response, she began to sing.

“I started singing a Christmas Carol. That'll really tick her off. I’m miserable. She might as well be miserable. I’m just not going to take this sitting down,” she said.

She closed her eyes and the next thing she knew, she was filled with the feeling of love. She found herself in a cathedral where she saw a friend of hers who had died of leukemia. He had a full head of hair and looked very healthy.

“Mary Kay,” he said. “You have too much left to do.”

She was told she had to return and she was angry about it.

Ms. McDaniel was in a beautiful meadow coming to terms with what had happened when the lights went out again.

Telling Her Story

Her next memory is waking up in the hospital, weighing only 86 pounds and being unable to move. She had lost too much muscle mass.

Having experienced such a traumatic NDE, Ms. McDaniel felt like she couldn’t talk about it to anyone. It took ten years for her to share it with IANDS and when she did, she realized her mission was to come back and share her experience.

So she wrote the book “Misfits in Hell to Heaven Expat” documenting her experience.

Ms. McDaniel believes that we are all from the heavens and everyone is playing the role that was determined for them.

“We all start off in heaven. We were expatriates of heaven. We come down, we do our work here on Earth,” she said.

She feels that life is an illusion compared to life in heaven so while we learn and grow, we should also lighten up when things don’t go smoothly.

“This is not real. This is all an illusion. And we wrote the script for our play. We’re playing it out. It’s a role and when things get sticky I think okay, what am I supposed to learn?” Ms. McDaniel shared.

Maria Han is an arts and beyond science writer.
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