15 Characteristics of Near Death Experience

I recently listened to a webinar about near death experience (NDE) with Dr. Melvin Morse. Dr. Morse has done extensive research on NDEs and works closely with Dr. Raymond Moody (who is also his brother-in-law), who coined the term, near death experience in the 70s. Dr. Moody has since said he wished he had called it the death experience, because that is really what it is. That’s how I have always described my experience because there was no “near” about it.


Dr. Morse said that they have found that every brain is hardwired for these death experiences. That got me thinking about the statistics on NDEs and what the basic characteristics were that most people experience or are hardwired to experience. Over the years, I have gone through phases where my NDE is heavily on my mind and I do a lot of reading and researching, and at other times, it falls to the back burner of my mind, but it’s never forgotten. It has been awhile since I have read up on the latest data, and figured it was probably time to revisit this.


I went to the best place for NDE statistics, the International Association for Near Death Studies, Inc, also known as IANDS. This is what they had to say about the common characteristics that the majority of NDErs experience.


There are about 15 common characteristics. I have read somewhere that you need to have at least 3-5 of these for your experience to be classified as an NDE, but I have done so much reading on the subject since my experience, that I don’t really recall where I heard that- so don’t quote me.


  1. A deep sense of love and peace, along with very strong emotions
  2. Seeing their body from above as in an out of body experience (OBE)
  3. Moving through darkness, a tunnel and seeing a light, or describing the sense of seeing a light
  4. A feeling of being somewhere else that is not “Earth”
  5. Quick thinking and observations, knowing things instantly
  6. Encounters with relatives or friends who have passed on, as well as religious figures that are important to them in their lives, and/or spirit guides
  7. Communicating telepathically with these beings
  8. A life review where the experiencer relives actions in their lives
  9. A sense of knowing everything about life and the universe
  10. A sense that they need to “finish what they started” on the earth plane
  11. Realizing that time doesn’t exist and losing the need to be constricted by it
  12. Depression after returning to the earth plane or feeling disappointed in their choice to return
  13. Describing it as if it were like being in a dream
  14. A new outlook on relationships in their lives once they return
  15. Losing the fear of death


I find it such a fascinating topic and I love talking to others who have had near death experiences as well. If you have had a near death experience and want someone to talk to who understands, feel free to message me. If you want to continue doing research on your own, definitely check out IANS.org, and Dr. Raymond Moody’s website, www.theuniversityofheaven.com, who has a lot of interesting inexpensive webinars on the subject with various speakers. These are excellent resources for information on NDEs.