New Creation Productions posted the following account from an anonymous contributor:
I gave my heart to the Lord April 22, 1933, at 7:40 p.m. in Texas. Earlier that evening, my heart had stopped beating and the spiritual man who lives in my body had departed. When death seized my body, my grandmother, my younger brother, and my mother were sitting in the room. I had time only to tell them “goodbye.” Then the inner man rushed out of my body and left my body lying dead, with eyes set and flesh cold. I went down, down, down until the lights of the earth faded away. I don’t mean I was unconscious — I have proof that I was actually dead.
My eyes were set, my heart had stopped beating, and my pulse had ceased. The Scriptures tell us about the lost being cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). The farther down I went, the blacker it became, until it was all blackness — I could not have seen my hand if it had been one inch in front of my eyes. And the farther down I went, the hotter and more stifling it became.
Finally, far below me, I could see lights flickering on the walls of the caverns of the damned. The lights were caused by the fires of Hell. The giant, white-crested orb of flame pulled me, drawing me as a magnet draws metal to itself. I did not want to go, but just as metal jumps to the magnet, my spirit was drawn to that place. I could not take my eyes off of it. The heat beat me in the face. Many years have gone by, yet I can see it just as clearly today as I saw it then. It is as fresh in my memory as if it just happened.
I came to the entrance of Hell. People ask, “What does the entrance of Hell look like?” I cannot describe it, because if I tried, I would have to have something with which to compare it. Coming to the entrance, I paused momentarily, because I did not want to go in. I sensed that one more foot, one more step, one more yard, and I would be gone forever and would not come out of that horrible place! Upon reaching the bottom of the pit, I became conscious of some kind of spirit being by my side. I had not looked at him, because I could not take my gaze off of the fires of Hell. But when I paused, the creature laid his hand on my arm to escort me in. At that same moment, a voice spoke from far above the blackness, above the earth, and above the heavens. I don’t know if it was the voice of God.
I did not see Him, and I do not know what He said, because He did not speak in English; He spoke in some other tongue. When He spoke, his words reverberated throughout the region of the damned, shaking it like a leaf in the wind, and causing the creature to take his hand off my arm. I did not turn around, but an unseen power, like suction, pulled me up, away from the fire, away from the heat, and back into the shadows of the absorbing darkness.
I began to ascend until I came to the top of the pit and saw the lights of the earth. I saw my grandparents’ home, went through the wall back into my bedroom, and it was just as real to me as it was any time I had entered through the door. I slipped back into my body as easily as a man slips into his trousers in the morning. It was the same way in which I had gone out — through my mouth. I began to talk to my grandmother. She said, “Son, I thought you were dead.”
“Granny,” I said, “I am going again. I am dying. Where is Momma?” “Your mother is out on the porch,” she replied. And about that time I heard my mother praying at the top of her voice as she walked up and down the porch. “Where is my brother?” I asked. “He ran next door to call the doctor,” Granny answered. If you’re not ready to go, you want somebody with you. You’re afraid! I said, “Granny, don’t leave me! Don’t leave me! I’m afraid I’ll go while you’re gone! I want somebody with me! Don’t leave me!” So she gathered me into her arms again. I said, “Tell Momma I said goodbye. Tell Momma I love her. Tell Momma I appreciate everything she has ever done for me and for all of us. And you tell Momma that I said if I’ve ever put a wrinkle in her face, or a grey hair in her head, I’m sorry, and I ask her to forgive me.” I felt myself slipping. I said, “Granny, I’m going again. You were a second mother to me when Momma’s health failed. I appreciate you. Now I’m going, and I won’t be back this time.
“I knew I was dying, unprepared to meet God. I kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye. My heart stopped beating for the second time. I leaped out of my body and began to descend: down, down, down. I began to descend again into the darkness Down below, the same experience occurred. The voice spoke from Heaven and again my spirit came up out of that place — back into my room and back into my body. The only difference this time was that I came up at the foot of the bed. I began to talk to Granny again. I said, “I will not be back this time, Granny.” I asked, “Where is Grandpa? I want to tell Grandpa goodbye.” I’ve never known what it means to have a daddy. He’s been the nearest to a daddy I’ve known. Tell him I appreciate him. Tell him I love him. Tell Grandpa that I said goodbye.” Then I left a word for my sister and two brothers, and my heart stopped for the third time and I leaped out of my body and began to descend.
Until this time, I had thought, this is not happening to me. This is just a hallucination. It can’t be real! But now I thought, this is the third time. I won’t come back this time! Darkness encompassed me, darker than any night man has ever seen. I wish I had adequate words to describe the horrors of Hell. People go through this life so complacently, so unconcerned, as if they will not have to face Hell. But God’s Word and my own personal experience tell me differently. I know what it is to be unconscious — it is black when you are unconscious — but there is no blackness to compare with outer darkness. As I began to descend in the darkness this third time, my spirit cried out, “God, I belong to the church! I’ve been baptized !” I waited for Him to answer, but no answer came — only the echo of my own voice as it came back to mock me. It will take more than church membership — it will take more than being baptized in water — to miss Hell and make Heaven. [It takes love.]
The second time I cried a little louder, “God! I belong to the church! I’ve been baptized in water!” Again I waited for an answer, but there was no answer. I came again to the bottom of that pit. Again I could feel the heat as it beat me in the face. Again I approached the entrance, the gates into Hell itself. That creature took me by the arm. Thank God that voice spoke. I don’t know who it was — I didn’t see anybody — I just heard the voice. I don’t know what he said, but whatever he said, that place shook; it just trembled. And that creature took his hand off my arm. It was just as if there was a suction to my back parts. It pulled me back, away from the entrance to Hell. I began to pray .. [The anonymous contributor recovered and became a preacher..]
[Footnote from Saint Faustina’s diary: