Man Recounts His Harrowing Descent To Hell After Heart Attack

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The ever-eternal quest into knowing what waits for us after we die continues on, with story after story piling up of what people have seen at the end of that tunnel. There’s both a comfort and a fear in having no idea what waits for us, but those who have seen it for themselves might know what’s waiting for them in their afterlife specifically.

A man from Michigan decided to share what he saw when he had a dance with death in 2016, with the frightening visions he witnessed putting him right back onto the straight and narrow.

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The End Of All Things

The question of what happens when we die has been debated for millennia before us and will continue to be debated for millennia to come. There are a good number of people who have had brushes with death and shared what they saw in hopes of providing a definitive answer for what lies on the other side, but with every account being so different, it’s still impossible to know for sure.

A dark, creepy tunnel leading towards a bright light at the end.
Unsplash / Marek Piwnicki
Unsplash / Marek Piwnicki

These stories are still fascinating though, with some being far scarier than others. A recent near-death experience story went viral on TikTok, telling a horrifying possibility of what could be waiting for us in the great beyond.

On The Other Side

In 2016, Michigan priest Gerald Johnson suffered a heart attack, claiming the medical emergency gave him just a taste of a horrific afterlife.

A still from Johnson's video.
TikTok / @geraldajohnson1
TikTok / @geraldajohnson1

He thankfully made it out unscathed, returning to his life before the incident, but he’ll never forget the shocking things he claims to have seen while facing death. In late 2022, he uploaded a TikTok in which he explains what he experienced during his time in the underworld, warning others of the dangers of living recklessly. At the time of writing, his post has over 4 million views and upwards of 500k likes.

A Fate Worse Than, Well, Death

Johnson claims that he witnessed Hell.

A still from Johnson's video.
TikTok / @geraldajohnson1
TikTok / @geraldajohnson1

In the video, an off-screen interviewer asks, “So, is it true that you saw Hell?”

To which Johnson replies, “Oh yes. Absolutely. I saw the real Hell, I was there, and I wouldn’t wish that upon my worst enemy. I don’t care what he did to me. No one deserves that.”

He then explains that upon having his heart attack, his soul immediately left his physical body and descended to Hell, traveling through the Earth’s crust to its very center.

Led Astray

He says the things he saw were “indescribable,” but goes on to explain what he can.

A woman half crouched behind her dog, a doberman in a chain collar.
Pexels / Eko Agalarov
Pexels / Eko Agalarov

He saw a variety of horrors, one of which was a man walking on all fours like a dog. “He was burned from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, and his eyes were bulging out. And what was worse than that is that he had a chain around his neck, so he was like a dog in Hell. […] holding the chain, it was a demon.”

A Lowly Dog

He then goes on to explain that he telepathically understood this man’s story just by looking at him. The demon that was holding his chain was “sent in this man’s life to ride him from his childhood until the time that he died because the demon knew that, ‘if I could stay in his life long enough on the Earth, if I can keep getting him to […] make bad decisions, then I’ll have power over him in Hell and he’ll be a slave to me.'”

A dog sitting in a forest, mouth open in a bark.
Unsplash / Nick Bolton
Unsplash / Nick Bolton

He believes that being a “slave” to bad decisions while alive is what leads one to be a “dog slave” to demons in Hell.

Hellish Inspirations

He says the next area he saw “blew him away” and that it “still baffles him to this day.”

Rihanna arrives to the 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. She's in a large, puffy black dress, a tall, slouched black hat, and crystal jewelry on her forehead and neck.
Getty Images / James Devaney
Getty Images / James Devaney

There was music playing throughout a section of this Hell he witnessed, with some of the songs he remembers being Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ and Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. Neither are particularly sad, scary, or otherwise negative songs, but Johnson explained that they were being sung by demons to ‘torture’ those who were sentenced to an eternity of suffering. He also claimed these lyrics were originally inspired by demons working their manipulative powers over artists, and that’s another reason why they’re being sung in Hell.

A Personal Message

Johnson then talks about his own personal feelings about the experience. As mentioned, he’s a priest, so he’s devoted his life to godliness. He says that he was mad at God, asking how he could have done so much good in his life and still wound up in Hell.

A large bible placed on a podium.
Pexels / Pixabay
Pexels / Pixabay

After expressing this feeling, his spirit was lifted out of Hell and placed back on Earth. He then received a message from “the real Jesus”, who he claims was standing before him.

Forgive And Forget

This apparition told him that he had been secretly harboring grudges, frustration, and resentment for those who wronged him.

A man and a woman hugging.
Unsplash / Gus Moretta
Unsplash / Gus Moretta

His being so unforgiving outweighed all the good he did in his life, so he was sent to Hell as a means to scare him back onto the right path, encouragement to let go of that which weighed him down so heavily. So he says, anyway.

He finishes up the video by explaining the moral of the story, which is to strive to do more good than bad while on this planet, and not let bitterness rule your actions.

A Personal Journey

Now, there have been hundreds, if not thousands of near-death experience stories across the ages. Some appear rather similar to Johnson’s, sharing visions of a hellish afterlife filled with various forms of punishment and reflecting demonic presences on Earth, while some are wildly different, not involving a heaven-and-hell system at all, instead featuring visions of lost family and friends giving a gentle welcome to the other side.

A greyscale image of hands in a crowd reaching upwards.
Pexels / Luis Quintero
Pexels / Luis Quintero

There is no surefire way to know what happens after death. Or, at least, not a scientifically proven one. When it comes to the ends of our lives, we have to rely heavily on our own belief system or lack thereof to decide what we think will happen, and how that inevitable end impacts our lives today.

Pushed To Extremes

If this vision is what shocked Johnson back onto a better path or has inspired others to do more good in their lives, then it is a net good for the world, no matter its credibility, truth, or whether or not you believe the same things he does.

Though, we shouldn’t need a traumatic trip to a firey afterlife to be inspired to do good. All people, regardless if they share the same beliefs as you, are deserving of kindness, and those with the means to provide good to the world should do so because they want all of humanity to thrive.

We all deserve happiness by virtue of existing, and for those who can’t reach that on their own, we should be willing to help get them somewhere that will grant them that same peace.

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]