This page uses content from the Howard Storm biography page on the English version of Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. This list of authors can be seen in the page history. Rotten Tomatoes disclaims any and all warranties as to the accuracy or reliability of the content.
Howard Storm (born 1947) is a former art professor and chairman of the art department at the University Of Kentucky, best known as the author of the book My Descent Into Death about his near-death experience (NDE). The book was originally published in 2000, and after being noticed by author Anne Rice and supported by her, was acquired by Doubleday and re-published as a hardback book in 2005.
In June of 1985, Storm took a group of his students on a field trip of French art museums, and one morning at the end of the trip while still in his hotel with his wife, experienced sudden severe abdominal pain that incapacitated him. He was taken to a Paris hospital, but no surgeons were available, and he suffered for a significant amount of time in deteriorating condition due to the hospital staff not realizing the severity of his medical situation. He ultimately would be diagnosed with peritonitis.
Storm describes that he felt he was dying, and after saying goodbye to his wife, eventually passed out. He was a life-long atheist and contemptuous of spiritual matters, but found himself outside of his body. He says he was drawn by voices calling his name and followed them, but eventually realized that he was being led into darkness and the creatures were malevolent. They turned on him and attacked him savagely, and his NDE became a negative experience, rather than the type of NDE typified by a "being of light" or sensations of peace and calm. His book chronicles an experience that involved being torn to pieces by the creatures, yet he retained consciousness and experienced severe pain.
He says that at one point though he felt a voice within him instruct him to "Pray to God". He resisted and realized he did not know how to pray, but began to recite fragments of religious material. Though rote recitals, the effect on the creatures was that it drove them away. He then describes that he was rescued by a being of light that he believes was Jesus, and was approached by others as well. He experienced a life review, which highlighted the selfishness of his life, but the beings of light expressed unconditional love throughout it.
His book describes how the experience had a transformative effect on him, and he became devoutly religious and entered the seminary to become a minister of Zion United Church Of Christ. He has made a number of appearances on television to describe his NDE.
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