It is odd that the dying who experience visions of loved ones and friends in the days before they pass away, overwhelmingly appear to see people, or pets who have already passed away, rather than the living.
On the ‘people/pets’ issue, these visions display a interesting resemblance with so called ‘hypnopompic’ hallucinations, which are sometimes seen upon waking. Despite the ‘hallucination’ label they have been given, I’ve seen no particularly satisfying explanation as to why the fully formed, full colour, type hypnopompic experience, is also overwhelmingly of people or animals, and very rarely of inanimate everyday objects.
I’m lucky enough to have had one of these ‘hypnopompic’ hallucinations whilst living in a brand new 3rd floor flat, in Stockton-upon-Tees. On the evening of Tuesday 11th September 2007, I awoke in the dark in the middle of the night to see a full colour, moving image of an unknown 45-55 y/o black male from the shoulders up. The image was in absolutely exquisite detail and incredible brilliant colour, as if the sun was shining on him (rather like an actor picked out by a spotlight on a darkened stage). The image lasted for more than a few seconds, and long enough for me to carry out a quick experiment, despite it’s disturbing nature (The moving imagery started with the back of the males head towards me, then slowly turned its head round towards me, and then stared at me).
Moving my eyes left, away from the spot where the full colour ‘moving’ image had formed, I clearly retained a faded after-image on my retina, which was the same shape as the original image I had seen (similar to the after-image you see when you look away from a bright TV screen in a darkened room). What is strange, is that I could also see a similar ‘fixed’ faded image in my peripheral vision, this was in the position of the original full colour image, and did not move about, when I moved my eyes left.
When I moved my focus back to the ‘fixed’ faded image, effectively overlapping both faded images, the original image jumped back into full colour. I was able to move my eyes left and right several times, to verify this effect, before the image finally faded away.
I’ve done quite a bit of research on this experience, and remain open minded as to whether the experience was just a hallucination, or whether it might perhaps have been an apparition.
If it was an apparition (and I’ve never experienced one of those before, or since), I tend to feel – at the moment – that such experiences may have a similar telepathic explanation to that which I believe may be responsible for verifiable OBE’s. That is, we are receiving information about what somebody else is seeing, but rather than the broadcast being across ‘space’, and in the same ‘time’ (telepathy), it would be taking place across ‘time’, but in the same ‘space’ (apparition). In essence I would say that both types of phenomena could be similar, but seem different to us, due to the broadcaster and receivers relative positions in time/space.
I will be following up this article to flesh-out my ideas on this subject.