When I was an adolescent, around age eight or nine, I lived with my single-child family on the outskirts of a small town in Washington state. I grew up in a middle-of-the-road, evangelical Christian faith of which my parents were both very devout practitioners. We went to church 1-2 times a week and most visits with friends of the family involved a bible study session or the like. We were a family that believed that spiritual warfare was a real and present issue, meaning that the agents of the devil were everywhere and one could only find protection through Jesus Christ. I am not sure if the following account of my experience has much to do with this fact, although it did help to mold it into some kind of mental framework. I had a falling out of the church when I was in my late teens, yet I still remained curious about spirituality, largely due to my paranormal experiences.

There were unusual events that led up to my OBE experience that I still cannot explain to this day. One type of event would typically happen in my room at night, while I was in bed, usually still awake and waiting to become tired enough to fall asleep. At first, I would feel the presence of something in the room, although I could not hear or see anyone whenever I’d perk my head up to look around. Sometime after, I would begin to see shadows warping on the wall. My bed was arranged in a corner and there was a nightlight near the floor on the wall opposite my bed. The bedroom door was usually open, and fully open would place the door a few inches away from the night light. There was a light from the hallway entering in and casting a shadow from behind the door, which would rest between the nightlight and the edge of the door. The warping or slight “shifting” of shadows would usually occur for a few seconds and then go away. At the time, I chalked this up to just staring at the wall too long or something going on with my eyes.

One night, in the same conditions as mentioned above, and after only having been in bed for about 5-10 minutes, I was watching the opposite wall and noticed a small movement occur near the shadow that was being cast by the door (light coming from the hallway). Again, I thought it may have been my imagination or a trick of the eyes. But, that small movement began to materialize into a small figure, about 7-8 inches tall, that seemed to be walking out from the shadow. The figure was a shadow itself. I instantly recognized the shape of the shadow as looking like the stuffed Paddington Bear doll that I owned. The shadow figure walked out from behind the shadow of the door, towards the nightlight, then turned to look at me. It stood there, facing me for a few seconds, then turned around and walked back behind the door. After my paralytic fear subsided, I stood up, flicked on the bedroom light, then carefully hinged the door towards the jamb to look behind it. There was nothing there. I then tried to think of where the stuffed bear was located in my room. I looked under the bed, which seemed to somehow be the most likely place, but it wasn’t there. I looked all around the room, in toy boxes, dresser drawers, inside and under anything that could hide a doll. Finally, I began searching my closet (which had its own closed door) and found the doll among other toys. I cleared out a space on the floor inside the closet, placed the doll there, buried it under about 3-4 feet of toys, clothes, and other bric-a-brac, then barricaded the closet door with a large piece of furniture (a dresser, if I remember correctly). After my defenses were set up, I placed the bedroom door to where it was before to recreate the scene, laid back down in my bed, eyes fixated on the shadow behind the door, and then waited. About a minute later, the shadow figure of Paddington Bear came gingerly walking out from behind the door and towards the nightlight. Just like before, it stopped, turned to look at me, and then turned back to walk toward the door before it disappeared behind the door. I believe I elected to spend the rest of the night in my parent’s room after that. My out-of-body experience occurred around the same time frame as this event.

My OBE experience began in a dream. It was fairly typical for the type of dreams I would have at the time. I recall that I was in the living room of a middle or upper-middle class house. It was definitely a fancier house than my own at the time, which was a single-wide mobile home. The living room in the dream had a large fireplace and a mantle, it had an ensemble of hardwood floors, a rug, a coffee table, and a luxurious-looking couch. The room was bordered by a few large windows which let in bright, warm sunlight from outside. I had been in nice houses before as a child, but not one that perfectly matched this one. There were other kids, around my age, in the living room with me. Some were standing and others were sitting on the couch. We were all talking among ourselves, although I do not remember what we might have been talking about. The kids, although very real looking, were vaguely reminiscent of the Archie comics characters (i.e., Jughead, Archie, Betty and Veronica). I did own one of those comics that you used to find at the checkout counter at your local grocery store, so that could explain from where those kids were manifested. All in all, this was a fairly uneventful segment of a dream.

Suddenly and without warning, I felt something grasp my waist, as though gripped tightly by saran wrap, and before I knew it I was pulled down, through the floor, and into a large, spiraling tunnel. I was flying through the tunnel at great speed and didn’t have enough time to get a good look at it, although I did see a brilliant white light at the end. I reached the light and found myself emerging into my room, entering from the ceiling. I shot straight down into a body lying on a bed.

I woke up and my torso launched itself upright. I was dazed at what just happened and equally as confused. I had no framework of understanding at the time to begin to pick apart and analyze what I had just been through. All I could do was shrug it off as a very unusual dream. After I calmed down, I laid back down and closed my eyes to get back to sleep. A few short moments later I opened my eyes again, although my perspective was very different. I noticed that the single window in my room, which was located in the middle of the wall facing the foot of my bed, was directly in front of me. Normally, it would have been seen in the upper-right from where I was located on the bed. If anything, I was slightly higher than the window, which would place my perspective closest to the ceiling. After realizing this, I looked down and saw the floor, which was a few feet below me. My gaze followed the floor and then up to my bed, to where I could see my body lying unconscious.

Startled at this discovery, I thought to myself, “If that is me down there, then what do ‘I’ look like?” I then took account of my ethereal body, which had a proper body, two arms, two legs, 10 fingers and toes. I was wearing something akin to a flowing robe, which seemed to be shimmering in luminescent white light. I didn’t have much time to float there and make sense of the situation before I felt something looming above me. I looked up and saw a gateway, or portal, which took up nearly the entire ceiling. Upon discovering it, I felt myself once again grabbed or under control of some external force and I was flung up into the portal. I was flying, at ridiculous speed, through the same tunnel as before. It wasn’t a straight flight this time around. The tunnel seemed to meander and twist its way, like how you would imagine it would be like flying through tunnels in an anthill. I was able to get a much better look around this time and could describe it as like a large tunnel with a spiral pattern in dual, rotating colors of black and purple. It is akin to peering inside a steel tunnel with the same spiral pattern that is often used as a culvert or conduit. I felt only confusion and wonder as to what was happening. I don’t believe that I was afraid during this portion of the experience. Before long, a white light appeared at the end of the tunnel and I went through it. I was back in the dream that I was having before, but the setting had changed.

I was still in the same suburbanite house as before, just in a different room. I, or rather the top half of my body, appeared directly under a chair in the dining room. I could also see under a dining table and other, identical chairs that surrounded it. The dining room was adjacent to the living room and they were separated by a pair of french doors that were halfway open, which was plenty enough to get a clear view of the living room where I was standing previously. The Archie’s kids were still in the living room and talking to each other. They seemed oblivious to the fact that I had disappeared or reappeared at all. Once I noticed them, I began yelling at them for help. Half of my body was under the chair, while the other half was still in the tunnel (or at least I assume).

I soon felt the tunnel try to suck me back into it, like a whirlpool that was incrementally increasing in velocity and strength. I quickly grabbed hold of the chair’s wooden legs and continued to call out to my peers in the dream. They remained in the living room and unaware of my plight. After coming to the realization that there was nothing I or anybody else could do, I let go of the chair and plunged back into the tunnel. At this point, I felt surrendered, or at least ambivalent, to whatever force had taken control of me and had no sense of time or space. I was just in the tunnel, flying very fast, towards destinations unknown. I recall being brought to the brink of reaching a white light, and then stopped just short of it and flung in the opposite direction. The experience carried on like this for an unknown period of time. It could have been minutes, or hours, there’s no way I could say for sure.

Finally, I was allowed to hit one of the tunnel outlets which consequently led to my bedroom. I shot back into my body and then immediately darted up in bed. I was both terrified and livid. I felt as though I was a plaything to whatever it was that was taking advantage of me and I had had enough. I instinctively looked at the upper-left corner of my room, outstretched my right arm and pointed directly to that corner, as though pointing to some invisible entity, and demanded that whatever it was to put my back in the dream, where it found me. I was more angry than afraid and I felt as assertive as one could get. That is, until I heard the response.

There was indeed an entity there, and it made itself known as a loud, gravelly, male disembodied voice. When I say loud, I mean it seemed like it was loud and percussive enough to blow out all of the windows in the house and some of the neighbors’ houses as well. It felt more like a force of nature behind a voice. It responded by saying “Okay,” followed by repeating laughter. The laughter didn’t stop. It was like a demonic bully. Panicked, I buried my head under my blanket and could do nothing but shiver in fear. Then, I began to feel something peculiar creep into my emotions. It started off as base fear, but then grew deeper into feelings of anger, rage, disgust, avarice, and eventually all negative emotions. It was as thick as tar and suffocating, and I felt as though I was being consumed by it. If something could be assigned as the emotional or spiritual equivalent to pure evil, I believe that this feeling is a prime candidate. I felt hopeless and I didn’t know what was to become of me.

Then, amid all of the chaos, I felt another, distinctly separate entity enter the room. I did not see or hear anything else, as my head was still hiding under the covers. This presence felt to be the polar opposite of the evil which pervaded the atmosphere. It came in slowly, and then grew larger, and I was more aware of it as it did so. It was an amalgam of love, endless joy, and everything that one could understand as good and pure. Moreover, it was protection or a shield, that was intense and all-enveloping. Interestingly, the demonic laughter went unabated while this was happening. I’m not sure if the first entity was completely aware, or aware at all, of the change in the situation. I felt safe in this new feeling and I was no longer afraid of the demonic entity or anything else.

With renewed confidence, I sat straight up in bed, pointed once again to the upper left-hand corner where I thought the dark entity to be, and simply told it to go away. I didn’t say ‘in Jesus’ name’. There was no praying or anything like that. And just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone. It actually left mid-laughter, as if it was immediately expelled. After this, I still felt as though I was in the bosom of this new, loving presence. After the dark entity was gone, I laid down, closed my eyes, and had a peaceful dreamless sleep the rest of the night.

The following morning, as soon as I woke up, I ran into my parent’s bedroom, which was on the other end of the house, and shook them awake to ask them if they heard anything from that night. They reported that they hadn’t heard or felt anything. I told them about the experience as best as a young boy could, yet they didn’t respond with the call to attention that I was hoping for. I don’t suppose most people in western society would think much more of a second-hand account of a paranormal experience to be much more than a dream or hallucination of some kind in those days. Fortunately (depending on how you look at it), other less-severe experiences occurred in our house and my parents brought in a member of the clergy to bless the house and purge any negative or dark influences. I recall feeling an actual difference in the house afterwards, as though it was made more open, airy, and easier to breathe.

In the years following my OBE experience, I have either witnessed or experienced a multitude of psychic and other paranormal phenomena. My curiosity has led to becoming a closet researcher over the years of all things that may exist beyond our perception of physical reality. Unfortunately, I have found no other account that matches the one I’ve stated here, although there are a few that I’ve found that share some common elements. I feel as though this experience may posit a potential link between different dimensions, or phases, of existence and that dreams may occur within a realm or particular dimension that can be accessed or influenced by external forces. This may go as far as explaining precognition or deceased relatives visiting in dreams.

I have not, at least consciously, had another OBE since that time. To be honest, because the first OBE was rather negative and my astral body was supposedly used as a rag doll for the pleasure of some unseen entity, I am fairly hesitant to try inducing an OBE purposefully.