Hacking the Afterlife Documentary

 Here it is, live on Gaia:

Hacking the Afterlife Documentary

Interviews with Michael Newton, Brian Weiss, Scott De Tamble in action, video of people speaking about the afterlife while under hypnosis, and then interviews with people speaking about the afterlife without any hypnosis. Steph Arnold, Dr. Drew, Josh Davidow, Robert Towne. Footage of mediums speaking directly to pals on the flipside, Jennifer Shaffer, James Van Praagh (via the Charles Grodin show I worked on) Kimberly Ray.  Harry Dean Stanton, Bill Paxton, Howard Schultz, Merv Griffin. Not gone. Just not here.  If you aren't already speaking to loved ones, take a few minutes out of your day and learn how. There are laughs in this doc as well - not religious, anti science, scary, creepy or frightening in any way. There are laughs on the flipside as well!

In this sequel to the documentary Flipside, best selling author Richard Martini explores three different methods of "Hacking" or accessing the afterlife. One is via hypnotherapy, interviews with Michael Newton, Dr. Brian Weiss, Scott De Tamble, Dr. Wambach and footage from various hypnotherapy sessions. The second method is via mediumship, with interviews featuring Jennifer Shaffer, Kimberly Ray and James Van Praagh via a segment that Richard Martini produced for the Charles Grodin show. The third is through guided meditation with someone who has had an NDE or a consciousness altered event being asked simple questions about a memory they have. NDE experiencers Steph Arnold, Josh Davidow, David Bennett, guided meditation with Dr. Drew Pinsky and others are featured. These are three methodologies combined offer proof not only that an "afterlife" exists; but is accessible to anyone who takes the time to explore these modalities.

Featuring: Michael Newton, Scott De Tamble, Jennifer Shaffer, Kimberly Ray, Howard Schultz


While promoting my film "Point of Betrayal" in Cannes I ran across the crew that shot that film in Palm Beach filming an improvised comedy. The original writer Beverly Camhe had written an outline, Susan Shapiro who was the UPM on our film, had been let go on the first day of filming. The crew and cast asked me to assist - which I did playing a small part, then helping them with the casting of Rebecca Broussard (star of my film, plays Seymour Cassel's ex), and then participated in some of the scenes ("Tell her you like her shoes Francesco. It's a good way to duck a conversation."). 

When Cannes was over,, the producer Tom Coleman got in a fight over the film, and put it on the shelf. He asked me to come in and see if I could make sense of it - I suggested reframing the piece around a funeral, so that this could be a "memory" of Cannes, and events that happened there around this producer Sy Lerner (Seymour Cassel) who was one of the many con men that grace the festival each year.  My payment was a trip back to Cannes all expenses paid. I didn't ask for screen credit, but Coleman insisted I take it.

I had seen some hilarious scenes shot, I added some of my own, and this pizza is the result.  

Tom Coleman sold it for distribution, but their deal fell apart over a point of profit. So it went on a shelf for 16 years. It came out on VHS, some fellow sold it to Netflix, which I had to call and let them know the fellow didn't own it. So it went back on the shelf.  

It's here because there is some great comedy in here, and I cannot claim any credit for the comedy - only that I was able to keep the ship afloat and bring it into a harbor. And then, life happened, it was lost in a shuffle. Susan Shapiro is credited for the scenes in Cannes that she was involved with, Seymour Cassel did most of all the wrangling of people to be in the film. 

Seymour, RIP, would literally would say "We're making a documentary about Cannes, want to be in it?" After getting them to sign away all rights (I have the contracts somewhere) then he'd say "Okay, in this scene it's an improv, I'm going to introduce you to the "next Tarantino."   Perhaps it was the late nights, the alcohol consumed, but everyone in the film signed away all their rights for no compensation.  So I insisted as part of my deal, we would not exploit them ("name above the title.")

Only one actor crossed off the part of his contract that said "we can use your name above the title" in this film.  However, we didn't sell it as a Johnny Depp film despite his being hilarious in it - and I can report that all of the distributors said "the film is too inside, audiences won't get it" - despite screening it in Moscow, India, Santa Monica and other film festivals around the world where audiences roared with laughter. Loudly. In every screening. 

A shyster is a shyster in any language, any country, and it's the 'holier than thou" which kept if off the internet.  Even Harvey appears in it, telling a story about Brando. Maybe he worked behind the scenes to kill it, I don't know. The late Robert Evans did his scenes as a favor, as did Randal Kleiser, Larry Kasanoff, Ann Cusack, Rebecca Broussard, Eha Urbasalu, Lloyd Kaufman and others, including the guy who was the doorman at Rocket pictures from Pakistan.  (He gets the biggest laughs in any screening I've been to.)

Seymour didn't like the film, refused to do reshoots because "you made me look like a shmuck!" was his retort - ("Um... but it's what's in the footage...") but Francesco Quinn, RIP did come in an do reshoots.  Johan Schotte ultimately bought the film, owns it, has put it out in some venues, but not sure why it hasn't sold it to or gotten it onto Amazon or Netflix. I stopped asking about 20 years in.. (it's been 25).  It is what it is. 

But thanks to YouTube, you can hear Luana Anders on the phone in the funeral for her last role, literally "phoned in from her hospice care bed" and other tiny funny bits that live on in film history.  This film is here for archival purposes only, all rights belong to Johan Schotte, he's a funny guy and we had many many laughs in France and on the Croisette and the Hotel Du Cap.  It's a slice of life - sorry to say the producer Holly MacKonkey died while finishing the film, Francesco left the planet not much after - but his sense of humor and wit, and charm - it was he who asks Johnny, his pal from Platoon to appear in the film. 

Over the years, I've said to people "I directed you in a film, but we've never met" including James Brolin, Johnny Depp, Chris Penn, Julian Lennon.  That led to a fun night in Monte Carlo where Julian and I rocked out a small cavern club playing "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Route 66."  If this film exists for any reason, it surely must have been for that evening.


Camera (Dogme#15) film by Richard Martini

The official page of the tenth anniversary of this film. This film is officially the Dogme #15, as designated by the Dogme95 group in Denmark. It's an experimental film, shot on DV, and flaunts many rules and conventions, including those made up by the dogme95 group. Look for cameos from a number of celebrities, including Rebecca Broussard, Carol Alt, Angie Everhart and others. Available on youtube for a limit time

Hacking the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer, Route 66, Blue Suede Shoes and Elvis

Another unplanned visit from someone everyone knew as Elvis Aaron Presley from Tupelo Mississippi. I must admit I was never a fan until he started showing up in our class. And then I spent the time to listen to his earlier rockabilly tunes, and grew to appreciate what he'd done with his talent. To be clear Jennifer and I don't discuss in advance who we're going to speak to, and Luana Anders our trusted moderator is in charge of who gets on her clipboard and into the class. As noted, a couple of weeks ago it was film producer Carl Laemmle, someone I knew very little about, but had much to say about the journey in the afterlife. In this episode Elvis wanted to talk about process - the process of how we bring a portion of our conscious energy to a lifetime, and that is never lost, or goes away. He references someone Jennifer and I have no idea - a young girl that met him when he crossed over, but he wanted to speak about that process, and how knowing a bit of it in advance "would have helped him." Also the topic of chanting and praying aloud comes into play - for those who are religious, consider this a message from heaven, for those more science oriented consider this a "conversation with one's subconscious about how to heal or cure depression." We've heard it often, that meditation can help heal or cure a person, and meditating on music is also a way to do the same. In this instance, the concept is to "listen to music that elevates your spirit or "heals the heart." To be clear, I asked if this concept was a religious or a science one - and the answer was that it was literally the fact that one can "heal or help one's health by connecting to, dancing to, swaying to, listening to their favorite singer, to connect with the memory of them, to connect with the heart of them, to connect with the healing light of the universe by listening. This isn't a new topic nor is it fantastical.  Set aside the idea of who the conversation is with and focus on the content of the conversation and it becomes clear why it's important to know that life goes on, and that we can connect with loved ones on the flipside.   By the way: the film “Hacking the Afterlife” is available on Jennifer is at I’m at is our podcast is our youtube channel This version of “Route 66” is on “Rich Martini on the Rocks” at Amazon or


Hacking the Afterlife documentary is live on Gaia

Hacking the Afterlife is LIVE ON THE AIR!

LIVE ON GAIA NOW!!! Ten years of chatting with the afterlife. Jennifer Shaffer, Michael Newton, Scott De Tamble, Kimberly Babcock, Howard Schultz, Bill Paxton, Harry Dean Stanton, Luana Anders, Charles Grodin - all make appearances. As Gary Schwartz PhD put it in the Foreword for "Flipside:" "This is the kind of book once you have read it, you will no longer be able to see the world in the same way again." The same can be said of this film. Don't watch it unless you're prepared to change how you see the world... and the world beyond.

1. The feature length documentary (1:49). 

2. The trailer for the documentary also at Gaia: 

Here's the trailer via my YouTube page at

A little background about the film:

Luana Anders
It's taken me ten years to make a sequel to "Flipside" 

The film is a distillation of that research over the past ten years. There are a couple of clips from the original "Flipside" documentary for context.

The documentary is in three sections:

1. Hacking the Afterlife via hypnotherapy.

In this section, the footage touches upon the hypnosis sessions that have been done by a number of clinical psychologists and others. I start with Michael Newton, because he was responsible for my entry into this arena - clips from his last filmed interview (which makes up the documentary and book "Flipside.")

I feature a clip of Dr. Brian Weiss talking about the research, as his was the first book I read that introduced me to the topic.  Charles Grodin's wife, Elissa Grodin turned me on to the book, "Many Lives Many Masters."

Later on in the film is an excerpt from a talk with Dr. Helen Wambach. Dr. Wambach was a clinical psychologist in the 1970's who did extensive research into using hypnosis to access previous lifetimes. By eliminating bias she was able to verify historical accuracy. She eliminated bias by not focusing on personal experience or journey - but on recalled details. What kinds of utensils were used in what time period, the weather of the region recalled, the clothing worn, the construction materials used. By focusing on historical details she could demonstrate that people were recalling things with veracity - historically accurate events that aren't part of the zeitgeist (books, films, etc).

I feature a number of hypnotherapy cases I've filmed - two friends of mine who both agreed to have me film their hypnosis sessions. One a lifelong friend who was a successful TV executive, another a screenwriter with Parkinson's. Both have revelatory memories about previous lifetimes while under hypnosis.

Michael Newton in his last filmed interview

The Second Part is "Hacking the Afterlife" through mediumship.

I focus on mediums that I know or have worked with in the past. Jennifer Shaffer works with law enforcement agencies nationwide on missing person cases. The other mediums are people I know to be accurate in their work. In the film "Talking to Bill Paxton" also on Gaia, I have three different mediums answer the same questions I ask my old friend on the flipside.  Each one answers the same way - the same answers - even though in one case I wasn't in the room when the questions were asked.

Jennifer Shaffer
Also a filmed interview with James Van Praagh that was part of the Charles Grodin show which I produced and participated in, where James speaks directly, live on air to my friend Luana Anders on the flipside.

There are dramatic scenes speaking with the late actor Harry Dean Stanton, my friend, friend of Luana Anders (who helps us from the flipside) and his dramatic recounting of his crossing over to the afterlife. He provides accurate information about his last days on earth, as well as personal private messages to his friends.

There's a portion where I introduce the life and career of Luana Anders and how she's been instrumental in my education in this area.

Harry Dean and Bill Paxton are in the film

The third section is "Hacking the Afterlife" via NDE's - 

in this case, I demonstrate how no hypnosis is required for someone to access a dramatic event. Could be a dream, NDE, or some other "consciousness altering event."  There's an interview with filmmaker Josh Davidow where he recalls a previous lifetime without hypnosis - which I provide evidence of in the documentary. There are the NDE's of Josh and Steph Arnold and then a demonstration how they can "access the afterlife" with a series of simple questions.

Film was submitted prior to the passing of my dear friend Charles Grodin - so while he's not in the "dedicated to" section, he knows he's included.

Your truly and Charles Grodin on the Merv Show

Again - ten years of trying to capture lightning in a bottle.

It's not my opinion, theory or belief that people say these things with or without hypnosis, via mediums, via hypnotherapy, via meditation - it's on film. I have hundreds of similar cases of people on camera, on a microphone doing the same.

Thanks to Scott De Tamble for his generous help in allowing me access to his work, thanks to Jennifer Shaffer and her generous help allowing me to access her gifts of mediumship.  There's no film without them.

But take the time to watch it, it's free on (for new subscribers)

For further information, or "read along" texts - I can offer my books:

1. Flipside: A tourist's guide on how to navigate the Afterlife.

2. Flipside the documentary

3. It's a Wonderful Afterlife (books one and two).

4. Hacking the Afterlife

5. Architecture of the Afterlife

(For those with a science bent, see UVA's DOPS Dr. Greyson's "After" Dr. Tucker's "Before" and Ed Kelly PhD's "Consciousness Unbound" for how consciousness can exist outside the brain. While I've met or interviewed all these scientists from UVA, their work and research isn't part of mine - However, because we are talking about conversing with people no longer on the planet, one would have to understand how consciousness can still exist by learning from scientists how that is possible.)

For more information about Scott: Scott at

For more information about Jennifer:

We have three books we've created together; "Backstage Pass to the Flipside" books one, two and three. All transcripts of our weekly interviews.

There are numerous clips, and 65 podcasts at or the audio is at - 

There are now three documentaries available: "Flipside" "Talking to Bill Paxton" and "Hacking the Afterlife" on Gaia

All flipside all the time.

If you have a chance, can watch the film, (and like it?) please leave a comment in the space provided at Gaia.  The more people who "like" a film, the more people become aware of it.  

My apologies for out of focus shots, shots filmed in crowded restaurants, noisy cafes - this is a labor of love, and despite having a career in the film industry making feature films that don't have "spotty lighting" or "bad sound" - sometimes you just have to turn on the camera and see what you can capture. It's lightning in a bottle, or in this case a tripod (or cellphone).



11:11, Heart and Soul, and a Mustang Convertible

This is one of those mind bending posts.

I won't go into all aspects of what happened, but I can only promise you that it did happen. And in the sequence it happened.

This past week we've been shopping for a used car for our daughter.  She settled on a particular brand, but not the year or the exact model. We tried hard tops, we tried soft tops, we tried different years.  We met some creepy sales people (they know who they are) and we met some amazing sales people.

But this isn't an ad for used car salesmen. It's about the flipside.

My wife was concerned about this car. It's a big deal, first car, etc.  It is the same first car (different year) that I owned, but I tried to not let my past influence our daughter's present.

Excuse me?

So the day came for purchasing the car. When I came downstairs my wife and son were playing "Heart and Soul" on the piano. An improv. Fun, he's a virtuoso at 15, so it was kind of thrilling.  Then daughter came to learn that we had an "interim" appointment with one more car dealer - a franchise to go unnamed, because she spotted the "bait and switch" as we arrived. "Oh, we can't sell you this car, someone is buying it... but we'll let you drive it. And if you really like it, I'll see what I can do..."

But I wanted her to see that new model, that new version that was supposed to be superior - it wasn't. And the idea that they would "kick a customer to the curb" was distasteful - if they do it to everyone, are we next?

Meanwhile, wife was home meditating on the outcome. She wanted to newer safer model, because well, it's safer. But she went into a version of meditation and called upon our friend Luana Anders to help with the decision.

She said at first it was hard to connect, so Luana put the idea of 11:11 into her mind - something that I've reported on here, how a couple of years ago Luana had used that as a way to describe "how we communicate with the afterlife."

I even wrote a song about it.


But in this case, Luana reminded her "that's a way to strengthen the visual."  So my wife described feeling like "moving" but Luana was moving and my wife was moving at the same time - in two different realms. And at some point, "we met at the decimals" (the fence between this realm and her realm) and Luana said to her "Go."

As in "Tell me what you want to know?"

And my wife showed her the car options - a blue one, or a black one. And Luana responded with an image of herself in a black convertible, hair flying.

So even though my wife was hoping for the "blue, newer car" reply, she got the black convertible reply. (Older car, but nicer ride.) That's what Luana showed her.

What my wife did not know is that when I had asked Luana what she missed about being on the planet, if anything, she showed Jennifer Shaffer an image of herself riding in a convertible, hair flying around.  That the idea of "the wind in your hair" is a particularly hard thing to recreate on the flipside - so Jennifer said "She misses the wind in her hair."

Still from the short film "Paraclete"

What Jennifer didn't know is that I made a short film with Luana where she's driving around in a Mustang, the wind whipping her hair.  For Luana to provide Jennifer with that image from the flipside, something I made in 1979, here in 2021, is mind bending.

And then for my wife to say "I'm seeing Luana in a black convertible with her hair whipping around" is equally mind bending.

But it didn't stop there.  Luana had said "Go" and my wife explained to her what the issues were, and Luana showed her a convertible with her hair flying around... and then Charles Grodin, our dear friend showed up and said "On the other hand, it would be safer in a newer car" and showed her the blue car.

And Luana turned to him and said "No, I'm showing her the best choice for her daughter..." 

I asked her what Chuck looked like. She said "He was wearing a bow tie." 

Now - what are the odds of that?

There was one film where Chuck had a bowtie.  It was called "Hearts and Souls." Luana played his secretary in the film - one of her last roles. We drove up to San Francisco together so she could do the part for her pal Chuck. And in the film he wears a bowtie.

Now remember - this was all around the concept of 11:11 and how Luana had reminded her of the dream she had years ago where Luana told her "Imagine 11:11, we meet at the decimals."

And our daughter, when she got into the car she was about to own snapped a photo of the interior.

Notice the clock.

What's funny is that the clock of the car was not set - it had to be changed to the proper time. It was probably 2:30 when she took the photograph, but she took it as the clock went from 11:10 to 11:11.

The odds?

Well, there's the song played in the morning, the film directly related to it where Chuck wore a bowtie and Luana plays his secretary, there is the 11:11 reference that shows up twice, and the visual of Luana's hair flying in a convertible.

Luana praying in "The Last Detail"

Anyways - as you can see... one of those "okay, I get it" moments that I wanted to share. 

CNN reporting people still chatting with loved ones on the Flipside

 “These stories may sound implausible, but they are in fact part of a historical pattern. There is something in us -- or in our lost loved ones -- that won't accept not being able to say goodbye.” If I had a nickel for every uniformed, bad writer reporting something they didn’t bother to do the research - I’d have a lot of nickels.

How about this CNN reporter actually doing a little research? If someone hears NEW INFORMATION from a loved one no longer on the planet then it cannot be cryptomnesia. Can’t be something they heard, knew before “or couldn’t accept.”

I just really find this kind of journalism hilarious. “Never mind, they just wish they could hear from their loved ones.” Start with the sentence “It may not be part of my belief system, it may not be part of the reader’s belief system, but there is a growing body of evidence that people can and do speak directly to loved ones no longer on the planet.”

That’s the sentence I long to see in a writer’s report. Otherwise it’s opinion. I've filmed 100 people accessing loved ones no longer on the planet - all of them were able to access new information with or without hypnosis. That makes it the norm. Not super normal, abnormal, or any imaginary normal. The norm is "Yeah, I learned new information from my loved one new longer on the planet."


They lost their loved ones to Covid. Then they heard from them again

By John Blake, CNN

"(CNN)They never ran out of things to talk about. It was obvious from the start.

He was a brawny former Maine lobsterman with a booming baritone. She was a redhead with freckles from Wisconsin who worked in corporate recruiting. They talked about everything from sci-fi movies and her love for the rock group Bon Jovi to whether the Lord of the Rings film trilogy did justice to J.R.R. Tolkien's books. He asked for permission to kiss her on their first date. She said yes.

When Ian and Michelle Horne got married, he wore a purple tie on their wedding day because it was her favorite color. As the years rolled by, they got matching tattoos and gave each other nicknames from the movie, "The Princess Bride." He called her Princess Buttercup and she called him "Farm Boy Wesley." They made plans to visit Ireland this year to celebrate her Irish roots.

Then came the pandemic. Last fall, after a long battle, Michelle Horne died from complications caused by Covid-19. Ian Horne's "superpower," as he called her, was gone. They had been married almost 10 years.

But not long after his wife's death, the morning radio deejay in Wichita, Kansas, wondered if Michelle was still speaking to him. He was driving to his job in the predawn darkness when he spotted something odd. About two dozen streetlights flanking the highway had turned purple. They looked like a lavender string of pearls glowing in the night sky.

Michelle and Ian Horne. The couple were married almost 10 years.

Horne took it as a sign.

"Michelle knew that was my route to work that I take every morning and was the route she took on her final drive to the hospital," says Horne, who hosts his morning show on 101.3 KFDI as "JJ Hayes."

"I remember simply smiling and feeling overwhelmed with the idea that Michelle was close."

Reported encounters with departed loved ones are not uncommon

The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 600,000 Americans. Many of us never had a chance to hug or say farewell to loved ones who died alone and isolated in hospital wards due to fears of spreading the virus.

But there is another group of pandemic survivors who say they have been granted a second chance to say goodbye. They are people like Horne who believe they've been contacted by a loved one who died from coronavirus.

These experiences can be subtle: relatives appearing in hyper-real dreams, a sudden whiff of fragrance worn by a departed loved one, or unusual behavior by animals. Other encounters are more dramatic: feeling a touch on your shoulder at night, hearing a sudden warning from a loved one, or seeing the full-bodied form of a recently departed relative appear at the foot of your bed.

These stories may sound implausible, but they are in fact part of a historical pattern. There is something in us -- or in our lost loved ones -- that won't accept not being able to say goodbye.

And whenever there is a massive tragedy such as a pandemic, a war or a natural disaster, there is a corresponding surge in reports of people seeing the dead or trying to contact them.

After mass tragedies such as wars many Americans have turned to Ouija boards in an attempt to contact departed loved ones.

After mass tragedies such as wars many Americans have turned to Ouija boards in an attempt to contact departed loved ones.

The 1918 influenza epidemic sparked a "spiritualism craze" as Americans turned to seances and Ouija boards to contact departed loved ones. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks came a wave of people reporting sightings of and even conversations with those who had been snatched from their lives.

When a tsunami struck Japan in 2011, killing at least 20,000 people, so many inhabitants of Ishinomaki reported seeing their loved ones appear that a book and a documentary were made about this city of wandering ghosts.

"These kind of reports are normal in my world," says Scott Janssen, an author who has worked in the hospice field for years and studies these experiences. "It would make sense that in a pandemic or other event that leads to mass deaths that there will be a numerical increase in reports and experiences, given the shared grief and trauma."

These experiences are so common in the psychological field that there is a name for them: ADCs, or "after death communications." Research suggests at least 60 million Americans have these experiences, and that they occur across cultures, religious beliefs, ethnicities and income levels. Many of these encounters occur in the twilight state between sleeping and waking, but others have been reported by people who were alert.

(Also - this use of the acronym "ADC" - AFTER DEATH COMMUNICATIONS?  SERIOUSLY? It's communication with the "so called dead" - if they were dead they couldn't communicate. Drop the ridiculous acronym - it's literally talking to people still alive - we're just too dead to see that they are.)

Bill Guggenheim, co-author of "Hello from Heaven," a book that explores ADCs, believes there is a spiritual purpose behind the visits.

"They want you to know they're still alive, and that you'll be reunited with them when it's your turn to leave your lifetime on Earth," he writes. "They want to assure you they'll be there to meet you and greet you -- and perhaps even to assist you -- as you make your own transition."

A dining room encounter with a beloved aunt

ADCs may serve another function in the world created by Covid -- to reassure people who couldn't be at the side of their loved ones when they died.

Consider the story of Jamie Jackson, an office manager who lives near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and her beloved "Aunt Pat." Jackson's aunt died of a heart attack last summer after complications from Covid. Jackson said her aunt was like a mother to her -- someone she spent summers with and accompanied to the hospital for routine medical visits.

But when her aunt was afflicted with Covid, Jackson couldn't visit the hospital to reassure her.

"That was the hardest thing," Jackson says. "You can't say goodbye and you can't be there as an advocate for your loved one, which is difficult because you have somebody who's in the hospital, who's scared and not used to being alone."

Gloves worn by pallbearers are draped on the casket of retired officer Charles Jackson Jr., who died from Covid-19 in April 2020 in Los Angeles. Covid restrictions prevented many people from saying goodbye to dying loved ones in person.

Gloves worn by pallbearers are draped on the casket of retired officer Charles Jackson Jr., who died from Covid-19 in April 2020 in Los Angeles. Covid restrictions prevented many people from saying goodbye to dying loved ones in person.

Seven months later, though, Jackson says she heard from her aunt again.

It was December, and Jackson was putting up Christmas decorations in the house while Bing Crosby sang holiday carols. Christmas was one of her aunt's favorite holidays, and she loved decorating. Jackson's bin was filled with the same decorations that once belonged to her aunt.

Jackson says she left the bin in her hallway to get something and when she returned, she saw a translucent figure peering into it. It was the figure of a petite woman, with the same haircut, color of hair and white blouse and blue slacks that her aunt used to wear.

Jackson froze. Her hearted started pounding. She fled to her dining room and started crying. When she returned, the figure was gone. She says it was her aunt.

"It was overwhelming," Jackson says. "It's hard to put into words. I felt touched by that. It's obvious that she's around and she's visiting me."

A cold hand on a shoulder and a whiff of perfume

Some post-Covid paranormal encounters are even more dramatic. One woman says she was literally touched by a loved one who died from complications from Covid.

Marie Pina teaches English as a second language in Manitoba, Canada. She says her 79-year-old mother, Inez, was about to be released from the hospital last November when there was a Covid outbreak in her ward. She tested positive and was put in isolation. She returned home the next month, but had lost her strength.

About four months after her diagnosis, her mother died.

On the morning of her mother's death, Pina says she was reaching for her slippers in her bedroom when she felt a cold hand on her shoulder. She turned and saw her mother sitting beside her, staring straight ahead with no expression. She looked 20 years younger.

"Her touch was cold, like she had just come from outside," Pina says.

One day not long after that morning, Pina reported another classic characteristic of an ADC. She was making spinach soup, one of her mom's favorites, when she suddenly smelled the fragrance associated with her mother -- a combination of White Diamond perfume and her mom's Chi hairspray.

"The scent was overpowering," Pina says. "My husband and I stood in the kitchen awestruck as I stirred the soup. We both could smell it. It lasted for approximately five minutes before evaporating."

Talk to people who have these experiences, and many will acknowledge that maybe their minds created the episode. Others insist the visitations were too real to deny.

Jackson, who lost her aunt, says it's almost irrelevant if they're real or not. Their impact is real, she says. They made her feel better.

"If I needed to see it and it made me feel better and that's all it was, I'm okay with that," she says. "I tell people if they don't want to believe me, that's fine. I don't need to explain to other people."

Some paranormal visitations aren't so welcome

Other ADCs are more chilling. Some paranormal experiences happen to people who are not reassured by them.

"Some people are creeped out by these things and are certainly not looking for them," says Janssen, the hospice worker. "For some it clashes with worldviews or religious beliefs. Some people have visits like this years after the fact when they are not grieving, or have visits from people with whom they have struggled and from whom they might not actually wish to have a visit."

Haunting ADCs also are common during wartime. War memoirs are filled with stories of combat veterans reporting creepy, after-death visitations from fallen comrades or even enemy soldiers they've killed. In the classic memoir, "What It Is like to Go to War," Karl Marlantes, a Vietnam veteran, wrote about how the ghost of a North Vietnamese soldier he killed stalked him years after he returned home.

In one striking passage, Marlantes relates how he exorcised his enemy's ghost. He arranged a private mass with a priest at 2 in the morning at an old church where he says he saw the spirits of the enemies he killed and the comrades who died under his command file into the pews. Even his late grandparents appeared, smiling as if they approved.

Counselors working with veterans often hear such stories, Janssen says.

"I've been doing this a long time and I consider it a near universal [phenomenon] that after a particularly heavy engagement, a lot of people in your unit are lost, it is inevitable that some of those troops are going to receive visits from their buddies," he says.

An unusual bird sighting and a cry in the night

Horne, the radio DJ, reports having other after-death encounters with his late wife.

Not long after she died, he was sitting on the deck in his backyard when a cardinal landed on a branch in front of him. Cardinals, according to folklore, often appear when loved ones are near. Horne was struck by the bird because he says cardinals don't normally show up in Kansas in autumn.

Horne says he's had moments when he's clearly heard Michelle call to him in the night: "Ian, wake up!"

"It's as if she's in the room with me," he says. "It's enough to snap me awake, and I'm a deep, hard sleeper. Call it an auditory hallucination or what you want, but I definitely hear it."

Perceived messages from deceased loved ones can be comforting but also unsettling.

Perceived messages from deceased loved ones can be comforting but also unsettling.

Both signs are comforting to him in part because Horne remembers how Michelle fought so hard to live. He says her immune system was weakened after she received a kidney transplant several years ago. When the pandemic hit, they both dreaded what would happen if she got the virus.

After their worst fears proved true, Horne says it seemed at first as if Michelle would survive. She endured a lengthy hospital stay, which included being put on a ventilator, but was released last October. She worked hard to get better, but there were times when Michelle's natural optimism wavered.

Horne says she once told him, "I'm such a burden to you. You don't deserve this. You should just leave."

He kept encouraging her in physical therapy.

"I was in it for the long haul, for better or for worse," he says.

Michelle's body, though, didn't have the strength for the long haul. She died from a heart attack last October, her body weakened by Covid, Horne says. She was 50.

Horne's radio audience has rallied around him. He's shared his story on the air and it's been featured in local newspapers. He finds it cathartic to talk about Michelle.

"I feel that a person dies twice -- once when they have their physical death and the second time, when we stop saying their name," he says. "Any opportunity I have to talk about Michelle, I will take it."

Purple streetlights in Wichita, Kansas, which Ian Horne thinks are a signal from his late wife.

Purple streetlights in Wichita, Kansas, which Ian Horne thinks are a signal from his late wife.

Yet in an odd way, Michelle may be still talking to Horne, even after he first saw those purple streetlights.

When they were married, Horne developed a ritual with Michelle. She worried about his safety driving to work in the dark each morning. After he arrived, he would reassure Michelle by texting: "I'm here. I love you."

The purple lights in Wichita are still shining. Horne keeps seeing them on his morning commute. It's as if Michelle is responding with a similar message.

He's not sure how long the purple lights will remain. He called the city of Wichita and they attributed the faulty lights to a defective batch. They told him they were going to replace the lights. He's in no rush for that to happen.

"I'm kind of honestly hoping that they don't," Horne says. "I will always believe that Michelle turned them purple. Whether she actually did or not, that's up to a reader or viewer to decide. They can explain it away ... I believe it was a way for Michelle to be with me on my ride to work."

Newsflash. Plenty of research. Watch the film "Hacking the Afterlife" premiering on Gaia June 21st.

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