After-Death Communications (ADCs) from Non-Human Animals: Parallels with Human ADCs

How to Cite

Matlock, J. G., Hilton, B., Sheldrake, R., Smart, P., & Nahm, M. (2024). After-Death Communications (ADCs) from Non-Human Animals: Parallels with Human ADCs. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 38(1), 61-78.


In an earlier study, Rupert Sheldrake, Pam Smart, and Michael Nahm reviewed accounts of end-of-life experiences (ELEs) involving non-human animals. They showed animal ELEs to be similar to human ELEs, suggesting common underlying processes. Here, we consider apparent after-death communications (ADCs) from non-human animals and compare them to accounts of ADCs from humans. We collected 442 accounts of animal ADCs from our own appeals and from reports in the literature. We found a close resemblance between ADCs from animals and from humans in the types of experience—dream visitations, a sense of presence, visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory apparitions, and psychokinetic effects. As with human ADCs, the great majority of animal ADCs were reported to have occurred in the first hours or days after death, with a dramatic falling off over time. Moreover, our data show that people grieve their pets in much the same fashion as they grieve their human loved ones, suggesting that human bereavement studies would do well to take into account the animal data to which we draw attention. Doing so may help clarify issues regarding the fundamental nature of the experiences—determining whether they are best regarded as internal hallucinations, as living-agent-psi-mediated subjective or objective phenomena, or as actual contacts with the deceased—which in turn carries implications not only for academic studies of bereavement but for clinical practice with the bereaved.
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