Based in Brooklyn, NY, I write about all things creepy and strange. My book based on the real haunting of Doris Bither (The Entity 1982 movie) will be released soon. Got a question? Drop me a line.


“She’s able to bring on this experience pretty much on demand,” Messier, a professor in the university’s School of Psychology, said Monday.

“She told me that she thought everybody could do that.”


It’s one of the strangest, most fascinating things I’ve ever read. And it’s been happening to us since the dawn of time. Astral Projection has been written about since the dawn of time. From ancient Egyptian texts to Inuit folklore, out-of-body experiences seem to occur to just about any human being in the world. Now, a former University student is claiming that she can trigger these late-night astral-walks at will. What’s fascinating about this is that we might have the evidence to prove that something neurologically  is indeed occurring inside the brains of those who claim the same experiences.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Claude Messier says he was stunned when a 24-year-old graduate student in one of his classes at the University of Ottawa approached him after class in 2012 to say that she could trigger “out of body” experiences at will.

“She’s able to bring on this experience pretty much on demand,” Messier, a professor in the university’s School of Psychology, said Monday. “She told me that she thought everybody could do that.”

Out of body experiences, often associated with drugs, extreme danger or near-death experiences, have been widely reported. “These experiences exist,” said Messier. “There’s lots of descriptions of them.”

But few occur in conditions conducive to scientific study. And cases where healthy individuals were able to elicit them on demand had never been scientifically studied.

Until now. In a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Messier and co-author Andra Smith, an associate professor in the School of Psychology, report on their case study of the anonymous woman’s striking ability.

To Messier’s surprise, their research has become an Internet sensation. “I knew this would raise some interest,” he said, “but I’ve been taken aback by how much the web can raise havoc on these things. This is not really what I expected.”

The young woman told Messier she had been triggering out of body experiences since she was four or five years old. She’d first done so when she was bored during “sleep time” at preschool.

“She discovered she could elicit the experience of moving above her body and use this as a distraction during the time kids were asked to nap,” the study reports.

She continued to perform out-of-body experiences — or “extra corporeal experiences,” as the study calls them — as she grew to adulthood, typically as an aid to sleep. Where others might count sheep, she willed herself to leave her body.

“There’s nothing pathological or abnormal in this person, except for the fact that it takes her a long time to go to sleep,” Messier said. “She didn’t feel anything paranormal or religious associated with it. For her, it’s a very ordinary experience.”

The woman has three different variants of her experience, Messier said.

One is the “classic” experience, where her body raises, flips over and she sees herself from above. In another, her body spins like a propeller. In the third, she can feel her body rising and falling, as if with waves on an ocean.

The woman, who no longer lives in Ottawa, described her experience in the study.

“I feel myself moving or, more accurately, can make myself feel as if I am moving. I know perfectly well that I am not actually moving.

“There is no duality of body and mind when this happens, not really. In fact, I am hyper-sensitive to my body at that point, because I am concentrating so hard on the sensation of moving.

“I am the one moving — me — my body. For example, if I ‘spin’ for long enough, I get dizzy. I do not see myself above my body. Rather, my whole body has moved up.”

At first, Messier and Smith did a short study with the woman “because we were a bit skeptical that there was anything interesting there.” After they found some “unique” brain activations, they brought her back to Ottawa last year for more thorough tests.

Read more at the Ottawa Citizen

  • JB

    Finally a story related to my (now) hometown! I’ve experienced something similar to the later 2 but never the ‘flipping’ over and seeing myself from above.
    I’ve actually almost been sick from the ‘propellor’ feeling. Just thought this was normal meditation stuff!

  • IThinkso

    Many others have ‘CLAIMED’ the same, too…just another theory … @00:25:00 approx

  • radioredrafts

    Evolution in action, perhaps? I’ve heard it theorized that someday we may evolve beyond our physical selves. Maybe this is the beginning of it.

  • Hoss

    I have experienced this after trying to reproduce my one and only out of body experience. This doesn’t seem like the real thing to me. In a real out of body experience you feel totally separated from your body.

  • ghosttheory

    Interesting stuff JB. When this happens, have you tried to prove that you weren’t dreaming?

  • JB

    I can come out of it pretty quickly… I generally know what’s going on. Much different from when I just go to sleep and dream.
    Albeit, you could very well be correct. I only obtain the two ‘sensations’ when I purposefully meditate

  • Edme

    Well, ok, maybe. Not a good idea to do this traveling thing unless you have guards. Dark entities love to snatch you up in this state. This is a real thing usually when one is sleeping. This person maybe channeling someone and believes that they are traveling. You do not see yourself coming or going ever. So I do not believe this person. They may even have a dark person that was left here messing with them making them feeling like they are having this experience. Most people cannot grasp this information. You really have to be someone important to be allowed to travel. Just say’n, Wink, Wink

  • Jon

    When I was younger I used to sometimes feel like the bed I was lying on was rippling with waves, or it was ‘breathing’ out of time when I was breathing and I could feel my body moving. I don’t know if this is any way related but her mention of her body ‘rising and falling’ like waves on an ocean brought back those memories.

  • I have had similar experiences, while meditating. I learned later that what was happening was that I was “falling asleep” but retaining a level of consciousness. I could also induce certain sensations and control dreaming.

  • HB

    This is very interesting. For me, my experiences has been a bit different but sorta same.
    Just to give an idea of where I’m coming from..
    I have had very intense and in detail dreams ever since I can remember. Almost feels as if I live a second life in my dreams and can control it half to most the time. Believe it or not.. but I remember my very 1st birthday and a few situations/moments right around that time, which is my earliest memories. I began having these (what I thought at the time to be just dreams) out of body experiences when I would go to sleep. I would think of them as scary dreams even though there was nothing scary about it, like there would be in a typical scary/frightening nightmare. It started to be more intense the older I got but slowed down a bit as I grew into the teenage years. I still experience these to this day.

    I’m going to try and explain the best I can the situations and how it was for me.

    The thing that happened the most was.. I would be lying there and feel as if I was getting pulled down to the bottom of the bed by my feet, not actually feeling any tug or pull on me anywhere but feeling my body be yanked towards the bottom of the bed.
    The next thing that happened the most was I would feel like I just feel out of bed, not the hurting of hitting a floor or anything like that but just a falling feeling but like it was out of bed. I would then “wake up” and be just lying there as normal. half the time I really did feel I was sleeping then woken up.
    After awhile of experiencing this I sorta became natural to it where it just sorta happened a lot and I would most the time know it was about to happen.
    It always happened when going to bed while lying on my back, still happens this way.
    Another thing is that sometimes when I would realize that I was in this state I felt like I was stuck and couldn’t move nor scream/yell or anything, just bound while fighting with all my might to get unstuck and “wake up”. It scared the hell out of me while in this moment because it feels like it is so real because I swear I am not sleeping!
    I have myself seen myself laying down while in this astral projection but was a not so clear image and I felt more like I was sleeping in those moments so that’s possible that I could have fallen asleep at that moment or something I don’t know for sure (with the seeing myself laying down).
    When Edme (a below commenter) said something about ‘Dark Entities’ this had me thinking of the moments where I felt stuck and muted. Plus reading everyone elses comments made me want to tell my story so maybe I could determine better if this is a Spiritual good/evil happening or just plain ol’ astral projection?
    Also to help the process of determining the science of Astral Projection by sharing what’s happened to me.
    I do know that the scaryness of me not being able to move only made it scary because it was something I was not used to and only happened when going to bed so it related to bad dreams in a way to me at a younger age.
    I don’t have a vast vocabulary so I hope that everyone can make sense out of how I explained all this. 🙂 I know there are a few things and moments I wanted to tell but can’t remember at this moment. If I do then I’ll add another comment to my original one (this one).
    Thanks & hope this helps with something for someone.

    If anyone wants to know anything more, feel free to ask away!

  • HB

    Something I forgot to add: I have heard most my life that the falling out of bed feeling I felt was just me coming back to my body. This is just what I have heard from different people through the years.
    Also, not sure if this has to do with anything but I used to have a lot of dreams when I was really young like I was just falling forever and ever in a dark place.
    I’m in my mid 20’s if anyone is curious about that.

  • Anne Enven

    I’ve had this, but I thought it was just nightmares. I’ve always thought the astral projection was cool, but probably something I couldn’t do. Maybe I actually can. I am wondering because of the part where you are talking about being stuck and not being able to scream or anything. I’ve never seen myself in bed though. I don’t look at my bed. Normally if I can get unstuck but still in that strange state I am just going around my apartment, and I am trying to turn on lights but I can’t. I thought it was just always dreaming though. Unless mine is just nightmares though. I only have it happen when I am feeling stressed out during the day, or when I finally get to sleep when I have trouble sleeping for days. It happened this weekend.

    I don’t feel like I am being pulled out of bed though. It’s more like my body just goes paralyzed (maybe it’s just sleep paralysis) and if I manage to “leave” my body I kind of go up, and then start stumbling at first like I can’t get my balance and then just go around my apartment feeling scared and wanting to turn on lights but I can’t. I have no idea if mine is just dreaming or what but I think I am glad I don’t see my body because I think it would freak me out. I already feel terrified as it is when those experiences happen.

    Also, I always feel terrified that my dad is around (he’s dead) so that’s why I assumed I was dreaming. He killed himself when I was little, so I don’t remember much of him but I remember he wasn’t happy. I get the feeling he is unhappy in death. That’s why I feel as if it’s nightmares because I’ve been having scary dreams of him since he died.

  • namrata gupta

    okay! it happened a few nights ago. I was sleeping with my dad that day. I was almost on the verge of sleep. The next thing i remember is I am shouting and asking my dad to turn on the lights. i didn’t know why i did that. Then after sometime, everything started coming back to me. I remember there was a man standing near the edge of my bed! I’m pretty sure i didn’t dream that night. Do you think i might have accidentally astral projected?