• Gregory Shushan

A 19th Century Mormon Near-Death Experience (Phoebe Carter Woodruff)

In 1838 a Mormon pioneer woman named Phoebe Carter Woodruff had an NDE as a result of "brain fever."

Her illness was brought on by a long, cold, arduous wagon journey from Maine to Illinois with her baby and her religious zealot husband, Wilford. Phoebe seemed to die on three separate occasions. On the third, Wilford claimed that he himself brought her back to life through a shamanic-like practice of prayers and rituals.

It's not widely known that NDEs hold a special fascination for Mormons. In fact, in 1847 Brigham Young, the second president of the church after founder Joseph Smith, told a friend, “I actually went into Eternity last Wednesday and came back again.” Although he did not elaborate specifically in the context of his NDE, Young did describe the nature and features of the afterlife in subsequent writings. We get more details of Woodruff's experience, which was recounted by Wilford.

To read this NDE from the United States pioneer era, 183 years ago, and to subscribe to the Historical NDE of the Month (along with many other benefits) please sign up on my Patreon page https://www.patreon.com/gregoryshushan You will be directly supporting my work, including my forthcoming Historical Anthology of Near-Death Experiences - which will include 5 or 6 additional Mormon examples, mostly dating from the 19th century.

I'm also planning what I hope will be a fun, exciting, and instructive new benefit exclusively

for Patrons at all tiers. I'll be launching it in the coming days, so stay tuned....


Dr. Shushan is available for lectures, documentary film work, interviews, research, and other projects worldwide. 

  He is currently based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

For media or other inquiries,

please use this contact form:

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey Amazon Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

© 2018 Gregory Shushan

Sign up here to be notified of future events, publications, and blog posts:

By using the forms above, you consent to having your name and email collected and stored for the purposes stated: sending a query via the contact form, or subscribing to email updates relevant to this website, including commercial offers. Your personal information will be used for the specified reasons only, and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you would like to access, correct, amend or delete any personal information we have about you, please contact us via the contact form above. This website is hosted on the Wix.com platform. By using this website you are also agreeing to Wix.com's privacy policy (https://www.wix.com/about/privacy), including their use of cookies to track user information. Using secure servers behind a firewall, Wix.com may store your data through their data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. Your data is not shared with or sold to any other party.  

© Gregory Shushan