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Some of the following are a sampling of previously published, true first person encounters with Death that have appeared in The Azrael Project Newsletter™ over the past 25 years, along with newer encounters that visitors to this website have shared.  This was always the heart of the newsletter, and the main reason for its inception and continuance. We are continually adding to this page as encounters are submitted.  To submit your encounter with Death for consideration for inclusion on this page, you may use the following forum to post on Encounters With Death Message Board or you may simply email us. Additional encounters with Death can be viewed on the forum.

"The Angel of Death" by Horace Vernet, 19th Century

"Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear;
Of His strange language all I know
is, there is not a word of fear."

Walter Savage Landor


"I have had several episodes. However, most recently I experienced Him...last year. I am a nurse at a large hospital in Salem, MA. One of my patients called me to her bedside to tell me she was feeling "not quite right", and that she felt as if she was going to die. Up until that point the woman was in good health and was only admitted for diagnostic exams. Slowly, the woman began to loose consciousness and, in fact, started to die! All the time I was doing everything possible to regain her. I had called in several people for help, and soon the room was filled with nurses and doctors. I stood back from her bed by the doorway, giving the doctor a report of what transpired. I saw out of the corner of my eye the other people in the room. But, standing at the foot of (her) bed was someone dressed in black. I really didn't pay much attention to him because I was concentrating more on the patient. The person dressed in black walked away from her bedside and started to leave the room, and as I was standing in the doorway, I had to move for him to get out. I did so saying, "Oh, excuse me." I felt a huge breeze as he brushed by me. I turned to the person next to me and asked who that was who just left? This person said, "No one just left." I gave a description of the person, but they still insisted that nobody just went out of the room. Just at that moment, the patient rapidly regained consciousness. It was at that point I realized who that person was all dressed in black."

B. Barraco
Salem, MA.

"About a year ago, I attended the funeral of an acquaintance of my husbands. I had no choice but to bring my children (ages 5 and 7) with me to the graveside service. My husband thought it would be a good idea anyway as they hadn't been exposed to the death of anyone at this age, not even a family member. We were standing around the grave-site while people took turns eulogizing the deceased. All of a sudden my five year old started walking off as if he saw something standing at the foot of the grave. Everyone went silent as he walked up to a point, looked up and started talking, as if to a real person, but I saw no one. It was an awkward situation, as I couldn't pull him away from this spot. A bit frustrated, I asked him 'who are you talking to, anyway?' His reply unnerved everyone, 'I'm talking to the real tall skinny man in the long black coat.'  Of course, no one else saw this, or at least, no one else admitted seeing this. After the service, I asked my son what they talked about. His reply was, 'He didn't remember.' But, that he 'talked without moving his lips.' I get a chill just thinking about this."

Joan Tendunde
Albuquerque, NM.

"I often take late night walks through a cemetery near my home. One night, a few weeks back... I was sitting in a clearing surrounded by 7 foot yew and cypress. It's a very quiet and private spot far from houses and street-lighting.... The bushes started to rustle. First, just a breeze, which quickly grew into gusts of cool wind that seemed to come from beneath them. (Odd, because it was a typically still, hot and muggy southern August). Suddenly, the air was filled with the scent of dying Jasmine and earth, almost like after a heavy rain. Each time the wind would gust, a shadow would pass over me. I had the feeling of many presences around me, almost in a circular fashion. Suddenly, everything grew still again. There were no bird or cricket sounds like normal. It was absolute silence. The shadows seemed to have sunk into the earth. I figured, well...that's it! Time to head on home. So, I got up and started walking toward the main road. I could see my own shadow now on the pavement in front of me, as the streetlights were plainly visible from here. There was also a second shadow that seemed to almost "grow" out of my own until there were two, distinct shadows. I turned to look behind me and saw no one. But, when I turned back around to face forward, I saw the Angel of Death plain as day standing cross-armed before me about 10 feet away. He was framed in dark ultraviolet. Quite a striking image, to say the least! A gust of very cold wind came again from beneath my feet. I felt my hair blow upwards as I watched the spectre of Death rise upward with the wind and disappear into the tall trees. I must have looked stupid standing there with my mouth open. I collected myself and continued walking home. Every so often, I could feel Him hovering over me. When I got home, I fell into a deep sleep under the shadow that hung over my bed. I never felt so at peace as I had that night."

Laurence Kilmer
Jackson, MS.

"I had a very odd encounter with Death. For the past several months, my seven year old niece was going on and on about a tall, black shadow that comes to her in the woods behind our house. My family has always been very open and honest about things of a spiritual nature with the children. So, when I asked her to tell me more about the "stranger", she immediately and nonchalantly referred to her visitor as "the Angel of Dying". I asked her how she knew this. She told me that "the angel told her so." She had been trying to tell us about "the angel" for quite a while now. But, as usual, we adults are so caught up in the day to day, that we tend to ignore children's rambling about "imaginary" friends. However, her persistence, and reading about other people's encounters...spurred me to sit down with her and listen. I am more of a mother to her, as her real mom passed away two years ago, so we are very, very close. She sat calmly and told me why the angel "took" her mom away, and why she also had to leave soon. At first, I didn't understand. Later that day, she came running up to me during dinner, grabbed my hand and literally pulled me from my seat, insisting that her "angel" wanted to meet me. It was about 8:30 pm as we went out into the yard. She told me to sit on the grass while she went into the woods to "get him". What I saw next was absolutely incredible! She emerged from the woods in a swirl of leaves, floating about a foot off the ground. She was skipping playfully on thin air and was hand in hand with a figure so dark that it literally had no shadows. I froze for an instant as they came to where I sat. Every hair on my body stood on end. My niece came behind me, putting her hand on my shoulder telling me not to be afraid. She then took my hand and put it into "his". The next thing I remember, was my husband hovering over me in the yard and a group of paramedic workers attending to my niece about three feet away. She passed away that night from a brain hemorrhage. The whole event changed all of our lives here. She still comes to visit, and my hand still tingles."

Rose Marie Cortenga
Laredo, TX.

"Death has been no stranger to me this year as I have lost a child (through miscarriage) and three of my beloved cats. On one hot evening in July, I set up my altar in the south, over the mantle to perform a protection spell for myself and our coven. After doing the ritual, I left the candle to burn out. When I returned to check on it, the room was uncommonly cool for a July night in California, also compared to the rest of the house! I walked to the mantle to look closely at the candle for a while, and, as I did, was drawn to the window. I gazed out upon a seemingly normal, lovely night. But, as I turned, I felt a cool breeze that seemed to pass through me. All the hair on my arms stood straight up, and in the southeast corner of my room, loomed a black figure so tall it appeared to bend forward as it reached higher than the ceiling. I'd never experienced such a thing before, and literally the words that filled my mind were, "Oh, shit, it's the Grim Reaper!" and I quickly ran out of the room. Yes, I know that's silly. I'm certain I would be found just as easily in the den...but? As I sat then in contemplation, I was filled with laughter, for I felt so ridiculous for my behavior, but I also felt very protected and I knew the spell I'd performed would succeed. (It did!) After this experience, I began to feel a bit different about death and became more open to my dark side. Before, Death was the enemy. I'd do all I could to prevent Its presence, for it was the "thief" that stole what I loved and gave me grief. My views were changing...Also, it was at this point that the spirits began to show themselves to me...Months passed, and it was now October and my coven and I were in the midst of our All Hallows ritual...We sensed a "gate" opening to us through which many spirits came and interacted with us...Then, all of a sudden He appeared at the doorway. His presence blocked out everything else, taller and blacker than the night, hooded with a cloak or something that seemingly floated behind Him. He walked out the "door" and "through" myself and a friend. You see, my friend began to describe the exact sensations I was having physically at the same time they were actually happening to me...Being filled with ice cold, electrical tingles from the base of our spines to the tops of our heads. The sensations ceased for us both at the same time as well, the exact moment He passed through completely. He walked over to our fire-pit, which was reduced to embers by this time. He appeared to have a staff or stick as He stirred the embers with it. He turned to look straight at me, but I saw no face, just shadow shrouded by His cloak, and said, "Never fear me, for nothing is forever." and then He simply merged into the night and was gone, and I wished He wasn't because I wanted to touch Him, embrace Him. I was filled with the most deep feeling of peace I have ever experienced. I was sad that He was gone and tears fell from my eyes. It was so hard for me to remain composed. When our ritual was over, we talked among ourselves about our experiences...I have no fear of D/death at all anymore. I see that it is in fact birth from one world to the next."

Alhambra, CA.

"My encounter with Death wasn't directed at me. I was merely a bystander, who, for whatever reason, was allowed to watch Death "take a soul". I live on the 8th floor of a large apartment complex, and my living room window aligns exactly with my neighbor's bedroom window. Our windows are about 8 feet apart and across from one another. Last summer, late one evening, it was a particularly quiet night suddenly made even more silent. I was reading on my sofa directly under the window, when all of a sudden the usual "night-sounds", i.e., crickets, birds, even traffic just stopped. With my back to the window, I started to hear the sound of a low heart-beat, and then a strong wind rushed down between our two buildings. The sound of the wind was distinctly like huge, flapping wings and the wind grew so strong that it blew in the window and knocked over my lamp. I got up, peered out the window and the air smelled like wet earth and dying flowers. On my neighbor's window ledge was the most amazing dark shadow, crouching and looking in his window! I watched as it "floated" into my neighbor's opened window. The heart-beat sound was now pounding in my head to the point of giving me a headache. Inside my neighbor's room, all I could see was a flash of blue light, very low and subdued...and the sound of the heart-beat stopped. I felt suddenly strange, lightheaded, like all of the oxygen was taken out of the air. I fell back onto the sofa, and again the scented wind whooshed into my window and was gone as quick as it came. The night-sounds started up again immediately! The next thing I heard was my neighbor's family scrambling and turning on lights, so I yelled out the window if everything was all right. I was informed that their father was dead, so I rushed over to see if I could help in some way. When I arrived in his room, I felt faint again and started to tell his sister some of what I saw and felt. She, too, felt and heard similar things but saw nothing. As time went on and I got to talk to the whole family, no one else heard or saw anything but us. I often wonder why I was privy to this. Anyway, I've turned my sofa to face the window. It's much more interesting than anything on TV!"

Carl DePensio
Miami, FL.

"You know all the strange things you hear about the New York subway system? Well here's one that I'm sure you'll like. I take the #1 train home every night from work, usually about 2 am. It's a relatively short and speedy ride. The train was nearly deserted, and the car that I got into had only one passenger. From the looks of him, I suspected that he was one of the homeless simply looking for a place to keep warm as it's been a very cold winter up here. I sat at one end of the car, and he at the other. I was reading a newspaper for a few minutes and then glanced up quickly. There was another passenger sitting right next to him...but we hadn't stopped and no one else had entered the car! He was the most gaunt, pale creature I ever saw. I couldn't help staring at him, but I don't think he noticed me just then. His fingernails were blue-black, not painted, more like cyanotic. The whole car began to smell of dying flowers and wet earth. It was weird. He touched the sleeping, homeless man on the shoulder. He was obviously groggy, but he looked the strange man straight in the eyes and broke into a smile and tears at the same time. Then, they both turned and looked straight at me. I thought that I was going to keel over right there. An incredible cold ran up my spine and I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. I had to look away almost immediately, as it was somehow extremely painful looking into the stranger's eyes. They seemed to be drawing me in and my heart was pounding so fast, I felt as if I was going to pass out. Just then, the lights in the car went out (as they frequently do). It was only for a moment or so. When they came back on, the strange man was gone, and the other man was slumped over the side of the seat. I just knew that he was dead. His eyes were staring into space and he had the most peaceful smile. The whole event affected me deeply. I am both apprehensive and assured at the same time. That experience taught me that Azrael is gentle, but harnesses an incredibly awesome energy of some type that both frightens and attracts me at the same time. Sometimes now, I still see his eyes in the darkness. I try to look into them and understand, but my body always reacts violently, as if it's ready to shut down unless I turn away. The night is, indeed, "full of eyes"!"

Derek Cabriole
New York, NY.

"When I was 8 years old, the Angel of Death actually saved my life! I was ice-skating alone on a pond when I fell through the ice. I couldn't find the opening and I was panicking and starting to pass out from the cold water which was flooding my lungs. Suddenly, I felt something poking at me and I grabbed it, and felt myself being pulled through the water and up through the opening in the ice. When my head came out of the water, I couldn't believe my eyes! I was terrified! I saw a hooded, black-robed corpse. The stick that I was grabbing onto was actually the blunt end of a very large, silvery scythe. The figure was very tall and very big. His face was that of a decomposed a skull, no eyes, just sockets. But, inside the eye-sockets were swirling whirlpools of black and dimly glowing reds. A skeletal hand reached down to me and pulled me the rest of the way out of the water. At first, I was more scared of the figure than of drowning. In fact, I though I was dead. The odor of death was everywhere, but somehow it didn't bother me at all. In fact, for some reason, it seemed to comfort me. Azrael put his skeletal hand on my head and gently stroked my wet hair and spoke to me saying, "Do not fear, little one, I'm here to protect you, it's not yet your time." Suddenly, I felt sleepy, probably from hypothermia, and I struggled to keep my eyes open but couldn't. A few moments later, I awoke from my brief sleep with a feeling of incredible warmth that swept through my entire body. I opened my eyes again, and Azrael was gone, but I still felt His presence very strongly, and I was no longer afraid of death. The warmth stayed with me the entire mile long walk back home despite the fact that it was only about 14 degrees outside. I have felt very close to the Angel of Death since that day. Death actually saved my life, and I have felt His presence with me ever since."

Dennis Wardrop
Hagerstown, MD.

"For as long as I can remember, I have felt a strong affinity for the "Death energy". I come from a very large family and have attended the wakes of many relatives. Coming from a traditional Irish-Catholic background, all of our funeral rites are lavish in pomp and circumstance. From the age of 6, my first wake, I can remember the presence of a man who came to the service alone, spoke to no one, but simply sat in the background and "observed". I remember asking my dad, "Who is that man?"He'd simply say, "What man?" He couldn't see him. It seemed that my aunt and I were the only ones that could ever see him, and she never wanted to talk about it. He's been at every wake thus far. Most of our family wakes were held at a local tavern, and split between there, the funeral home, and our family home. The "mystery man" would sit at the end of the bar, in the shadows, just staring at everyone. I remember thinking how "beautiful" he was when I was younger, with pale, marble-like skin, extremely tall with incredibly dark eyes that seemed to pierce right through your soul. But, his clothes were always "wrong"...out of time, as it he seemed. A couple of times, he raised his glass to me as if to make a toast, then he'd smile...Finally, when I was about 17, I decided it was time to "confront" this mystery man. Oddly enough, it was at the wake of my aunt, the only other person who actually saw him as I did. He was at his usual place at the end of the bar when I walked up to him. I stopped about 5 feet from where he sat, not out of choice, but because my body just locked up as if I suddenly became paralyzed. In the space of that last step, I seemed to have stepped out of time. The voices in the background faded to a faint whisper and everything sounded like it was coming through a long tube. Without thinking, I blurted out, "Why are you here?" He simply turned toward me and said with a smile, "Very good question, son...very good. Allow me to turn it back on you!" He laughed momentarily and his face became a skull for a split second! The next thing I remember, is my dad tapping me on the shoulder, "Who are you talking to?" he asked, kind of annoyed. I just looked at him and somehow knew that from that day forward I wasn't the same. I looked into my father's eyes and literally "saw" his death. Every detail that happened exactly to a tee 7 months after my aunt died. "He" was there at my father's wake as well. I think that He shall always be "with me". I'm not, as of yet certain as to why, but I'm learning fast via the new sensations He has gifted me with."

Carl McCallum
Reston, VA.

"Ten years ago, while I was working the aptly named "graveyard shift" at a local 24 hour radio station, I had several bizarre encounters with a being in a long black, hooded robe. I would see this being, whom I immediately thought resembled the "ghost of christmas future" standing down a hallway near the major control room. Several encounters occurred in the summer and left a feeling of ice-box cold in their wake! Strangely, I felt no terror, just immense curiosity, and, very alien to me then, a longing to speak with this figure, who never spoke to me. I never saw its face, though the hands appeared skeletal. These appearances came some months after my mother died of cancer and my grandfather of complications from a stroke. Although I was not there when my mother died, I had felt intense guilt...up until I had the encounters with the entity. Since then, I have replaced that guilt with simple regret that I could not have been there to share in the "passing over" experience, as I had done with my grandfather. I saw such a look of happiness and relief on his face after much suffering. I can never again truly ever fear Death."

Carl Nicastro
Pottsville, PA.

"I am a hospice care-giver mostly to AIDS patients and others on the final stages of terminal illness. I had become quite close to one patient in particular, and we would often have length discussions about all things spiritual during his lucid moments. Early on the morning of his death, I had come into his room as I'd done for the 4 months he was with us, at sunrise to open the blinds as per his request. The blinds were an opaque white, already allowing the bright morning sun to light the room for normal sight. As I walked over to the window, I saw a distinctly female figure sitting next to him on the bed. I heard the words, "Please leave the blinds closed." in a low, multilayered voice. Her lips, however, never moved. In the existing room light, her pale, thin face was skeletal on one side, and somewhat normal on the other, except for the darkness of her eyes and her sunken cheekbones. I just stood there in awe as she placed her spiderlike hand over his heart, and he opened his eyes. Upon seeing me first, he smiled and said "Good Morning, Joan..." Then, he calmly noticed Her, his smile broadened. She bent down to kiss him and pulled her hand down firmly on his chest. Again, he looked over to me and said, "Isn't She can anyone be afraid of Death." I felt tears welling up in my eyes and wanted to rush over and take his other hand, but for whatever reason, I was paralyzed where I stood. It was weird. I could actually see the life force draining out of him, coming out of his finger tips into hers. Almost immediately his heart monitor went dead and the alarm sounded. I turned for only a brief second toward the door as others were rushing in. When I turned back, she was gone. Stan, my patient, was finally at peace and all I could do was smile back at his corpse. Ever since that particular incident, the work I do here has become even more important than I had ever dreamed. I keep hoping to "catch" Her/Him again and taste a bit of the sweetness Stan did that morning."

Joan Reisling
San Francisco, CA.

"While my wife of 30 years lay on her death-bed after a year long battle with cancer, I knew it was only a matter of hours before she left us for good. The room was dim, except for a night-lamp and a candle by her bedside. I sat in a chair beside her, holding her thin, fragile hand in mine. For the passed week, she was unable to readily recognize me and respond to her surroundings due to the intense medication. Suddenly she struggled to sit up in bed, and for the first time in weeks, fully focused her eyes upon something at the foot of the bed. Still holding her hand, I saw it too! An immense darkness that formed into a vaguely humanoid shape right before our eyes. At that moment, the air in the room grew cold and hard to breathe, like all the oxygen had been sucked from the room. My wife turned to me and strained to whisper, 'He's come for me, Donny. I want to go now...It's time to let go.' I sat there crying, still holding her hand as she stared as if   pleading to me. I kissed her, and when I pulled back, the figure was on the other side of the bed holding her other hand in what I could only describe as long, misty tendrils. Then, I saw something even stranger. As she was fading, a weird illuminated, bluish fog seemed to frame the dark figure and it grew brighter the more she faded away. I kept looking at her, and looking at It, there seemed to be some kind of energy exchange going on. Everytime the figure's illumination grew brighter, her pain seemed to lessen until her hand went limp in mine and she lay there, eyes open and fixed on the darkness. The glow behind it was gone. I watched the darkness that was once form atomize into a trailing mist that just went back into the shadows of the room. My wife lay dead on the bed, staring and smiling at nothing in particular. She looked happy again- and I knew somehow that she had continued and would always be with me. Death is not to be feared, nor thought of as an unmerciful persona. It is people's misunderstanding of Death's role in Life that is misunderstood. Until one has walked mine and my wife's path, this may be hard to conceive. Death does not steal life away like a 'thief in the night', Death relieves us of a flesh worn, torn and weary from the strains of living in a disposable shell,"

Donald Brousard
Pensacola, FL.

"My first conscious memory was of a knocking in the summer of my thirteenth year. I was staying at my aunt and uncle's house for awhile during vacation. I was lying in bed and contemplating various things when I heard a distinct knock on my door. I got up and opened the door, but no one was outside the door or in the hall. I went to my relatives room but they were asleep. I didn't think of the knock for awhile, but a week after I returned home my uncle was diagnosed with fatal lung cancer, and subsequently died. The summer after that, I went back to that house with my mother. Again, I was lying in my bed, but in a different bedroom, contemplating, when I heard a distinct knock on the closed door. I remembered in an instant what had happened before, and I refused to open the door. I told my mother about the knocking, and my suspicions, and she all but laughed at me out loud. A week later I was travelling to the funeral of another relative.
After I returned home, I thought about what had happened and I thought that maybe the knocking only happened in my aunt's house, but I was proved wrong when I heard another knock at my door at home. A relative died shortly after. Nothing happened after that for about six months, no one died either, until I heard another knock, which really frightened me. A friend of mine's death occurred a week later. I noticed then that the way I reacted to the person's death was related to the way I had reacted to the "knock" itself. More recently, I had broken up with a boyfriend because he claimed I had too much supernatural and physical "crap" in my life. I met a new guy, and I also heard a knock. I was very anxious about the knock and I repeatedly questioned it. A friend of my mother's was diagnosed with cancer. Sometime later, I heard another knock so loud that it shook the couch I was on. I was startled and fell on to the floor, but my cat stood shaking and staring at the door. Shortly thereafter, my cat became sick and was eventually diagnosed with fatal kidney tumors. His death affected me exactly as the knock had, and I was so scared that I couldn't sleep alone anymore because of the sounds I heard. After awhile everything calmed down. The next time I heard a knock was a Sunday, I was standing next to the door. I turned and had the feeling of "seeing" something that wasn't actually visible. I was startled by the closeness I had felt to the "knocker-er". I was greeted at church by a man from the choir. I shook his hand and looked into his eyes when he smiled and said hello. A week later he was dead. I started attending a new college and I met a girl in my class who also heard the knocking. She also had a "guardian presence" surrounding her. My "guardian", as he's been called ,is male, tall and thin and anemically pale, has long black hair, and favors wearing a black cloak and hood lined with red. He said he was alive once and then his name had been James. He had blondish hair but his "residual spiritual image", as I've heard it called, has black hair. He likes to be called "Vincent Thanatos". I've never seen him looking three dimensional, but I'll usually become aware of his presence when I blink, I'll see an image of him standing a little ways away. Sometimes it seems to be happening very slowly. When he talks it's just a voice that's like something whispering in my ear."

Nephthys Theoda

"It was my 10th birthday as I was swimming in the sea, I got really far from shore and I was getting tired. I felt myself falling in the abyss and all the sounds stopped. Suddenly, a man pulled me up and took me to the shore. When I got up, there was no one there! I thanked the man that saved me, even though he was gone, because I felt his presence all around. I don't know who he was, but today it's clear to me; Angel of Death."

Dovus Operior

"Feb. 7 2001 was the day it happened I know because it was not just a week ago. Two months prior to this date my Dear Grandfather Virgil was told he had Lung Cancer. This last month or so really hit him hard. Over the next few weeks leading up to his death I stayed a lot at his house, helping take care of him and such. In the morning I would take a walk through the 20 acres of land that we had just bought to watch the sun come up... I remember very well coming back from the walks and seeing a man dressed in a long black robe leave the house. I did not think much of it at the time. Still this did seem too real and troubled me. Finally after being sick and tired of what I saw thinking I was making the whole thing up I asked my grandfather who the man was. When he told me that no one came to the house either time I got chills up and down my spine. then it had occurred to me where I had seen him once before. It was in July of last year when we bought the house. That same man was standing on the edge of the land we were going to buy. A little scared and troubled I left to go back home leaving Grandpa in the care of my Aunt. I got the call two days later that Grandpa was back in the hospital. I rushed over there as fast as I could. When I got to his room, he looked fine. I took care of him for a few hours and decided he was stable enough for me to go back home and get some sleep. Walking out of the hospital with my Father next to me, I told him what had happened. He just looked at me like I was crazy. Still, something was not right. I asked him how long he gave our grandpa and he said maybe a week at most. Searching my mind, I thought about all that happened and for some reason the words "three days" popped into my head. Sure enough I marked it on the calendar, and in three days he was gone. I have gone back to the 20 acres since the funeral and never once have I seen that black clothed man around our land So that was my encounter with Death. I know it was him... and he is still on our land... but I have yet to see him again."

The Silverwolf

"Let me begin with my most recent encounter (September 25, 2000 to us humans) and work my way backwards. I'm good friends with my next door neighbor, and our mutual friend took her own life on September 2. The problem is that he was and is deeply in love with the departed and blamed her death on the inconsideration of yet another party in England. Follow me so far? This past weekend, he was inconsolable. Knowing my, er, relationship with Azrael (as much as an outsider can know, anyway), he came to me and asked for my/Our help. His question was simple--did this Englishman push our friend to suicide before her time? I met Azrael in the sanctuary I have built for that purpose. Azrael takes many forms in His presence, from the archetypal Reaper to a beautiful winged woman. On this day, Azrael appeared to me as a tall, thin, white-skinned young man. His eyes which never change--always the color and sparkle of dark amethysts--seemed to burn even more brightly than usual. He knew what I would ask before I spoke a word--of course He did, He knows my thoughts. Laying His hand on my brow--the fingers felt bony but held a strange warmth, like when the skin has gone beyond frostbite--He told me to remember my lessons, and that there were no accidents in this universe. If my friend took her own life, then that was her appointed time to leave this flesh. Azrael left me not only with that knowledge, but with the ability to persuade my neighbor friend to this, Azrael's truth. So I went over to my friend's house and shared with him the essentials of my meeting with Azrael. Of course things happened and thoughts passed between us which cannot be captured in words, nor are they essential to this tale. I touched my friend's brow in much the way Azrael had touched my own. In that moment, calm and peace flooded his being. I felt him relax under my hand and I knew he had accepted what I had told him. For the first time since the suicide, I saw him smile. I don't know how this gels with other experiences people have had with Azrael, but I want to thank Azrael with all that I am for helping me bring solace and comfort to a very good man. Now will he be able to get on with the business of living."

Raven Corvus

"I left my house at approximately 9:30, and drove to the cemetery. Well, actually, I drove to the old mill that is just down the road from the cemetery, and I parked there, behind the mill where no one would see my car. Then I walked the rest of the way. The cemetery was completely dark...there are no security lights or street lights nearby, and the gates were closed but not locked. This was my first time in this cemetery alone at night...I'd been there before with friends after dark, but never alone. I found my way to the crypt without too many problems, and once I had reached it I just stood there for several minutes, trying to calm the rapid beating of my heart. I realized now that I was terrified...not of the cemetery itself, but of what I was going to do. It's not that I was afraid of a body or Him or any such was more that I seemed to sense that I was standing on the threshold of something vast, and once I had opened the crypt there would be no turning back. The night was still...but then suddenly a gentle breeze brushed by me, cool on my skin and scented of damp earth. I remembered everything I had read here about others smelling that same scent, and I shivered a little. Could it be Him? Well, if it was...wouldn't do to keep Him waiting, right? I clenched my teeth, swallowed hard, and grasped the side of the crypt slab...lifting it and shoving it forward with all my might.

Gods, I had no idea how heavy those damn things are! It made a gritty, scraping sound as it shifted on the brick sides of the crypt, and I felt something in my shoulder creak and make a twinging sound...then quite suddenly the whole slab was sliding off and I was scrabbling madly to keep it from slamming into the ground on the other side and breaking into a thousand pieces. It proved impossible for me to catch slid from my grasp and thudded to the grass, but luckily it landed intact. I breathed a sigh of relief...I had been so worried about the slab that I forgot to look inside and see what I had "found," but when I finally did, my breath caught in my throat and I felt my eyes get all watery. It WAS a body, or what was left of it. My eyes had adjusted well enough to the darkness to make out a shrouded form lying in the crypt, wrapped in a light-colored cloth. There was dirt in there, too. I don't know how or why it was there, but it had filled in the crypt about half-way up the body, leaving only the top half fully exposed. I reached out with a shaky hand and gently stroked the shroud. It was rough and a little stiff to the touch, and it made a soft, crunchy sound as I ran my fingers along it. I frowned a little...some of the fabric came apart as I touched it, but age will do that, I guess. I dimly realized that all my fear was gone. I reached up and gently tugged at the fabric covering the face, and it held together and pulled open easily in my hands. My excitement grew, forming a small, delightful knot in my stomach, and then, all of a sudden and with no fanfare, I pushed aside the dusty coverings and saw the skull. My heart began to pound. It was so beautiful! I'd never seen a real human skull before in real life, and I couldn't believe I was seeing one now. It appeared to be a brownish color, which surprised me a little...all the pictures I'd seen of skeletons show gleaming white bones, but this was more brown than white, by a long shot. Something told me that this had been a man. I don't know how I knew, I just did...and I brushed my fingers against his forehead gently. I was surprised again, the bones were only mildly cool, instead of the chilling cold you hear people talk about. I reached down and started pulling the rest of the shroud free. It took me awhile, because I didn't want to tear it, so I had to work slowly and with a great deal of care. There were three knots, I soon discovered, tied around the body, at the neck, what would have been his waist, and the ankles. The knots were made with fabric, more of the same that covered him, and unfortunately as I worked on the knots the fragile material came apart in my hands. Normally I would be horrified by this, but somehow I had the feeling that it was okay. I was meant to see this body, and as long as I showed it reverence it would be all right. Once again, I just knew it.

My excitement was growing and growing, and soon I had the shroud free and I was able to peel it carefully away from the remains within. Mostly just his bones were there, and the crumpled remains of what might have been his clothes, the rest of him had long since rotted away. Strangely enough, a large portion of the shroud underneath him had rotted away as well. If I had known this, I probably could have simply reached under him and gently freed the shroud from behind. I didn't mind, though, I let my eyes roam lovingly down the long length of him, peeping through the tatters of his clothing, and then I dared to stroke him gently with my hands, allowing my fingers to caress the coolness of his legs, his arms. A few times my skin would brush over bits of clinging matter...flesh, I suppose, dried and crackly beneath my hands. I could have stayed like that for hours, simply touching him all over, but suddenly the wind sprang up. It began whipping at my clothes, and I felt a chill steal over me as I looked around the cemetery. There was a tree not too far from where I knelt beside the crypt, its branches began to toss, and then there was a rumble of thunder overhead. Writing this now, I know how this sounds. I actually thought to myself as lightning flashed, illuminating the stones around me, that this was beginning to look like something out of a horror movie. That thought made me laugh a little to myself, but then a few small drops of rain sprinkled me, and I realized that if I wanted to do anything else, I'd better do it now, before the storm truly arrived and all hell broke loose. I carefully crawled inside the crypt. I'm a rather petite person, so there was plenty of room for both me and him, and I snuggled down beside him and put my arms around his body. The bones were loose feeling, and they shifted under my touch, and I can remember feeling a little surge of fear coupled with excitement at the thought that they might move on their own. The shroud made more crunchy sounds as I wriggled, getting comfortable on the warm earth beneath our bodies, and then I laid my head next to his and closed my eyes.

For the longest time (it seemed to me), nothing happened. The storm continued to grow louder, and the wind picked up in intensity. I was shielded, for the most part, from the wind by the sides of the crypt, but I could still hear it hissing through the leaves above my head. I gently slid my hand down his body and tried to entwine my fingers with his, but apparently his decomposition made that impossible. When I lifted his arm, the fingers didn't come with it, I gently replaced his arm without opening my eyes, and I let my hand rest on his ribcage instead. And that was when it happened. I gradually noticed that the storm seemed to be getting farther away, yet the flashes of lightning outside my closed eyelids were as bright as ever. It was more like the sound was falling away...or I was falling away. In fact, that's what it felt I was falling away, but there was no fear and no sense of vertigo or anything like that. That's when I felt the bones move again, and this time it wasn't me that had moved them. My heart began to pound faster. I could hear it throbbing in my ears, but it was as if I was paralyzed. I couldn't move, although I felt so comfortable and drowsily warm that I must admit I didn't try very hard. I had the feeling that if I wanted to escape, I could, but I certainly didn't want to! It felt as if the bones themselves were growing warmer, but I couldn't feel my own body anymore...and then I felt a shift, and the skull gently turned and laid itself against my head it the most tender manner. I was falling, falling...the sounds of the storm were gone, and all I could hear was the sound of wind rushing in my ears. Something caught me. I fell away from the world, and then something caught me up and I was flying. My eyes were still tightly closed, and I had the sensation of warm, soft darkness surrounding me, but a cold wind on my face, rushing fast and nearly taking my breath away. I heard a voice, deep, but soothing, tell me, "Open your eyes and see, child."

I opened my eyes slowly, and I saw that I was enfolded in the hugest black wings imaginable. They wrapped me up like a blanket, and only my face peeked through. I was flying through darkness, the only light seeming to come from me and my mysterious flying companion. The light was pale and of a bluish, silvery cast, and cold. The wind blowing in my face was cold. We were flying at an incredible speed, and I could feel strong arms encircling my body. I was being held in someone's arms as we flew, and I strained to turn my head to look above me and see who it was.

If you're reading this, I'm sure you already know exactly who was carrying me, but I must admit that it came as a bit of a nasty shock to me. We've all seen pictures of Death, in all his many forms, especially as the Reaper...but it is one thing to see an inanimate picture of Him. It is quite another to actually see Him...for real. All logic tells us that skeletons aren't supposed to move, dammit...and here was a grinning skull inclining its head towards mine, looking straight through me with its empty, glowing eye sockets. I think I yelped a little, and I actually think he chuckled a little at me. It was His voice I had heard, and He spoke to me again without moving his mouth. "You called me, child, and I have come," He said. "Why do you fear?"
I couldn't answer at first, I was too enthralled by his eyes. I can remember thinking, over and over again..."Leilah was right! She was right...they ARE amethyst!"...but finally I swallowed hard and answered Him. "I guess...deep down inside, I didn't think you'd come, or that you were really real."
"And now I have come," he said again. "Do you regret calling me?"
I had the strangest feeling He already knew the answer to this, but I think He wanted to hear me say it aloud. "No...I'm not afraid," I said, quite truthfully. "Just startled, I guess." I think He chuckled again, and suddenly I felt quite at peace and comfortable. I turned back around, then snuggled deeper into the soft, sweet-smelling feathers of His wings. As we flew through the endless darkness, I closed my eyes and relaxed, feeling as if He were gently opening my mind, looking inside and probing it curiously. I was vaguely surprised at how I felt. I've always had a sexual fascination with Death, and I won't deny that I've harbored thoughts of a tryst with Death, but now that I was actually here, with Him for real, my feelings weren't like that at all. It was more like...a father and daughter sort of thing, I think. That feeling, more than anything, was what convinced me that this was all real, and not just the product of my imagination. It was like being a small child again, safe and warm within the arms of a father. I could sense His love and protectiveness of me, covering me and enfolding me securely, and I suddenly realized that I wanted nothing more than to stay here in his winged embrace forever, without another care in the world.

I don't know how long we flew...I don't think time has much meaning when you're with Him, but far sooner than I would have liked, I could feel His embrace getting fainter and more ethereal. I opened my eyes...the feathers around me were growing more indistinct, like the fading of a ghost, and I squeezed my eyes shut again. I think I started to cry...after such incredible peace and security, I didn't want to go back. No no no...but then I felt a cold hand on my cheek, kissing my skin with His fingertips. "I don't want to go back," I said miserably.
"I know...but you must. Dawn approaches in your world...and the living cannot stay in mine."
"But..." I began hopefully.
"No, it is time for you to go back," He said. "But I will always be here, waiting for your return." He was growing fainter and fainter, His voice echoing in my ears dimly. "Visit me often," He said finally, His voice a mere whisper. "You are always welcome."

I opened my eyes again and...I'll be damned...dawn was approaching, just like He said. I had been (at least in body, anyway) in the crypt all night. The storm was over, and although it was still quite dark, I could see a pale lightening in the sky to the east, and I knew it was time I got my ass home. I looked over at my silent companion, and noted with a little shiver that he had moved during the night. Instead of on his back as he had been when I first curled up beside him, he was now on his side facing me, his skull resting against my head like a father tenderly holding his child. My throat felt a little tight, and I felt like crying again...I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Azrael had heard my call, and come. And now, with the dawn, He was gone.

I lifted my head and gently kissed the skull, then eased the bones back over to the position they had been in originally. Climbing out of the crypt was a chore, I was stiff and sore all over, but I stumbled out as gracefully as I could. I knelt down again, the dampness of the grass soaking through my jeans, and carefully covered him once more in the remains of his shroud. I also made a mental note to return later, at night, with another blanket or cloth of some sort so I could cover him again properly. Getting the slab back on was a pain in the ass. I fell in the mud once or twice, scrabbling in the dirt with my toes trying to get some purchase to lift it with. I finally managed to rock it up the side of the crypt in one piece, and once it was actually over the top edge, sliding it back into place wasn't too terribly difficult. I checked all the way around to make sure it was even, and then, like a whisper in my mind, something told me to see about getting some brickmason's mortar and filling in the sides. I knew that this way, at least, was not meant for me again. Somehow I knew there would be other nights like this, but not here. This crypt was closed to me now.

I stood up and stretched, my bones popping, and then I started off for the gates and my car. It was then that I noticed the huge puddles had apparently poured rain that night, yet, mysteriously, my skeletal companion and I had remained perfectly dry within his crypt. It was just one more thing to confirm the reality of what had happened...I felt another little chill up my spine as I slid through the gates and closed them quietly behind me. I started off down the dirt path, back to the mill and my car, but something stopped me. I turned for one last look back at the marvelous gloom of the cemetery, and something was there, watching me. My heart jumped a little, it was a huge black figure, looming in the pre-dawn darkness behind the low brick wall of the graveyard. I was frozen, watching it in mute amazement, and it seemed to nod once, slowly, in my direction...then I saw it turn and glide into the depths of the cemetery, disappearing at last into the shadows. Azrael, coming to bid me farewell until next time? I think so...hell, I know. I lifted my hand in parting, a little smile on my face...I don't know if He saw, but I like to think He did. Then I turned and left, back to my car, my life, and the world of the living...for now."

Libby Edwards
North Carolina

"I came across your excellent website while performing a search on the 'Angel of Death' and I wanted to share my own personal encounters with you in the hopes of finding camaraderie and a mutually enriching dialog. My first encounter with the Angel Of Death was in 1992. My husband of 14 years had passed the great divide after a long battle with cancer. I had just returned home from the first day's wake and was standing in our master bedroom, lighting a devotional candle. All of the sudden, a gentle breeze stirred through the room. The candle flickered but remained lit, and while in the cross breeze I felt a sense of calm resignation wash over me. The peace and tranquility I experienced during those seemingly endless moments erased the negative, 'grief' based emotions which had imprisoned my soul for the past 2 days. I now know that this was Death's way of assuring me that my husband's soul had gone to a better place, and that he did not 'die' in actuality. I visit my husband's (so called) final resting place twice per week and never, during any of these literally hundreds of graveside sojourns, have I not felt the presence of the Angel Of Death. It has been the faint sound I hear in the stirring of the nearby trees; it has been in the coolness in the earth beneath me; in the squirrel who passes by with a gentle gaze or in the sweet smell of floral essence. In all of these stimuli, I feel the soft hand of Death, and I know that he is indeed with me. Some may say this is all 'in my head', but I know in my heart that these sensations have been (and continue to be to this day) valid communications between my mortal self and the eternal and loving entity known as Death. Until finding your website, however, I only had a vague knowledge of my encounters, a 'gut feeling' if you will.  I have Leilah Wendell and the staff of Westgate to thank for providing me with a sense of direction through your wonderful website. I am truly indebted to you for your printed wisdom."

Marion Bailey
Dallas, TX

"It's great to know that I am not the only one out there that has seen him. I have seen him many times. One certain sitting I was sitting in my bed. My girlfriend was asleep beside me. It was hot all day and night but normal for Texas in July. All I could think about was that she had been really sick for about a week and I was worried about her. The room was dark, but I could still see everything in the room, and out of a corner this dark figure seemed to be floating in thin air. Like I said I have seen this many times but I was worried. about his presence because of my girlfriend's condition. I yelled out " go away" But then a whisper said to me, " I am not here to hurt you nor to hurt her but she has to come with me." And then my girlfriend woke up and asked, "What's wrong?" I said, "nothing, just go back to sleep". After she went to bed I tried to go to sleep but with the figure in the corner it was hard but I eventually did. I woke up the next day and looked at her. She was breathless. She died 2002 July 15 and I was wondering if anyone would talk to me about it.

Alexander Breif
Whitesboro, Texas

The purpose of  The Azrael Project™ is to put forth the word of the Angel of Death and thereby conquer fear through understanding. To make people aware of the essential nature of  Death, and to help humankind see their universe through His eyes in order to gain a macrocosmic understanding of both, Life and Death. To view the world from neither side of eternity, but rather from the threshold between the dimensions of space and time. To reconcile Life with Death, rekindle precarnate memory, and replace fear with love.