After a loved one dies, we would give anything to speak to them again. What if we could? Today, we talked with after-death communications expert Annie Mattingley, who shed some light on the different ways spirits communicate with the living.

Recognizing Signs from Deceased Loved Ones

According to Annie, the dead speak to us in several ways, and we can recognize the signs they leave for us. Not only do spirits talk to us with their voices, but they also come to us in visions and dreams. They can also manipulate electronics and influence certain smells. Spirits have a deep connection with nature, so they often speak to us through animals.

Physical Signs: Goosebumps, Dreams, Visions

Annie Mattingly explains that the physical signs of after-death communication are the most common way for spirits to come to us. This includes a physical sensation in the body, such as goosebumps or a cold, “shivery” feeling. The dead may also appear in vivid dreams and visions, usually at the center of a bright light that does not exist in the human world.

Although Annie advises that spirits can come to us at any time, dreams and visions often occur when the living are in a relaxed state (such as in bed or at prayer). The dead love spiritual ceremony, and they will come to us during these times to let us know they are okay. Contact with our loved ones who have passed on can bring us immense comfort, but it doesn’t always soothe our grief.

Hearing Spirit Voices

In addition to vivid dreams and visions, the living may also experience hearing spirit voices. The souls of our loved ones will speak to us in two different ways: in a verbal voice that you can hear, or through an internal voice in our minds. These messages often communicate soothing messages or life-saving advice.

Spirits and Electricity

Spirits have a deep connection to electricity. When our loved ones pass over, their souls still exist. A soul’s energy is very similar to electrical energy; spirits can easily influence electrical devices.

Do your lights and television turn on and off for no reason? Does your blender randomly turn on? It may not be a problem with your wiring – your loved one may be trying to communicate with you!

Spirits and Smells

Spirits can also manipulate smells or scents that are familiar to the living. Our sense of smell brings forth memories and emotions, more than any other sense. The souls of our loved ones can use scents that automatically make you think of them, such as a specific flower or perfume.

Experiences in Nature

Animals are susceptible to supernatural experiences, and spirits can use animals and nature to speak to us. Our loved ones can use wild animals and pets to impart a message that speaks to the living. Spirits usually communicate through our pets, birds, butterflies, and rainbows.

These experiences can happen in rural or urban locations, or they can happen in your home. You can identify if a loved one is speaking to you if an animal is acting out of character or unusually stays with you. This might present as a pet reacting to something that isn’t there or a bird or butterfly following you during a walk.


Synchronicities are a series of events that seem to have no logical connection but have meaning for the person who experiences them. Spirits can speak to us by influencing events; others may not see the significance, but it will come with an intuition or a feeling that your loved one is with you. Annie Mattingley says that synchronicities are hard to explain to others.

According to Annie, synchronicities are “easy for doubters to doubt because they’ll just say it’s a coincidence. But, again, it will have that feeling with it. You come upon something that’s in perfect alignment – like a connection – with that person, and it can – if you allow it to – you can feel the feeling of the connection.”

Why Do Spirits Communicate with Us?

Annie Mattingley assures us that spirits communicate with the living for many reasons. Our loved ones only want to help us through our grief or anything else that is troubling us, proof that they still care about us when they are gone. Annie insists that you shouldn’t worry if your loved one hasn’t come to you yet: we never know when these experiences will happen.

Annie Mattingley is a former hospice worker, writer, and speaker. After her daughter Randi committed suicide in 2010, Annie experienced after-death communications from Randi. Since then, she has researched interactions between the living and the dead. Her book, The After Death Chronicles, includes stories of people who have experienced communications and signs from their deceased loved ones.

Have you ever experienced an after-death communication from a loved one? What would you do if you did? Share your comments below!