No. Dead people are really dead. The vision that the woman medium saw and spoke with was not the prophet Samuel. It was a demon pretending to be Samuel.

Remember, a few years earlier, Samuel had said to Saul, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else…Samuel never went to meet with Saul again,” 1 Samuel 15:28, 35 (NLT). These scriptures prove Samuel, while he was alive, never saw Saul again.

After Samuel had died, the prophet was in the grave and knew nothing. “The dead know nothing,” Ecclesiastes 9:5. Samuel certainly could not communicate with Saul after he died!

Additionally, the LORD, Himself, refused to communicate with Saul. “He (Saul) prayed to the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him. God did not talk to Saul in dreams. God did not use the Urim to give him an answer, and God did not use prophets to speak to Saul.” 1 Samuel 28:6.

If God refused to talk with Saul, why would some spirit, calling himself Samuel, agree to talk to Saul? The spirit would be disobeying God. Therefore, it would be a demon spirit.

Consider what the medium initially asked Saul, “The woman (medium) asked, ‘Who do you want me to bring up for you?’ Saul answered, ‘Bring up Samuel.’” 1 Samuel 28:11. So, do you think this woman had power over Samuel and forced Samuel to disobey God? Certainly not. No person has power to force any spirit. Angels (spirit beings) are more powerful than people.

Now think about what this demon spirit told Saul. 1 Samuel 28:19, “The LORD will let the Philistines defeat you and the army of Israel today. Tomorrow, you and your sons will be here with me.” Demons can easily see who has the more powerful army. They could predict that the Philistines would defeat Israel.

Then that evil spirit said that tomorrow, Saul and his sons would join him (the pretend Samuel) in death. Where was this dead Samuel supposed to be? In heaven? Samuel was a good prophet. If he was in heaven, was the disobedient Saul supposed to go to heaven also? Or was Samuel being tormented in hell? That’s obviously wrong.

What exactly happens when a person dies? The whole soul, the being, dies and is no more. Genesis 2:7 explains what a soul is. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 

Adam did not receive a soul; he became a soul. The soul = body + breath of life. When the body dies, the soul ceases to exist. The Bible teaches at death, a person is in the grave. Jesus said death was like sleeping, complete unconsciousness. (John 11:11-14)  Man’s only hope of a future life after death – anywhere – is the promise of the resurrection.