Unspeakable horrors

National Park by H. R. Giger -
Unspeakable horrors are the experience of prolonged exposure to indescribable scenarios and hallucinatory content of a scary and disturbing nature which are often directly influenced by a person's fears. This can occur during high dose hallucinogenic experiences, particularly those in which the user is currently undergoing negative emotional stressors and personal problems of an introspective nature. Although the content which comprises these states are generally ineffable and largely dependent upon the fears of those who experience them, certain themes and archetypes often manifest themselves. These are not limited to but may consist of:
  • Autonomous entities of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can include demons, deformed monstrosities, hooded figures, mocking entities and otherwise normal human beings deformed by severe injury or illness.
  • Geometry of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - The hallucinatory states listed above are commonly comprised of and embedded within standard hallucinogenic geometry. This often contains innately readable geometric representations of pure conceptual fear, horror, and suffering which can be felt through all of the senses as they are perceived.
  • Machinescapes of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can be described as functionally identical to the experience of machinescapes. It differs in that its comprising parts often almost exclusively consist of indescribably complex interlocking, ever-shifting biomechanical gore, organs, disembowelments, and body parts.
  • Scenarios of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can include scenes of suffering directed towards oneself or other people such as being tortured, scenes in which one is being hunted as prey by “evil” creatures or forces and the direct experience of personal fears.
  • Settings, sceneries, and landscapes of an intrinsically sinister and threatening nature - This can include the visitation of hellish landscapes, ancient monolithic Lovecraftian architecture, and ruined civilizations.
  • Fearing for the fabric of one’s sanity - This can be described as feeling that one’s current perception is so horrific that they will surely be left permanently insane with severe psychological damage. The effect can leave people with an immediate sense that ordinary life is a thin shell over a comparatively horrifying reality which cannot be dismissed or escaped from. It is worth noting, however, that although stressful, this effect rarely actually leaves individuals with lasting psychological problems.
The experience of this component and how it is interpreted by those who undergo it seems to differ wildly between people. While certain individuals can find this state to be traumatizing if unprepared, many people find that, although terrifying, it is potentially exhilarating and character building in equal measure. To ensure that one does not find themselves in this state unwittingly, heavy dosages of hallucinogens should be avoided without prior practice, and a person should always work their way up to the higher levels from lower dosages in small increments as they feel comfortable doing so. Unspeakable horrors are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as anxiety, psychosis, and memory suppression. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and 2C-P. They can also occur under the influence of deliriants such as DPH, datura, and benzydamine. It is also possible to experience unspeakable horrors while under the influence of dissociatives such as DXMDXM and PCP, but particularly when combined with other hallucinogenic substances such as LSD or DPH.

Personal Commentary

Unspeakable horrors are an effect that I am intimately familiar with. They were at one point in time, the primary style of the hallucinatory content that I experienced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelics. I first experienced this effect on a 30mg dosage of 2C-P and was absolutely astounded that my brain could produce Lovecraftian-esque images and scenery that were so incomprehensibly horrifying to look upon that they would leave me genuinely concerned for the fabric of my sanity. However, despite how deeply unsettling they were, I always found them to be thrilling in a similar manner to that of a horror film or rollercoaster. In fact, once they were over, I would consistently find they had not damaged my psyche in any discernable way and that they had actually left me feeling emotionally stronger due to the realisation that I was capable enough to endure them. It's worth clarifying to the various people who have contacted me about this that I do not believe that this effect can manifest spontaneously without any apparent prior causes. Through personal experience and discussion with others who have undergone this state, it seems that unspeakable horrors are a direct result of a person's emotional state being in a place which is deeply unstable and hopeless. For example, during the two year period in which psychedelic hallucinations would manifest in this manner for me, I was suffering from extreme depression, daily suicidal ideation, overwhelming social anxiety, and the realisation that my life was metaphorically collapsing around me. However, years later after all of this was over and I am now very much in a place where I am more emotionally stable and content with life than I have ever been, these horrifying hallucinations no longer occur for me regardless of the substance I ingest or its dosage.

- Josie Kins


hallucinatory state


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