For nearly 20 years, the online community Erowid has been the one of the largest database for information about psychoactive drugs. In the Experience Vaults section of the website, users can describe their own adventures on drugs; good or bad. Here are just 6 of the 23,000 entries, each of which describe hallucinatory journeys so bizarre they can only be true.
Drug: Salvia and Hard Liquor
“…The next thing I remember is looking at the TV, where three or four boyband members were standing with their arms around each other’s shoulders looking out at me and laughing in a disturbing, maniacal fashion, like the cave ghosts in the third Lord of the Rings film. Some sort of wall ran from the TV through me… This wall - which seemed to be connected in some absurd and indescribable way to my eyes and the roof of my mouth - was about a metre or so high, flesh-coloured, of indefinable thickness, had a wavy top edge and seemed to signify the border of reality.
…Still hearing that metallic bass music overlaid with scarcely humanoid rhythmic laughter, I suddenly realized that the group of men on the television were talking directly to me.. and I realized that they were all telling me that my whole life had in fact been nothing but an illusion; a cruel joke. The sensation of white-hot terror and grief running through me in that moment cannot possibly be put into words. My personality, memories, friends and family – none of whom I was able to recall – had been nothing but a product of my imagination, as vapid and unreal as a psychedelic trip can appear when scrutinized from a sober standpoint…”
“…Reality was concave, and being stretched at the weak points beyond the breaking point, and I was being sucked through the void that was left… And the voices were getting louder and louder. They were saying different things to each other, like ‘here he comes’, ‘he’s in our world now’, ‘now we have him’, or ‘don’t let him get away’. It was the din of a crowd getting louder. And I was careening toward them into the blackness.
By this time, I was in abject terror. The experience was so real and overwhelming that I was completely in the moment and had no memory of having just taken a drug, even though I knew who I was, and my identity as ‘I’ was intact.
As I fell farther and farther, what originally looked like paper dolls at a distance, now actually had color and shape. As they got bigger and bigger, they began to look like PEOPLE, little plastic Mexican Fisher Price type people, only they were malevolent. Some wore hats or ponchos, and they all had very circular heads with cylindrical bodies, and no legs or feet. And the were moving their heads back and forth, and talking to each other. And they wanted to hurt me, to trap me there, and never let me get back…”
“…I had never been to a huge festival like Ozzfest. I was in the mindset that i would be going down in history like the people at Woodstock…
Incubus had just come onto the stage and they started in on some odd Brazilian-type bongo epic. I looked around me and noticed every blade of grass was individually colored. I felt a wave of anxiety come over me like i had never experienced. it was about 90 degrees out with a heat index of like 110.
I looked at the guy in front me’s back. He had a ‘shroom tattoo and it appeared that the many freckles on his back were running away from the fungi, which symbolized a very powerful message to myself. Also above me I noticed a very pronounced Aztec meets tribal pattern rotating and flashing in the sky.
To make the rest of this long story short: I was taken back home, grounded for 6 months. I vowed to never trip on acid again… I have since then, but it has never been as good as it was before Ozzfest. Now whenever i trip i get a fear in me and i have to take it with valium or Xanax handy, and almost always end up needing it. I take it about every 6 months and i make the perfect setting with only one other person, soft lights, and plenty of Beatles vinyls…”
Drug: DM cough syrup
“I found being a reptile kind of pleasant. I was content to sit there and monitor my surroundings. I was alert but not anxious. Every now and then I would do a “reality check” to make sure I wasn’t masturbating or strangling someone, because of my vague awareness that more was expected of me than just being a reptile. At one point I ventured across the street to a hamburger place to get something to eat. It was closed and yet there were workers inside. This truly confused me, and I considered trying to find a way to simply run in, grab some food, and make off with it. Luckily, the store opened (it was now 6 A.M.) and I entered the front door like a normal customer.
I ate the hamburger slowly and deliberately. If I had become full before I finished the hamburger, I think I would have simply let it fall from my hands.
The life of a reptile may seem boring to us, but I was never bored when I was a reptile. If something started to hurt me, I took steps to get away from it; if it felt better over there, that’s where I stayed. Now, twenty-four hours later, I’m beginning to get my neocortex back (I think). Soon, I hope to be human again….”
“…After about half an hour, we started to feel a bit light headed and giggly. We returned home and put on some Deep Purple on the hi fi. I can remember moving my hands, and seeing the fingertips trailing behind, and the seeing the walls swaying. As the time went on, I began to get paranoid, and started to realize that this trip was going to last for eternity, and, in fact, my whole life previous to this, was also part of the trip. I saw my parents sitting on the sofa laughing at me, “you’ve been conned again” on their faces. I looked at the guy with me, yes, I now realized I knew him, I’d always known him, for eternity, I was in a death trip now, I was sucked into a spiral, everything I looked at, I knew what was coming, DEJA VU on a massive scale. The bastard always tricked me into taking LSD, and I fall for it every time, for infinity -whoosh - away again down the deja vu spiral, horrendous sickening fear. At one stage in town, I looked at an EXIT sign. Yes, exit, this is it, it is the trip, whoosh - away again.
The years went on. I married and had children, got a good job. Whilst at work, I had to go into a dark hall, with an illuminated exit sign, bang, - you’ve guessed it, I flash backed again, deja vu, the people with me are all part of the conspiracy…”
- Bob from the UK
“…I was pulled into a field that looked like one infinite hallway, where there were billions , no – gazillions of these orb shaped souls — they all gave off a different energy, and I could feel which ones were humans and which ones were animals and which ones were blades of grass and butterflies. Every single one of these orb-soul-spirits looked unique, as if they were designed by an artist to reflect the experiences of each particular soul.
I remember particularly one that I could feel belonged (currently) to a horse. It was bleeding a blue syrup and was encircled by rings of honeybees (which is doubly odd, because each honeybee would have had its own orb as well). Mine was covered in wilting, black rose-like flowers and had little pods, like a chrysalis, full of fire hanging from the stem of each one. Eventually, his (my?) soul was guided to this giant gaping hole which looked eerily similar to a vagina, by this strange figure with no arms or legs, but mosquito-like wings and a face that was made out of electricity. He shoved the soul into the vagina-like orifice. And I was shot through a tunnel, and then awoke, coming out of a vagina — it was my mother’s vagina. I watched myself get born. A voice said to me, as I stared out of baby-me’s eyes, in a language that wasn’t English, but that I could understand ‘You will return, forever and always, so long as there is particles in the Universe — but for now, you have trespassed the borders.’
“…Now, it’s clear to most people that doing a job like mine while being righteously skull-fucked on a ten strip of acid is a goddamn terrible idea. Yes, you are absolutely right. To describe the experience of putting my life in the hands of the San Fransisco Traffic Gods while the sky melds together in an amalgous orgasm of blue and magenta and while cars leave such profoundly solid tracers behind them that I can’t tell whether they’re limousines or not is, essentially, impossible.
To do what I do, I have to be paying attention 100% of the time. Acid is not a drug that lends itself to fast reflexes, however; it feels like I have ADHD on higher doses of psychedelics. ‘Oh boy, look at that beautiful tree! Gee, don’t you just love nature? Holy fuck, the sky! Goddamn, that cloud just turned into two ninjas fighting each other! I love you sky, you’re so blue and beautiful.’ On my early days of trip-cycling, I would occasionally find myself zoning out for short periods of time, too interested in the patterns on the asphalt below me or the height of the skyscrapers above me to remember that I was in a life or death situation. These sorts of distractions usually ended like this: ‘Jesus, look at the floral designs on the pavement, doesn’t that just look HOOOOOONK SQUEEEEEEAL FUCK FUCK SHIT FUCK A CAR!!’