Are some hallucinations real?
People have been reporting strange, vivid hallucinations since the dawn of history; aften after consumption of mushrooms or other fungi. In most cases, these experiences were either reported casually or attributed to superstition and other unproven beliefs. That is, until recently. With the advent of modern medicine, awareness of hallucinations has broadened considerably. In fact, with the growing body of scientific research on this topic, it seems as though these experiences are more pervasive than ever before. Not only that, but they seem to occur with greater frequency than ever before as well.
Hallucinations aren’t just a fun and fantastical thing that happens to us from time to also time they can be a pretty scary experience as well. These sights and sounds can feel so real that it often feels like something is actually happening instead of the mind playing tricks on you. The following article contains information about some of history's most memorable hallucinations and why they occurred in the first place.
The Shaft Haunted by an Ancient Egyptian Priest
The shaft of the ancient Egyptian temple of Abu Simbel was a place of worship and meditation for thousands of years. Sadly, this important site was destroyed in the early 20th century to make way for a dam. The remains of the ancient temple were rescued and preserved by the British Museum, but the shaft was left completely abandoned. Throughout the years, the shaft became the site of a disturbing, but extremely real, hallucination. The hallucination involved a man who would approach the shaft and climb the steps, only to disappear into the darkness inside the shaft. He would reappear out of nowhere, or so it seemed, and then disappear again. Visitors would experience this strange scenario over and over again, and no one had any explanation for what was happening.
Eventually, the hallucination was solved when one person noticed that the lightbulb in the shaft was not working. Now, the shaft is illuminated with natural light, and the eerie feeling has vanished.
The Statue of Satan Appears to Be Causing Hallucinations
The image of Satan and other demons has been depicted in art throughout history. In fact, the very word “demon” comes from the Greek word for “an image of a god.” However, even though the imagery of Satan is so deeply rooted in our culture, there have been only a handful of documented cases of people who actually hallucinated statues of the Devil himself. In 1968, a man in Scotland began to experience hallucinations involving a statue of a man in a dark robe. The hallucinations would begin when he would lie down and try to close his eyes. A detailed image of the man would appear in his mind, and he would feel as though the image was coming from a real 3D object. The hallucinations would last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, and they would become increasingly disturbing and disturbing. The man would be absolutely convinced that he was seeing a real statue in his room.
Eventually, the hallucinations resolved when the man was sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he received treatment for schizophrenia.
A Colonial Woman Feels Like She’s Being Hunted by Demons
Another terrifying experience dating back to the middle ages is the story of a colonial woman who was experiencing hallucinations involving demons. The woman, named Ann, lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and she would often hear a voice in her head that would appear to be coming from a demon. The voice would tell her to do terrible things, but the most disturbing part of the experience was that Ann felt as though the voice was real and coming from somewhere in the real world. She would try to ignore the voice, but eventually, it would become completely unbearable.
Eventually, a doctor was able to confirm that the voice was not real, but it was too late. Ann was suffering from schizophrenia and she was committed to a psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, this was too late to save Ann’s mind from being destroyed, and she passed away several years later at the age of 49.
During the late 1800s, psychic Eusapia Palladino claimed to be able to communicate with the spirits of the dead. When she was asked about the ancient Egyptians, she described the afterlife as being a place where all the ancient priests reside in a “black shaft,” and that they have “pseudo-telepathy.” The priests were able to move things “with their thought” without touching them, and they were also able to produce “invisible light” which they would project onto the walls of their chamber. Because of this, they were able to create a sort of illuminated “shaft” as their afterlife home.
Palladino also reported seeing ancient Egyptians in her visions, and she even claimed that one of them was the priest who haunted the shaft. Scientists have pointed out that ancient Egyptian priests were often depicted as wearing elaborate headdresses, which include the “crown of the serpents,” which inspired the “crown of the ghosts” that Eusapia reported seeing in her visions.
She became famous throughout Europe as someone who could communicatre with the dead; but her habit of cheating at seances - and more importantly getting caught - does cast certain doubts on her authenticity.
The Voice of Christ Haunts a Monk in the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, a monk by the name of Thomas of Monmouth was so obsessed with the idea of Jesus coming back to earth and conquering the forces of evil that he started hearing the voice of Christ. According to Thomas, Jesus initially rang as a voice inside his head, but as time went on, he started hearing the voice as a real human-like voice. Thomas would often hear the voice during meditation, and when he was awake, he would see glowing lights and hear the voice as though it was coming from outside his body.
One day, he was praying when he claims that the voice of Christ commanded him to place a crown on his head. As Thomas was doing this, he claims that he felt like a bolt of lightning had struck him. He then noticed that the voice of Christ had appeared on a piece of parchment and that the parchment was floating in the air. The parchment was eventually placed on Thomas’s head and read “Thou hast conquered,” before it floated back down to the ground.
Saint Thomas Aquinas’s Visions
Thomas Aquinas is an interesting man in the history of hallucinations. While he is known as one of the most influential philosophers in history, he was also considered to be a bit of a womanizer. At the same time, Thomas also had several hallucinations that saw him surrounded by beautiful women. These visions were so real that he assumed they were angelic beings, and Thomas dedicated over 30 years of his life to studying them. He believed that the women were sent by God to help him understand the nature of God. Eventually, Thomas came to the realization that the women were hallucinations, not angels. When he realized this, Thomas was disappointed that he wasted so much time studying them, but he still came to the conclusion that they were real.
The Voices in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
In the early 1900s, the town of Tuscaloosa became known for a rather strange phenomenon. According to history, people would start hearing voices in their heads. These would be generally one-word commands or simple phrases, and they would often be accompanied by “screams” in the background. The strange thing about these voices is that they would often be misheard or mistranslated. The voices would often be reported to be coming from people or animals that were nearby, which makes it even more baffling. It wasn’t until much later that researchers looked into the source of these voices, and they realized that they came from high-voltage power lines.