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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Bouissou, Madame Michael - I suddenly saw outlined there an abominable creature, a kind of octopus with writhing tentacles



Type of Spiritual Experience

Out of body

Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

The Life of a Sensitive – Madame Michael Bouissou

I hope I have already made it clear with what care and precautions these experiments were conducted; undertaken with the sole aim of studying the technique, no fantastic or romantic atmosphere had been tolerated.

The strict checking of the accuracy of the results obtained under hypnosis, facilitated by the very simplicity of the goals proposed, had never allowed me to wander into the realms of the imagination. During the months that these studies continued I had a clear conscience and the satisfaction of feeling those faculties known as supernormal being strengthened and developed, but so far no incident had ever disturbed me.

Now at this moment, for no apparent reason, these incidents accumulated, leaving me hesitant and even terrified. All our investigations might quite easily have been abandoned.

Before telling the story I must immediately make it clear that these disagreeable phenomena are the lot of any inexperienced medium. I must have been spared them so far by the care that had been taken to preserve my balance both from the point of view of sensitivity (the great stumbling block of all mediums) as well as on the intellectual plane.

The description of the experiments and their results, taken down in shorthand and typed, were read back to me when I awoke and then discussed by my friends and myself. In this way any impression was removed of my being the unwitting tool of forces outside my own control.

Nevertheless I had to learn that these forces existed and that it was necessary to know how to defend myself against them.

The first of these incidents happened one afternoon at home without any apparent motivation. Dusk had fallen, leaving the room in which I was sitting almost in darkness. My children were playing and I could clearly hear their voices in the room next door. A classical concert was being broadcast-Gluck's Orfeo. (I have never forgotten the smallest detail of this sudden hideous contact with "mystery.") I do not know whether it was a result of this half-light or the influence of this music, but I fell, unawares, into a slight hypnotic state. Listening to the music, my eyes on the ceiling, I suddenly saw outlined there an abominable creature, a kind of octopus with writhing tentacles staring at me with eyes devoid of hatred or violence but full of a drab, inhuman suffering. A sort of undulation ran through this nightmare creature and a terrible cold began to paralyse me.

I made a desperate attempt to flee, and I saw myself simultaneously lying on my divan and standing near the door. It was a double sensation-the wood of the door beneath my fingers, sort of whiplash round my waist, as though the monster which was still on the ceiling had reached me and was tearing me out of this hypnotic torpor. I came to myself, fully conscious, trembling from head to foot, actually standing in front of the door. The picture on the ceiling had vanished.

The source of the experience

Bouissou, Mme Michael

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Listening to music