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Observations placeholder

Existential horror of hell - 5-MeO-DMT



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Extracted from Existential Horror - 5-MeO-DMT - by Barley source EROWID

With the aid of my sitter (call him “John”), I held the glass pipe to my lips and drew a very long, slow drag until I could hold no more. I saw a wisp of alarmingly white smoke rise from the pipe before it was blown away by the large white cloud I exhaled.

Just as John secured the pipe out of my hands, I felt the onset. I let go of the pipe, let myself fall back into John’s inordinately comfortable couch, and then, all within a matter of a few seconds, was launched into the peak experience of the trip.

There was tremendous sound, that of a tornado or jet engine. The visuals were very jumbled, a swirling, cracked-mirror geometry with black and white and yellow and some red (the flag of Maryland in a washing machine?)—seeming to move, to radiate very fast, yet hardly to change -— mild, as hallucinatory images go.

That which was not mild in any way was the emotional-mental-spiritual effect. My entire being —- my soul, I suppose -— began to scream in anguish, in terror, in horror. This, surely, was the worst place in the universe for a human soul to be. I can’t say why or how or what this was; it doesn’t translate to our consensus reality. I just know that it took me utterly and horribly. I wanted to get out of there with every fiber of my being.

After what was maybe two or three minutes of this, I came to believe that I was, in fact, in hell: Hell, the real place -— no red demons with pitchforks, no fire, no frozen lakes -— just pure, non-stop, overwhelming, spiritual torment. And it seemed to be eternal. I believed, not in the way we think normally or have a notion, but rather as an indisputable, immutable truth in the core of my small, small self, that I had made some huge mistake in my life (what?!) or bartered away my soul (these painful insights peering through the non-stop rage of the whole thing).

John re-joined me on the couch, and I asked him if I had said or done anything in this world during my trip to that one. He smiled and explained to me that I had screamed -— at the top of my lungs, from the bottom of my guts, non-stop -— for about six minutes (mostly “NO” and “FUCK” and occasionally “PLEASE” among the wordless screaming). He continued that I was among the one-in-six who physically move during this experience and that my movement consisted of rocking forward and back, slapping both hands back and forth from the tops of my thighs to my forehead.

I noticed that all other furniture, all breakables, anything with a hard edge was now on the far side of a six-foot radius around me. He hadn’t interrupted nor attempted to restrain me at the time, he said, because I didn’t seem to be hurting myself, which was true.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps